9/28/10

Two Games In One Day? Likely All Time First For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2010 11:42:00 PM


Updated 12:30pm Wednesday:
Twitter box will be reposted at 7pm, for articles/game recaps/ect.

Nielsen and Doug Weight will not be making the trip to Philadelphia, Jon Sim will replace Nielsen on the top line, centering Matt Moulson and Krys Kolanos.
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I know the New York Islanders have played regular season games in neutral sites long ago, obviously they have played pre-season all over North America. In the past there have been early rookie games followed by NHL teams going head to head afterward.

Cannot recall any instance of this team ever playing two games on the same day as we will not see (Cablevsion partners spamming every preseason game of house team only) Wednesday against Calgary/Philadelphia, or Saturday's double-header vs New Jersey/Montreal.

Not sure what (if any) game we can follow from Philadelphia/Saskatoon across the web. The Islanders website is reporting, the NHL Network will carry the game vs. the Flyers live at 7 p.m. and will also broadcast the game from Saskatoon vs. the Flames at 4 a.m here.

In the past some preseason games have been live on ITV, other instances, Cablevision has only permitted the games be shown days later. If you think Cablevision is lifting any blackouts to show out of town games on NHL Network, don't count on it.

Some of these players on tryouts (Manny Legace) could be making a pre-cameo for signing with Philadelphia tomorrow, while playing for the Islanders. Given eight veterans that must dress as a minimum hard to read much into lines but it seems Niederreiter, Parenteau have their chance with regulars.

It will be interesting. I'm not sure what I'm going to do besides follow the scoreboard and hope for no more injuries. It is preseason, but you can bet with New Jersey losing games (they finally beat Flyers Tuesday) with a new coach they will be pressing hard for some wins, and are ahead of the Islanders in games played as is every NHL team.

At this point getting through games healthy is becoming a factor. Hunter, Schremp, DiPietro, Martinek and other players are all coming off injuries from a year ago.

This is the group that will likely traveled to Philadelphia:
26 Moulson – 51 Nielsen – 29 Kolanos
58 Joensuu – 18 Ortmeyer – 37 McAmmond
81 DiBenedetto – 50 Marcinko – 59 Haley
54 Romano – 33 Yablonski

38 Hillen – 6 Eriksson
42 Reese – 36 Hamonic
71 Katic – 48 Klementyev

30 Roloson
34 Legace
53 Martin

Defensemen Dustin Kohn and Bruno Gervais are both expected to make the trip to Philadelphia per teams website.

Saskatoon Group:
57 Blake Comeau, 91 John Tavares, 15 PA Parenteau
12 Josh Bailey, 44 Rob Schremp, 25 Nino Niederreiter
17 Matt Martin, 45 David Ullstrom, 7 Trent Hunter
14 Trevor Gillies, 28 Zenon Konopka, 49 Rhett Rakhshani

4 Mark Eaton, 20 James Wisniewski
47 Andrew MacDonald, 24 Radek Martinek
3 Calvid de Haan, 27 Milan Jurcina

39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mikko Koskinen


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Okposo Out Indefinately Facing Shoulder Surgery, Mike Mottau Signed

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2010 03:37:00 PM


NHL.com: Reports the Islanders announced Tuesday that forward Kyle Okposo's ailing right shoulder will require surgery that will keep him out indefinitely. Defenseman Mike Mottau was signed to a two-year contract, with general manager Garth Snow's comments.

Islanders website: Announced lineups traveling to Saskatoon/Philadelphia subject to change.

NYIFC Comments:
Don't know what's going on but feels like 08-09 all over again with 582 man games lost. To lose Streit, now Okposo long-term frankly are two of the biggest losses this roster can absorb.

Unless there is a trade coming or more pending injuries on the backline it's very curious Mottau got a two year deal, which may not be a one-way contract.

Mottau was a seventy game player for New Jersey last year, he's obviously not any kind of fit to replace Mark Streit's offense.

Okposo out opens the door for Niederreiter's stay being extended, it may open the door for another winger in Bridgeport or necessitate a lateral move for a veteran off another team now. As written yesterday the players brought in on tryouts are to fill out rosters to ice minimum eight veterans for split squad games so for Ortmeyer, McAmmond, Legace ect it will likely end by Sunday.

So far Weight, Nielsen, Poulin, Lawson, Streit, Okposo, Figren and likely others are out, have lingering injuries/soreness/illness.

The loss of Okposo is huge, but the Islanders had to deal with some extended scoring slumps from Okposo last season when he was healthy, this is a chance for someone else to step in. After Moulson a year ago, anyone can step up.

Garth Snow has his hands full, but again this calls for a patient approach to find the right fits which could come from within, and a test of his management. Matt Martin, Jesse Joensuu, others have an opportunity now. Other teams have plenty of alternatives which they would be happy to unload, but for the next few days that does not seem the way to go.

I'm not sure a two year contract to a defender who can struggle at times is a patient approach. Mottau brings a physical game this backline lacks in Eaton vs Sutton, but I see this as the prelude to some kind of trade/transaction.

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9/27/10

First Cut Made By New York is Kabanov/Ortmeyer on PTO/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/27/2010 11:01:00 AM


Updated:
Islanders website: Report Jed Ortmeyer has accepted an invitation to Training Camp on a Professional Tryout (PTO).

Islanders website: Report Kirill Kabanov was returned to the Moncton Wildcasts of the QMJHL.

Note the following roster changes with players on tryouts:
Anders Erikkson - 6
Dean McAmmond – Will select between 10 and 18 when he arrives tomorrow
Krys Kolanos - 29
Manny Legace - 34
Joel Martin - 53

The line combination's for Monday were also changed to reflect the groups traveling to Saskatoon and Philadelphia for Wednesday games. Okposo, Nielsen, Weight are not part of these lines.

It must be noted per NHL rules, eight NHL veteran players must dress for these games, so New York will require sixteen of their NHL roster players be in action for both split squad game. How that word is defined, leaves some interpretation.

NYIFC Comments:
Not going to read a lot into Kabanov being sent back now, only the organization knows what went into the decision at this time.

All we do know is three groups of players will be required, one which will fly Tuesday to Saskatoon for a Wednesday game vs Calgary, and likely go to Quebec after that game, another which will travel to Philadelphia Wednesday while a third will train in Bridgeport and have it's exhibition schedule.

In short, well over sixty players. A lot of bodies/games, in a short period of time.

Changes will be coming very fast. Obviously the Islanders have concerns bringing in Ortmeyer, McAmmond about Nielsen, when they could shift Bailey to the middle or it is simply about having veterans for this weeks games.

My take on losing Mark Streit is if the NJ Devils can build the bulk of their Atlantic Division winning season with a defense of Andy Greene, Mark Fraser, Mike Mottau, Cory Murphy, Bryce Salvador, Matt Halischuk, if the Pens could survive large parts of seasons without Sergei Gonchar, then the New York Islanders should be able to do exactly the same thing, and win hockey games.

Devils even employed former Islander Rob Davison last season for one game, they had
Martin Skoula, Matthew Corrente on their backline, Paul Martin played only 22 games.

New York and New Jersey scored 222 goals last season.

Oaoa.com: Reports Joel Martin was to have attended Bridgeport's camp which opens Monday, but for now will be at Islanders camp.

NHL.com: Mike Morreale's season preview included the loss of Mark Streit in analysis, and former Flames gm, Craig Button's breakdown. NHL.com: Brian Compton had a feature on John Tavares.

NY Post: Phil Mushnick reports the the Islanders still are without a radio station, noting last season their TV feed was simulcast on two Long Island stations.

NYIFC Comments:
Don't know, and fair question but Mr Mushnick failed to ask where was NY Post hockey staff, who still have yet to report on Streit's injury?

Bridgeport Sound Tigers: Have agreed to terms on a one-year, AHL deal with defenseman Brett Motherwell, who played seventeen games with the team last season.

Updated:
Montreal Gazette: Reported Mike Bossy's brother Pat, passed away last Wednesday at age 60.


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9/26/10

Streit Out Indefinitely...Tryout Agreements For Several Players

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/26/2010 05:59:00 PM


Islanders website: Report Islander defender Mark Streit is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

Tsn.ca: Reports Cablevision owned Newsday is reporting " via sources ", that the All-Star defenceman will be out six months with a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, the Islanders told TSN that Streit is out indefinitely until he can see a specialist.

Islanders website: Also announced Dean McAmmond, Manny Legace, Anders Eriksson, Krys Kolanos and Joel Martin have all accepted invitations to Training Camp on Professional Tryouts.

NYIFC Comments:
Obviously the worst case scenario for Streit, to speculate how long would be pointless now because the source game writers do that as quickly as they did for Pat Burns. He may never return the same player at his age, and a loss for the entire NHL to lose a player of his ability regardless of club.

With three opportunities to play the opening night lineup together over the five games, these PTO agreements may have been in the works with split-squad games, or this is an opportunity to replace some of the players in these games who were out with general soreness, or Okposo who also has a shoulder issue.

The fact only three goaltenders dressed for a team scrimmage, with no Lawson, Poulin or that Roloson did not finish Saturday's game where he was scheduled to go the entire game, and DiPietro working his way back may have necessitated these moves in goal.

Four goaltenders must dress for those split squad games plus there is Bridgeport's camp which is opening.

Kolanos, McAmmond indicate there could be concern over Doug Weight/Frans Nielsen or the club sees this as an AHL alternative or they don't want to rush Ullstrom into a checking center role. Legace could be an option for a goalie who did not dress Saturday. Ericksson could be temporary depth but hardly a replacement for Streit, with deHaan, Hamonic, Katic, Reese, Kohn all waiting for an opportunity, that even can include DeHart and signed Anton Klementyev.

This also means Garth Snow will likely be working the phones with several clubs needing to drop salary. I would not want Souray/Bergeron or any of these short term failures to replace Streit, MacDonald, Hillen, deHaan, Hamonic are far better alternatives.

Souray had four goals, played thirty seven games and was deep in red for an injured Oilers club, he cleared waivers for obvious reasons, and the Oilers did not even allow him in their camp. Unless Taylor Hall is coming with Souray, Andrew MacDonald was doing quite well over twenty five minutes last season to step into this spot.

This calls for some patience from the general manager and is a test of his ability to find the right fit and somewhat offset the loss, not make a panic move and add a player with more downside that complicates the situation.

Bottom line we have to see how this plays out, but the loss of Mark Streit for any length of time is devastating. PTO does not mean anyone is signed, it could be to buy players time, but this does not help a team fine tune to open a season, it turns an already limited exhibition schedule into surviving games.

Can you imagine if Cablevision owned Newsday contradicted a release regarding one of the teams they own? It's so bad the Islanders actually had to contact TSN to issue what are being called conflicting reports.

Someone needs to give me some help on this, Buffalo's 12th overall selection in the 2008 draft was defenseman, Tyler Myers. New York's 12th overall selection in the 2009 draft was Calvin deHaan.

Folks want to say his injury sets him back, fair enough. Seems if Myers can make the jump, no reason deHaan cannot if he is anywhere near the fluid-skater he was a year ago in camp after time off.

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9/25/10

New York Injuries Piling Up Early Again: Mark Streit Could Join List

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2010 02:29:00 PM


New York-New York, had it's Orange (White) vs Blue scrimmage Saturday which ended in a 4-4 tie game, it appeared Mark Streit took a hit from Matt Moulson and went off holding his arm, and it did not look good.

Not big on speculating about anything much less something injury-related, but usually when you see a player holding arm into body like he did, it's a separated shoulder and the usual 4-6 weeks. I hope I'm dead wrong.

Par for the course, they went into this scrimmage with only three goalies, two coming off injuries, the other forty years old. The list of general soreness is very long right now and this team does not begin playing split-squad games until Wednesday.

It cannot continue.

Choppy connection but some random thoughts from Saturday which was a no-hitter in terms of physical play, but a few moments where players got into it. Sim hit Comeau, DiPietro knocked over Sim a few minutes later.

DiPietro started quiet for a period and a half, but began wandering too far out and got stranded once, you could see emotion in his game. He was unsure of a few pucks but solid enough.

We'll see how he feels tomorrow.

Blake Comeau's two goals were NHL regular season efforts, one-timer from high slot, where he looked like Okposo on knee, the other where he drove around Dylan Reese and beat Roloson cutting to middle, excellent efforts.

PA Parenteau also looked very good, knows where to be on ice. Tavares scored from behind the net on a wrap-around with a lightning-fast move, saw a pk shift.

Moulson found his spot and beat DiPietro for a second period goal, Schremp-Moulson looked very good together. Hunter had two third period goals where he just bombed pucks coming down middle past DiPietro.

Niederreiter made a few heady plays, one shorthanded where he intercepted a breakout pass at offensive blueline and could have shot, but passed puck back to defense to kill time.

Wisniewski looked solid, Martinek healthy, and usual solid self. Koskinen came in for Roloson and after few pucks early was fantastic. deHaan intercepted a pass that led to goal, but not credited with assist. Hamonic two penalties, not very visible in non-hitting game.

Konopka was credited with a goal, quiet, but stead game for Josh Bailey.

Kirill Kabanov was not visible, Rob Hisey was involved. Matt Martin, not too visible in non-physical game.

Hillen-MacDonald-Gervais-Jurcina-Eaton all steady. Andy Hilbert back wearing number eleven.

Still, a very bad day if they lose Mark Streit, who is not replaceable.

For this to work, the man games lost have to be cut down significantly. 402, 582, 250 are far too many.



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9/22/10

Niederreiter Signed by NY/Media Press Conference/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/22/2010 06:46:00 PM


Playing catchup, sorry but not available Tuesday, or a good part of Wednesday.

Islanders website: Reports Nino Niederreiter signed a three year entry level contract, with comments from GM, Garth Snow.

NHL.com: Brian Compton had a feature on Niederreiter signing.

NYIFC Comments:
Congratulations to Nino Niederreiter, this is a player who just turned eighteen.

We have seen this with Bailey, Tavares and both played immediately in the NHL, in Niederreiter's case that may not happen beyond the nine games. I believe the available depth here now gives the Islanders time based on what they will see from Neiderreiter/prospects in camp or what players may become available to Garth Snow from clubs desperate to get under the summer cap in possible trades.

Islanders website: Tuesday has it's media day/or lack thereof given few questions from same people, with Owner Charles Wang, GM, Garth Snow, Head Coach, Scott Gordon with Cablevision/Newsday employees.

NYIFC Comments:
Charles Wang said the team will be here through it's 2015 lease, that's another five years. Mr Wang did it in a way where it seems whatever happens off the ice will not be a distraction for hockey, and to me that is the perfect way because he left media sitting there with nothing to add or speculate on.

Given the outbursts in Edmonton from Mr Katz, subsequent owners, this man who years ago said this is a church that will not be open forever, seems to love owning this team enough to stick with it for the time being.

He has more patience than even I would frankly, a lot of other owners in markets with far more financial resources/media to sell product have been far more critical.

Scott Gordon after a while got some hockey questions, while Snow gave stock answers on many subjects which is fair enough and what we have heard before for the most part. The approach with DiPietro in terms of working himself back was a big part of early questions, the gm will decide if the coach will remain beyond the final year of his contract, as it should be.

Gordon on players/rebuilding comment being over was his best moment. All in all a good media conference, whatever it's spun into by our laughingstock of a hockey media, is another matter entirely, and reflect on them more than the club.

Tsn.ca: Also had a very brief article on Mr Wang's statement.

Islanders website: Released television schedule in Cablevision-Msg stock release. At least seventeen games will be on Msg+2 where access is limited/ratings will be lower. It appears Stan Fischler Msg's contract will again have him attending more Islander games as what is being called an " NHL correspondent", which in effect means no Islander personality will be hired to replace Butch Goring's Msg contract in their studio.

That means this scam with Jaffe/Goring absolutlely saved Msg money on a contract above all.

Did not see the New York-New Jersey preseason games scheduled to be televised from the Coliseum on 10/2 on that pdf. Msg is of course spamming the house team on television.

Not sure what IMG is and what they will be doing with club in terms of some kind of future television show. Hopefully they can keep it entirely out of Cablevsion/Msg access.
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Kirill Kabanov, was late for warm-up and was again disciplined by club, it's his NHL career and frankly he's pushing his luck.

Tom Poti, received a two year extension of over five million from Washington.

QMI Agency: Steve MacFarlane has Flames coach, Brent Sutter on, Tim Jackman, on both winning the Bob Nystrom award with the Islanders.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio, had an interview with Tomas Marcinko, and a few other items.

Hopefully that catches us up.

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9/20/10

Islander/NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/20/2010 04:05:00 AM


To the best of my knowledge, Mark Flood is the only player not accounted for from last season's Islanders/Sound Tigers, along with Jeremy Colliton, who was qualified in summer 2009, who's current new road jersey is available from a site that updated this information to include all roster changes.
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Found it mildly interesting the club is giving out line combination's and injury information, with no free professional media in print or anywhere beyond a cameo by the Post which hopefully means the end of the Dan Martin era. Best way to get ahead of everyone is to simply report their own news and let everyone else catch up.

Having written this, once the club starts going beyond NHL issued/approved agreement not to report injuries, or line changes/whatever they have to stick with it. This may be something just to open camp, but if it goes into the season no backing out.

Seems unnecessary for the club to report DiPietro is getting a day off Monday, which could only mean a day off the ice. This seems like getting ahead of it's print media. Mr Fornabaio of the Ct Post will be heading to the Coliseum this week, so we'll likely get some words from Nate Lawson.

Bottom line until everyone coming back from injury play healthy for months, all these reports/interviews/statements mean absolutely nothing. That goes for every player returning from injury around the NHL, not just DiPietro, Weight, Martinek or any memeber of the New York Islanders.

Yes, an interview with Radek Martink would still be nice.
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At least Butch Goring made sure to thank his employer first for the opportunity to call New York Islander hockey games this season. He is correct in asking recently where does one get a chance to pay his dues? Look at all the former players working for media outlets with no experience beyond being interviewed as players.

I did not see first hand Cablevsion/Msg employee Butch Goring claim New York would finish 13th on Saturday for James Dolan's hockey show which was force fed to our fans last season, as opposed to a real post-game on Saturday.

If Goring said it and that's his viewpoint, so be it. He's with the majority of those who don't follow the New York Islanders enough but making projections, Do I think one of Dolan's other paid salesman can say that about the house teams? No.

If Goring felt he was not around the Islanders enough last season, his employer (Msg-Cablevision) should have paid to let him travel with the team, especially when Howie Rose was on one of his vacations.

I find it fascinating how few understand how poorly Martin Biron played last season in an open competition to win a starting spot against a goalie who at one point was ten games over five hundred with the same roster, it goes to show how few follow hockey in New York.

All I know is at this time Msg has saved money on Billy Jaffe's contract if Goring's Msg contract is transferred into the Islander broadcast booth and out of Cablevision-Msg hockey studio with no replacement hired as if this time, to where Goring is for the moment pulling double-duty.

I do not recall Billy Jaffe forced to travel often to Msg Studio to discuss New York Islander hockey.

At this time no New York Islander has been announced to take his spot, until that has been corrected this change is about Msg saving money on a contract.
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Globe and Mail: Bruce Dowbiggin has a write-up where former NY Islander, Ray Ferraro explains how he used the source game to incorrectly be one of those who broke incorrect information on the passing of former coach, Pat Burns, with apologies.

NYIFC Comments:
Mr Downbiggin spent just as much time calling out Damien Cox of The Toronto Star for not issuing an apology, but even this is more about media competition for page views, little to do with Pat Burns, his family or the fans.

I'm familiar enough with Mr Dowbiggin's work on hockey to know he plays the shock joke/source game enough himself and should not be throwing stones.

Seems the days of the professional media picking up the phone to confirm a story is the only thing that has passed away. Seemingly no one wants to give their name to confirm information very often so lazy media just throw source to story and go with it.

Obviously this sad show regarding Mr Burns confirms have far things have fallen.
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NYIFC changes include Championship pics for Arbour/Torrey. Bill Smith vs Gretzky, and the prospect blog updated to include 10th anniversary tribute. Still working on getting Smith with Conn Smythe.

Also new pics of Jiggs McDonald, Ed Westfall, a tribute to late Islander broadcasters, Bob Lawrence/George Michael. Also added images of Jean Potvin, Barry Landers, John Sterling and a rare Tim Ryan image.



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9/17/10

Camp Opens For New York 2010-11

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/17/2010 11:45:00 AM


Updated:
Injury Report and Early Line Combination's were also added to teams website.

Updated:
Islanders website: The complete training camp roster has been released.

Day one of camp for NHL 2010-11 New York Islanders, the beginning of a new hockey season that will run until at least early April 2011.

Islanders website: Announced 9/17 that six players have been released from their professional tryout contracts. Forwards Casey Cizikas and Alex O’Neil, defenseman Tony DeHart will return to Ontario Hockey League (OHL) teams, forwards Steve Tarasuk, Justin Taylor and defenseman Corey Syvret will attend AHL training camp in Bridgeport.

NYIFC Comments:
Nothing shocking here, DeHart did play in AHL briefly last year so going back to OHL quickly is a mild surprise as opposed to Bridgeport. Cizikas is not signed and was injured so he was not going to play for now. O'Neil was not drafted by club.
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A few words on two games vs Bruins prospects.

Both Koskinen-Poulin looked very good, games could have become blowouts for Boston with some of quality chances, but they also seemed to have more time to prep for both games.

See a problem with both of them not starting in Bridgeport, plus there is Lawson.

Already injuries are piling up.

David Toews came here and got hurt immediately after two goals for Brandon last Friday. Casey Cizikas got hurt in first game against Boston, that diving blocked shot by Robin Figren (kept playing) now has him on crutches Friday, he scored off balance in first game.

Marcinko, Joensuu, Martin did not play in these games. O'Neil, Taylor and Corey Syvret had some solid play. Boston looked like a much bigger team with those players out.

David Ullstrom for someone trying to play center looked very good, I don't know where he will skate in camp but I thought he was a winger.

Nino Niederreiter had a goal but seemed to pass up some good scoring chances and got knocked down a few times, still backed up his teammates and fought. Has obvious skills. Justin DiBendetto got into some good scoring areas and had over ten shots in two games. Ullstrom found him for a great chance.

Calvin deHaan looked slower than player he was last year on what seemed very bad ice, with bouncing pucks. He took some hits, but still was the qb on the pp, not bad at all for player who's been out for months, same for Mark Katic. Tony DeHart looked better in second game, Travis Hamonic two fights, not bad on defense, played like a leader.

Islander pp seemed reluctant to shoot, lot's of perimeter play, cycles, one-timers from sides, too many off-sides on rushes also.

Seemed like the club had bus-lag for game one, in game two just could not finish or one pass too many, despite high shot total. One goal by Tony Romano was a why-not shot from above circle that got past Boston goalie, that he should have had. Mostly wrist shots and a little tentative to shoot overall, when game opened up and teams traded chances, Boston had more dangerous opportunities which is how game ended in overtime. Kabanov had a three on one and whiffed, but some skill, got into it a little.

ITV/NHLTV feed never worked/Boston feed worked perfect for most of the two games. Don't know difference being it was same brutal announcer?

The NHL camp opens Friday 9/17. First games are not for another twelve days, so unlike other camps this will not be have a few practices and start playing preseason next week. When 9/29 come around there will be split squad games.

If the club went to China it would have been games against their local teams next week.

The Scott Gordon over speed system (when was last time we saw that word?) produced a lot of injuries a few years ago. A lot of days of drills, scrimmages and practices coming, obvious pressure on first coach since Al Arbour (longest tenured Atlantic coach) to open three straight seasons behind club's bench.

This may well determine roster spots unless players become available in salary dumps or those alternatives look better than some of players on Islander roster.

NYIFC has done enough Kirill Pettov updates, his team has every right to hold him to his contract and have him play for AkBars, just like anyone on the Islander roster who has to earn their minutes. Petrov has a binding agreement.

All in all this was a good agreement with Boston, two games that got a lot more attention than rookies games against Canadian schools, where article could barely be found.

As for 2010-11, full camp open today so we start getting some answers.
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Syracuse Standard: Jason Lockhart, formerly Islanders website coordinator begins his new assignment as Syracuse Crunch broadcaster.

The wonderful hockey media that cannot get anything right is releasing contradicting reports on Pat Burns, as to whether he has passed away.



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9/14/10

NYIFC EXCLUSIVE: Agent Refutes Chris Botta Words Of A Staged Story On Paul Martin Negotiations

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/14/2010 09:09:00 PM


As some may have noted the Islanders former VP of media relations on AOL FanHouse, Saturday wrote in a team preview General Manager Garth Snow's efforts to sign Paul Martin, or placing a call to Ilya Kovalchuk's agent employed the words "staged stories."

I linked to this here, so you could read it in full context.

Jay Grossman, who represents Ilya Kovalchuk in North America, did an interview with Craig Custance, was quoted directly on Islander related negotiations in the Sporting News. NYIFC did an entry on this last week with commentary.

Mr Grossman was contacted requesting an updated comment/reaction, if one is received it will be posted here.

Paul Martin's agent, Ben Hankinson of Octagon Hockey comments on negotiations were widely reported this summer CBC Sports.ca

I forwarded the AOL article in context (with link) to Mr Hankinson, requesting a response, he replied 9/14 with the following:
As I stated before Garth Snow was very aggressive in pursuing unrestricted free agent Paul Martin on July 1, 2010. Garth called my office more than any other NHL GM. Garth directly spoke to Paul on the phone and also had Doug Weight call and speak with Paul. Garth offered more money than any other team. It was not staged. I certainly did not have time on July 1 to waste. I did express our (Paul’s) concerns about playing in an older building when Garth replied “Paul would be sitting on the (bleeping) players bench, not in the stands.” It was not a staged story.

NYIFC Comments:
My Thanks to Ben Hankinson of Octagon Hockey.

It was not a staged story, why use those words?

Sorry folks, NYIFC does not like wasting our time lowering our standard here, but when a former team employee uses such words, it's time to find out what we can.

For those e-mailing why Point Blank was dropped from NYIFC earlier this year, I submit there will be no change in policy here for the reasons given in February which through commentary like this only confirm the decision was the correct one.


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9/12/10

New York Will Ice Veterans In Saskatoon vs Calgary on 9/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/12/2010 04:24:00 PM


Montreal Gazette: Cory Wolfe has comments from General Mangager Garth Snow, on veteran lineup that will represent New York in Saskatoon, against the Calgary Flames on 9/29 at Credit Union Center, along with Rick DiPietro's progress to date.

Comments from the General Manager:
On the game in Saskatoon on 9/29:
“We consider our game in Saskatoon a home game and we’re going to put on a good show for the fans.”

“We were always going to play one of our home games in Saskatoon, just because of the positive experience that we had there last year.”

“With the way we were embraced in the community, I’d like to think that we won over some fans in Saskatoon because I know we’re big fans of going back there.”

On Goaltender Rick DiPietro:
“He’s been doing great, He’s been skating with a bunch of our players who have come here early either to train or get their kids in school. He has looked really sharp.”

“He can just go out and play and not have any physical issues.”
“To say that he’s excited would be an understatement.”

NYIFC Comments:
What's notable here is the Saskatoon/Calgary game, although scheduled long ago as part of the canceled China trip, is a split squad contest, with the Islanders also playing in Philadelphia the same night.

The other split-squad contest is in Quebec on 10/2, with the Coliseum exhibition against New Jersey where historically the majority of the opening night lineup participates.

Sure, the gm could be selling the Saskatoon game a bit to help lagging ticket sales for a one-day event, which is far different than a full camp a year ago.

We'll see who participates when 9/29 comes along, one group will make a much shorter trip.

As for Rick DiPietro on 2/25 he told the NY Daily News his leg/body felt good.

Three days later his knee issues resurfaced in practice that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Snow's comments on this (even DiPietro's) are good news, but until DiPietro can stay healthy in the long-term, it means nothing.

Notables:
Ak Bars Official Website: Translated to English will give you up to date team announcements/play of Kirill Petrov, no sources required.

Twitter updates today have article/analysis on Sporting News, Islander preview by Flyer centric-writer, Chuck Gormley.

Mr Gormley writes the Islanders got what they paid for in free agency, and mostly discusses how the club did not keep up with it's Atlantic counter-parts, despite New York finishing only fourteen goals behind the Flyers a year ago. He also did not bother noting his fellow Sporting News writer, Craig Custance entry on Islander/ Kovalchuk negotiations just days ago, where agent Jay Grossman's comments contradict him entirely, but still wrote New York made a lucrative offer to Kovalchuk in the $100 million range.

According to Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman, no such offer was ever made.

Beyond that a lot of old, stock quotes.

Mr Gormley was correct on one thing, Islander fans got what they paid for, a free article so sloppy/lazy he still owes us a refund.



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9/10/10

Can DiPietro/Roloson Be Effective Sharing Crease?

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/10/2010 11:53:00 PM


This entry is done under the presumption Rick DiPietro will make it through camp, open the season, and remain healthy, regardless of some what folks may think about that.

DiPietro has not seen many games/pucks for two years, improvement to his former level does not happen in a vacuum, nor does someone shake two years of not playing and emerge near the player they used to be, it takes time.

Which brings us to Dwayne Roloson, who was outstanding last season. He started with some ot losses, some poor goals, but once he won the job from Biron and saw steady work, the better he played which he made clear during interviews.

DiPietro returned on 1/8, less games for Roloson changed the level of his play, he was not the same goalie after 1/12. Some solid individual games, but never quite getting back to the very high level he was at for a sustained stretch.

What some will forget is the Olympic break absolutely would eventually have had the same effect, but whether it be Biron after the break or DiPietro, who returned on 1/8, Roloson never got back to the level he was at earlier.

This makes former goaltender Scott Gordon's problem, what if Dwayne Roloson must be used as he was last season before 1/12? What if DiPietro cannot regain his skills playing part of the time or flat out needs a full year (or longer) to raise his game back to where it was when he was an all-star?

As an Islander fan who have seen both goaltenders play for years, I see a problem here. It's not about either players ability to work together, or willingness to share the crease if necessary, but simply can they come off the bench when needed and win/steal some games when required, maintaining a high playing level.

What if both these goaltenders simply need to play number one minutes to be as effective as the club will need for this team to be in contention? Roloson's last year in Edmonton suggests he needs to start. DiPietro's earlier years sharing the crease with Garth Snow suggests he needed to start.

I keep looking at this and it brings me to Nate Lawson, who played in a straight goalie rotation at Bridgeport last season on a low-scoring club, and for a second season posted a .920 save percentage.

No, I'm not suggesting Lawson is making the club, despite three goalies in Bridgeport for two spots. Last year even without DiPietro, Bridgeport had three goalies before Koskinen got injured, and the AHL weekend-centric schedule makes it much different.

No, not a chance Roloson is being traded unless this club is out of contention at the trade deadline, or even if DiPietro returns to his sixty game forum far sooner than anyone could have expected.

What I do see here is a potential problem, despite DiPietro's return healthy, a great positive in the long-term for this franchise.

Some Notes From Friday:
* I believe prospect camp opens Monday with the Bruins games, Wednesday and Thursday in Boston.

* Kirill Petrov played eight minutes in Ak Bars second game. David Towes made his debut for Brandon Friday, but will be in Islander camp, so don't draw conclusions yet based on who is playing where for a little longer. An entry was done on this, it's past late. Ak Bars owns his rights, they can allow him to come to camp or remind Petrov he has has a binding contract/obligation, unless he wants to give back his income.

Islanders website last month put him on the projected list for Boston prospect games.

* Tons of twitter updates with new interviews/Bobby Hughes signing with another team/Jeremy Colliton #27 among new road jersey's available, which had updated rosters as of Friday w/correct player numbers, all prospects.

*Petteri Nokelainen is among several former Islanders on the outside entering camp, Bruins media giving more information on games next week than Islanders, but no shock there.

* Daily News new Ranger beatwriter contacted Islander player rep Bruno Gervais on Donald Fehr, but his boss sends no one to camp or informal workouts?

* Yes folks, Peter Botte has a twitter account, it's not Islander centric at all or I would add it to media sidebar beyond link. We'll be lucky to see his work before Yankee season ends.

* No Msg Islander/studio replacement for Butch Goring announced at this time.

* Other print media added to twitter section.

* Almost seems like NHL.com has to make up for the Islanders lack of print media, don't count on that for long.

* No mistakes this year on NYIFC domain renewal because that was done today, so regardless what happens these pages will remain visible all season, I can now promise you that much.

* Going back to labeling blog entries for those who asked.



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9/9/10

Josh Bailey/Kyle Okposo Interviews

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/09/2010 03:21:00 PM


NHL.com: Brian Compton has an interview with Josh Bailey, where he discusses the 2010 team, previews, the injuries that have plagued the club and what he believes is the Islanders development plan, and opportunity for players.

Mr Compton also reported on the informal practice.

NYIFC Comments:
Until camp officially opens next week, management cannot work with players. I'm not sure of the exact date prospects can work with management but New York rookies will play at Boston on 9/15-9/16.

Outstanding work by Mr Compton here again after his excellent interview with Doug Weight.

Josh Bailey impresses me every time he speaks, even more than his play which is only getting better. He seems to understand what the team is trying to do, easy to see why character players like this are targeted by organizations and drafted earlier.

Josh Bailey more than anyone here outside of John Tavares, understands what it will take for Nino Niederreiter to earn a contract with the club and remain here, his insights into that were excellent.

As a fan on the outside, I wonder where he fits in the Islander plans as a left wing, or at the position they drafted him at center? With Schremp, Nielsen, Tavares down the middle, seems his natural position at this time is closed to him.

Rob Schremp was rightfully qualified and demonstrated he has NHL ability. Scott Gordon made it clear early last season, Schremp either plays center or he does not have a spot here. Frans Nielsen is not moving to a wing, Gordon did not change Tavares position last year.

I would suggest this as the article you read today if you can only pick one.

Updated:
NHL.com: John Kreiser also has a late feature on Kyle Okposo with his comments.




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Richard Park Signing in Switzerland Official

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/09/2010 01:39:00 PM


AP: Reports Richard Park has signed a three-year contract with Swiss club Geneva-Servette, general manager, Chris McSorley spoke with Mark Streit regarding Park, who did play in Switzerland during the lockout.

NYIFC Comments:
Nothing but thanks and the best of luck to Richard Park, who's effort won many games here and was a huge positive in the team going to the playoffs in 07-08. Without his huge goals in Philadelphia and New Jersey that final weekend, the team does not qualify.

Cablevision-Msg: Superficial release on Msg employee Butch Goring's transfer of duties to Islander broadcast booth which was allowed/ordered to be posted on Islanders website, includes his comments on being reassigned within the company.

NYIFC Comments:
Nothing on Cablevision/Msg announcement of a new Islander personality hired to take Goring's role on telecast or in studio. So a full half hour pre/post game most of the time, we'll see.

Obviously no comment from any Islander employee on these transgressions.

The release is also incorrect. Eighty Islander games did not appear on MSG Plus last season, eighteen schedule games were on Msg+2, which many do not have access to in a standard television format, others were assigned there late in the season on virtually no notice, and some outlets did not carry these channels in HD.

Not one single game appeared on Msg despite several Devil games being given the primary Garden outlet. These details never seem to make it into hockey rating releases.



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9/8/10

Ilya Kovalchuk's Agent Jay Grossman On New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/08/2010 06:03:00 PM


Sporting News: Craig Custance had comments from Ilya Kovalchuk's, North American agent, Jay Grossman, about discussions with New York, in a long interview about the process that took all summer.

On reports of an offer from the Islanders:
"They inquired. They called, we had some discussions. They had to get to the floor, obviously. We had a number of calls of that type of nature, with teams that would have been interested if we were interested in a specific kind of contract. Our objection going in was to put Kovy in one place for the remainder of his career."

NYIFC Comments:
Not terribly important, but after a summer of brutal reporting for page views first and foremost, felt it was worth folks knowing what Grossman has to say specifically about Islanders part of these negotiations.

Darren Dreger's claims from what he wrote were his sources about what the Islanders could offer took on a media life of it's own, if nothing else this proved reporting standards must absolutely be reigned in.

Note-I initially posted Scott Cullen's name instead of Mr Dreger's, that error has been correct.



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Butch Goring's Employer Assigns Him To Islander Broadcast Booth

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/08/2010 02:15:00 PM


Cablevision's Newspaper has reported Msg employee Butch Goring will also become the Islanders new color commentator, replacing Billy Jaffe in the television booth.

NYIFC Comments:
Butch Goring like everyone who appears on a hockey broadcast for the New York Islanders, Devils or Buffalo Sabres, is an employee of Msg regardless of what they do.

Butch Goring remains an Msg employee under contract to Cablevision-Msg, his salary is paid by Cablevision-Msg. He is not an employee of the New York Islanders.

Once again, I'm going to call this as I see it.

Msg/Cablevision just saved salary by eliminating a position (or Goring's studio replacement will be paid far less by Msg) and I suspect that was the plan all along from a company that replaced it's WNBA teams logo with that of a Casino to make extra revenue.

Charles/James Dolan's Newspaper/media people will report what they are told to report.

New York Islander management choices? About the same as when the Islander pre-game was pulled, or it was time to collect the full Metro Ice Challenge money from the same company, that ironically pulled Islander games off television long ago around the time Goring was coach.

No choice.

So now the former head coach Charles Wang allowed Mike Milbury to fire a decade ago, that drew very strong justified criticism at the time from fans/alumni, will move from the stands/Msg studio to the broadcast booth and will be discussing how Mr Wang's team performs during live play?

Only Msg knows if Rob Carlin will remain to do road interviews with head coach Scott Gordon.

A great deal is being asked of Butch Goring here, who has no background doing live game commentary in a broadcast booth or someone who paid his dues like Denis Potvin for years in such an assignment. Only he knows if he had the option to decline and remain employed with Msg.

Of course, Goring has a life filled with hockey experience beyond what can absolutely be strongly argued is a Hall of Fame career. He paid his hockey dues long before going to Anchorage Alaska, to coach the Aces after leaving New York, only to deal with another bad ownership after Howard/Ed Milstein, that did not live up to it's financial commitments. He then coached the Krefeld Pinguine to the DEL championship as head coach in Germany.

Of course, many recall Goring's brief time as Bruins head coach after leaving the Islanders as a player.

After what Msg did to sanitize Joe Micheletti's performance when he left the Islanders booth, this will not be easy for him, but as long as he is muted about his Msg employer his performance will not be an issue for them beyond salary.

So do all the savings on salary for Msg now mean a full post game for the New York Islanders or some programming?

If Sam Rosen can run downstairs and ask all the questions of Cablevision's coach, surely Howie Rose can finally start doing exactly the same and interview Scott Gordon as Deb Placey/Rob Carlin work the full locker room for every televised game, and not depart the air so quickly after the final horn?

Sorry folks, I think the world of Butch Goring, and felt he was treated terrible a decade ago after an excellent first season as coach where a team that won 24 games, played much better than projected.

I'm not the biggest Billy Jaffe fan, the team could be playing awful and be up/down by three goals and his commentary would reflect the scoreboard more than how the team was actually playing.

Bottom line, this has not been fair to Billy Jaffe, who did nothing on camera to not be rehired, this is not fair to Butch Goring, it's not fair to the New York Islanders or our fans.

Seems the only place it is good for will be Cablevision/Msg bottom line.

As I wrote after Msg/Cablevision announced Jaffe would not be rehired you have to make up your own mind about what some will actually now claim are the Islander broadcast partners, despite a record that obviously screams otherwise.

The media will not be giving that to you in Newsday about their own employees and what ultimately was their decisions.
*************************************
At this time there is no official confirmation from a team website Richard Park has signed in the NLA
with Genève-Servette in Switzerland. To the best of my knowledge their regular season opens Friday.




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9/7/10

Islander NHL Notables/Defense

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/07/2010 09:59:00 AM


******************************
Denis Potvin was hired by the Senators as it's new broadcaster, according to team1200 radio in Ottawa.

NYIFC Commments:
Our so-called Cablevision partners to date cannot even be bothered with a release announcing Billy Jaffe's replacement.

Anyone who believes Howie Rose is leaving the Mets a second early to report on camp regardless of record is dreaming, this would be a good time for his latest vacation so he can do every scheduled New York Islander game this coming season.
******************************
Having more depth on defense does not necessarily mean your team on the ice will be better because it takes six players as a unit, not just two players in front of the goalie.

Meyer-Sutton individually were excellent defenders for long stretches last season, their level of play at times will be tough to replace.

They also have to be in roles they are used to and comfortable with.

I have gotten it wrong a few times this summer, noting only seven defenders on one way contracts, there are now eight.

Mark Streit, James Wisniewski, Radek Martinek, Bruno Gervais, Andrew MacDonald, Jack Hillen, Milan Jurcina, Mark Eaton.

Outside of Jurcina, all eight have been playing significant minutes when healthy for years. This will not be like Berard, Bergeron or Aaron Johnson a few years ago, where one can sit in the stands.

Plus there is second rounder Dustin Kohn, all-star Mark Katic, Dylan Reese and the two prospects in deHaan, Hamonic among other signed or recently selected draft picks.

Cannot see Gervais, Martinek, Jurcina all making this team if everyone stays healthy through camp, and what if deHaan-Hamonic out perform some of these players?

After the way MacDonald played last year, he would need a brutal camp to lose a spot or a badly mismanaged numbers game by the front office, and no chance he clears waivers with that contact vs his steady play. Would Garth Snow move what he felt was an extra number one pick in Jack Hillen?

Martinek's best has proven far better than Gervais so far.

Unless defenders start dropping with injuries (which happens a lot) someone will be without a spot who is used to playing. This 82 game season is spread out over six months, no Olympic break this time, more recovery time.

Bottom line Garth Snow should have a trade/transaction. Jurcina could be Garth Snow's equivalent of Ken Sutton, who went from solid Devils defender, to someone without a spot very quickly after signing here.

Eaton's a steady defender, who sees twenty minutes, he's going to play.
*******************************************************
Notables:
To waste more time on Tsn's preview than it was given here on twitter would be pointless, they could have picked this team first and it would have been brutal, incomplete and lazy.

30 in 30? TSN should trying going 1 for 1.

The NHL preview done in August was the most in-depth and the most accurate.

A lot of signings have done far worse than the four playoffs in five years, Alexei Yashin led the Islanders to after seven years with no playoffs (none since) with nothing close to an established first line player besides Satan.

I guess Yashin needed to talk to Canadian media like Sundin or Alfredsson to excuse their failures with far superior teams, but he didn't and the Islanders media is a disaster in selling it's players to newspapers in New York, where the sport is off the media radar entirely.
*********************************
So the one team beatwriter behind the Dolan's paywall finally found out month old information on the prospects playing the Bruins's prospect next week?

Not like she is running to Syosset to report on informal workouts daily, or put together some comments, while Cablevision has it's Ranger reporter working much harder to sell the house team.

It's time for Ms Strang to get busy, like her counterparts have been busy doing several updates about informal workouts, unless Cablevision's editor is holding back coverage/information?
*********************************
Meanwhile, our great TV partner is even having kids camps on the doorstep of Harbor Yard, which even the Ct Post wondered about because Harbor Yard is Islander-Sound Tiger country.
*********************************
The New York Islanders should absolutely have some practices and team events inside NYC during this training camp because this is a NY team, with solid fan support inside the city (especially at Islander games at Msg), and must reach out to it's fans everywhere because the print media coverage is not going to be there, win or lose.
*********************************
Notice Ilya Kovalchuk did not get one positive local article in New York about resigning with the Devils? He handled himself very well during what happened. Mark Everson at the Post lived up to his nick name (Neverson) and disappeared for the good news or to hype the signing, he was quick to point out possible penalties to NJ or who they could lose because of cap space.

Glass always as empty as possible, now that Kovalchuk is signed we may never see another article from him and never when he does well.

Good news for Kovalchuk is he did not leave a Canadian team so he will not be berated for the rest of his career.
*********************************
Will be interesting to see if Kirill Petrov will be free to leave Ak Bars, to participate in Islanders camp and these games next week? He was on earlier Islander website expected to participate list. Ak Bars season starts this week.

What does it mean Kabanov, Niederreiter were not with their junior teams and will report here, which include David Toews and others? Not much. We all know the nine game rule, it's either NY or juniors for these players depending on how much impact they have.
*********************************
Wonder if Nassau/Mangano have tried to land a sponsor for naming rights to help renovate/replace the Coliseum? The Cablevision Garden will now likely also be the JP Morgan Chase Garden in a great deal for them.

Dolan's print media version of Fran Healy, Neil Best, never moved faster on a weekend unless it was to report the one solid rating the Dolan's hockey team received last season on national television.
********************************
Maybe Arthur Staple wants to explain how only the 222 goal Islanders have a " weak forward corp, " while his employers team with same 222 goals is described as a forward group that could use, " more youth and some more moxie " in selling Tim Kennedy signing?

Welcome to James Dolan's Media World, hockey content controlled by Ranger fans and former beatwriters/book-writers or employees who write what they are told and how, or they find a new job.

Not a Met fan, but I respect how they pull few punches in coverage in being critical of the team they own on the air.
*********************************
Sure looked like former Islander-Sound Tiger, Steve Valiquette was thrown under Lundqvist new bus last week, along with his other backup goalies. Not their fault he would not sit when he was having his usual two month slump packed with three or four goals on less than twenty shots. What's next Valiquette was the reason he could not stop a beachball in the Olympics for Sweden?

No doubt former Islander broadcaster, Jim Cerny has to sell Biron's season and two wins before DiPietro's return in January about three goalies being under contract, not his sub-par play in a two-goalie system, where he lost out to Roloson, who was eleven games over five hundred at one point.

But that does not reflect his season or what happened on the ice.

Biron has the same kind of season again as a caddy, he's going to be under Lundqvist bus quickly. Those three-four goals Biron gave up in many of his late season wins here were not quality performances.

He could have re-signed here and I would have written the same thing, he lost out in a two goalie system to Roloson, to spin it any other way would not reflect what did happened. If DiPietro returned in November and he took his job, when winning it would be more than a fair discussion.

Sure, you can make the point DiPietro should have sat while Roloson played virtually ever game, because despite 2-0 against Buffalo/NJ, Roloson was not the same goalie afterward, and he had them in contention.

Many feel it was a factor in the teams decline leading up to the deadline, it's not an unfair point to make.
************************************
On the former prospect front, Doug Rogers was invited to Tampa Bays' summer prospect camp, while Jared Spurgeon was invited to Minnesota's camp.



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9/1/10

Islander/NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/01/2010 11:00:00 AM


NHL.com: Brian Compton's in depth interview with Doug Weight, pulled no punches on his resigning, the prospects, the teams lack of media respect at times, and goaltender Rick DiPietro among several subjects.

NYIFC Comments:
One local paper owned by another NHL team used the work "weak" in describing the Islander offense, but did not use the exact same term to describe the team owned by the paper or the Devils despite all three locak teams scoring 222 goals last season.

The Comcast Flyers, packed with front-loaded contracts scored fourteen more goals than the 250 man games lost by New York last season.

The respect factor in some cases has nothing to do with the New York Islanders, but respecting the fans intelligence to not see through this selective reporting.

Brian Compton of NHL.com also noted this indirection.

Having written that no one cares or wants to write about how many man games to injury a team losses.

I'm guilty of pushing that point here often because so few media have reported it.

Edmonton had same problem last season, while Colorado lost second most games to injury here but qualified for 2010 playoffs.

After a while writing about all those one goal losses (via special teams games NY lost to Philadelphia) Weight is correct that if you want respect you have to win.

Weight also said in January, (paraphrasing) you have to have players who can finish the hard work when describing the Islanders offensive struggles. That obviously has not been answered to this point on paper about the 21st ranked offense in the NHL.

Mildly interesting Weight mentioned it was tough to make contact with Rick DiPietro, but in the end he will practice/play and that will give us our answer if to if he can hold up.

Mikko Koskinen, Kevin Poulin, Nate Lawson, and likely Anders Nilsson future contract offer depends on it.

As for Weight himself can he take a lesser role, or a seat in the stands if Andrew MacDonald or another defender is the better second pp point option? It's one thing to play hurt, but for his minutes he must produce in whatever role his is given or he was not the right signing if he cannot take a seat for a player who brings more to a specific game.

The Post Dan Martin (part time Islander beatwriter) was assigned to do some fluff on Henrik Lundvist for print edition, while Weight got a brief blog entry from Martin's editor.

The New York Islanders regardless of record will have the worst newspaper coverage out of all thirty teams.

In the end as I have written more and more, Islander fans are going to have to see through reporting standards or lack of them in many cases. Out of town NHL media or National outlets like TSN are also influenced by what they read when they do write/discuss a specific club due to their own lack of knowledge.

I suggest watch the games and make up your own minds based on how the team plays, what players/management are quoted as saying.

For myself, any one of the fifteen clubs in the East can finish first based on a year ago. All have some on-paper weaknesses at this time. No reason if the Islanders last year could compete with top teams in the East & West they cannot compete now.
******************************************
James Wisniewski is in Detroit with David Booth and some Red Wings practicing, no local reports on players skating, despite usually many players/prospects at Ice Works.
******************************************
Kovalchuk decision due Wednesday again by 5pm, I suspect another rejection means another NHLPA filing and arbitration hearing.

Updated-Now extended mutually per NHL/PA until Friday.
******************************************
The Lee Stempniak/Raffi Torres signings still leaves some players available along with many forwards from the 2008-09 Islanders. I see some invites coming for camp but that will not necessarily mean a player will be signed.

With so few preseason games including split-squad, spots will most likely be decided at practices because veterans have to participate in games.

I will keep writing this roster will likely go right to the opener as teams up against the cap will have to make trades and let players go.

Will a Niederreiter, Kabanov, Petrov make the club/sign? We have a long way to go before those questions are answered.

All I will maintain is my guess Garth Snow will have a trade before the opener. Can only have x number of one-way contracts.
***************************************************
NYIFC Notables:
I will not be adding Islander player individual twitter feeds, too much non-hockey discussion. Isles have a website for this. It's been tough with too many NHL writers using their accounts for non-hockey subjects in summer.

As for NYIFC twitter, I appreciate and thank all who have joined but respectfully ask comments be kept to hockey-Islanders, if you joined to sell products or advertise, please unsubscribe.

NYIFC since April 2009 is not allowing comments after entries beyond e-mails.



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