Islander Notables/Trade Deadline/Realistic Expectations

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/22/2011 02:55:00 PM | Comment Here

Islander Notables/Trade Deadline/Realistic Expectations

This is the new format which is being used in all game reviews which appears as twitter link but is a full blog entry. I wrote a separate blog entry here to give folks an example of how it may look in twitter boxes on NYIFC main page.

Tons of topics/several subjects, quick to write.

This post really shows how a team now 17th in NHL scoring got into the playoff position they are in today here and how one month does not hide a season worth of offensive struggles/man games lost notwithstanding.

Twitter box will be re-post tonight at 7pm with game review posted in twitter box with same kind of link which had the review of New York 5, Florida 1 from Monday.

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Zenon Konopka Verbal Beating Monday On Lemieux/NHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/14/2011 03:02:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Ottawa Citizen: Ken Warren has the latest from, Islander winger, Zenon Konopka who spoke out against Mario Lemieux, and the league for their discipline of the New York Islanders, and protection of the players.

“I can’t believe (Mario) is so far removed from the game that he doesn’t realize in the heat of the moment what happens. “We’re trying to keep our best players on the ice. We want John Tavares to be a superstar in this league and play every night. Obviously, we’re going to do everything we can to protect our players in here. It’s not an easy job to do it, but we’re worried about each other, not outsiders.”

“As soon as I get home, I’m taking the poster of Mario on my bedroom door down.”

”You look at Trevor Gillies,” said Konopka. “He’s a first time offender. He hits a guy, throws a few punches, he gets a nine-game suspension. The guy’s got a wife, two kids and plays in the East Coast Hockey League and AHL most of his career and now he’s going to lose $35,000. And it’s not right. Obviously, the league has their job and not mine, but in here, we feel for him. It hurts not to have Trevor in lineup for nine games. It hurts me, personally, my buddy, out $35,000.”

“Montreal and Boston, they play a game and it’s great old-time hockey, it’s ‘wow, this is awesome, the rivalry’,” Konopka continued. “Then we have a game and now we’re getting crucified for it. We’re doing everything possible to keep guys in the lineup, to fight for points, to do everything we can to win hockey games and everybody keeps taking shots at us. Talk to our trainers (about) how many man games we’ve lost. We’ve lost 360 games to injuries and now we’re getting crucified because we’re trying to have some retribution for a couple of our guys getting knocked out. It’s tough for us to deal with.”

NYIFC Comments:
Konopka's dead right on a lot of what he said, but Gillies hit to the head like that, first time offender regardless is not acceptable, nor was his standing there yelling at him. That can't be defended regardless of what league anyone is in and Gillies knows the so-called code at this point in his career. The man on the ground groggy taking a verbal beating has a family too.

His comments on the hits that have led to countless man games lost are exactly right on the money along with Boston-Montreal because this team has not been protected by the officials. His digs at another NHL owner is not going to win him points with anyone but his teammates.

Sure he was very funny there too.

Konopka sees the media double-standards, he knows it is about the laundry in a lot of cases and you can bet some of our local/not so friendly home media is part of what's behind this. I'm frankly annoyed as a fan still when Martinek takes a high stick off a shot, is cut/bleeding and it's a standing goal for the person who did not control his stick.

Why did the league not protect Martinek, who has a family and has been injured countless times on questionable hits? Where was the protection for Nielsen, Tavares when Pock, Witt were suspended and the Islanders simply issued statements respecting the leagues decision.

I love most of what's Konopka said, however I was looking for signs why perhaps Tampa moved on from him last summer, maybe this rubbed folks the wrong way or became a problem internally and the statements got old in the room. I'm not in the room and don't have the first clue.

It will be interesting to see how his general manager and owner feel because this could lead to another fine or him being suspended.

Sportsnet: Islanders Interim Head Coach, Jack Capuano and John Tavares commented.

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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/14/2011 08:36:00 AM | Comment Here

I have to be honest with my readers, I don't know what to make of Michael Grabner yet. Maybe it's because I have not seen a New York Islander show such a combination of explosive speed, now mixed with scoring in so long, or because he's scoring now with outside shots, breaking through players.

He's only getting better by game, and creating four/five great chances a contest.

Don't know where/if, it ends and frankly at a loss for words (as Howie Rose was) beyond absolutely loving what I'm watching. I can write Nielsen needs his even strength goals, and Okposo numbers can't just be assists for his offensive skills.

Now they have to get Bailey, Comeau, Schremp to make that leap and provide consistent scoring.

Hamonic and MacDonald keep getting better and better. Jurcina shooting/scoring from outside on five on three low-percentage. Ty Wishart got his first.

Koskinen looks like the first goal bounced on ice aka Toskala, did not see other goals as being his fault. Montoya did not look ready and Lawson seems very close.
In two weeks the NHL trade deadline will be here. Will Konopka's outspoken protection of this team and obvious loyalty be taken into account if Snow receives an offer?

It could be a quiet day for Snow, it could also be the end for Weight (if he's close to playing) Martinek, Konopka, Gervais and perhaps others.

Frankly, I see Nabokov's career over unless he comes to New York hat in hand and asks to be a part of the team for a full year next fall. I don't see Snow letting him near this group if he decided to report tomorrow. He's going to learn what suspended indefinitely means in a league where teams don't tolerate this conduct.

My guess is he will go to the mat this summer and take his chances of being declared a free agent first and a lot of media will have his side.

Based on league comments, he's going to lose.
Mixed emotions on final suspensions. Trevor Gillies to my knowledge had no career NHL suspensions, I have seen a lot of first timers get far less or nothing for head shots. Gillies shot to the head, his stick-work afterward was far over the line, his yelling off the ice, makes for good entertainment, but not acceptable one bit in my estimation. Go to the lockeroom, quit the taunting at someone hurt on the ice.

I get where Garth Snow is coming from, he has to protect his player, but like Chris Simon there is a time actions cannot be defended.

Matt Martin is a repeat offender, it did not look like a sucker-punch and simply put down his man with a push/shove when he did not want to engage a fight and covered up, he did not Bertuzzi-Moore his head to the ice or even close.

There should be no rule or excuse that protects a coach for any player going over the boards under any circumstances ever, which is why we no longer have bench clearing brawls in this league. Dan Bylsma should have been suspended and the Penguins fined for their actions Friday for not controlling themselves if that is the precedent the league wants to set, one they failed to do with Boston against Montreal.

In the media game it comes down to Mario's spin-doctors vs the spin-doctors who remember Lemieux has whined before vs his teams fighting majors and employing Matt Cooke. It's sad watching Kevin Allen of all people maneuver delicately in his article protecting Lemieux.

Virtually nothing comes down to honest views of what simply happened. As critical as I am of Colin Campbell here, and don't like his Islander-only statements, I do believe he was fair enough with the suspensions of players.

The fines are another matter, that seemed about the laundry and to single out one team reflects some obvious bias, Snow made his point.

Funny how Pittsburgh now receives excuses for not having their top players out, how other media defends their teams for struggling with so many players injured?

Too bad they are not objective enough to point that out about this team, I guess when you have led in that department 3/4 years no one notices.

If I'm going to criticize Howie Rose, he has to get his due just as loud here when he gets it right, his comments on suspensions were on the money Sunday, and he said it as well as I could write it here.
What's going on in Bridgeport right now is very rough, this is a team that simply cannot win any kind of game. They lack the veteran scoring, they have too many players up/out. Rhett Rakhshani went to the AHL all-star game, had a bunch of points and has been hurt since. They score and lose, they don't score and lose.

I don't see Pat Bingham as the problem at all, when Bailey was there he helped turn it around for a long stretch.

Jesse Joensuu NHL/AHL is a puzzle to me, has some great goals driving to middle of ice with a nice shot even at this level, then he disappears for games on end. I do want to see more next season with a two-way contract.

The twitter box will be back around 7pm.

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New York 7, Buffalo 6, Grabner Hat-Trick, Wishart 1st.....Snow Owns Mario

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/13/2011 08:00:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here

If only New York was in some kind of realistic playoff contention.

Not a good game at all five on five and Koskinen finally struggled, but sixteen goals in two games, nineteen in three, and three fantastic wins in four days, where they had to work very hard. They just beat a hot, rest team at home and a very good goaltender.

This is not a league where even the best teams play many high scoring games.

That's 2-0 at Buffalo.

Michael Grabner has just been amazing and getting more confident in several area's of the ice, and obviously is making a run at Calder, player of week month, and whatever else is out there, and Okposo is just getting started even with Nielsen unable to finish at even strength. Comeau was not on the list of players practicing Saturday, apparently he was ready and had a nice backhand goal. Tavares another, Moulson looked hurt in second and that could linger. Wishart got his first, Jurcina a big pp goal?

Remember those blog entries on defenders not scoring a while back or five goals on season. MacDonald and Hamonic keep rolling along and improving.

Stick to Nielsen's face no call? MacDonald's play to stop breakaway down 4-2 was robbery.

Al Montoya, far from perfect, but his first NHL win for New York, still cannot find a quote from him which is approaching Freddy Meyer like proportions going from NY-PHOENIX-back, with no interview.
As for the media side show Mario Lemieux obviously has a selective memory and really did not need to go there and let the league handle the process. Not the first time he has done this when he does not get things his way, and his silence regarding his own players/coaches transgressions to control themselves speak volumes.

Sure Lemieux should stick up for his team, but he wants to call out league, he should face consequences.

Snow for his part stuck up for his team (Al Arbour/Denis Potvin were pleased and they know better than Lemieux) and Garth Snow sounded off like a professional executive, who asked the same questions this blog did, along with Howie Rose about the Pens not controlling their players.

Sure he had a little creative tap-dancing spinning Gillies actions.

Even Mario's former teammate, Rob Brown, had some criticism of Matt Cooke today out of Canadian media here.

Snow should be proud of his players, and respectful of the process with his comments to the public. Charles Wang should not say a word.

New York Hockey getting some media coverage, with friends like Newsday, we need no enemies. Larry Brooks must be very upset the Islanders are getting far more media play, than Cablevision's team to unleash his latest blind-unreasoning assault with no quotes from anyone to support his silly claims, but par for course from him.

Not like Post is covering New York Islander hockey games.

This even forced NY Times, Dave Caldwell, to even include score of Sunday's road win in another rare article.

Islanders website already has post-game up with player comments.

Of course the game now becomes who has the most friends/media of each side defend the other. Hopefully for the New York side, they are done.

Oh well, on to Ottawa and perhaps a player of week for Grabner? He's heading toward the top ten in NHL scoring.

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Suspensions Announced: Gillies Nine, Martin Four, Godard Ten

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2011 11:58:00 PM | | | | Comment Here Reports Penguins enforcer Eric Godard has been suspended 10 games, while the Isles' Trevor Gillies has been suspended for nine games and the Isles' Matt Martin for four games. There is also a $100,000 fine for the Islanders.

NYIFC Comments:
About what I expected, apparently the NHL wanted to send a financial message to the Islanders, which will likely be reduced quietly upon appeal later. Gillies did not help his cause standing off ice, jawing at the player he hit. Martin did not merit four games for not hitting someone with a punch after what Jordan Staal got a complete pass for on 2/1.

Apparently, Dan Bylsma escaped the supposed mandatory penalty for his player leaving the bench, begging the question who will be next now that this dangerous precedent has been allowed to go by without the coach being held accountable?

Colin Campbell's comments/explanation:

"The actions by the Islanders' Gillies and Martin were deliberate attempts to injure by delivering blows to the head of players who were unsuspecting and unable to defend themselves," Campbell said in a statement issued by the NHL. "The message should be clear to all players: targeting the head of an opponent by whatever means will be dealt with by suspension.

"With respect to the Godard suspension, there can be no circumstance that allows for a player to leave his bench for the purpose of coming to the aid of a teammate."

The Islanders were also fined $100,000.

"The Islanders also must bear some responsibility for their failure to control their players," Campbell added.

NYIFC Comments:
Like when Mike Mottau hit Frans Nielsen in his head/neck, or the countless other head-shots we see Campbell simply ignore where a players head is targeted?

Was Pittsburgh controlling their players properly with Johnson at center ice again while Koskinen was in his net?

Dan Bylsma's player left his team's bench, he did not control his player, he should be accountable along with the Pens organization. I like Godard same as when he played here and was thrilled for Bylsma when he got Pens job and won cup.

I know it's not an easy job, but Colin Campbell has made one thing clear to virtually everyone over the years, what he says vs what he does are two different things.

Rules are supposed to be same rules for everyone.
Unless there were other Islanders injured Saturday, Ty Wishart, Rob Schremp and will be available to the team Sunday.

Islanders website: listed everyone who participated in morning skate on Saturday.

The twitter box will return Sunday.


You Know The Colin Campbell/NHL Media Double-Standards Very Well

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/12/2011 06:55:00 PM | Comment Here

No folks, I don't like playing the victim card because it's not about the New York Islanders, and should not be about any team, however Colin Campbell's history of double-standards regarding some teams speaks for itself.

The rules don't apply to all players/teams the same, even when it's the same actions.

In Campbell's world, Thomas Pock suspensions are longer than Matt Cooke's, Chris Pronger's repeat-offender stomp, does not count the same as Chris Simon's. Tucker taking out Michael Peca by the knees after saying he was going to take him out, meaning injure him prior means nothing to Campbell or his staff. Gary Roberts charge from center ice and hands driving Kenny Jonsson's head to glass, five minutes...ejection/no suspension.

Jordan Staal's sucker-punch on 2/1/2011, and subsequent match-penalty, means no suspension and an automatic one game penalty revoked so he can play the New York Islanders that night?

If Staal got ten games for a sucker punch, give exactly the same to Martin and Gillies. If Stall received no games, the same has to go for Martin-Gillies. Set a precedent to where it's not about the laundry, but the act, regardless which player it is.

That would work fine for all fans, the players would know the consequences in advance.

But it never happens that way, and this is the problem.

Colin Campbell's always been hockey fans problem.
Who is Brent Johnson kidding? Rick DiPietro in ten years never crossed center ice to fight another player, he was not throwing punches at another Penguin or giving another Islnnder an advantage when Johnson crossed center ice in Pittsburgh.

Johnson in less than two weeks was waiting at center ice twice.

What was he doing last night at center ice with Koskinen in his net not involved in anything?
Fear not on the NHL media front. As long as life-long former Daily News Ranger fans Frank Brown, John Dellapina control the official NHL media spin, with another former Rangers Mike Murphy/Kris King as NHL Senior Vice Presidents of Hockey Operations, the New York Islanders will not be getting the same treatment as other teams either.

Brown and Dellapina made a career of beating on the New York Islanders at the Daily News.

I don't want to write any of this, but this is how things always work under this league administration.

Our media is James Dolan's Msg media, in other words, we have no media to defend this team, and in fact go out of their way to portray the opposite, with former Ranger beatwriter, Arthur Staple, never shy to rip the Islanders as he must sell James Dolan hockey team and seven million dollar captain with zero goals.

Sadly there are a lot of Paul Steigerwald's out there in print and on television, we don't need that on our teams side or against it.

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New York 9, Pittsburgh 3: New York's Core Grows Up A Little

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/11/2011 11:10:00 PM | Comment Here

After the game in Pittsburgh, I was very unhappy with the hits the New York took without response, tonight was about payback. You can bet it was for DiPietro, Comeau, the recent hits on Tavares.

This was about all those words about being a close knit team having some meaning when it was time to take a stand and send a message.

Considering this franchises remarkable history, all time records for New York Islander penalties, it could have just as easily been an all-time record for New York Islander goals, if they wanted to play it that way.

The core of the New York Islanders grew up a little bit tonight, they got a look at what they will have to do long-term to be a winning team to win critical games.

They got the first, last and every laugh in-between tonight.

They had to over come Colin Campbell's officials, who gave the Penguins a ton of powerplays, which was the only way they were going to beat Koskinen, outstanding in net again. Sure Matt Martin/Trevor Gillies deserved five minutes, Eric Godard, who got in the middle of Haley/Johnson, should have negated most of it, but it didn't.

I don't think I have ever seen anyone put into the penalty box after a segment of a play continued, new standards of poor officiating.

New York knocked Johnson all over the building tonight and onto Hempstead Turnpike once or twice for good measure. They had the Pens reeling all night at even strength, and like I wrote before it just as easily could have been close to fifteen goals if the Islanders wanted to keep things only to the scoreboard. Grabner's missed penalty shot, the five on two with broken sticks, the Islanders did not even hit close to all their quality opportunities.

20-20-20 Will not get a lot of notice, but consider one thing. Two years ago the only twenty goal player was Bill Guerin, on a team with even more man games lost than this one.

Enjoy this one New York Islander Fans, our team sent you a message tonight, that all these words about what they are about is something to believe in.

Bailey, Gordie Howe-Hat-trick Hamonic, every player bought in. Gervais with his block down the stretch, Haley, who came up and looked like an enforcer, added a beauty for his first career goal.

Bailey put his man down with a punch. Hamonic looked like he was on his way to a five point game, that setup to Parenteau, he was locked in.

The supporting cast will change, but the core grew up tonight.

That's what it will take in long-term.

Remember this night when this team finally turns the corner, the core players will.

Now comes the fallout from Colin Campbell. You can bet Gillies, Martin will likely see a suspension longer than Matt Cooke.

No Mr Rose, no one cared about Nabokov tonight, he does not play for the Penguins, he seemed mighty annoyed he had to stick around an extra hour, and talked over countless good plays.

For those scoring at home. Staal threw a sucker-punch on 2/1 that merited a five minute penalty, automatic ejection and supposed 24 hours off here.

Staal received no suspension, and was allowed to play the New York Islanders within 24 hours. How does anything Martin or Gillies do, not mandate the exact same standard if this is the precedent Campbell set by not suspending Staal?

Don't worry folks, the Tomas Pock rules of suspending New York Islanders are the double-standard for this one.

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New York Acquires Al Montoya For Sixth Round Pick

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2011 07:11:00 PM | Comment Here

New York has acquired goaltender Al Montoya from the Phoenix Coyotes, for a 6th round pick in the 2011 draft here and will report to Bridgeport.

Al Montoya has been struggling along statistically in the AHL.

Montoya is a restricted free agent and may well require waivers to be recalled to the NHL.

The standings suggest unless Edmonton wants Montoya, it's not an issue.

NYIFC Comments:
Maybe Cablevision has some of those marketing signs for Montoya left over when he was drafted sixth overall?

He is heading for Bridgeport (for whatever reasons he was not San Antonio's starter/injury/beaten out) it should make for fun interviews with Rick DiPietro after they fought if they share a locker room by the end of this season.

Personally, I would go with Koskinen and Lawson regardless. Koskinen is not some eighteen year old prospect, he is twenty two years old and the first goalie taken in his draft class.

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Islander Notables: Hits on Tavares A Big Concern

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2011 02:29:00 AM | Comment Here

Seems a lot of games recently, John Tavares is receiving the anti-Crosby treatment in Colin Campbell's no-contact to head league as he is being targeted quite a bit.

Matt Moulson was never more upset Saturday in the last year and a half during the second period when Tavares was hit. Tavares again was rocked in the Leaf game.

I was thinking about this going into the Leaf game and not because of Toronto, but in general. Tavares has already taken some huge hits earlier.

No one is completely healthy after fifty plus games, but his plays to the net (not set-ups for goals) have dropped. I don't have an answer because putting Konopka or Martin on his wing to fight everyone who checks him is not an answer or going to create room for him to finish or make plays.

All I know is he has to be protected better than he has been or it seems a matter of time.

Garth Snow, Jack Capuano, the players better start yelling long and loud at the media, and Campbell/officials that these kind of hits should not be permitted also.

Sometimes you have to yell in advance.

You can bet Tavares agent will be very soon to protect his client.
Sorry folks, anyone who wants to tell me aside from the last goal Mikko Koskinen did not play very well against Toronto is kidding themselves, or only looking at meaningless stats from games he has had little support in Bridgeport.

The Sound Tigers are in an Islander-like free fall between injuries/lack of veterans/call-ups.

The shots/setups and where the Leafs created those chances was all about the Islanders playing a very poor team game or willing to trade chances combined with their usual poor starts. The first four goals would have beaten any NHL veteran.

Kessel bounced off Hamonic (good play by Kessel) and found Nikolai Kulemin, who was alone and can finish for the fourth goal. Scott Allen, was as animated as I have seen at Matt Martin after the Leafs third goal when Kaberle walked in from the point, which I guess was his spot to defend as he was hitting someone in the corner.

Kevin Poulin has had knee problems before here and it is the left knee which he hurt in juniors. It's likely a terrible break for Poulin and an Islander team that cannot stay healthy, having written that I have seen enough of Bridgeport where I can tell our fans if Koskinen gets some defensive support, he can keep this team in games and win as Poulin was.

Problem is Koskinen a week ago had to sit behind Joel Martin for a weekend because of what was described as a lingering issue. Koskinen came off hip surgery last year and Garth Snow had three goalies in Bridgeport (as he did a year ago) not only for Rick DiPietro.

Joel Martin played five games in Bridgeport, he did not come from the CHL directly to New York. The Sound Tigers lack veterans with many of them here, and have been decimated by injuries themselves which put the club in a free fall. I cannot tell you anything else about Joel Martin.

I don't have a goaltending answer beyond that. I would not bring in a veteran with injury issues or a veteran not able to help immediately. I would not take a chance on a Michael Leighton or want his contract for next season either.

It was ugly and inappropriate seeing Mrs Placey and other Msg personalities, a bit too enthusiastic at the drama behind someone (on any team) being hurt during the telecast.

Personally I thought it was a first class job by the Islanders to have Joel Martin in a limo all the way from Bridgeport w/equipment so quickly, on a night ironically Bridgeport's road game was canceled.

The Islanders bounced Phaneuf around last year with the Leafs and Matt Martin buried Dion Phaneuf on 3/10/10, so why was it made such a story-line did not make much sense by the Cablevision paid announcers? They had no problem finding the hit on Okposo from Calgary preseason game (the Dolan's did not air) for Islander fans, but did not show Islander footage of Martin's hit which they own?

Want to see something no one is writing or discussing? I'm not going to debate the merits of trading Wisniewski again because this has nothing to do with any one specific player.

Having written that look at the shots allowed total here seems the Islanders are surrendering quite a few less shots, even with some poor defensive efforts like the Leaf game. When they went on their winning streak they were surrendering close to forty shots or more most games.

I guess sometimes it's not supposed to make sense. The injury pace leads the NHL, does not approach the 582 games two seasons ago.

You bet the pressure is on Jack Capuano. How he gets his team to respond speaks to his ability to do it in the future under adversity. Capuano knows when players take the easy way out in games, the Leafs were playing their fifth game in seven days and had more jump as game wore on.

That's not acceptable, New York was waiting home for this team.

What's next is they go play a struggling Canadians team that has a game Wednesday, then they come home and better be prepared to make up for their last effort in Pittsburgh.

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Quick Clarification On My E-Mail Question To The GM

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/08/2011 05:31:00 PM | Comment Here

I would like to briefly clarify something in my e-mail to Garth Snow. Under no circumstances do I expect Mr Wang or Mr Snow to discuss other teams business, or start front-loading big contract offers to star free agents.

Anyone who read/reads NYIFC knows this.

If I wish to call other franchises by the corporations that own them, I feel that is my business to phrase it in my question as I choose.

Having written this my question was never intended to suggest the New York Islanders should start making front-loaded contract offers because that would completely unrealistic given the losses they have claimed. There are teams in brand new facilities, under corporate ownership unable/or to date, not willing to make such an offer to an unrestricted free agent.

Nor have I ever made the case, Mr Snow should be asking to spend more money on payroll.

The point I wanted to convey with my question was when a big front-loaded offer is made, the age of the facility does not matter as we see in outdated building like Msg or Joe Louis Arena.

It was not to suggest the New York Islanders should follow suit because Mr Wang does not own Cablevision or Little Caesar's. He is not Mr Snider from the Comcast Flyers that can front-loaded heavily. I have pointed out in the past Chicago could not do this without losing significant money here.

As I have written many times future judgment on Mr Wang in terms of spending will be in his ability to pay to keep the players that are crucial to Garth Snow's plans of building with prospects meaning resigning Tavares, Okposo, Bailey ect. His work on Nielsen, MacDonald, drafted prospects, Moulson, Hunter, Witt, Comeau, Bergenheim has been very impressive. Mottau, Eaton were also impressive signings in terms of finances at a time they could have gone with an inexpensive option in Dylan Reese or recalled a Kohn, Katic, Klementyev.

Instead resources were spent to protect the prospects and put the best possible team on the ice they could.

I have written enough on Paul Martin/other UFA offers made this summer per agent's side that this owner/gm are willing to spend.

Hope this clarifies.

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Garth Snow's Answer To My Heavily Edited Question Was Disappointing

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/07/2011 06:56:00 PM | 1 Comments

I submitted questions for Garth Snow's, GM Show, segment for Monday 2/7. One of my questions was read, in fact, it was the first answered.

Here was my e-mail. (second question not included)

Mr Snow,

Why is it the New York Islanders are holding themselves to a different media standard given 20+ teams not owned by corporations (in any kind of building) cannot sign marquee free agents either because they cannot offer front-loaded contracts which is what all top free agents require now? Is it more than fair to write the New York Islanders are not in a position to offer a front-loaded contract, while corporate Little Caesars Wings or Cablevision Rangers in a facilities that are frankly as outdated as the Nassau Coliseum or older only can make such signings because they are heavily front-loaded?

NYIFC Comments:
Sadly, it was edited to the point very little of what I asked was read to the general manager. I don't know if/how Mr King, Mr Snow or the Islanders p.r department edit these things in some manner.

No, I do not see Snow sitting there polishing up questions, if he read my complete question I did not expect him to discuss other franchises.

I guess Mr Snow told me the New York Islanders can offer a front-loaded contract as they apply different standards to each individual player. I gave the gm a chance to make it clear front-loaded contracts from corporate teams in buildings as old as the Coliseum can help make a huge difference in signings.

I get it that Wang-Snow have to push the arena issue to get a new facility and the Katz way in Edmonton (threats) is not going to help. Snow said the Coliseum was one factor a few years ago, media disregarded it was not the only factor he said, but Snow usually goes back to that issue often.

I felt I asked him an excellent question, too bad, he did not go for it and make a case front-loading in old buildings can bring free agents.

Too bad it was not read by Mr King as I wrote it or intended it to presented.

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DiPietro Was Durable But Did Not Prove He Can Be Starter

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/05/2011 12:11:00 AM | Comment Here

Sorry, I know we have folks out there, who simply don't want Rick DiPietro here under any circumstances.

I'm not one of them.

The combination of Johnson's forearm/elbow pad to his eye combined with knee swelling likely could be the end of his season. It would have been great if he could have continued to split starts or even take the starters job full time from the day Roloson was traded, but it did not happen.

You can bet management is asking questions.

I saw a goaltender who despite the numbers had basically two poor games against Carolina and Philadelphia.

Beyond that I saw few poor overall efforts, but a goalie who was slower, and as usual tried to do more than he should have. Some sloppy play, bad breaks, and some goals he should not have allowed off the high-stick/non-call on Martinek, but for the most part about what you expect after so few games over two seasons.

Sure, this was DiPietro's chance to start with little on the table in terms of playoffs, it was a chance to knock off rust and leave no doubts for 2010-11 in terms of starting.

Did not happen, he rarely played back to back games. He did not prove he could start for one week.

It's not nearly enough for anyone but this year he did prove himself durable in terms of his knee injury from virtually day one of camp, until the game in Pittsburgh. He did not hobble off with a serious knee injury against Pittsburgh.

A while back I did an entry that I felt his contract is still a good one for Islanders here and to date I still agree with my entry.

This year was not a great start for DiPietro by any means, in a season that ended with a 1-21 nightmare long ago, but it was a beginning for him to participate in twenty one games and keep a record above five hundred most of the season.

Next season he has to take the next step, he must be able to take the starters job, he did not demonstrate he could do that this season. Perhaps many don't understand he could not return to do what he used to do in year one, perhaps expectations were too high from staff/fans/player/everyone in that regard.

Sure he can always be the long-term backup, his contract is structured for him to be in a role long-term. For that to happen next season would mean the contract has become a failure.

This year was about proving he could return and remain durable, which he did for the most part. Next year he has to take a step up to a dependable starting goaltender, building back toward a top flight NHL goaltender.

Bottom line he was over five hundred, on a team ten games under five hundred at one point, much more will be expected.
As for the effort in Pittsburgh, I was disgusted with the teams play. Outworked, badly outhit, out-skated, by a team without it's best players, and virtually no fore-check established the entire game.

Both teams played the night before and won, to frankly get manhandled like that with virtually no puck possession or zone time was a brutal display where no excuse can be given.
Joel Martin signed a two-way contract, which means the Odessa goaltender, who has five AHL games since signing with Bridgeport 1/5, may be backing up here. Another goaltender has to be added to Bridgeport's roster or another has to be added from somewhere.

Nate Lawson is out 2-4 weeks based on his late January IR date.

Too much is being asked of Kevin Poulin at his age. To callup Mikko Koskinen also is asking a lot.

Mike Smith cleared waivers, he was also injured recently.

What's next? Play Senators, with Spezza returning, who handily won at New York recently, then see what happens by Tuesday. Hunter, Weight and Jurcina are getting closer and that could mean someone is moving in a trade. Wishart will get his look with Reese demoted. They looked good in Atlanta with Grabner's pass to Okposo fantastic read.

I suspect the feature on Martinek today is a sign the club is looking to resign him, and they should. This group cannot have enough depth, who can move puck.

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Regardless of Injuries Garth Snow Must Be Blamed For Teams Record

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/28/2011 08:09:00 AM | Comment Here

Garth Snow came into this year making it clear everyone had to be better and this team must be making a run at a playoff spot.

I can write about Grabner, Parenteau, Moulson numbers and Snow can have credit for their very solid statistical seasons, but bottom line is the win total.

He failed and it does go on him.

NYIFC You have been writing about injuries non-stop here, about three out of four years of leading the league in man games lost, so why does Snow not get a pass for that?

This year was significantly different than the veteran team of 2008-09 that lost 582 man games, it was different than 2007-08 club, where Ted Nolan's had a league leading 402 man game lost where bulk of injuries happened in March, when the club fell completely out of contention.

How many times did I write last summer if you want to add, you have to subtract, that many spots were taken?

Sadly Trent Hunter should have been moved after years of injuries and struggles, or it should have been anticipated the same struggles/injuries could continue.

Because the decision to resign Doug Weight, who was an injury waiting to happen, has not been an even strength player for countless years. Because PA Parenteau who could only produce on pp, early had too much asked of him too soon as a first line player at five on five. Because early Blake Comeau into Dec 2010 was the same unproductive player he was last season with fourteen points into February 2010 before he got hot at the end when goalies started letting in softies.

Because Frans Nielsen has proven time and again for all his solid defensive play, he simply cannot produce at five on five or on a pp. Zeon Konopka, nice addition, not a scorer.

This team had Eaton, Mottau, Wisniewski, Hunter, Jurcina, Comeau, Martinek and others healthy (most games) when they were in their season ending free-fall setting even strength records for not producing, Scott Gordon was concerned about the clubs play in the first games at 4-1.

At the end of this season I may well do more blog postings about NY leading league in man games lost, about the four, five or more twenty goal scorers where a few years ago Bill Guerin was the only twenty goal player.

What I will not be writing is Garth Snow should not be blamed, regardless of individual success on the statistical front. The Islanders could get thirty out of Parenteau, Grabner and Moulson, but when this team needed scoring to stay in the race, it was not there from many of his regulars. Sim returned with his thirteen goals and could not produce.

The five on five scoring was as big a problem as the starts to games are now for this club. It's something that speaks to the general managers construction of the team.

Even without Streit/Okposo/Schremp there was no excuse for the remaining healthy players to struggle to the degree they did, when all this team needed was to remain around five hundred.

Nice that outside of ten games or so all were games decided by two or less goals/empty net, still does not excuse what happened.

Sure, leading the league in man games sets back teams badly, but unlike past seasons where this happened, the season was lost with many regulars healthy.

That goes directly on the general manager, which is boss must ask him about.

Star Phoenix: The Islanders had to give permission to allow another game in Saskatoon this fall, they could still return there for a game, but at this time the club still working on plans.

Someone want to explain why Kohn, Katic, Klementyev and Wishart are in Bridgeport for Gervais and even Reese to finish up this season? I know Gervais is playing better but it's highly unlikely he is staying without a two-way contract.

Whatever happens, Schremp and even Nielsen should change positions so Josh Bailey can play his natural position at this point in his career. As soon as Okposo is out of camp mode, Comeau-Bailey-Okposo. Grabner-Nielsen/Schremp.

Jack Capuano is fighting for his NHL future, players who he claims are playing selfish will be sitting or seeing time cut.

Garth Snow said he expects the deadline to be quiet for his club, could happen, however what he says on television in quick Cablevision interview means nothing.

For those who e-mailed, I do not believe Nabokov being over thirty five in July 2010, means his contract must be paid if he retires because for starters he never reported and is suspended nor does the over-35 rule apply because of his birth-date. Deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, has made clear he owes New York a full year if he will not buy time for Poulin, DiPietro, Lawson now.

Next year if everyone is healthy, I suspect Lawson (the veteran/undrafted goalie) will not be retained, one of Poulin/Koskinen will be here and Anders Nilsson will be signed and part of Bridgeport goaltending rotation.

Unless DiPietro is injured, I see no place for a tolled Nabokov next year, even at a discount. It's counter-productive to have Nilsson, Koskinen and Poulin in Bridgeport with DiPietro-Nabokov sharing a crease here.

Billy Jaffe knows Cablevision can wreck his career, good to stay on terms with former employer, regardless if they let you go over money. Flately has done two shows as " Islander replacement " for Butch Goring, who's had to do double-duty on a few occasions.

Has Cablevision-owned Newsday done another overt negative on the Islanders yet, seems the negative campaign is picking up steam.

Funny how in almost two years under Cablevision/Newsday rule we never see them about Dolan's teams?

I will end this entry by asking a few questions?

Is the plan to give Hunter his spot back, expect him to stay healthy and score twenty next year because he has two years left on his contract?

It's fair to write that's the plan that helped end this teams season by Nov. I like Hunter, loved his resigning/classy negotiations, but three years in it has not worked at all.

Why will it work next year?

For those scoring at home, Streit, Eaton, Jurcina, Mottau, MacDonald, Hamonic are all signed for next season. Hillen is a rfa. I would like to see Martinek return, but what happens next for deHaan when this team desperately needs an offensive defender and some goals from the backline?

In 2010-11 this team did not score from the backline. Are the expecting Mark Streit to jump back in and put up fifty points after a year off, for a player in his thirties can change them for good.

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New York Resigns Matt Moulson For Three Years

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/27/2011 07:54:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Reports Matt Moulson has come to terms on a three year contract extension with New York.

NYIFC Comments:
Have to give Garth Snow credit, who went on television last night and gave away nothing when asked about Moulson pending UFA status. Another quiet, classy negotiation where the same things were being written about Trent Hunter as he approached free agency but in the end amounted to nothing, but a player who wanted to be here and signed long-term.

Obviously Moulson is very happy to remain in New York and be part of this franchise.

For those wondering, Moulson is represented by Nabokov's agent.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports goaltender, Mikko Koskinen is being shutdown for the weekend with his nagging injury. Kevin Poulin and Dylan Reese will not just be paper transactions, but will participate in games for Bridgeport.

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Islander Notables: Bailey-Nielsen-Schremp Plan Failing

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2011 07:51:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here

The team is falling back quickly, the progress made recently over. They played horrible in Buffalo but won, they were better at home but lost to the Sabres in the rematch.

Josh Bailey looks like a man without a position, who's confused on both offense and defense, he did not come back from Bridgeport with that problem.

Rob Schremp's offense and defensive game have fallen off dramatically.

Frans Nielsen's offensive game is status quo, he can't score at even strength or on the pp, and he's taking a lot of players offense with him as Jack Capuano makes him his go-to forward on too many occasions.

That leaves one line or the hope of some bounces.

I don't like what I'm seeing and it's forcing Comeau, Grabner to have to rely on individual efforts as Nielsen-Okposo are paired under a third Islander coach.

All the moving around of Josh Bailey is making him a confused hockey player, it's not the right strategy. The Islanders need defensive players, Nielsen being counted on the score simply has not happened.

I don't have an answer but Bailey is the top prospect, the standings dictate he play his natural drafted position which is center. Is there a rule Nielsen cannot play the fourth line and be the second center on faceoffs?

Jeremy Colliton has gotten his chance, there is no rule Konopka cannot sit for a game if they want to continue that look.
I really have nothing new on Nabokov that I did not write when he was claimed, he wants to stay home he risks the Islanders tolling the contract and his next season if the league sides with the Islanders.

The CBA says he needs to report here and play out his agreement, if he does not wish to honor his agreement, it's his future. Garth Snow has a right to protect DiPietro's health and Poulin's development with the best available player he can find.

Whatever Snow says before the Carolina game that's the bottom line unless he wants Nabokov far away from his prospects which means risking depth. Koskinen returned for Bridgeport but Lawson is still out.

Nova Scotia News: Jon Sim had the following:
"There was a lot of things going on with the whole season with the Islanders and I just felt it was time to move on and just be happy," he said by phone from Switzerland Tuesday. "I was sick of getting sent down and getting called up. I had to make this decision."

NYIFC Comments:
Jon Sim signed a two-way contract knowing there was a good chance he would be sent up and down or not even make the NHL team out of camp. He was given chances on top lines with injuries to Hunter, Okposo and several forwards. He went from thirteen goals to one with the opportunities he was given, and passed through NHL waivers countless times.

Sim should have been loyal to the organization and been the positive he was for Bridgeport on so many occasions. I like Sim a great deal as a player but disappointed to read such comments.

What's next is New York plays more hockey games after the break, jobs are being decided for next season.

Tonight will be very tough, Carolina can score/skate, will be rested/waiting plus they forced some of DiPietro's worst mistakes of the seasons in the earlier game, if he does start Wednesday.

Poulin is outplaying DiPietro in these games, but at his age you don't keep him in the NHL a year out of juniors.

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