7/5/10

No Monday Announcement on Kovalchuk, Moulson to Arbitration

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/05/2010 08:23:00 PM
Condolences to the entire NHL family, on the loss of Bob Probert, who passed away Monday at the age of 45.
**********************************************
Ilya Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman has announced on his twitter page, his clients choices have been narrowed down, details to be finalized but no announcement Monday night.

Mr Grossman, earlier wrote, Ilya Kovalchuk looking to make decision on his future today, meaning 7/5.

NYIFC Comments:
Between the very shoddy NY Post media staff, who did not respect it's readers enough to report they changed a headline of a confirmed signing with New Jersey, and now Mr Grossman's contradictions, it has not been a good day.

Too much misleading or incorrect, information out there across the board on these negotiations.
************************************
Matt Moulson apparently will take the club to arbitration, with today the filing deadline, with a hearing date posted on 7/6. As of this time the other Islander RFA, are unknown, but by age perhaps are not eligible yet.


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Questionable Media Dominate New York Islander Hockey Coverage

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/05/2010 01:50:00 AM
The New York Islanders have another problem in signing free agents, it's not just the money, the facility, or the teams lease because most contracts don't run more than five years.

Unless Ed Mangano agrees to let the team move, even walking away from the sub-lease will not free the club before 2015 without Nassau approval.

I will get ahead of myself and submit Ed Mangano and Kate Murray (who could not correctly remember Islanders Stanley Cups) cannot even spell the word Kovalchuk.

If he won the Stanley Cup in 2010-11, scored a hundred goals, and brought the Cup to Nassau and TOH, it would not mean a thing for the LH, those suggesting it would are kidding themselves or have a very short memory.

Our team has a much bigger problem right now, it's an old story, the perception game the media plays, complete with agenda's that influence outside media, potential free agents, and the fans.

This is not really being written in regards to Ilya Kovalchuk, he played here long enough for the Devils, he experienced what will happen already in terms of limited/negative hockey media.

The Devils, at least have the Newark Star-Ledger, some excellent hockey writes, and the team moved to it's mostly, Newark-financed arena.

No US based franchise has the problem that is the New York Islanders media in 2010-11, the coverage even back as an expansion team was far superior.

Virtually nothing positive, going negative as possible at every opportunity, lack of player features, the Long-Island label slapped on everything, which the team itself has badly misplayed through several ownerships that has provided the dwindling Manhattan hockey media a very easy out to save on coverage.

Anyone think the Washington Capitals in Landover for thirty years, were ever referred to as Landover Caps? Or the Detroit Pistons at Palace of Auburn Hills, ever written up as the Auburn Hills Pistons?

It's 34.2 miles from Auburn Hills to Joe Louis Arena in Michigan for those curious.

Think the Detroit Free Press/News is going to slap an Auburn Hills label on Pistons in terms of their perception, if or Wings relocate there and share that building?

Maybe in 80's when 3,000 people were lining up to win a car to attend games, not today, even with Wings playoff attendance issues.

Of course, we all know the comical media and league standards involving the two New Jersey football teams, who shared the same parking lot with the Devils and Nets for decades.

It's a nice little media fan club with absolutely no one on the New York Islanders side, not in Newsday or in the Manhattan papers.

Why would anyone want to come to a media, that will put a negative slant on practically anything because it's not a team that publication needs to sell in a positive light for their financial bottom line?

If a player on the New York Islanders does well then the game becomes, if they played in a different market, we have seen a career of this done to Martin Brodeur.

Meanwhile the same people asking these questions in print, control the game and create the perception in the first place.

This is the journalism landscape (insert free agent) will face here if he does sign.

If someone is up for the MVP or a league award, don't think for a second this is not a huge problem in negotiations because other players can have that bonus put in contract, expecting a fair shake in voting from writers, not here.

I dislike bringing attention even to professional media people with zero credibility in terms of being honest, who will write with virtually no recollection of past articles.

I'm only doing it now to once again demonstrate a clear double-standard/agenda or bias in reporting, whatever you want to call it because this is not honest journalism, and regardless of what team you are a fan of, deserve better.

NY Post: Larry Brooks for his 7/4 column claims maybe Kovalchuk is an attempt by Islanders to get free publicity/good will among the battered fan base, and makes it about the LH which is silly because Wang spend 130m dollars on UFA a decade ago, and was told he could not get a renovation in 2002 from Nassau.

Mr Brooks also writes today:
It would be different, if Kovalchuk goes to the Island, where he's likely to be lost even while commanding the spotlight.

Meanwhile on 1/14 he wrote something entirely different that acquiring Kovalchuk would give the Islanders a huge boost on the ice in their effort to make the playoffs, it would give them a marquee box office attraction and a presence in New York sports they currently do not have.

To write one thing on 1/14, then something entirely different on 7/4 is not credible journalism, it indicates an agenda beyond hockey, or someone doing a brutal job at the very least.

Meanwhile at Newsday we have the only man in North America telling the public to trust Glen Sather, who's paper sells a dump like Msg.

In the end, it's up to you to believe what you read.

I can only write for myself, I do not want positive spin, only fair, reasonable and consistent coverage based on how teams do and players perform.

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7/3/10

Snow Fires Back At Coliseum Critics In Negotiations....More Kovalchuk

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/03/2010 03:32:00 PM
CBC: Elliotte Friedman does an article with comments from Paul Martin's agent, Ben Hankinson on his negotiations with GM Garth Snow.

Snow's confirmation on contacting Kovalchuk's agent, even forced the NY Daily News to actually have Peter Botte write a July article on a baseball Saturday which is a bigger sidebar than Kovalchuk.

NYIFC Comments:
So CBC had more information than Cablevision-Newsday? No shock there.

Am I shocked the Islanders were the team in negotiations for Kovalchuk?

This may be hard to believe, but not at all.

A lot of reports out of nowhere surfaced the Islanders were interested in him before he was traded from Atlanta back in February and I remembered them. It was obvious they needed veteran scoring, and have the cap space.

Sadly, Cablevision/Newsday is too busy selling 100m-max contract signings to injured basketball players today with them even paying the insurance here the usual very negative Devil beatwriter, Mark Everson got in some digs at the New York Islanders.

Ilya Kovalchuk signing or not, Snow and the Islanders are getting their money's worth in pr (some not good) and it's great to see the former outspoken player, who is now the clubs general manager surface once in a while.

Doug Weight is also doing some recruiting for free agents.

Snow is right, the bench is the same in all thirty arena, unless Paul Martin is the backup goaltender, he's not going to the concession stands or sitting with the crowd during the game.

That's what he needed to say three years ago, he's learning.

What do I think about a possible ten million contract over ten years?

Under the condition, these terms were actually offered per legitimate NHL media, which Snow did not confirm.

It kind of changes the history of not winning lottery for him a decade ago, when Isles were favored, and set into motion what happened afterward because he likely would have gotten Alexei Yashin's contract back then at the time, and there never would have been a trade with that pick.

Lot of articles Mike Milbury was furious they lost that lottery for Kovalchuk and forced him to change plans entirely.

Signing Kovalchuk will help New York local hockey in terms of a Devil-New York rivalry, Lou Lamoriello will not be thrilled with having lost his biggest trade ever to a local team, future games will be circled in big bold letters from here on with Martin Brodeur starting every one of them.

Other Thoughts:
* That it may well be Charles Wang's last stand to get the old generation of Islander fans to pay attention to his hockey team, under his watch and fill the seats, with no local media help regardless of what happens on ice with or without Kovalchuk.

* The few Ranger fans in the limited print media will likely kill the signing regardless of whether it happens, that's not relevant.

* Ten years at ten million is the only way Charles Wang can pay him because it's too much money for him to lose yearly in a front-loaded contract, unless he wants to approach thirty million in losses next season.

* Mr Wang likely will not own the Islanders for another decade into his mid-late seventies, so it would not be his money paying him at the end of the contract.

* A star player can only increase teams value, and interest (locally) if the time comes he feels he has to sell.

* Don't think it makes a LH difference at all. Nassau/TOH have never proven themselves big New York Islander fans attending games or showing much pride in organization, win or lose. Wang after 2002 got a proclamation from Tom Suozzi, and was told they can not afford to do anything with the Coliseum.

* If Leetch, Holik and all those players can make nine million dollars a year almost a decade ago, to watch Yashin, Kvasha make the playoffs, why can't Ilya Kovalchuk make ten million again, almost a decade later?

* It will not improve the local coverage one bit, as we saw with Devils or Rangers, it's a baseball town packed with superstars already.

Bottom line, he's not costing them a first round pick, he will not cost them a potential franchise defender this time (that no one could keep in UFA) and there is no Bill Muckalt to lose.

If Kovalchuk wants to sign for ten million over ten years here, and it is an accurate offer, if the New York Islanders want to add him to a payroll below the cap floor, go for it.

If the Islanders cannot/will not sign him, no problem.

Use the money and move on to the next free agent. Now that they feel they need to address offense and are willing to spend, no turning back.

Funny how two teams supposedly ready to throw the franchise keys to the league are now making offers on Kovalchuk, and the one trying to keep him did not fill the seats with him in a new building even come playoff time, knowing well in advance they were making the playoffs.

We do love our infamous "sources" and their so-called claims, even the professional print media is using them more and more.

Nothing negative to write about the Los Angeles Kings, they have struggled for a good decade plus on the ice before finally improving last season.

I don't know what will happen, if he signs here good, if he signs elsewhere good luck to him.

I appreciate the New York Islanders trying (making inquiries) to bring in a franchise talent that cost them nothing on trade market.

Finally, I would like to apologize to my twitter followers for asking some tough but fair and mostly sports-related question of Newsday's Arthur Staple. My other questions were on reporting double-standards between teams covered in Newsday.

I was trying to get us some fair and reasonable answers, it was obviously a waste of our time and space on NYIFC twitter to do so.


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Kovalchuk and Goodnight

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/03/2010 12:50:00 AM
Updated 12:09 am EST:
Los Angeles Times: Helen Elliott reports, the infamous insider sources claim the Islanders could be close to finalizing a deal with Ilya Kovalchuk.

NYIFC Comments:
Garth Snow confirmed he's inquiring/in on Ilya Kovalchuk and doing what he does with other free agents, so I'll provide a few quick thoughts, and call it a night/early morning after two days of endless blogging & twittering.

The sources/claims of anything mean absolutely nothing without a confirmed signing.

Maybe Kovalchuk is in a place where it's daytime and things will continue through the night.

It's nice the Islanders are inquiring/interested, but until he is actually signed this can work a lot of ways, pr and negotiation wise for both sides.

From the Isles side, that the message is out they will try to spend, as Snow has repeatedly said he could, whether he lands Kovalchuk or not.

Both the owner and gm look good for making the effort, if he passes on huge money, it's not the first team he reportedly turned down.

It also means if Snow fails to sign Kovalchuk, this move indicates Snow has to be financially committed right now to improving their scoring for next season. This move indicates he is not satisfied with his scoring, regardless of roster depth in previous entry.

From Kovalchuk/agent's side, they could well be using Isles to get final/best offers from other teams, they would be foolish not to.

Both sides play these games in negotiations.

We'll see.



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7/2/10

Islander Notables on Day Two of Free Agency

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/02/2010 09:51:00 PM
You want to pay a Mark Eaton, Anton Volchenkov (at five million) or bring back Andy Sutton so Travis Hamonic or Calvin deHaan, have no shot to make this team out of camp?

I do not.
NYIFC Entry 6/27/10

Which is why amateur fan bloggers, like myself are not NHL general managers.

I cannot go against what I wrote only a few days ago, just because the Islanders signed Mark Eaton for two years today.

I hope I turn out to be wrong.

Of course, I can understand why these signings were made.

Eaton gives me the impression (right or wrong) of someone who will never be better than the player he has been in Pittsburgh, just like many players who are very good with one club (Derek Morris/Czerkawski) and seemingly out of place anywhere else.

I thought he was older, so that is a positive.

The Islanders absolutely needed some size, and got it from a championship level team with a player familiar with this division. He has been more durable than Andy Sutton recently, but this was not a contest between them because I did not want Sutton back either, who I thought did a very good job here, when healthy.

On the defensive front Eaton is a twenty minute player, who is steady, and makes the safe/smart play. With the new rules on head-shots the first thing I thought of was Sutton's high hits, and new intent rules. I don't know what Eaton brings in this department.

We'll see.

As for the rest of the defense, the group is bigger. Adding Milan Jurcina, who took less money than he made in Washington or Columbus. He also brings skill, but inconsistency, regardless of whether Scott Gordon has worked with him.

The way I see things, you cannot add Hamonic plus deHaan both in the same year, so one had to be added this year, the other, the next.

At least if stated plan is to make the playoffs now.

There is already someone who played over twenty five minutes a game who will start his first full season here in Andrew MacDonald, plus perhaps Dustin Kohn/Dylan Reese, and Jack Hillen is very young.

The depth chart got filled quickly pending some trades.

Streit-Martinek-Gervais-MacDonald-Hillen-Jurcina-Eaton
Kohn-Reese-Katic-Klementyev-Tony DeHart-Witt-Wotton plus.

In my viewpoint they needed to a spot open for Hamonic.

If things stand as is there is no room for some very talented prospects, and obviously Hamonic is no lightweight in the hitting department, plus has an offensive upside.

That's what Garth Snow said he needed, some size with some offensive upside, if he could not sign a player who does both in free agency, or a trade, he needs to promote it from within.

I really do not have much to write about PA Parenteau, he got the same one-way contract as a year ago, but has some grit/scoring, and may well win a job here.

If he goes to Bridgeport, he has to clear waivers. If he plays here as a right wing there goes the spot with Hunter-Okposo-Weight on right side, pending a trade of Hunter.

I know absolutely nothing about Konopka beyond what I read the last few hours. He is no AHL callup, but a full time NHL player, obviously he has no problem dropping the gloves.

If he can win some faceoffs/kill penalties/fights by appointment plus respond to hits on Tavares, Bailey or Okposo, that's good because the division no doubt got tougher with some signings, and the Isles needed another player in that department.

Still, he's likely not going to skate often with Tavares/Okposo, they still have to fight their own battles.

Michael Fornabaio reported he saw an article Snow was outbid by Tampa for him two years ago, plus he got a two year contract from Tampa, but that was a very short sighted ownership during their short tenure.

Once again, the problem is roster spots look locked tight on paper, unless the gm has a trade or two.

Garth Snow's scoring is still very suspect, that is a very small/inexperienced center spot,still with no spot available for Josh Bailey in his natural/drafted position.

Updated Forward Depth Chart:
Moulson-Tavares-Okposo
Bailey-Schremp-Hunter
Comeau-Nielsen-Parenteau
Gillies-Konopka-Weight

Martin, Joensuu, Figren, Petrov, Kabanov, Niederreiter, Marcinko,Rakhshani, DiBenedetto, Ullstrom, and a lot of players I likely missed.

Trevor Smith/Greg Mauldin signed with Anaheim and Colorado Friday.

We'll see what the weekend brings, if anything.

Truco Daily Sports: New York Islander Hall of Famer, Denis Potvin, and current defender Andrew MacDonald were in Annapolis Valley to speak at a fund-raising banquet for the Acadia Axemen hockey club.

NYIFC Comments:
Good article on Potvin and MacDonald.

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NYIFC TWITTER UPDATES 7/2 FREE AGENCY LIVE

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/02/2010 11:23:00 AM

Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/02/2010 11:04:00 AM
First of all, best of luck to Tim Jackman, Martin Biron, and Jeff Tambellini along with Jeremy Reich, reviewing how they played here at this time is not important.

No doubt the list of soon to be former Islanders will be increasing.

Day two will also be in twitter format here, which began with Nate Lawson resigning a one-year, two-way contract with the Islanders.

Vanouver Province: Has Jeff Tambellini's comments, who received the league minimum, on a two-way contract to return to Vancouver, who made a very fair point about New York media hockey coverage.

Vancouver Province: Dan Hamhuis direct comments on negotiations with other teams.

"Philly and Pittsburgh were quite a bit lower on our radar," said Hamhuis. "A few last-minute calls came in that raised our eyebrows, but by that time we were pretty secure."

Newark Star Ledger: Had Paul Martin's comments on offers he received, and his apparent problems with the Devils.

NYIFC Comments:
If Garth Snow was targeting defense, as he reportedly said, he failed in day one to address those needs. Only he knows what his specific offers were or how contract offers he made were structured in terms of value.

Snow at least of this writing has not gone to the media, and made public what the Islanders offered, but some professional media took the usual lazy way out.

Katie Strang failed to report what specific offers the Islanders made vs other teams, she just went with stock answers (off unnamed sources) that the Isles offered more, and quickly turned speculation to the Coliseum discussion which is always the easy way out for a writer with no connections, who to date has not gotten one word of comment (or a no comment) from the general manager about a player who had been here since 2002, not being qualified.

Obviously her NHL connections are weak, either she is not allowed to discuss the Islanders on other media outlets by her employer or not invited/interested in doing so.

That's not good for business folks, at least the New York Islanders business.

This was not a great class of UFA defenders, Dan Hamhuis would not sign with Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, Paul Martin left the Devils, and Sergei Gonchar wanted his extra year at five million more than he wanted to stay in Pittsburgh. Anton Volchenko is a nice defender, but six years with some of the wear on him is no bargain.

Phoenix lost a solid defender to Pittsburgh, they also overpaid big for Derek Morris, who's NHL stops other than Phoenix were a disaster.

Did I want Jordan Leopold, to sign here as his fifth team since 2007-08? No.

Having written this all those teams were able to import some replacements in lateral moves, or add more than one defender as the Flyers and Pens did.

Garth Snow has not to this point, he said he wanted to.

From here the risk factor only increases with more suspect players left in UFA on the backline or he enters the trade market to get what he is looking for in this department.

We're already close to Andy Sutton territory vs many of the remaining UFA, or just giving deHaan-Harmonic or someone else a spot, if they show they can handle it.

So Darryl Sutter really said all those things about Jokinen last year, played him knowing he was going to be traded, put the player he got back on waivers after taking his contract, then brought back Jokinen, and gave Alex Tanguay even more money then he received a year ago before he had a terrible season in Tampa Bay?

Must be nice to have fans in the Calgary media as beat writers, who will eventually wrap themselves up in the teams logo, and sell the product to the public because the newspaper needs the advertising.

Tampa did a first class job on Martin St Louis's extension, and getting a fairly solid goaltender, plus unloading an underachiever in Andrej Meszaros for a second.

Cue Andrej Meszaros coming here as the Flyers start unloading.

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6/30/10

NYIFC TWITTER UPDATES 7/1 FREE AGENCY LIVE

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/30/2010 08:42:00 PM

One Final Entry On Front-Loaded Contracts

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/30/2010 03:15:00 PM
I have done this blog entry several times the last few years, I don't like writing it, however someone has to.

This is usually when we start reading free agents won's sign with New York, the Coliseum is this and that.

It's complete non-sense.

The media fans of other teams don't write that about their own buildings or teams because it's bad for business, the local papers that need the clubs advertising dollars, who need a good relationship with the teams turn into designated salesman in too many instances.

You think it helps the Detroit News/Free Press to write Joe Louis Arena is a dump when Little Caesars Pizza advertises Red Wing hockey in their newspapers, and owns the Detroit Tigers?

Example: Look at the Manhattan papers selling the laughingstock Knicks and a building that is as big a dump as the Coliseum.

Of course it's the exact opposite here, the local paper (even before owned by another NHL franchise) could care less about the New York Islanders and their print media writers are not fans, but people on assignment.

Garth Snow a few years ago said the Coliseum was one thing brought up in some negotiations, and the media has run with it ever since. His job then as now is to sell the LightHouse for his boss when required, but that was a mistake on his part at the time, which was overblown.

Greg Logan at the time was also too busy selling Msg/Cablevision to bother reporting whether the Isles offered Chris Drury, the same front loaded contract Msg/Cablevision offered or what kind of contract Ryan Smyth was offered by Charles Wang vs Colorado.

We all found out later on, Smyth's deal was front loaded.

The age of the Nassau Coliseum is not the real issue (compared to dumps like Detroit, Edmonton, formerly Pittsburgh/Meadowlands and of course Msg which will become the league's oldest building next season) but the front-loaded contracts so players can control their money themselves, as opposed to later when escrow, or a new CBA/lockout could take some of it from them.

Detroit, a franchise that had to give away cars before New York owned the Stanley Cup in the eighties, became a big draw by spending close to eighty million dollars a year pre lockout, before handing out tons of long-term front-loaded deals.

Marian Hossa (a nine million dollar one year contract in Detroit), Duncan Keith, Huet, Campbell, and the front-loaded deals is why these players selected Chicago, a franchise that had three thousand season ticket holders a few years ago.

Wang/most non-corporate owners cannot afford that kind of huge, short-term loss, this is biggest reason star UFA do not sign here.

The rhetoric of winning or x franchises history sounds nice for the press conference, the writers/fans in the professional media selling tickets for those teams indirectly with their articles, but for many when all things are even (family) it comes down to salary.

Billion dollar corporations that own hockey teams can afford to take a twenty million dollar hit the first two years of one contract, or lose money on hockey operations for a few years to afford such a contract, Charles Wang and many other owners cannot.

This is also why you see a Scott Gomez, Ryan Smyth or others moved after a few seasons. The front-loaded portions of the contracts have been paid out. The player may have struggled, but that contract is now less of a financial risk, so they can be traded hoping their former team was just the wrong fit for them.

Someone signs in New York, they also pay much more in taxes and cost of living. No big hockey endorsement money available in baseball/NJ football's biggest city.

I'm not signing sad songs here for Alexei Yashin, but look at how much money he lost in his contract, which was one of the huge pre lockout contracts not front loaded?

Twenty four percent of his contract, a full-year's pay lost, 1/3 of his contract lost in a buyout, paid out over double the time.

Players and agents don't want any chance of their clients losing their money, so it's front-loaded or no deal.

Even Jason Blake received a front-loaded contract with Toronto, as soon as he got a large percentage of his money, he was traded.

I suppose it's easy for us to ask Charles Wang to lose even more money starting Thursday by front-loading some contracts, however it's not our money and not realistic.

It's also not realistic for most non-corporate teams, even those in new buildings where they make all revenue.

Bottom line, without a front-loaded contract, star players, and even most upper tier players don't sign anywhere anymore.


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6/29/10

Bergenheim, Tambellini, Bentivoglio & Hughes Not Qualified

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/29/2010 07:48:00 AM
Islanders website: Reported the team tendered qualifying offers to Matt Moulson, Rob Schremp, Dustin Kohn, Dylan Reese and Nathan Lawson, but not Sean Bergenheim or Jeff Tambellini.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Sean Bentivoglio was also not tendered a qualifying offer, after being told by the club he would be, so he is now a free agent as well.

Bobby Hughes, also was not tendered a qualifying offer.

2004 First Round selection, Petteri Nokelainen was placed on waivers, who does have a contract with Phoenix.

NYIFC Comments:
To be fair this is a trend we are seeing more and more around the NHL, in a league with a salary cap, however the Islanders are not up against the cap.

Having written this a tough day for those who have seen something special from Sean Bergenheim since he was signed out of the WJC. Bergenheim, made his debut with Steve Stirling's Islanders before the lockout. His hustle, speed, offensive ability and an edge to his game was something which stood out, I felt would develop and become a productive NHL player.

We can talk about the NHL lockout or his holdout or two years lost, but he came back and received more than a fair chance.

In 2008-09 it seemed Bergenheim and Scott Gordon had hit a wall, and reports were things could have gone either way. He started producing and both were finally on the same page with things looking good going into 2009-10.

Whether it be injuries or something else when Bergenheim got chances on the top lines (on a club without a veteran top line) last season his play was uneven and at times struggled, beyond the aggressive penalties.

Absolutely, he has not been the most durable player.

Bottom line, a year ago he was worried about his production and was told not to worry about numbers, in print by Scott Gordon at the time. Reality was the numbers were not there, and by the end of last season he was back in the same fourth line he began with.

I thought a trade was coming involving him, and he had some value, only management knows if they tried to include him in a deal.

I do think he will find the right situation on another NHL team. There is also a long shot he could be signed here again as an UFA, however with left wing depth in the organization, I would not count on it.
***********************************************
As for Jeff Tambellini, I absolutely felt he did not get a fair chance from Scott Gordon, and Ted Nolan before that. He has hands, offensive skills, skating skills that are not present on the current roster.

Forgetting his numbers he did get to the net and played physical, he deserved much better than to sit for weeks on end without playing, and he took a very low contract for the last years to receive a chance.

Another NHL team with some size and NHL veterans with skill, likely do take a chance but from there it's up to him to earn a full-time spot.
************************************************
Overall the Islanders on paper hopefully now get a little bigger going into next season with these decisions. In the end, how do you justify using a second rounder on Jesse Joensuu, paying him, then after having him play 140+ games, not give him a real chance at earning an NHL spot?

I'm not sure if these decisions slide Blake Comeau back to the left wing, which is the spot he had played most of his first two seasons at.

******************************************
Times Transcript: Moncton Wildcats head coach, Danny Flynn says Kirill Kabanov will be protected by the team in Tuesday 6/29 CHL Import Draft, and are having discussions about having him again play for the Wildcats next season, if he does not make the NHL.

NYIFC Comments:
Consider this like Tavares, deHaan, Bailey and other past picks in terms of where he can play, and he first has to earn an NHL contract.

Watertown Daily Times: Cap Carey has more from Isles seventh rounder, Cody Rosen, who thought the call from Garth Snow was a prank from a friend, before his father read NYIFC, his coach at Clarkson, also was surprised at the Isles selection, and comments.

NYIFC Comments:
Kidding about the NYIFC part, but it would have been priceless to listen to the call between Snow trying to convince Rosen, who he was, and that he was selected.

Still working on something/somewhere from deHart, who is the only pick, who has not had a newspaper comment somewhere.

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6/28/10

Islander News Articles 6/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/28/2010 09:20:00 AM
Espn.com: Joe McDonald has an in-depth conversation with Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon, regarding John Tavares about his first season in the NHL.

NYIFC Comments:
The best commentary from Scott Gordon since he was hired as he goes through the details of how the staff worked with Tavares during the 2009-10 season.

If you read one article about Tavares-Gordon this is the one. Great insights from the coach on how he will forget that Tavares is nineteen, what happened when Tavares struggled, and looking ahead for the 2009 first round selection.

Kingston Whig Standard: Mike Koreen has the first comments from seventh round selection, goaltender, Cody Rosen on being selected by New York with the club's final pick in the draft, and his conversations with general manager, Garth Snow.

Moncton Telegraph: Neil Hodge has some quotes from Wildcats, head coach Danny Flynn, on Brandon Gormley (winner of Michael Bossy Trophy this past season as the QMJHL's top professional prospect) while the writer gives some background on Kirill Kabanov.

Times and Transcript: Chris Johnston has many repeat comments from Kabanov's press conference Saturday.

Sault St Marie Evening News: Rob Roos reports on Doug Weight being inducted into the Lake Superior Athletic Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night, during a banquet at the LSSU Arts Center, as he discusses his injury status, how it hampered him a year ago, and returning to the Islanders as captain in 2010-11.

Wilon Patch: Bob Birge reports on the Danbury Whalers' franchise that will debut in the new Federal League this fall, with Sound Tiger assistant, Pat Bingham's comments.

**********************************************
The free agency section has been created, the twitter box will be back as a blog entry around 5pm, as full time coverage for the draft weekend comes to an end at NYIFC.

Prospect blog now has all 2010 draft picks, draft links moved to prospect section of this page.






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6/27/10

FIRST & LAST WORDS ON UFA-RFA FOR 7/1

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/27/2010 07:32:00 PM
I seem to write this every summer, but it absolutely applies when 7/1 begins, if you want to add, you have to subtract.

For those expecting five UFA to be signed on 7/1, that's not realistic because of the front-loaded contracts required, and the roster depth currently in place.

Many of the possible replacements for Jon Sim, Richard Park, Tim Jackman and Freddy Meyer, have already played here.

I would expect all of last years Islanders will be qualified aside from Jeff Tambellini.

Updated 6/29:
Add Bergenheim to list of not qualified.

Bottom line, depth chart does lie, not many spots available.

You want to make the case, it's time to move Nielsen, Hunter Comeau, Martinek, or Bruno Gervais, fair enough.

But you cannot sign their replacements first.

If they follow same strategy with Niederreiter as Bailey or Tavares, and bring him directly into the NHL that extra right wing spot is locked.

Depth Chart

Forwards:
Moulson-Tavares-Okposo
Comeau-Bailey-Hunter
xxxxxx-Nielsen-xxxxxx
xxxxxx-Schremp-Weight (if agreement in principal becomes contract)

Depth:
Martin, Gillies, Joensuu, Figren, Marcinko, Rakhshani, Petrov, Kabanov, Niederreiter, Rechlicz, Trevor Smith, David Ullstrom. (did I miss anyone?)

Defenders:
Streit-Martinek
MacDonald-Hillen
Gervais-xxxxxxx

Depth:
Katic, Kohn, Reese, deHaan, Harmonic, Witt, Klementyev, Flood, DeHart, Wotton.
Ness-Donovan-Kessel.

Dustin Kohn requires a one-way contract to retain his rights, he's a 2nd round pick.

Goaltenders:
Roloson-DiPietro
Koskinen-Poulin-Lawson

Hopefully a few folks read this and understand five big dollar UFA are not being signed here (unless there are trades first) because there is no place for them, and it has nothing to do with money (even front-loaded) or the age of the Coliseum.

If they want to add from outside they have to subtract, if Garth Snow is going to make a trade so he can add or sign someone, this week is the time he likely has to do so.

Absolutely his roster has to get bigger, with more speed and production, but that may come down to some very tough choices or he does it from within.

They did not sign all these prospects, not to give them a real chance to play here, players like Figren, Marcinko, Joensuu were high selections.

You want to pay a Mark Eaton, Anton Volchenkov (at five million) or bring back Andy Sutton so Travis Harmonic or Calvin deHaan, have no shot to make this team out of camp?

I do not.

How about the next Guerin, Satan so Niederreiter, or one of the players listed above have no shot?

Only spots that should be made for veterans are ones who can put the puck in the net, and bring skills/size/speed lacking.

I moved the draft section down the page, updated the prospect blog, and created an UFA section. At this time, I'm not sure I will be blogging on 7/1 or even using twitter.

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Islander News Articles 6/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/27/2010 11:43:00 AM
One of my favorite days of the year.

Today/tomorrow some professional media needing page views must do an eye-candy, winners/losers draft article for something it could take five to ten years to determine, about kids most know absolutely nothing about, and in most cases likely never even saw them play one minute of hockey in person.

The writers who do these kind of articles are the only real losers, take the day off or just go make some calls, provide some background information on these young players because that's what winners do with their space for the fans.

Winners/Losers articles are for players you see play each game, and for trades/upcoming UFA, not this, and many of them turn out wrong.

But this is done now because it's necessary so some can get their page views.

The CHL Import Draft is Tuesday at 9am, but most of the Islander current selections are committed to school. It could be a possibility Kirill Kabanov's CHL rights are moved here to another team.

AP: Recaps many of the trades made during the weekend.

NY Daily News: Ranger beatwriter Michael Obernaure actually had to use his Ranger blog to to discuss, Kirill Kabanov, giving us some stories from former Islander, Gordie Clark, about the Isles pick.

NYIFC Comments:
Imagine if Peter Botte was sent, given a full-time New York Islander blog, and the proper space each day to cover the team? Always great listening to the newly drafted players correctly call our team, New York.

In the comedy department, Larry Brooks writes the Hall Of Fame selection process is tainted by personal agendas and long-standing grudges because Pat Burns was not selected, adding they have no accountability, credibility, or heart.

NYIC Comments:
Kind of like Mr Brooks and the writers, who constantly snubs players, coaches, or league executives because of long-standing grudges in the many things they control the voting for?

Make no mistake, I have a lot of respect for Pat Burns and what he's going through is beyond terrible. His hockey record, for me, does not indicate he should be inducted the first time around as a coach.

Oh yes, the same 2003 Devils that won the Stanley Cup under Pat Burns, that Mr Brooks writes is comparatively weak, gave the MVP to the goalie from the losing Ducks team that year, snubbing Martin Brodeur.

After three articles selling Rangers (likely written only to keep the Post from making him go cover Yankees-Dodger baseball as an extra) he devoted one Kabanov quote, to the Islander draft Sunday.

Montreal Gazette via Edmonton Journal: Jim Matheson repeats many of Kirill Kabanov's comments from Saturday, then surprisingly claims the general consensus is the Islanders sold junior hotshot John Tavares to their fans so he had to be selected him when they had second thoughts before the draft and seriously considered taking Matt Duchene instead, also that Duchene looks like a more well-rounded center with the Colorado Avalanche.

NYIFC Comments:
Mr Mathewson usually seems to have it in for the Islanders in his shock-jock column and today was no different. I have no doubt if Kabanov was drafted by Edmonton, he would not have made claims about where anyone supposedly slinked, because his job as an Edmonton Oilers salesman is to sell the home team, that just fired/retired it's head coach.

As for John Tavares vs Matt Duchene, the Islanders did not have to sell anything to anyone, because this was done by Canadian media for years.

I have no doubt a year from now if Tyler Seguin is doing better than Taylor Hall, considering the disparity in talent between Edmonton and Boston, Mr Mathewson will be among the first to point out that Seqiun's supporting cast is why he seems the more well-rounded player vs the new home-town media ticket for the Edmonton Journal.

I hope Mr Mathewson understands there was a talent disparity between Colorado and New York last season from day one, just as there is in Tampa Bay who had LeCavalier, StLouis, and others to mentor Steven Stamkos the year before.

Make no mistake, Matt Duchene is an outstanding your talent, as is Taylor Hall, and Tyler Sequin, but to claim after a single season anyone is more well-rounded than the other and what Islander management was doing last summer is a poor job.

As for Islander management, Edmonton is paying Robert Nilsson and Ryan O'Marra.

Fox Sports: Reports a record twenty two players out of high school were drafted which is a new record, and has a few words from Islander draft pick, Ben Nelson, about his selection.

NYIFC Comments:
It's great this many high school prospects were drafted. Having written this between the salary cap, cost of employing scouts with travel expenses, the problems with transfer agreements/KHL, the two year rule with regard to signing North American drafted prospects, it's a safer cost-effective strategy to draft out of high school.

What's next for the Islanders is we see who they qualify, I have read two items from professional media that claim 6/28, I have now seen two others write 6/30, so I give up.

Try to remember the Islanders can only have fifty contracts and look at the roster going into Thursday knowing there are very few spots available for UFA, unless the general manager subtracts someone. If I am correct, Dustin Kohn has to be brought to the NHL, and that may apply to Dylan Reese.

Add that to MacDonald, Streit, Gervais, Martinek, Hillen plus perhaps a spot left open for deHaan, Harmonic and there is no room to give Andy Sutton or Anton Volchenkov (insert x defender) a multi-million dollar contract.

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6/26/10

DAY TWO: NEW YORK AT 2010 NHL DRAFT

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/26/2010 10:22:00 AM
New York got the wild card at 65 in Kirill Kabanov, with his ITV Interview from Los Angeles.

Tsn.ca: Have comments from Kirill Kabanov and general manager, Garth Snow.

Updated:
NHL.com: Adam Kimelman, ahas comments from Islanders Quebec scout, Mario Saraceno, the Islanders' Quebec scout who advocated for Kabanov at the draft table on the club looking this year for top-six skill level with some size, along with the two first rounders. This article also includes Garth Snow, and Kirill Kabanov's comments.

New York Draft Picks:
65-Kirill Kabanov
82-Jason Clark with his ITV interview at the draft.
95-TRADED TO COLUMBUS (Isles trade #95 pick to Colorado or Columbus for 2011 third round pick)
125-D Tony DeHart.
155-160: TRADED TO ATLANTA (Islanders trade #155 and #160 to Atlanta for a 2011 fifth round pick)
185-Cody Rosen, goaltender, Clarkson ECAC.

The Islander website now has interviews and recap of selections being made from day, so I took down video from Friday night.

NYIFC Comments:
Once again, I will not attempt to play draft expert.

It takes years find out if the right selections were made. Indirectly or inadvertently perhaps, they sent a little message to Kirill Petrov/agent with this pick, even though he is coming to summer camp.

Regardless Kabanov is an excellent gamble in round three, and not tied to another KHL team.

I will add perhaps, Garth Snow/staff had a few words with former assistant, Danny Flynn before making this pick, but from here it's up to Kabanov.

I'm not going to mislead anyone, I did not really follow his story so I don't know, all I can write is he has now been drafted by an NHL organization. If he wants to earn a professional contract, part of his learning process will be to conduct himself with professionalism.

Aside from that some felt the club, needed a top defenseman, they only got one later and moved three other selections, for picks next summer or a possible trade in the coming days/weeks.

You know going in, I felt they needed a draft with some big forwards and I explained why, but what I think means absolutely nothing because again I'm not in Bridgeport watching the prospects develop or what management thinks of the progress of some players.

Tony DeHart is an overage player from OHL, who played two games in Springfield, so he may have to be signed and brought immediately to Bridgeport on a roster with several players locked into spots, including Anton Klementyev, he seems to be out of options in the CHL.

Garth Snow did not have a lot of luck out of Clarkson with his other two selections, and who knows why another goaltender given depth but it is a seventh rounder, who likely on paper replaces Jase Weslosky.

They did draft some taller players on a depth chart that needed them.

Aside from that, ask me in five years for most of these selections, we're still wondering about Bergenheim, Comeau, Nielsen, Tambellini.

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Islander News Articles 6/26

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/26/2010 09:53:00 AM
AP: Ira Podell, always one to keep the glass half-filled on the New York Islanders, does the AP report with comments from General Manager Garth Snow, and Nino Niederreiter.

NYIFC Comments:
In the hot air department that is not worthy of a link, Larry Brooks only notes the Islanders passed on Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley, with some quotes from Garth Snow, but did not ask the same question of Cablevision management at the draft.

University of North Dakota: Issued a release with some additional background information on Brock Nelson.

Montreal Gazette: Pat Hickey questions the omission of Pat Burns from being elected to the Hall of Fame, and feels this slight was compounded by Jim Devellano's candidacy which he writes was pushed by former Islander President/GM Bill Torrey. Mr Hickey goes on to question his role in New York and Detroit's success.

NYIFC Comments:
I'm going to write this as Mr Hickey did, that Pat Burns struggling badly with cancer does not matter, his election should be based on his record.

But on one hand Mr Hickey writes, Pat Burns health should not be a consideration because he belongs in the Hall of Fame, while on the other he writes, it will be too late for Pat Burns if or when he receives the honor he deserves.

Seems like a contradiction, and that it does matter to him.

If he does not believe Jim Devellano belongs in the Hall of Fame that is his viewpoint, however he should not question's anyone role in a teams successes or that others pushed someone into the Hall of Fame, much less Bill Torrey.

Again forgetting Mr Burns failing health, just because he was a popular coach in Montreal and Toronto, does he absolutely merit induction based on his record? He won his Stanley Cup in New Jersey with the Devils, I seriously doubt Mr Hickey would be pushing this hard for his induction if he did not coach in Montreal or Toronto where he was popular.

Philadelphia Daily News: Reported Dan Hamhuis negotiating rights, whom the Flyers acquired last Saturday from Nashville for defenseman Ryan Parent were traded to Pittsburgh for a third-round pick in next year's draft.

NYIFC Comments:
So Ryan Parent for a third, and the Nashville-Philadelphia connection for dumping players looking for big money apparently fails. I guess Comcast decided not to front load this contract or overpay.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio late last night in his blog reported initial word out of Bridgeport is that Sean Bentivoglio, Dustin Kohn, Nate Lawson and Dylan Reese should be given qualifying offers making them RFA.

NYIFC Comments:
Despite a conflicting report out of Chicago, 6/28 is the deadline for qualifying potential restricted free agents, that include Jeff Tambellini.







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6/25/10

New York Trades Both Second Rd Picks To Chicago Blackhawks For Brock Nelson at 30

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/25/2010 11:03:00 PM












The Islanders traded 35th/58th overall selections to the Chicago BlackHawks for the 30th selection, where they have drafted center, Brock Nelson.

NHL.com: Has a profile of Nelson, who will attend North Dakota next year.

Updated:
Islanders website: Has comments from the Islanders selection.

NYIFC Comments:
Perhaps a prelude to a future trade for Kris Versteeg, or not. The Islanders no longer have a second round selection, but added a 6'3, 205 lb player.

Video of both selections, and their interviews are posted at top of NYIFC.

USA Today: Kyle Woodlief, who follows prospects year round wrote the following on 6/1.

Nelson plays for tiny, but legendary, Warroad High School, the alma mater of several former NHL stars. He's a legitimate power center with soft hands and scoring touch around the net. He's very dangerous from the circles in and is still very raw — he could get a whole lot better as he figures things out. Lots of teams are lying in the weeds on this kid, and somebody will get an itchy trigger finger late in the first or early in the second round for fear that another club will jump up and grab him.

NYIFC Comments:
This is why folks should follow the work of Mr Woodlief, who reports on prospects year-round.


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New York Selects Nino Niederreiter

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/25/2010 08:03:00 PM





















NHL.com: Report New York selects, RW Nino Niederreiter with the fifth overall selection.

Islanders website: Has General Manager, Garth Snow's comments on the selection.

NYIFC Comments:
Will not play prospect expert as promised. I felt a scoring winger was needed, and that's what was drafted, with some size who has been playing in North America.

Seems Columbus could not trade back on Ryan Johansen, and perhaps Garth Snow found the same problem if the staff had settled absolutely on Nino Niederreiter, both were rated lower than where they were taken.

Tampa jumped right on Brett Connolly and Cam Fowler was there too, so those and a few others will be the comparative players moving forward.

Rick DiPietro was at the Islander draft table.

ITV: Did post a brief video with comments from owner, Charles Wang, and General Manager, Garth Snow. The ITV/NHL feeds have had problems all night and Snow was very tough to hear.

Additional video with Head Coach, Scott Gordon, who also are interviewed.

Islanders website: Has comments from John Tavares, who contacted Niederreiter, with advise.

Updated:
According to Katie Strang's twitter, Snow wanted to move back a few spots, but was not able to, nor could he do anything to move up when Fowler-Gormley started dropping with his 35th selection.

Updated Comments From Nino Niederreiter:
Islanders website: Has comments from Niederreiter on his selection, with more from, Garth Snow.
**********************************
Tons of twitter updates from draft as well by myself, tonight.

The new jersey has an orange circle on the outer logo, so it is different from core of four jersey.

More updates, and blog entries Saturday.


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6/24/10

NYIFC WILL COVER 2010 DRAFT

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/24/2010 12:05:00 PM
NYIFC will have full coverage of the 2010 entry draft for the New York Islanders this weekend.

The bulk of the entries will be on Saturday because the club has nine selections at this time, unless a trade/transaction is made on Thursday or Friday.

The crawl has been temporarily added back to the blog during this time w/updated selections, as they are made. The prospect blog will be updated with profiles on new selections at some point next week. Links to major draft sites and live sites to follow draft are added to sidebar.

No point linking to a lot of worthless, professional media speculation who's projections have the club picking among at least four players, unless General Manager Garth Snow or Asst Gm, Ryan Jankowski are quoted, it's of little value.

As I wrote a while back, despite always subscribing to the best player available thinking, this singular year I do feel the club needs to settle on another forward given prospect depth on back-line, combined with a lack of "statistical" progression from Robin Figren, Tomas Marcinko, Jesse Joensuu, Justin DiBenedetto, Matt Martin, along with the other forward prospect depth currently in Bridgeport.

This can change very quickly, and progression can be measured many different ways, by professionals working with these players, not by fans like myself watching game, or reading articles.

The twitter feed for professional media here, has added a lot of coverage. I will try and filter out those feeds less hockey-centric, or writers assigned other sports. Non hockey centric ads or amateur fan updates from Islanders twitter will no longer be included on right sidebar of NYIFC.

As written recently, I will not attempt to become a prospect expert. I will give you links to professional media on the players drafted, with quotes from New York Islander professional scouting staff on each selection, along with some past background articles. The CSB/Tsn/Kyle Woodlief/professional services have been available for a while, with special link to Isles Draft Central page.

As always, the professional media is the only standard for coverage here.

Early next week, I will be unavailable for most of Monday and likely for a good part of Tuesday and this could extend longer. If the Islanders do not release a list of players qualified before the 6/28 deadline, I will have to catch up at a later time, it should be noted one paper now list this deadline as 6/30, however that's not what Tampa Bay website listed.

During the weekend, I will also attempt to put together a free agent section for 7/1 on the sidebar, and will try and add something with live free agent updates.

It should be noted because NYIFC is no longer a full-time, year-round blog, we are not accepting comments beyond e-mails. NYIFC twitter feed is active, usually daily, and folks are always welcome for respectful hockey discussion.

As written previously there will be no announcement with regard to the future of this blog, regardless of what is eventually decided for 2010-11.

Thanks to everyone for their outstanding support of New York Islander Fan Central.


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6/23/10

Kate Murray: "Lighthouse Zoning Blueprint "

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/23/2010 09:52:00 PM
LI Herald: Reports within the next two weeks, the TOH plans to unveil a special zoning blueprint that could make way for a “scaled-down” version of the Lighthouse with Supervisor Kate Murray's comments, who confirmed that the Lighthouse group have not seen plans for the new zoning.
“We have been working really diligently since we made our announcement in January that we would be coming up with a smaller-scale version of the developers’ plans.”


“We certainly hope those developers embrace [the new zoning] and we ultimately build it because we want to create jobs,” Murray said. “We want to have an economic shot in the arm in the Coliseum area.”

Kate Murray also confirmed, any plan for the Coliseum property that involved a Shinnecock Nation Casino would go beyond the town’s jurisdiction, and has yet to review any details for such a plan.

“We haven’t seen any documents or proposals, so it would really be premature at this point to comment on any potential siting of a gambling casino,” she said.


NYIFC Comments:
This is just the special zoning blueprint, this is not even the scaled down version yet.

So in short, when the fan/hockey focus will be on the general manager building his team through free agency, with some pressure on Charles Wang to spend money on free agents, the TOH will take the spotlight with some zoning, they designed, however expect Charles Wang and/or Scott Rechler to pay for.

On the Nassau front, Ed Mangano, is doing his own planning.

TOH/Kate Murray have also apparently not seen those concepts, nor do they have any control over what is built, which could contradict any scaled down version of a LH project, regardless if Wang and/or Rechler had any interest.

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