Islander Notables

Garth Snow did the perfunctory interview on Monday, ten days before the draft with Cablevision's Newspaper. Snow, as usual, said a lot, but nothing all at which is completely appropriate for the circumstances.

In short, picture any possible scenario with the teams top pick according to Snow. Most of the top prospects will be coming to New York for interviews.

Even a fan blog could have speculated all those possible results.

Katie Strang had more rust on her reporting than Evgeny Nabokov in Slovakia.

Ms Strang had the following very sloppy errors:
1-That Ryan Jankowski was dismissed by the Islanders in September. In fact, he was hired by the Montreal Canadians on 7/27/2010 with twenty one year Ranger European scout, Christopher Rockstrom, which the team (or Newsday) did not even report when he was dismissed.

2-That the Islanders will be without Jankowski for the first time since 2007.

Jankowski was named Islanders Chief European Scout in 2003. He gave interviews in 2006 & December 2005.

Before that Jankowski worked one season in North America for the Islanders, starting his career scouting six seasons for the WHL Spokane Chiefs. He was also a video coordinator for Canadian Junior teams here.

3-Strang once again played the " bristled card " in what she reported was a phone interview about Snow's reaction to the size of scouting staff? We got the same bristled tag from Strang in April about DiPietro in what is becoming a familiar pattern.

If Ms Strang cannot report facts correctly her viewpoint of someone's reaction during a phone call must be questioned. Snow has responded many times on the clubs scouting staff.

Strang unfortunately did not get quotes (or a no comment) from Snow on qualifying the clubs restricted free agents/signing their own unrestricted free agents, or anything about Blake Kessel/Jason Gregiore.

For those speculating the Islanders had to give a qualifying offer to these players immediately upon turning professional, or the thirty day rule did not apply would not be correct. There is only one criteria for these players, the Blake Wheeler rule.

Yearly qualifying offers are for CHL prospects or players like Anders Nilsson received last summer with Casey Cizikas.

Gregoire is likely an UFA around 6/17, Kessel around 6/24 based on thirty day rule vs time-frame these stories broke in professional media.
The Islanders official radio station out of Hofstra started a weekly radio program in May. Chris King, who has done interviews with several of the players, Garth Snow, Mike Bossy, Barry Landers, who used to call the clubs games on radio long ago are also interviewed.

Islanders website: Has an archive of the weekly shows which started in May.

NYIFC Comments:
Great work and a weekly show with player/management comments is something of interest. Having written this another example the Islanders media does work well in getting out it's message because no one knows about it.

A weekly show is something the teams website should feature every single week, with times/upcoming guests and an archive easy to find.

I'll see what can be done here at NYIFC so you can directly access the weekly archive from here.
Times & Transcript: Has a complete interview with PA Parenteau at the annual Moncton Wildcats Golf tournament, which included Andrew MacDonald, Ted Nolan and Chico Resch.

NHLPA: Reported Mike Cammalleri, and former Islander, Chris Campoli, were named to the league's competition committee.

NYIFC Comments:
What's Mike Cammalleri going to do besides chop players from behind as his version of competition?
The NHL Finals will have a game seven. It's been a sad show reading the Boston and Vancouver media turn into glorified salesman/fans for the home teams papers and advertisers. Too many days off for a sport which will finish after basketball, who began a month later.

Tim Thomas has won me over, sloppy style and all.

Anything can happen in a game seven but each series has trends, this one has the 2002 Islanders-Leafs trend that the home team wins every game.

I do not see Boston breaking that trend in game seven.

Roberto Luongo could use some media relations lessons from Dwayne Roloson, I'm aware he praised Thomas also and not all he said was reported in every article.
Want to know what Larry Brooks sees when he looks in the mirror?
Mike Milbury.

Milbury's inappropriate comments about the Sedins reflect many of the same things Brooks has written about European players, including Radek Martinek.

A few years ago when former Ranger goon, Ryan Hollweg, was pulling out Radek Martink's stitches here Brooks conduct was frankly pathetic after Martinek had a few postgame words.

Martinek's a classy man who has worked hard to interview in two languages, most NHL media have enough problems with one.

Milbury also drafted the Sedin's old line-mate in Mattias Weinhandl.

Now go cover baseball, Mr Brooks. The Post will not be sending you to game seven because it's too expensive and hockey is not relevant in baseball's largest market.

Like it or not, Mike Milbury's views will be center stage, not that of the NY Post or your views.

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Nassau Coliseum Plan Overview

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/13/2011 11:18:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Nothing new announced on a full Coliseum financing agreement, but this blog has been getting questions so I wanted to post the graph on the Nassau County Website and cut through a little red-tape with a clear overview.

Kate Murray will have her Frederick P Clark meeting/zoning dance soon. Al Damato's daughter will head a newly created Nassau Human Services department at $105,000-a-year via Mangano's office, the RFP on baseball stadium is due 6/16/2011.

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Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/09/2011 09:36:00 PM | Comment Here

First off, the good news is Steve Stirling was visited by the Binghamton Senators with the AHL Calder Cup, and all reports to date are he is in stable condition.

The Islanders website/twitter/facebook lack of acknowledgment of support to a man who was here in the 90's when our prospects were bouncing from Lowell, to Springfield is nothing short of disgraceful.

Steve Stirling deserves a ton of support from his only NHL employer and inaugural Bridgeport coach, who took them to the Calder Cup finals.

First class individual.
Done calling out the fans to purchase tickets. This blog reviewed the history of the lack of fan support since 1989. Two entries were done, if the team leaves someday (sooner or later) feel free to go back and read them. This blog tried.
Do I care about all these legal challenges to an 8/1 vote via Cablevision's local paper? (never anything positive on Coliseum referendum)

Not at this time, which was also in LIBN.

Goes without writing Cablevision's paper is the ONLY publication in New York not blasting James Dolan for his latest sports disgrace in Donnie Walsh's resignation/dismissal/whatever spin they wish to apply. Nothing like being scared to death of the boss. This is the same Alan Hahn who used to unload on Wang?

Was funny to read former Newsday employee Johnette Howard unload on Dolan.
So that's one New York Islander program on Msg (never live game/anything else) and a thousand or so for the teams they own? Bigger miracle was producing Arbour, Torrey, Westfall, Nystrom, Gillies, Potvin at the Nassau Coliseum doing interviews.

It was incredibly well done, they could produce a thousand such shows for our team but why do that when it would hurt Msg? Next time leave Dolan's used-car salesman Al Trautwig home and let baseball Howie go on assignment from baseball as he does during hockey season.

Speaking of which hopefully this is the summer Howie Rose's hockey career here comes to an end. Billy Jaffe came from Atlanta, time to find someone who particularly cares.

Yes, even if the Dolan's have to pay Howie to go away and make up for the money they saved bouncing Jaffe for Goring. (who was already under contract)
Fox Business Dog and Pony Act on television regarding Coliseum? Worthless. Cannot get Picker's name right and cut off another interview before David Denenberg could answer. Wang was smartest of all to avoid this foolishness.

When Mangano, Wang release full economic details/Murray does her clown act zoning from TOH, then we will know, but revenue sharing means just that, it's not profit sharing.

Not one word pushing the plan from Murray since she left Coliseum that day, usual horrible job.
No research done on draft, I will add profiles to who the Islanders select when the draft happens in two weeks. Will be satisfied with whoever they select as long as they don't go miles off board.

Always best player available.
New York Islanders already had the better Drury here in Ted. This is why I have made point here long and loud about front-loaded contracts. Chris Drury got the bulk of his cash already, that's why players want cash up front to avoid losing money later in buyouts.

It's why they sign with corporate teams that can write off the red ink.

Cablevision is nearing it's pre-lockout level of 80m between contracts hidden in the AHL or buyouts. That means they are again losing 25-40m or perhaps more because of very high expenses.
Mike Milbury was right in saying the Chara trade brought the franchise instant credibility and they needed Yashin's production. It's the last time the seats were filled with any regularity.

He's also so painfully arrogant and annoying it's a tough choice between Boston or the equally arrogant Vancouver media as to who I prefer lose this series?
I do not see major changes coming and would be shocked if Garth Snow traded Josh Bailey at this age. Jeff Carter (if he were the return) is no lock to solve any problems and ties up the club with another ten year contract.

Says a lot Philadelphia gave Carter a NTC only after the early years, he can be moved anywhere right now. Nothing like having Tim Panaccio selling every move for his boss, Ed Snider/Comcast via CSN.

Jeff Carter is also a massive front-loaded contract via corporate Comcast.
So the Times, Post had financial resources to send writers to Boston for the finals and even the Daily News had money for a little coverage? Guess that means Peter Botte or a full time reporter/blogger for the Islanders and Devils will be hired for next season?
I like Konopka, Gillies, Haley (and Matt Martin) but it's about producing as a fourth line better than the other fourth lines. If one or all of them are back or not, no big deal. (besides young Martin) A fourth line center (Konopka) cannot be a minus fourteen after a minus eleven in Tampa.

Funny man with the media, I'm not in the locker-room but he's likely well-regarded by the players but it comes down to the best player for the spot. It may be Konopka, it could be Ullstrom, Cizikas, or someone else.
Rick DiPietro is not even scheduled to make any appearances or is even advertised on the teams website, is he paid now to be hidden?
Anyone else think Bill Guerin picked up a phone after Doug Weight's press conference and asked the Penguins for a job? It's a move Pittsburgh should have made last fall. Perhaps they did?
Silly season for Islander fans and limited media start soon. This is time where they ignore all players under contract for next season (or contract limits) and start writing about players coming without looking at a depth chart like it's some kind of video game.

NYIFC is not allergic to trades or adding players but please stop adding left wings to Moulson, Grabner, Comeau, Martin or centers to Tavares, Bailey, Nielsen or right wings to Okposo, Parenteau, Hunter, Niederreiter before you subtract someone first.

You want a defender sounds great. Streit, MacDonald, Hamonic, Jurcina, Mottau, Eaton are all signed with Hillen, Gervais, Wishart, Katic, DeHaan and other beyond that.

And Martinek is an UFA.

There are six goaltenders now here under contract between New York and Bridgeport.

Same as every year, you want to add, you have to subtract.
Another flat out priceless winner of a column from Kerry Fraser on Islanders general manager, Garth Snow during his final playing season
The people making claims on Kessel-Gregiore being UFA on 6/1 are wrong, which includes Michael Fornabaio. It's thirty days via Blake Wheeler rule from letter to being able to sign elsewhere unless they submitted letter declaring intentions to turn professional on 5/1.

That's why you will not see any report of them signing anywhere besides the New York Islanders until thirty days pass.

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Former New York Islander/Bridgeport Head Coach Hospitalized

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/06/2011 12:59:00 AM | Comment Here & Binghamton Senators Website: Report former New York Islander and Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Steve Stirling experienced chest pains while at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Sunday afternoon.

Coach Stirling was then taken to UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City where he underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery and is now resting comfortably.

Coach Stirling will not travel with the team to Houston for their remaining games in the 2011 American Hockey League Calder Cup Finals.

The Binghamton Senators organization asks the fans and the community for their thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery for Coach Stirling.

Press Connects: Is the primary coverage outlet of the Binghamton Senators, who are in the Calder Cup Finals.

NYIFC Comments:
NYIFC thoughts and prayer for a quick and speedy recovery for Steve Stirling. A first class gentlemen, who guided the Islanders to the 2004 playoffs and the inaugural Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the Calder Cup Finals.

Press Connects:: Has a Monday night 6/6 update.

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Only Way To Save The New York Islanders Is Purchase Tickets

New York Islander Fan Central | 6/03/2011 05:32:00 AM | Comment Here

Nassau Deputy Exec Rob Walker:
"The Islanders are ready to leave here tomorrow. They were being wooed by other areas last week."

-Nassau Coliseum press conference May 2011

Gary Bettman's Audio Comments 6/2 on teams future.

A lot of other markets want teams, the next time the Quebec fans come here it will not be for the Thrashers.

Sorry if the last entry was rough for a few folks, but this is the reality. We either show up and support this team in the stands now or there will no longer be a hockey team here.

Call the Islanders up, find a ticket plan and figure out a way to attend as many games as possible. There is no other alternative.

Forget Wang, Mangano, the arena referendum (of course vote if you can) the roster, winning or anything else. The stands have to be filled and remain filled.

This is beyond any owner now or in the future.

It cannot work here being at the bottom in attendance for one more season.

We can no longer base our attendance on waiting to win and then showing up, you have to give Nassau, Wang, or a potential new owner a reason to keep this franchise here because it can work and show the fan support is there.

It does not matter if the Coliseum is the second oldest or the newest. It does not matter if Charles Wang continues to own this franchise or not because he's approaching seventy years old. What happened in Atlanta can and will happen here and that was a modern facility that outdraws this franchise.

Atlanta was moved with practically no advance notice, they had a modern building but as soon as the ownership had enough, that was the end. Bettman could not stop it nor did the city of Atlanta demand ASG hang in to find a buyer. The league for now runs Phoenix and that city is paying the league 25m again to subsidize the losses.

This referendum gives Nassau an excuse-free out if not supported, Mangano may well allow Wang to terminate his lease. But even more importantly if 15,000 fans are not at every game, none of that is going to matter any longer.

Our fans have to show up for games now, there is no time left for anything else.

People at the games is what brings local interest or a buyer, an eventual compromise or plan to construct a new building come after that.

Nothing is more important if you value this franchise remaining here.

Sure we can go through the motions here and write about drafts, trades, free agency or a referendum, it means nothing ultimately if the club moves to another location outside New York.

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Why Are We Here Now? Blame Yourselves

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/31/2011 09:43:00 PM | 2 Comments

Through the long history of NYIFC or Islanders-Sound Tigers going back to 1998, I have never questioned our teams fans much less our loyal readers. This blog has the greatest respect for our fans.

NYIFC has done endless entries on media's role in hurting perception and other items that contribute to poor fan support not only for our team but NY hockey in general.

Today it's time to point that bright light at ourselves as fans of this franchise for over a generation.

This is not personal but a general statement.

One reason why we are here now is because of twenty plus years of being one of the lowest drawing teams in professional sports going back to 1989, some want to live and die by the Milbury card, that's not fair or reflective of what has happened.

The excuses end now, they have to.

Mike Milbury was in a Stanley Cup Final in 89-90, he has a future.

Anyone who has not been at the games deserves a measure of blame.

Of course finances are always tight and a hockey ticket is an expensive luxury regardless of a teams record. Guess what? It's the same everywhere.

28th-30th in attendance has been 28th-30th for far too long.

Tough Reality Check That Is Not Easy To Write:
I took a rare swim in the kiddie pool for a few days. Among those pretending they are selling themselves as some kind of necessary resource or believe it is about themselves playing to audiences, they pointed the finger at everything but poor fan support for the club's current problems.

Good for page views, resume, and keeping popular, however many of the kiddies are very much about making a career for themselves above all and if not with this team perhaps another. They might love the New York Islanders, their personal gain however is the highest priority.

NYIFC was started to help tell the New York Islanders story as fairly as possible, nothing more ever. Punches cannot be pulled about the clubs attendance any longer.

History vs Hard Facts:
After four straight cups, 1987 playoff run and a first place finish in 1988, the fan base was gone in less than a year by 1989. Fan support stopped long before John Pickett began his exit strategy and that was with Bill Torrey and Al Arbour still here.

Not too many fan bases run for the exits that quickly.

Lack of fan support no doubt in my estimation led to a lot of short-sighted, cost-effective and ultimately poor management decisions whether you wish to acknowledge that or not. Pat Lafontaine held out and was traded, Howard Milstein came in and told the fans to fill the building first. Bill Torrey was being booed at the Nassau Coliseum by 1992. Smitty at his retirement ceremony commented on how great it was to see the building full.

You (or our fan base if you prefer) did now show up after 1989, there were empty seats during the 92-93 playoffs. You are not showing up to support Garth Snow’s youth movement.

You (or our fan base if you prefer again) did not support Milbury’s youth movement in Luongo, Palffy, Bertuzzi and those other players and perhaps forced the owner to tell the general manager cut the budget to nothing. As soon as Milbury got permission from Wang’s ownership to spend he saved his job and improved his team by over forty points in one year.

No one complained in 2001-02, you showed up for half a season and one playoff.

We can talk about all of Mike Milbury's trades but our choices as customers were a reason behind those decisions. The team could not continue with less than five thousand people at games, you gave Wang’s 2000 ownership no choice because you refused to be patient or support a youth movement any longer.

Many of you would not support the club last season when the owner dared raise prices to the league average. Prices? Why don't you check out what the public is being charged in Winnipeg to support the Thrashers. ($39 to $129 per game — a season ticket campaign, requiring three to five-year commitments)

How did things get so bad to where winning a playoff series here is some standard of success?

Mike Milbury did his job, he brought the NHL playoffs back to New York under Wang at a time you demanded Charles Wang prove he was not Howard Milstein. It was the only plan to date you showed any sign of supporting until Wang raised prices to pay for Yashin, Peca and again people stopped showing up by early 2003.

Other local teams fans stay away when losing (Knicks, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Nets) but none are as fair weather as New York Islander fans or have stayed away longer.

Charles Wang’s New York Islanders made four playoffs in five years as owner before his roster took over the title of the NHL most injured team three of the last four years, it's a mediocre result at best, not the train-wreck some make it out to be.

Many NHL teams have done far worse on the ice, none has done worse in the stands for twenty years. We can blame Milbury but we can’t hide from facts our support at games was terrible before and after Milbury.

Don’t blame Snow, Milbury, Maloney or Torrey, start looking in the mirror because Coliseum approval or not, this league is not supporting franchises drawing under 10,000.

The team that traded for Ryan Smyth was in sixth place in 06-07, Ted Nolan was coaching. 12,000+ showed up for the first game after that trade against St Louis.

Perhaps the only template New York fans accept today is the Yankees way, you either buy everyone and spend the most or we are not attending. Msg has tons of phony/announced sellouts, they cannot put out enough ads for available tickets but it's not as bad as here and they have basketball.

The Devils cannot fill a new building even spending top dollar, it's not as bad as here.

Some fans seem to expect a 2012 payroll with 1980 ticket prices here, that’s not realistic.

It's Changing?
It’s changing when 15,000 people show up on weeknights in October and November, and not from giveaways, it's changing when an adult crowd of die-hard fans are making noise like they used to when a Tuesday night game was the rule here.

Our crowds last season sounded like only a bunch of kids are attending and they looked worse than some of those four figure crowds around 7,000.

The New York Islanders under Charles Wang’s tenure spent tons of money and have had mediocre results (making playoffs) but far better than many of it’s NHL counterparts outdrawing this franchise virtually every single year. Charles Wang's payroll was over forty million before any cap or floor.

No, not a Wang infomercial, this goes beyond who any owner is because there is no time left for that. We can no longer care who owns the team or how they are playing, you have to fill the Coliseum now and send a statement the public support is still here regardless who the owner, general manager or players are.

That solves a lot of problems.

Bottom line our fans have to show up or it’s not going to work here. This teams great past is not going to secure it's future. The local government does not see this franchise as the public trust it should have been.

The NHL is not going to support a team that finishes dead last or at bottom every year in attendance a day longer then they have to. The NHL has to put this team on the road for October/November because weeknight games are an embarrassment here, other teams deserve Friday, Saturday home games too in October and November.

The sad truth is the Florida Panthers, who have not seen a playoff game since 2000 had four thousand more customers per game in 2010-11, they have outdrawn the New York Islanders ten years in a row.

Outside of 2001-02/02-03 the Atlanta Thrashers outdrew the New York Islanders, including the final year of their franchise every single year.

And that's all with tons of opposing fan bases at the Nassau Coliseum plus the late season discounts.

We as fans must now blame ourselves for some of what's happened in the stands since 1989. You don't have any more time to look back, you cannot worry about who the owner is or what anyone did a decade ago or longer.

Take a good look at the player comments from Thrashers about fan support and what it means as they depart Atlanta for Winnipeg.

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum played hosts to one of the greatest teams in NHL history, the only hockey dynasty NY has ever known, the longest dynasty in American hockey history, the seats were filled for every game over a decade plus.

It has to be that way again starting next season.

Unless things begin to change dramatically in the stands nothing that happens on the ice is going to keep this franchise around much longer.

You want to stay home and talk about Mike Milbury, who's been gone since 2006 or John Spano, Howard Milstein, John Pickett, Charles Wang or whoever as excuses for not going to games?

It's all your going to have left to remember this great franchise very soon if that's your ultimate decision.

I'm sorry if you don't like reading this, however it needed to be written, someone had to write it. Anyone can write what you want to read.

Folks generally understand those who actually care write (or tell) what you don't want to read (or hear) whether it's a pleasant task or not.

NYIFC was started because I care about this team and wanted to help.

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Perhaps NYIFC Wrong & The New York Islanders Will Leave New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/31/2011 06:11:00 PM | | Comment Here

“I believe this day will go down in history as a first step and hopefully this is the catalyst that will get us going again.”
-Charles Wang 5/31/2011.

Perhaps my earlier entry The New York Islanders Will Never Leave New York is simply not correct.

5/31 was not a good day for the future of this franchise.

For those wondering the legislature can still stop the 8/1 vote by July 17, which is fifteen days prior to the referendum and may well do that if financial plans are not there from Mangano/Wang or the legislature do not like what they read.

“It’s important that we take this step. Today’s vote is to make sure that the tax payers, the citizens, have the opportunity to decide. That’s all it is. There are a lot of details and we’re working through (them)… but by the middle of June, we’ll have all the details. This is what we’re working towards. Today is a great first day.” -Charles Wang

Today the Nassau legislature confirmed my earlier entries, that the New York Islanders are nothing more than political football depending on what party supports a Coliseum plan vs which one did not propose it.

I did not think seven members would be willing to risk killing a plan that may well decide Wang's future interest in owning this franchise even before step one.

They were.

I do believe this plan will ultimately be rejected, but Wang's hotel is going nowhere and that was really what I staked my belief on that the club would never leave, with the simple fact the Nassau Coliseum has to be replaced or repaired and someone eventually has to pay for it.

For a long time here I have been pushing the notion, no one entity or side wanted to be the one to say no and take blame whether it be Suozzi, Mangano, Wang, Murray, TOH.

Now the public can do that for everyone thanks to Ed Mangano.

An easy out to lose the team without getting blamed.

Maybe if this passes on 8/1 the legislature kills it anyway just to defeat Mangano/Republicans so it could go that way with one side getting blamed.

Obviously if this passes 8/1, the democratic legislature will challenge the legitimacy of the vote being done in August as a built-in excuse to reject it or the hundred foot wall called NIFA will kill it for sure.

Perhaps reading all the comments out of Atlanta about low attendance, poor fan support shook me a bit because I have never seen the NHL abandon a market in a modern facility this quickly. This was not Bettman's call (his BOG can only approve/reject a sale/relocation which they will approve to make relocation fees) because the NHL does not own the franchise (unlike Phoenix) but this does open the proverbial box which sets future trends.

I feel so horrible for those folks in Atlanta. ASG was not some individual who simply could not afford to operate a franchise, they simply only wanted to run the Atlanta Hawks, to relocate that team this quickly sets a horrible precedent.

As for the New York Islanders, a franchise near the bottom in attendance for twenty plus years, with no home media support, an owner approaching seventy, in the NHL's second oldest facility, who had every plan rejected to save the team who may finally have his plan rejected by the public themselves?

Sure the teams history should have made them bullet proof for the same reasons NYC never let the taxpayers decided any other teams future.

At that point it's more than fair for Charles Wang to say I've done all I can, the people have spoken and the support is simply not there for this franchise to have a future here.

Mangano made the Islanders future a public decision, so once he has his out why would he drag himself back in or force Wang to stay?

Sure the opposite can happen, Charles Wang digs in even harder, takes his Comcast/NBC/Winnipeg Relocation money and see if a new CBA brings him revenue sharing?

Still, Wang may come to realize why am I bothering if the public support is not there for my efforts and hundreds of million lost on a team I did not even follow when it was winning Stanley Cups?

I'm not entirely sure on Smg lease, Wang is on record he will honor it, but who knows if Mangano lets him out if this fails. Until I read otherwise this is also Scott Rechler's Smg lease to manage the Coliseum until 2015.

I know the LH Project gave Wang an immediate lease out if Nassau could not reach a lease agreement after TOH/Lighthouse approval, but that's not the current plan.

I want to believe my earlier entry a rejection will lead to the eventual compromise that will produce an arena agreement. I'm not sure I can after today because the legislature was ready to stop this before it even began.

Do these politicians care enough to even bothering looking ahead to seeing what the loss of this franchise means? I's obvious we would not be here today if they did.

Keep waiting, push vote back, let others bid on land. Same junk as late 90's, except Judy Jacobs is now on other side.

Today was just a terrible day. Hopefully Charles Wang sitting there had a good reason to be smiling that none of us know about.

Next entry for the first time is going to put the spotlight on our fans and the teams support, no punches will be pulled.

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Clarification on Kessel/Gregoire Signing Deadlines

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2011 01:18:00 AM | | | Comment Here

Just to clarify an error on this, the deadlines for Blake Kessel/Jason Gregoire to be signed are thirty days after they submitted letters intending to turn professional.

There are no compensatory draft selections awarded to the Islanders because they are not first round selections.

This is the rule under which Blake Wheeler left Phoenix and the loophole both players opted out under here.

Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, any player who does not remain a college player through the graduation of his applicable class, must submit a letter stating his intention to turn professional. Upon submission of that letter, the drafting club shall have 30 days to sign the player. If the player and team cannot reach an agreement within that 30 day period, the player becomes a free agent. Wheeler submitted his letter of intention to turn professional on May 8. & several outlets in 2008 reported Wheeler's date of UFA was 6/8/2008.

This means both Gregoire and Kessel have different signing deadlines that are not exactly clear (but cannot be 6/1/2011 unless they filed 5/1/2011) because there is nothing out there definitive from professional media on what date they actually submitted a letter.

News of Jason Gregoire's departure broke on 5/18 which by that date would mean on June 17th, he must be signed.

Blake Kessel news was from 5/24 so if he filed at that time or a few days earlier his deadline would be around 6/23 or a day or two earlier.

Until we know the specific filing dates, it's unclear what date they submitted letters to start any thirty day period. NYIFC earlier comments of a 7/1 deadline would not be correct in any instance.

Casey Cizikas deadline is 5/31, he will play for the Memorial Cup Championship on Sunday.

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Updated: Anders Nilsson signed/Islander Notables/Looking Ahead

Updated 6pm:
Islanders website: Report goaltender Anders Nilsson has been signed to a three year entry level contract.

See twitter for link: Nilsson received a max contract, the highest awarded since lockout ended for a third round pick, and will be in North America next season per his agent.

NYIFC Comments:
That puts Nilsson, Koskinen and Poulin in Bridgeport with Montoya, Nabokov and DiPietro in New York. A lot of surgery/injury among current Islander goaltender ranks, but a signing that had to be done this summer or rights of a high draft pick would have been lost.

ITV: Released Doug Weight's complete press conference.

XM: Had an interview with Kyle Okposo on his new contract, Doug Weight and other items.

Will be toning down blog entries or posting them via twitter. NYIFC is supposed to be more of a blog that's an extension of it's twitter page. It has been a very busy stretch so more has been written here lately.

Setting the agenda:
NYIFC is a hockey blog, not a political blog. Entries have been written on the politics behind this, so from here on we're not going that deep into the political end of things, the recent/past archives have plenty on the Coliseum issue.

The order can suddenly change depending on sudden signings, trades or organizational changes. Bridgeport needs a head coach. RFA/UFA have to be signed or qualified and prospects have to be signed.

Seems every day something is happening, it was not this active during games.

1. The Memorial Cup and Casey Cizikas has to be signed by 5/31. St Michaels Majors plays semi-finals Friday night against Kootenay.

Toronto Sun: Terry Koshan had his usual issues with the Islanders, but Casey Cizikas comments on signing with the club on Wednesday.

2. 5/31 is the next Nassau County legislature chance to vote for a referendum vote happening in August, after last week who knows if that will be delayed again?

Instead of waiting on twitter updates/articles from this blog/wherever go to and simply watch meeting/hearing/vote live for yourselves.

3. After that no doubt more financial articles and spin in Cablevision's newspaper and a ton of rhetoric both ways. You know where this blog stands on these items, Mangano/politics/ect.

4. Draft updates/possible signings or qualifying offers to RFA or UFA. NYIFC has opened it's draft sections here and at the prospect blog.

As for UFA The Province: Zenon Konopka's comments on Trevor Gillies, and other subjects.

It's great the Islanders locked up Grabner, Okposo and likely will do so with their other RFA. The backloaded contracts speak a great deal to Charles Wang's time as owner whether a Coliseum referendum passes and receives approvals or not.

Charles Wang may not be around to pay those players for a lot of reasons, he will be seventy two come final year of those deals.

It also has to be written who is going to buy this team from him if he becomes in effect, the next Smg with a lot of the property/hotel revenue going to him? It's obvious around the NHL simply owning the building and getting all event revenue is not enough to make owning a team self-sustaining, even when it's new.

When details come out from credible media (source free) with direct quotes regarding financing there will be more to read, not before.
My initial reaction was taken aback when Doug Weight was assigned assistant coach/assistant to the gm. I wanted a reaction from Jack Capuano, who is now the full time head coach who has Scott Gordon's staff. Sometimes a general manager/coach relationship goes south which could be a problem for someone in that mix if Weight is in the middle which his role clearly suggests.

Doug Weight is as visible and respected a figure as there is in hockey. If there was an issue he would be outspoken so I do not foresee a problem here. Weight will not pull punches.

Previous assistant's to Garth Snow seemed very peripheral or not much detail was brought out or confirmed by articles vs what was advertised. If Weight will be behind the bench for every game we will see. Weight's efforts regarding pp at end of last season failed as someone behind the bench with a lot of injuries in a limited body of work.
If a job is available elsewhere for Scott Gordon, he should be let out of his contract immediately. If one is available here, and he wants it, he should be retained.
Put no stock on players invited to draft party who are UFA, some can be retained, others let go.
The silence is deafening out of Atlanta and very sad for their fans. If ASG can own and pay for the Hawks, they can pay for and operate the Thrashers, it's not the NHL's call until they have a sale to approve or reject.

Bill Daly's comment about Seattle were unexpected for a deputy commissioner who is usually guarded with his statements.
*************************** Absolutely hit a home run adding former referee, Kerry Fraser. His work is fresh, ground-breaking and comes from a hockey viewpoint few can relate to. I loved his story about Al Arbour and every entry is very good where we learn things.

No, that site does not have hockey centric rss and badly needs a redesign. On the other side of that coin is Scott Cullen, who refused to acknowledge the Islanders 600+ man games lost to injury when we discussed them, but defended the Blues, John Davidson for not spending and cited injury several times when going through players.

NYIFC Comments:
All I ever ask is the playing field be level for all teams in viewpoints. If Scott Cullen wants to do thirty team reviews and he writes the Islanders season was over by the time Andrew MacDonald got hurt, of course I'm going to point out the club was 4-1-2, in first place when he got hurt in October.

If that bothers him to where he is defensive about it, that says something about his viewpoint not being informed, fair or objective.


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Doug Weight Announces Retirement, Senior Advisor & Assistant Coach?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/26/2011 11:51:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here

The Islanders website live streamed the press conference, it will be made available later in full with Doug Weight, Garth Snow, and Charles Wang's comments.

Former Captain Bill Guerin was in attendance with many of the current players.

Islanders website: Report Islanders Captain Doug Weight has announced his retirement as a player and will remain in the organization as an Assistant Coach and Senior Advisor to the General Manager.

“It was an honor to be a member of the NHL for the 19 years I laced up my skates,” Weight said. “I have a lifetime of memories from playing this game and cherish them all. I am excited to begin this next phase of my professional career and help the Islanders continue to climb the ladder to winning the Stanley Cup.”

“Doug is the ultimate leader,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “He has taken our young core of players, over the past three years, and helped elevate their game to a point where we now see our franchise competing with the top teams in the league. On behalf of the organization, I’d like to thank Doug for his commitment to the New York Islanders and we are excited to have him join our Hockey Operations Department in seeing through with our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

Islanders website: Released an article with comments from John Tavares, Travis Hamonic, Josh Bailey and separate features where former Islander Bill Guerin, and several past teammates over his playing career along with honoring families efforts in community.

Per Brian Compton's twitter: Weight will be behind the bench for every game next season. Snow clarified he is not replacing Scott Allen or Dean Chynoweth.

NYIFC Comments:
Today is the time to praise Doug Weight for an outstanding career. Obviously the future leaders of this team by their own words/actions have nothing but respect for Weight, his continued role will be an asset to the players and staff.

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Kyle Okposo Signs Five Year Contract Extension

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/25/2011 05:09:00 PM | | | Comment Here

Islanders website: Report Kyle Okposo has been signed to a five year contract extension, with comments from General Manager Garth Snow.

NYIFC Comments:
Will be interesting to see if Okposo's deal is backloaded as Grabner's was. Either way another in a long-ling of classy/quiet negotiations from this general manager.

Do not read a great deal into the players invited to the draft party (announced on teams website) who are unrestricted free agents.

The long spring continues Thursday with Doug Weight's 11am press conference.

Casey Cizikas/St Michaels Major have their finals rematch Wednesday night at Memorial Cup with his signing deadline 5/31.

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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. 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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