A little mini-vacation Islanders update

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/19/2008 01:52:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here

A little mini-vacation Islander update on what's up around the club.

NHL.com: Dan Rosen has an excellent feature article today on Josh Bailey with his comments along with that of assistant gm Ryan Jankowski and scout Eric Cairns.

Hockey Hall of Fame: Kevin Shea is the Editor of Publications and Online Features for the Hockey Hall of Fame has a story that includes Mikael Samuelsson of the Wings bringing the cup to former Islander Cup Winner Mats Hallin before the league adapted this fantastic tradition.

Erie Times-News: Victor Fernandes had a feature a few days ago about Islander defender Chris Campoli at a Kahkwa Club event benefited the Shriners Hospital for Children and Kahkwa Scholarship Fund for Caddies as he pronounced himself healthy and ready for training camp in New York.

Inside College Hockey.com: Joe Gladziszewski has a feature article on Islander prospect Tyrell Mason with Clarkson head coach George Roll's comments.

* The Utah Grizzlies announced that they have re-signed forward Ryan Kinasewich, who has led the team in scoring each of the last three seasons and was added back to the prospect profiles because he played over twenty games for Bridgeport last season.

* Michael Fornabaio reported in the Ct Post Sound Tigers blog Justin Mapletoft is headed for Austria.

New York vs Rangers 1984 Game Five

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/18/2008 03:49:00 PM | 2 Comments

I was at this game sitting a few rows up from where Morrow shot, too bad there is no camera angle from the other side.

Amazing how we NEVER get to see the Sportschannel Version with Jiggs McDonald calling all these great games.

That's right, the other team owns that version.

Oh well, hopefully a good vacation blog to pre-schedule for a Monday.

NYI Fan Central Goes Professional?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/15/2008 10:28:00 AM | 4 Comments
For my vacation project before I depart I thought I would share something I did Friday with my readers.

I have no idea what the response will be (if anything) but on this day I contacted the current President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America, Kevin Allen and asked how I can become a member?

In this instance I told Mr Allen I would only print his response only if it was ok with him, as many know he does some very informative articles on the club in USA Today that are linked here often, I told him about my background covering hockey in cyberspace the last decade and invited him to view this blog.

No, this is not about me all of a suddenly wanting to do interviews or receive credentials to go into lockerooms, that has never been my interest but after a decade plus writing about hockey and over thirty years of being a fan of hockey and the New York Islanders reading articles why would I not be qualified to make my viewpoint on this blog professional?

At the very least the answer could help others who would like to know?

Why now, some may ask?
I always try and draw the line between Professional Writers and Independent amateur writers or folks with blogs which is a somewhat of a new name for an old practice of writing about hockey. I thought it would be a fun project to do some ground work on the subject for everyone.

I also stumbled onto an old article from the Islanders website back in April of 2006 where Miroslav Satan was cited by the Association for professionalism or the good guy award, what caught my attention was who made up the Long Island Chapter (Mark Herrmann notes he is a former President) of this association.

One individual was listed as a member off a website where basically anyone could write if they applied with some basic qualifications, the others were Mr Botte (Daily News) Mr Hahn (Newsday) Mr Grossman (Post) and two AP writers at the time.

So I visited that website and looked at their qualifications to become a writer. I will leave out the site and the writer because it's not about them or their site but how someone could become a member of the Association off of a website that had the following credentials to join:

From 2006:
Team Correspondent -
The site is seeking professional individuals who will be responsible for covering and reporting on a specific hockey team throughout the hockey season, as well as writing articles/columns on the specified team for our monthly publication. Each Team Correspondent must reside in the city of which he/she covers. The ideal candidate(s) must be a motivated team player, have a strong passion for the sport of hockey and solid understanding of the sport and the National Hockey League.
• Create monthly written material pertaining to the team assigned and covered.
• Reports to the Editor-in-Chief.
• Past or current sports journalism experience a necessity.
• University Degree and/or College Diploma in the field of journalism/media a plus.
• Excellent sports and hockey knowledge.
• Excellent verbal communication and written skills.
It should be noted outside of two Islander website/Newsday reports this site does not list a current article or writer for the New York Islanders to the best of my knowledge and even then they listed about a dozen clubs needing a writer.

About a decade ago I did a little inquiring on this subject and it led me to a site called McKeens Hockey which I'm sure a few of you know that does some fine work about prospects.

We did a phone interview after some e-mails and basically they wanted me to moderate their information forum and write articles but I declined at the time because it was also about generating revenue for the site and looking for advertisers while I only wished to write about hockey and the Isles prospects.

That led me to Hockey's Future where my qualification was they needed a writer and I guess running Islanders-Sound Tigers was enough after the other writer left.

From Jim Smith to George Vecesy to the days Mike Lupica covered the club and called the Nassau Coliseum Fort Neverlose there is nothing I have not seen written about this team. Marc Berman did a fantastic job on the beat for this team for the Post as did Doug Gould, Joe Gergen and sure folks like Larry Brooks were around in 1980 and of course Mark Herrmann and Jay Greenberg had a more active hand in hockey coverage in those days but back then hockey was a bigger player in the New York media.

Where will this lead?
In the best case scenario I guess New York Islander Fan Central submits an application and somewhere along the way can stamp the word " PROFESSIONAL " over everything I write here but because there is no spot for that on this blog and I'm not changing the header unless Garth Snow trades someone, I suppose I can put a sticky on my keyboard reminding me from time to time but that's about it.

Having written that maybe it could help a few other folks and a hockey market that desperately needs more professional writers and space for content as they ask why they cannot become a member?

I keep my opinion of amateur content off this site aside from noting their effort (on occasion) to bring us information but I can tell you the work from the Islanders blog box members and a lot of other fan sites writing about the club currently would be a vast improvement to what little coverage we receive now.

Anyway that's my pre-vacation project.

Time for a little summer color tweaking of the blog look, the traditional colors of NYI Fan Central will return. I guess we can call this look the road whites in an era where the sport badly needs a return to home clubs wearing white.

Home dark uniform looked out of place in the sixties and early seventies, it still does today.

Islander Notables & Quick Hits for Friday

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/15/2008 06:55:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Sports Illustrated: Jim Kelley feels Scott Gordon made a mistake at his press conference mentioning the Stanley Cup and then goes back to the nineties while writing a lot of things about Mr Wang's tenure that do not reflect the clubs record as a franchise that has been to four playoffs in six years.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think what I object to most from so many of these articles is they can call up the Isles and be a part of these conference calls and get their own quotes straight from the club, but they cannot be bothered?

All due respect to Mr Kelly but I do not think he understands the Stanley Cup is expected for this franchise and it's fans, after four of them in a row for a generation it was taken for granted.

If they are not playing with the goal of winning the cup in it's plan every single year as they build up the core of the club (regardless of expectations) why bother at all?

Scott Gordon for me did say the right thing and given Philadelphia went from 30th with a rookie coach and inexperienced general manager in Paul Holmgren to an unexpected semi-final appearance with a team at times that looked helpless last season he does not understand how the NHL works. Brett Hull is an inexperience co-general manager in Dallas not receiving the same scrutiny Snow has and his club made a playoff run also.

The rest of the article for me just has the usual information gap between present day and the nineties or two summers ago because it's all the writer knows due to a lack of knowledge or information. When have coaches who interviewed for jobs and did not get them publicly object? Did we see this with any other club this year or ever in the past but for this job there should be public criticism by someone who was not hired?

Did Mr Kelly write this about half the clubs that have inexperienced NHL coaches at the helm now?

Again, a lot of franchises in this league that have not made four of the last six playoffs having the dysfunctional label slapped on them so quickly or freely. To be mediocre does not mean your dysfunctional, nothing to celebrate but nothing that merits the constant media lynching.

You would think the Blues were a first place team for all the free passes they receive in the media for another poor season along with the Hawks who again are still on the outside until they win but from a few writers are already a championship level club?

What has John Davidson done again not to merit the same public scrutiny Snow has received, how come Dean Lombardi got a free pass for firing his coach who was hired the same summer Nolan was let go?

It may well be hard to have optimism regarding the New York Islanders but you also have to be fair and have updated knowledge to do an article like this or at least point out here the Isles are not setting new standards.

Mr Kelly clearly in this case did a lazy, sloppy article nor does he note the man games lost to inury or the clubs place in the standing for most of the season.

Nowhere has an Islander team official said one word about bringing back Bryan McCabe, more sloppy reporting from Mr Kelly.

Yahoo Sports.com: Ross McKeon's article cites the trends of general managers over the last few years opting for rookie head coaches in talking about the Isles hiring Scott Gordon and notes the burnout factor in veteran coaches also.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A lot of rookie coaches have been hired the last few years or brought in through a clubs system. That's the trend for now but trends change also and no doubt most of the men Snow interviewed will find another job if that's what they want when the trend goes the other way. Tom (John) Renney was not coaching anywhere when he was hired by Sather.

Brent Sutter a few years ago when he was rumored for this job was not criticized in the press.

Quick Hits:
* So the Francesa-Russo split got the full Newsday backpage Scott Gordon never received and more Newsday articles (four) than the Isles press conference? (three) I wonder if there was some controversy or an injury update if Mr Logan would have been around for the PC?

* No gang, I do not think it's Cablevision-related. When the season starts and Knick scrimmages start receiving backpages over baseball playoff games that's when you'll know.

* Speaking of our friends from Cablevision was this the enhanced coverage they promised a few months ago? A summer with one Islander-produced themed program and no current games or classic games? How nice of them to send Stan Fischler for a few web casted interviews with nothing on live television considering they own the broadcast rights, more like Msg minus.

* I guess only Mr Zipay can blog during vacation for his readers just to give the fans something to talk about? No way Mark Herrmann would have pulled that on another club in this town which shows everyone how poor Newsday's relationship is with the Isles.

Newsday knows it completely controls Islander perception, they write it and it goes straight to other outlets who throw in a few thoughts from a decade ago and move on quickly. There is no competition because there are no other regular writers, Newsday can now make or break Islander players, coaches, general managers and the franchise itself now by their opinion.

* Yes, I read Mr Botta's blog on Yahoo sports the other day and he did a good job for those wondering why I did not link to it. I have to be honest and tell my readers I'm still trying to decide if Mr Wyshynski's work despite his background in Virginia Newpapers and Sportsnet (I did some checking) makes the cut for coverage here as a member of the professional hockey media and have found myself on the fence about it at times. We spoke recently by e-mail about the Islanders (not this subject) because I commented on one of his articles about the club and he was very respectful even if we agreed to disagree on some things. I know Yahoo sports carries his work as does the feeder here. This is one I'm being a bit conservative on and perhaps I'm wrong here for the same reasons I did not carry an article out of the website that has the NY Sun very limited Islander coverage by Kevin Greenstein.

I did promise our readers when I started this blog I would be conservative at times when posting information, this was one of those instances.

* So the NY Times can get quotes out of Russia but not send someone to the Islanders press conference or find a writer to do an article? Instead we got a few blog updates with some links and nothing else? They send writers to cover goal judges or Kyle Okposo in Bridgeport and the new broadcasters in another language (all worthwhile features) but not when a new coach is hired?


* I have to end this with something positive and for today that will be former Islander Craig Ludwig being inducted into the UND Athletic Hall of Fame. If you thought Brendan Witt made you wince when he blocked shots he had nothing on Ludwig who was down more than the goaltenders and had a memorable season for me as an Islander.

A Few Notables/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/14/2008 09:51:00 PM | | | Comment Here
THN.com: Adam Proteau ranks the division and feels even though the Isles may pull up the rear in the Atlantic will likely exceed expectations to a slight degree again this season.

Odessa Jackalopes.com: New York Islanders European scout Vellu Kautonen has a few words on goaltender Juha Toivonen, the younger brother of St. Louis Blues goaltender Hannu Toivonen.

Espn.com/several outlets: Report Flyers coach John Stevens received a two year contract extension today.

Islanders, Gordon, Media & NYIFC

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/14/2008 01:18:00 AM | | | 2 Comments
A bunch of things late Thursday.

* Isles released it's national slate of games next season which was reduced to three.

* For this blogger the Scott Gordon era will not be defined by year one regardless of results unless his veterans all have career years and the club makes a run at a Stanley Cup, it will be defined by year two by how much improvement the prospects/younger players show as they push out the veterans in key roles.

* Garth Snow's challenge next summer will be to land a first line prime free agent to replace a Bill Guerin, Doug Weight, Mike Sillinger. He's not going to be able to plug prospects into all the top spots unless Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini or Okposo all show signs they can be star players next season which is asking for a great deal.

* For now we will read about defensive systems and the coaches trends, how he gets a slow team on paper to play uptempo, score enough goals and protect the goaltender will define his impact along with getting more out of a powerplay that was terrible last season.

* Ted Nolan knew what we all saw, for this club to compete it had to play more of a defensive strategy but he also had to go for it at times because his club could not score goals. We saw those forty-fifty shots the club took with few quality chances, it was a delicate balance for Ted Nolan and it will be for Scott Gordon. There were reasons for some stretches Ted Nolan could not play a 1-3-1, especially when you score two goals or less fourteen games in a row and no one is producing.

* This defense on paper should even be better than it was a year ago with the loss of Bergeron, Berard in it's own end of the ice with Sutton coming back in a settled role along with Meyer. Huge year for Gervais and Campoli and a lot of competition for spots on the backline, someone with Streit has to hit the back of the net from the point.

* Guerin and Sillinger are playing for their future in this league at this point, same can be written about Weight. If they fail to produce here few teams will even want them for third line spots come the trade deadline. Weight has to produce like last year never happened, Guerin has to come in ready to produce consistently.

* If Scott Gordon wants his own assistants, the Isles will likely do that for him but a lot of new coaches in this league just take the people in place, we saw that in Washington and with several other clubs. This is something that will play out as Gordon gets settled.

* From the fan and media viewpoint department:
Usual shock jock game from the media with half of them writing the Isles should have hired experience while the other liked the hiring based on Gordon's credentials. The shock joke stuff you can see coming because it starts with stuff back to the nineties or things not relevant to era Snow was general manager.

Then you have those in the media who beat them down and then build back them up, those writers seemingly just go for reaction and sensationalsim also because it's good for page views but more style over substance, virtually worthless unless you wish to get stirred up.

I hate how some react to Steve Stirling, he did an excellent job as a rookie coach in this league and was a class act from beginning to end of his time with this organization that was as pathetic as the reaction to Jason Blake when he returned.

We can only hope Scott Gordon does as well point wise his first season if he has the same injury problems. Mike Milbury gave Stirling a horrible team to work with that season out of the lockout with York, Niinimaa, Lukowich, Sopel all inconsistent or headed for deep decline. Kvasha, Weinhandl played their way out of the league seemingly for good. The coach was a scapegoat because of his inexperience with the public and he was not a name coach who did fancy speeches for the media.

Steve Stirling was and is a good man, he deserved far better.

* If you want the Isles to stick to the plan, you have to support the product by attending games, otherwise Garth Snow will have to act like Mike Milbury and do things to get folks to the games as the former gm did when he hit the crossroads and needed to imporove attendance and keep his job.

Unless you want shortcuts you have to support what they are trying to do and based on how visible Comeau, Bergenheim were in games if Okposo or Tambellini give them anything this team will be in the mix or better next season if the vets produce.

* Newsday/Greg Logan Checklist:
No Al Arbour night-check.
No Rick DiPietro all-star blogs-check.
No Scott Gordon press conference-check.
Make issue of Dipietro's play based on misleading stats-check.
Be around to stir the pot on Nolan-Snow with unnamed player friction-check.
Ignore virtually anything positive-check.
Keep the Ranger angle in coverage whenever possible-check.
Ignore Aaron Johnson's comments about how well respected Nolan was-check.
Steve Zipay Ranger blog more popular at Newsday because of more updates-check.
Mark Herrmann keeps things negative with the club future viability an issue raised whenever possible-check.
Make sure Wallace Matthew, Jim Baumbach, Anthony Rieber or any guest writer/blogger they can find to take a few digs at the club whenever possible do so-check.

Gordon hiring got a small part of the back and front page of Newsday on Tuesday, introduction press conference did not receive any part of backpage for Wednesday over a Met game in Washington?

* NYI Fan Central Department:
A few days off coming, my thanks again to everyone who participated in the live blog on Tuesday and for the amazing support here for this blog since day one over a year ago now. I think I added every one's links who asked to the sidebar, if not send me an e-mail. The new CHL team has a section along with a feeder for faceoff.com.

I will keep looking to add to the blog, when games start the scoreboards and stat service scoreboards/standings will be added back in come September.

ITV video causes page to load slower, solution will be reducing the size of the box where you adjust it as you see fit and can make it full size with no delay.

* Islanders as always were first class the last few days inviting all the blog box members to it's press conference. This blog is a member of the blog box program but does it's viewpoint from from outside the box itself, however but the club always extends the generous invitation for for me to appear. I cannot recommend enough to aspiring writers with Islander blogs to apply for the blog box program if you have second thoughts and join the outstanding group of bloggers already in place.

Maybe a quick update or two Friday.

Thanks again everyone.

Islander News Articles 8/14

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/13/2008 09:05:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Katie Strang's article has Scott Gordon's comments about what philosophy he will bring to New York and what he wants his team to do on the ice as he looked at last year's club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Scott Gordon can talk of his team playing with aggression and pressuring the other club into situations where they don't want to play with the puck, but the reality was and is the New York Islanders are a very slow team that cannot play that kind of hockey with the roster they have.

Ted Nolan talked about this often noting the lack of speed and skill and being forced to play the way they did to compete in games with other clubs and Scott Gordon will have the same problem.

Doug Weight does not make Sillinger, Guerin, Hunter or Comrie any faster and neither will any coach at this stage in their careers. Richard Park for his speed is not an offensive player who will not finish enough.

Scott Gordon comments on paper sound great about forcing teams into mistakes with pressure but this club does not have the team speed among it's forward to play that way as it's currently constructed.

Newsday: Katie Strang in the Islanders Newsday blog leads with general manager Garth Snow refusing to discuss management contract terms and his telling Mark Herrmann it's none of his business when pressed.

Ms Strang also notes the new coach was pretty nervous but not overwhelmed and was gracious enough to stay more than two hours after the press conference to speak with reporters as he talked about his communication skills and a lot of topics. Ms Strang also notes his reaction to a question about the Isles powerplay seems he knew there was a problem.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good for Garth Snow for calling out Mr Herrmann on this, it's not his business if that's the club policy. Ted Nolan played right into Greg Logan's hands on that one and made it an issue that could be exploited by the beatwriter who took full advantage even though Nolan never lobbied for an extension in the press.

What do you want me to write about Mr Logan being AWOL for a positive event as usual that I have not written before? It's Scott Gordon's and the New York Islanders day, this is for another time.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann goes over the history of Islander coaches and what they have to say when hired and gets in his little dig at Garth Snow in response to him not telling the length of Scott Gordon's contract as he told some sidebar stories from the new coach at the press conference.

Mr Herrmann of course makes the club's viability and possible future a point of his article based on the future of the Lighthouse project which we have read in most of his Islander updates.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Par for the course with Mark Herrmann who loves doing Islander articles about the teams relevance, viability and possible future relocation whenever he can despite nothing from the owner on this at all. I guess this is what happens on days Charles Wang has nothing to say and something negative has to be put injected into the mix when the general manager tells him club policy on team contracts is not his business on a day for some optimism.

I remember a few years ago when the Devils swept the Rangers Mr Herrmann was so bitter he did an article about how the entire media went to the Ranger side and ignored the Devils.

NY Post: Devils beatwriter Mark Everson from the Post covered the press conference with his theme on winning now, taking Scott Gordon's comment he expects to win every game as he pointed to the Giants along with the new coaches thoughts on other subjects while Mr Everson speculated his contract was a standard three year deal and Mr Wang had the final interviews with Bob Hartley, Paul Maurice and Scott Gordon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Dan Martin apparently had the day off also for those wondering where the part-time writer was today.

Daily News: Someone named Mark Lelinwalla covered the press conference for the News in a limited space article that only had select quotes from the new coach mostly on how he expects to win every game with his philosophy.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sad Peter Botte seems off the radar for good along with any hope of dedicated covered or a blog from the News. Even when he did occasionally write something now he is out of touch with current events which negates the abilities he used to bring to the coverage.

Boston Globe: Kevin Paul Dupont has Scott Gordon's comments and speculates on the Islanders and who will be his sucessor in Providence.

Tribune-Democrat.com: Mike Mastovich has an article on Scott Gordon's ties to the Johnstown Chiefs with comments from former Chiefs GM and coach Toby O’Brien, now a scout in the Islanders system on how well-deserved this is for Scott Gordon.

Msg.com: Had Stan Fischler attend the press conference and do individual interviews with Gatth Snow and Scott Gordon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Of course Msg was not going to provide live coverage on it's network of the team it owns television rights to which is why the Isles have to do it themselves.

WFAN.com: Mike Francesa had an interview on radio with Scott Gordon.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual negative theme mostly from Mr Francesa, Isles cannot attract free agents, poor fan support, not enough talent. Gordon did have a lot to say and was asked about hiring his own assistants.

Tsn.ca: Reports Mark Parrish's agent John Vollan spoke to Vancouver radio station CKNW on Wednesday confirming the Canucks' interest in his client while Tsn notes the Islanders and Predators also inquired about the unrestricted free agent forward.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The agent does not specifically mention the Islanders here. This all seems tied to whatever Mats Sundin decides for Vancouver but agents have a job and that's to gauge interest and talk up their client. No real spot for Parrish here unless Kyle Okposo plays in Bridgeport or Parrish plays on a fourth line and a prospect or Richard Park
are moved, not a good fit from what I can see at this time.

ECHL.com: Has a release on the Islanders hiring Scott Gordon and notes he is now one of three former ECHL coaches working in the NHL.

Sportsnet: Analyst Nick Kypreos has learned that Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe has reportedly waived his no-trade clause and may be headed to the Florida Panthers but should not be tied into a McCabe-for-Jay Bouwmeester deal.

New York Introduces Scott Gordon as Head Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/13/2008 05:45:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Complete Press Conference is now available on sidebar for everyone which runs about twenty minutes. C.J Papa from TV-55 also has an interview which is also on Sound Tigers TV.

Islanders website: Has Scott Gordon, Garth Snow's comments and highlights of the press conference for the new coach which included team captain Bill Guerin, Rick DiPietro and first round pick Josh Bailey.

Newsday: Katie Strang covers the press conference for Scott Gordon with his comments about the challenges he faces combining a veteran roster with the prospects.

Newsday: Also has a shorter video on the press conference.

NHL.com: Brian Compton has an excellent feature on the hiring of Scott Gordon and the challenges he faces with comments from the new coach, general manager Garth Snow and Bruins first round selection in 2005, defenseman Matt Lashoff who felt the Isles made an excellent choice.

CBS Sportsline.com: Wes Goldstein's article is mostly about the past management committee but feels the Isles made the right call and notes the trends in new NHL coaching blood with Garth Snow's comments from today's press conference.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual first class job by the Islanders staff putting this together. Scott Gordon and everyone said all the right things, it will come down to how it translates on the ice not just at the beginning of the next season but beyond that and if Scott Gordon can get the most out of this group using his strengths.

Seems the dissension between the Isles and Newsday as usual still runs deep with Mark Herrmann's little exchange with Garth Snow over management contracts.

Hockey News: Adam Proteau felt Garth Snow made a good pick as coach but also that he choose someone who would not give a message of the club being in a win now mode and that it cost him with Ted Nolan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Of course Mr Proteau had to get in his shot, the Islanders have been to playoffs four of the last six years, they have not been fighting to get back to respectability for twenty five years or most of the league would be in the same boat.

Vancouver Sun via CamWest News Service: Dave Gross gives his comments on the press conference and notes Scott Gordon bring a Boston-esque quality to the franchise.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As so many of the players and the general manager/former general manager as well as the franchise goaltender.

AP: Has an article on today's press conference.

Canadian Press: Has an article with Scott Gordon's comments.

THN.com: Ryan Dixon looks at the trends among new coaching blood in the league and notes that fifteen coaches are on their first NHL assignment as head coach which now includes Scott Gordon.


Will the veterans completely buy in?
Will the veterans want to do what works for them at this point in their career?
How will the players who played well for Ted Nolan react?
Can Gordon bring out Jeff Tambellini's best game?
Can this club score enough in a defensive system?
How will the Gordon-DiPietro working relationship go when the pressure is on?
Can Scott Gordon coach and have success at this level?

How will Scott Gordon react to adversity/losing, how will management react to his decisions in those stretches which will be acid test for everyone and if this is a partner ship where the gm stands up and says this is my coach and gives a public vote of confidence?

Lot's of questions, no answers until the club hits the ice.

Islander News Articles 8/13:

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 11:34:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has general manager Garth Snow's comments as to why Scott Gordon stood out in the interview process, what he was looking for in a coach, the trend of minor league coaches being hired along with what this will mean for the veterans. The general manager also talks about the club's defensive system and goaltender Rick DiPietro's workload.

Mr Logan also reports assistant coaches Gerard Gallant, John Chabot and Dan Lacroix are expected to be retained and that naming his own staff was not an issue for Scott Gordon with the general manager having no issues with the assistant coaches.

Newsday: Greg Logan has Rick DiPietro's comments on the hiring of Scott Gordon and what it could mean for the club as defensive systems along with a coach who is also a former goaltender from Boston College system are discussed.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann's article compares the trends with Peter Laviolette and the club in that era and looks at the background of the new coach and what his strengths are but feels Garth Snow made the right choice.

Sporting News: Craig Custance gives his take on the Islanders hiring Scott Gordon with the general manager's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Custance provided a lot of good coverage on Bob Hartley in this so it was interesting to read what he had here.

Sidebar on this blog has Garth Snow interview with CJ Papa from TV-55 and his Conference Call with media.

Updated Wednesday:
NY Post: Dan Martin feels hiring a coach without NHL experience is a risk for Garth Snow but has the general managers comments on the hiring.

Daily News: John Dellapina from the Ranger beat did an small article that had Gordon's comments from the Isles website but mostly talked about Ted Nolan and Garth Snow vs what differences Scott Gordon brings.

Boston Globe: Kevin-Paul Dupont's article has Garth Snow comments and what Scott Gordon will bring to New York as it's new coach.

NY Times: Stu Hackel mostly links to Islanders website and Newsday articles.

Providence Journal: Corey Bourassa has an article in the Bruns blog with files from the Associated Press.

Point Blank: Mr Botta gives his take on the hiring and some other items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great stuff from the Islanders here on the video press conference with the media as Garth Snow took questions with a camera on him. More often than not you see this done without video but for everyone you get a complete look at what is actually said vs what the writer later puts in his article.

USHL.com: Islander prospect Kyle Okposo was one of the presenters at the the Select 15 Camp last week with Cedar Rapids Head Coach Mark Carlson comments on how important it was to have him there.

Portfolio.com: Former Islander general manager Neil Smith does an article about problems in the music industry and compares it to the NHL in that owners that made their bones in other industries, have sought radically different approaches to running their hockey franchises but most of the time they end up having to go back to the traditional model, but notes Dallas recent success.

New York Hires Scott Gordon as Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 07:15:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has Scott Gordon's comments along with General Manager Garth Snow who will formally introduce the new coach of the Islanders Wednesday at a 1pm press conference live on Islanders TV.

"Scott has been one of the top up-and-coming coaches in hockey and with good reason," said Snow. "Through his work in the minor leagues and most recently with Providence over the last eight years, he has gained an impeccable reputation. The entire Islanders organization looks forward to working with Scott."

"Garth has given me an unbelievable opportunity to coach in the NHL with the Islanders,” said Gordon. “From my time coaching in Providence, I’ve seen firsthand the talented young players in this organization. I look at the direction and the vision for this team and see a bright future.”

Newsday: Greg Logan reports the New York Islanders have hired Scott Gordon as their new head coach with more from the general manager.

Newsday also reports it's a multi-year contract.

Newsday: Scott Gordon's coaching record.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Garth Snow feels he is the right coach for this team at this time and given the prospects in the organization combined with how many things I read out of Boston about how well well regarded he is, how well he has done in Providence for years and how qualified he is combined with a defensive approach, it's hard to disagree.

Scott Gordon does not have a track record of moving as did some of the others but with that comes the question of how he will start with what is a veteran roster combined with the recent lack of success of goaltenders as NHL head coaches. His defensive approach will no doubt be a plus but he may find he has to open up to get any scoring out of his roster.

Scott Gordon also comes without the ring Bob Hartley had for winning a Stanley Cup.

I wanted Bob Hartley over Gordon but it's very tough not to argue with Snow's reasoning here for why he made what many will call a very good choice for a man overdue to be an NHL head coach and highly regarded. This is not a career AHL coach who has moved around and it's not a situation like Steve Stirling where he was in the organization as an instructor and had several roles before the Isles had an affiliate in Bridgeport despite how well Stirling did in his rookie season for New York.

Garth Snow here had to make a call here on who was the best choice for his team at this time, it's tough to disagree.

I also remember the problems in Boston when Peter Chiarelli fired Dave Lewis last summer. Many in Boston's upper management wanted Scott Gordon to be named head coach
(Mike Milbury received an interview if anyone recalls) other speculated Claude Julien was hired because of his ties to the gm but it was the right call for Boston last season and a great hire.

More Later:

: Has a brief update on the Isles hiring Scott Gordon.

Boston Globe: Fluto Shinzawa back on 7/21 in an update on Scott Gordon to the Isles reported Gordon was entering the final year of a two-year contract. The Bruins held an option on a third year.

A little Wikipedia action for those wanting a full overview of Scott Gordon here. along with his profile from the Providence Bruins website here.

Updated 9:00pm:
Boston Globe: Kevin-Paul Dupont has a quick update on Scott Gordon's hiring.

Tsn.ca: Staff report notes in it's story Ben Walter and Andy Hilbert played for Scott Gordon.

Newsday: Greg Logan gives his take on the hiring of Scott Gordon (he preferred Paul Maurice) and refers to folks getting on the Isles the last few years as he did more on the history of the management committee as " fun " for anyone with a keyboard but tells us now the club has a structure like most other teams with the buck stopping with the general manager.

Mr Logan also tells us the only Islander blog in a Newspaper will only have infrequent coverage from here into September as he is heading back on vacation after tomorrow's press conference.

NYI Fan Central Commments:
Steve Zipay blogs on vacation to tell his readers how popular his teams blog is at Newsday and give them stat updates in August while our beatwriter is looking for the exit? I did not know he considered it fun to knock the team from behind the keyboard.

Updated 10:30pm:
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog gives his thoughts on the pick but his paper will not be at Wednesday's press conference.

Bridgeport Camp & Preseason Schedule

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 03:44:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Announced training camp in Shelton from Sept. 29 – October 5th & pre-season schedule which included the following games:

The Sound Tigers will travel to Albany to take on the River Rats October 1st at a location to be determined.

Friday, October 3rd against the Hartford Wolf Pack, at the Northford Ice Pavilion in Northford, Conn. at 7 p.m.

Saturday, October 4th gainst the Lowell Devils, at The Rinks at Shelton at 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 5th, against the Hartford Wolfpack at the Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, Conn scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Sound Tigers Website: Also has a release on camp and preseason.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Has to be noted the Sound Tiger roster players along with the prospects will also be heading to Moncton in September before Bridgeport camp opens. Groups get officially split up when the club comes back to the New York area but some Sound Tiger players will be part of a few preseason Islander games in Canada.

Season for the NHL is starting a week later this year.

Live NYI Fan Central Blog 8/12 1pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 12:54:00 PM | Comment Here
My Thanks to Everyone for a great live blog again today, we went a little shorter on a weekday in August but as always a lot of good discussion.

Islander News Articles 8/12

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/12/2008 05:39:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Midland-Reporter Telegram: Len Heyward has more on the Islanders new affililation with Odessa as General Manager Joe Clark comments on the agreement which is for one year.

Ottawa Sun/several outlets: Report former Islander Jamie Rivers will return from Moscow Spartak in 08-09 and play for the Chicago Wolves.

St Pete Times: Lightning beatwriter Damian Cristodero blogs on Mike Sullivan and John Tortorella not making the final three with speculation on the future for both.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As of the time I posted this update Boston Globe/Providence Journal, Toronto Star/Sun, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Craig Custance Sporting News & New York papers have nothing in their Tuesday early editions or blogs with anything new on Isles selecting a coach.

Sure would be nice if one time the New York Islanders website broke their own news at the same time for everyone.

Barrie Examiner: Glenn Wilkins has comments from former Islander Aaron Johnson on the circumstances that did not make it into Newsday.

While trying to remain diplomatic, Johnson admits the situation in the Islander boardroom leaves him scratching his head.

“(Ted is) a player’s coach, a guy like me, who goes out and competes every night, who shows respect for guys who are gritty and work hard. He was awesome to play for, and unfortunately, was caught in another tough situation this year, and now, he’s out of a job looking for another one. But I’m sure he’ll be back.”

“It seemed like (the Islanders) were in the right direction for a bit. I mean, from a player’s standpoint, everything was great, the chemistry was great with the guys, but there was so much pressure to win, and there was a difference of opinion between (General Manager) Garth (Snow) and Teddy, because there were no issues between Ted and the players; he was a great coach.

“The guys enjoyed playing for him and put out a good effort for him, but as a player, you don’t always see what’s going on behind the scenes, but, obviously, there was something there.”

Final Speculation on Next Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2008 04:07:00 PM | | | | 2 Comments
I know it has not been reported anywhere and everyone takes it as a given if someone interviews they absolutely will take the job if offered.

Garth Snow may not get his first choice here either if he has made up his mind which is someone no one has written about.

The potential coaches are people first and anything else second with family and financial considerations as well as relocating. A contract has to be worked out and given Neil Smith's circumstances that person no doubt will make sure it's binding and official from day one if they hired an agent. There can also be a question of that former club requesting compensation as the Isles needed permission just to interview.

Of course most clubs prefer to get any lingering commitment to a coach off their books but a team like Boston may want back that second round pick for Nokelainen to allow Scott Gordon to leave his spot in Providence. Peter Chiarelli had to go through this to get out of Ottawa but that was more about tampering claims and was not allowed to start in Boston until mid-July.

For all of the potential coaches there is also a question of a coaching staff, past practice here has seemingly been coach picks his own assistants. What will this mean for Ted Nolan's staff if a new coach wants his own assistants he feels comfortable working with?

Also a coach considering this job will want to know what Mr Wang's plan is if his Lighthouse Project is not approved whether I will have a job beyond his term as owner if he puts the club up for sale?

Finally that person has to decide if this is what they really want at this time for themselves (like anyone) and if the contract term is acceptable. Anyone going in knows coaches here last two seasons, it's Garth Snow's first hire and that may be unfair given ownership/gm changes but that is the history of this franchise back to Al Arbour.

Beyond Mr Botta's comment a while back Garth Snow to his knowledge has not been given a contract extension.

You look at a man like Paul Maurice and by any hockey/business standard the man has had two very tough years in Toronto on and off the ice with a general manager who wanted to fire him in season (John Ferguson) before the interim gm in Cliff Fletcher let him go. Sure we can talk about his overall record and what he would do (or fail to do) here but that's something that also could play into things for Paul Maurice.

Bob Hartley has had a nice break for himself and some separation from what happened in Atlanta, however he also has some players like Jon Sim and Andy Sutton to consider working with again and relocating along with the dollars and where his career is at this time.

Scott Gordon if he leaves a program in Providence on top will have to relocate and for now will inherit a club with really no prospects on his NHL defense with a lot of veterans to start the season up front in Guerin, Weight, Sillinger and a lot of older players on the backline in Sutton, Witt, Streit and Martinek. The role best suited to his skills may come in season if the club drops out of contention and many of those veterans at forward are traded/retire as more opportunities are available for prospects.

If he is the choice he will have a fourth line with potentially his former player in Andy Hilbert and Ben Walter. Richard Park does not make this a group of young prospects but of course all AHL clubs carry veterans.

We'll see, it is never as easy as Garth Snow picking up the phone and offering someone the job once he makes up his mind.

With that it's time the New York Islanders hire a coach.

Islanders announce new CHL affiliate

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2008 02:08:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here

Central Hockey League: Announce the New York Islanders have entered into an affiliation agreement with the The Odessa Jackalopes of the CHL which also includes the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

General Manger Garth Snow & Sound Tiger President Howard Saffan have their comments along with Odessa general manager Joe Clark.

Sound Tigers Website: Also have a release on the agreement.

Odessa Jackalopes.com: Website for those who would like to learn about the new affiliate.

Odessa American Online: Lee Scheide reports general manager Joe Clark is a former Islander scout and with coach Paul Gillis were working on this agreement since April.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his Sound Tigers blog comments about the affiliation agreement with Odessa.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I created a new section for the Odessa Jackalopes below the Utah Section with team and roster links along with their coverage. Local newspaper does not have a direct RSS feed.

Islander/NHL Monday Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/11/2008 06:37:00 AM | | | | | | 2 Comments

Espn.com: E.J Hradek does a full article on the Islanders coaching search Monday and feels Scott Gordon should be the pick with his reasoning that he is the better choice for a rebuilding over Hartley or Maurice who he does not feel has won much in his eight years.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Hradek is entitled to his viewpoint but it has to be written this is not a prospect defense and last I looked at the forwards it is not dominated by prospects either. The idea this is a total rebuild is way overblown going into 2008-09 when you look at this roster it has a lot of veterans to start the year that are expecting to compete and win now as Comeau, Bergenheim, Okposo and others work their way into prime roles. It could end up that way among the forwards if they drop out of contention early but this backline is locked up for another two years plus.

The Chronicle Herald of Nova Scotia: Monica Graham reports Jon Sim & Colin White from the Devils will host Hockey Day on Aug. 23 at the John Brother MacDonald Stadium in New Glasgow.

Players joining White and Sim on the pro team will be Pictou native Joey MacDonald along with Bruno Gervais of Antigonish.

This was from 8/8 in the Sporting News but Craig Custance provides some very good insights on Bob Hartley possibily becoming Islander coach not previously reported here that his interview also went very well with Garth Snow and that he would be great in the community when it comes to selling tickets and working with sponsorships but that it comes down to owner Charles Wang who Hartley has no relationship with. Mr Custance gives Garth Snow high marks for his diligence in the process with another un-named NHL coach saying he would be stunned if Hartley was not the pick with many around the league feel the former Thrasher coach is still the favorite.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great stuff here from Mr Custance, he has ties to the former Thrasher coach covering the club in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and called him when his name surfaced about the Isles job opening but Hartley did not comment. I guess it's fair to ask how come Newsday or another local paper did not report his interview went well?

Nashville Tennessean: John Glennon has more on the Alexander Radulov situtation but even the paper in Nashville had prospect coverage of the Predators prospects in Lake Placid at development camp.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting Nashville that gets a very unfair knock as a poor hockey makret provides coverage of a prospects camp in Lake Placid for their fans but with all those Islander prospects at the camp for Finland, Sweden and the US not one word was written?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog has a few words on the final choices on the Isles coaching search.

Tuesday Live Blog & What's Next

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/10/2008 09:40:00 PM | Comment Here
Given the sort of reported final choices by an NHL source to Newsday I have a quick poll for everyone to make their own pick among the three choices with a fourth outside option just in case.

When the Isles announce a new coach, the poll ends. I kind of expect we will know by Tuesday at the latest and I think it will start leaking out by Monday afternoon who the choice will be.

Either way we going ahead with our live blog and chat for Tuesday at 1pm for everyone who would like to talk a little New York Islander Hockey, no registration required and everyone is welcome as always.

Been a while since we talked Isles with Nolan out and a new coach in and camp about a month away, chat will go for as long as folks wish to talk so it could be boom or bust doing it in August but past chats were a huge hit.

Sorry I could not provide more on the Team US camp out of Lake Placid, only one reporter from NHL.com covered the event with USA hockey so we had that here.

By the end of this week I will be taking a little break from blogging because hockey season never really ended and it's vacation time. I will pre-schedule a few blogs while I'm gone. The news feeds, team feeds, blog box feeds always has the latest from everyone so this blog is always updating even if I'm not.

After that I will pick it up again with player profiles, whatever preseason predictions I can find along with whatever is happening. Camp will be here very soon, the spring and summer flew by as it's been over four months since the last game.

Who was my pick as coach?

I picked Bob Hartley. No one has lasted here beyond two years if they do not win as coach. My guess is neither does Garth Snow or his choice as his coach unless it's clear the program is on the right track.

Give me the guy with the ring, not the one who never really won anything in Paul Maurice, nice man I'm sure but this is not only about how well both gm and coach get along, it's about winning and no organization goes all prospects. People who work together very well also lose and go down together in flames.

If not Hartley, give me Gordon, he has a very impressive resume and is at that point where he's earned a shot at the right age. Mr Botta got it right to me when he wrote the Isles seven on defense is much better than folks will give them credit for. This team will be ok if they get any kind of scoring and powerplay production with any semblence of health regardless who is hired.

Sunday Notables: DiPietro/Mr Botta/Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/10/2008 07:01:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Players Club Magazine via Islanders website: Ron Dicker has an article on Rick DiPietro family life with comments from the Islander, goaltender, his father, and defender Chris Campoli.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I would guess this is the same Ron Dicker who covered the Isles in the Times a few years ago which was the last time they had regular coverage in the paper, I only wish Newsday would do a few features about the players so the fans get to know them more.

It's coverage like that long ago that made me a big fan of certain players.

Point Blank: Mr Botta blogs on who he feels is the best choice among the so-called remaining three from an NHL source and seems to be more in favor of Paul Maurice or Scott Gordon but claims no insider knowledge and feels Bob Hartley would be a good hire as a roving instructor for the club.

NY Times: Stu Hacklel in the Times blog has a few thoughts but mostly works off of everything Mr Logan wrote and links to Newsday.

Not much else unless you count TSN or THN simply posting the Newsday report with a few words and no quotes. Boston Globe blogger is going on vacation they announced Sunday. Providence Journal had nothing new.

Islander News Articles 8/10

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/09/2008 11:58:00 PM | | | | | | 2 Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan reports the now infamous NHL source indicated Islander general manager Garth Snow has narrowed his list of possible coaches to Bob Hartley, Paul Maurice and current AHL Providence coach Scott Gordon and is expected to name one as the Isles' next coach early this week.

The rest is mostly background and personal speculation from Mr Logan about how they could work with Garth Snow.

No one is quoted again.

Sunday Boston Globe has a lot from Peter Chiarelli Sunday but nothing or Scott Gordon at this time or anything on a possible replacement coach for Providence.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
When Mr Logan write some will see Snow's hiring of Bob Hartley as choosing a buddy I would like to ask who given everyone takes Mr Logan's perceptions and spreads them all over North America now as gospel?

That buddy has a Stanley Cup on his resume and has been a proven winner and did improve the club in Atlanta.

If he wanted a buddy as head coach he already has one in Mike Dunham as his goaltending coach.

Only Garth Snow and the person eventually hired know how they will work together in 2008-09, that's a working relationship that will develop or fail beyond whatever interviews are done now. Bob Hartley has a Stanley Cup and a good record but eventually will be moving on unless his career resume changes. Paul Maurice has never done anything in terms of sustained winning record (besides a descent club in a poor division) but had a good playoff run on a weak Canes team in 2002, having written that he was well regarded by many in Toronto who even in leaving felt he was not given a fair opportunity with that club.

Scott Gordon has no NHL experience but is as well regarded as an AHL coach can be with a record to support it and far from the point Steve Stirling was when he was hired here despite how well Stirling did in 2004. He is a goalie and there do not seem to be many goaltenders who make successful NHL coaches in the recent past. (Glen Hanlon/Ron Low)

I suppose it's also fair to ask do the Isles have to compensate Boston for Scott Gordon and pick up part of Bob Hartley/Paul Maurice contract?

Andy Sutton may not be a big fan of a Hartley given he somewhat scaled back his role his final season in Atlanta. At least here he will have a goalie he can start, should be interesting to see how Mike Dunham reacts to this as well given how quickly it ended in Atlanta for Dunham.

Bottom line this all comes down to what Garth Snow is looking for in a coach, not the fans and not the media or the players paid to play.

We have read a lot from others about what Garth Snow needs to be looking for as we read things about a Barry Trotz kind of relationship in Nashville but in the end he will make his choice by his own standards because he has to work with this person.

Reality is coaches are hired to be fired sooner or later but the second year trend has been a killer here. Anaheim fired a coach in Mike Babcock who went to a final and won in Detroit this year. Randy Carlyle won a cup after Babcock left. Colorado fired Joel Quenneville to bring back Tony Granato after Colorado fired him a few years back.

A few more days and we will see. It looks like for now I picked a good day for a Tuesday chat here.

Newsday: Katie Strang has Doug Weight's comments about the circumstances in Anaheim in their system after he was traded and gives his comments as to what he feel he can do here along with a few words from team captain Bill Guerin about how the powerplay will be improved with Weight and Mark Streit.

NY Post: Mark Hale does an article with Doug Weight's comments about what he can bring to the club and how he feels this could be a good club and praised Garth Snow for how he is handling the search for a new coach.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had more breakdown on the Sound Tigers schedule and answered one of my questions that he would not be in Moncton for camp reporting but it's too far ahead regarding the November trip to Canada or the West Coast swing.

Doug Weight Speaks/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/09/2008 03:39:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Islanders TV: Has the press conference with Doug Weight which lasts about twelve minutes with his comments.

Islanders TV: Radio analyst Chris King also has a two minute interview with Doug Weight who explains why he signed with the club.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good stuff from Weight, we'll see if he can produce as he did two years ago which will be required if this is going to work in terms of winning. Hopefully the move back to the Eastern Conference and how familiar he is with Guerin helps.

Newsday: Is promising something from Doug Weight for the paper tomorrow with Katie Strang and more on the Isles coaching search from Mr Logan.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Katie Strang asked the majority of questions at the press conference so if you watch the ITV interviews you know the quotes for whatever article is written.

I guess this means Mr Logan's NHL source will finally tell us who is the finalist or the next Islanders coach or the general manager has something to say on the subject?

I guess Newsday sent Katie Strang to get a few words from Doug Weight after all despite the other Newsday blog.

I'm sure Mr Botta will have something soon and them we will know who the final choices are or he will have who will be hired.

You have to hand it to the Isles for making things tough on themselves.

Brett Farve is traded to the New Jersey Jets who train (for a few more weeks) at Hofstra next to the Nassau Coliseum (they are moving camp to NJ next year) and they bring him right into the city to meet the mayor and make sure the fans know he is Broadway Brett from New York for some publicity and he holds up a Broadway sign.

Everyone comes to the NEW YORK Islanders and they slap that Long Island label all over everything limiting their ability to attract media/fans for a New York team that actually plays in New York and make folks inside the city limits and around the tri-state area feel like they are rooting for the wrong team.

Can you imagine the Jets putting East Rutherford in every press release or statement coming out of their p.r department?

Not the best way for the New York Islanders to sell tickets which is one reason for all these events.

I guess Doug Weight wears ninety three or has a talk with Rick DiPietro, too bad the Isles could not get Farve to visit for a few minutes as other football players have done, sure would not have hurt given they got Michael Strahan to come over.

Times & Transcript: Has a few words from Bill Schurman, Summerside's director of community services about Bridgeport and Binghampton playing a regular season game on Prince Edward Island.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No comment here at all on any of the good folks from PEI/Summerside. I know the weeknight games do not sell in Bridgeport but playing two home games elsewhere is not an answer to improving fan support when you have a fan advisor board. You find a way to get more people in the building and start by winning more games which goes on team President Howard Saffan, taking away games is not an answer.

Will be interesting to see if the Ct Post allows Mr Fornabaio to travel and cover these games given they did not let him travel to training camp and cut his schedule for a few road games last season. No one wins here without his coverage.

CBC.com: Reports former Islander Bryan McCabe may now be open to a trade with general manager Cliff Fletcher's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wrote here the window for buyouts was between June 15th-30th, obviously that is not correct because players are bought out all the time. Maybe that was only after the lockout ended when the buyout did not count against the cap those first days?

It's amazing the Leafs will simply not buy him out or expect another club to take on that kind of salary at all for a declining player who could not help his own team and is simply not a very good defender. If the Leafs make all this revenue why not just do a buyout and move on with a cap hit? I guess Mr Fletcher feels there is a team out there who will agree to adding that kind of salary or his boss told him there will be no buyout under any circumstances at least until it gets to a point there is absolutely no where else to go.

McCabe has a no movement clause and can veto any deal, it will be interesting to see how far the Leaf media go to turn public opinion against him for wanting to play where he signed for the good of their favorite team improving?

There are no contracts the Isles can send to Toronto to offset such a trade without giving up a player of value. Unless the Leafs want to include Schenn or their first rounder next summer, Garth Snow should have no interest with his defense locked up for the next two seasons.

Daily Gleaner: Adam Bowie has an interview with Bobby Hull who comments the club his son Brett is co-gm with in Dallas may have made the finals if they had maybe a little more astute coaching?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So they father of the co-general manager in Dallas says if coach Dave Tippett were more astute they would have beaten Detroit. Meanwhile here a raised eyebrow comment is an explosive situtation in Newsday?

I wonder if the media in Dallas will turn this into a firestorm like we saw here. Dave Tippett cannot be happy at all with this nor should he be given he is a well respected coach and clubs losing does not necessarily mean anyone was not astute enough.

Sportning News: Craig Custance lists Jon Sim as one of the players returning who could provide some jump for their club with Sim's comments he wanted to play two months ago and is ahead of where he was last year with training.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
You may be asking why Sim has comments here it would be because Mr Custance worked for the Atlanta Journal Constitition while Sim played in Atlanta.

Islander News Articles 8/9

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/09/2008 12:32:00 AM | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan reports John Tortorella apparently is out of the mix for the Isles coaching job with the former Lightning coach declining to comment when contacted by Newsday. The usual infamous NHL source claims Garth Snow will narrow his list over the weekend and make a decision on a coach next week while Mr Logan speculates why Tortorella would not be the right fit for general manager Garth Snow's current club.

Newsday: In the Islander Newsday blog the adminstrator basically repeats the article.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess we'll see.

If there are second interviews coming the Boston papers, the AJC have nothing at this time nor did the Tampa papers have comment or anything from Tortorella.

An outside coach will want his own assistants, the latest was the gm planned to retain Ted Nolan's assistants. A coach like Tortorella with a Stanley Cup would have been a solid respected replacement for Ted Nolan and only the gm knows if he could have sat with that as an alternative or if Tortorella really was interested beyond an initial interview.

There is also a lot of off-ice things for an outside coach coming in which means coming here to work and live during the hockey season, sometimes these things go beyond hockey.

Who gets the job? Only Garth Snow knows who he is leaning toward. Right now it's fair to write only Bob Hartley or Marc Crawford have championship background but the later sounded like a man who already has his job for 2008-09.

Could be someone the media does not know about either who Snow has spoken with, nothing would shock me here short of Ted Nolan and Garth Snow having another chat.

A Few Friday Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/08/2008 02:53:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Yahoo Sports: Has the latest Islander team report.

Newsday: Jim Baumbach announces in his blog there is no one available at the paper to cover Josh Bailey or Doug Weight's debut appearance at the teams club's open house Saturday and are inviting bloggers to help them out?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So Anthony Rieber's boss cannot send him to Nassau Coliseum at 10am because he has to be across the street at Hofstra for a 1:30 pm Jet practice here.

Meanwhile Mr Rieber writes were going to call the Isles a laughinstock?

I know tomorrow's event in of itself is not a game or a big team announcement but it's a question of professionalism and yes, Newsday has had someone at all of these fan gatherings at the Coliseum.

This is just another reason why I take exception with Newsday coverage because for anything controversial or negative they go out of their way to cover it and hurt the club's perception which carries to all of North America but for other things like this which can only help the club they cannot be bothered to even have Mr Rieber show up a little early and cover both events. I did not see the Jets advertise in Newsday like the Isles did for tomorrow.

I wonder if the Post or even the News will see the opportunity to chat with Doug Weight first so someone from the professional media will be in attendance.

Who is this masked former Islander gm at the Rockport-Ipswich-Manchester-Essex co-op hockey program car wash which the Ipswich Chronicle reports on?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Imagine the turnout if Milbury did that in New York? Sure would raise a lot of money but he may need an armed escort to survive.

Late notables for Thursday

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/07/2008 09:14:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an article on Bridgeport's schedule with team President Howard Saffan's comments why the club is playing two regular season home games in Canada.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio in his blog had some speculation on why Bridgeport is playing two games in Canada and that the Sound Tiger fans will be compensated for the missed games as he breaks down the trends in the schedule and compares it with last year's club.

Sound Tigers.com: Released Bridgeport's schedule for 2008-09 which puts two November home games against Binghampton in Summerside and St John's NL.

AHL.com: List all the other games scheduled for neutral sites which include a lot of games involving Albany and Portland.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Love the trip to the Western Conference, hope the Ct Post allows Mr Fornabaio to travel as he did in year one, total ripoff for the Bridgeport fans to lose two home games for sites the Isles play or practice in preseason.

CamWest News/Ottawa Citizen: Don Campbell reports the QMJHL may vote to elimitate it's import draft of players from Europe with the Ontario Hockey League set to address the import draft on Friday at annual meetings in Collingwood, Ont., the QMJHL will have it's annual meeting Aug. 20-24 in Victoriaville, Que.

Quick Hit:
Sean Hill signed in Switzerland, too lazy to provide a link nor does the former Islander comment. Another member of the 06-07 club that falls off the NHL map.

Former Islander Jan Hlavac will also be heading to Sweden.

Day off for US-Finland-Swedish prospects in Lake Placid Thursday.

New York Can't Win the Atlantic, Says Who?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/07/2008 07:29:00 AM | Comment Here
You read some of these professional writers in cyberspace who are essentially outsiders who like to play insider maybe once a month as they come down with selective amnesia when that point comes about how the Isles have beaten their club head to head the last few seasons or how competitive they have been overall and you have to wonder where they are coming from when they automatically put the Isles out of any realistic contention in 2008-09?

Have they learned anything yet?

The New York Islanders have made the playoffs four of the last six season and even did it in 2004 with Oleg Kvasha centering the first line for the second half of 2004 with Weinhandl and Czerkawski on the wings and Steve Stirling as a rookie NHL coach.

If these experts do not follow the Isles at the very least they should be able to
remember the real reason the Isles dropped out of contention based on head to head games against their own clubs which for last season meant only writers from Boston, Florida and Montreal should have something to say about the Isles not having a chance.

The Canadians were the only club that had elements to their game where the Isles seemed overmatched last season by a club with speed and skill, still even then the Isles had a forty five shot loss against the Habs which even had Mike Sillinger questioning the media after one game.

Claude Julien's Bruins for the first time in about six years finally beat the Isles at their own game with his club's grit and character outplaying the Isles in four games and it was very impressive but not dominating.

Florida had the Isles number in four games but what can you say about a team that takes fifty shots and losses to backup Craig Anderson? That is not being overmatched.

Sure it fell apart in March last year for New York because a lot of things finally caught up with them (including four hundred man games lost to injury and a lot of veterans playing hurt) but by reading from some of these so-called hockey experts you would never know the team was in a playoff spot most of last season or had a six game winning streak that pushed them back to two points out of a spot at the trade deadline or despite it's obvious scoring problems/poor trends most of the time were around five games over break even.

New York did not even start losing until the flu decimated the club in January despite being the lowest scoring club in the NHL with a roster deep in red numbers for plus/minus and despite very poor special teams that had them next to last in pp goals with only forty eight and first in powerplay goals allowed with fifteen.

Last year New York was the lowest scoring club in the league with only a hundred eighty nine goals.

Still, even with all that they rallied with a six game winning streak in February sparked by Rick DiPietro's outstanding play capped by a 1-0 shutout against Tampa Bay and some overdue scoring.

So why will New York be out of contention early?

It must be the powerplay?

Kyle Okposo cannot match Satan's five powerplay goals in his spot? Doubtful.
No one will match Ruslan Fedotenko's eight powerplay goals? Possible but unlikely.
Mark Streit cannot match M.A Bergeron's eight powerplay goals? Not buying.
Trent Hunter will not match his two powerplay goals from last season? Nope.
Mike Sillinger cannot improve on his three powerplay goals?
Mike Comrie will not improve on his four powerplay goals?
Bill Guerin does not have another seven pp goals in him with Weight setting him up?

What's scary is you look at the Isles pp and it's virtually impossible to be worse given Bergeron's eight pp goals tied for the club lead with Fedotenko.

The plus minus will finish them early?
Because Kyle Okposo who led all forwards in plus/minus will get more time?
Or Sean Bergenheim (-3) and Blake Comeau (+1) will receive even more minutes on a roster where minus three was a great season.
Frans Nielsen for his limited minutes was a plus one in sixteen games.

No one will be able to best Bryan Berard's minus seventeen or Satan (-11), Fedotenko (-9), Bergeron (-14) Really?

Jeff Tambellini at minus nine you can make a case for being a problem but how much worse can he do with some minutes?

New York cannot score so they will not have a chance?
New York was the worst scoring club in the NHL a year ago and were in a playoff spot for most of the season even when they scored two goals fourteen games in a row almost when completely healthy in November-December.

Most of the forwards had stretches of twenty plus games without scoring or longer, is this mix of prospects who are only improving and veterans going to do any worse?

This group of kids and veterans cannot match last year's roster that had only eleven first period goals all season in mid-December? It would be tough not to match it or surpass it unless everyone struggles badly again.

New York defense simply not good enough?
On paper last year's group cut it's shots against by almost two hundred and had many high shot games against down the stretch. With Brendan Witt healthy, Sutton's strong finish, Meyer playing very well on defense, Martinek playing shutdown defense on Ovechkin and several top players with Campoli & Gervais a year better added to Mark Streit this group should improve dramatically if they can stay healthy.

If not Jack Hillen may be a very good alternative in a lot of areas.

Rick DiPietro not enough in goal?
Outside of Brodeur and despite Newsday's Greg Logan not being much of a DiPietro fan
who could not bother being around for the all-star game but referred to him as headstrong on 3/20 is the second best goaltender in this division until MA Fleury in Pittsburgh can carry his club for a full season, despite his solid playoff or Henrik Lundqvist can prove he can carry a team not playing a trap.

No goalie in the east faced less shots per game than Henrik Lundqvist last season
and still for three months in front of a trap went through a stretch from mid-December to mid-February going 10-10-4, with a .889 save percentage, if he was on this club the season would have been over by Christmas. Martin Biron had a respectful first season and a fine playoff for Philadelphia but still has not taken any step where he is a standout franchise goaltender but his upside could be in front of him.

So New York cannot compete in this division?

New York cannot beat Pittsburgh?
You would never know from some of these writers New York outside of a Brendan Witt bounce off his pad late in a tie game or a fifty shot loss would have beaten Pittsburgh head to head with a Georges Laraque shorthanded goal the difference in another Pens win combined with the infamous Simon stomp game which was 2-1. Isles ran through Pittsburgh 4-1 late in the season like they were the only club on the ice.

Not as if Crosby or Malkin put on any Bossy-Trottier displays and won any single game 8-1 last season outclassing the club and seem painfully short on the wing unless former Isles Fedotenko or Satan have big years to offset the losses up front unless Jordan Staal shifts position. A good chemistry mix on defense that displayed an ability to play the trap required when needed down the stretch and in the playoffs but not a dominating group of name players on the backline outside of Gonchar who is not getting younger or Whitney who has some solid upside.

Nothing to add on goaltending that was not written above.

New York cannot beat Philadelphia?
Flyers were the Atlantic team that had New York's number a year ago but most of the Flyer wins were the byproduct of some very poor special team play by New York and a good powerplay by the Flyers but most of the losses were self-inflicted which stopped some strectches where the Flyers looked like a club in freefall.

A good example of this was the January 19th game the Isles led 3-1 after the first period which had Ted Nolan furious at how poorly the club was playing (while leading) as some bounces off the unfriendly Coliseum boards led to some key Flyer goals that turned the game. Most of the late games had the early game trends, a five on three powerplay goal for Philadelphia followed by more powerplay goals or a mistake shorthanded by New York that turned the game in the Flyers favor.

Philadelphia's moves this summer on paper will not scare anyone outside of locking up Jeff Carter and they lost some core players. Coburn on the backline is a very good player but the Flyers have a defense prone to poor stretches with a club that is winning a lot of games in a row or losing a lot of games in a row that had to scramble to qualify and looked helpless at times and in freefall. Jason Smith's loss does not help. Their younger forwards should be improved but Gagne, Knuble have questions and Briere struggled with consistency.

New York cannot beat the Rangers?
Considering New York won twice late last season at Msg with it's team of prospects in March and April with Dubielewicz in net and dominated the early games things should not change much here. Bergenheim seems to save his best games for the Rangers and Okposo hardly looked lost his last game at Msg with Comeau setting him up to open the scoring.

Losing Ted Nolan could be a problem because he seemed to have Tom Renney's number head to head but the home team seems to have problems adjusting to the by-partisan crowds in both buildings in this series for several years. The Rangers despite the usual p.r spin about acquisitions have some major issues breaking up a defense that allowed the least shots per game in the East last season for a declining wildcard in Wade Redden or Dimitri Kalinin who struggled in Buffalo combined with losing it's only franchise scorer in Jagr with a general manager who sounded like he's tired of Tom Renney's trap and wants more offense. Straka's loss and the club's record with Avery speak for itself with the later commenting he knows he's on a better club now in Dallas as he said in his press conference.

Sure Cablevision can write a frontloaded contract for Sundin and subtract some prospects adding him to an aging Naslund but that seems like the old strategy that never worked and moves away from their strength which would be to go with Brandon Dubinsky, Nigel Dawes or Ryan Callahan. They already altered their strength which was the defensive chemistry that protected Lundqvist well last season when he struggled for months, now I guess the Chris Drury era begins in full which did fail on other NHL clubs. I guess Cablevision will find some cap space so Shananhan can talk to the media and they have a quotable player for their limited media space but that's a step backwards on the ice also at this point.

New York cannot beat the Devils?
New York only won six of eight games last season against the standard bearing club in the Atlantic for success with New Jersey winning only a forty seven shot game 2-1 in overtime against Joey MacDonald late in season combined with the game that snapped the Isles six game winning streak for the Devils first win of the season against on February 23rd. Fair to write there is no reason New York cannot compete again with New Jersey head to head given the current changes to both rosters.

This summer Devils again shook the mix and it can be argued Bobby Holik is hardly a better upgrade than Doug Weight (with Holik older by a few days) aside from past lineage unless Brian Rolston at his age will dramatically improve the Devils lack of scoring and questions on the backline.

The acquisition of Bryce Salvador to another Lamoriello head-scratching contract along the lines of Dainius Zubrus does not look promising but David Conte always has a few hidden gems that carry the club and after the success of a franchise talent like Parise with Gionta and Zajac the pundits pulling for a Devils downfall usually come away disappointed given the regular season results and the club's ability to get games to overtime and secure points.


The idea this club will not be in competition for a playoff spot does not seem realistic or a rush to judgement until they hit the ice and we see what flaws they have. If the veterans struggle some of them will be out of here quickly and Garth Snow has a lot of cap-space to make changes to the veteran core along with two second rounders. A few prospects are not going to have a spot either with prospects like Joensuu, Figren and Marcinko getting closer and will be available in deals because there is simply too much depth given the group of prospects following the ones already here.

Given everything I have reviewed if the club can stay healthy, if the veterans give them a little more on offense with Bergenheim, Comeau, Okposo progressing up front with Campoli, Gervais stepping up on defense with DiPietro providing his usual strong play anything can happen next season based on how the Isles match up against their Atlantic Division counterparts.

Including the New York Islanders winning the Atlantic.