* UPDATED * Bridgeport Four AHL/ECHL Signings

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/05/2010 01:27:00 PM | Comment Here
Bridgeport Sound Tigers: Announced/Updated they have come to terms on one-year, two-way (AHL/ECHL) with defensemen Matt Duffy, Corey Syvret, as well as forwards Justin Taylor and Mike Sellitto.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's viewpoints on the signings note these are not veteran players, updates the status of who was actually signed vs who was not.

NYIFC Comments:
Sorry folks, nothing I can do if the Sound Tigers send out incorrect releases on players signed. Sellitto was at the teams rookie camp.

Scratch Gabriel O'Connor and Jordan Hill.

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Time Running Out For Kirill Petrov Buyout/Contract With Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/04/2010 11:22:00 AM | Comment Here
2008 draft pick Kirill Petrov was at prospect camp in July, however unless a deal is worked out very soon between Petrov, his agent and Ak Bars it is unlikely he will be in North America this season with New York or Bridgeport.

In the end Petrov has a signed contract and a guaranteed income, Ak Bars is under no obligation to buy him out, nor are the Islanders obligated to pay a KHL team to release him, and then give him an NHL or AHL contract.

His agent's job is to look out for his client, which may not include walking away from a binding agreement. No doubt Petrov and his agent also have taken a good look at the roster depth on the Islanders, and his realistic chances at winning an opening night roster spot.

Ak Bars owns his rights, like any NHL player under contract they could easily trade him to another KHL club, or demote him to their junior club as their did earlier last season when he was sent to Neftyanik Almetievsk.

Of course, we have no idea if Petrov is paid less in Russian juniors, as many North American players are when sent to the AHL.

There are also a lot of signed prospects in Bridgeport under contract who have played every game of their agreement in the Islanders system, those player agents will be looking closely at any possible negotiations.

Petrov has played only fourteen regular season games the last two years for Ak Bars here, he was sent down to the development team for a short time before the WJC a year ago where he played seven games.

Some folks may recall when Robin Figren signed, the agreement was he would play the first year of his Islander contract in the SEL, before coming to North America last season. It was never announced (to my knowledge) if the Islanders or his SEL team paid his salary for year one of that contract.

In the past the European deadline for players to sign or reach agreements was July or August 15th. With no transfer agreement involving KHL, plus given Alexander Radulov left Nashville with a signed NHL contract, there are no enforceable rules beyond a verbal agreement that was not honored, with the IHL having no real authority over an independent league to prohibit anyone from participating.

When Jiri Hudler left Detroit to sign in KHL last summer in early July, Shawn McBride, the KHL's North American spokesman had the following:

"There's been a gentleman's agreement in place to not pursue situations like Radulov but this is a different situation," McBride said. "As a result of there not being a formal transfer agreement there are not bylaws or any binding legal parameters that have been outlined."

Having written this the KHL season opens September 8th, with Petrov's Ak Bars squad.

Training camp will for them likely opens in about two weeks. From what I could understand Ak Bars exhibition schedule opens around August 22nd.

This may well go beyond what the Islanders can do because this player is not a free agent. Only Ak Bars knows what it intends to do.

Bottom line a decision has to be reached soon.
The Telegram: Calvin deHaan, had a few words on his shoulder injury as team Canada's development camp at  Mile One Centre in St. John’s.

Prospect Casey Cizikas is part of roster also.

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New York Resigns Jon Sim

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/03/2010 12:13:00 PM | Comment Here
Islanders website: Report Jon Sim has been resigned to a one-year contract, but given a two-way deal, which means he could be playing for Bridgeport or New York.

General Manager, Garth Snow comments.

NYIFC Comments:
Surprising, but this is a two-way contract, which means he is no lock to win an NHL roster spot. Bridgeport needed a veteran forward, he carried them two years ago, after being sent down, and would be a good mentor.

Obviously not the veteran scoring forward Islander fans are looking to in UFA, but this is not the contract Andy Hilbert received for two years. An NHL roster spot will have to be earned.

As a fourth line, thirteen goal player, who works very hard, some grit and a good character player it's a reasonable gamble, if Scott Gordon is using him in the top six, it's not the right move to sign him.

My preference would have been Sean Bergenheim was given this offer, or perhaps Asham, who likely would not accept a two-way contract but welcome back to Jon Sim.

To the best of my knowledge Bridgeport did not sign one veteran forward this summer, nor did they have anyone signed at the forward position who would qualify as a veteran. Sean Bentivoglio, Greg Mauldin, Trevor Smith were not retained. Kurtis McLean, Mike Iggulden were not retained last summer.

If Richard Park cannot find an NHL spot, I hope Garth Snow makes a similar move.

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Improved Going Into 2010-11? On Paper Means Nothing

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/03/2010 11:19:00 AM | Comment Here
There is a long way to go here before we see the finished product for the New York Islanders heading into training camp much less opening night.

I absolutely see a trade coming from the defense with seven one-way contracts, also it appears they need a scoring forward or two, with virtually no spots available up front right now.

I cannot see Calvin deHaan or Travis Hamonic making the NHL together, nor do I see one of them waiting another two years if they show anything in camp. Only management knows if Nino Niederreiter, Kirill Petrov or anyone from class of 2010 will enter camp with a shot at an NHL roster spot.

With European leagues starting soon, plus NHL camps a month away, things will pick up in what's been a very slow market with the salary cap.

You can make a reasonable case the Islanders in some ways are improved on paper, but that means nothing. You are finally improved when you win games that you used to lose.

We don't know what new signing may win a job, or if other veteran forwards are coming in a transaction, Matt Moluson taught us that very well last season, everyone has a chance.

Andy Sutton, Freddy Meyer had outstanding stretches for long periods of the season, a year ago. How much better can James Wisniewski, Mark Eaton or Milan Jurcina do individually?

My point is it's not about individual play.

Team defense is about chemistry in a five man unit, forwards block passing lanes or getting in front of shots. It's about how the defenders clear the puck, breakout passes, or ability to win battles along the boards. The center's defensive play in front of his goalie, and skating the puck out of dangerous areas.

Last year this team struggled in those areas shorthanded and at even strength, allowing too many shots or goals against, with too much pressure on them forcing icings, or uneven play.

In those stretches the parade of penalties would come.

Names mean nothing without chemistry.

For all thirty teams, we will not know who is improved until the puck drops and we see how teams work as a unit.

For myself, the biggest 2010-11 potential improvement will come in the young players coming back, a year older and more developed from Tavares, Bailey, Okposo, MacDonald, Hillen.

Frans Nielsen has to return and produce, Matt Moulson has to score his goals, Comeau has to produce over 82 games and not soft goals he was credited with down the stretch. If Trent Hunter is not traded, he must produce consistently over eighty two games.

As for the next month we'll see, I'm expecting changes.

Perhaps Jesse Joensuu, Robin Figren, David Ullstrom, or Matt Martin (or another prospect) comes in and earns a spot or Garth Snow wants to give them a full chance before going in another direction.

This is why you draft players, sign them, and develop them.

I would not expect an Eastern conference again where Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal and Ottawa qualified for the playoffs with brutal stretches of uneven play in 2009-10.

Right now, things are only on paper, that means nothing.

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Brendan Witt Bought Out By New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/01/2010 10:56:00 PM | Comment Here
NHL.com: Reports Brendan Witt has officially been bought out by the New York Islanders.

NYIFC Comments:
I'm a little disappointed he did not receive the same opportunity to win back a spot as Jon Sim did, but the current depth chart speaks for itself.

Despite how things worked out, I'm glad the Islanders approached him early before they had to give him a contract a few years ago.

At the time Witt was surprised he was offered a contract extension, thought the team would wait before making a decision, and acknowledged that they could have traded him.

Witt struggled with a lot of knee problems his final years here, and played hurt for long stretches. He seemed to finally gain mobility back in December 2008, and played out the season, but he got hurt in early 2009.

Unfortunately, last season his plus minus did reflect his play at times, and he was knocked around by opposing players.

Is was reported months ago that Garth Snow would not place Witt on re-entry waivers, but having written this are unconditional waivers the same thing, did those comments apply beyond the 2009-10 regular season?

Perhaps Witt's agent requested this, or the team wanted to move on and not hold him in Bridgeport which would be the fair thing to do, if Witt felt he could make another NHL team, or a trade could not be worked out?

I do believe Snow went easy on Witt with his comments when he was placed on waivers in February, he was not going to knock a player hurting/struggling unless the player puts him that position.

Witt went down to Bridgeport at a time he seemed to be hurt, but out of nowhere he was able to play three games in three days. When he arrived, I read nothing but blanket praise from Bridgeport management, his new teammates, and Witt played virtually every game before he has to leave the club for the playoffs because of family circumstances.

His play helped Bridgeport qualify for a playoff spot.

He did a solid job by all reports. Witt was classy in his interviews with Ct Post.

Did it seem appropriate, Anton Klementyev got called up over Witt, who was sitting for weeks before that one game? No, however Dylan Reese was more effective here than Witt, as was Andrew MacDonald.

I hope another NHL team gives Witt a chance. I do not believe this is the end for him, more a matter of him regaining his mobility and receiving a fresh start at full strength. He did not play often on a healthy Islander defense or team his last few years, he did seemingly play hurt far too often.

Of course, I remember him being hit by an SUV on 12/8, plus media attention from it.

But that night on the ice the Islanders lost another game they needed to win 6-2, which is what I remembered more. Witt had a second period penalty, the Flyers scored a pp goal within eight seconds. Philadelphia had three pp goals, and a shorthanded goal that night, after a 4-0 loss to Tampa, and the Flyer game, they traveled to Toronto, losing 3-2, the next day.

That key loss was at a point Philadelphia was struggling badly.

Overall it was great to have Brendan Witt on the New York Islanders, his early days with the team he was outstanding, and dominated several games in the physical department. He really re-invented his game coming out of the lockout, and put his body in front of any shot he could. A warrior in every hockey sense of the word.

Opening night last year he crushed Ruslan Fedotenko, no doubt many remember how he leveled Malkin long ago, or dominated Jagr in others. He even had the two goal game against Edmonton.

Classy man, a lot of fun to watch play hockey, who no doubt will be missed, and a great interview. Witt did a lot of excellent things for charity, not only here but in Washington.

Walking definition of what a hockey player should represent.

Here were Witt's comments when he was placed on waivers:
"I guess I'll find out tomorrow at noon if I get picked up or if not, I guess see if I go to Bridgeport or stay here," Witt said. " I guess we'll discuss that tomorrow."

"I'm sure he's disappointed," coach Scott Gordon said. "But we're a team in transition."

"I played with my knee for awhile, but I'm not one to complain about injuries. More than anything I'm just kind of shocked," Witt said. "Now I'll just sit and wait."

Did he feel like he got a fair shot this year?

"I think so," Witt said. "I think I could've played better, but it is what it is. Did it deserve this? I don't know, but it's just the way the business is and I'll try not to take it personal."

New York Acquires D James Wisniewski For Conditional Third Rd Pick

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/31/2010 12:55:00 AM | Comment Here
Before we get to the trade, the Islanders website reported on the passing of long-time fan Bill Hayes here with a very classy feature.

I remember Mr Hayes at the games for many years, and express condolences to his family. His love and passion for the New York Islanders will never be forgotten.
Islanders website: Reports the New York Islanders have acquired James Wisniewski from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, GM Garth Snow comments.

Orange County Register: Eric Stephens, has comments from Anaheim General Manager, Bob Murray on why he made this trade, along with the newest Islander.

Wisniewski's comments:
“This year, if you look at it, it was all injuries that kept us out of the playoffs in my opinion. And they didn’t feel I was worth it but hopefully the Islanders can see the potential that I have and maybe it’ll be great for my career. It’s another chapter in my life.”

The draft pick is optional in nature as the Islanders have until June 1 to give the Ducks their own third-round selection or Colorado’s third-round pick that they acquired in a prior deal. NHL.com reported that the trade is conditional upon Wisniewski passing a physical by 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

Tsn.ca: Scott Cullen breaks down trade from both sides.

NYIFC Comments:
I'm frankly shocked on a lot of levels. No doubt a steal for Garth Snow from a club that did not want to take on that kind of salary, but still signed the player before suddenly moving him.

I did follow Wisniewski's negotiations here before he resigned and felt he received above his market value, but you almost never see a signing to avoid arbitration, followed by an immediate trade.

Reminds everyone this is a business, some felt this player would receive more than he signed for in arbitration. Was Bob Murray that interested in conditional third, when he could have walked away from an award or simply not qualified him?

As for Garth Snow, his defense improved a great deal in the physical department, and adds a top four defender with twenty minute ability. It also likely sets up what will be another trade given his depth chart.

Mark Eaton is a big defender, but not an overly physical player, Wisniewski brings that element at a young age missing from this backline, but is not big in terms of size.

Wisniewski will be an UFA next summer, but a very good move by Garth Snow.

Would be fun to see Matt Martin, Wisniewski, Travis Hamonic & Zenon Konopka knocking teams around.

Downside with this move is the new NHL rules on hits to the head, plus this player being a repeat offender in terms of suspensions (once for eight games here) means Islanders will lose his services for a long time if he is suspended again.

The days of Gary Roberts charging in from center ice for a head shot in 2002 playoffs against Kenny Jonsson, with no suspension are over.

Does this mean Anaheim will claim Brendan Witt's salary in exchange off unconditional waivers? Not likely, but it may set the table for another future deal between the clubs. Cam Fowler was signed and they have Bobby Ryan to sign along with filling out their roster.

NYIFC Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/29/2010 12:27:00 AM | Comment Here

I though this would be a good time for a boring NYIFC history story, given we just passed four years, with an update on a few items.

In truth, NYIFC is still here today only because of luck, coincidence, and some very fortunate timing.

Also many folks asking me to keep it going last summer.

A few mistakes turned into good breaks along the way.

When Islanders-Sound Tigers closed after seven years, there was no such thing as blogger, when I decided to close NYIFC, Twitter was only getting started. I knew nothing about twitter beyond putting the rss feed there so a few folks could read blog entries.

1999 to May 2006 Islanders-Sound Tigers:
HF writer 2004/board moderator 2002-06. (a few of you please stop sending me e-mails about how terrible the old board is now or about the ten plus individuals moderating, I don't know them.)

July 2007-Feb 2009:

NYIFC Opens Full Blog entries daily. One of the first to use live chats and do updates during trade deadlines, UFA or NHL draft.

Feb 2009:
Announced NYIFC would close permanently after the season.

April 2009:
Closed NYIFC, kept page viewable.

May 2009:
Finally got Islanders to take NYIFC out of blog box after several e-mails requesting link be removed after season. My intention was to close, which is why I asked the Islanders to remove my link in first place.

A lot easier to get in the box, then it was to get out. At least my suggestion after 2008 to add another ten individuals for 2009 was used for a while.

May 2009:
Decided to keep NYIFC visible during WC for page updates which led to a few blog entries, page was still viewable at time and was updating it anyway for myself as kind of my own website.

June-July 2009:
Started looking at audio format and figured out how to embed blog entries here, which kept things going for draft/UFA so of course a few blog entries were done at that time.

Late July 2009:
Decided audio entries would stop, and blog would be closed in near future, but that was fun, and very rare for blogger community to do entries in that manner.

August 2009:
Closed NYIFC but needed page for other computer related items with blogger, so put in some hockey updates with what I was doing, some folks again asked me to keep page open so I did.

What's ironic was in August 2009 when I was doing all these things and needed this page to try new colors, or pictures in backgrounds, I completely forgot because I claimed my domain and paid for it, blogger was free.

I could have started a new blog and deleted NYIFC at any time. I could have used prospect blog. Folks were asking me to keep the pages viewable, so I did until September, but it was simply dumb luck I forgot blogger was also free.

Sept 2009:
Camp opened, closed NYIFC for good at time and made page not viewable, I had no intention of reopening ever again.

Then came Twitter:
Sept 2009:

Started dabbling with twitter entries during camp/preseason which to that point only was hooked into rss for blog updates, it was very easy and did not require changes/re-edits.

I then discovered how to put a twitter box in blogger as an individual blog entry, so three weeks later, I reopened NYIFC and announced it would return for good using twitter box.

I had no intention of doing blog entries, but added some during select times, and currently at times during off-season which brings us to where we are now.

NYIFC never returned to it's former interactive format, with no blog comments, polls or live chats we used to have. 09-10 was mostly twitter updates in the forum of a blog entry. Enough folks are kind enough to e-mail.

In the end, a lot of coincidence, some breaks, or dumb luck, but in the end it turned out for the best, NYIFC is still here.

No idea where things go from this point, all I can write is NYIFC will never return to the full daily format of only blogger entries.

I also again formally request no one e-mail me with advertising opportunities, NYIFC is a non-profit hockey blog.

I will of course listen to those with individual Islander sites I consider of quality for my readers, but that does not mean I want to do a link exchange. I do not accept blogs interested in breaking news or cartoon blogs. Serious individuals, not so much interested in making themselves popular, but telling our teams story for our fans.

In short, folks in it for the Islanders before themselves.

That's why I started doing this in 1999. I hope there are one or two individuals who feel the same way, willing to put in the time.

I have no interest in writing for anyone, if I write at all, it will be here.

Media policy will not change with sources, or content used in entries or twitter updates. I do not care if NYIFC is the last place in North America to do an entry, it will be confirmed by professional outlets using their names, and it will be correct, just like we have done with trades from the beginning.

As for NYIFC page itself:
I like the new template and looking at expanding it to cover the full page, even if in the end, blogging/twitter updates stop. I'm not changing the prospect blog at all. It's perfect as an Islander prospect reference page in a stand-alone format.

An updated NYIFC header will be released when 2010-11 season begins after current team is set, the classic look will remain.

There will be no announcement regarding the future of NYIFC.

This will also be the final NYIFC update ever, this was the correct time to do an entry about it.

Wake up for this part...
My Thanks as always to everyone, it's been a great four years.

I have no doubt if things break right this team can win the Stanley Cup in 2010-11. Three teams with less than ninety points went to the playoffs in this conference, the Isles competed well with all the top teams, they had third best record among Eastern teams against the Western Conference.

Some of these kids, up their scoring, some veterans produce. and the man games lost to injury finally drops to less than a hundred fifty, this will be a tough team to keep out of the NHL playoffs.

We'll see. Sometimes correct, sometimes not.

I had sound off during Isles selection of Nino Niederreiter, thought the young man standing next to Garth Snow was his son after seeing Mr Wang and his child on stage? I only knew of the name Kevin Connolly until the draft.

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Matt Moulson Signed, Ryan Jankowski to MTL

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/27/2010 02:16:00 PM | Comment Here
Islanders website: Report Matt Moulson avoided arbitration, and agreed to a one year contract with the Islanders for the 2010-11 season, GM Garth Snow comments.

Canadian Press: Reports Moulson will get a raise from $575,000 to $2.45 million.

NYIFC Comments:
Not surprised, sometimes this goes to final moments before a hearing when a compromised is reached. Obviously the Isles were not dealing from a position of strength. Next year Moulson will be an UFA, how he was treated here will likely be remembered when/if there are future contract negotiations.

Tsn.ca: Report Islanders assistant general manager, Ryan Jankowski has been hired as an amateur scout with the Montreal Canadians.

NYIFC Comments:
This is the first professional media confirmation we have Ryan Jankowski was not retained.

I'm not going to hit this very hard, nor am I going to speculate on why Ryan Jankowski was not retained, but teams not announcing a contract expiring is a very common practice by many NHL organizations.

I know with many folks demanding reality TV for every decision made by the Islanders, that does not sit very well, but this is how it is done all over the NHL.

Montreal Canadians: Fired six of their scouts on 5/31, before the NHL draft which is why these jobs became available, nor did the Canadians website issue a release here but did one for Guy Boucher when he was hired by Tampa Bay to be it's new head coach on 6/10.

Christer Rockstrom, worked 21 years for the Rangers, last five as director of player personnel for Europe, his contract expired, it was not announced by team and Edmonton Journal noted it on Saturday as a blurb in an Oilers article.

Sometimes you do not even read about the person being let go until he finds a job somewhere else, or the club announces a replacement, and it's a footnote.

Rockstrom was also hired by Montreal.

Of course, the good news is Ryan Jankowski has been hired by another organization, all Islander fans should wish him the best and thank for him for his work here.

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Islanders New ECHL Affiliate is Kalamazoo Wings

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/26/2010 01:14:00 PM | Comment Here
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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Utah ECHL Partnership With Islanders Over

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/23/2010 07:02:00 PM | Comment Here
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.

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Billy Jaffe's Contract Not Renewed

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/23/2010 01:50:00 PM | Comment Here
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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Owner Speaks on Arena Issue: Surcharge On Tickets To Finance Construction

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/22/2010 09:04:00 PM | Comment Here
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 | Comment Here
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.

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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New York Islander Fan Central | 7/21/2010 10:20:00 PM | Comment Here
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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New York Islander Fan Central | 7/21/2010 09:48:00 PM | Comment Here
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 | Comment Here
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 | Comment Here
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.

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

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

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/16/2010 12:53:00 AM | Comment Here
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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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 | Comment Here
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.