Amazing what you get on a labor day weekend for stories from papers who rarely attempt to cover home games, fail to come out to cover press conferences when coaches are hired or even when franchise players drafted have their initial press conference after 10,000 attend a draft party.
It sure does not apply to New York hockey any longer at this paper. Since Ron Dicker left the Isles beat rare Dave Caldwell game coverage and mostly hit and run articles all negative beyond the Sugden feature last year is about all we have seen unless you are counting that Mandarin broadcast feature by the Times.
The Times even had legendary dynasty writer George Vecesy surface on 5/23 to tell us it may just be hockey has come and gone on Long Island here while claiming the league's biggest money loser at the Garden going into the lockout in 2004 cutting back here is a money machine despite the same paper contradicting him and as late as August 2009 the NY Times is still reporting Msg losses from it's sports division here.
But on this day the Times came out of it's New York Islander coverage cave here here to do a feature about the Isles dwindling coverage written by Mark Messier's biographer Jeff Z. Klein.
His content included an insulting old quote from Jaromir Jagr but he did fairly recap what Mr Botta saw in his tenure with the club over twenty years and noted the draft turnout showed there were a lot more loyal Islanders supporters than most outside observers realized.
And the NY Times are outsiders now, by their own choice and this is where the problem lies.
An expert was brought in to question blog coverage content hired by a team but none of that applied to Chris Botta who won over folks with his honestly and viewpoint regardless if we agreed every day or not as he told his story about Point Blank along with team President Chris Dey who gave his side of why a former team employee was hired to write about the club and in the biggest news out of this article was quoted as saying:
" There might be an opportunity for another entrepreneur to cover the Islanders in a similar manner " which was really the only thing new from the article beyond Mr Botta's efforts to find a new home for Point Blank which he has discussed a few times recently.
Mr Botta and Mr Dey as expected did a very good job here and Mr Dey put it out there about the lack of media coverage as he needed to.
Bottom line here folks is the problem has never been the New York Islanders and it's not about any clubs record or what uniform they wore in 1996 because the Devils receive the same poor coverage regardless of how many Atlantic Division titles they win.
The Rangers have had coverage cuts also, but not nearly to the same degree.
Rangers-Islanders at Msg received only AP coverage this year from the Times (for at least one Msg game) and most Ranger road games were not covered, but the budget has been there for Mr Klein, Stu Heckel and Lynn Zinser to do many Ranger game articles and blog updates plus keep an updated European league page.
If that is the case there should be plenty of resources to cover all the local New York hockey teams regardless of record by blog or print.
This problem goes on the Times editor and their staff, a small part of it goes on a lot of Ranger fans on the print side controlling spin but all of this is old news.
This problem with the Times (and you can absolutely include Newsday, Daily News, Post and the Journal News, SI Advance) is all about selective coverage that says a lot more about their business practice and not the teams they cover.
Mr Botta's Point Blank proved the fan interest is there in New York Islander hockey so excuses by editors and sometimes the writers are about them and their own lack of knowledge.
The Times supposedly went to an SI format for all hockey teams not playing at Msg (likely because they need the Knick ad revenue) but again this goes to their judgment and not how a team performs or the Knicks would not be covered by anyone.
As for the Times, go back to a traditional format, cover all eighty two games from all three local teams and forget Europe.
New York hockey comes first and this is what New York hockey needs.