Highlights of GM Garth Snow's 6/15 Interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/15/2010 07:52:00 PM | Comment Here
New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow appeared on NHL Live 6/15 with an interview running around from 1:03 mark to 1:15 mark.

Updated: Direct link now posted (above) from Isles website.

Skipping the generic discussion about finals, general NHL discussion, and some of the blanket praise he had for all of his players/prospects.

Paraphrasing a bit, but mostly word for word from the general manager:

Doug Weight-In plans, close to a deal, discussed injuries, and leadership/experience, looking forward to him being in lineup.

Draft-Some things could unfold, will get really good player with fifth pick, discussed recent draft day history/strategy.

Calvin deHaan-Will be at Isles mini camp in July, almost made team last year, expected to be ready for full September camp and attend Canadian camp, but not participate. Also discussed his ability, to read ice, make first pass.

John Tavares-Special player and person who had great year, seamless transition to NHL from juniors.

Rick DiPietro/Goaltending-Will get better read when he steps on ice in summer and is training hard, this will play itself out in terms of how many games he can play.

Discussed Roloson being back, depth with Koskinen, Poulin in Bridgeport. Said he has to send qualifying offer to Nate Lawson, who talked about his save percentage, high level of play who could come up in a pinch and provide quality minutes.

Kyle Okposo-Great job in his transition at such a young age from college to pro, discussed his leadership.

Richard Park-Did not answer question about his return, but about how he can fill any role and will have spot in this league, praising his leadership/contribution whether it be here or somewhere else.

Jeff Tambellini-Will be decided after amateur meetings going into draft, not ready to define roster/limited contracts and roster spots but will make decision when time is right.

Aaron Ness-Will be at July prospect camp, good chance to gauge where he is in development, praised skating, upside, and will have discussions with him.

Lighthouse-Little information, not much to add with focus on hockey ops, working on draft.

NYIFC Comments:
Nothing ground-breaking from the gm, we now know Nate Lawson will be qualified and perhaps three goaltenders who should start and play fifty plus games could be in Bridgeport. I'm not a fan of bringing back Weight because they need a productive scoring veteran forward, but not my decision.

Seems like a no on Jeff Tambellini and Richard Park, but we saw Andy Hilbert enter UFA and resign here.

Not many roster spots available here folks, again we can talk cap and free agents but you need job openings. If Kohn, Reese or other prospects make this defense with Martinek that's about nine plus defenders, not even counting Brendan Witt.


Fill in the blanks from Bridgeport with Joensuu, Figren, Marcinko, Matt Martin, or a college graduated prospect like Rhett Rakhshani, plus who knows if another Matt Moulson or Trevor Smith breaks through from summer signings?

Cannot sign five UFA on 7/1 and go with thirty plus NHL contracts, does not work that way.

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Quick Hits/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/10/2010 03:05:00 AM | Comment Here
Congratulations to the Chicago BlackHawks for winning the 2010 Stanley Cup. Islander prospect David Toews brother wins the Conn Smythe, so it should be a fun summer in their home.

As a fan who grew up believing the Stanley cup had a permanent home here, it's always been strange to see other teams with what I felt was the New York Islanders Stanley Cup.

I think it's time the road trip for the cup end, next summer.

All due respect to any of the clubs but the parity in the NHL suggest any team that gets hot can win now, that can change very quickly too.

Yes folks, the Isles did have a top record against the West and beat all the top clubs in the East. No reason it could not have been our team tonight, but there are fans of about twenty eight other teams that can write the same thing.
My guess is things are going to get very busy on restricted free agent front, and perhaps the trade front for Garth Snow, with several other clubs now that finals have concluded.

First class job from Isles website with draft updates/future channel, plus access to prospect game at Coliseum in July.

For older generation no fan got to walk on that floor where Coliseum ice is, or see the lockeroom in the incredible days of this franchise. 50,000 people would have showed up long ago to stand where Nystrom, Morrow, Tonelli scored those memorable goals, or Bossy's 50 in 50.

Something no one today should ever take for granted.
Ironic on this day, after all those NYIFC blog entries that Charles Wang needed an Espn Zone (like Chicago) to down play countless front-office mistakes Disney will be closing several of those Espn-Zone facilities, including New York, Chicago and Washington.
Neil Best of Newsday wrote Wednesday night, after the finals concluded which was edited off Cablevision-owned Newsday mobile site within minutes:

Several markets in addition to Chicago and Philadelphia have seen big ratings increases, topped by an 80 percent rise over last year in Kansas City, which has been mentioned as a possible future home for a certain Long Island-based team.

NYIFC Comments:
Not very classy Mr Best, and completely unnecessary. So much for Editor Debbie Kreneck or sports editor Hank Winnicki's policy on coverage.

Two Florida markets had higher ratings than New York City for the NHL finals as well as several markets without an NHL outlet. Stick to selling Lebron/Garden renovations for your employer.

Of course, there is always researching the damage to ratings an Msg2 or Msg+2 game has vs an Msg or Msg+ game, so we get a true barometer of local hockey ratings?

Mr Best full comments are in the newsstand version of Thursday's paper.
I lost all respect, and very disappointed NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, selling Garden (building four years older than Coliseum) with that infomercial for LeBron James?

I cannot improve on Daily News Bob Raissman's comments, despite the sad DN sales campaign for Lebron James themselves, so let me get my NYC 2012 Olympic shirt out.
Now that we know the New York Islanders can relocate anywhere in NYC, I'm hoping developer Steven Roth gives Charles Wang a call NY Times because the NY Americans were the original hockey team at Msg, and like NJ football teams can share facilities.
I received two e-mails on Scott Rechler.

My personal take is what I wrote earlier, only Mr Rechler knows where he stands on the LH/Smg sublease/Marroitt control, or if he is still interested in any version of a LH project. I wrote about his recent purchase in Manhattan, which the NY Times 6/9 notes, it could be a sign he spent his LH money, it could also be completely unrelated.

Bottom line, Mr Rechler is entitled to do whatever he wants, and a vote on full project submitted last fall, he is not a hockey team owner.

Regardless of what happens, like Mr Wang he deserves everyone's thanks for all the meetings and the time/millions he invested to bring the LH vision to the public, and no doubt I am badly understating his effort along with Mr Wang.

My hopes is if there are negotiations or a scaled down LH project being worked on behind the scenes, they are done entirely with no media reports or comments from anyone involved. For the money Mr Wang-Rechler have spent, they should at least respect Mr Wang's request of not doing negotiations in the media.

I hope for the announcement of an agreement to construct a project that works for everyone involved.
To be honest, I only saw the picture in Chicago media of Chris Pronger Wednesday night after game six concluded, because I have not followed the finals that close.

The lack of class and professionalism from folks who are paid to set the example for fans is very disappointing, and not what credible media coverage should represent.

No shock the Flyer professional media fans, fired back.

On a media level this reminds me of same lack of professionalism across the board Pronger showed after his Chris Simon stomp, a few years ago.

Small item and bonus money/clauses in contracts are worded in a way that go beyond articles, however Windsor Star reported Calvin deHaan (12th overall) was signed at 4.5m vs Dmitri Kulikov (14th selection) at 3.975m. from the 2009 draft.

Depending on what you read a year ago, some publications projected deHaan lower.
I'm hoping Bridgeport has thirty four more " Guaranteed " home games to announce.
Finally, despite Garth Snow's comments, I'm still holding out small hope for a trip to China for training camp. Things change quickly in negotiations, and Capital Indoor Stadium absolutely should be acceptable as a facility.

Or not.

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General Manager Garth Snow, Trades and UFA

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/06/2010 02:19:00 PM | Comment Here
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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Islander Notables/Speculation

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/02/2010 02:48:00 PM | Comment Here
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)

Bergenheim (RFA)-Bailey-Hunter
-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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Tribute to New York's First Stanley Cup 5/24/80 Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/21/2010 09:32:00 PM | | | | | | | | Comment Here
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.

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.
NYIFC put up the Dynasty Header to celebrate, with a few pictures, will add a few more images for Monday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At this time, no news/update on prospects, Jared Spurgeon or Jyri Niemi, who must be signed by 6/1.
Per Michael Fornabaio/Ct Post confirmed Belfast Telegraph Jon Gleed has signed in Europe for 2010-11.
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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