NYIFC Will Cover 2011 World Championships...

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2011 04:07:00 AM | Comment Here

NYIFC has decided to cover (mostly via twitter) the 2011 World Championships with a new section added. This tournament even more than last season has a few New York Islanders sprinkled through teams which again includes former head coach Scott Gordon, who will be working with another former Sound Tigers coach in Greg Cronin as one of his assistants.

More will be written on that subject when/if the appropriate time comes.

As for NYIFC business the scoreboard/some writer twitter accounts have been returned to sidebars per member requests.

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Donovan/Nabokov & Murray/Dolan/Msg+2/Newsday Endgame On New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/23/2011 02:48:00 AM | | Comment Here

The Oklahoman: Reports New York Islanders scout Ken Morrow, a defenseman on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, was at the Cox Center for Friday night’s playoff game between the Barons and Hamilton Bulldogs and had following on Matt Donovan....

“We think he’ll be pushing for an NHL job next year,” Morrow said. “I saw him at our rookie camp last summer, and he certainly stood out there. I think we all felt that he was ready to make the jump to play professionally.”

Espn.com: Had a few words from Garth Snow on Friday regarding the status of goaltender Evgeny Nabokov, and possibly filing paperwork to toll the contract.

"If we were to entertain something like that it would be after the playoffs. The phase we're in right now is that we just finished up our exit meetings and we have to go through scouts meeting and look at any avenue to make the team better."

NYIFC Comments:
If Garth Snow files paperwork to toll the contract (after the NHL season concludes) and it now allows the Islanders to trade Nabokov without him needing to clear NHL waivers again (as he had to last season for Snow to trade him) this comes off like a very good move.

Hard to say where the club goes with this and pointless to file before he completes the World Championships healthy. If Poulin, DiPietro or Montoya come into camp injured/ineffective or sustain an injury they may well need Nabokov, who may want to be part of this team if an opportunity to start is provided.

What we need most here is more clarification of rules. Bottom line if the team files it appears Nabokov owes the team a year of service at salary he was claimed on waivers.
Some important Coliseum news on Thursday, too much innuendo surrounding Gary Bettman's nothing new statement on Islanders Friday, but obviously things have to start happening soon. Bettman's job is to push for a new/renovated arena and support a member of the Board of Governors.

The important news was in the NY Times (going pay subscription again) on 4/21 that I felt was a mistake so I did not post it here.

NY Times: Wrote about the Coliseum site with Kate Murray's comments.

For the Coliseum site, Hempstead will in the next few months be unveiling its alternative: a pared-down mixed-use zoning plan. It proposes 500 units of moderately priced and “work force” residences, said Kate Murray, the town supervisor, as well as hotels no taller than 10 stories, bicycle lanes, pedestrian walkways and the option to build convention facilities, shops, offices and entertainment sites, as well as refurbish the Coliseum. The new zone has 5.4 million square feet of development, versus as much as 13.5 million square feet in the Wang proposal.

That was “way too large for this 77-acre parcel,” Ms. Murray said.

NYIFC Comments:
I know, you saw this act last summer, but process now says TOH has to push through the same zoning you saw in that project last summer.

What folks forget here is TOH/Kate Murray's scaled-down development has to go through the exact same approval process as the Wang/Rechler proposal even if everyone's sees both proposals as futile.

TOH can take as long as possible (within guidelines) to push through their project(which is why eleven months just for re-zoning) but they cannot end process. The TOH must go through the motions, they must take their development project to completion with TOH approval and then force an official no from Wang/Rechler to vacate the current MOU regardless if we have their on the record comments via Mangano it's not viable for them.

This is all the end game for TOH/Murray to officially be the ones to tell the public they turned down our proposal, it's all about blame game. They are not going to vote down Wang-Rechler Lighthouse and be ones to take blame, they are going to force Wang-Rechler to formally reject their project.

All designed to go through motions and run out clock.

And it may well come down to Mangano blaming taxpayers, you turned down our referendum to finance a new Coliseum, nothing more I can do.

As for James Dolan's Newsday their end game is to run down the team, keep things negative from the former intern turned beatwriter (when will Grabner be signed/will Islanders be relocated poll?) drive away fans without the same level of coverage for any positive news or features via former Ranger beatwriters when it's time for additional coverage.

You think Newsday wants to hype Tavares, Moulson, Grabner or these kids? Token coverage at best/kind of like Msg+2.

It's not in their best interest on or off the ice.

Dolan's writers do what they are told or Chief Editor Debbie (website design) Krenek or Hank Winnicki (sports editor) will find someone to replace them as quickly as John Mancini was replaced here or as fast as Wallace Matthews quit. Many are long-time Ranger fans (Neil Best) and had plenty of enthusiasm running down Islanders before Cablevision purchased Newsday.

To be fair Ms Krenek held this position formerly at Daily News.

It's like the Dolan/Cablevision/Msg television coverage, keep the club hidden on stations like Msg+2 that produce lowest ratings, keep them off television as much as possible, hurt the brand because it's Msg competition and then simply write the team is not very popular with the public to justify these decisions and produce the ratings numbers via Msg media after the damage has been done.

Meanwhile spam their own teams 24/7 on both channels and during Islander games as this years latest twist.

No special programming, no preseason games on television/ITV/no Islanders in studio full time on Dolan's hockey show. No Msg telecast which Devils receive because they signed their agreement more recently and demanded better coverage as part of resigning.

Not believing this? Even the Red Bull had issues with Msg's branding of their product when they resigned their television agreement recently NY Post.

It was not only about money for Red Bull management, they wanted exposure for their team.

Why? The revenue the Dolan's can save on the Islanders vacated television contract combined with expanding his own teams brands (along with AHL team) back into Nassau County is worth hundreds of millions.

Cablevision/Dolan bought into Hartford and even recently insulted the Bridgeport Sound Tigers by naming their team Ct which is where the Islanders AHL team plays.

Msg may well spend 25 million to purchase the LA Forum here.

Is Nassau or TOH going to reject Cablevision renovating Coliseum to keep revenue for County/TOH if all these plans fail? Will Charles Wang, who owns hotel on that property regardless of what happens to the Islanders if he does not have a functional Coliseum on that site for future events?

I'm sorry, you have read this all here before here, however this is all one big endgame. Our fans may get the token editorials supporting the Islanders remaining at the Coliseum from Newsday, but continued poor media can kill a franchise. The kind the Dolan's teams never see in James Dolan's newspaper.

No team anywhere in North American sports has a media worse than the New York Islanders. It could be 1980-83 on the ice and the coverage and negative spin would be same, this goes beyond game results or the age of Nassau Coliseum or attendance at hockey games.

You believe the Canadian media does their own reporting on New York Islanders? They pick up blurbs from Dolan's paper and by the time they are done it's translated into another version with even more misinformation. Not even the Florida Panthers receive 1/10th of the mountain of negative coverage the New York Islanders receive.

Newsday will never fight for this team or show the enthusiasm for them they way the Pittsburgh media fought for Penguins, they will not even put up the fight the Arizona Republic does for the Coyotes.

Cablevision/Msg/Newsday has a vested interest in what they are doing, and it's not in the New York Islanders best interest.

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New York losses Robin Figren to Europe, McNeely Two-Way Contract

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/20/2011 06:14:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Announced Wednesday 4/20 that they have agreed to terms with forward Tyler McNeely on a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract.

Robin Figren, a restricted free agent has left the organization and signed in Europe with Linköping.

NYIFC Comments:
Figren's loss is not a footnote.

Figren was a third round pick in 2006, who the club put a lot of time and expense into so this is not a small loss by any means because after playing with the Oil Kings WHL (some may recall his wrist injury) the Islanders signed him but he wanted to play the first year of his contract in SEL with Djurgardens, his first year with Bridgeport was a learning experience but last season produced fourteen goals/thirty points.

As for Tyler McNeely, he had a good finish coming out of North Eastern University where he played the last four years before finishing season with Bridgeport.

Wetaskiwin Times: Report Bryan Trottier was mobbed for autographs at a 4/10 tournament.

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Blake Kessel Named Alternate Captain At UNH For 2011-12

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/20/2011 12:59:00 AM | | | Comment Here

THNonline.com: Report Islander prospect Blake Kessel was named an alternate captain in 2011-12 for the University of New Hampshire as he enters his junior season.

Mississauga.com: Islander prospect Casey Cizikas comments on his upcoming series while Kirill Kabanov has had a great playoff for Lewiston here.

NYIFC Comments:
Some will recall Kessel was considering an offer recently to turn professional and sign with the Islanders. He can still turn professional and sign but this likely means he has decided to remain in school or this would not be announced.

Oshawa was eliminated from playoff contention. Calvin deHaan is signed, Tony Dehart has to be signed by next summer, however he is older and has seen a brief AHL stint before he was drafted.
Thrilled Grabner got past some writers vendetta's and will be a Calder finalist, my honest viewpoint is Jeff Skinner was the best rookie over six months and Grabner's assist total will hurt vs a player who is a more complete player at a younger age.

Sure Michael Grabner can win, he's dynamic and shows speed like no player in NHL and produced with a center/right wing that barely scored at even strength, what he did was amazing and few games he did not produce great chances in the second half.

I do believe Grabner will be a close second based on assist and the six month body of work and that's no knock on Grabner, who if he puts together six months like this next season will be MVP favorite and be over fifty goals.

Of course I'm hoping Grabner wins.
Most entertaining thing about new Comcast-Versus-NBC contract will be watching Flyers owner Ed Snider (Comcast) vs Dick Ebersol (NBC-Cablevision/Msg past ties) in a battle of massive ego's where Comcast has final say of how much the Flyers will be packaged and sold as America's NHL team. This was how they already were part of an outdoor game in Boston despite being mediocre overall. Ebersol's need to take over everything (Google Jay Leno vs Conan O'Brien) to get a good idea of what he is about and NYIFC archives has plenty on Ebersol and his past Msg connections.

Comcast and Ebersol are already fighting over next Olympics which is prime Ebersol territory. Snider is now Ebersol's boss with Sam Flood marching to beat of both.

Prediction-Ebersol will be gone sooner than later.

Of course Ed Snider/Flyers/Comcast/NBC merger money is paying the league this two billion which few will note.

Aside from that, it's an incredible financial victory NHL/Bettman and the league owners who no one would pay a few years ago to put on national television and took the risk to dump Espn who treated hockey like Msg hides Islanders/Devils. It will benefit the New York Islanders who will make more revenue off of it.

In term of on-air coverage, Ebersol will not permit Msg local competition to appear on NBC, he would not allow a Devils playoff game on a few years ago. For that to happen Snider's Flyers have to be involved.

National ratings for NY hockey have been horrible regular season and playoffs, among the worst of all markets because of baseball's enormous draw year-round. The media does not need hockey beyond Dolan's newspaper and Knick ad revenue.

Bottom line if you want to hurt another teams ratings, don't watch their games and give them a double or triple rating.

Why do you think hockey playoffs go to Msg+ and Knicks regular season is on Msg? If Islanders/Devils were still playing it would well hidden Msg2+2.
I'm putting this out there not because of media spin out of Canada, but the way the NHL Board of Governors does things when a league is in the rare horrible circumstance of running a franchise. If the Coyotes do not have a viable owner and financing by the point a new schedule is announced they will be moving by next season.

No chance the NHL is going to run/carry/operate/finance a franchise for a second straight season. No chance the City of Glendale is going to pay the NHL another 25m guarantee to offset losses for another year while league looks for owners again.

I feel terrible for their fans and the spin coming out of Canada to take away their franchise which literally drives away people from going to games and no doubt hurts the club in these playoffs. The Arizona Republic cannot outwork Canadian media or their perception machine.

All the talk/articles/spin aside. A approved sale has to happen now before league sits down to create a schedule or the clock runs out in Glendale.

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Shinnecock Nation Close To MOU With Nassau County

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/18/2011 10:27:00 PM | Comment Here

NY Post: Reports the Shinnecock Nation and Nassau County are close to a Memorandum of Understand to build a Casino next to the Nassau Coliseum site.

NYIFC Comments:
Basically repeats Mangano's speech from a week ago with this as first option. All I do know is if a new Memorandum of Understanding is done with Nassau County, that likely supersedes the one between Wang-Rechler to develop the property and that the Town of Hempstead cannot vote down any such project. Only Mangano knows where Coliseum/Wang/his Marriott hotel stand in this possible development that will not be permitted to drag out for years. Mangano is on record he will put a 400m dollar taxpayer referendum out for a brand new Nassau Coliseum as his final plan.

Still none of this explains how any current or future New York Islander owner or future owners can own a team that will be self-sustaining? It does not explain where Smg is with their future rights past 2015 to have a say in what's built on the property.

Charles Wang not only outright owns the hotel, he owns eight acres of land near that property.

Bruce Boudreau, hit the nail on the head.

This is a New York crowd come playoffs:

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Pat Bingham Out As Sound Tigers Interim Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2011 06:17:00 PM | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had Pat Bingham's comments.

"I'd just like to thank the entire organization, from the owner to those 63 players. Mark Wotton, a great friend, a great leader," Bingham said.

"Management, Jack, Howard (Saffan, Bridgeport's president), the staff, everyone. I just hate to see it end." "We didn't win a lot, but we made a lot of strides. We got better. "The Islanders rebuild, I felt like a big part of it. Today, I don't."

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports Sound Tigers interim coach, Pat Bingham will not be back, however Matt Bertani is expected back as an assistant, along with trainer Mike Schroeder and equipment manager Leni DiCostanzo.

Mr Fornabaio reports Bingham seemed mostly shocked but thanked a bunch of people.

Bridgeport went 24-30-4-7 under Bingham after Jack Capuano went up to the Islanders on Nov. 15.

NYIFC Comments:
Pat Bingham was with the organization for five years.

I'm viewing this from afar and only by numbers.

Hard to see this making sense based on bringing back Jack Capuano, who's results were very similar under very rough circumstances and finished even better down the stretch than the Islanders.

If Garth Snow wanted to go in another direction and had someone pre-determined to be the choice they should not be locked into Pat Bingham's assistant so retaining the assistant limits an incoming coach.

I did not see anyone come up among the Bridgeport veterans/regulars who did not look prepared or out of place (conditioning) among Wishart, Joensuu, Katic among the many players (not counting ATO signings) Bingham was coaching.

Perhaps the deck is being cleared for Eric Cairns/Doug Weight/Mark Wotton or someone with coaching aspirations internally. No one coming from the outside is going to wish to inherit someone else's assistant.

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Bridgeport Sound Tigers Update: Pat Bingham's Interim Status?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2011 11:55:00 PM | | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio addresses the compete season in Bridgeport with speculation on the future of Interim Coach, Pat Bingham, along with player comment.

"I give credit to anybody and everybody who was here who tried to battle through," coach Pat Bingham said. "We didn't have a lot of slackers. We really didn't have any."

An organizational breakdown is also provided that list a signing deadline for prospect Brian Day, who is a college senior of 8/15.

NYIFC Comments:
All of the numbers are copied from the article. (below) I can add the club responded well to Josh Bailey going down, along with Jeremy Colliton's return to the organization. When both were called up to New York things really got off track.

Pat Bingham got a ton out of a lineup comprised largely of ATO signings down the stretch.

My viewpoint from afar is coach Pat Bingham and his assistant, Matt Bertani deserve a full season (contracts expiring) with a better mix of prospects and especially veterans to go with one more year from Captain Mark Wotton. If Bruno Gervais wants to return a two-way contract would be an alternative from Wotton.

David Ullstrom, Mark Katic, Justin DiBenedetto and Rhett Rakhshani had excellent seasons.

From Mr Fornabaio's numbers:
Bridgeport lost 380 man-games to injury, a team record. (with smaller roster)

Only four teams in the past 15 AHL seasons used more players than Bridgeport's 62 this year.

On Dec. 31, the Sound Tigers were 18-14-1-2. Then January was the worst month in team history. Then February was the second-worst month. On the morning of March 13, Bridgeport was 21-36-3-5, having gone 3-22-2-3 in the meantime.

They went 9-3-1-2 in their last 15 games, After winning just six of their first 33 road games, they won six of their last seven.

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Jack Capuano Video Interview 4/12/2011 On Being Head Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2011 10:49:00 PM | Comment Here

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New York Has Fifth Selection In 2011 Draft

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2011 08:32:00 PM | Comment Here

The New York Islanders will have the fifth selection in the 2011 draft based on Tuesday's NHL lottery result, basically the worst possible result of what could have happened.

NYIFC Comments:
I don't believe another pic of Bill Daly with another Islander logo makes much difference anymore and hopefully this is the final time we see the New York Islanders in one of these unless a team trades them a future lottery pick.

This blog has not done the research on the draft class of 2010-11. NYIFC has added/moved things on sidebars to provide our readers more information. Obviously the outstanding work of E.J McGuire will be greatly missed by hockey fans around the world.

As for June in Minnesota, we'll see where the Islanders go with the pick. Another trade down/up or perhaps for an actual player? We have over two and a half months to speculate.

For those believing the organization has enough prospects, many have graduated to AHL level either with the Islanders or were not signed. One look at the updated NYIFC prospect blog here shows a lot of forwards on paper but many may never be signed.

Remaining defenders: Calvin deHaan (signed) Tony deHart, Shane Sims (must be signed upon graduation) and Blake Kessel. (deciding whether to sign/return to school)

In goal it's Anders Nilsson (must be signed this summer) and Cody Rosen in goal.

Thomas Marcinko, Jesse Joensuu, Robin Figren are all RFA, it's possible one or more may not return. I can keep listing Troy Mattila/other college players yet to graduate and there are some forward prospects in the system like David Toews, Brock Nelson, Jason Clark (among others) but depth goes quickly.

An NHL team building from within must be dedicated to a fault adding talent to sustain it's success long-term. The time will come where this franchise will not be able to keep everyone out of Okposo, Tavares, Bailey, Hamonic, deHaan or whoever else emerges as top level talent from within.

This happens all over the NHL as few players stay with one franchise their entire career.

Bottom line you can never have enough prospects.

The twitter box will return Wednesday at 3pm, unless something major happens it's time for a break after stepping things up here down the stretch.

If coverage of the World Championships here it will be infrequent, no special section will be created.

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New York Names Jack Capuano Head Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2011 01:44:00 PM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Announced that they have removed the “interim” label from Head Coach Jack Capuano’s title.

Later in the day the teams website had more more from General Manager, along with several of the players here.

“We have made tremendous strides as a team this season under Jack’s direction and I’m confident that he’s the right person to lead the Islanders into the playoffs,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “Jack’s work ethic and familiarity with the numerous players on our roster has eased his adjustment to the NHL and we look forward to him taking the Islanders to the next level.”

“I’m extremely excited to remain the Head Coach of the Islanders,” Capuano said. “The organization has built a tremendous core of players here and I look forward to helping the Islanders become a consistent contender for years to come.”

Daily News Espn Canadian Press: Have more from General Manager, Garth Snow and Jack Capuano.

NYIFC Comments:
Congratulations to Jack Capuano, who came in not really deserving this opportunity based on Bridgeport's struggles when he was given the interim assignment, however absolutely produced a lot of positive results and progression from young players to where he earned the chance to come back next season as head coach.

Overall his familiarity with the organization, the clubs rebound in the second half and ability to compete in most games with so many regulars out made this an easy choice.

The team at it's worst point were 5-18-5, Capuano got it down to five under before finishing nine under with one veteran defender. It really goes beyond numbers to how the club competed most games.

Did Scott Gordon receive a fair opportunity given same circumstances? No. If next year's club sees another six hundred man games lost Jack Capuano will not be able to overcome that to where the club can consistently move up the standings.

What remains to be decided is the status of Scott Gordon's assistant coaches along with Pat Bingham in Bridgeport, although NY Post part time writer, Brett Cyrgalis speculates Scott Allen, Dean Chynoweth will be retained.

Scott Gordon for his part will absolutely resurface with another NHL coaching job, and likely after team USA concludes the World Championships.


Ed Mangano's 4/11/2011 Statement On Nassau Coliseum Future

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/11/2011 08:59:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Long Island Business News: Ed Mangano gave his State of the County speech on 4/11 with comments on the future of the Nassau Coliseum/New York Islanders.

LIBN site had pdf file or each page listed individually, the content regarding the Islanders/Coliseum is on page eight.

As you know, I have not been shy about my plans to develop the area near Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Mitchel Field into a sports-entertainment destination center. For too long, Nassau Coliseum and the property that surrounds it has laid to waste rather than generate revenue for the County that can help hold the line on property taxes.

The aging Coliseum is no longer competitive with other sports complexes and conference centers around the region and nation.

Long Island's only professional sports team, the NY Islanders, have threatened to leave Nassau County in three years if a new Coliseum is not built. To construct a new Coliseum, an investment of nearly $400 million would be necessary. Several options have been explored to keep our Islanders and build a new Nassau Coliseum…

Option one was for a sustainable mixed use development which hasn't proven economically viable at this time.

Option two is a public-private inter-nation partnership with the Shinnecock Nation to develop a gaming casino on the land that surrounds the Nassau Coliseum. This project would include a hotel and conference center, a newly refurbished Nassau Coliseum and restaurants and stores.

Finally, option three is to ask homeowners via referendum whether they wish to fund the construction of a new Coliseum.

Regardless of your preference, we must all agree that the status quo is not the answer. It never is. A project of this magnitude would create thousands of jobs, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue annually and would increase tourism in Nassau County. Best yet, it would help keep our New York Islanders here in Nassau County.

Over the coming months, I will seek public input on these options and work with community leaders to address any and all concerns. While I am excited about the opportunity of developing a sports-entertainment destination center in Nassau County, I am still focused on helping create and retain other jobs throughout all areas of the County.

NYIFC Comments:
Charles Wang is on record as saying the team will be here through the end of it's lease and is not for sale, he paid for rights to run the Coliseum through the end of the lease but there is an out in that clause.

Mr Wang outright owns the Marriott Hotel.

Only Mr Wang/Rechler know if both run the Coliseum via Smg amended agreement.

There is no MOU between Nassau County only with Charles Wang. Scott Rechler must be included, they were both approved as developers.

As for Mr Mangano's comments Monday, nothing new but clock is ticking louder.

It seems his final card is to dump it in the taxpayers laps via referendum, something that did not happen with Yankees/Mets taxpayer bonds, the Garden's forever tax exepmtions, the Prudential Center, Atlantic Yards or the new Meadowlands Stadium infrastructure.

Agreements got done behind closed doors, taxpayers had to pay for parts of what was agreed to.

Obviously all three alternatives have been mentioned in the past year or long before. It's easy for a New York Islander Fan not living in Nassau to write pay up for a new building but reality is the tax exepmtions/construction bonds or infrastructure all other local teams fans had to pay for to keep their teams.

Fans in Nassau County will now have to do likewise if it comes down to final alternative. That alternative does not guarantee Wang signing a new lease or revenue from a taxpayer funded facility.

I wrote in the last year it's time for Nassau County to pay up like other teams fans had to for their teams. If Kate Murray only wants her suburbia this is the position she has put folks in herself.

I have posted tons of articles on how every other local government had the taxpayers absorb the burden on construction/infrastructure or bonds/exemptions.

Reality is Charles Wang is not paying for a new building that he cannot make any money running plus give out massive front-loaded contracts for hockey players when teams in modern buildings with high ticket prices are bleeding red ink already.

Nothing new today but no doubt New York Islander fans have an interest. The State of the County address date has nothing to do with the conclusion of the New York Islanders season.
Al Montoya will participate for team USA at the World Championships.

Some NYIFC tweaks, the scoreboards gone for summer, free agent status/draft/prospects take over for the NHL writers twitter.

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Current Roster Status For New York & Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/10/2011 11:20:00 PM | Comment Here

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has the roster status of most players in organization entering the summer so I wanted to include it here. He does have a question on Dylan Reese.

(Numbers in parentheses for signed players are years remaining on the contract; those without numbers are signed only through next season.)

SIGNED: Rick DiPietro (10), Al Montoya, Kevin Poulin (2), Mark Streit (2), Calvin de Haan (3), Mark Eaton, Travis Hamonic, Milan Jurcina, Mark Katic, Mike Mottau, Andrew MacDonald (3), Trent Hunter (2), Matt Martin, Matt Moulson (3), Nino Niederreiter (3), Frans Nielsen, P.A. Parenteau, John Tavares

GROUP II: Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner, Micheal Haley, Jesse Joensuu, Kyle Okposo, Bruno Gervais, Jack Hillen, Dylan Reese (V-320), Ty Wishart

GROUP III: Trevor Gillies, Zenon Konopka, Doug Weight, Radek Martinek, Evgeni Nabokov (if his contract isn’t tolled)

SIGNED: Mikko Koskinen, Matt Donovan (3), Anton Klementyev (2), Aaron Ness (3), Justin DiBenedetto, Rhett Rakhshani, Tony Romano, David Ullstrom (2)

GROUP II: Dustin Kohn, Robin Figren, Tomas Marcinko, Rob Hisey

GROUP III: Andy Hilbert (V), Jeremy Yablonski (V-320), Nathan Lawson, Joel Martin

GROUP VI: Jeremy Colliton (V)

AHL (unrestricted): Mark Wotton (V), Matt Campanale, Brett Motherwell, Benn Olson, Corey Syvret, Steve Tarasuk, Chris Barton, Jean Bourbeau, Brett Gallant, Phil Ginand, Tyler McNeely, Shayne Neigum, Joe Pereira, Mike Sellitto, Mike Sgroi, Justin Taylor

UNSIGNED DRAFT PICK: Brian Day (free agent if not signed by Aug. 15)
ELIGIBLE FOR NHL DRAFT: Art Bidlevskii, Alex O’Neil, Cameron Wind

Group II players are restricted free agents. The other free agents are all unrestricted. (V) indicates he’ll be a veteran next year. (V-320) means he qualifies as that one exempt player a night with 320 or fewer pro games.

I’m not positive on Reese, and if I was thinking ahead, I’d have asked him, ’cause he and a few other guys were here. Reese is 25 with less than 80 NHL games, but I think this was only his second year on an NHL contract.

NYIFC Comments:
Prospect blog has been updated to include all changes for 2011-12, including the ending of the Odessa affiliation.

Saw mistakes on Rakhshani who was a rookie this season and signed a three year contract last year and Klementyev who just completed his second season with Bridgeport but Mr Fornabaio will make necessary corrections.

As for overall prospect base: Shane Simms, Casey Cizikas, Brian Day and Anders Nilsson are to the best of my knowledge the players who must be signed by 6/1 or their 22nd birthday or upon graduation from college.

Kirill Kabanov was drafted last summer, the Islanders retain his rights for another season even with questions on transfer agreement with Russian.

Kirill Petrov's contract has another year to run in Russia.

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Brock Nelson Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/10/2011 11:00:00 PM | Comment Here

Grand Forks Herald: Report UND freshman forward Brock Nelson has a fracture in his tail bone and an inguinal sprain as a result of crashing hard into the boards Thursday night in the NCAA Frozen Four against Michigan.

The injury will take six to eight weeks of recovery time for Nelson.

NYIFC Comments:
Obviously great news that this will not effect his future health or a possible career as a professional hockey player.

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End Of A Very Rough Year For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/10/2011 03:16:00 PM | Comment Here

My Thanks as always to all the folks with their kind support at NYIFC, here, and at twitter & in e-mails.

This concludes the 2010-11 season, one that frankly was a tale of two teams but overall has to be considered a huge failure, despite individual success/improvement from many players.

Does this year's failute go on former head coach Scott Gordon or current interim coach Jack Capuano?

Absolutely not. Scott Gordon did not like how his team was playing at 4-1-2, he saw the signs and knew his team. Jack Capuano turned this around but when this team struggled for a while he was threatening to take ice time.

All my years writing I have never seen this organization run out of contracted NHL/AHL defenders and go through six goaltenders.

No doubt there were some good signs from this team in the second half and despite the struggles at the end there are very tangible reasons to be optimistic about next year.

Having written this the bitter reality is a year ago there was some of the same reason for optimism when the Islanders had an eighteen point improvement with the gm on record as saying everyone must be better.

Sure when you again lose same 586 man games to injury (four more than in 08-09) combined with Bridgeport losing so many players due to injury they were fourth in AHL history in players used you have serious problems.

The players brought in were durable, Eaton is generally a healthy player, same for Mottau, but here they did not stay healthy.

As I wrote a while back the blame has to go on the general manager, not for the injuries but for some of the construction flaws that led to problems when some of the players were healthy.

The Islanders season fell off track in October/November when Hunter, Weight, and some of the players on the side-lines now were still healthy, it fell off track when Comeau did not produce as he did at the end of 09-10, when Nielsen could not score at even strength for most of this season and when they could not score at five on five or on the powerplay. If failed when Sim could not produce as he did a year ago.

It failed with the players from Bridgeport not giving them enough early when called upon and that includes a season where Andy Hilbert signed and never played.

It failed in a ton of one goal/open net losses and a pp that completely fell apart after the early hot start. It failed miserably at five on five like few teams in club history.

Sorry, but some of that has to go on the general manager, he knew Weight is not a scorer, he saw the struggles of Hunter, sometimes you have to create an opening as was done with Bergenheim and Tambellini.

Josh Bailey had more than his share of slumps but at his age you cannot expect production and it was made harder again moving him for far too much of this season before Schremp was finally placed on waivers. Bailey went to Bridgeport, did very well, and was recalled to again by placed on a wing initially.

Comeau early was moved around also.

We can look back at the final fifty five games and sure have tons of optimism, it's impossible not to with remarkable breakthrough by Michael Grabner, another excellent season from Matt Moulson, Tavares, the emergence of Hamonic, more great signs from Andrew MacDonald playing as a first line combination and outworking veterans as well as the final numbers by PA Parenteau and Blake Comeau.

Plus minus is a stat sometimes misleading, look at Eaton's plus minus when healthy, when the team was in free-fall he almost never had a minus game.

Okposo had a very rough season after he returned and deserves a pass. We have no idea what a year off does for Streit, who is far from a kid. Hunter is signed and there are a lot of right wings between Parenteau, Okposo, Joensuu, Niederreiter and Rakhshani.

Rick DiPietro did not prove he can play with any regularity in terms of starting and earlier despite some strong games the rust showed in others. What he did was a start but next year he must return to full time status and not allow soft goals or his contract does become a mistake if relegated to a backup. I have to throw out his play in small set of games since returning from Johnson fight because it was a small body of work.

Al Montoya outplayed DiPietro, but there is Kevin Poulin and for now Evgeny Nabokov to go with Koskinen, perhaps Nilsson or even Nate Lawson if re-signed.

Bottom line we have to see what happens next, who is qualified and resigned out of the teams many RFA/UFA. Is Jack Capuano the likely new head coach and if so what does he do as the boss from day one with many of the players who got hurt failing under Scott Gordon?

Garth Snow for his part cannot be shy about pulling the trigger to trade players and improve his team.

Until then all fans can do is speculate.

What can be said about 2010-11 is overall it was a very rough year, all this optimism means nothing unless a year from now this team is in a playoff spot with a realistic chance of bringing the Stanley Cup home to New York.

The media coverage was a disgrace on virtually every professional level, it would have been if the team went undefeated.
Matt Donovan's first professional goal: combined with Mikko Koskinen's 46 saves sends Bridgeport into the summer 4-3 winners with Pat Bingham's interim status as coach needing to be addressed.


New York Signs Shane Sims To ATO

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2011 11:28:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Announced Saturday that defenseman Shane Sims has signed an NHL regular season amateur tryout agreement. The club is under emergency conditions, with injuries to Jack Hillen and Milan Jurcina.

Sims, 22, led all Ohio State University defenseman in scoring this season with 19 points and ranked second overall on the team with 16 assists. The East Amherst, NY, native also led the Buckeyes with a plus-9 rating during his senior campaign.

NYIFC Comments:
This is a little different than the previous players on ATO. Sims is an Islander prospect from 2006 draft who the club has signing rights to until he graduates which will be this summer if he is a senior.

Same as any prospect in organization drafted from college ranks from Ness to Donovan to Okposo.

DiPietro starting for New York. Flyers are tied with Pens so this game huge for Flyers, who are struggling badly and usually find a way to break out of a slump against the Islanders. Pens next game in Sunday.

Ottawa lost against Boston Saturday. New York loss (of any kind) relegates them to 27th overall (fourth from bottom) in terms of next week's lottery.

A New York win relegates them to 26th overall or fifth from bottom in terms of NHL lottery.

Pittsburgh 4, New York 3 Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2011 11:00:00 PM | Comment Here

I do not mind league cracking down, but has to be even for both teams.

Clipping for Haley on a textbook clean hip-check, a disallowed goal when Tavares was clearly pushed into the crease and did not make contact with the goalie after DiPietro was bumped in Boston? Seventeen minutes to Konopka while Asham receives five?

Was Lemieux sitting with Campbell?

As for the game overall a long part felt like game against Atlanta where the Islanders did not have much working and were being out-skated plus the Pens with a lead trap heavily and had four back often. The pp has been so out of sync for a long time but with injuries hard to build much, but then in the third Grabner's speed set up Comeau's second, the team came to life and even after giving up the 3-2 goal, Pittsburgh was on the ropes.

A little surprised Capuano went for it and pulled Montoya early with a powerplay for a two man advantage.

What a bomb by Hamonic to tie the game.

Consider how ot ended, they are playing a team fighting for first and Wishart is coming in alone, Katic is flying and even scores. (after horn)

Joensuu was flying again tonight, Tavares, Parenteau had good chances. Comeau is getting to the right spots. Montoya robbed Kovalev twice in game/once in shootout and had some great saves, including the 2-0 break in overtime. Katic outside of his mistake against Boston looks fantastic and is an outstanding skater.

Little is working for Okposo, he had that great dive to break up a play shorthanded in the first.

What was odd was Pittsburgh's goals, two created by Rupp, one by Godard.

That's about all I can write on this game, what can be expected with the inexperience and all these injuries? If you did not know the standings you would wonder if Pittsburgh was the team playing out the season.

Pittsburgh did not add a ROW win but Flyers had control of that. Islanders without Nielsen and even Schremp are a different shootout team.

Matt Donovan had an assist but Bridgeport lost 4-1 Friday at home.

Have not found anything on Brock Nelson being discharged or admitted to hospital at this time.

New York has to win Saturday and Ottawa has to lose for them to finish 26th. Florida lost and cannot pass the Islanders in the standings.

Flyers are tied in points with Pittsburgh meaning it will not be a game where Philadelphia is resting anyone.

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Islander Prospect Brock Nelson Leaves NCAA Game on Stretcher

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/07/2011 10:05:00 PM | | Comment Here

Washington Post/Several Outlets: Report North Dakota freshman forward Brock Nelson left the NCAA semifinal game against Michigan on a stretcher after crashing into the boards with his back, and he was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

He was flat on the ice in pain for a few minutes before climbing to all fours, with movement in all of his extremities, but he was wobbly and not ready to rise. Medical staff members then helped immobilize him and carry him off, as the crowd at Xcel Energy Center gave Nelson a standing ovation.

Update: Nelson was hospitalized for precautionary reasons due to a lower-body injury, North Dakota sports information director Jayson Hajdu said here.

NYIFC Comments:
The good news is he was able to move his body.

As for this writing no players have been signed as Matt Campanale, who could only play the one game in Boston per rules. Unless a change in the health status of the contracted injured player here or in Bridgeport a similar type of transaction with another player will be required.

Bridgeport has games Friday, Saturday and Sunday to conclude it's season so depth is not available unless someone returns from injury.

In terms of the NHL lottery Ottawa defeated Montreal Thusday in a three point game, the Senators control ROW which means they technically lead the Islanders by three points, one point lost by New York or gained by Ottawa relegates the Islanders to no higher than 27th.

The tie-breakers with Florida (if pts/ROW tied after game 82) favor Florida with one more head to head point.

All articles twittered from Thursday with comments from Garth Snow on his team moving forward/game against Pittsburgh as players on both sides commented.

Pittsburgh wins this game they can pass Philadelphia for first place in the division by one point. In short, this game is huge for Pittsburgh and could be just as huge for the Flyers Saturday.

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Boston 3, New York 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2011 10:12:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

Michael Grabner passed Bryan Trottier for second in rookie scoring with the New York Islanders which was a record set in 1975-76.

NYIFC game review of Boston 3, New York 2.

New Jersey winning/New York loss means club cannot finish higher than 26th overall in the NHL, meaning they will be part of next week's lottery. Things still too tight regarding Ottawa and Florida regarding 27th/28th overall, although at the moment Ottawa has a slight edge for 26th because of ROW.

The way the standings are breaking between New York and Florida if Panthers gain two points and tie Islanders, the ROW could be tied, that would make the tie-breaker head to head points. Florida lost a game in a shootout to give them point advantage in season series 2-1-1 vs Islanders 2-2.

Sportsnet.ca: Ian Mendes has an excellent interview about his first season working with New York Islanders Stanley Cup Captain, Denis Potvin.

Ct Post/Stamford Advocate: Michael Fornabaio has more on latest changes in Bridgeport with includes Alex O'Neil from training camp getting an opportunity.

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D Matt Campanale On ATO In Bridgeport, Called Up To New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2011 05:38:00 AM | Comment Here

Islanders website: Posted their pregame vs Boston Wednesday night which makes no statement of this signing at this time.

Concord Monitor: Reports Senior Matt Campanale of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team, who signed an amateur tryout contract with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League earlier this week, has been called up to the New York Islanders of the NHL. Campanale is expected to be in the lineup for the Islanders' game at the Boston Bruins tonight.

Campanale skated in all 39 games with 11 assists. He posted a team-high +25 rating. The senior defenseman was second on the squad in blocks with 48.

NYIFC Comments:
The Ness, Donovan ATO contracts are exclusively for Bridgeport, the pro contracts do not begin until the following season.

Several area papers have posted this information, the Islanders website has not issued a release.

Islanders website: Announced signing of Campanale per emergency rules that apparently only permit one game in the NHL. Jack Hillen is out apparently out for Wednesday's game.

If Hillen's injury lingers or all the defenders injured in Bridgeport cannot return it means Ness, Donovan may be asked to come up (unpaid) for games Friday and Saturday under same conditions.

Rick DiPietro is expected to start in goal.

The twitter box will return at 4pm.

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PHWA Member Dennis Bernstein Goes Woodward On Botta?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2011 07:42:00 PM | | | | Comment Here

A little thing surfaced in my research the other day that I remembered from years ago when Miroslav Satan received the Good Guy Award with the Islanders. A member of the PHWA was from a site called the fourth period.

I admit, this blog completely looks down on such a site being credentialed by the association. I'm very tight and strict with my standards here, have been since day one to a fault.

Apparently now though a different PHWA member from same site named Dennis Bernstein had a lot to write/speculate/opinion about Chris Botta and this ugly situation on Tuesday here. I remembered his article on 12/17 regarding this story here where he included the following but asked questions of Botta and how Lou Lamoriello fired PR people as someone who was from the NY area.

This is the point in the story where the question of credential status and game access comes into focus. Chris Botta is a good guy, he credentialed me for Islanders game back in the day but I’m not a follower of his work. My assumption is that since he writes for more than one website, he’s able to translate his experience of two decades around the NHL to the written word, not a stretch for someone coming out of public relations.

Some Fascinating Points Were Made Today I Wanted To Share:
If the writers wanted to pressure the Islanders into reversing the decision, they should have chose to boycott the games, not withdraw from voting for season ending awards. The best way to show solidarity is to not sit in the same press row at Nassau Coliseum where they used to sit shoulder to shoulder with Botta but it would likely risk their jobs. So let's man a protest that puts us in no jeopardy but does risk our standing with the NHL. Let's start an action that potentially lowers our visibility if we lose the right to vote for the high profile awards. The NHL will likely look at this as a marvelous opportunity to grab a sponsor for fan voting for the awards and find a 'blue ribbon panel' to select the finalists. Sad to say, none of my colleagues took a primer on negotiation and civil disobedience before decided to engage in an ineffective strategy. One of my fans, a New Jersey Devils supporter made a fabulous point that if the PHWA voted for the Vezina Trophy, would Larry Brooks of the New York Post really boycott the voting if he had the opportunity to vote for the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist?

So while a right I've worked hard to earn stands at risk in a matter that has zero to do with me, the politics of the matter isn't what the most egregious part of the story.

When Chris Botta was disavowed in Uniondale, he got an audience with WFAN Radio on Mike Francesca widely listened to afternoon drive time show. On the show, Botta, who was the former PR director of the Islanders, stated he left on amicable terms and had no idea why his credential was pulled. In the days thereafter, he hypothesized that the cause was the jealousy Islanders management and ownership had over his great relationships with the players. If credentials were pulled for every reporter that had good relationships with players, there would be no credentialed reporters, it's just silly logic.

NYIFC Comments:
I have no idea about what was hypothesized or where Mr Bernstein is coming from with this. I cannot endorse or reject that viewpoint.

The leadership of the PHWA has come under fire for not going to the wall in support of a dues paying member of the association. One of the deans of hockey writing, USA Today's Kevin Allen, issued a brief, smart statement questioning the logic of the boycott which I am in total agreement. While I don't want to impair anyone's right to earn a living, membership to the PHWA is granted on an invitation basis only and for a body of work, certainly not a requirement for Botta to possess for continuing employment. My support for Mr. Allen's stance comes from the following logic:

What if Chris Botta's actions earned him expulsion from press row? Was there full disclosure on the nature of his relationship with the team?

I've come to learn a very different version of the reality and have been quiet up to this point but in an effort to get to the other side of the story (and there always is one), I feel a duty to those in the PHWA who feel the same way as I do as well as the public.

An alternate version of the story is that Chris Botta was terminated from the Islanders and as a result, every time he entered the locker room he came with an agenda. He routinely bad mouthed the organization to players, questioning why they would want to play for them and denigrated management. If you were GM Garth Snow or owner Charles Wang and you got wind of a former employee that you granted access was discrediting the organization at every turn, what would your best response be? Like the Islanders, I'd be doing the exact same thing, pull the 'privilege', not the 'right' to be in the building and make no comment about it.

Which of the two scenarios makes more sense? An innocent writer being singled out for doing his job for a team that is in dire need of publicity, or a terminated employee with an agenda to get back at his former boss. I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but I'm buying the latter and as for those dues paid to the PHWA, I'm happy to refund the $25 annual fee out of my own pocket if it came down the second way. With the status of the ability to vote for the awards now in potential jeopardy, shouldn't Botta do the right thing? Step away as to serve the great good of the association, thank those chapters for their support and in a public statement urge them to cast their vote to maintain the integrity of the awards and the PHWA, or is it really all about Chris?

Perhaps the PHWA should explore termination for a member that's misrepresented his situation, not enact an ill-planned, ill-advised boycott that damages the reputation and privileges of a long standing international body.

Feel free to check Mr Bernstein's twitter account and ask hard questions here along with researching his background reporting here.

NYIFC Comments:
Mr Botta made clear he had no part of initiating such a boycott in his statement the other day beyond knowing it was discussed.

NYIFC comments are simply we just wanted to bring this PHWA members views to our readers, you have to make up your own minds.

Completely admit NYIFC loves a style where someone is willing to put their credential or themselves on the line for the fans and ask same hard questions like this blog always does when things do not seem fair or add up. The past stories speak for themselves about this PHWA experiences.

Could the writer be wrong about Botta? Absolutely, but the point is there are always two sides.

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A Jolly Good NY Times: Meet Chris Botta's New Bosses

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2011 09:59:00 AM | | | | Comment Here

These things cannot be made up. No folks, I hate writing about this subject or beating a dead horse but I suppose someone has to make an effort to set the record straight.

You think the card-carrying PHWA is going to make any kind of objective effort for the benefit of the fans they claim to serve?

Not a prayer. That would require some work, why do that when it's easy to simply rip the Islanders once again?

Tom Jolly was moved upstairs by the NY Times in December here from the role of sports editor, it does not change NYIFC view of what's transpired that helped set up this problem.

Mr Jolly's twitter account makes clear enough his interest in sports is active.

I contacted the NY Times 4/5/2011 and was told Joe Sexton is the sports editor, some articles list him as the interim sports editor here I did not inquire if his role was interim.

You folks must remember Tom Jolly? Sure he went to an occasional NHL party in NYC and met Crosby/Parise and other NHL stars, he would not approve full-time local coverage of the New York Islanders or a beatwriter, but the Times business reporter will go to Newark and question the workers on the day of Kovalchuk's press conference about the economy here.

Mr Jolly is the long-time (now former) Sports Editor of the NY Times, who in 2005 took on an Islanders former media relations coordinator after the lockout and comments critical of NY Times coverage here by one Chris Botta.

The last part says contact the editors, demand coverage with some other thoughts on the NY Times and Daily News.

Then there were Mr Jolly's Talk to the Editor's mailbags where Islander fans asked questions about why the team was not receiving daily coverage here.

For those wanting to read them all Mr Jolly answered questions in August 2006, February 2008 and December 2008 here you will have to scroll to Mr Jolly's name to find his Q & A's on sports coverage where Islander fans demanded better hockey coverage.

In 2008, Mr Jolly wrote a note to Chris Botta again here with a lot of contention on both sides about coverage problem.

I hope this note doesn’t come off as off-putting or give you the sense that I’m offended. I don’t begrudge your comments, nor am I upset by them. I’ll concede I’m a bit baffled because I can’t figure out your purpose in repeatedly making such remarks, but since you’ve made them several times, I thought I’d at least express our view.
That was basically it from the Times on the Islanders coverage issue.

A very occasional New York Islander game covered, SI-like features on goal judge box moved, feature on Mandarin coverage, Botta's best moment getting Brandon Sugden reinstated which the Times did correctly feature.

George Vecsey showing up with an Islander feature on 5/24 last year suggesting maybe the Islanders should fold or leave.

Correctly the Times media person Richard Sandomir reported the story when Botta's banishment from lockeroom broke on 11/15 here.

Then a funny thing happened after Botta's credential got revoked by the Islanders, Ken Belson/Dave Caldwell of still Mr Jolly's Sports department went off at the Islanders five days after a win which basically parroted many of Botta's blog charges against the organization.

It took several e-mails exchanges to NYIFC for Mr Belson, a Times business reporter who is not a hockey expert to report MSG had no say in the Islanders radio contract.

SI: Stu Hackel of Times, who by his own words was leaving Times in a 11/12 entry for SI here where he thanked Mr Jolly, also went off at Islanders at supposedly his new venue.

What's amusing there is Mr Hackel still writes for Times here on a regular basis.

Now that AOL Fanhouse outsourced/folded to Sporting News and Botta really only had whatever you call SNY video interviews and his blog, also now co-written by another former Fanhouse employee (Kevin Schultz) who roasted Garth Snow in Fanhouse after Botta's credential was revoked but someone who we have no idea if a member of the PHWA?

To say nothing of Botta's first very unfortunate choice to back him up.

Somewhere in the middle of this Tom Jolly or new sports editor/interim editor, Joe Sexton, who would not give our team coverage or assign a beatwriter all these years, who forced the Islanders into hiring bloggers or starting blog boxes in the first place gave Chris Botta a blog to write for them?

I guess all of these people like to insult the fans and believe we all practice the same hypocrisy or have no memory of what's transpired in the past?

Perhaps because of NYIFC and Islanders-Sound Tigers I remember?

It almost begs the question is Botta blogging there short-term to make sure he can retain a credential? After all if the money is not there at the Times to cover Islander hockey according to Mr Jolly (all those years) it should not be there now unless Botta's not getting paid for his work?

If only Tom Jolly listened to Chris Botta in 2005 and paid a full time Islander beatwriter after the lockout and never put the Islanders in this position we would not have this problem today and neither would the NY Times.

Once again, the hypocrisy and double-standards cannot be cut with a chain saw, but like many things it all comes down to money.

The Islanders paid Chris Botta when Tom Jolly's sports department would not spend money to employ an Islander beatwriter or Botta would never have a credential to begin with because media relations coordinators are not professional hockey writers.

Common knowledge from Botta himself, he was out looking for work after he resigned his position before the team hired him to do a blog as he detailed often in his blogspot version of Point Blank with fans (NYIFC included) asking him to stay in his comment section.

One thing for sure is this will clinch that no NHL team will ever employ someone as a blogger (see Msg policy on bloggers) again because it's not worth the aggravation or risk. Rich Hammond was a Kings newspaper writer who joined the Kings organization as their blogger because of..........drum roll.

Declining media coverage by editors because of budget costs which extended to Helen Elliott's declining space. Then the same media claims teams like the Islanders don't spend enough on payroll?

Comical and hypocritical.

Any sportswriter who takes a public stance against the paper that employs them about not spending on sports coverage would be fired by their editor, lose their credential and the PHWA would not be protesting that publication's action. Why do you think Craig Custance, Pierre LeBrun, Rich Hammond and so many writers move around so often?

It's all about money, most markets including NYC papers don't send writers to the finals unless it's markets or teams they care to cover here with Mr Jolly's Times sending a reporter only to the finals opener in 2007.

Sports Business Daily: Has more from Mr Jolly that year along with then-Post sports editor Greg Gallo aka Larry Brooks boss replaced by Chris Shaw according to the sports department as of 4/5/11 confirmed by call.

N.Y. Post Sports Editor Greg Gallo, whose paper will not send a writer to the finals, said, “Anaheim and Ottawa just doesn’t work for us.” N.Y. Times Sports Editor Tom Jolly “feels the interest in the game over the past 10 years has declined.” Jolly: “I think the lockout was the watershed moment. There was a lack of outrage in the United States about the lockout, and people took stock of that.”

I really hate writing about this subject and wish it would simply go away for good so we don't have to write about it any longer and concentrate on hockey.

Unfortunately for hockey fans the Botta issue will not go away and anything regarding the PHWA will keep forcing this issue to re-surface. The only person with a bigger agenda against the New York Islanders is NYC chapter President Larry Brooks, who kept his mouth/column shut when Evan Grossman's full-time Islander beat was pulled in the middle of a season from the Post.

Again hated writing all this, someone had to.

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