5/21/10

Tribute to New York's First Stanley Cup 5/24/80 Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/21/2010 09:32:00 PM
First class job by Cablevision owned Newsday on Friday, featuring the past work of Pat Calabria, Tim Moriarty, Steve Jacobon, and Joe Gergen, to celebrate New York's first Stanley Cup on 5/24/80.

Islanders website should provide a pdf file to articles here in the next few days for those who cannot reference them.

Updated:
Mark Herrmann, added two late article, which include current comments from Lorne Henning, Bill Torrey, Pat Calabria, Bob Nystrom, Bob Lorimer, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Ken Morrow, and trainer Ron Waske.

Nassau County Executive, Ed Mangano, also reflects on dynasty Islanders, and commented on the club's future, that he would do, " All I can as county executive to make sure the Islanders stay here in Nassau County."

Bill Torrey's comments included past efforts for a new Coliseum, the current Lighthouse Project and felt: " The team is where it belongs " in terms of where the New York Islanders should play hockey.
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NYIFC put up the Dynasty Header to celebrate, with a few pictures, will add a few more images for Monday.
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World Championship's concluded on Thursday for Islander-centric players and Scott Gordon. That section has been moved down the page, and will remain until Tuesday or Wednesday for reference, with host Germany a wonderful story.
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For those on Travis Hamonic signing watch, the Brandon Wheat Kings defeated Calgary in overtime Friday at Memorial Cup who had a goal/two assist here and will face Windsor for the Memorial Cup on Sunday.

Tsn.ca: Recaps the win with Hamonic's comments.
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Tsn.ca: reported on Edmonton's pending arena deal, with several elements of Wang/Rechler LH project, which could be partly paid for with taxpayer money.
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Tsn.ca:Darren Dreger reports (via sources) the city of Glendale has reached an agreement that will ensure the city covers any operating costs up to $25 mil for the 2010-2011 season, as the league looks for local ownership.

NYIFC Comments:
In short, this means Phoenix (worst case) will be run by the league for another year if a local buyer cannot be found. Edmonton taxpayers, will help contribute to their version of a LH (which includes a casino) while in New York, the 20th anniversary of the NY Times first report announcing Isles need new arena, will have been released, next March.
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At this time, no news/update on prospects, Jared Spurgeon or Jyri Niemi, who must be signed by 6/1.
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Per Michael Fornabaio/Ct Post confirmed Belfast Telegraph Jon Gleed has signed in Europe for 2010-11.
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Finally, my apologies for misspelling Travis Hamonic's name for the better part of two seasons, all previous entries with prospect blog have corrected this sloppy mistake.

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5/14/10

Kevin Poulin Signed by New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/14/2010 03:43:00 PM
Nouville Union: Reports Prospect Kevin Poulin has signed a professional contract with New York.

Updated:
Islanders Authorized: Three year, entry level contract for Poulin.

NYIFC Comments:
From the translation, it appears to be a three year entry-level contract, this was paper that had Poulin's comments last week on negotiations. No shock after Ridderwall signed in SEL, but now we see where Nate Lawson, an RFA for Bridegeport fits.

It should be noted Poulin was in Bridgeport at end of last season.

Congratulations to Kevin Poulin.

Memorial Cup: Islanders prospect, Travis Hamonic of host Brandon Wheat Kings, begins Friday night.

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5/12/10

Islander Notables, USA Relegated At WC

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/12/2010 06:07:00 PM
AP: Has a few words from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Islanders relocating to Queens, who apparently did not know Charles Wang's name despite his radio station airing the teams hockey games for a few seasons.

Mr Bloomberg's former deputy mayor, Daniel Doctoroff, according to the NY Times had a small stake in the club for a while.

NYIFC Comments:
Apparently Newsday has a new end game to force Charles Wang to speak, go to the people he would be exploring all his options with, and ask them for comment. The Mets, Jeff Wilpon has obliged, he will likely not be the last.

Too bad hockey games did not get this kind of extensive coverage at Newsday, much less the front page. If Cablevision/Newsday pulled this on the owner of Msg, my speculation is it would not have been approved for publication.

Seems this end game once again also includes, looking for fan comment, critical of the club, while Newsday employees not dare ask the public what they think of Garden management.

Different rules for different owners at this paper now.

No gang, Michael Bloomberg and the City are not going to be used against Ed Mangano/Nassau or Kate Murray/TOH, they will want a commitment.

Will Mr Mangano do his Tom Gluotta impersonation NY Times because for now, he has not said the New York Islanders are not going anywhere on his watch.

And he needs to say it.

Where I sit, Nassau County after close to forty years should finally pay for something to make this team self sustaining off the ice. This team is a public trust and should be treated as such. Every other municipality in New York, and New Jersey have been provided taxpayer money (bonds) to give teams new stadiums/arena's or tax breaks (low cost electricity/exemptions) to keep from relocating.

It's time for Nassau County and TOH to do the same thing.

Bottom line, Charles Wang has every right to sell his hockey team to anyone he wants.

This game has gone on now for close to twenty years come next March NY Times. I have gone over the significant problems at Willets Point several times here. Whether Wang, Rechler, Wilpon or all three own the club someone has to pay for an arena, win a bid against several potential developments, plus survive a very ugly eminent domain fight against generation business.

NYC will not be using taxpayer bonds this time to finance anything.

A soccer stadium in the area is a more feasible financial alternative considering the demographics/cost to run a hockey club vs a soccer team.

This is something that will take the rest of the Isles current lease in Nassau to build, regardless of who owns the club.

No doubt the gamesmanship, whether Charles Wang (or Scott Rechler) likes it or not will continue in the media.

AP: Actually had one of it's writers refer to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, as a "storied arena" recently.

NYIFC Comments:
Story is Joe Louis Arena, looks like Devils former home from the outside and is a dump on the inside, that had problems selling tickets to playoff games.

Nothing like spin to sell an arena's perception to the public.
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Apparently Wednesday's loss to Finland eliminates the US from medal contention, after a very ugly 0-3 against three very beatable teams. Denmark beat the US and lost it's exhibition giving up eight goals a week ago.

Regardless of roster, this is not a good week for Team USA Hockey/Scott Gordon or the players, with it's worst showing since 2003 so far.

Switzerland beat Canada 4-1 today. Denmark lost Wednesday.

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5/11/10

Stefan Ridderwall signs with Djurgarden/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2010 08:58:00 PM
Islanders Authorized: Report prospect goaltender Stefan Ridderwall has signed with Djurgarden for 2010-11 season, and that the club will lose his NHL rights as of June 1st.

NYIFC Comments:
Best of luck to Stefan Ridderwall.

With the new transfer agreement, Ridderwall over age twenty-two, he no longer is property of the Islanders. I believe the official SEL signing deadline date is June 15th, not the Canadian Hockey league deadline of 6/1 in team release.

Disappointing he did not take the Isles contract offer, however with Mikko Koskinen signed, Nate Lawson a RFA, plus negotiations with Kevin Poulin there were simply too many players to be signed for two AHL goaltending spots.

If Ridderwall starts for Djurgarden, that is in his best interest unless the Isles offer was for him to play in the NHL or sign him and let him play in the SEL, as Robin Figren did in year one of his contract.

Dwayne Roloson is signed, and there is no apparent change in Rick DiPietro's future playing status, an NHL contract offer for Ridderwall seemed unlikely.

I also do not see a spot for Kevin Poulin if Nate Lawson is retained, who played very well (above 9.20 save percentage) for Bridgeport the last two seasons. Mikko Koskinen was the top goaltender taken in his draft class, he needs to be a full time starter. There is also Anders Nilsson, who the club used a high selection to draft.

Scott Munroe has signed in the KHL for 2010-11.

I do not see Poulin, Lawson or Koskinen in Utah, Poulin already has been to Bridgeport a year ago.
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Notables Updated:
* Jeff Wilpon, Tuesday, said he has spoken to Charles Wang about construction of a hockey arena and a possible future purchase/relocation of the team to Queens, but for now that is just exploratory conversation. A soccer stadium/team may be another alternative for the area.

* I guess Tuesday's tactics/recent gossip from Canadian media recently (Globe & Mail) is another way to make Charles Wang speak, despite some local owners not communicating with media for several years, and many NHL clubs sustaining heavy losses.

Charles Wang for his part is not obligated to say anything, and frankly has said enough already. Scott Rechler, is apparently going to spend five hundred seventy million for property in Manhattan, that may or may not have been used on LH financing.

* Columbus Blue Jackets annouced a deal somewhat similar to the December sublease between Smg, Wang/Rechler to run the Coliseum, and will make extra revenue from booking events. Nationwide Arena/BlueJackets and OSU apparently will no longer be using Smg, but the Jackets management credited the company for doing a " nice job."

* I do believe the situation in Phoenix is for real and time is running out.

The NHL is not going to run any franchise for a second year, despite the Coyotes turnaround on the ice and in the stands. If an agreement cannot be made by the end of June, expect a sale/shift to another market.

Several teams are losing money, which includes the Devils in Prudential Center, who sold out less games than the Isles in 2002 Newark Star Ledger & NY Times in a brand new facility, with a first place team, with arguably the greatest goaltender in league history unless it's playoff time and Bill Smith is in net.

St Louis Post-Dispatch: Jeff Gordon has latest on Blues financial issues.

* Maybe the Isles can get Ed Mangano/Nassau, and Kate Murray/TOH, to cover any Islander losses, like they want in Phoenix lease.

Updated.... City council in Glendale, Ariz, has voted unanimously to guarantee the NHL up to $25 million US to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Jobing.com Arena for the 2010-2011 season.

* Finally perhaps the New York Daily News can provide the front page, with Ilya Kovalchuk in an Islander jersey, and an editorial on how badly New York needs our team if they want to do a little advertising for select players/teams?

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5/6/10

D'Amato In LI Herald Supporting Casino, Not LH

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2010 08:25:00 PM
LI Herald: Former Senator, Al D'Amato on Thursday, personally writes a three page article on the merits/benefits of a Shinnecock Nation Casino over the Lighthouse, and includes: " For six years, real estate developer Charles Wang, has been pressuring elected officials from the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County to authorize this $3.7 billion project."

" Six years ago our economy was in much better shape. It might have been possible to finance the project and fill 36 stories of office space. Now, regardless of the developer, it’s impossible. Even though the commercial realty market has been creeping back, the current market would not be able to sustain such a grand endeavor."

NYIFC Comments:
Who does this man think he is kidding?

A week after he is visiting Ed Mangano, and now is writing articles in favor of a Casino, supporting mass transit, and against the LH.

In 2005, he was ripping the LH, calling it " the sixth borough of NYC, " and knocked the sixty story tower, as a "non-sense" plan back then.

Charles Wang and Scott Rechler won an open bidding to develop that land, if Nassau County did not want to award them the bid, they were under no pressure to accept them as developers vs other competing bids.

Nassau County/TOH were/are under pressure to renovate or replace, Nassau County's Coliseum.

Tom Suozzi, was honest enough to make it clear long ago Nassau did not have the resources to renovate or replace the Coliseum, long after Charles Wang bought the team.

I'm no historian on Long Island economy, but even I remember where Nassau was financially during the Tom Gulotta administration with it's bond ratings. During the exact same time, Al D'Amato was lobbying Charles Wang to purchase the New York Islanders.

How nice of the former Senator to throw in the hockey team as something important in this article a few times, but I'm not buying, I suggest no one else does either.

He pulled this exact same act over a decade ago.

Silence is deafening from that TOH impartial judge, Kate Murray.

All seems designed to make Wang-Rechler walk away on their own, so Nassau/TOH are held blameless.

Shinnecock Nation should take a long, hard look at the history of Nassau County/TOH politics, along with Al D'Amato's conduct which Tom Suozzi.com linked to the Newsday article last year regarding the former Senator, and his part in this.

D'Amato whether he knows it or not just made Mangano's job much harder to sell what he is trying to do as credible.

Bottom line:
Whether it be Wang/Suozzi, Shinnecock Nation or someone else, they are financing their own projects.

Nassau, and TOH, cannot afford to pay for anything, a little fact missing far too often in this process.

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5/4/10

Calvin deHaan's First Comments, Mark Wotton Signed, World Championship Exhibition Results

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2010 07:03:00 PM
Ottawa Citizen: Don Campbell has Calvin deHaan's, comments upon signing his first professional contract that will be announced on Wednesday, and what's ahead going into 2010-11.

NYIFC Comments:
Ottawa Citizen had the first comments and not Newsday? This is a first rounder, selected 12th overall in the draft.

deHaan received a maximum contract allowed under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, with a base salary of $900,000 a season and bonuses of up to $600,000 per season, meaning the contract could be worth $4.5 million.
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USA Wins Exhibition:
Kyle Okposo per twitter page, had two goals in Tuesday's 3-1 exhibition game win against France, and was named first star of game. John Tavares, had an assist, and a penalty in Canada's 4-1 win against host Germany.

Islanders Authorized: Reports Bridgeport Captain, Mark Wotton has been resigned to a one-year AHL contract for 2010-11.

NYIFC Comments:
Good news for Wotton, perhaps not good news for Brendan Witt in terms of staying in Bridgeport?

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Charles Wang vs Other Teams Not Offering Front Loaded Contracts

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2010 03:36:00 PM
I was going through the NHL teams that do not offer front-loaded contracts today, and wanted to ask this question because all I read is the usual, no top free agent will sign here mantra.

This begs the question what top free agents have signed anywhere, without that infamous front-loaded contract?

Granted Garth Snow brought some of this on himself, saying a few years ago the arena is one factor that came in in negotiations which many re-interpreted and made much more of.

Marian Hossa, left Pittsburgh, and signed a one year contract for 7.8 million with Detroit, before leaving for Chicago, and his twelve year deal (front-loaded) worth 62.8 million while he was injured.

That is the last time a top player,entering UFA, did not sign a front-loaded deal in this CBA.

What has Garth Snow not offered in contract negotiations like other clubs when the words front-loaded contracts are not part of negotiations? I don't see other teams who have signed top players to contracts unless they were on that team and most of those are front-loaded.

The contract Buffalo matched from Edmonton to retain for Thomas Vanek was heavily front-loaded.

New Jersey signed Patrik Elias to somewhat of a front-loaded deal in 2006 but he still has to play his final three years to make his five million each season. Jamie Langenbrunner's 5-year, $14 million dollar contract is somewhat on par with Trent Hunter's five year, ten million dollar contract.

In July 2007, Dainius Zubrus, signed a 6-year $20.4 million dollar deal with the Devils, which was a terrible signing and heavily criticized at the time.

Sergei Gonchar signed a 5-year, $25 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins in Aug 2005 for a club built of UFA that cost gm Craig Patrick his job, which is similar to the contract Snow signed Mark Streit to given today's market vs talent disparity/expectation of each player at time they signed.

Marc Savard: Seven year extension with Boston was heavily front-loaded.

The list of front-loaded contracts and now teams trading for players failing under those contracts (after highest part of salary having already been paid-Scott Gomez/Ryan Smyth), so who is signing top line talents to contracts in this league as UFA where Charles Wang or Garth Snow has failed to do the same?

I just don't see it. Comrie, Guerin, Weight, Sutton, Witt (resigned) Hunter, along with Sillinger (under Neil Smith) all signed here. Before that Hamrlik, Yashin, Peca, Scatchard, Parrish and Aucoin all resigned as RFA.

Even Jason Blake's, 5-Years, $20 million was slightly front-loaded at $5 million, $4.5 million, and $4.5 million before Anaheim took the remainder of his contract in a trade.

As far as this team the last few summers, I have seen a roster set up mostly before July 1st with few available spots.

You want to criticize the general manager or owner for not signing/spending on Alex Tanguay or inviting Max Afinogenov with his eight goals last year to camp, fair enough, but there were questions about both players. You can add letting Satan go unsigned with his nine goals in thirty eight games for Boston to the list if you want.

Add in Doug Weight's re-signing, along with Tim Jackman, those are fair game for not signing a younger UFA with some scoring upside, or even bringing back Jon Sim vs a spot for a signing.

It's a question some will have if Brendan Witt is not brought back to the NHL, as his cap hit sits on the club's books along with Yashin. (maybe DiPietro)

I'm just not seeing where as an owner Charles Wang is failing to pay players when the contracts are not front-loaded.

If that's the case, there are about twenty teams or more in the exact same boat, that simply lose their pending UFA or top players to a front-loaded contract.

If I'm wrong, let me know.


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Tsn Scott Cullen's Sloppy Isles Report/Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2010 08:08:00 AM
Updated: Mr Cullen has corrected his report.
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Tsn.ca: Scott Cullen released an Off-Season game plan for the Islanders, misquotes the owner, nor does he post Charles Wang's comments about spending for free agents in the past.

NYIFC Comments:
Just more proof why one person should not be doing thirty team reviews, the depth chart review is well done, but these are mistakes that cannot be made in a review.

Scott Cullen:
Owner Charles Wang has high expectations anticipating a playoff berth next year, telling Newsday, "Everyone in that locker room who we bring back has to be better than they were this year," but there was no mention of management making a commitment to improve the roster to the point that it's reasonable to expect a playoff berth.

Charles Wang did not say that, GM Garth Snow did:

Cullen on payroll issue/spending, not even quoting Wang:
Considering that the Islanders do have room to move under the cap, and the possibility that the Island still isn't the free agent destination of choice for top free agents, the Isles could use some of that financial flexibility to help them acquire a player from a team in a tighter cap situation, but there has to be a willingness to take on salary.

What Charles Wang did say when asked if the Isles were willing to spend the type of money required to reel in a top-shelf player:
"I think we've demonstrated that in the past,'' Wang said, "and we'll continue to look at every opportunity. We went after Ryan Smyth [in 2007] and he got us into the playoffs."
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Nothing to add on 2008 college prospect, Corey Trivino's impending suspension from BU reported by Scott McLaughlin in Daily Free Press.
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In NYIFC business, I have decided to go with a sidebar, and twitter updates, for World Championships, as opposed to individual blog entries. USA plays France today it an exhibition game. Scott Gordon, John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Jack Hillen, and Frans Nielsen will represent the club in Germany.
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All prospects who have to be signed by 6/1 or 6/15 have been added to sidebar with pending UFA/RFA. I took out full rosters in redesign because you can link to Isles general roster.

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4/30/10

Ed Mangano's Memorandum of Understanding

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/30/2010 11:36:00 AM
Updated 5/1:

Disclaimer:

Ed Mangano was quoted earlier this week that a Casino project would be " in addition " to the Lighthouse Project.

He then also was quoted as saying a Shinnecock Nation Casino "is a very real alternative" to the LH.
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I have to admit, I did not see this coming.

Someone with less patience than Howard Milstein who may give Tom Gulotta a run for his money?

Folks actually knocked Charles Wang for a lack of patience after waiting for about eight plus year?

Apparently new Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano from his first days in office, decided to create his own Memorandum of Understanding with himself. In that understanding, he decided to forget who was awarded the right to develop the Coliseum property in an open bidding and started immediate negotiations with someone else.

Mr Mangano has also apparently decided in his understanding to save the millions Wang-Rechler invested for traffic/water/misc consultants. There will not be two hundred plus community meetings to inform the public if a Shinnecock Nation Casino is to break ground next summer.

All the issues that held up the LH are now positives for the community, according to the new Nassau Executive.

Meanwhile the usual lip-service about saving the Isles is thrown in at the end like the team simply does not matter. Mangano clearly is not in favor of the LH project vs a Casino as a destination spot.

Al D'Amato even stopped in for a chat and took a few digs at the LH, we all know where he stands.

Can't make this stuff up folks.

TOH/Kate Murray? They don't even have a vote in this matter apparently.

Even if by some miracle TOH released a scaled down LH project that Wang-Rechler may be interested in building, a lease still has to be negotiated with Mangano.

This was the lease Tom Suozzi had ready before he left office, but could not be voted on by Democratic Nassau.

Mangano was quoted about looking into the developers agreement with Wang-Rechler that is currently in place so it's not looking promising for a future lease negotiation with Nassau if the TOH approved the LH.

Apparently that property is too valuable in Nassau for private developers to build on it where they make the bulk of the revenue in exchange for renovating Nassau's Coliseum, especially when it's something that could compete with other office space/residential in Nassau/TOH.

No wonder the Lighthouse page on the Nassau County website disappeared less than a day or so after Mangano took his oath.

Ed Mangano had his Memorandum of Understanding with himself all set to go.

Bottom line:
Where is Mangano's plan to make the New York Islanders self-sustaining as a hockey franchise at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum? A week ago Nassau hosted the Yankees championship trophy after every other sports team in the area received huge money to become self-sufficient, relocate locally or remain in place.

Some folks wondered why I was so tough on Tom Suozzi for letting the LH sit in a drawer for a few years? Mangano was not happy with Wang/Rechler/Smg deal negotiated by Suozzi to run the Coliseum.

I'm not sure if Wang-Rechler have any response, I doubt it will be through the media because Wang made it clear he does not want it done that way. My speculation remains TOH would do anything not to take the blame for voting down the LH.

My stance is unchanged from the entry earlier this week.

Wang-Rechler should demand an immediate vote on the full LH proposal, they are entitled to that for the millions they have spent.

If Ed Mangano is eventually the one to turn the LH down, he will not need a memorandum to understand he will be the one to blame if the Islanders do leave or if a Casino fails to be built, he will be the one held accountable.

There will also be no 51st state he can support to hide in.
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Some format changes to New York Islander Fan Central, including a new twitter box.

Previous full page template and all elements are now located at nyifancentral.blogspot.com prospect blog is unchanged, but will have all contract status updated per Ct Post article last week.

The generic page was removed.

Still have not decided on whether to do full blog entries during World Championships.

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4/25/10

Management Review 09-10 NY Islanders Season

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/25/2010 11:05:00 PM
Today we wrap up our review of the 2009-10 season and the full-time blog entries with a review of Head Coach Scott Gordon & General Manager Garth Snow.

Overview:
In a painfully mediocre conference, which saw the playoff cut on average drop dramatically from ninety five points/eighth seed to the final three seeds all being under ninety points, a huge opportunity was to qualify for a playoff spot was missed.

New York won only as many regulation games as they did a year ago with about two hundred fifty less man games lost to injury. Overall goals scored/allowed improved with point total which is what many media sold as improvement, but special teams were worse than a year ago with both powerplay/penalty killing dropping into the bottom five.

Third period scoring saw this team at the bottom of the league.

Head Coach Scott Gordon:
Like the individual players grades, Scott Gordon did not build a roster of smaller/less physical players, which lacked veterans who could contribute as top line forwards. He worked with what he had and changed some players positions with Comeau, Sim, Bailey, Okposo, Weight. (on more than one wing/point)

As on any other team, some players improved or had a breakthrough while others regressed. Some of that has to speak to Scott Gordon's decisions, others to how players performed individually.

Decisions that also included Comeau riding the bench so Trevor Gillies could play three minutes in Philadelphia.

In 2008-09, he did not put public pressure on his young players, even criticizing a 2002 pick in Bergenheim for being worried about his numbers, that is what good coaches do, which of course he held to with virtually all his players again this year.

Being head coach is not about winning a popularity contest with the players, the job ultimately is to win hockey games and getting the most out of the talent you have.

Moving Forward:
Unlike Ted Nolan, Gordon did not take the media bait regarding his contract toward the end of this season. Owner Charles Wang (despite management claims it does not discuss management contracts) informed the public of Gordon's contract status in an radio interview.

Are Gordon and his general manager on the same page and a team that work well together? Only they know, however Nate Thompson was the player Scott Gordon used but lost his spot to waivers while Jeff Tambellini was glued to Gordon's bench and his comments about his defenders lack of size after a to Boston sure did not seem an endorsement of Snow's trade deadline decisions.

Scott Gordon was not in the same situation as AHL counterparts like John Anderson in Atlanta or Peter DeBoer in Florida, both who had more top line veterans or older, more-developed prospects. The clock is running for the first head coach since Al Arbour who should be back for a third consecutive season to have this team not only in playoff contention but ready to take the next step and qualify.

A club that can beat the top teams, have a good record against the West should have been able to win against equal/lower teams by standings and on the road in their own division.

Many opposing coaches/players, praised how difficult the Islanders were to play against. Next year they have to beat the clubs they are supposed to win against.

Grade C
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General Manager Garth Snow:

The general manager said recently he is not satisfied with the season and that everyone who returns has to be better. This has to start with how he reconstructs a roster with some expiring contracts that were lacking in terms of size, physical players, speed and veteran scoring on far too many night's that had nothing to do with the young players.

You going to tell me Max Afinogenov (pick a struggling veteran from last summer) with his eight goals would have failed and been a mistake here as a late signing/tryout? Ok.

You going to tell me Tim Jackman or some other veterans were a better offensive fit, than Afinogenov (pick a struggling veteran) and had to be signed at the end of last March?
Not buying.

Snow also has to be held accountable for leaving his club short on defense (in terms of depth and size) after the trade deadline. Anton Klementyev came up who was sitting prior to recall and to date had not played again for Bridgeport after drafting and signing him last summer. When this club was in it's losing streaks Snow did not panic, however he did nothing in terms of a lateral move to address any weaknesses beyond Brendan Witt being placed on waivers.


Moving Forward:


With Jesseu Joensuu, Matt Martin and other players in teams system, expect part this teams changes to come from within. Having written that there are not a lot of open spots heading into July 1st with five defenders already under NHL contract and many players at the point here signed (Gervais-Hunter-Bergenheim-Tambellini-Comeau) where it may be time for a change.

Make no mistake, this is now Garth Snow's organization and he is on the hot seat with his head coach. He has made a few excellent decisions on Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and even Dylan Reese. He needs more signings like this and a few creative trades for established veterans that upgrades the overall veteran talent pool. This gm has also had his share of clunkers with Bobby Hughes, Ben Walter, Petteri Nokelainen and Rob Hennigar along with Joel Rechlicz, albeit minor league players or the past general managers former picks but par for almost all organizations.

2009-10 was a missed opportunity and like the teams uneven play, he must receive an uneven grade more than anyone because he constructed the roster.

Finally, don't tell us the Coliseum is one reason why free agents won't sign here anymore when they took front-loaded contracts to play in dumps like Joe Louis Arena, Msg and Mellon Arena.

Tell the truth which is Charles Wang and most non-corporate owners cannot afford to front load a contract and pay someone twenty/thirty million dollars over the first three seasons of that kind of contract. It's not a knock on Wang or you.

Grade C

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Stefan Ridderwall Has To Be Signed by 6/15

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/25/2010 02:22:00 AM
Did a prospect update a while back, which included who needed to be signed this summer.

Add goaltender Stefan Ridderwall to the list.

With no formal announcement by the NHL, the league did come to terms on a new transfer agreement with Sweden on 3/26 and Finland earlier according to the Hockey News.

The agreement with Finland is reportedly similar.

Details:
The new agreement with the SEL runs through the 2011-12 season and according to the deal, the NHL will compensate Elitserien teams $225,000 for players signing with an NHL club.

Players can sign before June 15 and players who’ve been drafted into the NHL the same year can sign until Aug. 15.

Players under 22 who haven’t been drafted in the first round may return to the Elitserien if they can’t make the NHL club roster with hockeyexpression here reporting the Isles lose their rights to prospect goaltender Stefan Ridderwall if they do not sign contracts with him during the summer and include speculation Timr√• of SEL could be interested.

Prior to this the same outlet (4/11/10) also reported the Isles were waiting on the conclusion of Ridderwall's playoffs for the 2006 draft pick, who passed his twenty second birthday in March.

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