New York 2, Boston 1 Overtime

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2008 07:25:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Is providing period by period updates of the game but no live coverage with John Bishop again doing a running blog on the Boston Bruins website here.

John Sim scored half way through the game to tie it at 1-1.

Trevor Smith scored the game winner in overtime. Isles outshot Boston by a big margin. MacDonald started, Danis came in half way through.

Michael Ryder rammed Campoli into the boards in the defensive zone during the third period and reportedly stayed down on the ice before leaving the game.

Newsday: Greg Logan apparently knows the game is not being covered so he had a blog writing about the game as it's being played also.

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NYI Fan Central Exclusive Q & A with Kevin Allen

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2008 03:19:00 PM | Comment Here
I spoke with Kevin Allen, President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America by telephone recently and detailed our conversation here where at the time I asked if he could answer a few questions regarding the Hockey media business and the Islanders coverage for everyone.

1. What would be your advice to aspiring writers who would like to become members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America who would like to cover hockey as a career and how should they get started?

Allen: Presently, membership to the PHWA is determined by each local chapter. The writers in each local chapter set standards for inclusion into our organization. The reason for the differing standards is simple: the media situation on Long Island where few writers actually cover the team is far different than it is in Toronto when the press box is always full. Our organization is open to bloggers, provided that the local chapter chairperson is comfortable that the blogger covers the team in a professional manner. Some chapters are more open to bloggers than other cities. For national bloggers, the PHWA Executive Board makes the decision about whether they are accepted into our group.

2. What can you tell the fans about being President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and what the job function requires?

Allen: I coordinate the balloting for the post-season awards, and I interact with the NHL with regard to the media regulations. If our writers have issues regarding access, for example, I’m the point man to discuss that with NHL. Over the years, I have fought for writers who were denied access. Issues are different every year. A few years ago we were fighting for wireless internet in every building and now we are discussing why the NHL wants to put all team media guides on CDs. Essentially, if you are included in our group, the PHWA stands up for your rights.

3. It seems we have many professional media doing blogs of their own, some in the newspapers that employ them but other media on what seems fan websites, do you think this is a good thing moving forward or something that only clouds the question?

Allen: It doesn’t matter whether it is good or bad, because this is the wave of the future. The internet has changed politics, the economy, global communication, the movie and music industries, and of course it has changed journalism. The craft of journalism is now interactive, and mainstream journalists now have to blog to keep up with the times. This is a world where people have come to expect instant news and microwave analysis. I don’t like it because it leads to far too many errors in judgment. But this is journalism today so I do what I must.

4. Any thoughts or impressions on the Islanders blog box program after year one and if you feel this is something other teams should look to do moving forward with even Caps owner Ted Leonsis having a blog where he does an excellent job sharing with the fans even though he is not a professional hockey writer?

Allen: I’m surprised more teams that are starved for media attention don’t do more with bloggers. I think Ted Leonsis is a forward thinker, and he has the right approach. I think his fans appreciate that he expresses his feelings in a blog.

5. What I find interesting is when the Islanders announced the blog box program some wrote about the fan/bloggers cheering for the team and maybe wearing the team colors during games, however what I notice in the work of many of the professional media the next day is they seem to do a lot of cheer-leading for the teams they cover as well in their space as they hype the club or rip them with the same passion the amateur fan writer would do. It's seems only natural long-time reporters of one team become fans and want that club to win so what's the real difference aside from the credential and the writing skills that separate the two?

Allen: I don’t agree with you that journalists generally end up being fans of the team. I’ve been writing professionally for almost 35 years and what I see is journalists always rooting for what serves their best interest. Most of us root silently for an interesting storyline or for an early end to a playoff series so we can go home sooner than expected. Most of us are usually happy when a very quotable player has a big game, because we know he will give us good verbiage to work with. Occasionally, I see journalists cross the line, but not often. I do agree that journalists often write from the fan’s perspective in that they try to anticipate what the reader wants to know about the next day. And their job sometimes is to dissect team happenings so that also can sometimes read like fan perspective.

6. I found it disappointing newspapers and hockey media websites that forced the Islanders to turn to fans and create a blog box to increase coverage because many claimed not to have revenue to provide regular coverage still found room in their budgets to come and report on the bloggers themselves when the program started, begging the question if they cannot afford coverage and daily Islander blogs in their papers why are they using their budgets to cover the fans?

Allen: I have no idea how to respond to that, other than to say that the newspaper world is now in crisis mode as it tries to make a determination about how to adapt to the changing marketplace. Most major newspapers have had significant buyouts or layoffs.

7. New York Islander Fan Central in one aspect of it's coverage looks at professional hockey writers/blogs and comments on the article only when it's from what we consider is the professional media (newspapers/established hockey websites Espn, THN ect) but what I encounter a lot of in my research are a lot of writers where it's very tough to determine who are the professionals vs those who in many cases do quality work but may only be writing/blogging, so how do I best go about setting guidelines to follow for my readers with regard to content here?

Allen: It will always be a judgment call going forward because some bloggers do this full-time while others do it as a hobby. People tell me that page view statistics can’t be trusted so there will be no help there. If it were me trying to decide who was worth commenting on, I would simply use my own standards of professionalism. Is this person fair in their analysis? Is their analysis layered in its approach. If someone writes, “this is a joke” or “the people running this team are morons” I tend to dismiss their writings. But if they write ‘This team has $1.45 million left under the cap and that means they still have room to add a stay-at-home defenseman. These are the players that can be had for that amount….’ then I tend to view that person as a professional blogger. I judge blogs on the depth of their perspective. I despise blogs that simply act as rant forums. Good Grief, when did sports become such a forum for hate and anger?

8. In my hockey research I have noted a lot of articles in general where it seems the unbalanced conference schedule combined with many papers like the Los Angeles Times outstanding writer Helene Elliott no longer able to travel for Kings coverage has created what seems an information void to where many writers do not see some teams for four of five years and have to work off past impressions. As an Islander fan I have see many articles out of media websites like SI/Tsn ect along these lines, how does this improve moving forward with a situation that only seems to be getting worse that began in many markets with the lockout ?

Allen: I agree that Helene is outstanding and that readers would be better served if she were traveling, but most elite hockey writers know just as much about the West as they do the East and vice versa. The NHL Center Ice is package is under $150 for almost every game. I don't travel as much as I used to, and I still feel like I know league. I guarantee you that Helene knows plenty about the Eastern Conference and Boston Globe reporter Kevin Dupont knows the West. New York Post writer Larry Brooks always writes from a national perspective. The schedule makes it difficult to see as many teams live, but it's still possible to know what's going on.

9. What are your thoughts on declining media coverage for the Hockey in New York market with the Times (who's blog has more coverage of European hockey) not even sending a writer to attend Scott Gordon's press conference after a thirty year relationship with the team going back to writers like George Vecsey to the Daily News and New York Post that at best has limited select home game coverage with no Islander blogs in those publications to supplement a lack of print coverage?

Allen: As I said, it’s a changing world and right now newspapers are trying to figure out how to survive. Editors are simply making guesses about what should be covered, and hockey isn’t a high priority. Often times, editors make decisions based on their perception and their perception is often colored by TV ratings. As we all know, hockey falls short there, although it has improved.

10. Living in New York, I always read folks in the hockey media write about this being a big hockey media market, but I have to ask what is a big about a media market when the Florida Panthers come to town with writers from the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald & Palm Beach Post meanwhile when the local clubs travel to Sunrise many New York editors simply let the AP cover the game because year round baseball dominates the back pages to a point even during the hockey playoffs in New York City television ratings for NASCAR, golf and poker repeats outdraw hockey which Richard Sandomir in the Times, Bob Raissman in the News and Neil Best Newsday report about with virtually no full back pages for hockey any longer?

Allen: No matter how many reporters cover the team, New York remains a major market because of the number of people who care about the teams there. We may wish hockey had better ratings, but it would be worse if New Yorkers weren't helping those numbers

11. Finally of course I have to ask what's your take on the Islanders splitting with Ted Nolan and will the media give a club that has made four playoffs in the last six years that were in a playoff spot most of last season (and competitive in the division) until four hundred man games lost to injury finished any chance at all of making a run at a playoff spot and more under Scott Gordon?

Allen: I believe the Islanders have a shot as long as Rick DiPietro remains healthy, but I think it will be an uphill fight. The Eastern Conference is more forgiving than the West right now. But the Islanders didn’t do enough this summer to assure that it will be a lock for them to make the playoffs. The read around the NHL is that Scott Gordon was a good hire.

Once again I would like to thank Mr Allen for going out of his way to answer our questions.

9/23: New York vs Boston 6:30pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2008 01:24:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's opening game of the preseason against the Boston Bruins with comments from Scott Gordon and Doug Weight along with some tentative line combinations.

Joey MacDonald
Yann Danis

Brendan Witt – Radek Martinek
Chris Campoli – Mark Streit
Jack Hillen – Chris Lee

Jon Sim – Doug Weight – Kyle Okposo
Andy Hilbert – Richard Park – Sean Bergenheim
Kurtis McLean – Trevor Smith – Mike Iggulden
Mitchel Fritz – Rob Hennigar – Jesse Joensuu

Sound Tigers website: Has an interview with Blake Comeau and highlights from day four of camp in Moncton.

ITV has highlights from today's skate with Steve Mears and Billy Jaffe.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not sure why the Islanders website at this time has conflicting start times, the Bruins site has it at 6:30pm.

Not sure what to tell anyone about live coverage (even live Internet) but Billy Jaffe and Steve Mears said they will be calling the game at the end of practice so check back here or at the Islanders website.

Last year the Islanders had Msg employees in place to do live Internet telecasts and have Billy Jaffe in Moncton. Last night the ITV folks did have highlights of the scrimmage for everyone.

I put up a new scoreboard that should have the preseason scores from games.

Mr Logan via Newsday is hosting a live blog around 1:30pm for more information from camp.

It appears the television schedule has been release for the season which includes some possible NBC games but no preseason telecasts.

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Expectations for New York Preseason

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2008 11:04:00 PM | Comment Here
For this blogger pre-season means virtually nothing in terms of the win-loss record as long as they show some semblance of being competitive in the games.

Just show me the club does not have an obvious weakness or flaw that goes beyond the roster or lineup, hope no one gets injured and that the club knows the systems with the players in top shape with everyone on the same page.

I have seen one or two preseasons like that from this team long ago where they would score one or two goals over six games and it was apparent this was going to linger, one of those years I believe was Butch Goring's final year where he wanted some left handed centers to set up his right wingers.

Last time I saw a rookie coach from the AHL come here he started 7-0 in preseason as they blew out the Devils in the final game at the Coliseum with the crowd going wild.

First regular season game the Isles were bombed off the ice and struggled badly early.

Ted Nolan's first games on the West Coast this team clearly was not on the same page in many departments with DiPietro and Mike Dunham under constant pressure as the club could not get out of it's own way.

Just a little advice not to put too much stock in these games and results. Jon Sim used to be famous for big games in preseason and had one early game (I think with Dallas) where he had four goals.

Best of luck and thanks to Jim McGlynn from the Islanders blog box who will not be part of the program this season. He did an excellent job with his updates at Greetings from Islander Country here and his contribution will be missed but as long as he blogs at his current site his updates will be part of the blog box feeder here for everyone.

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Islander News Articles 9/23

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2008 08:53:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has an article on Doug Weight on what went wrong last season, how he feels he can contribute to this team, the young players on it and why he decided to sign here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All I know is a year ago Doug Weight reported to the St Louis Blues a fifty point player. If he had a poor season because of the circumstances around him or how he was used by the coaches in St Louis and Anaheim that's fair enough but on this team he has to contribute on the score sheet and make plays to score or setup goals that the departing players did not provide or his acquisition will not work out. Marc Crawford had some comments about the new crop of NHL coaches hired over the summer and felt Scott Gordon's Islanders could surprise.

Montreal Gazette: Dave Stubbs reports Boston in it's first preseason game Monday won 8-3 against the Montreal Canadians in a physical game keyed by a huge return by Patrice Bergeron and Manny Fernandez.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
These teams played a seven game playoff last spring with first seed Montreal beating eighth seeded Boston.

Islanders website: Report the Islander rookies defeated the UNB 4-1 in a scrimmage with three shorthanded goals. Matt Martin and Justin DiBenedetto––both drafted by the Islanders in 2008––along with Sting alumni Mike Haley and Vladimir Nikiforov each notched goals. Kevin Poulin allowed only one goal on 23 shots.

Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano and Pro Scout Tim Maclean comments on how the club played.


49 Kevin Poulin
35 Peter Mannino

6 Jared Spurgeon – 15 Travis Hamonic
3 Andrew MacDonald – 5 Jyri Niemi
16 Simon Lacroix – 37 Jordan Hart

29 Matt Martin– 19 Tomas Marcinko – 39 Vladimir Nikiforov
17 Jason Pitton– 11 Justin DiBenedetto – 26 Max Gratchev
24 Joel Rechlicz – 20 Tyler Haskins – 18 Micheal Haley

UNB Website: Should have an update on tonight's prospect game at some point.

Times & Transcript: Gerald McLaughlin has Andy MacDonald's comments and a recap of the Islanders prospect win against UNB.

The Guardian: Jason Simmonds reports Islander officials were in Summerside on Monday in preparation for Thursday and Saturday’s games with comments from Islander assistant Kerry Gwydir.

Newsday: Greg Logan has a blog update with comments from Brendan Witt and Doug Weight to the club's new system and what it means to hockey they play.

From Monday:
CBS Sportsline: Wes Goldstein Monday had a conference review that was basically worthless beyond telling our fans about Rick DiPietro's contract and management doing things differently.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tell us the club cannot score enough or it's not skilled or too injury prone, not about the all-star goaltenders contract or management structure and I would write that's fair enough. This was just thrown together and lazy.

Day Three of Training Camp 9/22

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2008 01:48:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano comments on tonight's game against the University of Moncton (6pm) featuring former Wildcats Travis Hamonic, Andrew MacDonald and also talks about how the players that went to prospect camp are adapting to Scott Gordon's " overspeed " system.

Scott Gordon talks a lot more about how the players are adapting to his new system and what it will take from them as a group for it to work on the ice while strength and conditioning Coach Chris Schwarz has made some adjustments in training to address what the coach is doing on the ice.

Sound Has interviews with Kurtis McLean and Chris Lee along with more on tonight's game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Again, I love what Scott Gordon is trying to do with what he has to work with because the Islanders team speed is one of the basic flaws with this roster but it will come down to if this group of players are capable of playing this kind of hockey of if they will buy-into it?

What Scott Gordon has not addressed or mentioned is how he will get more goals from overspeed because you cannot teach hands or scoring skills and to this point a lot of players on this roster have not demonstrated they can score enough to play in a teams top six forwards which is where your goals must come from.

My guess is here the first test of the working relationship between coach and general manager will be when a veteran wants to do what he does best and play as he always has while the coach wants him playing his system vs when someone can play the system but not score enough to keep a spot.

What was it Al Arbour told Bill Torrey when he has a choice of Dwight Foster or Micheal Bossy? " Get me the home run hitter "

Different times but the same basic theory applies.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann has an NHL column that includes Bruno Gervais comments on former teammate Richard Zednik who is returning to play with the Panthers.

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A Few Words on New York Islander Coverage

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2008 12:43:00 PM | Comment Here

* Has to be the most quiet camp to date in terms of outside coverage.

Nothing from the Times, News, Sun or Post and apparently we will not be seeing New York Islander hockey on Msg+ from Moncton or likely anywhere while the house team has all it's preseason games on Msg but supposedly our fans will be getting some crumbs thrown from Islanders TV on the 10pm Msgny show.

If the Islanders are doing a feed from Moncton for tomorrow's game to this point they have not released any details about this.

A year ago former Post beatwriter, Evan Grossman was in Moncton for and did a host of updates.

Islanders also seem to be competing with the Bruins for coverage space in the Times and Transcript.

* Will be interesting to see what Mr Botta provides in his new blog. He had some details on what he is planning in the current version of his Point Blank blog which unfortunately he is going to close up. Hopefully it is setup in a way where folks do not have to subscribe to wordpress with a feeder so folks can follow from anywhere as easily as possible.

* It's also been a bit quiet from the teams media folks as well with one update from Steve Mears, nothing from Chris King despite the many Islander TV blogs and interviews which no doubt are time consuming and do not even cover all the updates on the Sound Tigers. If Jiggs McDonald did travel to Moncton again, no one has reported it or if he is preparing to call games or if Billy Jaffe traveled to camp.

Newsday Sports media person, Neil Best who lobbies for expanded Ranger radio coverage on Long Island did not even report the clubs new radio network in the paper despite countless updates and a live chat but did a little selling for Matthew Barnaby who's new job will apparently be replacing Barry Melrose on Espn.

* So where does New York Islander coverage and perspective come from today?

A lot of folks like John Dellapina who work for a lot of newspapers and team beats who finally get to cover the team they really want to be writing about, until they get where they want it's a job and a paycheck, little else.

What our fans need are media people who's first love is New York Islander hockey and there are a lot of them out there. That's when coverage and perspective will improve because even if it's critical it will be passionate and not from a place that just want to rip them to stir reaction or drive our fans away but to tell the clubs story.

Instead we get media who do not write about Al Arbour night or find a negative angle to bring out about it or put down the core of the four weekend or take a pass on Rick DiPietro starting the all-star game.

Funny, but how many times did the Yankees trot out their alumni this summer between Old Timers Day, All-Star game and last night's event who will all be at the new ballpark for day one next April and how many ripped them in the media for it as the competition among writers is far greater than any competition on the field?

When Charles Wang does this with the last New York team to win four championships in a row and more consecutive playoff wins then the Yankees, it's critcized.

If the New York Islanders have a bunch of life-long passionate fans on their beat and competition for coverage and story lines it would be a different story.

* A few more small and subtle changes to the blog, one experimental in terms of coverage that seems to have a little promise I'm sure everyone will notice. Part of the fun in doing a blog is to keep working to improve it for everyone.

Finally in the good news department I have added Pierre LeBrun and Craig Custance blog feeds to the media sections here, I think folks will like the effort and quality of their work.

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Islander News Articles 9/22

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2008 09:04:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has an article on the club's enforcer depth chart with head coach Scott Gordon's comments that winning a spot will come down to how a player fit the teams system with Mr Logan's speculation the club may only call up someone for that role when needed as Mitch Fritz talks about why New York signed him.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given the depth on the current roster at least to start the season, it's not going to be easy for a player who is more known as a fighter to occupy a regular spot in this lineup. A Richard Park, Andy Hilbert, Jeff Tambellini or Frans Nielsen would likely have to give up their spot.

Tim Jackman has a two year contract.

Mike Iggulden for those wondering had three fights in the AHL last season and only one per season the previous three years. I'm not sure why Mr Logan listed him in the fighter/enforcer department considering he's known more for his scoring which produced twenty nine goals, sixty six points for Worcester last season and a one game callup which came against the Islanders.

Quick Hits:
Ironic Darcy Regier who lost a lot of big name free agents, the man who fired Ted Nolan and who gave out a few absurd contracts was offered a new two year extension in Buffalo Sabres who with Lindy Ruff are one of the longest tenured coach and gm tandems in the NHL.

If your looking at former Islanders looking for NHL employment, Mark Parrish, Shawn Bates, Randy Robitaille and if I'm correct Bryan Smolinski.

Updated Monday AM:
Newsday: Greg Logan has a new blog update with a followup to last night's article on the teams enforcers and how the role could be filled.

Times & Transcript: Gerald McLaughlin has an interview with Rob Hennigar as the Islander rookies tonight will play the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. tonight at the Coliseum.

Times & Transcript: James Foster has an article on the club's BBQ event Sunday night.

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Day Two Update from Moncton 9/21

Islanders website: Has an update on Scott Gordon's system called overspeed with comments from the players.

Islanders website: Day two of camp included more line combinations with comments from assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski, along with former Islander alumni Gerry Hart who was invited to camp by general manager Garth Snow and Bob Nystrom.

Sound Tigers website: Has highlights from day two of camp which includes defenseman Joe Callahan's comments.

Among the changes Sunday:
Joel Rechlicz was receiving lessons from team scout Eric Cairns on fighting.

Jesse Joensuu moved to Team Morrow and skated along-side Jeremy Colliton and Brandon Sugden. Joel Rechlicz moved back to Team Trottier while Bill Guerin flanked Rob Hennigar and Mitch Fritz on Team Nystrom.

On the out of town front:
Russian Reports Islander prospect Kirill Petrov was injured in a game and could miss the next three months and the WJC.

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Training Camp Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2008 09:00:00 AM | | Comment Here
I would not put a ton of stock into early line combinations for the first few days of practices or even some early preseason games. The Islanders have three different rosters in Moncton. For now Scott Gordon is going to look at several different players and as we have seen at many previous camps players are used on off-wings.

Sure injuries of course will play a part in some of those combinations and this is the time for a Josh Bailey and others to skate with the veterans.

I used to chart the line combinations during camp scrimmages and even if this coach is doing a lot of controlled scrimmages within practice in the end many play off wing or center or a different side of the ice on defense.

And of course just because Ted Nolan used a player in a select spot that does not mean Scott Gordon absolutely will do the same. In the end a career left wing, right wing or center will likely be playing his usual spot sooner or later.
I thought I would also use this posting to again put up the schedule as the Islanders are in Moncton/Summerside and travel with different squads to games along with the workout schedule.

Workout Sunday is from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The remainder of the schedule is: Monday: 8-11 a.m., Tuesday: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday: 8-11 a.m., Thursday: 10 a.m.-12 noon, Friday: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m.-noon.
Game Schedule:

Islander rookies will face the CIS champion Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus on Monday at 7 p.m. at Moncton Coliseum.

Tuesday the Islanders and the Boston Bruins play a preseason game 7:30 p.m. at the Moncton Coliseum.

The Islander rookie squad on Wednesday take on the UNB Varsity Reds at the Aitken Centre at 7 p.m.

Thursday the Islanders play in London, Ont against the Flyers.

Saturday the Islanders will be in Summerside to face the Florida Panthers.

Any changes or adjustments to this I will add in.
For those who wish to track the lines:

Doug Weight – Bill Guerin – Jon Sim – Kyle Okposo
Mitch Fritz – Jesse Joensuu – Rob Hennigar
Richard Park – Sean Bergenheim – Andy Hilbert
Mike Iggulden – Trevor Smith - Kurtis McLean

Brendan Witt – Radek Martinek
Chris Campoli – Mark Streit
Jamie Fraser – Travis Hamonic
Jack Hillen – Chris Lee

Yann Danis
Joey MacDonald


Jeff Tambellini – Frans Nielsen – Trent Hunter
Blake Comeau – Josh Bailey – Mike Comrie
Sean Bentivoglio – Ben Walter – Tim Jackman
Brandon Sugden – Jeremy Colliton – Joel Rechlicz
Mike Sillinger

Andy Sutton – Freddy Meyer
Brett Skinner – Bruno Gervais
Dustin Kohn – Joe Callahan
Mark Katic – Travis Hamonic

Peter Mannino
Kevin Poulin
Rick DiPietro


Jason Pitton – Tyler Haskins – Vladimir Nikiforov
Justin DiBenedetto – Tomas Marcinko – Matt Martin
Micheal Haley – Max Gratchev

Andrew MacDonald – Jared Spurgeon
Jyri Niemi – Jordan Hart
Simon Lacroix

Kevin Poulin
Nathan Lawson

Newsday: Greg Logan a blog update on Joey MacDonald with his comments on the preseason with speculation on his workload if Rick DiPietro is unable to play by the opener.

NYI Voices Blog: Broadcaster Steve Mears has an update from training camp.

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Islander News Articles 9/21

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2008 12:00:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan's article has Rick DiPietro's comments that he has not been cleared to take shots in practice and the medical staff wants to go slow with his recovery as goaltending coach Sudarshan Maharaj comments on what can be done to get him ready.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I may be in the minority here but if the Islanders felt Rick DiPietro would not be ready for the opener they would add an experienced NHL goaltender. For now I think they are going to be conservative and protect his long-term health which of course is the correct move as the other goaltenders get an opportunity. Flyers added a goaltender because of Antero Niittymaki's injury and I suspect we will see something along the same lines if it comes to that.

Which of course we be a problem unless that goaltender can hold the club in.

Having written this it's not that long until the opener, not for DiPietro, Sillinger or anyone else who cannot go.

What did interst me is where is Garth Snow's goaltending coach, Mike Dunham or is he working with other prospects? Seems like Sudarshan Maharaj since the tail end of last season has been back with the club in some capacity.

Newsday: Katie Strang has a feature on Brandon Sugden with his comments along with his father on the opportunity he has to compete in training camp and what it took for the league to allow this.

Islansers website: Jason Lockhart had Saturday afternoon updates on day one of camp with comments from Head Coach Scott Gordon, Doug Weight, Kyle Okposo, Bob Nystrom, Chris Campoli, Mark Streit and Chief European Scout Veli-Pekka Kautonen on 2006 Draft pick Jesse Joensuu. A second update here: has captain Bill Guerin comments on practice while Scott Gordon felt the players grasped the overall system following five straight hours of practice but like rookie camp felt there was some indecisiveness that will improve.

The Islanders new head coach also talked a lot about pushing the play in all three zones and that the players have to be conditioned in practice while learning the system and this is how practice will be all the time while not just going through the motions to learn as this is the message he wants to send to everyone in the Islanders system at all levels.

Also for the early part of camp and preseason because of players who will not be in the lineup the coach will not be working on special team until later after the first game on Tuesday or beyond.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is a very technical coach Garth Snow hired and unlike one I can recall seeing here maybe going back to Al Arbour. A lot differnt from Ted Nolan who was not known
as a systems coach.

I hope Garth Snow has his back if anyone does not want to play his system or work as hard as he wants them to, this coach will not be going through the motions and it all sounds very impressive and at the very least he has a plan for this specific roster.

The big question is can he find twenty players not only willing to buy into his system but the ability to play it?

Daily News: John Dellapina reports he is leaving the Daily News to become NHL media relations coordinator.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I wonder if Chris Botta applied or reached out for the position? Not good news for the New York Islanders with another Ranger salesman joining his former counterpart in Frank Brown or Colin Campbell (among many for Rangers) at the league office.

Given the New York Islanders are not represented with a full time beatwriter with an blog no replacement should be hired but there is a coverage double-standard in this market when it comes to NHL hockey and a replacement was named.

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Islander News Articles 9/20

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/20/2008 10:52:00 AM | Comment Here

Islanders website: Has a morning update on the early practice and is promising more for later today.

Times & Transcript: Gerald McLaughlin has an article on the Islanders arriving in Moncton with the training camp schedule.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a blog update with a few items.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Aside from that nothing from the local papers, Mr Zipay is doing another Ranger chat, no blogs from Mr Logan, no Saturday article at this time.

Updated 1pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan has an updated blog on the line combinations for day one with some speculation and he will have an article for Sunday on Rick DiPietro who for now is working on his own rehab program and not part of the workouts. Yann Danis and Joey McDonald are expected to share the early preseason workload.

Sound Has the line combinations for the three teams the players were divided into and a few highlights.

Note-The sidebars have a host of video blog updates with individual players and day one of camp, apparently the tabs at the moment are in french?

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Islanders Arrive in Moncton/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2008 07:53:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Islanders website: Has a report on the team arrival in Moncton with comment from Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Doug Weight.

Islanders website: Has the prospects primer for the forwards. Scott Cullen's thirty teams in thirty days previews New York. Ken Campbell had a followup up blog after his comments about Brandon Sudgen recently which apparently included a conversation with his father Travis who is battling cancer as his son traveled to Moncton today with New York.

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Islander News Articles 9/19

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/18/2008 11:43:00 PM | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan interviews former Providence Bruin, Ben Walter about what kind of system Scott Gordon plays and what the veterans can expect when camp begins in Moncton on Saturday.

More Friday:
Times & Transcript: Gerald McLaughlin has an interview with Islanders assistant coach Dan Lacroix where he comments on Ted Nolan, the kind of hockey this team will play and how the young players have looked. Russ McKeon's New York Islander Preview is scheduled for release Friday around noon. I expect it will not be pretty but hope it reflects a team that was competitive last season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Afraid my instincts were correct on this one.

For a man who does the team rankings every week and knows who is winning or losing to write the Islanders were really never a threat or a factor in the playoff chase means Mr McKeon was asleep at the wheel when the club was in a playoff spot as late as Jaunary that was two points out at the trade deadline which is why writers should not do thirty previews in thirty days because a lot gets missed.

He did do a nice job telling us about coverage problems but forgot to note the only shadow the Rangers cast in baseball centic New York is how they regulate hockey coverage on their network and now in Newsday which hurts attendance and changes how newspapers editors cover teams.

You would never know how comeptitive this club was within it's division last season after reading this article and outside of a little about Okposo knew nothing about the prospects.

Worthless preview.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had more on yesterday's prospect game in his blog with a few other items as he will be covering the Isles training camp from afar unfortunately.

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Scott Gordon on WMJC 94.3 & KJOY 98.3

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/18/2008 07:07:00 PM | Comment Here
Scott Gordon after his first day of practice this week visited a few of the local radio stations 94.3 WMJC along with a return interview with Jim and Kim on Long Island's KJOY 98.3 after he was hired.

The second interview does not have a lot of hockey-centric information.

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Islanders Goaltending Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/18/2008 11:24:00 AM | 1 Comments
Today we wrap up the Islanders 2008-09 preview with a look at the goaltending.

1. Rick DiPietro:
Simply put one of the best goaltenders in the NHL according to Martin Brodeur who kept his club in contention last season in a stretch his team scored two goals or less fourteen games in a row and was named to his first all star appearance.

His All-Star debut also led to a knee/hip injury where he eventually decided to shut down his season in March when the club dropped out of contention after his post ASG play keyed a second half winning streak of six straight games capped by a 1-0 win against Tampa Bay. The media despite the winning streak ignored that and made a statistical argument that did not reflect his play or the quality chances against him up to the point he suffered a loss in the family. After that he did struggle in games against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay with some stick handling mistakes and penalties which the media then made it about Ted Nolan vs Rick DiPietro with the contract and his personality the story which never goes away, despite the goaltender never having a critical word in print for anyone.

DiPietro in his final game again played very well at Montreal before finally deciding to take care of his injuries. He had what was described as minor surgery again in June and for the moment there are questions as to his status during camp but intends to be a hundred percent for opening night.

I think Red Fischer in the Montreal Gazette said it best about DiPietro's puck-handing ability when he wrote after a January game in Montreal where he held them in virtually alone with the club unable to put two passes together all day at one point he shot the puck down the ice as if he was telling his defense and forward that's how you do it. He again toned down his wandering from the crease for the most part last season but his stick handling does keep clubs off balance and he did create chances. He almost scored his first NHL goal and when at his best is a third defender who gives the club every chance to stay in the game.

Moving forward it's fair to write without DiPietro at his best and keeping the club in games on what could be a very low-scoring club it could be a long-season but it is a deeper and strong group on the backline and it depends on the quality of shots against him and if the Islanders can hit the three goal mark and provide some room for a few goals against.

What former goaltender Scott Gordon can bring here could be an asset for DiPietro but we will not know until we see what kind of game the club will play in front of him. DiPietro has worked with a lot of coaches and former goaltenders starting with his current gm with Mike Dunham also a former teammate and former goaltending coach Sudsie Maharaj apparently making the occasional cameo according to a few reports.

The schedule this time around has several second half breaks unlike last season where this team did not see three days off in a row after mid-December, but it also has far more road trips. No matter what DiPietro tells the media it will be looked upon with skepticism and a negative angle despite his play that did not even merit updated local blogs come the ASG.

For those claiming he is injury prone, I do not know. The injuries he had in 2006-07
did not reoccur in 2007-08 and prior to 06-07 seemed to be healthy for the most part. The discussion of his games played cannot be set in stone months in advance despite those who feel it must be.

I guess his contract will always be more of the story despite some very ordinary goaltenders making close to the the same money or more in some cases.

2. Joey McDonald:
McDonald got a one-way contract which means if he plays in the AHL he makes his NHL salary but for the most part McDonald had a steady season for Bridgeport and did play very solid including a fifty save game in an overtime loss for New York in one of his few NHL starts. A late season loss and a few soft goals did bring some criticism out of Bridgeport fans for his play but he did have a few short stints in Boston and Detroit where he played a few NHL games and did not look out of place.

A this point he can dress as an NHL backup but unlike Wade Dubielewicz who loves shots, work and thrives when he is facing forty shots and gave every indication he can step in and carry a club it's impossible to know if McDonald can do the same.

On paper McDonald goes into camp as an NHL backup but that could change if he does not perform well or DiPietro's status forces a goaltender to be acquired with NHL experience.

3. Yann Danis:
Danis is kind of an interesting player in that he has six games of NHL experience in Montreal after playing for Hamilton but never played in more than fifty three games after graduating from Brown University where he posted outstanding seasons as a sophomore, junior and senior in terms of save percentage.

I tend to think the job of backup could come down how Danis does vs McDonald but there is a third party in this mix with some interesting lineage.

4. Peter Mannino:
Peter Mannino was signed out of the same Denver University the Islanders signed Wade Dubielewicz and until last season split the goaltending workload with Glenn Fisher where he posted numbers of 25-14-1 record, 2.27 goals against average, .917 saves percentage and six shutouts • earned All-WCHA third-team honors and Lowes Senior CLASS Award first-team accolades • named to the WCHA Final Five and Wells Fargo Denver Cup all-tournament teams • set DU’s all-time shutout mark at 15 and also ranks second all-time in saves percentage (.917), and third in wins (63) and goals against average (2.35) • finished season tied for first nationally in shutouts, sixth in minutes (2,301:49), ninth in winning percentage (.638), 20th in goals against average and 24th in saves percentage • ranked second in the WCHA in minutes, third in winning percentage, and seventh in goals against average and saves percentage • ranks among DU's career goaltending leaders in saves percentage (2nd), shutouts (3rd) and goals against average (4th).

Never say never but on paper it looks like he will battle the loser of Danis vs McDonald for starting goaltender in Bridgeport.

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More from Scott Gordon, Prospect Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/18/2008 11:24:00 AM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has a blog update with head coach Scott Gordon's comments on how he will not be having scrimmages but do what he has done with rookie camp and that is have controlled scrimmages within practice where teaching is done as Mr Logan writes about how squads will be divided in the upcoming days and what the routine will be.

Scott Gordon feels this is how he will teach the veterans and introduce everyone to his concept of increasing team speed within his system as no one will be considered a returning player and that's this is all new to everyone as they do drills that touch on things he wants his players to accomplish in a game as opposed to the usual scrimmage where the club plays and beats on one another as he wants that saved for the opposition.

Mr Logan is promising a recap of the prospect game in Shelton.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
For someone like myself who understands coaching strategy and systems this is a little different to not have regular scrimmages. It will be interesting to see how a guy like Bill Guerin, Mike Sillinger or others who have their own routines and concepts of camp and what they feel they must do to be ready conflict with the coach.

I suspect a rookie NHL coach may have to put up with a little resistance to this approach from the ten year veterans but I loved what he said because obviously he's seen some tapes of this club's weaknesses and this team needed a lot more in the technical department.

He may be talking above some folks with this but he's got me fascinated, for it to work the players have to buy in.

I suspect the Sound Tigers website will have something on the game in Shelton along with Mr Fornabaio during the afternoon.

Boston John Bishop has a running blog of the game at Shelton which at this time features a 6-4 New York lead and a Sean Bentivoglio hat trick along with a Joel Rechlicz fight after a five goal second period for New York.

Team 1 2 3 F
Boston 2 2 0 4
NYIs 1 5 2 8

Bruins: First Period -Knackstedt (Lehtonen) 1:18, Nelson (Marchand) 14:24. Second Period – Wheeler (Fritch) 11:02, Sauve (Marchand, Fritch) 12:36. Third Period – none.

Islanders: First Period – Bailey (Smith) 11:37. Second Period – Marcinko (Gratchev) 6:24, Bentivoglio (Henniger) 10:09 PP, Smith (Bailey) 13:18, Bentivoglio (Nikiforov, Katic), Bentivoglio (Henniger) 19:23 SH. Third Period – Gratchev (Marcinko, DiBenedetto) 19:35 EN, DiBenedetto (Marcinko) 19:47.

Fighting Majors: Boston – Fletcher, 15:58, 1st. Marquardt, 15:07, 3rd
New York - Rechlicz, 15:58, 1st. Haley, 15:07 3rd.
Regan gave way for Hutchinson at 9:57.

Newsday: Greg Logan blogged on the 8-4 prospect win with head coach Scott Gordon's comments on how the club played as he praised Josh Bailey and Mark Katic among several players who stood out.

Sound Tigers website: Recaps the Islander prospects 8-4 win over Boston with comments from Scott Gordon and Sean Bentivoglio.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had an updated box score on the game in his blog.
******************************************************** Jim Kelley of SI is setting new standards for misinformation regarding the New York Islanders in an article about players with something to prove that Doug Weight has bounced all over the map in recent years when aside from a late season rental to Carolina in 05-06 had been with St Louis since 2001-02 and that he should quit because one could argue even god has forgotten about the New York Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
SI seems to have a very big grudge with this franchise that does not reflect the teams record and especially Mr Kelley who Mr Botta had a few choice words for recently regarding his sloppy reporting.

Note-The training camp primer links were posted in the prospects blog sidebar, just a list of players with their profiles and a few players from Utah included.

Defense and goaltenders today, forwards Friday.

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Islander News Articles 9/18

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/17/2008 08:58:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has an interview with Islander prospect Jack Hillen about the strengths of his game and how he thinks he can help the club in his first professional camp. General manager Garth Snow comments he feels like he got a late first round pick when he signed Hillen out of college while head coach Scott Gordon has been impressed with his skating and hockey sense.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I know I was impressed with the two games last season, he has a lot of ability and hopefully he makes it as tough as possible on the staff to send him down because for a limited look he did not seem out of place at all.

The rookie game in Shelton Ct Thursday is at 1pm against the Bruins prospects.

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Schneider clears waivers/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/17/2008 04:00:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Vancouver Sun/several outlets: Report former New York Islander Mathieu Schneider cleared waivers Wednesday. Calgary Flames placed Marcus Nilson on waivers Wednesday for the second time this summer.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's painfully obvious no club in this league is going to absorb that big a cap hit for a thirty nine year old player even on a one-year contract. Will Brian Burke make a deal and take back salary or put him on re-entry waivers with Anaheim playing part of his salary?

Quick Hits/Blog Announcements:
Beautiful redesign for the Islanders tv player, a lot like the NHL player but Islander centric. All due respect to Scott Gordon but were going to keep the Four Stanley Cups in our picture.

Here is a little sample from Scott Gordon after Monday's rookie camp.

I cannot do anything with the Islanders current website logo and the ever changing slogans which I guess for now is Experience Islander Hockey so against what I wish to do I put up an older design from the club website. It's not my website so whatever picture they present I would like to post for my blog readers but in this case I am not able to at this time.

In terms of this blog I put up some more links (including a picture link) for the prospects blog and a link list where the old prospect section was to redirect anyone looking for it. I hope folks are not under the impression I dropped the Bridgeport, Utah or Odessa sections because all of them are on that new blog and enhanced. Making these changes allowed me add a lot of new things one blog would not have enough space for.

Our little schedule widget skipped right into October mode and cut out the preseason games after posting all of them.

I took out the dates for ITV and Islander website updates for a more crisp, clean look on the sidebars.

All the daily articles of course will be here for the Sound Tigers along with the prospects.

Anything regarding Wednesday's camp update I will either post here later or start a new blog for in the Thursday news articles.

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Defense Preview Pt II

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/17/2008 09:47:00 AM | Comment Here
With camp starting Friday I have to pick up the pace on these previews so today lets complete the defense with a few words on the goaltending coming tomorrow or Friday.

1. Mark Streit:
Mark Streit comes to New York as one of the leading scorers on defense in the National Hockey league who played some forward in Montreal which led to him being somewhat outspoken of Bob Gainey but here joins a defense who's returning defenders are led by four goal scorer Chris Campoli with Berard and MA Bergeron's combined fourteen goals departing.

Streit's offense skills and production are essential to this clubs success at even strength and the powerplay, we will have to see how things go on defense because the game will come to him more with the Islanders than it was in Montreal where that club's team speed helped his game as they were on the attack which Scott Gordon has talked about but does not seem to have the players for that kind of game in effort.

In Montreal with the man advantage he produced seven goals and twenty seven assist which was just a little more than half his production so he can produce at even strength. Having written that it still does not replace Berard or Bergeron's combined goal production and pales in comparison to some stretches former Islander Adrian Aucoin had where he produced close to double-digit goals in a month which fair or not may be needed.

One thing folks will see is Streit's age and wonder if we have seen his best when in fact he has only been in the NHL for three seasons and improved all three years and is a player who in some ways who is still learning to play in this league.

Hard to say who Scott Gordon will pair him with at this time but with a combined sixty one goals plus leaving the roster of one the lowest scoring clubs in the NHL
last season Mark Streit has to score goals and produce offensive chances.

2. Chris Campoli:
For all the talk of Chris Campoli improving last season on offense based on two early season goals he only had four when his season was cut short by injury last January.

Fair or not he has to give this team more offense and is at a point in his NHL career where he should have the confidence to provide just that because he obviously has great natural instincts when to step in and create a chance and was a leading AHL scorer for a season in Bridgeport.

On defense his physical play improved along with his positioning. There is a fair question about his ability to stay healthy which has hindered him for the better part of two years. He won over Ted Nolan when he was healthy in 2006-07 and there is little doubt he will do the same with Scott Gordon who should remember Campoli from his time in Bridgeport. It will be interesting to see if he remains paired with Bruno Gervais or with Mark Streit.

3. Bruno Gervais:
Many folks will only remember Bruno Gervais was hurt for the last month or did not score a single goal but what did stand out most of the season was his strong defensive game and positioning where he not only kept his angles but won most battles for the puck in his end of the ice and reminded me a lot of Kenny Morrow which I wrote about at the twenty game mark.

Gervais only seems to be improving in this area which is partly reflected by being only a minus five on a club that was one of the worst in the league in the plus/minus stats which is this case is an accurate barometer of how steady he was.

Having written that his offensive game has not progressed with his first callup in 2005-06 where he produced three goals but nothing the last two seasons aside from a playoff goal against Buffalo and a few very impressive rushes at the Sabres goal in game five.

Gervais is a former AHL defensive scoring leader for a few stretches in Bridgeport he has to give New York more production and it is fair to speculate even with his new three year contract he is fighting for a spot in the top six.

Like Campoli there are durability questions with regard to Gervais and if he can play a full eighty two games, his concussion did linger the final month.

It will be very interesting to see where Scott Gordon places him.

4. Andy Sutton:
Andy Sutton came to New York with a three year contract and someone of a rap that he losses focus and does not play a consistent defensive game which a few articles suggesed out of Atlanta when he was not resigned there. When he came to New York he went for a few big hits early that were obvious penalties, the first month or so bad goals found him from deflections or screens and it was fair to say he was not comfortable or confident as he was the player paired with whoever was struggling less between Berard or Bergeron as they were hurt or benched and was running around too much in his end of the ice.

Funny thing happened at some point around mid-late November or early December.

Sutton settled down, got his confidence and not only played steady reliable defense for Ted Nolan but was a shut down defender who seemed to change his game like Brendan Witt did after the lockout and did an excellent job clearing the crease and what Peter Laviolette likes to call " the house."

This translated to whoever he was paired with to where he looked comfortable in any defensive role he was placed in as he helped carry the club on the backline during the six game winning streak by doing a lot of things that do not show on the scoresheet to win a hockey game along with his ability to block shots which has always been a strength to his game.

That streak also led to the other problem he brought with him from Atlanta and that's a history of being injured which ended Sutton's season in the final minutes of a game against San Jose.

Sutton's offensive game did not make it to New York, he had two eight goal seasons in Atlanta but declined his final season there which could have been the defensive system or his role here.

Sutton is signed for the next two seasons at three million, it's tough to speculate if Brendan Witt's extension changes his future here but like Witt is the only player that brings the size and physical factor, would not be easy to replace and what seemed to be the best version of his defensive game was a big asset for this club.

It would be for any team.

5: Freddy Meyer:
What can I write about the 2007-08 journey for Freddy Meyer that led him to two leagues, two teams, two waiver placements and two different conferences before New York finally got to see him play completely healthy where he earned a two year contract extension after only two weeks of playing regularly in December?

Meyer finally got his chance at full strength since his 2006 trade for Alexei Zhitnik, like Andy Sutton looked solid on defense and only kept getting better to where he was a plus six on a brutal plus minus squad, you could see the confidence he had him in himself as he played solid defense, blocked shots very well and was another very big reason New York cuts it's shots against by close to two hundred by the end of the season.

Having written all that you would think on paper he is a lock for the top six but this is a very deep defensive squad all signed to contracts of two year or more. He is injury prone but for now someone will have to sit and it could well be Meyer who has not been durable here or in Philadelphia but did show an offensive element that stood out for the Flyers in 2005-06 that could make a difference if he settles into a role here where he can produce.

He even had two game winning goals when it was all said and done.

6: Jack Hillen/Dustin Kohn:
Not much to write here, both are on the outside looking in. Hillen comes out of college with a two game trial in the NHL where he did not look out of place and produced his first NHL points and could earn a spot if he forces management with his play to move someone and has the offensive game to do just that. Dustin Kohn comes in off his first AHL season where he was spotted by Jack Capuano in Bridgeport and had some injuries but this is a second rounder the club has a lot invested in.

For those looking at Bridgeport the depth seems settled on paper.

Now that I did all this we'll see if Mathieu Schneider has been claimed by general manager Garth Snow.

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Islander News Articles 9/17

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/17/2008 08:43:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Times & Transcript: Gerard McLaughlin previews Islander training camp in Moncton.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Solid research work here from the local writer pointing out the club is looking for a big year from Comeau and it's record in one goal games suggest they have be competitive in games, the recap even included how Gordon conducted practice on Monday.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shelly Anderson has the first comments from Miroslav Satan in a North America paper that he felt it was a combination of an off year and playing on a struggling team with New York last season as he mentioned a change of style may help.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Fair enough that he played hurt last year and struggled but that went on for most of the last two seasons whether he was hurt or not. Sometimes the puck does not go in and the numbers suffer but you expect to see him use his shot and generate chances, that did not happen nearly enough as he disappeared for long stretches.

Also he seemed completely lost when he was on the point during a powerplay.

Barrie Examiner: Ian Shantz reports Islanders prospect Matt Martin's rights were included in a multi-player trade last season between the Barrie Colts and the Sarnia Sting where he was to finish out the year with Sarnia and then play for Barrie but Martin according to the writer has a so-called no-trade clause in his contract that he refused to waive which now has OHL commissioner David Branch involved to arbitrate the dispute.

Mr Shantz speculates Matt Martin is a candidate to be named the Sting's captain this season when returned by the Islanders from training camp.

Times & Transcript: Neil Hodge has an interview with Islander prospect Andrew MacDonald who played two season in Moncton, what it means to be here for training camp as he looks to play for Bridgeport all season.

Quick Hits:
Michael Fornabaio wrote in his blog Vladimir Nikiforov is on an AHL deal and that it was mentioned only in passing a couple of weeks ago.

Mark Everson doing his best to stir the pot actually had the gall to do a limited space article that Devils coach Brent Sutter leans toward North American players and away from Europeans which he dismissed as non-sense as should everyone regarding anything Mark Everson presents to the public.

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Rookie Camp Day Two/NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/16/2008 07:41:00 PM | | | | | 3 Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan's article has an update on Mike Comrie who is working his way back from hip surgery also but says he will play by the opener as he talked about the team and the expectations.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I think it's fair to say anyone who saw pictures during the summer saw a few of them with him on crutches. I'm not sure this is a story that merits an article to where camp and prospects were ignored today but if he is held back for a while it is newsworthy.

Newsday: Arthur Staple's article was on local product, left winger Vladimir Nikiforov who reported after a tryout invite in July was again invited to the current rookie camp. Garth Snow comments along with his father while some lineage is drawn with other local products who have made the NHL as he has made an impression on a few veterans.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I was a little skeptical of what former Ranger beatwriter Arthur Staple would write about today but he did a very good job here.

I'm also a little confused here because in one part of the article it's written he was invited to this weeks camp according to Mr Staple but then he writes Nikiforov is on a two-way minor-league contract with the Isles, so he may end up in Bridgeport or Utah.

I will add his profile if there is one to the prospects blog in the Bridgeport section if he is signed given he cannot go back to the junior league given his age.

No formal announcement was made of a signing to my knowledge, I wonder if Mr Fornabaio can confirm that for us? Has Vladimir Nikiforov profile with the Sarnia Sting for those curious. The Islanders website had a feature back during prospect camp in July which was linked to the Sarnia website here. media sources: Report former Islander Mathieu Schneider has been placed on waivers by the Anaheim Ducks.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I do not see a fit with the Islanders given they have seven defenders under contract for the next two years and his contract is hardly a bargain. If healthy and at his best he may be a nice stop gap for a year in terms of offense but if you sign him you have to move a defender.

Would not shock me to see general manager Garth Snow put in a claim but if he did he has to move someone or put a regular in the stands long-term. I think if the Isles can offset this by offering a combination of Andy Hilbert, Richard Park or Freddy Meyer to offset the cap hit it's move that may be worth it but with Schneider on waivers we are past that point.

Windsor Star: Reports Josh Bailey has been named the new captain of the Windsor Spitfires with head coach Bob Boughner's comments.

Sound Tigers website: Has the projected lineups for Thursday's prospect game in Shelton against the Bruins.

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Islander News Articles 9/16

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/16/2008 06:41:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan has a lot more on head coach Scott Gordon with his comments regarding Gerard Gallant deciding to work out of PEI as a consultant to general manager Garth Snow, his relationship with current assistants Dan LaCroix/John Chabot and if the club may add a third assistant along with how he took charge at practice for day one of rookie camp.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's always a downside with Mr Logan, always looking for a negative undercurrent to sell to the public like there is some kind of problem with today's being it would have been awkward for Gerard Gallant to work with a rookie coach after he just worked with Ted Nolan who was out of the NHL for close to a decade.

Mr Logan was so quick to let us know Scott Gordon was schooling the assistant coaches yesterday, he could not even get Bridgeport Sound Tigers coach Jack Capuano's name correct in the article.

I want to read about what players looked good in practice and what drills Gordon did and who made an impression along with how he took charge at practice. When is Newsday going to tell us about the players and some actual hockey?

NY Post: The Post editor actually allowed Dan Martin to do a limited space article on practice yesterday with Scott Gordon, Kyle Okposo and Brendan Witt's comments on day one of rookie camp.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Dan Martin is quick to tell the public the club could struggle, he could not even properly report Scott Gordon was not even hired when prospect camp took place back in July and until yesterday never worked with the organization's younger players.

Nothing but the sounds of silence from the Times, Daily News and NY Sun but if you want to know what's happening in Europe the Times blog will be all over it.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio was in Syosset and reported on how practice was conducted with head coaches Scott Gordon and Jack Capuano commenting along with former Providence Bruins Ben Walter and Sean Bentivoglio who both played for Scott Gordon in 2006-07 as they talked about the practice and the systems Scott Gordon will play.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio in his blog goes on to tell us a host of things that happened at camp during day one with line combinations and who impressed.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
As usual Mr Fornabaio leads the way with the coverage letting the public know Scott Gordon had meetings last week with the coaches in the organization and that having all his coaches on the ice before practice is not be something he would be doing next year. Mr Fornabaio also told us specifically what was done in practice as he even got us comments from Sean Bentivoglio and Ben Walter who played for Scott Gordon.

Brandon Sudgen will supposedly be in town tomorrow according to the beatwriter.

Too bad Mr Fornabaio is going on assignment for a few days, his coverage will be badly missed.

Times & Transcript: Gerard McLaughlin has comments from Warren Frizzell, who heads the Moncton delegation dealing with the Islanders needs as he has more details of training camp.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Times & Transcript along with Daily Gleaner have brief updates on prospect games and exhibition games next week for those planning to attend.

Updated Tuesday:
Newsday: Mr Logan blogs on Mr Botta being given a spot on the Islanders website for his new blog and what his contribution will mean. Mr Logan also also had a few words on expanded coverage for the New York Islanders and the team now owned by Newsday who for some reason receive equal or better coverage (and far more many blog entries) despite the fact the city publications do not have a regular beatwriter traveling with the club.

Mr Logan cites the impressive blog numbers achieved by both teams was the catalyst for the decision to provide hockey fans with increased coverage despite the fact Mr Zipay's blog produces more views because of far more information and regular updates for their readers.

Of course Mr Logan made sure to point out the Islanders were last in NHL attendance.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
All I can add is my old point our team needs more blogs and coverage which Mr Logan does not provide for us as he's out blogged by his Newsday counterpart which there is no excuse for despite some who claim longer blogs is a substitute for less blogs.

Our fans do not need even or less than even coverage with the team that now owns the paper. Islanders should be receiving virtually all of the Ranger coverage in Newsday for the same reasons the city editors are not covering the New York Islanders beyond a few articles on occasion.

It will be interesting to see if those live blogs for baseball are also posted for New York Islander hockey.

Globe & Mail: David Shoalts in an article about NHL participation in the Olympics after 2010 a problem because of insurance onn long-term contracts has Jim Johannson, the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey perspective that Rick DiPietro's 15-year, $67.5-million contract is un-insurable and even if he were healthy before the world championship last spring in Halifax and Quebec City not have been added to the U.S. team.

From Late Monday: Darren Eliot gave us the usual sloppy SI Islander content that began with Rick DiPietro's contract and that this year could feel longer which was advertised as a camp notebook in one of the smallest updates of the thirty teams he wrote about.

In other words he knows nothing about the 2008-09 Islanders.

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