7/26/10

Islanders New ECHL Affiliate is Kalamazoo Wings

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2010 01:14:00 PM
ECHL.com: Report the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL, announced they have reached an agreement to be an affiliate of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders for the upcoming 2010-2011.

Kalamazoo Wings: Issued a release with GM, Garth Snow's comments:

“Having a strong ECHL affiliate is crucial to our organization’s future,” said Garth Snow, Islanders general manager. “The Kalamazoo Wings have a rich history, and I’m confident that they’ll provide the necessary resources to properly develop our prospects and provide a stepping stone to the AHL and NHL.”


NYIFC Comments:
From what I can gather this will be a shared affiliation with San Jose Sharks. I will add a section for prospect blog. The Philadelphia Flyers affiliation with Kalamazoo Wings was concluded on 7/2/10.

This affiliation is in Michigan, so travel with be closer to Bridgeport.

NHL.com: Brian Compton does a feature on Islander prospect, Aaron Ness where he discusses whether he will turn professional and leave school, along with Head Coach, Scott Gordon's comments on his play at mini-camp.

NYIFC Comments:
Several months ago, Ness's father made it very clear his son would be returning to Minnesota for his junior season. This article leaves open chance he could sign and report to Bridgeport or return to school.

NYIFC.blogspot.com has been closed for good because it's too much work to add updates to both sites. The link to all NYIFC twitter related entries/comments has been substituted.

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7/23/10

Utah ECHL Partnership With Islanders Over

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/23/2010 07:02:00 PM
Utah Grizzlies: Announced on 7/22 they have expanded their role with Calgary, and have parted ways with the New York Islanders organization, whom they had been affiliated with since 2007.

ECHL.com: Has Former Islander-Sound Tiger, Director of Hockey Operations, Kevin Colley comments on the expanded agreement.

NYIFC Comments:
This is an important event folks, Islander affiliates in the ECHL have bounced around for years, shared or otherwise from Atlantic City, Trenton to the franchise that had to cease operations because of Hurricane Katrina, days following the announcement.

In Utah, they finally had a stable ECHL affiliate.

When Bridgeport recalled a player, Utah was where most players came from or were assigned.

For those who follow NYIFC, it was reported several times Calgary shared this affiliation with the Islanders last season, after it was completely an Islander run before this. Utah, long ago was an Islander affiliate, before the team decided to go back there in 2007, with Kevin Colley named head coach, who is now/also the Director of Hockey Operations.

Mikko Koskinen played some games there in their playoffs, and won a deciding game before being recalled.

At this time my speculation is the Isles partner with another ECHL affiliate, in a shared agreement or otherwise. On the groundbreaking news scale it rates a 1.5 because teams go through ECHL affiliations often. It could simply be a matter of wanting an affiliate on the East coast.

The bad news is this concludes any working relationship with Kevin Colley.

As for 6/1/10 the CHL Odessa Jackalopes continue to be an Islanders affiliate. here.

Regretfully, I will have to change the prospect blog to reflect this.
(done)

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Billy Jaffe's Contract Not Renewed

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/23/2010 01:50:00 PM
Bob Raissman, of the Daily News reported via industry sources that Islanders color commentator, Billy Jaffe, would likely not have his contract renewed for the 2010-2011 season by Msg Network, who employs him.

Cablevision's Newspaper confirms via Msg, who issued a brief statement so in this instance we can allow source game, because the fact's are confirmed.

NYIFC Comments:
Everyone who appears on an Islander, Devil or Ranger broadcast is an Msg employee.

If Msg decides Sam Rosen is out, and wants Mike Emrick, he calls Ranger games or is out of a job.

Very disappointing day because Mr Jaffe was such a positive with his energy, personality, and he did connect with many of the fans. No doubt he will be quickly hired elsewhere, given his work on Versus/NHL Network, and missed by New York Islander fans.

I don't know what happened behind the scenes, but we all know who regulates all aspects of New York Islander coverage and perception, and who all the people covering games are paid employees of.

It's up to you to decide for yourself who is accountable for this decision.

We are all more than familiar, with coverage double-standards, or what happened to staff members/editors, who decided to print information about Cablevision's teams that reflected anything negative, which former Newsday employee Wallace Matthews, made very clear months ago.

Msg's track record is a mile long with questionable/poor decisions regarding the New York Islanders, but this is about holding down ratings/perception.

From the games taken off television a decade ago, to the club hidden from primary network as often as possible, Metro Guide playoff games, the Metro Ice Challenge fiasco a few years ago over fifty thousand dollars, the pre-game pulled for the first month a few years ago, virtually no summer programming, Msg-Ranger centric coverage some years for Coliseum games, Joe Micheletti's departure to Cablevision's hockey team a few years ago.

The past is a mile-long Msg is not the Islander partner in any decisions, even the final post-game was pulled off live television during an interview in April, on Time Warner outlets.

This is the same network that did not care to go live for Ilya Kovalchuk's press conference when most of North America/New York/New Jersey hockey fans would have tuned in, and would have been good for local hockey. The legendary stories of why Marv Albert was fired from the Knicks speak for themselves.

If some folks want to put this on the New York Islanders, there is nothing I can do about it.

All I can do is point out the long-track record.

There is nothing our team can do in response as long as they are paid until 2030 for broadcast, as Devils/Sabres are also, especially given this is the same outlet reporting on LightHouse coverage.

As for those reporting the story, most are Cablevision employees and need their job, many others now need Msg to make a living, and cannot be critical for fear of losing access, and will be self-muted.

Finally, if you really believe the Islanders wanted Billy Jaffe out and had any control of who Msg hires, you can bet Scott Gordon would have asked management to find someone to replace Rob Carlin, or a more professional road post game interview process involving entire media.

These are my thoughts on this decision, you have to make up your own mind.

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7/22/10

Owner Speaks on Arena Issue: Surcharge On Tickets To Finance Construction

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/22/2010 09:04:00 PM
Toronto Sun: The Owner has finally spoken on the arena issue, after two years and nineteen days, and the teams lease which expires in 2014 along with who controls the revenue from the facility.

Among the Highlights:
Under no circumstances would the team play here when their lease runs out in 2014.

"As you know, I've invested $200 million to buy the team. At that time I made a commitment to invest $100 million towards the development of a new arena. In addition, I still fully intend to invest at least another $100 million in leading the development of the arena."

"It's about sustaining the NHL -- it's about our team for the long term ... which today it is NOT," he said.

"We are the only team in the NHL that does not control its arena and the only team that does not receive the non-hockey-related revenues from the facility in which they play. For the sake of comparison, in Calgary, they do not go to the Stampede Board, they go to the Flames," said Marcaccio and then revealed that the team had lost $9 million in each of the last two seasons.

NYIFC Comments:
For our less astute followers, this was about Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz, as he unloaded on Edmonton City Council this week, who play in the third oldest NHL arena, right behind the Nassau Coliseum, the Canadian media does not call the Oilers home arena a dump, nor does the Detroit News/Free Press about the Wings home.

Cooler heads have prevailed in the last day or so as Mr Katz talked up how many hundreds of millions is he willing to spend, while Edmonton politicians are considering a surcharge on tickets to partly pay for financing.

However Mr Katz, is not budging on a new arena, he wants Edmonton to pay for part of it, and he wants full control of revenue from all events.

Edmonton's version of Smg is Northlands, who Mr Katz made clear have to be out, some may recall this building was once named Northlands Coliseum.

As everyone knows it's not NYIFC style to put up a somewhat misleading headline, or article, however there was an obvious purpose behind this that our team is not alone in some of these issues.

Also that this day is likely coming very soon for Charles Wang.

Obviously this is how Mr Wang could have played things from day one of his ownership. AP: for some reason does not recognize the Cablevision Garden as the league's oldest facility.

Now it get's tricky here, Oiler/Canadian media fans, are not going to take Mr Katz comments and twist them (like Charles Wang exploring his options) into a threat to leave, despite Katz very real interest in a Hamilton facility, plus folks able to connect the dots as he has put up a construction deadline.

The Edmonton Sun/Journal need the Oilers to sell newspapers, the loss of the Oilers would be a major hit to their papers so a far different spin than it is here.

I thought folks would be very interested in the similarities, this was my intention behind posting this entry in this manner.
*********************************

Meanwhile on the New York front, the Shinnecock's if they receive federal recognition this year (likely despite being blocked for now) have announced their intention to decide among thirty possible locations by end of calendar year.

Considering they have said they will only go where they are wanted, and it's obvious TOH/Hofstra do not want them, that will likely put an end to any discussion of a Casino on the Coliseum site.

Which leaves Kate Murray having her town meetings, approving FPC limited development (after dragging things out as long as possible), having hearings, and finally telling Wang-Rechler, we have done our part, yes or no?

In short, a project re-done at taxpayer expense only to force someone to say no because it does not work financially.

Perhaps Charles Wang and Mr Katz should have a long talk at the next BOG meeting because make no mistake, and I will write again, the day is likely coming where Charles Wang will have to say many of these things.

For those wondering, Tom Gulotta's final act as Nassau Executive was to slap a surcharge on Islander hockey tickets/other events, which was not to finance a new Coliseum.

Hopefully Ed Mangano is also following some of this too, because he is going to have to break the bad news soon about how taxpayers need to step up for a new Coliseum to preserve Kate Murray's suburbia.


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Matt Moulson's Arbitration Hearing Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/22/2010 03:55:00 PM
NHLPA: Released it's arbitration schedule, Matt Moulson if a contract cannot be worked out will have his hearing on 7/27.

NYIFC Comments:
A little unsettling seeing Buffalo walk-away from an arbitration award yesterday, sometimes teams in general set precedents that other teams follow, sometimes not.

Buffalo has had their own past arbitration trends under Darcy Regier.

Player negotiations under Garth Snow's tenure have been first class and out of the media, so far same pattern has held with Moulson, who was at the draft party, and who has been first class in interviews representing the franchise.

After all the supposed problems with Trent Hunter a few years ago, he signed quickly and quietly with both sides praising the other at the end of negotiations.

Brendan Witt when he was given an early extension, was surprised the team did not wait, but was very grateful at the time.

Having written this it's about business for both sides, who have to make the best deal for themselves, whether it be shorter or longer team.

For our purposes we have to leave out locker room impact, because as fans we are not part of that.

What Moulson's agent/representative will argue:
This player was tied for 19th in the NHL in scoring, with no high scoring veterans on his line, with twenty two goals at even strength, who had his share of game winning goals. That he also played all eighty two games, on a team that allowed many goals, had only a negative one rating.

It can also be argued pulling Moulson from Tavares line took him off what was a ninety point pace.

No doubt players making more money/similar production/AHL players with similar breakthroughs will be used as a comparative, including the teams improvement in the standings.

What the Islanders will argue through attorney/representative or Garth Snow, who will not make anyone cry:

Mike Milbury did represent the club for Garth Snow in his first days as general manager at an arbitration hearing, but supposedly did not speak.

You can bet the Islander reps are going to argue comparative players who had thirty goals like former waiver wire fodder, Jussi Jokinen and their salary. That the team wants to see more production in the assist department. I'm not sure where else the club can go in the negative department beyond signing him and giving him an opportunity unless they want to make the point Moulson was paired with a franchise prospect which is why he did so well.

Outcome:
Make no mistake, Snow and the Islanders are at a disadvantage given his production on such a young team. Plus if a one year deal is awarded and Moulson hits UFA next summer, he may well remember the downside of this meeting so things have to be handled very carefully.

Also anyone who watched the games (not hockey arbitrators) may not understand all of Moulson's deflection goals vs quality setups for slam dunk, open-net goals.

Bottom line, Moulson will get a healthy raise. I expect the Islanders to accept the award.

Now that I have written this, no doubt by tonight we will get an announcement of a contract extension with Moulson.

Which suits me fine.


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7/21/10

RICK DIPIETRO RUMOR OF ACCIDENT FALSE PER GARTH SNOW

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/21/2010 10:20:00 PM
Per Katie Strang's twitter, Garth Snow spoke with Rick DiPietro tonight, who has not been involved in a car accident.

Bill Daughtry of Espn 1050 also reported DiPietro is perfectly fine as of 10:25pm.

NYIFC Comments:
Nothing else to add, let's get back to hockey.

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ESPN 1050 NOT REPORTING RICK DIPIETRO SERIOUSLY INJURED IN CAR ACCIDENT BUT FOLLOWING UP HOWEVER NO CONFIRMATION

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/21/2010 09:48:00 PM
ESPN 1050: Bill Daughtry says ESPN is NOT reporting Rick DiPietro was seriously injured in a car accident on Wednesday 7/21, but following up on information they have received.

NYIFC Comments:
Details to follow when/if available, Mr Daughtry was adamant on the air about this as of 9:50pm, with business as usual on the telecast with this not even on their periodic updates.

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New York Signs F Jeremy Yablonski

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/21/2010 08:28:00 PM
Islanders website: Reports the club has come to terms with terms on a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract with forward Jeremy Yablonski.

General Manager, Garth Snow comments on the signing.

AHL.com: Has statistical background on Yablonski.

NYIFC Comments:
Obviously a depth signing for Bridgeport, but begs the question, why buy-out a younger enforcer-type, who was given a three year contract in Joel Rechlicz, with Trevor Gillies also likely being used in Bridgeport?

I have no knowledge of Jeremy Yablonski, but added in Mr Fornabaio's blog entry here with his thoughts on this signing. He has wondered if there is a strategy to replace Greg Mauldin, Trevor Smith, and for now Sean Bentivoglio's production, which are very fair questions.

Bridgeport was not a high scoring team with those veterans.

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DiPietro's Contract Still A Good One For Islanders, Quick Hits/Notabes

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/21/2010 12:09:00 PM
So much misinformation out there between the poor media coverage, or those who simply look at the length of the deal, and do not understand or care to understand in the media.

Rick DiPietro receives 4.5 million each year for the full length of his contract as long as he is an active player.

If he retires, his contract is over and cap hit eliminated, you don't get paid, and the team does not get a cap hit for a retired player.

If he cannot play insurance pays for whatever terms were agreed to by team at time contract was insured.

Problem obviously right now is until his future playing/health status is determined he is paid at times by insurance, and at times by team. It's tough to know when cap hit goes up or down for one specific year depending on time that player is on injured reserve over six months.

At some points insurance does pay contract when he is out for a long amount of time.

DiPietro was right back when he signed, he left a lot of money on the table because if he were making 10m dollars in a heavily front-loaded deal as he was injured, that would be a far bigger hit to team when insurance company was not paying contract.

Of course, there is always the Cablevision way, just sign a basketball player to a guaranteed max contract of a hundred million dollars, who cannot get insurance because of injuries which means you are on the hook for the entire length of the deal, whether he is injured or not.

If Charles Wang agreed to give Rick DiPietro that kind of contract, everything written about it would be justified.

Of course, it's not in the best interest of media selling select teams/players to the public to play up that aspect.

Quick Hits/Notables:
Martin Brodeur was not very classy about Nassau Coliseum yesterday or Islanders, and it was very disappointing on a day, his team was the focus.

Too bad Cablevision did not give it Knick-like television coverage for a staff that comes in weekly to discuss hockey on their network, and had a national event on their doorstep that demanded coverage, but we have discussed that enough.

Newark paid for a big part of Prudential Center, and handed Devils big part of arena revenue.

With Ilya Kovalchuk, a first place team, and a guaranteed playoff spot the Prudential Center was not sold out often. It was packed with opposing fans during playoffs, or final CAA game where Islander fans were loud in a building not sold out on Easter Sunday.

When New York was a winning team, they sold out every single game, in 2002, they sold out most of the second half.

Devils in their new building are still losing money per owner James Vanderbeek NY Times & Newark Star Ledger.

As for Martin Brodeur, have a cup-cake and go to the Hall of Fame with some class, that was not called for.

Funny, but I did not see NY Times do an article on Dolan's Msg tax exceptions or interview workers around Msg struggling in this economy when they sign free agents but the Times had a reporter in Newark Tuesday for public reaction to Kovalchuk's signing.

Where was the NY Times to interview the public on economy when Yankees needed hundreds of million in tax exemptions, the exact same week they spent 500m on three baseball contracts?

That's right, the same NY Times was reporting on additional bonds that in-effect paid baseball players for both the Yankees and Mets being approved, that helped them finance their stadium construction.

I wonder who NY Times interviews when it's the Giants-Jets, given they claim them as New York, but New Jersey residents pay for the building?

So do some of you still want to keep blaming Charles Wang?
******************************************************
NHL.com: Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly's statement regarding Kovalchuk contract rejection.

NYIFC Comments:
No doubt the " sources " will be out in force for page views/attention.

Lou Lamoriello vs NHL on-paper is a nice battle, but precedent has been set, and approved with many recent front-loaded contracts, it will likely only require some mild tweaking to final years of how Kovalchuk's money is distributed, and a contract will be approved.

Unless Jay Grossman turns into Mark Gandler.

As for Mr Gandler, what part of his claim the New York Islanders had an interest in Alexei Yashin did he really believe translates into any interest in actually signing him, after he did this two years ago?

At least Greg Logan/Newsday were not around to botch the headline and issue another retraction this time.
**************************************************
A little less than two months until training camp, a lot of time to sign or trade for that one scorer Garth Snow indicated he needed when he contacted Kovalchuk's agent by his own words.

Niederreiter, Petrov, Joensuu/Figren could be better than some of those options too, so could giving Trent Hunter's spot to one of them, and adding a scorer in return.

From what I see no chance Travis Hamonic and Calvin deHaan are brought to the NHL at the same time, no chance one of them stay under contract out of the NHL for the next two years.

One of them will have to make this team with a five preseason game window, and split squad games where regulars will have to play those games.

Hint:
If player is in Coliseum lineup, he makes team.
If he is in the Quebec City lineup, no.



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7/16/10

Charles Wang's Interview & Time to Stop Being Outside The Box

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/16/2010 12:53:00 AM
I receive some e-mails from time to time that I spend too many entries defending the team and the owner, in NYIFC entries/twitter updates.

I usually respond that I only correct things that are not factual based on the teams record or how they have played, or what they have been quoted as having said, or articles outright unfair.

Until this past season, the New York Islanders qualified for the playoffs every single year under this owner with the exception of his first season, unless they had the most man games lost to injury which happened, in 05-06, 07-08, 08-09 by huge margins.

It's not a widely discussed stat in NHL media circles.

Their record against top teams in east last season, and third best record against the west speaks for itself this team can win.

If as a fan you are trapped in the mid-90's, it's 2010-11 season, all those players have zero Stanley Cups to this day and have moved on several times, hopefully you can finally do the same.

Having written this Charles Wang's interview on Islanders website where he offered advice and inspiration, had some excellent items where he opens up about his family and his vision.

These are part of the comments, out of context:
" What I’ve learned, I’ve learned that there’s a very steep learning curve, Ultimately I don’t know enough about hockey, I leave that to Garth; marketing, operations, they’re all experts, but they know my values. They know we’re honest. We say what it is. We can disagree, but when we leave a room, we come to a conclusion and then we’re all behind it.”

NYIFC Comments:
Mr Wang can say whatever he wants, and of course I respect his passion, but there is nothing outside the box about what his general manager is currently doing that's different from most of the other twenty nine teams.

If he believes that his gm is doing something different, obviously he has a lot more to learn.

His employees have also done a ton of self-inflicted damage with the Long Island campaign, giving newspaper editors every excuse possible to not spend their money to advertise or report on a New York team that is far more New York, than the two New Jersey football teams.

The Long Island label for the LH is one thing, the hockey team is New York, and needs to conduct itself in that manner.

Charles Wang's money brought a lot of people into this organization, his employees have also decided to let many of them go. Only he knows his part in this or how it was handled internally, or if they were treated the way he would want to be treated, but I cannot recall many releases thanking anyone who left aside from Michael Peca.

There was no acknowledgment when Jason Blake was diagnosed with his illness, yet during the finals we see updates on Aaron Asham and Brent Sopel?

My point is things must be consistent, which his employees/interns/media relations coordinators/whoever have to understand.

This teams releases from employees/interns/fan blogs on the Islanders website have been inconsistent, and at times come off like old x-ice before this ownership.

There was no website release of Virtual Signage 4/5 on the teams website, but now we get food releases or how ice is made as features?

I'm not putting that on Charles Wang, because I don't know who's makes that decision internally, but this is his team and these things all reflect on his organization and influence fan perception.

What I do suggest is this team create a separate place for these kinds of announcements whether it be Isles entertainment or otherwise, and keep the hockey site about hockey.

As for claims this owner will not spend money, several media and agents have reported on Garth Snow's efforts to sign free agents for market value or above.

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7/12/10

Time for Nassau-TOH Taxpayers To Pay For New Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/12/2010 09:27:00 PM
Not much to write about today's events, exactly what I expected for months.

No more hiding for Nassau-TOH residents, the New York Islanders are a public trust and need a new facility, it has to be made self-sustaining as a hockey franchise to stay in business without a corporate ownership willing to lose money, as others do.

It's time Nassau-TOH pay up like everyone else has had to do in the NY area, for a new Nassau Coliseum.

Float some taxpayer bonds as Charles Wang suggested long ago, give out some tax exemptions, whatever it takes.

It has never been Charles Wang and Scott Rechler's civic duty as developers to renovate Nassau County's Coliseum, unless they are presented with something that makes some economic sense for them to do so in the long-run.

Kate Murray/TOH made it clear by her own words today the financial aspect is not her problem.

Where I sit she just made it everyone's problem.

Either she is very naive big-business wise, or the plan is to force the other side to be the one to reject the project.

My thoughts on Mr Mangano have changed little since entry below, only he knows where he really stands with Wang and or Rechler as he meets with Al D'Amato, who is no fan of Charles Wang or the LH.

Mangano seems to make his own rules.

Without TOH approval there is no LH and no MOU that must include Scott Rechler.

Mangano can work on something (Casino) with Wang and/or Rechler but it is completely outside MOU/TOH approval with no guidelines, a Casino leaves TOH on the sidelines entirely, but who knows where that leaves the Coliseum or the New York Islanders?

We have no idea what real interest Shinnecock Nation has in Nassau Coliseum site, or how much revenue they would want or can afford from a joint endeavor of some sort.

The Coliseum site comes with a mountain of political baggage over twenty years, and talk of a Casino already has met heavy criticism, that is more than justified.

Aside from that the continued silence from Charles Wang and/or Scott Rechler is golden, hopefully they continue to work along those lines.

Instead of continuing to be repetitive, I will re-post some recent NYIFC entries.
Fans Bill of Rights on LH 4/19 & Ed Mangano's Memorandum of Understanding 4/30.

7/9/10

Dylan Reese Resigns with New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/09/2010 09:20:00 PM
Islanders website: Reports defenseman, Dylan Reese resigned a one-year, two way contract for the 2010-11 season, General Manager Garth Snow comments.

NYIFC Comments:
At this time I'm not sure if his age requires clearing waivers to be sent to the AHL.

Usually when we see one transaction like this, we see a few very quickly. We all know the current NHL depth chart on the backline, and now deHaan/Hamonic making comments they want to make the NHL, as they should.

My viewpoint on this is Jack Hillen is still a very young player, Andrew MacDonald enters his first full season, Gervais is not a thirty year old veteran.

You cannot add both deHaan and Hamonic in the same off-season, you also cannot add both next summer. The logical plan should be one prospect per year.

Training Camp is three days of games with split squads, there is only going to be time to put players who will make the club together in terms of preseason games.

And there is 2005, second rounder Dustin Kohn, AHL all-star Mark Katic, plus last summer pick Anton Klementyev among others.

No, you cannot have a roster of kids on the back-line either.

Notables:
Given how close or over some teams are to the cap, it only seems a matter of when before Garth Snow can add to his roster with his cap space. It should be noted Snow did not claim Nylander (Washington) to simply eat space with no player, as the Washington Post suggested.

It's also very, very early in UFA, seems Kovalchuk situation has slowed the market wherever he ends up.

Having written this Charles Wang's money has been paying Joensuu, Figren, Marcinko and a lot of other prospects signed including Martin, DiBendetto, deHaan, Hamonic, Ullstrom, Koskinen.

I do not see any offer sheet scenario, unless it does not involve a first round pick.

Just to remind everyone there is no law here about resigning one of their own UFA.

Problem is I do believe a trade involving a veteran or two has to happen.


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7/8/10

Day Two Of Camp, Outstanding Words

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/08/2010 07:47:00 PM
Islanders website: Recaps day two of prospect camp with more pictures and video.
**********************************************
This is more of a sidebar topic regarding coverage, but when I read something outstanding I feel obligated to share it with our readers.

Yes, folks, there are individuals (plenty of them) who possess a wonderful talent to express things better than NYIFC.

I believe these words from from CBS.com Senior Sports Producer Jeff Capellini express my thoughts on recent claims of information regarding the New York Islanders far better than I can.

I will also tell you Mr Capellini and I, debated on twitter over hockey coverage in New York a while back, we agreed on little.

Granted his article is centered about LeBron James, and Ilya Kovalchuk, but his talent with words here express things in a way I failed to do, so I wanted to share it and of course credit Mr Capellini.

From now on a source will be known as someone who tells you what you think you need to know, while all the while really doing nothing more than promoting his or her own selfish interests. In their haste to "beat everyone" on these stories reporters have bought the misdirection hook, line and stinker.

That is how I feel about some of the recent items released regarding the New York Islanders, whether they be right or wrong is not the issue, but how they were presented to the public.

I believe it should be for you as well.


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7/7/10

" Source " Games Over At NYIFC

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/07/2010 11:43:00 PM
















From this point forward regardless of what is reported, unless the professional media uses actual names of their co-called sources to report news for our fans, it will not be part of information posted in NYIFC blog entries, or in our twitter updates until confirmed by the team/NHL itself.

Simply put NYIFC has higher standards, if you take time to visit this blog you deserve better.

Information based upon sources of professional media, with their speculations/beliefs of what could happen, is not worth our time.

The standard set for the folks here at NYIFC, is to provide credible information regarding the New York Islanders from professional media. From day one the policy here has always been to be dead last and a hundred percent correct with information.

As to the opinion of professional media, who speculate, using sources?

Thank You, however no Thank You, we'll wait for official confirmation, or please do a better job, and provide us a direct quote confirming information.

I personally do not believe that is a hard thing to do when you are already interviewing someone. No law against asking a question, getting a no comment, and writing someone had no comment when asked.
**********************************************

In far more important news, Islander training camp officially opened on 7/7, a special section was opened here linking to the Islanders website that is providing running updates of camp. Head Coach Scott Gordon was on ice, a group of prospects were on ice, another group was off.

Owner Charles Wang, General Manager, Garth Snow watched from the stands.

ITV.com: Has head coach Scott Gordon, on day one of camp.

Saturday's prospect game will be covered live on ITV for those interested in watching.

Washington Post: Tarik El-Bashir, reports Washington placed center Michael Nylander on waivers in the hopes that another team is interested in taking him off the Capitals' payroll, and it could be a viable option for a franchise that needs to reach the salary cap floor to claim him because Nylander's cap hit next season ($4.875 million) is more than his salary. ($3 million)

NYIFC Comments:
To the best my knowledge, Nylander played in the SEL after leaving AHL. Caps did have to pay his salary while in AHL, but I'm not sure if they had to pay him when he went to Europe. I'm not completely sure if Islanders would have to pay him if they actually did put in a claim. Given the current roster and likely signing Doug Weight, it's hard to envision him actually coming here to play hockey.

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Next Up for New York?

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/07/2010 09:23:00 AM
What's next for New York is prospect camp begins, as no doubt the general manager continues to contact agents (Kovalchuk) or someone else, to improve his hockey team.

Despite my countless blog entries last season on the Islanders extended scoring struggles, it does have to be noted, even with all the injury problems that landed them in the lower/middle of the pack
(a vast improvement on the previous two years) even with all the inexperience, they did score the exact same two hundred twenty two goals the Devils did last season, who won the Atlantic division.

They also outscored a lot of playoff teams, with far more veterans, and went undefeated vs Detroit, Chicago and Vancouver.

In terms of 2010-11, those writing they are not ready and it will take a few more years, should take a good look at the final standings, how competitive they were against the top team in the division/western conference.

It took a very poor stretch before the trade deadline, and the last few weeks to finish nine points out, in between they made a run that almost put them back in the race.

Every year is different, and 09-10 likely was as mediocre as the East is going to be in terms of final point totals. I'm not writing the 2010-11 New York Islanders will win the Stanley Cup, but there is also no reason they cannot make the exact same run as mediocre eighty eight point Philadelphia did to the finals next year, if things fall into place.

Of course you can write that about all fifteen teams in the East.

As for Ilya Kovalchuk as the waiting goes on:
It has been a very poor show by the media across the board.

Claims via sources of what teams "could" offer with dollars/term by professional media like Darren Dreger? Claims of deals, "almost finalized", by others out of sportsnet?

Incorrect reports of signing out of the NY Post by Mark Everson, who's work will never be mistaken with that of someone who is enthusiastic about the New Jersey Devils. Headlines of signings pulled (without explanation) to go with Larry Brooks Islander contradictions from 1/14/2010 to 7/4 about what signing Kovalchuk would have meant to New York?

Katie Strang claiming the Islanders were not signing Kovalchuk on Monday, to date she has still not even gotten a direct quote confirming this from the general manager in her article? That on top of still not getting one comment from the gm on Bergenheim or Tambellini not being qualified, from the same paper that told the public a year ago three hours before the draft, they were not selecting John Tavares?

Any wonder thirty goal player Matt Moulson, did not make list of notable
restricted free agents, who filed for arbitration?

Of course Ms Strang is likely correct and has a 29/30 plus KHL factor in her favor, but a quote from the general manger is required, not her beliefs or what it appears to be. Not that tough to do, or simply write the general manager would not confirm where they stood in negotiations.

She needed a quote confirming her beliefs, she still needs a quote on why a player drafted in 2002 with the first pick was not qualified, along with Jeff Tambellini.

NHL.com/Espn-Pierre LeBrun, did not even notice Ms Strang's claims as of 1am on 7/6, despite referencing Hellen Elliot in the LA Times late at night on East Coast, with Kings updates when news broke.

A few as of this entry have still not noticed Ms Strang's article, which says a lot about Newsday's Islander coverage and her current standing/connections to media outlets, that also includes former Ranger beatwriter Arthur Staple, who is never shy about keeping the glass half-empty.

This is why you have to go very careful with sources, that includes the professional media. Sure the general managers/agents are still negotiating, sometimes they are doing it indirectly in these statements.

Of course, a few Islander fans, once again, will blame Islander management for not making negotiations reality television for them, however the gm made his statement's and was not hired to clean up the incorrect/misleading reports or claims by others, not associated with the team.

Overall this was just brutal media work, top to bottom, with no accountability from those making these mistakes to this point.

In terms of Ilya Kovalchuk, good luck to him regardless where he decides to sign whether it be with the New York Islanders or elsewhere. Only one team in the NHL can sign him. If he does sign here there will be a lot more on that if it happens.

Moving forward now that the general manager has showed interest in one veteran scoring forward, this indicates he feels he has to address his veteran scoring.

That means he must continue to work to bring in someone whether it be through UFA or a possible trade, regardless of his roster depth.

A lot of unknowns invited to camp, a few prospects injured, but it will be a fun few days watching the young players.

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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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