6/6/10

General Manager Garth Snow, Trades and UFA

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/06/2010 02:19:00 PM
Many folks in media always write, x summer is the biggest one in years for x team to a point where it's over-used.

I do not believe this is the New York Islanders biggest summer in years, but like every summer it is important.

Having written this general manager Garth Snow, is in a position where he has some roster/limited cap flexibility, and frankly some players he can continue with or move on from, and is at a cross roads.

Let's also be clear with Alexi Yashin's big cap hit next summer (4.75m) and the chance of DiPietro again not playing at 4.5m, that's close to ten million in cap space already used. This does not include a possible buyout of Brendan Witt or possible bonus money to Tavares, Okposo, Bailey.

It is to a point where we need to see if this gm can pull off a transaction that improves this club next season in terms of winning hockey games, knowing full well the decisions on Mark Streit, Dwayne Roloson and Matt Moulson, along with Andrew MacDonald, and Jack Hillen were outstanding.

Fair to write, Ryan Jankowski's reflections about drafting high next summer speak for themselves about expectations next year.

I'm not writing about a huge trade where Garth Snow gives up his first draft pick, two other first rounders like the Ryan Smyth trade, but a trade where he can take advantage of a club that may need to make a trade with cap issues and fill a need.

I'm obviously not writing about Weight, Park, Jackman or the current UFA who most likely will go into 7/1 without a contract, but Sean Bergenheim, Jeff Tambellini, Rob Schremp, Trent Hunter, Frans Nielsen or Blake Comeau, which includes Bruno Gervais, and Brendan Witt.

This also extends to Jesse Joensuu, Robin Figren, Tomas Marcinko in the right circumstances.

If Ottawa wants to move on from Jason Spezza, as long as the price is not a first rounder or includes, Tavares, Bailey, Okposo, everyone listed above should be on the table with second rounders.

Sure, there are twenty other clubs that can write the exact same thing, and may have better players/packages to offer.

There is also no flat guarantee Dwayne Roloson will want to continue playing hockey approaching age forty one, regardless of Rick DiPietro's future playing status.

As for the spending, I have written it countless times.

Charles Wang and most NHL owners cannot afford a front-loaded contract because of the huge short-term financial price. That is the ONLY thing preventing a top free agent from signing with about twenty five plus clubs, including this one to go with cost of living here + taxes.

If Mr Wang were willing (not feasible) to give someone fifty million dollars w/twenty million paid the first two years, they would not care what the Coliseum looked like. Same as buildings that are frankly dumps like Msg, Pittsburgh, Detroit or Edmonton. Players saw what happened during last lockout, they want their money in hand, and that plays a huge part in where they sign.

No star player signs anywhere without a front-loaded contract now.

Even Jason Blake got some of his money front-loaded, this is why players who get the bulk of the money early are traded. Colorado paid the bulk of Ryan Smyth's contact, Cablevision the bulk of Scott Gomez deal.

It'a another area Garth Snow can look at, but that's usually a larger risk, those players are available because they have struggled and are not the right fit.

As for Garth Snow's team needs? Everything. Size, speed, offensive skill, scoring, and toughness have to continue be developed or brought in, with a dramatic upgrade in third period play, and special teams performance.

I have written in the past on Snow-Gordon working relationship. After the Boston game the coach was outspoken about the teams size on defense, the coach played Nate Thompson over several players, Garth Snow put him on waivers. Having written this we have no idea what happens behind closed doors in terms of how decisions are made.

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6/2/10

Islander Notables/Speculation

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/02/2010 02:48:00 PM
Updated:
A lot of twittering on 2009 draft picks, Anders Nilsson and Casey Cizikas, who reportedly have been extended contract offers. Links to Nilsson's comments on twitter.

Deadline for Nilsson to sign is 6/15, if he wants to play in North American next season. Retention rights for Nilsson (SEL) is age twenty two, Cizikas 6/1/11.

According to CBA rule 8.6, draft picks not in college/or countries with no transfer agreement at this time must receive a "bona-fide" contract offer after the first year for teams rights to continue. Michael Fornabaio, told me this was a formality and rarely mentioned.

Draft Central is posted on all three NYIFC blogs.
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Not much to write these days, however some random items.

Hopefully Charles Wang and/or Scott Rechler for now will be content to run the Nassau Coliseum per the new Smg agreement, and keep things quiet/out of the media where they cannot win, regardless of what they say.

In this never-ending game of what can Nassau/TOH do not to be held accountable for their decades-long failure, to renovate/replace their own building, ultimately they have to come up with a plan so the hockey team can be self-sustaining in the Nassau County/TOH facility.

Even Glendale for one year is willing to put up twenty five million to subsidize potential losses.

At the very least Nassau/TOH must present something to force Wang-Rechler to turn it down to hold themselves as blameless as possible. Still Wang-Rechler are entitled to a formal rejection per vote of the full LH project submitted.
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Regarding the upcoming draft, I have included links to major sites, rankings and will twitter what I can find. My preference is a forward which is far different, from best player available traditional strategy.

I could not give you any preference with one specific player due to my lack of knowledge on this draft class. I will not become a draft expert based on a few reviews.

What I do know is between deHaan, Hamonic, MacDonald, Katic, Kohn and several others (college) vs the lack of tangible (statistical) progress from higher selections like Figren, Marcinko, Joensuu, the need to add scoring, size and skill seems more urgent with the top pick this summer. I don't see the Isles paying Kirill Petrov or his Russian team to vacate his KHL contract, nor do I see the player or agent walking from guaranteed money vs possible AHL salary.

Petrov can come over and train in July, beyond that his agent has to settle things with his team in Russia, not the New York Islanders.

Anyone still prefer Luke Schenn or Nikita Filatov over a package of Hamonic/other selections-Bailey? Things change, but for now I like how this is turning out.
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Mostly indifferent on the finals, the team who's goaltending is least poor will win, but Hawks overall talent is superior to a very mediocre Flyer club.

Still cannot believe San Jose, after beating Wings, lost so handily.

Flyers are overdue for their losing streak and free-fall, my guess is goaltending is catching up with them because now both Leighton and Boucher are healthy. It seems like the Islanders, once they got both (or three goaltenders) healthy, too many options changed the chemistry.
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As for the apparently canceled trip to China, I see it as a big disappointment for a man who wanted to bring his team to his home country, after bringing kids to China and North America for several years. Once again Wang/Snow are not obligated to speak to the media, and like their counterparts, many rarely, if ever speak.

What an NHLPA spokesman claims vs what actually happened, can be two different things. To go beyond that is frankly worthless, because we don't know. My guess is if there is a standing agreement waiting in Saskatoon (and they are scheduled to play there anyway plus game in Quebec) that is what will make them a little money, and what will happen.

Sure with Wang/Rechler running Coliseum, Isles could play a bunch of pre-season games at Coliseum, but at a big loss. If enough ticket holders want to pay full fare on season tickets (as many other teams fans must do) for those games, then no doubt Wang would play Coliseum home preseason games.

What Wang-Rechler cannot do is hold free preseason games at the Coliseum, that's why games go out of town for many NHL clubs, especially in hockey's most invisible market that cannot compete with baseball or New Jersey football.
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From what I understood per new SEL transfer agreement, David Ullstrom did not have to be signed until his 22nd birthday (Stefan Ridderwall), however this organization needs all the size they can add to the depth chart.

Nothing announced if Jared Spurgeon has been signed, if not his draft rights to the Islanders expire.
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I have been updating prospect blog with signings/departures. Only fifty NHL contracts can be signed.

Beyond draft, next big date is qualifying offers, which means Tambellini, Bergenheim, Kohn, Nate Lawson.

Garth Snow should not sign any of his pending UFA heading into 7/1. Not many available spots if you go by current depth chart, including RFA. (less Tambellini)

Moulson(RFA)-Tavares-Okposo
Bergenheim (RFA)-Bailey-Hunter
Comeau-Nielsen-
-Schremp (RFA)-

Gillies (AHL) several AHL prospects.

Gervais, MacDonald, Streit, Martinek, Hillen, and Brendan Witt all signed.
Kohn RFA, Dylan Reese RFA.

When was the last time, significant trades happened at draft?

Don't count on answers in that area for any NHL club.











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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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