5/24 (now 5/31) Only One Of Many Critical Steps For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/23/2011 07:36:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Updated 2:15
Apparently this must be in legislature for seven days before any vote can be taken so change all dates to 5/31.

UNH Wildcats: Report Islander prospect Blake Kessel has decided to forego his senior season to play professionally. Kessel was a sixth-round pick in the 2007 National Hockey League entry draft.

NYIFC Comments:
To best of my knowledge he can also go UFA thirty days after submitting a letter declaring his intention to turn professional via Blake Wheeler route. Is his pro cache that good or are the Islanders going to announce his signing?

To correct an earlier tweet or blog, only first round picks signing elsewhere via Blake Wheeler rule bring a compensatory pick. Gregiore, Kessel sign elsewhere after thirty days Islanders receive nothing as compensation.

Cablevision's Newspaper gave George J. Marlin, a director of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority Authority three pages Monday night to write about these projects basically not making money.

Regarding Monday's events at the Coliseum color me apathetic, but less so than our so-called television partner and Newspaper carrier.

Islanders used their only media resource available that they own and that was the teams website.

Ironic to learn Tom Gulotta's 1996-98 Goodwill Games Swimming Pool that could have bought out Smg long ago needs another thirty million or so of repairs.

We are all going through these machinations on 5/24 (the 31st Anniversary of New York's First Stanley Cup) 5/31 and perhaps later on August 1st because Ed Mangano would not put himself on the line for the New York Islanders.

NYIFC 5/11 entry Press Conference Over: Mangano Takes Easy Way Out On NYI Future no point being repetitive.

Mangano if he was doing his job could have saved Wang and/or taxpayers election money, a ton of drama and future rallies, by simply announcing that he, Wang, Legislators, NIFA, TOH, Nassau were meeting until an agreement was hammered out even if it meant locking everyone in a room.

That's how it's going to play out if it clears Tuesday, August 1st and the legislature a second time in August begging the question why not just get to that point now because the Coliseum must be renovated or replaced.

I believe that's how it will go even if 5/31 legislature vote fails or at some future point.

Tuesday Charles Wang, Garth Snow are expected to speak, if the vote fails on 5/31
you can bet Wang finally will be forced to play hardball as was done in Edmonton, Pittsburgh and issue threats.

Our fans are going to have to deal with that and I suspect Wang will be forced not to pull punches.

My take is it's sad our fans again have to be dragged to more rallies, they are tired and worn down from this fight between meetings, focus groups, rallies for well over a decade.

Ed Mangano made it necessary to take this route.
You can bet Charles Wang is tired too.

If it does fail 5/31 I expect (after a lot of yelling) an eventual agreement will be done without a referendum at some future point, but even if there is an approval on 5/31 for an August vote we will all get a good idea how many legislators were ready to kill this at step one.

NHL.com reports Doug Weight will have an 11am press conference on Thursday, where it's likely he will announce his retirement.

NYIFC Comments:
I don't wish to minimize Doug Weight's announcement at this time with comment.

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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/22/2011 12:19:00 PM | Comment Here

A little 1980 celebration header for 5/24.

Quiet Sunday (Casey Cizikas at Memorial Cup) before the latest spam storm of negative local Coliseum coverage, sure seems anything positive receives only a sentence or two?

As usual, New York Islander Championship history this time of year just becomes a story-line of every Stanley Cup Playoff nationally, just not in New York.

A history that really no team outside of Montreal comes close to, from comebacks, to the great players/games/records set.

The New York Islanders are New York's Championship Hockey tradition, greatest American NHL dynasty, arguably the greatest dynasty in NHL history.

They set the standard.

In baseball city USA, that does not count for much. In Pittsburgh, it means Bryan Trottier receives an interview today (see twitter feed) because there is no longer a baseball season in Pittsburgh.
Starting to get foolish reading non-sense about how the Islanders should unload Nabokov to another team automatically when the question should be about the best goaltender starting here.

If Nabokov is supposedly the Flyers goaltending answer he should be the answer here.

Of course, the reality is right now Nabokov is a significant step lower than Biron was when he signed here from Philadelphia. He had a brutal summer last year, San Jose dumped him, he priced himself out of the NHL, then ran away from a signed contract in Europe and did not report when claimed off waivers. Frankly by his own admission he was not ready to play or in condition or knew who was calling him when he was claimed on waivers.

His brief WC performance and subsequent injury did nothing to change any perception about his last year being the exception.

Having written all this there is just as good a chance Nabokov comes in, wins the starting job and resigns here. It's never as personal as some make it out to be until the team, player or agent say so. Nabokov wanted a chance to play for a club in contention and for all his statements he also made clear it was not personal against the NY Islanders.

Next season this club has every chance to be in contention with Nabokov starting or any of the other five goaltenders.
I have nothing but great things to write about Steve Yzerman, who grew up following Bryan Trottier, wanted his number and has been a class act his entire career.

That written please stop selling us any concept that Roloson, Bergenheim, Thompson, or MA Bergeron are star players Steve Yzerman identified with some kind of incredible management skill.

MA Bergeron's great pp shot produced 6g/21pts/23games when Garth Snow brought him here. Without him the Islanders do not make the 2007 playoffs and that trade was made at a point Bergeron had far greater potential. He always seems to end up in the playoffs on a teams backline, plays a big part in that clubs success and then moves on because his defensive play outweighs his great shot.

Dwayne Roloson/Bergenheim numbers were better here than in Tampa before the playoffs. I'm thrilled for all of them including Nate Thompson, Eric Brewer, Wayne Flemming and would love to see them win the Stanley Cup together.

Whether they do or not can the rhetoric please be toned down just a bit because Yzerman did not rob Snow. Roloson took Edmonton to a final, he was a quality goaltender in several places and everyone who followed the Islanders the last two years knew he would help whatever team he went to.

Ty Wishart is a first round pick with some ability, who looked good here.

Point is it should not be a winner/loser thing with this kind of trade.
For those scoring at home the three hundred or so Atlanta fans that turned up for a last minute fan rally Saturday to support the club was about two hundred plus more than those who showed up for a month long organized Ranger fan rally (on a game day) to show support for firing Glen Sather.

Kind of like during the lockout you would see all the media in NYC from Canada covering meetings packed in streets, while NYC media ignored it entirely.
The reality of Atlanta-Winnipeg is simply this.

Will NHL BOG (board of governors/team owners) want to quickly replace the ASG ownership with one that have not reportedly been vetted financially to make extra revenue if two outside parties make a sale agreement?

We saw this game with John Spano, who was lining up to purchase Dallas, Florida and was never checked out financially when he closed a sale here.

This is not Gary Bettman's call, who serves the BOG, not the Canadian media with their own agenda.

My preference (which means nothing) is the BOG forces ASG to either file bankruptcy or continue a search for local ownership during the next year, not dump a modern building in a strong TV market, which has not had a fair chance to see a winning product.
Those who believe Wang, Vanderbeek, ask their television partner to hide their teams off television all summer raise your hands?
Has Ed Snider re-branded OLN/Versus to be called Flyers plus with NBC to be called Flyers+2?

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Wang Will Have To Start Threatening Soon

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/20/2011 08:25:00 AM | | | Comment Here
The public meeting will be May 24th regarding Nassau Hub for those with long memories of what that date means in team history.

Political Football 101.

It's time for little hardball.

NYIFC blog entry 7/2010 has Oilers owner playing hardball and now he has a framework for his new arena where taxpayers will contribute without any referendum vote.

At the time I wrote it will go there for Wang sooner or later.

First things first. The New York Islanders should publicly request every Nassau/TOH member of their legislatures (including NIFA) purchase full season tickets for the 2011-12 season and donate the tickets to charity if they cannot attend the games themselves. If there is a draft party they should be in attendance to show their pride for the local team.

The players go above and beyond to make appearances, the teams local politicians should do like-wise wearing New York Islander colors.

It's also long overdue Charles Wang talks about how much he has spent on hockey players (whether they worked out or not) for a team that had a 14m dollar payroll under Howard Milstein. That he was a man with no hockey background in a rich community where a generation of people saw arguably the greatest team in league history and did nothing to purchase it.

That he was the one who brought the alumni back several times and respected the teams past by hiring several former players or retaining many before his tenure.

That he was the one to settle all litigation with Smg, that he was the person who saved another Islander-related franchise that Roy Boe could not pay the bills for and gave this franchise an AHL affiliate after years or sharing.

That he/and or Scott Rechler currently running the Coliseum was no parting gift, handed down from Tom Suozzi, it came with a 17mil price tag on top of millions spent on Lighthouse development.

That he has been the teams most visible owner in New York Islander history, and in the community when previous owners did nothing.

He also has to continue to hammer point he had done several times during Lighthouse discussions, that this is doing something for future generations.

Going back to the politicians, the token lip-service for the hockey team and it's history is included at some point but it's never the headline or close. Time for these politicians to get the message the hockey team comes first after four decades and a billion or two of revenue they have generated for Nassau County.

Simply put from previous entries, it's all been political football and the comments are running as they did a decade ago from politicians/organizations. Too many again see dollar signs for their own interest with the hockey team running a distant fourth or why not wait longer.

There are one or two folks that lost the property MOU to Wang-Rechler bid also back in 2005, who want those doors opened again.

Some would likely want the Coliseum gone so they can get their entire development on that site. Of course TOH/Nassau would never agree to any other private proposal either which they would quickly discover.

Even if Wang agreed to build a new arena out of pocket entirely, there would be politicians or other interests coming out who would demand something out of it without contributing anything.

We also all know the local paper has nothing to gain from a new Nassau Coliseum and conflicts their own vested interest, so you will get a steady diet of bad economic news, some politicians will want more waiting which we have been reading or hearing since the mid-90's.

They are not going to provide the media pep-rallies Edmonton and Pittsburgh did for their agreements.

One thing I can guarantee is it's going to get ugly very fast if a vote is killed before it happens. Charles Wang is going to have to start taking some of those tantrums Daryl Katz did in Edmonton and pointing out what he has done with no help.
You could see this coming from a mile away.

Dick Ebersol was not going to take marching orders from Ed Snider/Comcast-Flyers now that they control NBC.

Ebersol resigned Thursday here and, no it was not only because Snider's Flyers will likely host or participate in five out of the ten outdoors games in next ten years while they have the NBC contract.

NHL hockey likely ranked low on Ebersol's list of reasons for leaving.

Bottom line, it's Ed Snider's way or no way, Comcast now runs NBC. Ebersol's ego cannot handle that as Chairman of NBC Sports.

Let's see what ties Comcast replacement has to an NHL team or if Sam Flood (Ebersol's #1 hockey man) is allowed to sit at the grown-ups table or simply parrot Snider's NHL Flyer demands.

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Montoya Surgery, Jason Gregoire Going Blake Wheeler Route

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2011 05:38:00 AM | | Comment Here

Islanders website reported goaltender Al Montoya underwent successful surgery last week to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was hurt during the World Hockey Championships while playing for Team USA, but the club expects him to be ready for training camp.

NYIFC Comments:
Rick DiPietro may go into camp the healthiest of any goaltender in the organization with Montoya, Poulin, Koskinen coming off surgery and Nilsson perhaps not signing by deadline. I do not discount any alternative but if Nilsson is signed there is no spot for Nate Lawson who is UFA.

Too many injured goaltenders/or potential injuries with questions marks combined with spotty play and inexperience.

Islanders website also reported prospect Jason Gregiore decided to forgo his senior year at the University of North Dakota, opting to turn pro next season via the Blake Wheeler route here.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports via Grand Forks Herald that Gregoire will take advantage of a loophole in the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows him to become a free agent 30 days after withdrawing from school if not signed by the team that drafted him.

“I hold the Islanders in the highest regard, who won’t ink a contract until July. “In no way, shape or form have I ruled them out. I just don’t have all of the information right now to make a decision.

“I think very highly of them and they think the same of me. They know what’s going to happen as far as me keeping my options open. We’ll talk some more. If they are the best option, I will go with them.”

NYIFC Comments:
The archives in early May here had articles on Gregiore perhaps leaving school to sign with the Islanders.

This is the first time I have seen this scenario pop-up with an Islanders prospect, who is apparently going the Blake Wheeler route which means he's testing free agency and not signing with the Islanders before any deadline. I expect the Islanders website to report all information and read little into them reporting this.

Based on his production, there is a good chance there will be competition for his services. Anything can happen but expect a good chance Gregoire signs elsewhere with Moulson, Grabner, Martin locked up on left wing and Comeau coming off back to back twenty goal seasons. Sure there are spots on wing at Bridgeport.

If he cannot be signed there will be a compensatory pick awarded.

The clock is running on Casey Cizikas.

Oilers website: Reports the Edmonton City Council approved the framework for a new arena deal in Edmonton where the city says the deal will keep the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL in the city for 35 years.

The arena will cost $450 million, with the city providing $125 million, the Katz Group paying $100 million and $125 million coming from a user-paid facility fee.

NYIFC Comments:
No public referendum was required in Edmonton for the city to pay 125m, but here political by-partisan football. Nassau can always simply skip the public referendum vote, save the taxpayers the 2m cost and just hammer out an agreement? But that would mean working together for the good of the hockey team.

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New York Islanders Will Never Leave New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/16/2011 01:53:00 AM | Comment Here

I have no doubt the usual media suspects, who can barely follow their own teams without tons of mistakes will go into full Phoenix-Atlanta-Pittsburgh mode if a voter referendum/Nassau legislature/NIFA board kills the latest plan at some point.

The New York Islanders do not have a media to counter it.

This is not Comcast where Flyers owner, Ed Snider tells Tim Panaccio to jump for CSN, and he responds how high? After that Snider calls up Dick Ebersol, who finally has a boss over at NBC and tells him that my Comcast Flyers are hosting the outdoor game.

It's not Pittsburgh, where the 10,000 a game Pens had the Post-Gazette/Tribune Review rally around the club and deflect some of the outside rhetoric.

Having written this, it's what many are paid for, to get attention.

Unless it's their team or their job at stake with advertising revenue from that team on the line from their employer, then the glass has to be kept filled because it's bad for business.

It's why criticism of Rogers Sportsnet will be muted/silenced about firing Damian Goddard, or why the reaction about Espn conduct regarding Matthew Barnaby from any NHL related outlet's or employees will be guarded/muted from folks that need future NHL jobs and have executives following every tweet.

You speak out it goes on the resume for life.

For the New York Islanders a rejection/setback is going to be a distraction that hangs over the team into the season like never before and a fan-base that reads a lot of unfair commentary will be subjected to even more. This is something Wang has always offset (even the summer Neil Smith was fired with moves that made for a playoff team) but this time he likely will not be able to. The questions from a hostile/peripheral local media that does not need the New York Islanders are not going to go away.

Wang has no paper or television station to market his team or his message.

Will the New York Islanders leave New York?
No, as I wrote Sunday, I see an initial rejection of this plan, but the framework for the eventual compromise that will produce a final agreement will emerge. Nassau/TOH/Legislature/NIFA cannot be humiliated by a closed Nassau Coliseum or the potential loss of it's only sports team, and subsequent revenue even if this is done beyond the term of Mangano/NIFA members and some legislators.

Pass, and it will get built. Fail, it will produce the ground work for what will be passed.

Charles Wang's hotel is not going anywhere, which is another reason he is never moving inside NYC limits as long as he owns this franchise. He also has his/Rechler agreement with Smg to run the Coliseum until 2015, he made clear he is honoring his lease. He also now is operating the Sound Tigers arena in Bridgeport who's team has a lease until 2021 that was recently announced and that facility is being renovated.

The CBA is ending, he might finally receive revenue sharing, there is more cable contract money as years/dollars go up and the new Comcast/NBC agreement.

The Current Islander Roster:
Four year contracts are a life-time in this NHL for many players. The large majority of players here now would be gone when a new building opens regardless aside from a select few, but we are talking future star players who receive those kinds of agreements.

A little reality that I touched on the other day.
Charles Wang's tenure as owner is winding down regardless of what happens with the Nassau Coliseum unless he intends to do what a Bill Davidson did in Tampa/Detroit.

Perhaps he will hang in owning the franchise, but that's not the norm.

Unless he plans on keeping the club within his family, or is able to sell it to a group within his inner circle of advisers, it is later in his life with this new Coliseum (if agreed to as proposed) not opening until likely after he turns seventy.

Mr Wang will not be around when bonds have to be paid back, it's like looking back to 1976 Giants Stadium (the other day I wrote bonds were still owed/they were forgiven with losses written off) someone else will be on the hook.

Anyone really think Charles Wang wants to be known as the last owner of this franchise after all he has gone through now for a decade? To say nothing of the teams cable contract and Nassau's basic need to come to an agreement to replace a facility that must be replaced combined with a hotel he just bought from Scott Rechler?

You can believe what you wish, the New York Islanders are never leaving New York.
* Unless Pat Bingham's successor is working for an organization still playing it's time for Garth Snow to find the Bridgeport Sound Tigers a head coach.

Maybe the Islanders really like Matt Bertani, who's been a long-time assistant or are giving Doug Weight or Mark Wotton time to decide their playing careers? Call it unconventional, but if Scott Gordon wanted the job, I would do it in a minute and bring in his former assistant, Rob Murray to go with Bertani.

* I'm not sure if Gordon is going to land another NHL job this summer or wind up as an assistant. Another club would be smart to give him an opportunity he never had here with a healthy team.

* Color me fascinated if the Islanders back-loaded Graber's contract, it's not the norm to my knowledge.

* Two weeks and Casey Cizikas can re-enter the draft. His team Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors are hosting the Memorial Cup and just lost game seven. In short Memorial Cup is QMJHL/OHL/WHL champs playing one host team. Do the Islanders sign him early or see if he does not get injured?

This is a prospect that needs to be signed.

* If Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (as host team) had won game seven the team they were defeated by would still be included.

* That World Championships sure must have Islander fans thrilled about their goaltending, both got hurt, both struggled. Anders Nilsson at least (reportedly) was not hurt as third goaltender for Sweden.

Cheer up, the Islanders have at least five goaltenders better than the Flyers and that does not even include former goalies Scott Munroe or Biron. The rub on how bad media coverage is all those who ignored Nabokov's body of work in Slovakia, still rumor him to Philadelphia?

That only begs the question if he is THE answer for the Flyers, why not make him THE answer here?

* I cannot see Gary Bettman abandoning Atlanta, but this is not Phoenix and not his (or BOG call) unless the Atlanta Spirit Group files bankruptcy and the league is placed in control of the teams future. I have no doubt the BOG if they had a say would like a nice franchise relocation fee of 60m.

Atlanta has not had a fair chance yet to create a winning team in a modern building and has outdrawn many so-called big markets. (including the NY Islanders)

The Atlanta Hawks are not the Thrashers/Flames and not rumored for relocation. If these teams have same owner (Atlanta Spirit Group) why would that group break them up when together both would bring in more money?

* Going to be fun watching Mike Illitch/Little Caesars Red try to bully their way back into the Eastern Conference over Columbus if any franchise moves do happen.

* Anyone believe there is one media person around the NHL that wants to lose two trips in winter to Florida, even if the Panthers go thirty years between playoffs?

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New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2011 01:38:00 AM | Comment Here

I'm sure after the Coliseum Press Conference you have a lot of questions.
NYIFC can provide the rough sketches and the landscape. This is a hockey blog, not a political blog.

NYIFC Overview:
As written in Pt One the contention/politics between both sides is as poor as you can imagine. Charles Wang stepped into a disaster. If Scott Rechler is not involved neither will his or RXR spending/development/borrowing ability.

Every local stadium/arena project came in hundreds of millions above original estimate.

Prudential Arena (New Jersey Devils)
Built: 2007
Estimated Cost: $310 million
Final Cost: $467.5 million
Public Financing: $311.5

Ed Mangno's administration in late January 2011 had NIFA take over administration of Nassau's finances here.

As of May 2nd, NIFA executive director, Evan Cohen, had the following: "County officials are telling vendors that they are not being paid because of NIFA's involvement in Nassau's finances."

NYIFC Comments:
So these are the people who are going to work together to approve this referendum after all that has transpired when it's this personal and vindictive? And that's IF these votes happen AND approval is given via public referendum AND somehow thirteen out of nineteen in legislature approve what the public approved?

Charles Wang must feel like a human hockey puck being slapped around between the Republicans and Democrats depending on what party is behind or against the latest Coliseum plan, now NIFA may go after Wang because this is a Mangano project?

About the only good news I can give you is NIFA has some of it's meetings at Charles Wang's Marriott Hotel next to the Coliseum as late as April 2011, they must know the Coliseum/Islander circumstances and what has transpired.

NIFA and Nassau Legislature, regardless of party must have some clue, this building at some point in the near future has to be replaced or given a massive renovation regardless of cost or politics?

First Things First:
The first question should be what is NIFA or Nassau Interim Finance Authority that will be the final word and ultimately approve or reject what Ed Mangano put up for referendum if it receives the public and Nassau Legislature support?

The picture (left) is from Peter's Schmidt's press conference (video below) about NIFA that barely stopped short of calling them criminals.

The Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) was created by the New York State Legislature as a fiscal watchdog in June 2000, following Nassau County's fiscal crisis and $105 million bailout by New York State.

NIFA's primary responsibility is to monitor and oversee the County's finances, but it also has the power to issue bonds and notes for various purposes, including the refinancing of Nassau County's debt. The group also issues reports on the County's proposed and adopted budgets and multi-year financial plans.

The seven-member board is appointed by the Governor and has members recommended by the Senate Majority Leader, the Assembly Speaker and the State Comptroller.

NIFA Board Members:

1-Ronald A. Stack - Chairman and Director
Mr. Stack was appointed to the NIFA Board by Governor Pataki on June 27, 2000. He was reappointed as Chairman on November 6, 2008. His current term expires on December 31, 2012.

2-George J. Marlin - Director
Mr. Marlin was appointed to the NIFA Board by Governor Paterson upon the recommendation from the Majority Leader of the Senate on June 9, 2010. His current term expires on December 31, 2013.

3-Leonard D. Steinman - Director
Mr. Steinman was appointed to the NIFA Board by Governor Paterson on June 15, 2010. His current term expires on December 31, 2012.

4-Thomas W. Stokes - Director
Mr. Stokes was appointed to the NIFA Board by Governor Paterson on June 15, 2010. His current term expires on December 31, 2010.

5-Robert A. Wild - Director
Mr. Wild was appointed to the NIFA Board by Governor Paterson on June 15, 2010. His current term expires on December 31, 2010.

6-Christopher P. Wright - Director
Mr. Wright was appointed to the NIFA Board by Governor Spitzer upon the recommendation from NYS Comptroller DiNapoli on September 24, 2007. He was re-appointed, again on the recommendation of Comptroller DiNapoli, by Governor Paterson on June 15, 2010. His current term expires on December 31, 2013.

I can also write the NIFA website itself is about as outdated as the Professional Hockey Writers Association's and do not even update the profiles of the people appointed who's terms were due to expire in December 2010 but are still there, currently there are only six serving.

NYIFC Comments:
NIFA (above) ironically was formed because of former County Executive Republican, Tom Gulotta's financial mismanagement in the first place, while he did all he could to prevent any Coliseum proposal from getting done with his actions.

So obviously this committee has a heavy democratic tie to the Suozzi administration that lost to Ed Mangano, and now in January 2011 took over the County's finances because Mangano has picked up where Tom Gulotta left off in terms of financial management.

Mangano threatened a lawsuit at the time here because of the takeover and then there is long-time Majority Leader, Peter Schmitt (R) of Massapequa, who has accused the NIFA board members of having partisan Democratic sympathies despite a unanimous vote to take control of the county finances.

You cannot make this stuff up:

The Nassau County Legislature:
A majority out of this nineteen member legislature will have to approve an 8/1 election before a referendum vote can even happen. We have no idea when date that will be decided upon at this time.

No majority, game over before a voter referendum is even scheduled for 8/1, the fighting on the cost of that already has NIFA-Mangano's Nassau bickering.

Nassau County Legislature
Eleven Republicans/Eight Democrats.

For now let's identify those players in the legislature.
Kevan Abrahams Democrat
Robert Troiano Democrat
John Ciotti Republican
Denise Ford Republican
Joseph Scannell Democrat
Francis X. Becker, Jr. Republican
Howard Kopel Republican
Vincent Muscarella Republican
Richard Nicolello Republican
Judi Bosworth Democrat
Wayne H. Wink, Jr. Democrat
Peter J. Schmitt, presiding officer Republican
Norma L. Gonsalves Republican
Joseph V. Belesi Republican
Dennis Dunne, Sr. Republican
Judith Jacobs Democrat
Rose Marie Walker Republican
Diane Yatauro, minority leader Democrat
David Denenberg Democrat

1-If a majority of the Nassau County Legislature (11 vs 8 Republican advantage) approve an August 1st Vote it will be placed on the ballot.

2-If a referendum is approved by the voters on 8/1, then thirteen of those nineteen members must approve what the voters approved.

3-Finally there is NIFA with six members and one spot to be filled, it is unknown what constitutes approval from that group of six with one vacancy.

Many Islander fans outside the political process but with long memories may remember some of the legislature names over the years with their constant flip-flopping depending on whether a Republican or Democrat are the County Exec and what party backs the proposal for the Coliseum as they supported Wang/Rechler, Howard Milstein, Steven Gluckstern, Charles Koppelman or Bob Gutkowski.

Democrat Judy Jacobs in those days used to be pro Coliseum, blasting Republican Tom Gulotta, along with another old name, Democrat David Deneberg, who used to blast Republican inaction/TOH on the Coliseum issue. Jacobs dropped off the map during the Lighthouse for the most part, where will she stand now on a Coliseum vote if it requires democratic support vote for a Republican County Exec? Mr Denenberg is already playing blame game and wondering why public is now stuck with paying after Wang-Rechler would have with LH?

But for NIFA/Republican Nassau/Democratic Legislature, that's entirely how it's going so far. Combined with the usual this is not the time rhetoric we have been reading for twenty years as the Coliseum approaches it's 40th year?

Bottom Line:
It's about as absurd and rough as any New York Islander fan can expect who has followed this nightmare since the mid-90's as New York Islander owners came and went with their proposals.

Between lawsuits, scoreboard hoists, constructive eviction threats with Smg's deal until 2015 to run the Coliseum which Wang (and/or) Rechler paid 17m to manage starting in 2010 before Mangano came in, does anything ever happen?

The New York Islanders never seem to be priority, it's always political football, our fans (and owners) always placed in the middle.

Given what I have posted it's painfully obvious these folks are not going to work together because of party politics. Sound familiar?

I hope I'm wrong. Even if a referendum passed in a public vote as Charles Wang said during LH meetings, it's not a Suozzi Democtatic project or a Republican project.

Speculation On What Will happen:
I expect this to be rejected in 2011 but ultimately it will be the framework for what finally will be approved.

Nassau politicians cannot afford a vacated Coliseum in disrepair closed or tax dollars and jobs lost. NIFA knows that also.

You will get a ton of this is the end for the Islanders in Nassau articles when it is rejected, it will serve as what will force true pressure to get something approved like it has everywhere.

Charles Wang's hotel cannot move, it's his. The cable contract until 2030 is not relocating outside of NY area unless Dolan pays him near a billion dollars for everything to get that property and television contract bought out.

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New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2011 10:58:00 PM | Comment Here

I'm working on my blog entry regarding the working relation between Ed Mangano's Nassau County and what NIFA is all about, frankly speaking think of Wang/Rechler vs Murray at their absolute worst days x 100.

Not even Howard Milstein vs Tom Gulotta/Smg during time they tried to take Islanders out of Nassau Coliseum for scoreboard hoists at their worst even come close.

It's that bad from my research the last few days. Charles Wang walked into a disaster between these two entities and it's as political as it gets.

Friday's Update:
NIFA (Nassau Interim Finance Authority) is criticizing the cost of a special election between 800k and 2m depending on who's spin with democrats opposed to Mangano. Apparently the agreement is Wang will pay for election only if the referendum is approved which is unheard of based on what I have read.

Deputy County Executive Tim Sullivan said Friday in a letter to NIFA Deputy County Executive Tim Sullivan that the Islanders and the county would hammer out a contract in the next month and would release financial details on costs and revenue by mid-June.

NIFA board member George Marlin Friday called Sullivan's response "sophomoric" and argued that publicly financed stadiums have been historically "great for the owners but bad for the taxpayers."

"They want to stick the taxpayers with $400 million in debt without providing an economic analysis, a feasibility study, a cost analysis, no figures in terms of the sharing of fees and no environmental impact study," Marlin said. "They went public with this without the facts."

Said Mangano in response: "George Marlin is entitled to his opinion and the voters are entitled to have their voices heard."

PT Two will be blog entry that will be released Sunday on background of NIFA/Nassau County Legislature and how poor things are between these two entities.

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New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2011 12:47:00 PM | Comment Here
All Google/Blogger issues have been resolved, all Wednesday messages restored in order and time frame intended.

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Islander Notables/Misc

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2011 10:29:00 PM | Comment Here

Folks, you know where NYIFC has stood on the Coliseum issue for a long time.

I was writing this when Oilers owner, Daryl Katz was issuing real threats about the future of his team in Edmonton, not the ones Wang has never issued to date.

It's time you pay up.

Everyone else was forced to pay with no choice on the matter as the city councils or bureaucracy from NYC through Newark/NJ/Meadowlands told the taxpayers what would be done whether you liked it or not.

It's an insult Ed Mangano is even allowing a public referendum and a joke the Nassau Coliseum would become the shuttered Roosevelt Raceway which of course led to Al D'Amato being investigated with so many of the names you have read over the years regarding the Nassau Coliseum here with even former Msg owners involved at one point.

It's time for you to pay, same as everyone else was forced to pay with no choice.

Charles Wang was talking about floating bonds in 2003 when Nassau could not pay for their own building.
A short time ago I wrote no chance Glendale pays another 25 million or the NHL operates the Coyotes again for another season.

Turned out this blog was dead wrong. Shocked that town is willing to pay another 25m dollars or the NHL continues to absorb losses to operate that franchise.

I guess Glendale is really stuck between what they spent to build that facility vs finding anyone willing to lose that kind of revenue owning the club. Also gives me the impression a 10-13m dollar loss (above 25m) is one the league does not mind given so many clubs already losing as much or more.

The commentary coming out of Canada is pathetic on the subject. All Winnipeg and Quebec had to do was pay the money for new facilities if they wanted to keep their teams in the first place.
The New York Islander goaltenders cannot even go to Slovakia without getting injured, first Nabokov, now Montoya, who was not healthy enough to dress as a backup in team USA's elimination loss.

Anders Nilsson was incorrectly listed as starting a game for TSN.
Nice to see the Islanders finally posted a video with Rick DiPietro, it was painfully weak of them not to release his season exit interview because folks wanted to see his reaction to being asked about three goaltenders next year.

Katie Strang (like with DiPietro) today again tried to portray Charles Wang's reactions to a question but we have video so we can make our own judgment.

Best reaction was Larry Brooks when a media person laughed at John Tortorella's bus-stop comment as Brooks abruptly turned to face the person laughing. That my friends, is someone bristling.

Now go cover baseball in the so-called big hockey market.
Here goes NYIFC again:

Will James Dolan's Newsday Editorials support a new arena vs Dolan's renovated one or will his paper and comedy staff (aka sportswriters) who never report on Garden's forever tax exemptions/laughingstock teams work the other side of the street that will help Cablevision/Msg/Newsday's best long-term interest come August 1st?

You think Newsday will start doing editorials about Msg's 1981 tax exemption that the NY Times did in 2002 here to save the thirteen year old Msg?

They had some brief supportive editorials of the Lighthouse Project.

In this blog's estimation the one true credible long-time business reporter is Mark Harrington. Will he be turned into irrelevant Fran Healy/Arthur Staple with many others in Cablevision's best business interest? Seems the Kranek-Winnicki filter only allows insults on teams or facilities not owned by James Dolan.

Sorry gang, hate even mentioning the Dolan's coverage.....again.

This blog is also well aware NYIFC hammers them in far too many entries and from this point on that will be scaled back significantly regardless because I have made the case as best I can and will leave it in your hands.

NYIFC has been far too repetitive on this subject, it's become counterproductive to what NYIFC is about.

Having written this it is not this blogs fault Cablevision/Msg owns Newsday or the television coverage, and have a track record a mile long that screams they are no equal partner with the teams they own television rights to by their actions time and again or that their business dealings with media, newspapers, sports teams and employees have been a disaster.

When James Dolan's Newsday columnist write the Knicks and Rangers along with James Dolan are a joke (as all other local papers do often) and write Msg is a dump they have earned the fair right to run down Charles Wang, the New York Islanders and the Nassau Coliseum exactly the same way.

That's the day James Dolan's Newspaper and television coverage become relevant, are no longer a joke, and are worthy of being trusted.

Not before.

I'm basically done on this subject. Even the twitter account will tone down the subject. Cannot go any further, the archives here speak for themselves.
Alexei Yashin's four playoffs in five years looks like Yzerman compared to Ted Drury's brother earning seven million for one goal and zero criticism. Yashin is even a better interview in two languages.
In terms of the NHL playoffs it's a parity driven league now. Teams coming back down 3-0 in series have become more commonplace. The difference between the top seeds vs the eighth seeds are who is hot at right time in most cases.

Once momentum changes anything can happen, it's not a 1975 league anymore with those kinds of dominating franchises.
When Mike Francesa talks NHL, hockey fans usually start laughing and Wednesday was no exception. I do believe he likes the New York Islanders. He started off terse, yelling at his own staff before shouting down his callers as he became an instant expert in about fifteen minutes while still stuck on Lighthouse Light Rail that was never even proposed.

I was hoping for Charles Wang to appear.

If Francesa is that outspoken against taxpayer bonds that's fine, however he should have been hammering New York Yankees President Randy Levine for the same thing that financed two local stadiums. Instead he hammered Assemblyman Richard Brodsky for even questioning additional financing for his favorite team.

Here is frequent Msnbc guest Randy Levine the same week after 400+ million were spent on baseball players:

This was the same time Daily News & NY Times with Espn & countless publications reported the Yankees and Mets needed even more taxpayer handouts.

Rupert Murdoch's NY Post editorial blasted Brodsky.

For that matter where was life-long Yankee fan Mike Francesa when taxpayers renovated Yankee Stadium from 1974-1976 at close to 100m when the starting cost for that was only Shea Stadium 1964 price of 24m?

Apparently different standards for different teams which is why his former worthless partner, Chris Russo, at least would have called Francesa out for his hypocrisy if only to stir up his rival on air.
Tavares is only New York Islander still playing at WC. Jurcina, Montoya have been eliminated. Nabokov was injured so TBD at best/Nilsson has not played. Martinek has not returned to lineup nor has Jonesuu played.

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Press Conference Over: Mangano Takes Easy Way Out On NYI Future

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2011 12:00:00 PM | | | Comment Here

All video/audio moved to sidebar.

The press conference is over, aside from Kate Murray drawing boos, and that she will continue her zoning for property that will fit within this project very little was brought forward that was not detailed in previous blog entry.

The crowd was chanting build it now, the chants were not " Let's go Islanders. "

Whether a public vote passes or not, Ed Mangano failed the past, present and future of the New York Islanders today.

He took the easy way out when he could have said this is what I'm submitting for legislative approval today. He did talk a lot how this project would pay for itself.

That picture (above) is of Ed Mangano with the Yankees Championship Trophy in Nassau County last April after NYC taxpayer construction bonds financed, then later refinanced a New Yankee Stadium where no Bronx resident was put in a position via referendum to approve a convicted felon's private neighborhood inside a new baseball stadium because he decided he had to make more money.

Why? Because it would have been overwhelmingly been rejected by the public as Mike Bloomberg was closing firehouses or cutting city services the next day.

Mr Mangano's administration was also involved in an event only a few days ago at Citifield where again taxpayer bonds helped finance construction of a completely unnecessary shrine to the Brooklyn Dodgers here that was all done behind closed doors with no vote from the taxpayers.

Why? Again because it would have been overwhelmingly been rejected by the public, although granted a major renovation needed to be done on Shea Stadium that happened at Anaheim and Kansas City seamlessly.

Instead Ed Mangano took the easy way out, he did not stand up and say Nassau County is never losing the New York Islanders and that this historic franchise is a public trust, the same way NYC/NJ government officials never gave the voters any choice in what was decided because their teams were too important.

That was what Mr Mangano needed to do, with no public referendum, only an announcement of what Nassau is doing with his future riding on it.

Pass or fail, it was a terrible day for the fans of the New York Islanders.

That baseball stadium is the one thing Nassau politicians are always enthusiastic about.

Tying the New York Islanders future to a public referendum is far worse than the Lighthouse project in countless ways. If all is approved tax-free bonds will pay for a new arena and a minor league baseball park.

You can bet the cost for a new arena will go well beyond 350 million and that's more of a starting point.

Bottom line, Ed Mangano left the New York Islanders future in the taxpayer hands via referendum and that is frankly pathetic because no one else went that way when it was time to get something done. He also made it very easy on Kate Murray as well after the New York Islanders had two men ready to finance 3.7 billion for a project where no taxpayer was forced to pay anything.

Sure it can pass/sneak through via public vote 8/1, between unions/politicians it likely has been setup to go as such, however that's not the point.

Mangano did not do what NYC did for the Yankees and Mets when the taxpayers were forced to accept long-term construction bonds for two unnecessary new ballparks drawing seven million people.

Mangano did not do what former Mayor, Ed Koch did, forcing the taxpayers to give Msg tax exepmtions for life in 1981 to keep Msg ownership from moving it's teams to the Meadowlands/Nassau County, exepmtions that Cablevision refuse to surrender to this day even if it means they remain where they are.

Enough articles have been posted at NYIFC detailing all of these agreements and how they were financed.

Mr Mangano also did not do what Newark did to make sure the Devils relocated there or what the Red Bulls received for a new soccer stadium, nor did he give what New Jersey gave to construct the 1976 Giants Stadium (still being paid off via bonds despite being demolished) or the new Meadowlands Stadium that included massive infrastructure or even what the Nets will receive from taxpayers in moving to Brooklyn.

Instead Mr Mangano is leaving the Nassau taxpayers to make the call, something not one local government did in any of these projects because he would not make it himself.

Charles Wang for his part received a lot of heart-felt applause on Wednesday and was enthusiastic, as he usually is. He will will turn 67 in August, unless he plans on being around like William Davidson, who won championships for Pistons and Lightning in same year, then sold at a late age the future beyond his time as owner must be asked.

Wang was only talking about floating a bond around 2002/03 for a new Coliseum.

No explanation was given regarding Smg's future (they reportedly had rights or operational control over what was built after 2015) or who will operate a new facility if approved or how a new Coliseum becomes self-sustaining for Wang or any future owner given the Lighthouse was necessary to make the Islanders self-sustaining?

This goes beyond Charles Wang, who has done all he could (with Scott Rechler) to take the taxpayers off the hook. He will own the Marriott and his property regardless how this plays out around the Coliseum. He will not be developing a New Coliseum himself this time if approved or making presentations.

The name Scott Rechler was not mentioned at the podium and that's a shame because his skill/financing and reputation with RXR is something badly needed here.

I do not believe voter rejection is the final word for the franchise if it fails to pass in August. Mr Wang will continue to own the hotel, he has a cable contract until 2030 so he cannot simply start somewhere else or keep operating a hotel with no Coliseum next to it.

Pass or fail in a public referendum come August, Ed Mangano failed the New York Islanders past, present and future today. He needed to take this directly to Nassau legislation for approvals and announce an agreement was completed.

He needed to show leadership.

Instead he dumped it on the taxpayers in horrible economic circumstances.

The easy way out.

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Full Details of Mangano's Coliseum Plan

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/11/2011 12:36:00 AM | | Comment Here

ITV Will Have The Live Press Conference At 11am.

"I guess the most important thing is we haven't given up, We give it our all to try to get it done. We can't say we've succeeded yet, but we hope this one will work."

Asked about the New York Islanders' future if the referendum doesn't pass:
"I don't want to contemplate that right now."

-Charles Wang 5/10/2011

This is the bottom line broken down:

1-Nassau County wants voters to approve a referendum to borrow up to $400 million for a new arena that would keep the Islanders in New York through at least 2045 and also finance construction of a minor-league ballpark. The proposal would earmark $350 million for a new arena and $50 million for a minor-league ballpark at Mitchel Field.

2-A simple majority of the 19-member county legislature would first vote to decide whether to put the referendum on the ballot.

3-If the plan is approved by voters on August 1st, the legislature would vote again, requiring 13 votes to approve the bonding.

4-The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which control of the county's finances, would have to approve any bonding agreement to fund the construction along with separately approving the related contracts.

5-If passed, the plan would officially replace the Lighthouse Project and shift a proposed Shinnecock Indian Nation casino from the Coliseum site to Belmont Park.

5A-As of now the Shinnecock's have made clear they have no MOU or agreement at Nassau or Belmont.

6-If passed, the county would begin a request for proposals process to bid out the construction, a project that could begin next spring and finish before the 2015-16 hockey season. Once completed, the Nassau Coliseum would be demolished.

7-The $400-million debt would be spread out over 30 years -- the same length as a new lease between the county and the Islanders. The debt would be paid through revenue sharing between Wang and the county to be determined.

8-The new arena would have 17,500 seats for hockey games and 20,000 for concerts.

9-Nothing is provided if Kate Murray's current development is officially scrapped or TOH approval must be given for all this to begin if all taxpayer referendum/Nassau approvals are given.

NYIFC will have commentary Wednesday after the press conference. The NY Times has the usual misinformation from Ken Belson that tells somewhat of a different story here.

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Niederreiter/Cizikas Updates Available in Sidebars

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2011 11:46:00 PM | | Comment Here

Feeds for St Michaels Majors with Casey Cizikas & Portland WinterHawks with Nino Niederreiter have been added to sidebars and crawl to follow both prospects in the OHL/WHL Championships.

Mississauga St. Michaels Majors lost game two in overtime Friday, Cizikas had an assist. Niederreiter had a first period goal for Portland in WHL final.

No twitter, OHL draft going on so too many updates.

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When Perception Ruins Reality: Wang's Payroll/Spending

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2011 10:29:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Yes, I know some of you could care less or it's not your problem, however some of our fans desperately need a reality check on your perception of this owner and the New York Islanders as a franchise.

No, not from the Canadian/Dolan/Rupert Murdoch/media influencing many of you.

No, not even from this blog, but simply from the facts.

Far too many base it upon a steady diet of overtly negative coverage that is not fair or reality based. Our team is covered by a Fox News/Msnbc-like media with the New York Islanders always being the other party.

I also absolutely understand our teams fans use the Yankee/Met/New Jersey Football/Cablevision/Prudential Center Devils, template for our local teams spending on payroll and that many will gauge team perception on payroll vs low ticket prices.

The Mets can spend 140m on payroll and for some that is not considered trying.

You expect the same from this owner or your perception (usually enhanced by outside media fueling you) is that this ownership does not care or is not trying.


Reality is those franchises received taxpayer exepmtions or parts of their new facilities were paid for by the public with bonds or infrastructure/internal things like low-cost electricity.

I have posted enough links to those articles here.

Charles Wang has received none of those things. Wang and/or Rechler spent seventeen million dollars so Smg would give them Islanders full ticket revenue/concessions/parking along with other event revenue. Some actually believe that was some free gift Tom Suozzi gave them as departing county executive?

The seventeen million was Smg's gift in case the facility was closed during the summer and a renovation actually happened because that was revenue Smg would have lost. Wang-Rechler for their trouble lost close to another 20m putting together the LH project between studies/presentations.

As for Charles Wang's Islander payrolls you can dispute over the years how he spent his money on the wrong long-term contracts, but he did spend and proved he's not Howard Milstein, or John Pickett post 1990 so get over it until he tells Garth Snow to sell off John Tavares to cut payroll.

Wang's Perception:
A lot of what I read is frankly disgraceful. Anyone who tells you they know what Charles Wang does internally regarding his day to day role as owner of this franchise is lying to you.

Find me one former player in the last ten years who has played here, left this franchise and knocked this ownership in one newspaper?

Wang cannot sign star free agents? Neither can twenty plus other non-corporate franchises without a front-loaded contract regardless of what the building looks like. The Montreal Canadians are the most popular team in the NHL, what star players have signed to play there or have they offered a front-loaded contract to?

The next star free agent who signs anywhere without a front-loaded deal will be the first. Paul Martin is not a star free agent.

As for Charles Wang we'll see what he does when it's time to pay Tavares, Okposo, Bailey and the key players out of Garth Snow's top prospects. Many were brought to the NHL early which will cost the owner more money because they will reach UFA earlier.

Over the years what top prospects have not been signed because of salary?

Bottom line you create your own perception.

Hopefully you are guided by facts, not media with an agenda or folks who don't follow the team but check in to play expert for a day. Most are largely more interested in writing anything to get you to notice their articles to build page-views or their profile.

Yes, I understand some of you could care less how much money a millionaire can lose or it's not your problem, just lose more money, give me 1981 ticket prices, or don't waste my time.

For those who feel that way you can stop reading now.
Old News:
The viewpoint of NYIFC should not influence you.

Having written that how many links to articles from credible media (not sideshows or guesswork like Michael Ozanian/Forbes or shock jocks in Toronto) have been posted here directly with quotes from team owners/management in modern buildings who claim they are losing money?

That should influence you.

This blog has produced links (see archives) from Chicago ownership on losing money after winning the cup last season, on the Caps receiving revenue sharing and losing money and the Devils losses in an arena Newark largely paid for.

The Cablevision Ranger losses have been well-documented in our archives also with a large majority of the franchises.

The Minnesota Wild are even losing money now here according to their ownership.

Glendale paid it's twenty five million to the league, the NHL (not Forbes/Ozanian) claim the franchise lost close to thirty six million at that modern facility or what the BlackHawks were losing.

So how can the most ardent Wang critic begin to make any credible case his team is self-sustaining in it's current situation?

Fair Criticism Of Wang:
Sure there are fair and reasonable things to be critical of regarding Wang's ownership. I can make a longer list (and will here) but always get stuck on this issue.

The Long Island label spammed into practically every release for a New York franchise has been Wang or his supports managers biggest mistake. Perhaps it was the Lighthouse or Arena issue to rally local support but it's a mistake that has limited perception and coverage of a franchise as much New York/New York City as the Yankees.

It's given media an excuse to save budget money and cut coverage.

It's like the Giants and Jets demanding to be called East Rutherford and putting it in every team release.

Spare me on who Wang decides calls his teams games, that's all Dolan/Cablevision/Msg/Newsday. You really want Wang or Michael Picker to fight that one?

That will result in Wang's Islanders hidden on Msg+2 for 82 games or some out allows Dolan to take team off television again entirely. Good luck buying ad space in Dolan's paper to advertise games also after you do that.
Likely Montoya (nope) vs Tavares at WC Friday. Nabokov left last game with an injury for Russia. Anders Nilsson is Sweden's third goaltender for those curious and Jesse Joensuu to date has not played in one game.

Casey Cizikas is in the running for the OHL Most Outstanding Player Award here as Majors lead their finals series.

Cizikas has to be signed by 6/1 or he can re-enter draft.

Nino Niederreiter has been dominating as Portland opens Western Hockey League championship series tonight.

"It must be remembered that the Islanders had a terrible sequence of defeats at some point (14 games without a win), However, the team was never decommissioned, she was often lost by the margin of a goal.

"I often found myself on the ice in the final minute of play with the Islanders, and I was on the ice for not less than 13 goals the opponent scored into an empty net! The differential may be misleading in several respects."

James Wisniewski-Montreal cyberpresse.ca 5/6/2011 on his plus minus in 2010/11.

Thrilled for Bergenehim, Roloson, Bergeron, Brewer and especially Wayne Flemming or any other former Islanders I missed. Would love to see Tambellini get a chance in Vancouver.


Getting A Head Start Correcting Tsn.ca Scott Cullen's Mistakes

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2011 02:43:00 AM | Comment Here

Somewhat of an unpleasant twitter exchange with Scott Cullen of Tsn.ca, who is doing his yearly off-season game plans team by team once again.

I contacted him via twitter mostly wanting to know what date our fans can expect a game plan (last year was 5/4/10) but reminded him of 600+ man games lost to injury, and this being third of four years leading the NHL in this department.

Scott Cullen:
Man games lost to injury does not tell the story of the Islanders.

600+ man games lost starting with Streit, Okposo, Weight Hunter, MacDonald a significant part of story.

Scott Cullen:
Weight & Hunter not very significant. Season lost by the time MacDonald hurt. Streit matters, half season for Okposo too.

Season already lost by Oct 26th with NY 4-1-2 in first place when MacDonald broke his hand and was sidelined until Dec 2nd?

Scott Cullen:
Yep, that's obviously what I'm referring to. You write your Islanders articles; I'll write mine.

NYIFC Comments:
Perhaps Mr Cullen is still upset about all the mistakes he made in last season's entry where he misquoted the owner and general manger. NYIFC did a brief entry at the time and correctly titled that his work was sloppy and updated the entry when he made the necessary changes to reflect quotes that he put to the wrong people.

The reviews on the players a year ago were well done. Obviously Mr Cullen will not write the New York Islanders sign UFA but like twenty plus other franchises cannot offer front-loaded contracts required to land biggest names.

Tsn.ca's Bob McKenzie is not willing to tell the Islanders story without a little media relations bias these days, perhaps this now extends to Mr Cullen?

For Mr Cullen to write a respected veteran Captain like Doug Weight, or a classy veteran like Trent Hunter are not very significant is not appropriate. In terms of 2010-11 in terms of roster Doug Weight opened the season on the PP and Trent Hunter has been considered a key player on this roster for years.

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Why New York Will Lose Next Season:

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/03/2011 01:18:00 PM | Comment Here

On Sunday NYIFC wrote on Why the New York Islanders can win next season with the standard of winning at this time being a playoff spot.

Today we look at the other side and why the club will lose with that standard being not qualifying for 2011-12 NHL playoffs.

1-Pressure on Management vs. Expectations Pt II:

We can repeat this one from the reasons they can win but add the word expectations.

Make no mistake a general manager who said a year ago the expectation was to win and that everyone has to be better, who fired his choice for head coach is under pressure to win next season. It could mean he presses the wrong buttons whether it be rushing young players vs making a trade that hurts the core. There were fair question on what position Bailey and Comeau were used along with Rob Schremp that may have hurt all three players at times. Charles Wang's second general manager is approaching the same point Mike Milbury was in the late 90's when folks demanded a winning team now and results. The support for the club in the stands may well dictate what the gm does to keep his team winning next season. Whatever Charles Wang's future is owning this club he again has to prove to the fan base he will do everything possible financially (short of front-loading contracts/spending to cap like many teams cannot) to give his gm the support he will need to compete now that there is a solid base of talent here.

The pressure to win was there a year ago but injuries left few alternatives, this year should be different. Most media locally and in Canada will work the other side and do everything possible to create a negative culture in the press to drive away fans and most of the uninformed viewpoints will not care about injuries/man games lost or tell you much about current team.

2-The Even Strength Scoring Was Mostly Grabner and Moulson:

Plus/minus is sometimes misleading but last years long scoring drought that caused the club's free-fall the numbers screamed the club could not produce at even strength early beyond Matt Moulson's regular production. Graber's second-half production at even strength was a big part of turning many of those early one/goal open net regulation loss to wins or overtime points. So what happens if again Comeau, Nielsen, Parenteau and most of the other forwards cannot score at five on five early (Nielsen is not an even strength scorer), what if Okposo's second half does continues into next season or Bailey does not take a step forward in development? What if Tavares, Moulson take a step back or Grabner struggles or if Trent Hunter is healthy can he produce after three years of struggling?

These things are very realistic possibilities with no answers.

3-Core Players Not Ready For Prime Time:

You go around the Eastern Conference/NHL and you know the veteran talents or rising stars that can take a close game and produce the big play to end a losing streak or change the momentum. Philadelphia is a very streaky team, who always seem to have a Carter, Richards, Briere or Hartnell score the big goal against the Islanders and break their losing streaks. You can find similar talents on most clubs and it's usually the long-term difference between the playoff teams vs the pretenders, who lose games but can pick themselves up and go on a winning streak to offset it.

Bob Nystrom used to ask the room: " Who's going to be the Hero," as the dynasty teams played playoff overtime.

In 2011-12 who's ready to become those players in New York? Five twenty goal scores/two thirty goal players are great and a good sign it can happen, but until they can take that step and players emerge who can take over a game or put the team on their back in critical moments that decide a game it's just numbers.

Yes, this is about a goal like Matt Martin's to tie a game in Philadelphia.

That production has to go beyond 4-1-2 (last season's start) or a game when the club is double-digit points out of a playoff spot. You go around this league many of the teams have players who have learned to win.

Who's ready to become the hero's for this team in 2011-12? Has this group learned how to win?

4-No Hiding From Injuries/Past/Players Returning From Injury:

Being due for less injuries or good luck mean nothing. What can be realistically expected from Mark Streit, Trent Hunter, Mike Mottau, Mark Eaton, Andrew MacDonald, Rick DiPietro, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and others who have lingering health issues or missed a large amount of games? Can these players stand up for 82 games much less the grind of a playoff chase? Who's going to get hurt among the few players who were not hurt for extended periods?

All teams have injuries, this team has to shake problems where virtually all players suffer injury. It's not acceptable for Mike Mottau/70+ games in NJ, having an eye injury, and suddenly being out for season with a different one.

5-Does December/March Record Last Season Really Matter?

A big part of the answer to this question may well come from re-reading part 4 because most of the returning/injured players are signed and expected to be in camp.

Many were not healthy or productive in the second half of 2010-11 when the Islanders were winning more games.

6-Free Agency/Trades?

Re-read part I. The wrong free agent or trade could hurt as much as it could help.

The front-loaded contract star free agents are likely not available for this franchise or most non-corporate teams willing to take a financial loss. Reality is also many of the free agents are a risk and available because they have struggled on the teams they were playing for or have health issues.

No, you do not give out offer sheets and surrender prime draft picks to players who could be UFA in a year or two.

7-The Right Coaches Pt II:

What kind of coach will Jack Capuano be without the interim tag and the expectations high with prospects being worked in? Will the seemingly light touch he displayed be there or will we see the coach during some stretches who threatened ice time last season as he pressed his players? Can he get pp to be more consistent and balance goaltending with injury/contract issues? Will the young core improve and what veterans can he lean on as a buffer to the players?

Steve Stirling posted a 38-29-11, ninety one point playoff season out of an injured club with Czerkawski-Kvasha-Weinhandl in the second half of 03-04 as his first line. Why should any less be expected of Capuano, even without Yashin, Peca or Mark Parrish in 2011-12?

Some things are going to work out, others will not. The disparity will answer our questions from both entries on a winning season vs a losing one in 2011-12.

It usually comes out somewhere in the middle meaning anywhere between 1-15.

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