Repeat After Me, A Guide Moving Forward

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2009 12:29:00 PM | Comment Here
I thought I would leave everyone with a little more ground work and somewhat of a guide as you read more non-sense about hockey, the New York Islanders and how they are covered along with sports in this town and the financial business in terms of sports reporting.

* Repeat after me. Smg receives eleven percent of the Islander gate receipts, all parking, all concessions and forty percent of all revenue brought in from advertising. That deal ends 2014-2015 but Smg has some rights beyond that.

* Repeat after me. Some NHL teams receive these things from all events (not just hockey) in their facility. This is what the Devils and Mr Vanderbeek got along with Newark paying for part of the construction of the Prudential Center and this is part of what the baseball teams received for their new ballparks.

* Repeat after me. If Charles Wang had full parking, gate, concessions and advertising with revenue from all Coliseum events the hockey team would be self-sustaining as it is for most pro sports owners.

That's why Charles Wang needs the Lighthouse as the alternative to those revenue streams (a wonderful vision anyway for an ugly parking lot) that pays for what Smg currently enjoys which also pays for Nassau Country failing to renovate/replace the Nassau Coliseum themselves which Tom Suozzi made clear he cannot afford to do and frankly never should have been Charles Wang or any Islander owners problem.

* Repeat after me. Nassau Coliseum is Nassau County's building and they are responsible to modernize it or build a new one. The Lighthouse does not give Charles Wang all revenue from events at the Coliseum which is why he needs other means to make money on that property by developing it. For Suozzi, Wang or anyone to claim the building is not sustainable without the Lighthouse really means Nassau County wants to keep it's rent and revenue from events as part of the Lighthouse.

* Repeat after me. Charles Wang saved this team in a lot of ways but just like he has an enforceable lease until 2015 it was never in danger of moving in 2000 (or prior) and it cannot be relocated at all until the lease is up unless TOH approves the Lighthouse project and Nassau County cannot agree to a lease afterward.

That's Mr Wang's only out before 2015, or he can sell to someone determined to move it elsewhere after 2015 or take on partners to offset his losses until the leases are up but that's basically it so don't be so quick to buy Greg Logan's blog entry today especially after he failed to report NHLPA boss Paul Kelly would endorse revenue sharing for the Islanders after the CBA expires in two years in February
here which never made it into Newsday Monday afternoon who has a vested interest in seeing this team depart ASAP and will have it's staff grease the skids whenever possible to influence you that it may be time for the Islanders to go.

In a few years whoever owns the Islanders with these leases expiring will have Nassau, Smg and everyone else coming to them with hat in hand asking what can we give you to stay which keeps the Dolan's on the hook for hundreds of millions you can bet they do not want to pay after 2015 but are stuck with until 2030.

That's a very powerful incentive for this newspaper staff made up of mostly Ranger fans in the sports department to begin with.

* Repeat after me. You think Tom Suozzi is letting Mr Wang out of his lease if the TOH turns down the project that is something that has never been reported and it would ruin Suozzi.

* Repeat after me. You read about the losses in modern buildings like Dallas and Colorado (the later who will apparently now receive revenue sharing) for their hockey teams now among several franchises that were bleeding losses prior to the lockout with Msg leading the pack because of those 80+m dollar payrolls to operate a sports franchise in Manhattan with insurances, taxes higher for everything bringing the cost of running the franchise to 130 million and above in 2004.

How many times did you read the Wings or Flyers needed to make the finals simply to break even in an old building in Detroit or a modern one in Philadelphia. This is why hockey needed a hard cap to save some owners from themselves.

Then there are owners like George Gillette in Montreal bleeding red ink from his other interest (along with Tom Hicks in Dallas) and may have to sell while Tom Suozzi for now is not being paid by the NHL like what's happening in Phoenix.

* Repeat after me, if you spend 130 million a year to run a sports team, generate only 90 million from that spending you still lose 40m a year, that's why Msg led the league in losses in what Greg Logan writes today is a big financial market while everyone only reports about revenue made which is where publications like Forbes goes along with a lot of media because most owners do not talk bottom line and keep it positive.

This is why writing about revenue generated is worthless and you should know this upfront from the lockout already. The NHL generated a lot of revenue, when almost sixty percent went to the players contracts your not making money or coming close to breaking even unless you are the Minnesota Wild (pre-lockout) in a brand new building with 19,000 fans with a very low payroll. (pre cap floor)

* Repeat after me, Ignore Forbes Magazine entirely who have no access to any NHL teams financial records and make estimates of franchise values only entirely on guesswork and their opinion. Michael Ozanian actually appeared during the lockout and apparently YES network needs filler so they put him on television lately, when he writes about hockey for their publication it's beyond comical how uninformed he is but you have no information but in it's absence will accept anything as factual.

Stop it.

* Repeat after me. I know it's easy to blame the TOH and Kate Murray for everything short of global warming and her conduct has raised a ton of more than fair questions about her partisanship of the Lighthouse project but Tom Suozzi is the man who waited for years to settle on a developer and has done nothing to ease Wang's financial burden with Smg or the County.

* Repeat after me. Kate Murray and the TOH did not delay this process for years, Tom Suozzi and Nassau County did with people like Tom Gulotta who are the biggest part of today's problem that tied Suozzi's hands long before he took office. When Mr Wang wants to lament his purchase that's where he must direct his focus at the risk of losing his biggest verbal-only supporter.

* Repeat after me. The TOH must go by the process and cannot green light something of this scale that quickly and as frustrated as Mr Wang is he has to face a hard reality. We can play with words and Mr Wang can talk about his second decade as owner frustrated and waiting for action but the proposal was not submitted to the TOH until November 2007 and it was February 2003 that Wang first discussed plans to renovate the Coliseum with Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi here.

The Yankees and Mets as late as 2000-2001 had ballpark deals ready to go that were dropped until 2006 after Mike Bloomberg canceled Rudy Guliani's prior agreements when he took office.

* Repeat after me. I dare anyone who reads NYIFC to produce one Newsday article or blog entry just as harsh or critical of James Dolan who resides in as big an outdated dump of a building with far worse sight lines (that reportedly lost as much or more than the Islanders as late as 2004) than what we have seen their staff do not only to the owners or general managers of the New York Islanders, but the Jets, Mets, Yankees.

What's the line in the Caine Mutiny by the late José Ferrer about Fred McMurray's character in the movie? Newsday never even heard of James Dolan when it's time to be critical.

The Rangers have two playoff series wins since 1997 and have been a league-wide laughingstock for countless terrible moves on ice with no shortage of lawsuits off it it including it's latest disaster with the league itself where they are reportedly going to pay 15 million for the leagues leaal fees. They have signed seemingly half the NHL to poor or front-loaded contracts and their seats hardly look filled at many weeknight home games despite announced sellout. The Knicks by comparison make the four playoffs in six years Islanders under Wang look like another New York Islander dynasty in this town with hirings, firings and signings that make Mike Milbury look like Bill Torrey by comparison.

The day after Kasparaitis six year deal expired, Redden was signed to his front-loaded contract.

* Repeat after me. So where is Mr Baumbach or Mr Rieber's or Wallace Matthews, Barbara Barker's countless blogs or articles ripping the Dolan's with Neil Best also getting in his shots about Redden, Kasparaitis, Holik, Naslund, Gomez, Drury just for openers combined with that pathetic sideshow in front of all those empty seats for Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate which woke Steve Zipay from his slumber only to blame the fans and not his employer?

All I read are positive spin articles on both Garden teams as if the staff cannot be critical for fear of losing their jobs while even the city media was critical of Dolan who usually focus only on his relevant media purchase which is the Knicks. One team has not seen a playoff game since 2001, the other just choked away a 3-1 series lead for the first time in their dubious history with their latest coach suspended for conduct after he benched a player he said did not belong in the league before he cashed Dolan's check and took his job and changed his tune with their hired spin doctors doing the rest. They made the Islanders seem transparent when it came to reporting injuries when they finally had one.

* Repeat after me. You think Scott Gordon would get away with those tantrums John Tortorella has pulled on the Newsday media if he did that to Greg Logan, Dan Martin or even Mr Botta?

* Repeat after me. You think if the Islanders ejected Ovechkin from a practice at the Coliseum or Snow issued a statement blaming security at whatever the Caps call home Newsday would have had their back like Mr Dolan's writers did for the Rangers?

A writer like Larry Brooks for all his Ranger bias and vindictiveness toward the Islanders and other clubs is still even honest enough to call out John Tortorella's unprofessional conduct even after he lobbied like his agent for his hiring.

* Repeat after me. NYIFC would never have written a word about it if Newsday was just as harsh and critical of Dolan as they are of Wang and other sports owners. All that this fan (and you) should require is an even playing and coverage field. What should bother all of you is the double-standards in reporting that influence your thoughts.

* Repeat after me. Charles Wang, why are you giving someone like Jim Baumbach or anyone access to your teams books? Do you really trust him given what he has written about your ownership when he does not apply to exact same reporting standards to the Garden's teams.

I would not trust Jim Baumbach to do anything for us much less provide him those kind of documents. This is why you have a Lighthouse website and a hockey website and can communicate this information directly to your customers.

These are mistakes you CANNOT continue to make unless the intention is to bury this team forever in a ton of negative publicity that will drive away virtually all of your customers even if the Lighthouse were finished and ready for business tomorrow.

I do get the concept you cut the budget and Newsday became a sponsor advertised during games and your website so you owe them something but you are paying one heck of a price for whatever the Dolan's paid you.

By the time the message filters down through Canada and the blog communities all we read about is Milbury and the nineties along with how your good intentions in spending 130 million on players in 2002 was a mistake along with your decision to hire an inexperienced gm which the jury is out on but not looking great considering 30th is 30th.

Your message gets completely lost just as quickly as it is to ignore all the man games lost as a fair reason the club finished 30th which is almost never noted in outside coverage of why the club had such a terrible season.

* Repeat after me. Don't count on Charles Wang spending on player contracts beyond the league mandated cap floor this summer. He's gone above the cap and did a great job with this last summer (and thought his entire tenure) spending 20m on Streit, will he even sign his first round pick is the only real question remaining but I think the bank is closed in terms of increasing payroll but the money is in the budget to send fans to the NHL draft but not do ITV updates?

* Repeat after me. Is Greg Logan actually working harder these days on the Newsday Islander blog and cut the disparity of updates vs Steve Zipay from about seven to one to six or five? This is a man who could not stick around to blog for Arbour night and was AWOL from blogging when DiPietro started the all-star game and now he's writing about team website contests and blogging on the WC in May?

* Repeat after me. I know I'm very late to the dance on this but Kyle Woodlief is one of the most respected prospect authorities out there. Red Line Report follows prospects all year long around the globe from the time these kids turn fifteen and would never, ever exchange a rating for a headline. If Mr Woodlief who's picks often do not fall in line with CSB (E.J McGuire) or what some teams do on draft day feels John Tavares is not as good as another player and dropped him in the ratings it was done strictly based on performance.

Red Line Report and Mr Woodlief's reporting on prospects are as good as it gets and a first class product. Should that influence Garth Snow and Ryan Jankowski?

No, because they are paid with the scouts to conduct their own evaluation.

Repeat after me. There are more than enough professional sites/blogs out there with the funny pictures and jokes to make up for their lack of quality content who need filler and page hits that would write anything to generate some coverage about themselves in a heartbeat. Stop getting swallowed up by them because you want to read something about hockey or at the very least don't let it influence your opinion so much.

Half of them present themselves as insiders with all kinds of rumors and gossip, they know nothing but how to influence you and draw attention to themselves.

Repeat after me. You deserve a hell of a lot better.

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So Why Did Newsday Wait Until Now?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/03/2009 02:17:00 PM | | Comment Here
Yes, a very, very brief return to the front lines just to discuss a few things before the WC ends because I had the time and received a few e-mails on this and I have been working the sidebars with links anyway.

I have been doing a few updates anyway so why not a quick blog entry?

Why is this on Newsday's front page today?

Anyone who listened to Charles Wang on WFAN 4/16 here knew he said he regretted purchasing the club back then.

Jim Baumbach wrote today a Newsday reporter viewed the team's annual audited financial reports last month.

So why was this reported today like it was some ground-breaking announcement?

Today's front page was not to help Charles Wang or the Islander fan, it was Newsday's way to influence perception locally & nationally to push the concept this team is not viable and must relocate which helps Cablevision. The intent seems to be to drive away our fans by a company that will not even show live webcasted preseason games because it stands to gain a great deal from the Islanders departure.

What was really new today that merited the front page? I guess Chris Dey's comments on increased ticket inquiries required action to stir up something negative and get TSN/AP along with hockey fans everywhere talking.

You can bet the Toronto media is licking their chops with today's news to drive home the point Tavares should refuse to play here.

Jim Baumbach almost never has a kind word about our team and goes out of his way to take shots at them led by his insults at Al Arbour's win last season, why should our fans or anyone trust his motives when he's not just as critical of the Dolan's poorly run teams?

Mr Baumbach wanted the financial records after the Newsday interview on 2/28 here and questioned on 3/27 here if Charles Wang would follow through and only now according to Baumbach today he finally gets around to telling us a Newsday reporter viewed the team's annual audited financial reports last month.

Why did he not report this as soon as he knew or at least disclose the team did give a Newsday reporter this information and an article was being prepared as quick as he complained in his blog?

Nor was Baumbach completely transparent even Sunday afternoon 5/3 with the time-line where he had a little more from Tom Suozzi that did not make the article here but does a second entry with year by year losses here.

He has a blog and could have written an update as soon as he knew a Newsday reporter had information from the club on their finances.

I guess today beats being critical or putting any spotlight of the latest Ranger playoff collapse, because it looks like this was saved for a rainy day considering a Newsday reporter had it and we had Wang's WFAN comment since 4/16.

Ernst and Young had access to some things provided by the club and Art McCarthy who had some comments. Was anything said beyond what Wang told Mr Baumbach during his interview in February or in his WFAN interview?

Front page on 5/4 for things we knew 4/16 and earlier?

And what happened since Friday? Eden Laikin had to have her job done for her by Mr Botta's Point Blank blog as usual by not reporting Frederick P Clark's donations to Kate Murray first-hand, which is a conflict of interest by Murray and Newsday (despite this company having worked in Nassau County in the past) while Ms Laikin is never shy about painting any support of this project is only from Islander fans or those who stand to gain from the project who have contributed or benefit in some way?

Regarding Mr Botta as I have written here several times he is a good guy and a class act who does a great job with his blog but he will not question Newsday in this manner because it's a fight he cannot win or is reluctant to take on because from his friend Greg Logan to their entire staff they will all take a bite out of him if he went in that direction.

Mr Botta gave Eden Laikin and Newsday another very big pass Friday for failing to do the job properly in the initial report and only was mildly critical of them for his blog not being mentioned as the reason for a follow-up.

Mr Botta needed to be critical of Newsday for their mistake and stop treating this paper as if they are friends of the Islanders who are hardly innocent bystanders with no vested interest in the outcome. A few times last summer 8/2/08 he told our fans to stop responding to what he wrote were " these pathetic blogs by non-hockey writers ripping the Islanders on " for entries like this or this.

Mr Baumbach is one who wrote many of those " pathetic blogs " and most of today's article and was permitted by Mr Wang to sit down with him.

Sorry Mr Botta, but you cannot hide from Newsday's role in this.

Newsday does not hold the teams they own as accountable as they do others, they only give their team the only backpages for playoff hockey anywhere in NYC.

Did you read Steve Zipay go off at James Dolan's team for not disclosing injury information on Chris Drury like Greg Logan did here almost daily for the first half of this season because they decided to go with league policy which the Wings brought up to the league during last years finals.

Mr Zipay on 4/13 here reported the Rangers aren't even describing Drury's injury as "upper body'' or "lower body,'' the league approved terms.

So how come Mr Zipay did not act as Mr Logan did?

These are clear reporting double-standards that have to be written about and need to be questioned.

As for Mr Wang, if the Rangers can lose 25-40 million a year as late as 2004 where the NY Post, Washington Times, Daily News and Arthur Levitt confirmed massive Ranger losses because of steep overhead in the soon to be league's oldest facility which is as big a dump as the Coliseum and the facility in Detroit (which NYIFC posted the links to countless time) what makes your circumstances any different than teams losing big amounts of money.

You settled all litigation with Smg when you bought the club and had to know the landscape was not changing with them because they have a binding lease that runs until 2014, you also have a binding lease until 2015 with Nassau County and your only option is to sell because both leases are enforcable or you ask for Tom Suozzi to condemn the Smg lease now to lose less.

No folks, Charles Wang should not pay to fix Smg's lease. Tom Gulotta extended this deal when it was supposed to be reviewed every six years, instead around 1991 Gulotta took out the six year review.

Should Mr Wang be upset over Nassau County and the TOH for their roles now and over the years? Absolutely if all you ask is Murray attend a crummy meeting for her part.

And as easy as it is to blast Kate Murray for everything including who in politics pulls her strings, the TOH did not delay this project as long as Tom Suozzi who has only provided token verbal support and given Wang nothing in terms of financial relief.

Here's my problem with Mr Wang's stance on his hockey finances:

If the Lighthouse is approved today you and Mr Rechler will need financing for what the media has been told is a project estimated at 3.7-8 billion. The Islanders will still require an owner spending on the product during that time and until 2014 Smg will continue to take a percentage (eleven to be exact) of the gate, all parking, concessions and forty percent of advertising revenue generated which you paid in advance according to the Feb interview.

Oh yes, your fans want some high-priced free agents signed to help these prospects develop who score a lot more at even strength than Doug Weight.

If losing 25-30 million a year is a problem now, what's it going to become when it's time to secure financing for the Lighthouse, the lease even without Smg as part of this will run until 2025 and you have construction costs?

Your significant losses have yet to begin.

All due respect also if you can use the teams website to report on ticket sales by Mr Dey you can make your case on New York Islanders website to the fans without Newsday involvement at all.

Folks, please stop believing Cablevision owned Newsday is a friend to the New York Islanders, nothing could be further from the truth.

They want our team out and stand to gain a great deal from them leaving on every possible level, this is a perception battle the team is losing on all fronts. How
nice of them to barely note Smg had no comment when a reporter should be visiting their offices.

Today was about saving an article to get people talking on a rainy day.

If someone at Newsday pulled this on the Dolans and how they run their teams or lost money they would be out of a job immediately.

The Dolan's hold onto those 1981 tax exemptions that kept the Garden from closing like they hide games on Msg2 here so Suozzi could work to condemn the lease now or introduce legislation to suspend the clubs rent at the Coliseum until the Lighthouse is approved or even completed.

Newsday should have had this article available as soon as their reporter had the documents and as soon as Wang appeared on WFAN.

Why did they wait when we knew almost all of this already?

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Thank You So Much For Everything....Goodbye

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/17/2009 02:00:00 PM | Comment Here

No extra long speech today, especially after I starting writing this back on 3/31 and I posted it there by mistake

It all began at a place called yahoo with New York Islanders @ one-list back on October 7th 1999, our first post was Mark Lawrence takes questions from Islander fans.

Today after almost ten full years it all comes to an end with the closing of New York Islander Fan Central after two thousand plus entries since late July 2007.

I did my absolute best and feel this is the right time to stop.

From July 2007 NYIFC had something from every preseason game to the finale with articles and updates year-round.

I took a great deal of pride in doing this and depart at this time knowing I have done everything I could.

I'm very proud of New York Islander Fan Central but the credit for it's success goes to you.

All of you kept me going with your support on a lot of days I did not wish to write anything or after a tough game or one I was simply tired but it was very important to me that I did not let folks down who wanted to read about the game or the articles/personal contribution.

I had a great time writing NYIFC and I will miss it a lot. I depart with a life-time of great memories looking back. Only regret is we did not bring the Stanley Cup home together here.

I will always be a New York Islander Fan.

I have no doubt our hockey team will be very good again very soon, the quality of the talent in the system and prospect depth is excellent and only getting better, but I know you have read that before.

If our team can finally stay healthy, add some NHL scoring depth as young players start producing even more this franchise will turn many of those thirty two one goal losses last season into wins as soon as next year.

My Thanks again to the New York Islanders organization and everyone behind the scenes for being first-class both seasons with NYIFC and congratulations to Mr Botta for such a great job not only for his outstanding Point Blank Blog the last two years but for the twenty plus years he gave the New York Islanders organization.

I sincerely hope Mr Wang/Rechler do get the Lighthouse approved because no owner has done more for this franchise in it's history and it's a beautiful vision.

Congratulations to everyone who writes blogs on the New York Islanders from those in the current blog box program, who worked so very hard for our fans again this season to everyone writing for their dedication and commitment to our team.

My Thanks to the media who have reached out and contacted me from Kevin Allen, Dan Martin, Peter Botte, Elliot Olshansky among several including our own legendary Hall of Famer Jiggs McDonald for his gracious and unexpected very kind note when he returned home, who in my estimation this franchise cannot honor in their Islander Hall of Fame soon enough.

My Thanks also to Alex and Steve from Hockey Night on LI who do an outstanding Blog Talk radio program and during the first year IslesNation with Tony Stabile and Steven Herrmann for inviting me as a guest on countless occasions.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you who stopped by and paid a visited or for your kind e-mails/responses not only here but everywhere for the last ten years.

It's been an amazing ride.

Take Care.

Islander-Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/17/2009 11:50:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Aside from some minor tweaking to the sidebars on occasion for the WC and Bridgeport playoffs, the final hockey update.

The active page crawl on top has been removed.

Islanders Website: Has General Manager Garth Snow's XM Radio appearance from 4/16 archived for those who wish to listen. Scott Cullen has the off-season game plan for the Islanders where he does a complete look at the organization, the draft and their needs moving forward as he speculates fowards like Marty Reasoner or Radek Dvorak might be of some interest and it could also be worth taking a shot at Tomas Kopecky or Maxim Afinogenov with Johnny Oduya, Ville Koistinen, Dennis Seidenberg or Francois Beauchemin on the backline with Mikael Tellqvist, Scott Clemmensen, Stephen Valiquette or Martin Gerber as possible backups/alternatives to Rick DiPietro if they choose to look outside the organization in goal.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Aside from not listing the man games lost to injury this was done reasonably well but did skip some prospects in Bridgeport or any of the recent signings out of Sarnia.

Good timing to close out NYIFC Islander coverage.

Swiss Has the roster for Team Switzerland which includes Mark Streit of the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Links to this papers WC coverage and the Swiss Hockey Federation who are the host county this year have been added to the WC section on the sidebar.

Columbus Dispatch: Bob Hunter reports Islander assistant coach, Gerard Gallant who is currently an assistant to gm Garth Snow, is a candidate to become coach and general manager of the Saint John's Sea Dogs who play in the QMJHL. Jim Kelley in an article on several subjects that is mostly about the Dallas Stars financial problems for some reason throws in his thoughts the Leafs could provide the Isles (or Tampa Bay) cap relief in a possible Tavares/Hedman trade.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Obviously that makes little sense because to make such a trade would cost Charles Wang countless millions in ticket sales and publicity from signing Tavares or Hedman combined with the fact the Islanders still have some work to reach the cap floor with contracts like Comrie, Guerin off the teams books. Last I read on this about a million dollars can change hands in any trade.

The Isles cannot trade Alexei Yashin's cap-hit for those wondering now that he's been bought out.

What are the Leafs going to do with Rick DiPietro's contract other than play a franchise goaltender when he finally is healthy and win at a bargain price? To cash-in that contract in Tavares trade would again cost Charles Wang millions in several directions.

Obviously one look at Dallas or Colorado these days and most astute fans know, a building alone does not make a hockey team profitable or even self-sustaining.

The Hour: Mike Madar has an overview of Bridgeport's playoffs starting tonight against WBS Pens.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

The Hour-On line/Norwalk News reports infrequently on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers but I have added their link to the Bridgeport playoff section on the sidebar.

Point Blank/Mr Botta: Previews tonight's game against WBS and will have coverage of the series.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

For the final time, please visit Point Blank for the preview.

Mr Botta also reports Point Blank will update through at least Memorial Day which is great news for our fans. Hopefully the Islanders can reach into the professional hockey writers association free agent prospect pool and sign a few more independent but established NNL newspaper writers to offset the lack of print coverage and perhaps place less burden on Mr Botta who works very hard at this for us.

Citizen's Voice: Jonathan Bombulie has comment from WBS Pens coach Todd Reirden, who is honored to have his team play at the Nassau Coliseum and has memories of the Islanders when they were Stanley Cup Championships. Goaltender John Curry discusses his debut earlier this year at the Coliseum among other pre-game items.

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On Paper Isles Plan Looks Good But Takes Time

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/17/2009 10:00:00 AM | Comment Here
Just want to remind everyone that it's going to take some time for some of these prospects to develop all the way into NHL players.

Okposo, Bailey and if the Isles take Tavares, Hedman or another one of these prospects there is a long road in front of most of them.

Some will get there quickly, others will take longer and some will never make it at all.

Sean Bergenheim, Frans Nielsen were drafted in 2002 and for the first time this year finally got a real look and that took time between injuries and Bergenheim being placed on the fourth line. Jeremy Colliton was selected in 2003 has only made cameo appearances.

Blake Comeau was selected in 2004 and could not win over Ted Nolan or Scott Gordon out of his last two camps, Dustin Kohn was selected in 2005.

We all know Jeff Tambellini's story by now who was also drafted in 2003.

Bruno Gervais by contrast was drafted in 2003 and has been on this teams blueline for years, Chris Campoli in 2004 was a mainstay when healthy before his trade.

Rob Hennigar was signed out of UNB at twenty five last summer.

Some of the prospects coming in will win spots from longer-tenured prospects, others will not.

You can put Marcinko, Figren, all the Sarnia players signed and likely Max Gratchev into that mix in Bridgeport with Marcinko already finishing his first AHL season.

Then there are the older players signed as undrafted free agents like Trevor Smith and Sean Bentivoglio or even Jack Hillen last year to say nothing of all the drafted college players who are getting closer like Rhett Rakhshani or Blake Kessel, David Toews.

The fun part will be when a bunch of them all hit at the same time which is usually how it finally works and you have a very good problem.

One I think this franchise will have sooner than later now after years of waiting.

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Islander News Articles: 4/17 THE FINAL DAY

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2009 07:34:00 PM | | | | | | | | 1 Comments

Newsday: Greg Logan basically repeated his Thursday blog entry that Matt Gilroy will not be signing with the Islanders and all indications are that they are out of the running for the BU Hobey Baker Award Winner, who likely is headed for a larger hockey market according to the beatwriter.

His agent, Kent Hughes, who felt Gilroy would sign in the next week at the latest had the following:

"He's sorting through the interest and trying to figure out what his next step is."

"I don't want to comment on the Islanders, and as far as the teams it's down to, until he's made a decision, I'd rather leave it."

Toronto Sun: Mike Zeisberger had Matt Gilroy's comments on the Toronto market and their organization/media as he was in Boston for the Bruins playoff opener and could decide by the weekend but will take his time before making up his mind.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I guess this is the anti-Greg Logan approach with Mr Zeisberger selling Leafs like he is on the payroll, meanwhile our beatwriter goes exactly the opposite way even though the Islanders play in the New York market which for the other sports here is a very big market.

Mr Zeisberger also reported Maple Leaf GM Brian Burke would not grant the Wild permission to let Dave Nonis, the Leafs' senior vice-president of hockey operations who is the man in charge of the negotiations with Gilroy interview for the Wild position of general manager here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

For those who recall Burke and Nonis worked together in both Vancouver and Anaheim before joining the Leafs this past season. Jeremy Walsh reports the United States Tennis Association has sent out a request for proposals from architects with the intention of possibly building a roof on the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium in Flushing but the group’s ambitions do not currently include enticing the New York Islanders to move in, officials said and last weeks report that USTA Director Danny Zausner was interested in attracting an NBA or NHL team like the New York Islanders to the stadium, but USTA spokesman Chris Wittmeier said Zausner was misquoted.

“That’s other people’s speculation,” Wittmeier said. “It’s not even on our wish list. The way that Arthur Ashe is engineered and configured, it wouldn’t work for hockey.”

“ The Parks department has not been approached by the Islanders, but we are open to the idea of looking at options for having the team in a Queens park,” said Parks spokeswoman Trish Bertuccio.

The Islanders did not respond to requests for comment by press time Tuesday for this late Thursday article.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from head coach Jack Capuano on some of his team's injuries but extra bodies without being specific as he felt this was a close knit-group. Andrew MacDonald also was quoted in the article.

Ct Post: Mr Fornabaio also had the game preview.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers
WHAT -- Game 1, East Division Semifinals (best-of-7)
WHEN -- Friday, 7:30, Saturday 7pm
WHERE -- Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
ON THE AIR -- Webcast and Internet pay-per-view at
REGULAR-SEASON RECORDS -- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 49-25-3-3; Bridgeport 49-23-3-5

Newsday: Greg Logan previews Friday's game against WBS Pens with head coach Jack Capuano's comments who says Kyle Okposo is going to play a lot of minutes in these two games before he heads to the World Championships and talked about WBS Pens speed, transition and down low play. Mr Logan was a bit off on Jon Sim's AHL stats stats or did not have numbers from the final Bridgeport weekend who returns to the Coliseum at least in the early article but went through the roster including prospects who could see action including Max Gratchev, Robin Figren, Justin DiBenedetto among others with Ryan Duncan.

Times Leader: Tom Venesky had the latest from WBS Pens practice with head coach Todd Reirden's comments.

Citizen's Voice: Jonathan Bombulie has a full preview of the series and Thursday's practice with comments from WBS Pens goaltender John Curry who made his debut in a game against the Islanders this season in relief and made one of his other two appearances against New York.

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Pending UFA/RFA for Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2009 06:13:00 PM | | Comment Here
For those looking ahead at who general manager Garth Snow has to resign or make a qualifying off to I thought would provide a list to the best of my knowledge. Until there is a transfer agreement I cannot list anyone from Europe beyond what I wrote in the prospect blog last summer in player profiles.

Restricted Free Agents:
Jack Hillen D 23 $875,000
Blake Comeau RW 23 $735,000
Trevor Smith C 24 $685,000
Jeremy Colliton C 24 $605,000
Joe Callahan D 26 $575,000
Peter Mannino G 25 $550,000-Signed one year/two way contract.
Ben Walter C 25 $550,000
Nate Thompson C 24 $500,000
Jamie Fraser D 23 $475,000
Jason Pitton LW 23 $475,000
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Mike Sillinger $2,300,000
Mike Iggulden $525,000
Kurtis McLean $550,000
Andy Hilbert $700,000
Mitchell Fritz $500,000
Thomas Pock $685,000
Chris Lee $500,000
Yann Danis $550,000
Joey MacDonald $500,000

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So What's Next For New York Islanders/NYIFC?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2009 05:50:00 PM | Comment Here
I actually deleted my earlier entry by mistake, so I re-wrote most of it.

The curtain closes on NYIFC Friday for good but for New York Islander fans there is always something happening.

Like several NHL teams in or out of the playoffs, the Islanders this year have their AHL team involved for the first time in two years.

There is also the World Championships for at least Streit, Okposo, Scott Gordon with perhaps Bergenheim and who knows among the prospects in Europe?

Between all the pre-draft articles/combines, contract negotiations with CHL prospects who could re-enter the draft from 2007 if not signed by June 1st, Islander player contract decisions, the restocking of the AHL roster this summer as I wrote a while back summer is going to go very quickly, especially in an Olympic year.

Of course there will a lot of Lighthouse sprinkled in with every twist and turn with the draft itself and 7/1 decisions to be made. No doubt there will be a ton of media drama with the Islanders first round pick.

And there is prospect camp which is always a big event.

Not even five months, more like four months and two weeks.

As for NYIFC:

I intend to hit the ground running as I did here, the things I have planned will keep me very busy.

NYIFC itself will be available to everyone for the entire Bridgeport playoff run and WC.

I have decided not to delete the blog entirely so at the very least I can read things when I want to moving forward with so many feeders and crawls set up to provide information top to bottom, it's a great resource for information even without blog entries any longer.

I will still most likely set the blog to private when WC-Bridgeport playoffs end.

As for coming back to write at NYIFC in the future at some point you can put me down as 99.99 percent that will not be happening ever again.

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Islander-Sound Tiger-NHL Notables/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2009 02:16:00 PM | | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog reports indications are BU defenseman Matt Gilroy is expected to sign with another team or what the writer refers to as " one of the larger markets " despite his agent Ken Hughes being quoted as saying "I don't want to comment on the Islanders, and as far as the teams it's down to, until he's made a decision, I'd rather leave it but a decision should be made by next week at the latest."

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Nothing like Mr Logan telling us the New York Islanders are not one of the larger markets despite playing in New York. Jim Kelley who also writes for SI has more theories on the Islanders-Tampa, possible trades where he gave his slant on general manager Garth Snow's Toronto radio appearances and felt Tampa may have to shed salary and has made past deals with the Leafs.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Yes folks, the same Jim Kelley of SI who also wrote last summer coaches don't object to being passed over for the Islander coaching job here without producing a quote from a candidate who interviewed and was later critical of the club for not giving what he wrote was legitimate information regarding injuries back in November here despite the Islanders going by league adopted injury policy which many clubs did follow the entire season.

It sure would be nice if one of these writers would simply write we have no star player to cover where we mostly report, so we need yours to make our jobs more fun.

Globe & Mail: Eric Duhatschek has comments from former Islander Adrian Aucoin about how the Islanders were confident playing Tampa in 03-04 in the opening round based on the season series but things were far different come playoff time.

Minneaota Wild: Owner Craig Leipold announced Thursday General Manager Doug Risebrough’s contract will not be renewed as the Wild now have to find a new gm and head coach.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Even though the Wild did not win a championship that was a heck of a nine year run, I wonder if this changes the status of Marian Gaborik who is an UFA?

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had the practice report from Thursday before the Sound Tigers head to the Coliseum for the Friday-Saturday games.

In the Quick Hits Department:

Not much to write (I don't think any articles were missed here) about all the spin from Toronto/Canadian Media on Tavares-Hedman-Snow-Burke-Lawton beyond what I been writing here since day one.

Drop the Long Island tag on virtually every single aspect of this franchise and maybe, just maybe the New York City media will have more to write about the hockey team and stop treating the team like outsiders?

It never used to be this way.

All I can write is the New York Islanders are making it every easy for NYC sports editors to tune out your product in a market no hockey team can compete with baseball, football or basketball.

The New York Islanders create many of their own problems here and do a good job shutting out their fans all over the NYC area or make them feel like they are rooting for the wrong hockey team if someone is interested in the sport. It's the equivalent of the Giants and Jets forcing New Jersey into every single press release and making potential customers tune out.

New York Islanders means all of New York and the Islander fan support at Msg and New Jersey for decades has been great, for the final time start acting like you play in New York.

Toronto? I was in Maple Leaf Gardens 3/3/84 the night when Pat Lafontaine had his hat-trick in his debut as a rookie in what was an 11-6 win a few hundred Islander fans were sitting center ice cheering for the New York team when they were hockey's most important team in it's greatest sustained period ever for popularity at least in the New York market and arguably in league history.

Why would I write that? Because in those days I could purchase the Daily News, NY Post and see the New York Islanders on the backpage for any game against any team during the regular season the next day with a lot of coverage.

Now it would take a virtual miracle for any New York Hockey team to receive a backpage during the regular season.

For the New York Islanders the question coming is how long before the City media tunes out for good?

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Islander News Articles 4/16

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2009 12:34:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Globe & Mail: David Shoalts had the media game with comments from Leafs gm Brian Burke & Tampa GM Brian Lawton while some of Garth Snow's comments during radio interviews were picked over with the infamous un-named NHL gm being quoted.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Seventy more days of articles like this one.

I read an interesting one from Mike Brophy where he says the Isles cupboards are bare Sportsnet for veterans and they could use the pick to gain them and keep a high pick but he completely ignores the depth chart on the roster and did not list the man games lost to injury which was a critical part of this seasons story even if it's boring for some media to repeat it.

What team would not be terrible with almost six hundred man games lost to injury?

In terms of veterans between Park, Weight, Witt, Sutton, Martinek, Streit it seems the Islanders have plenty of veterans over thirty.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has comments from Kyle Okposo from Wednesday's practice for Bridgeport with head coach Jack Capuano.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Okposo is only playing the two Coliseum games unless Bridgeport advances and he returns after the WC but one thing to watch for is if Jack Capuano sets up his game to make most of his plays off the left wing side as we see here. A year ago when he played in Bridgport he was creating the bulk of his chances off the his natural right wing side which was virtually absent all season under Scott Gordon.

Times Leader: Tom Venesky has the update from WBS Pens practice where they have thirteen roster players who went to the Calder Cup finals with this team a year ago.

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Final Poll Updated

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2009 07:57:00 PM | Comment Here
I moved up the date this poll will close by one day. It has been up for a while and with the lottery over there is not too much further we can go with this before NYIFC closes for good on Friday and I want to set the sidebars for the WC and Bridgeport's playoffs.

Here are the results heading into the last day:
John Tavares 82
Victor Hedman 6
Other 3

Such strong support for the scorer here.
Thanks as always for a great turnout on the polls.

I selected John Tavares also.

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Notables/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2009 05:03:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
I posted two webcasted interviews today with general manager Garth Snow on Toronto Radio on Wednesday along with Mr Wang on WFAN in New York.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had the latest from Sound Tigers practice on Wednesday which includes Kyle Okposo going back to number twelve and Jack Capuano not naming his starter for Friday. Darren Dreger reports Toronto General Manager Brian Burke contacted both the Islanders and Tampa Bay with regard to their number one picks on Wednesday with the writer throwing Luke Schenn who Garth Snow could have drafted outright last year into the discussion.

Newsday: Greg Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog confirms Team USA's report (see sidebar) Kyle Okposo will be playing for the US with a few words on Radek Martinek, Frans Nielsen and Sean Bergenheim who will not participate or who's status at this time is questionable because of injury.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

At this point you would be best served checking out as they release potential rosters for each country. For now we know Streit-Okposo-Gordon, Bergenheim usually participates but had to shut it down during last year's tournament.

It's also possible a prospect or two is named to a squad. There are no Islanders on team Canada's roster which was released.
* I would list the odds of about a million to one Msg+ puts Bridgeport playoff games on television, even from the Coliseum.
* Let the games begin in the media who say Snow should look to trade for immediately help vs those claiming keep the pick. I would venture to guess the Canadian media which does the bulk of these kinds of articles will be pushing to get Tavares or Hedman to a Canadian team.
* Charles Wang defended Kate Murray on WFAN today in front of the Ranger fans who interviewed him for WFAN. I felt a lack of class was shown playing a KC song and guarantee if New Jersey songs were played in the early 80's when the Rangers were on the verge of relocation it would not have been met well. Aside from that it was very lighthearted on Wang's part who did touch a bit on his hockey team and the injuries/draft a bit but mostly more of the same on the Lighthouse.

I read nothing into this where he was dissatisfied with his general manager or his performance in any way.

The Coliseum is a dump? So is Msg, so was MapleLeaf Gardens and the Forum in Montreal and so is the building in Detroit that has problems selling out playoff games.
* So according to Steve Zipay four writers and even Greg Logan will be covering Ranger hockey in Newsday who apparently is out of comp days. That's kind of the equivalent of a Manhattan paper adding five writers to New York Islander coverage if they made the playoffs when at best if the Isles qualified they would hardly receive any more than the brief home game article and no road coverage.

Unless Charles Wang bought the Daily News or NY Post.
Nothing like when a team buys a Newspaper to regulate coverage.

* No shock at all Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish was fired as Oilers coach today here by former Islander Steve Tambellini who may have made this decision or Team President Kevin Lowe had a big part in it.

For my money I expect management/coaching changes coming in Florida, Ottawa, and I suspect Brent Sutter may decide to go back home. Apparently Brett Hull for now is bullet-proof in a co-gm role that would have eaten Garth Snow alive in the media if he made similar decisions.

I tend to expect changes behind Phoenix bench also and think without a deep playoff run the Dolan's will send Glen Sather into retirement.

* I find it hard to believe if Ted Nolan wants to interview somewhere the Isles would not grant permission before his contract expires 7/1, if true that's a very poor reflection of Islander management.

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Bridgeport Playoff and WC Sections Available

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2009 01:00:00 PM | Comment Here
With things officially ending here Friday for good, I have set up NYIFC for everyone for Bridgeport's playoffs and the World Championships which begin 4/24.

Any suggestions for professional media websites that will help make things easier to follow things here of course let me know and I will add it to the sidebars.

When Bridgeport playoffs conclude or the World Championships ends whatever happens last NYIFC will be set to private shortly afterward. I will tweak things a bit to add links when necessary but that's it.

I requested before the season ended the Islanders remove my link in the blog box on their website after 4/17 so if you want to access NYIFC you may have to bookmark directly after that.

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Snow's Chance To Prove Here He's Not Milbury

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2009 08:55:00 AM | | | | Comment Here
Seventy Days of Waiting for General Manager Garth Snow to select.

This pick will determine Garth Snow's legacy as New York Islander General Manager.

When it's all over we will get a lot of answers as to whether Charles Wang picked the right general manager, someone who is absolutely interested in building a team through the draft with top level prospects when available.

Sit back, relax and take a nap because about seventy days of twists and turns with a ton of articles how the Islanders may/may not, could/could not, would/would not trade their top overall pick are coming before the Isles staff hits that stage come late June.

Get ready for a lot more articles about the late nineties, a ton of misleading ones and few Steve Simmons shots for a lot of fans who in the end will see this as the crossroads as to whether things have really changed in the front office.

Those fans would be correct in my estimation, this is the crossroads and what Snow will be remembered for.

I understand where Garth Snow is coming from even if I disagree and liked what Tampa did a year ago by outright saying they were drafting Steve Stamkos (and that was done without a gm in place) but what if John Tavares or Victor Hedman did get hurt before the draft or their agents had contract demands so extreme it was meant to drive management to select someone else?

What Tampa did last year was unconventional and given how their ownership/management did not have a gm/coach in place (or present) for the draft that is not a template to follow.

John Tavares and Victor Hedman both have said the right things, Tavares for longer about the Islanders.

I understand there is a rookie cap but after Tavares agent recent comments that was not a good thing for Garth Snow or the Islanders.

Do I see a trade here short of Ovechkin or Crosby that mandates trading this pick?

What soon to be veteran expiring contact (Ilya Kovalchuk) for a franchise pick is worth trading a good six-seven years of a franchise changing prospect on and off the ice?

I would not mind Vincent LeCavalier in an Islander uniform but he's not a bargain contract at eighty plus million for the next decade and he's coming off injuries, if Tampa cannot afford to keep him, I would make a package but that pick cannot be part of it. Maybe a future number one can be for a player like that with even some of the Isles youth but right now I would not trade Okposo or Bailey for Vinnie LeCavalier.

Thanks but no Thanks.

I understand last year Cliff Fletcher got the Isles number five pick and it did not come cheap. What does Brian Burke have anywhere in his system besides Luke Schenn who Garth Snow passed on a year ago that would make it even conceivable to trade this pick to the MapleLeafs for anything in their organization. Not even future number one selections from Toronto would be worth it for a franchise that has that kind of player ready to be selected right now for maybe a future top ten or lower but not likely a number one.

Is Burke's grand plan to sign Matt Gilroy and trade him to the Islanders as part of the package? We'll see if that's the case but you can bet Gilroy and his agent would not like that one bit.

Is Colorado ready to offer back Ryan Smyth with his huge contract (NTC) who is only getting older and somewhat less productive with a third overall pick which is not the right move?

Los Angeles Kings have a lot of good young talent, how long before some/most of them are heading for UFA?

It's time to be conventional, keep the pick and draft Tavares or Hedman and after that you can be as creative as you care to be with the other top picks. Anything short of that this is not the right general manager for this franchise or the right direction.

Seventy days of questions and waiting.

Bill Torrey took the consensus top pick in David Chyzowski a long time ago and was wrong, but it was the conventional strategy at the time and the correct one.

That's what this fan is looking for this general manager to do now, be conventional and play the percentages.

If Garth Snow drafts John Tavares or Victor Hedman and they turn out to be a bust, he still made the right call on draft day.

Just as Bill Torrey did at that time.

Espn: E.J Hradek's last line in this article says it all.

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Islander News Articles 4/15

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2009 05:00:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Newsday: Greg Logan had general manager Garth Snow's comments/reaction on winning the lottery but said he is not going to make bold statements in the media with regard to trades.

Newsday: Mark Herrmann had reaction also from Garth Snow and Director of Player Personnel Kenny Morrow as the columnist wrote about what John Tavares would mean to the Lighthouse and the franchise.

NY Times: Dave Caldwell had reaction from general manager Garth Snow in a NY Times blog entry Tuesday night.

NY Post: Dan Martin had general manager Garth Snow's comments from his press conference.

Toronto Sun: Ryan Pyette has John Tavares comments that he has never been to New York and had reaction to Brian Burke of the Maple Leafs praise for him as he discussed what his upcoming playoff series will mean for him.

The Star: Damien Cox in an article where the writer incorrectly reports Charles Wang is threatening to move if he can't get public money to build a new arena discusses gm Brian Burke's ability to land franchise talent as he listed Burke got the right to draft Pronger 16 years ago from San Jose for a package that included Sergei Makarov, the sixth overall pick, a second rounder and a third rounder but understands it would take a lot more to land the top overall pick.

Gazette On-Line: Jeff Johnson reports Islander prospect Matt Donovan will play next year for the University of Denver.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had Tuesday's practice report which included comments from defenseman Jack Hillen and head coach Jack Capuano on the defender and Kyle Okposo playing the opening two games for Bridgeport this weekend to open the playoffs.

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New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2009 07:47:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

 Video of the draft lottery for those who would like to watch it again. Has the final results of tonight's NHL Draft Lottery with New York winning the first overall pick in the June entry draft.

1 New York Islanders
2 Tampa Bay Lightning
3 Colorado Avalanche
4 Atlanta Thrashers
5 Los Angeles Kings
6 Phoenix Coyotes
7 Toronto Maple Leafs
8 Dallas Stars
9 Ottawa Senators
10 Edmonton Oilers
11 Nashville Predators
12 Minnesota Wild
13 Buffalo Sabres
14 Florida Panthers

NYI Fan Central Comments:

What can I write folks?

It's been a very long, tough year for this team and it's fans. Enjoy tonight and something good happening for this franchise because you sure have earned it. Brian Compton had comments from General Manager Garth Snow and Director of Pro Scouting Kenny Morrow shortly after the lottery ended along with John Tavares and Victor Hedman.

"It was obviously something that was very well-publicized and something people were looking forward to, but being a goalie as long as I was, there's a lot of things you can't control," Islanders General Manager Garth Snow told "We hoped for the best and probably didn't sweat it out, knowing that I really didn't have any control over the situation."

"I'm thrilled for our fans," said Director of Pro Scouting Ken Morrow, who won four straight Stanley Cups with the club. "I'm thrilled for our organization. It's a great moment. We're going to take full advantage of this."

"It would obviously be a great opportunity," Tavares said of being drafted by the Islanders. "It's a very historic franchise. There's a great tradition there, so it would be a great honor and a special feeling. I'd be glad to be a part of the organization. Hopefully to win a Stanley Cup would be amazing."

"Obviously, it would be a great feeling to go first overall," Hedman said. "The Islanders have got the first pick, and if I go to them I'd dedicated to doing good work with the team and to help them make the playoffs very soon."

"It's a big moment for the franchise," Snow said. "We just have to go through the process of scouting meetings. We need great players and we need a new building -- there's no doubt about that."

Newsday: Greg Logan had Ken Morrow, director of pro scouting who represented the Islanders on the Versus telecast of the lottery with his comments.

Point Blank/Mr Botta: Recaps the media press conference with general manager Garth Snow's comments.

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Central Scouting Final Draft Rankings Released

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2009 03:13:00 PM | | | | Comment Here Adam Kimmelman had two articles with CSB final draft rankings with NHL Central Scouting Director E.J. McGuire's comments on the top ten skaters in North America & Europe which included NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb's comments. Final North American Skaters & Goaltenders. Final European Skaters & Goaltenders.

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Okposo will start Bridgeport Playoffs/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2009 01:55:00 PM | | | | | | | | | Comment Here
Islanders/Sound Tigers websites & Point Blank/Mr Botta & Ct Post Michael Fornabaio in the Sound Tigers blog all report Kyle Okposo will play the opening two games for Bridgeport Friday and Saturday at the Coliseum against WBS Pens before likely departing for the World Championships.

Mr Fornabaio's report had details on today's practice.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Some players like Craig Anderson Florida turned down team USA's invitation to participate which winger David Booth also may do here. Scott Gordon is expected to leave Sunday to be on head coach Ron Wilson's staff for team USA and with Bridgeport already having enough injuries (Comeau-McLean-Colliton) on their clear day list they have enough latitude so Kyle Okposo or other players can play for Bridgeport at this time.

Having written that if Jeremy Colliton (or Kurtis McLean for example) did return they would have to play which is the significance of the clear-day list.
Point Blank/Mr Botta: Had an excellent interview with Hall of Fame Islander general manager Bill Torrey on the draft he selected Denis Potvin and the top players in this years class.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
In my estimation the greatest New York sports executive in history for his class, grace and character combined with ability. The chemistry he had with Al Arbour is unmatched anywhere in professional sports.

Having written that Bill Torrey made the wrong call on Dave Chyzowski (and a few other top picks) but he went by the consensus draft board which is what you have to do regardless how it played out.

This is why I would have no problem if Snow drafted John Tavares or Victor Hedman and they did turn out to be a draft bust.

My point is be conventional.
************************************************** Announced today Islander prospect Rob Hennigar was named the CCM ECHL Rookie of the Month for March lead the league with 17 assists and 23 points in 13 games to help Utah qualify for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Newsday for now has not had an Islander blog update on Okposo which could bring more fans to Friday-Saturday games as they advertise on the Isles website but Jim Baumbach here has his latest reason to write the Islanders are a joke on his own behalf while the Cablevision owned team does not even give Steve Zipay any information at all here when they suffer an injury.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Call me cynical but I do not respect coverage double-standards. If the paper covers both teams exactly the same there is no problem here and if Mr Baumbach wrote the Rangers were a joke for announcing nothing on Drury I would respect that standard.

Lets see Jim Baumbach call out his employers teams for doing far less than Charles Wang or Garth Snow who has been far more accessible to Greg Logan and Newsday staff than James Dolan or Glen Sather has been to Newsday for years.

Updated 6:04pm:

Newsday: Mr Logan in the Islanders Newsday blog had player reaction on what they think the team needs in the draft as Trent Hunter, Mark Streit & Brendan Witt comments on that and the clubs needs. Head coach Scott Gordon also comments on the injuries and the lack of scoring while general manager Garth Snow was quoted on those subjects as he talked about what his priority is as general manager.

Mr Logan said he will have more from the general manager after tonight's lottery in a 9pm press conference among several items included in this entry.

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It's Lottery Day For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2009 12:00:00 PM | Comment Here

Not much to write here about the bouncing ping-pong balls. Islanders will have the first pick or the second pick coming out of this. I'm not sure if that means if the Isles envelope is the first drawn (fifth) they are immediately given the second slot and the others battle for first.

Everyone can only fall back one spot, but five can move as high as one. I know there is a formula that if you hear x team in x spot as the lottery progresses it means another team won or moved up or back, call me lazy but it's not worth the time for the five minutes it takes to explain it vs when it actually happens.

I will have more AFTER the lottery but if you read NYIFC on 3/16 no sense repeating where I stand if they actually do win here.

Obviously based on Garth Snow's comments Monday the general manager is not going with my idea.

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Update/Recap on Rick DiPietro

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2009 10:01:00 AM | Comment Here
Around the early portion of March I was wondering if anything new was going to be announced on Rick DiPietro because his six weeks-eight weeks of doing nothing but resting was up.

The Isles issued a brief release in March that was very much like the one Garth Snow said Monday.

Mr Logan had the DiPietro story in Newsday's coverage late Sunday, Dan Martin of the NY Post also reported this and had comments

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm not a doctor and only know what's reported or announced by the Islanders and the general manager and we got our answer.

It's fair to speculate that unless DiPietro suffered a new injury at some point in it was determined he did need that additional surgery which would explain him being on crutches now. This was all on the table when it was announced in January even if surgery was something the doctor thought could be avoided.

In the end actions will speak louder than words but from day one the idea is to get him a hundred percent healthy regardless how long it takes. If the Islanders sign a number one goaltender from outside the organization this summer, it's obvious there are doubts about him being ready for camp and beyond.

As of now the gm says he is on target and will start skating in August, so we'll see.

One thing that can be written is between working his way back from injury and a year without pucks on almost a daily basis this is not going to be easy for any player to return from much less be a franchise goaltender from day one of camp.
Just to recap what was reported by the teams doctor and the club on his rehab at the time back on January 20th for those who see this as some kind of new and major setback.

Sorry but surgery (if it happened) was reported as possible back on 1/20.

On January 20th the Islanders announced Rick DiPietro's season was over and team doctor Elliott Hershman NY Times NY Daily News & Newsday.

Dr. Elliott Hershman, the team orthopedist, said that the 27-year-old DiPietro, who has played in only five games this season, would rest for six to eight weeks before doctors decided if he needed additional surgery.

According to Hershman, that process will take 6-8 weeks. At that point, a decision will be made regarding the next step. Since there is no ligament damage, Hershman said reconstructive surgery won't be necessary. But further surgery on the meniscus remains a possibility.

"At this time, we're not anticipating any further surgery but we're certainly following this knee to make sure that the inflammation and swelling does resolve on a more permanent basis so he is able to return fully".

It should also be noted it was reported DiPietro in January was sent to Dr. James Andrews, a noted orthopedist in Birmingham, Ala where he was in on the decision to shut him down for the season.

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Islander News Articles 4/14

Will add in more articles later tonight or tomorrow morning to this entry.

Newsday: Greg Logan has general manager Garth Snow's comments that he is considering several options with his draft pick regardless what happens tomorrow and will not rule out a possible trade, head coach Scott Gordon comments on his goaltending and what could be done with the pick.

"We can't control what unfolds," Snow said, "but I do know, whichever scenario it is, we'll get a good hockey player."

"There's five or six that are good players that I think will be selected in that range. There's a process we're going to go through, and we're going to have our meetings and have some really good debates on what decision we ultimately end up making."

"It's a desirable situation to be in leading up to the draft," Snow said. "I would be crazy not to take [trade] calls. It's part of my duties as general manager to look at all options."

"It's too early in the process," Snow said. "We have our scouts following players and teams now. We have meetings coming up in the next week or so. We have another round of meetings in May and June."

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Obviously the general manager and the staff is going to go through the process which means for Islander fans the drama will continue until they select on draft night whether we agree or not.

Newsday: Mr Logan also had comments from general manager Garth Snow who declined Monday to discuss the Newsday beatwriters late Sunday report about Rick DiPietro seen using crutches recently.

"You're asking about players' rehab and what they've got to do,'' Snow said. "I'm not going to get into all the rehab. What I will say is Rick is progressing nicely. We expect him to be skating in August like he usually does in getting ready for training camp."

"His rehab is going smoothly," Snow said. "We're planning on him starting to skate in August. That's the protocol for his rehabilitation."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Not going to hit this very hard but Cablevision owned Newsday Ranger beatwriter Steve Zipay Monday was not critical of the team he covers not announcing any update at all on an injury to Chris Drury or had one word of criticism all season for the team the paper owns going with league policy in the extremely rare instances they did sustained an injury while the Islanders took a verbal assault almost on a daily basis in print from Mr Logan and the Newsday staff for the first few months of the season.

In this instance today Mr Logan has a job to report and is obligated to press the general manager for comments on something he writes in the newspaper about a player injury in terms of Rick DiPietro, Snow is not required to be specific by league rules but if he goes beyond upper-lower body is not allowed to make a false statement.

NY Post: Dan Martin also had the general managers comments on the teams season, the lottery, the draft in June and goaltender Rick DiPietro with Mr Martin also reporting DiPietro was seen on crutches.

"I don't think when you're in 30th place, we should be satisfied with any one aspect that transpired this season," Snow said.

Point Blank/Mr Botta: Has an excellent interview with Pierre McGuire of NBC/TSN on the top picks and the NHL draft.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

As always folks should visit Mr Botta's outstanding blog for the information he works to produce for our fans.

Associated Press: Has a brief preview of Tuesday's NHL lottery with teams and percentages to win the top overall pick. Had the release announcing Mark Streit will play for Switzerland at the World Championships.

Globe & Mail: David Shoalts reports Leafs general manager Brian Burke hopes to sign Boston University defenceman Matt Gilroy, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner as the top player in U.S. college hockey as early as today while Toronto Sun Steve Buffery reports talks between the Maple Leafs and Gilroy continued Monday, but no deal has been reached with BU spokesman Brian Kelley saying the defenseman is going to take the next couple of days to decide which NHL team to sign with.

Canadian Press: Has Senators general manager Bryan Murray's comments that Mike Comrie did not do enough in his twenty two games with the Senators to warrant a new contract in a season ending review.

Tampa Tribune: Erik Erlensson reports the Lightning will send former captain Dave Andreychuk to represent them during the proceedings after winning last year.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That means for those scoring at home Garth Snow is not required to be on live television tonight or represent the club on stage.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the Sound Tigers Notebook with comments from head coach Jack Capuano

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