Bettman/Dolan End Game On New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/23/2012 06:22:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
You asked so here is our response.

I put no little to no stock in Gary Bettman's comments to the AP because it was not an Islander centric interview, however it's not the first time he has come off as completely opposed to the Islanders staying where they are or relocating to Brooklyn.  

Gary Bettman has an endgame, make sure every franchise generates as much revenue as possible, he either does that or the owners will decide on a new commissioner to fill his position. Any franchise always at the bottom in attendance, not generating a lot of revenue is not good for his resume.

I'm not convinced Bettman speaks entirely for Charles Wang, who despite all the conflicting headlines after 2015 will still own a hotel next to the Nassau Coliseum he spent ninety million dollars for (with Scott Rechler in 2005) after he bought out Rechler's interest in 2010.  

Bettman did not call out older facilities earlier in his tenure or repeatedly say the league will not stay one minute longer than a lease in Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Buffalo, Boston, Edmonton, Msg, Pittsburgh with many of those outdated facilities much older than the forty year old Nassau Coliseum. 

Given the last time the Isles were a playoff team, and Msg historically has thousands of Islander fans at games when they play in Manhattan (as well as New Jersey) it's obvious the New York Islanders are as much  New York City as the Yankees so Mr Bettman can give the LI-Queens fan-base issue a rest unless he wants to call out who owns the television/newspaper coverage for doing all they can to limit the fan-base which drives any teams ability to generate revenue?

Charles Wang said last year before the referendum on WFAN about thirty/forty percent of the season ticket base is not from Nassau County, which this blog discussed here.

7/26/11 WFAN Interview 2:30  Wang discussing where season ticket base comes from.

If Mr Bettman needs to make more revenue for the people who employ him, he should start by demanding more coverage for the New York Islanders. That starts in Dolan's Newspaper, on his network, along with the city newspapers, who also are doing all they can do save money on Islander coverage permanently.
   
The Daily News even botched the headline for a team they rarely cover.
Brooklyn may not be viable destination for New York Islanders.
Brooklyn not viable destination for Islanders

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Dolan's endgame has never changed. 

Get out of paying close to three hundred million dollars in future cable contract money until 2030, expand their own teams brand officially into Nassau County, perhaps gain control of another sports/entertainment property with all the money saved.

That's why hockey games do not get the front page (or the back-page) for this team, and it's covered extremely poorly, but if something happens to sell what benefits Cablevision/Dolan/Msg, you can bet it will receive inflated headlines, even when Bettman's comments are nothing new.

That's why Bettman's comments are on the front-page of Dolan's newspaper.

Updated:
Dolan's paper on 4/23 also provided room for an editorial by James Darcy, who serves on the Hempstead Town Council praising Kate Murray's Town Of Hempstead for rushing the process, while blaming the developers for the Lighthouse, and that the NHL owners should pay for a new arena, ignoring how every other NY/NJ team had their facilities financed by taxpayers.

Mr Darcy is on team Kate Murray according to his website.

Darcy would also be the person long ago who said the Lighthouse EIS was too long.

He supported a referendum vote, but had a cryptic answer on the information process in 2011.
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NYIFC Comments:
I guess George Marlin of NIFA was not available for another Dolan exclusive.


Next Up At New York Islander Fan Central----Time Off

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/17/2012 07:35:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
Updated 4/19:
Southcoast Today: Had comments from former assistant coach, Scott Allen, on leaving the Islanders.
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Our entry on leap day this year 2/29 has more than enough on the future of NYIFC.

Despite being a blog that is supposed to generally work through twitter, once again much more was posted here because of the incredible support.

My Thanks To Everyone.

Unless something major happens, next week the twitter box will return.

Next Up:
Bridgeport will be in the Calder Cup Playoffs, the prospect blog has that covered.

A section for the World Championships has been set up here for those to follow when that begins in early May, the Isles website is currently doing daily updates leading up to the tournament which has a link here.

The 2012 draft section has been set up also.

My knowledge of the prospects in the draft class frankly is terrible, so to attempt to discuss that here beyond take the best player available would be disingenuous.

Scott Allen and Dean Chynoweth Not Returning For 2012-13

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/16/2012 01:52:00 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!
Islanders website: Announced that assistant coaches Scott Allen and Dean Chynoweth will not return for the 2012-13 season.

Scott Allen was named Assistant Coach of the Islanders on July 20, 2009.
Dean Chynoweth was named the Islanders Assistant Coach on June 19, 2009.

NYIFC Comments:
Never a good day to see anyone leaving any job.

Dean Chynoweth is a former player with the Islanders so even worse in that regard.

Jack Capuano has had nothing to say since the season ended.

These were both coaches hired for Scott Gordon's second season with the Islanders.

If Capuano wanted them to stay this could be an issue for him, but the question moving forward is does Capuano get to pick his own staff, or will it work like in New Jersey with long time assistant coaches, Larry Robinson & Jacques Laperriere, who stayed behind the bench despite several Devils coaching changes?

Laperriere, has had another role with Devils for a few years now.

No folks, I do not believe for one minute Doug Weight would accept a job as an NHL head coach with this little experience or would Garth Snow offer it to him.

Weights's reaction to this could also be interesting being that he was a full time assistant coach, and part of a staff that has now been significantly changed, as Senior Advisor to the General Manager.

This could take some time to play out depending on what assistant's or former head coaches become available.

If you are asking this blog if someone who makes decisions based only upon watching games/comments of the assistant coaches if these are the correct moves I would have to say no.

I supported Jack Capuano returning, so I have to do the same for the assistant coaches with the exact same reasons.

Of course, it's not that simple if contracts end or if management does not feel the same.

2001-02 Plan Vs The 2011-12 Plan

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/15/2012 02:54:00 AM | Be the first to comment!
We have seen this act before.

The same fans who refused to attend games in the late 1990's are once again tired of waiting, and out of patience.

They blame the owner/gm, and demand immediate action.

A decade ago Mike Milbury gave you action.
This time Garth Snow is determined to stick to his plan.

Sounds nice, reads well, however this time there are major differences.

The same fans who refused to attend games in the late 1990's with Howard/Ed Milstein, who dropped the payroll to nothing, and told Mike Milbury to trade Palffy are no longer here.

This time it's Charles Wang, who's signed all his top players/prospects long-term, and has proven he will spend countless times, but is not going to front-load contract offers which is what all the top free agents receive.

We have no idea what the players back then thought of the Howard/Ed Milstein, but this teams top players, all took Charles Wang's money, and praised him.

All John Tavares would have had to do is instruct agent, Pat Brisson, he is signing only to the point he can go UFA, or will not play here any longer, same for Bailey, Okposo, Grabner.

Instead the same agent who made clear the Islanders would be one of the last places he would personally sign with before he was drafted, agreed to a six year contract for John Tavares.

Frans Nielsen could have made public he will not sign here under any circumstances, same for Nabokov/Parenteau.

Especially Nabokov.

Garth Snow, for better or worse is sticking to his plan, whether we as fans buy-in, his players have which is another big difference.

I'm sure teams would be very happy to take Tavares, 1st round pick, Moulson, Okposo, Bailey, Grabner, Niederreiter, dehaan, Hamonic, MacDonald, Strome, Nelson or many of the Isles other prospects to revisit the 2001-02 plan.

You don't want a repeat of 2001-02? This is the alternative.

Sure if Snow is going to sprinkle in any vets, they better finally be ones who help, or why bother? Mark Eaton for Hal Gil is not the answer, but that's usually the market.

Zach Parise means sixty million dollars front-loaded, and a check for twenty million dollars to cover 7/1/12 to 7/1/13 as lockout protection.

Many of Milbury's former picks or trades (Bergenheim/Comeau/Tambellini, Gervais, Campoli) did not pan out, they got a long look under Snow, then the team moved on.

Trent Hunter got a five year contract that got huge praise, it did not work out, so he got moved for Rolston, neither move worked out.

Garth Snow's made mistakes within the norm of most general managers, he's also shown he has the ability to identify players who have turned into excellent decisions, which go beyond the record of his many counterparts. He's managed to retain his players with contracts it would be hard to argue have not been smart signings based on salary/term.

2001-02 Differences vs 2011-12:
The NHL is different than it was in in 2001, there were no front-loaded contracts, no cap. Trades happened much more frequently. The UFA age was thirty one, now it can be as early as twenty five.

Locked up vs The Plan:
Moulson-Tavares-Okposo
Grabner-Nielsen-
(RFA)Martin-Bailey
MacDonald-Hamonic

Those players are all locked in unless you want the 2001 plan.

Parenteau
Maybe/or not?

Niederreiter/Reasoner
Both are likely locked in.

Cizikas/Ullstrom
Likely will be given long looks in camp.

deHaan/(RFA)Rakhshani/Marcinko/Katic/DiBenedetto
How much longer can they be kept out of the NHL?

Persson/Nelson/Ness/Donovan
Can they play well enough to earn a spot?

Poulin/Koskinen. (RFA)
Anders Nilsson.

Bottom line, there are not a lot of spots available here.

The UFA market will present a few quality players, but many of the middle-tier defenders will all come with some baggage/downside.

Ultimately, this plan could fail. It's not as strong as the late 90's group of prospects on paper right now. What happened in Florida, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and many other places where it took close to a decade may be how it plays out here.

It's not the first time we have made that point here.

This is all without more major injures to top players.

That's a very bitter reality for a franchise that has not made a serious playoff run since 1993.

Still, at this time it comes down to choices.

The 2001-02 plan or the 2011-12 plan?

I do not wish to see these kids leave until we know.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2011-12 NorthEast Division Champions

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2012 09:27:00 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday won the NorthEast Division with a 4-1 win in Providence against the Bruins here Kevin Poulin had forty six saves.

This is Bridgeport's first division title since their inaugural season, where they were the American Hockey League Regular Season Champions under Steve Stirling.



Bridgeport is the third seed locked into a three vs six first round series, which will open at Webster Bank Arena on Thursday 4/19.

The Sound Tigers still have games Saturday & Sunday this weekend.

Kevin Poulin has been the full time goaltender since 3/18 when Anders Nilsson sustained an ankle injury.

NYIFC Comments:
Bridgeport was the 29th team in the American Hockey League at the end of the 2011 calendar year. They did not lose a game in regulation for over two months, with several injures/call-ups to key players.

Fantastic job by Brent Thompson, and his staff. The Islanders did not have an ECHL affiliate this season.

To the best of my knowledge only 3/6/2012 clear-day or residence list players can participate in the AHL playoffs until everyone on the list is used, which likely means it's going to take a lot of players out for Brock Nelson or John Persson to participate.

There is also the little matter of the Norfolk Admirals on a twenty six game winning streak down the road if Bridgeport has a long playoff.

2011-12 New York Islanders Final Review

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/12/2012 10:00:00 AM | Be the first to comment!
Overall the New York Islanders won four more games than a year ago, improved by six points, and again tied their highest point total (79) in the last five years.

It was a terrible season from opening night to the final game.

No excuses about injuries can be given.

The statistical trends/issues were written about last week:
Among bottom in goals scored/allowed.
Terrible team plus/minus.
Blown leads/terrible pressure team.
Lack of easier games they won going away. (5-1 Tampa games)
High shots blocked means most games played in defensive zone.
No win streaks of more than three games.

There were other items on the list.

Compared to the second half of last season, where it looked like this team had finally found a long-term formula that could work in 2011-12, it was a lost season beyond the individual or continued progression of John Tavares, Matt Moulson, PA Parenteau, Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald.

The flaws of the 2011-12 club were written about here from October to April.

Most of the middling veterans played exactly to their career trends with the exception of Marty Reasoner, or Brian Rolston's second half a year ago.

They were acceptable statistical gambles acquiring them to address scoring.

It did not work.

This blog looked hard at the coaching, general manager, owner, in many entries and support all three for the reasons given.

Garth Snow's UFA choices/players brought in on tryouts were a mistake.

The UFA market last summer had the same downside as the injured, returning veterans on defense from Oct-Dec 2010, who still had another year on their contracts.

The rest were signed for ten/twenty million dollars up front for the 2011-12 season on massive front-loaded deals before this CBA ends.

Those signings did not work for their respective teams.

The free agent market with Kaberle, McCabe, was not going to make this team any better. Pitkanan did not help Carolina. Sheldon Souray's six goals did not take Dallas to a playoff spot.

It looks good now with Florida in the playoffs, but did you want Garth Snow to give an over thirty five free agent, Ed Jovanovski, 16.5 million over four years, or to trade for Brian Campbell's massive contract with his NTC?

Tampa Bay moved on from Bergenheim, despite his playoffs for them. He got the same money/term in Florida as Frans Nielsen when he resigned this year. (11m/4yrs).

Dale Tallon got a lot of criticism for his summer moves, even more in Chicago when he failed to file paperwork on time in signing his restricted free agents.

I made the point many of the veterans here played to the maximum of their ability, it was not close to good enough. Al Arbour would not have gotten more out some of those veterans, so how can there be fair criticism of Jack Capuano?

Mark Streit returned as captain after a year out, Steve Staios was his partner.

The blame that can be assigned was Garth Snow should have taken a longer look at what worked in the second half on defense in 2010-11 before moving on from Hillen, Martinek, Wishart.

My impression was Mark Katic was supposed to be part of the NHL plan before his injury.

If you cannot improve, you stick with what worked in the second half.

The trade market was not there for twenty nine other teams looking for the same kind of defender.

The size, speed, physical and offensive numbers on defense were missing from day one, that's a lot to burden younger forwards with, who have enough problems of their own developing.

It was alarming seeing the disparity between many teams size/physical play or speed vs the New York Islanders. Columbus looked huge and their defense (with Wisniewski) scored like the Isles defense has failed to produce all season, and made it look very easy.

From the Florida game opening night, with their speed, to the Colorado game where a big team down 3-0 ran over or through a small team to come back and win was a very disturbing common theme.

The decision on Blake Comeau to change his position for Rolston was a mistake, he might have been unproductive anyway as he usually was in first half. Michael Grabner was never the same player after his December groin injury, so there goes the secondary scoring.

Nino Niederreiter never got started with his injury, but created some chances and threw some hits. Enough foolishness about the cap floor when Calvin deHaan with his ELC could have been here from day one, who almost made the team as a rookie three years ago.

Jay Pandolfo blocked shots very well, but played to his offensive resume.

Frans Nielsen scored a few more even strength goals, not nearly enough. He produced better after he resigned. Kyle Okposo, despite the late numbers had a poor season where he was outskated/outworked/outmuscled often.

Was Okposo's finish another Blake Comeau late season charge, or does the club have back the player before his shoulder injury?

Isles are doing a terrible job in making a top ten drafted center a confused player in Josh Bailey with no real position at all, he bounced from center, to right wing, to left wing.

This plan was tried his rookie season, it failed to help him.

His exit interview on ITV indicated he likes the wing, but that does not matter, because the professional are to make these decisions, not the player.

If this continues center Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas or another natural forward prospect will be taking his spot.

Bailey had moments in games where he showed star potential.

This is mismanagement. It goes on the coach/general manager, this blog pointed to it countless times. You draft a center in the top ten, he must play center.

Matt Martin needed to produce more than hits, as he did in Sarnia, or the game in Philadelphia where he scored two goals.

The club survived eighty two games where five goaltenders cost them no more games than most other teams.

Evgeny Nabokov when healthy played like a #1.

Poulin/Nilsson both look like they can play at this level, there is also Mikko Koskinen, the first goaltender selected in his draft class.

Rick DiPietro should play elsewhere until he proves himself healthy, but that's not how camp will start. Al Montoya injured or not was showing signs of struggling before his concussion, reverting to his career trends.

Given the depth in the organization, it's time to move on.

Moving Forward:
The pressure is absolutely on to win next season but we have read that many times already.

Mr Snow said two years ago everyone has to be better. His UFA choices have to be much better, not players who eat minutes and at best provide an even shift.

Some will claim the Isles are getting closer, I cannot write that or agree with such a statement until it translates to wins on the ice or points in the standings.

This was a year for the standings/games to do the talking for them, and it did.

They were a weak team at best. All that can be written is they had the ability to avoid a free fall playing in a box between five hundred and six under.

You tell me if a smaller, slower team absolutely should resign PA Parenteau and lock up another roster spot where few are available?

I have questions/doubts beyond salary/numbers.

There is nothing apparent in place at the prospect level ready to solve the loss of Parenteau's numbers on the current roster. It could take years for the impressive names in the system to be part of helping to win games at this level.

Twenty nine other teams also have the same prospects (some better) with upside.

David Ullstrom, Casey Cizikas, Rhett Rakhshani, Calvin deHaan, Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, Mark Katic by themselves will not fix the weaknesses in 2012-13.

Garth Snow is not going to break up his core, nor should he.

The prospect blog is updated on the contract status of everyone.

CBA:
At this time, there is an excellent chance there will not be a 2012-13 season beyond the business as usual 2012 summer events leading up to September when the CBA expires.

The top free agents are going to want cash up-front as in ten/twenty/thirty million in advance so they don't lose another twenty four percent of their future earnings before the ink dries on the next CBA.

Garth Snow, twenty plus other general managers do not make those kind of offers.

Toronto/Montreal have not made those kinds of offers.

I was wrong about Glendale writing the NHL another twenty five million dollar check a year ago, that does not seem like a viable alternative based on recent comments by local government vs the NHL.

The NHL losses money even with Glendale's payment.

It would seem to make financial sense for the owners to want another franchise relocation fee, and to get out of the business of operating the Phoenix Coyotes at a reported loss after two years.

Who knows? By June, a decision has to be made.

The NHLPA did not hire Donald Fehr to go back to a forty million ceiling.

That game in Brooklyn very likely is never going to happen.

Over twenty teams are/have/had claimed or reportedly are losing huge money.

The concept this league should have a 50-60-70m dollar ceiling, front-loaded contracts, plus hiding bad contract in the AHL is comical unless the plan is the corporate teams willing to write off their losses/red ink is some kind of successful business model for everyone else to go bankrupt?

Revenue is not profit or a workable solution, if you make one hundred million in revenue, but spend one hundred thirty million in revenue, you lose thirty million.

It's not something that can be sustained unless you are a billion dollar business, willing to absorb such red ink.

New arena/playoff success does not solve it. Not here, in Newark, Minnesota, Chicago, Washington or at Cablevision/Comcast/Little Ceasar-Amway sponsored, Detroit Red Wings beyond red ink on corporate books.
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Media:
The New York Islander media locally/nationally and at NHL.com, lived down to it's reputation as the worst of any team in professional sports.

The damage has been done, the fan-base eroded.

It has little to do with the New York Islanders record.

Nothing presented was any real surprise.

Enough entries have been done on this subject, the archives speak for themselves.

New York Selects 4th In 2012 NHL Draft

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/10/2012 08:19:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
Not much to write.

I'm sure there are enough images of Ken Morrow doing this by now.

You can have one first, fifth, now fourth.

Former Islander Steve Tambellini, now has three first rounders in a row, as the Edmonton Oilers win again.
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Final Season Review Thursday 10am.
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Bridgeport's playoff spot will be decided in the final three games this coming weekend, they have a solid lead for the division.

A lot of injures.

DiBenedetto suspended a game. Anders Nilsson not or close to returning. David Ullstrom was hurt last weekend, Cizikas stays on Isles injury list until ready.

Jeremy Colliton not close to reportedly skating.

No idea if Dan Clarke, who has not played yet (Kevin Poulin's started every game) would be the playoff backup.

Rules are clear the clear-day/residence list must be used in full before anyone else can participate. To my knowledge that means Trevor Gillies before Brock Nelson.

New York Clean-Up Day/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/09/2012 04:58:00 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!
Our final entry on the 2011-12 season will be released Thursday at 10:00am.

The 2011-12 season is over so it's time to retire the 40th Anniversary logo.

Islanders website: is conducting their final interviews with the players.
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Lottery:
See last year's entry or the year before/ect.

Last year the Isles dropped a spot back, losing the lottery. The Devils selected Adam Larsson, the Isles Ryan Strome.

Our past thoughts are any team missing the lottery five years in a row should not be entitled to a lottery selection. Our thoughts are also teams should not be allowed to front-load contracts, or hide bad contracts in the AHL.

This blog does not own the league, see you Tuesday at 8pm.
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Response to Friday Entry:
My Thanks to all for the positive response on Friday's entry.

All we did was correct information not in Mike Sielski's article.

Buffalo News: Bucky Gleason on Sunday interviewed Pat Lafontaine about the WSJ article where he did not have much to say, but knew it was coming out.

NYIFC Comments:
Mr Gleason seemed to play off the WSJ cliff notes regarding the Isles or Charles Wang's ownership which is lazy but expected. He included Milbury as a member of Charles Wang's board of governors with Lafontaine/Smith which was not correct, while Tom Golisano inherited a taxpayer funded new arena from the Rigas ownership, and lost out to the Isles for a few playoffs.

You would think Bucky Gleason would know Lafontaine was honored in Nov 2003 by the Isles given that he knew Charles Wang had full control of the Isles by 2004? That there are several people, who absolutely need to be inducted into the 2005-06 Hall of Fame before Pat Lafontaine.

Butch Goring, John Tonelli, Jiggs McDonald, all of the core of the four.

Most interesting was Mr Gleason asked Lafontaine about the Isles not honoring the Long Island Royals this week at the Coliseum.

Was he serious?

Mr Gleason's own Buffalo News: reported the Royals won the title on 4/1, which was the Isles fan appreciation day game against Ottawa.

Beyond that there was only the April 5th season finale, but the Royals Website on 4/2 announced their celebration was going to be 4/5 at 7:30pm at Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park where they advertised the unveiling of their 16-and-under state and national championship banners to be hung.

This was the day/time the NHL scheduled Winnipeg vs the Islanders last summer.

Ed Mangano/Nassau/Isles absolutely do something in the future to honor the kids.

Gleason wants to impress us (beyond fixing his broken e-mail address) he should be just as quick to ask Darcy Regier/Lindy Ruff, why Ted Nolan had to leave Rochester as soon as it became a Sabre affiliate again under a new owner?

Gleason was asking last May here when the new owner reacquired the Rochester affiliate.

Ted Nolan wound up in Latvia.

Mr Gleason the day after the WSJ article 4/3 was quick to support the injury card in Buffalo, but that management could have been better.

Never have the Isles used back to back games as an excuse. I guess Gleason missed all the years the Isles lead the NHL in man games lost before this season.
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People will write/say whatever they want about Mike Milbury, a lot of it will be fair/correct, some of it will be unfair/vindictive.

Having written that anyone who criticizes Mike Milbury for shots at Sidney Crosby's health, but takes the same cheap-shots at Rick DiPietro or any injured player on any NHL team is just as guilty as Milbury.

You have clowns with media credentials making fun of Radek Martinek because he discussed Ryan Hollweg trying to pull out his stitches long ago.

After the tragedies of last summer media should learn there are limits, regardless of the laundry any player wears or how long he's hurt.

The Questions LaFontaine WSJ Writer Mike Sielski Could Not Answer About His 4/2/12 Article....

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/06/2012 10:00:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
Our entry on Thursday discusses our efforts to gather more details on Mike Sielski's article on Pat Lafontaine, with his response that he can't get into the details of his news-gathering/reporting, citing Wall Street Journal policy.

So New York Islander Fan Central will present our questions sent to him via e-mail with some of our own background information to help try and answer.

Of course, this must start at the beginning with what was specifically requested in our e-mail.

It seems there are a lot of unanswered items in your feature that perhaps you can clarify for everyone because your subsequent radio/webcast interview also did not address any of this. The intention here is to inform our readers as a New York Islander blog with no team or media affiliation.

Many of the questions ask what you knew and when/if you were aware as a reference point for folks to follow, granted that's repetitive.

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1. Outside of one Islander centric article about John Tavares after a game against the Rangers (10/18/2011) have you covered one New York Islander game this season where Msg's team was not the opponent beyond your HU Times/WSJ feature covering the referendum announcement on 5/14/2011?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Mr Sielski's work at the Journal details many local sports, his only Islander centric coverage until 4/2/2012 all season was one singular article after his countless Ranger updates on 10/18/11 after Tavares hat-trick in a win against the Rangers.

Our Thursday entry detailed his 2011-12 seasons work at the Journal.

Mr Sielski covered the referendum announcement writing an article on 5/14/2011 HUTIMES-Wsj (Wall Street Journal) what many also will recall on 7/12/11 WSJ had an article titled " A Stadium’s Costly Legacy Throws Taxpayers for a Loss” where two different WSJ writers release a feature on the cost of the Bengals Stadium in Cincinnati, which some folks cited as a reason for voting no on the Nassau Coliseum referendum in local coverage?

The Cincinnati Bengals website on 7/13/11 issued an immediate rebuttal to the Journal.
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2. When did you speak to Mike Milbury for his opinion and Pat Lafontaine?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
I felt these were very fair question given that Mike Milbury/Pat Lafontaine are long gone from the organization, Mr Milbury has had a lot of things to address in the last year.

Unless Mr Sielski made a special trip to the Coliseum to cover an Islander game without the Rangers, the last time he was there would have been Feb 24th, where his no quote/game article appeared the next day 2/25.

The 2012 archived articles of his work at the WSJ do not reflect any other visits to the Coliseum here.
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2a Was Steve Webb contacted about this given that general manger Garth Snow had no comment?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
If Garth Snow had no comment according to Mr Sielski, it only seems prudent he would reach out to Webb as part of his research, or at least give the same answer.
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3. When did Charles Wang issue his statement to your inquiry?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
See Milbury/Lafontaine.
This story was in the WSJ a day after Mr Wang was on television.
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4. You referenced the Feb 5th 2008 game, writing the Islanders denied LaFontaine a credential for the game, Brian Burke instead provided a ticket for LaFontaine, and the two continued their meeting in a suite reserved for the Ducks' owners.

On Feb 7th 2008 a NY Times Article by Lynn Zinser reported through a spokesman that LaFontaine would have been welcome to come and sit in a suite reserved for alumni as a footnote during a game at Msg.

Were you aware of the Times article two days later and the Isles spokesman's statement before you wrote your article?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Being that he referenced this specific event I was wondering if he read the 2/7/2008 Times Article where the Isles spokesman is quoted about a box for alumni being available?

If you look at the comment section after that article in 2008 this blog asks our questions, and Ms Zinser responded.

She wondered what we wondered.
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4a. You also wrote a former team executive confirmed that LaFontaine was denied a credential to the game, would that be the Isles former media relations coordinator, and Islander sponsored blogger, Christopher Botta, who's credential was revoked in November of 2010, and when was this confirmation provided?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Given Mr Botta is very active insulting the Isles/Wang/Snow almost daily on twitter calling for critical New York Islander coverage while not covering any games, it would only be prudent to inquire if one Ranger centric writer spoke with another for the 4/2/12 article?
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5. Your article reports in September 2011, Lafontaine and former Islander Steve Webb biked 550 miles over 48 hours, from Toronto to New York, to raise money for charity. That the Islanders issued a news release on their website about the event. The release mentioned Webb, but not LaFontaine.

You article also reports the Islanders confirmed these events happened but didn't comment.

My questions would be are you aware the Isles release only covered Webb starting the trip 9/19/11? That NHL.com site reported on it 9/18/11 and them finishing on 9/21/11? Or that the Isles website did a similar release for Webb on 9/12/2010 which NHL.com also featured 9/13/2010, and the Isles website also did this on 9/9/2009 among many Islander website features on Steve Webb's charities?

Also noting the Sabres website issued a release on 9/14/2011 The Ranger website presented nothing on this which concluded in New York City?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Islanders website reported on Webb starting the trip on 9/19/11. NHL.com site reported on it 9/18/11 & NHL.com 9/21 reported on the finish.

The Sabres website issued one one release on 9/14/2011.

The Ranger website has three news articles on Pat Lafontaine and presented nothing on this event.

Isles website did a similar release for Webb on 9/12/2010. NHL.com featured that on 9/13/2010 Isles website also covered this on 9/9/2009 among many of Mr Webb's charity events.

For those who like to check NHL team website searches:
Isles website search results Pat Lafontaine 30 news, 0 image, 0 video.
Sabers website search results: 41 news, 1 image, 6 video.
Rangers website search results: 3 news, 0 image, 0 video.
----------------------------------------------
5b. Are you also aware the the Isles game recap or " Skinny " written by Msg employee, Eric Hornick, does reference Lafontaine many times in 2012 current game recaps on the Isles website because it was not in your article?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
It just seemed odd Lafontaine's name is all over game updates on the Isles website if his accomplishments are in fact being hidden/delete/removed?

That would include Sunday 4/1/12 (the day before the WSJ article) & 4/4/2012.

Lafontaine to this day is featured in Isles historical section with his picture which does not seem consistent with everything being removed from the clubs website?

Granted the (2:56) Islanders Season Opening Video 10/8/2011 does NOT show the 1987 goal, however it also contains nothing from JP Parise, or the 1975 team. Very quickly the video (43 seconds) goes straight to the first Stanley Cup in the highlights.

ITV Video Feature released 2/22/2012 shows Lafontaine's goal in their 10,000 goals in forty years (1:31) again asking the question if he is being wiped from team history what's his goal doing there in a video produced late in February of this year?

Updated:
The Isles Frozen In Time section of games also includes the Easter Epic here without the Dolan-owned telecast with Jiggs McDonald & Ed Westfall.
-----------------------------------------
6. Were you aware Lafontaine was at Al Arbour's 1500th game against Pittsburgh on Nov 3rd 2007, he was introduced to the crowd, and was on the ice with Charles Wang during the post-game ceremony despite his resignation in August 2006?

6b. Are you also aware Lafontaine was pictured with Sidney Crosby at the Nassau Coliseum March 22nd 2007?

7. Your article states after Lafontaine's resignation, he called Wang twice in 2006, once in Thanksgiving and once at Christmas, inviting him to meet for coffee, and Wang never called back, but he was obviously allowed on the Coliseum ice and seen with Crosby in the visiting team area early in 2007.

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Because none of this is even in Mr Sielski's article, and obviously all of it happened after his resignation. Even Ms Zinser was aware of it when we asked in the Times in 2008?

Getty Images dated image of Lafontaine/Crosby at the Coliseum not in an alumni box.

I think we all know Lafontaine was as Al Arbour night, and introduced without providing a link on Nov, 3rd, 2007.

Islanders website did include Lafontaine's name in their recap of that night.


(41-seconds)
-------------------------------
8. Were you aware Lafontaine was honored by Charles Wang after his hall of fame induction on Nov 8th 2003 in what was described as a rousing pre-game ceremony, where he specifically requested no personal gifts, or that the teams Hall of Fame began in 2006 by honoring Bob Bourne with many former dynasty players still not inducted to this day, which was only picked up again this season after Mr Wang honored the dynasty teams on many occasions to the point he was criticized for doing so?

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Long winded question---granted.
Mr Sielski brought up the Isles Hall of Fame, which began in 2006, I just provided the background of what's this owner has done.

As I wrote the other day it was unclear for this blog what Lafontaine asked for on 11/8/2003, until we did some research and found out.

This blog even found the coverage before and after with the article on Pat Lafontaine's own website which we linked to.
---------------------------------------------
9. Where you aware in Nov 2000 both Charles Wang, Charles Dolan agreed to a " Charity Challenge ", where both the Isles/Rangers season series loser would contribute to Lafontaine's charity?

(Note-Our e-mail question included the Hummer Metro Ice Challenge Dispute) but that really was after Lafontaine was out, and the Devils in.

WHY NYIFC ASKED?
Call this a throw-away question on our part, I simply wished to know if Mr Sielski was aware of both local teams effort long ago?
************************************
Summary:
NYIFC tried to get direct answers, we were left with more questions, and gave you all the background detail that we could find.

I think these were fair questions our fans would wish to know.

Mr Sielski's career background was presented to the best of our ability with his accomplishments/awards before we wrote this on Thursday, if anything was left out, we will update our earlier entry.

Conclusion:
Charles Wang's first coach was Butch Goring. His firing, did not sit well with the alumni long ago, and now he's in the Dolan's broadcast booth calling Islander games on Dolan's Network. Denis Potvin was reportedly not happy on a few occasions, these things happen in all organizations, sooner or later they are usually resolved.

Mr Sielski's work was sloppy or selective. It took less than an hour to do the research for this entry.

When Yankee Stadium had it's closing ceremony in September 2008, Joe Torre, Roger Clemmens here and others were omitted from the clubs history.

Transparency:
I did not even know Pat Lafontaine's Companions In Courage Website was not listed on our sidebar with many former Islander players until this entry, I thought it was there already.

This blog made sure our historical upgrades this year featured included the 1987 series with Washington. Our long-standing admiration for Pat Lafontaine's career, his incredible charitable efforts over the years transcend hockey, and are an example to everyone.

Good luck finding Jiggs McDonald/Ed Westfall Islander call of the 1987 Easter Epic from the Dolan's archives of New York Islander hockey. McDonald is in one internet video doing the narration for another outlet here.

Our past archives have always featured Pat Lafontaine. I was in Maple Leaf Gardens
on Mar 3, 1984, the night he had a hat-trick against Alan Bester in an 11-6 win.

Thanks for reading.

Pat Lafontaine WSJ Writer Mike Sielski Contacted For Followup

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2012 10:21:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
Updated 4/5/2012:
Mr Sielski responded

Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for your note and your interest in my story, but I can't get into the details of my newsgathering and reporting with you. It's not Journal policy.

All the best,
Mike Sielski
Reporter
The Wall Street Journal
***************************
Response:
This puts New York Islander Fan Central in the position of making our questions to Mr Sielski public for our readers which will be presented on Friday, April 5th,at 10am.

The twitter box will return at 5pm for Steve Staios 1000th career game.
*************************************************
On April 5th, New York Islander Fan Central contacted, Wall Street Journal writer, Mike Sielski, asking him many followup questions to his April 2nd feature on Pat Lafontaine.

Mr Sielski also did a WFAN 960 audio interview on 4/4 as a followup to his feature here.

As explained in our e-mail there are a lot of unanswered items that perhaps he could clarify for everyone because the subsequent radio/webcast (above) did not address any of this.

I explained our intention here is to inform our readers as a New York Islander blog with no team or media affiliation.

New York Islander Fan Central hopes he takes the time to respond in the upcoming days.

Mr Sielski's background lists him as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and the author of the book: Fading Echoes: A True Story of Rivalry and Brotherhood from the Football Field to the Fields of Honor.

An earlier profile, does not list his WSJ credential but does list all his 2012 WSJ articles with a very impressive resume of awards, and career achievements here.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Qualify For AHL Playoffs

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2012 06:52:00 PM | | | | 1 Comment so far
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) qualified for the 2012 American Hockey League playoffs by winning Wednesday at home against Springfield 3-2 at Webster Bank Arena here.

Mike Halmo made his debut, Isles draft pick, John Persson (ATO) had his third goal. 

Ct Post: Michael Fornabio's game coverage.

AHL.com: Has standings, playoff format and tiebreakers

Bridgeport has opened up a five point lead in the Eastern Conference, plus controls the first tie-breaker which in the AHL is still wins. (not ROW)

NYIFC Comments: 
NYIFC prospect blog has everything for the Sound Tigers. 

Simply put a remarkable accomplishment for rookie AHL coach Brent Thompson, and his staff with the entire Islander organization.

This was a team 29th in the AHL at the end of the calendar year. Many injuries/call-ups.

From 1/2/12-3/2/12 they lost one game in regulation.

Mark Katic was out since day one of preseason until recently. deHaan, Rakhshani, Colliton, Marcinko also have missed significant time.

Kevin Poulin has played every game since Anders Nilsson's ankle injury (both goaltenders won the award for best goaltender) back to back months.



Looking Back At Pat Lafontaine HOF Induction/Islanders Night Honoring Him In 2003 & Media Coverage

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2012 12:41:00 PM | Be the first to comment!











This would be an image of Pat Lafontine before the announcement of the New York Islanders playing the Rangers every year in what was Announced as a " Charity Challenge " in November of 2000.

The article came from Pat Lafontaine's Companions In Courage Website . Charles Wang, Charles Dolan are all quoted as to why they decided to do this.

Even Mr Kumar was in attendance.

Our point in this entry was to look back,  examine the media/Islander coverage for Lafontaine's HOF induction and specifically what the Isles did on Nov 8th 2003, to honor Lafontaine before a game with Atlanta.

Lafontaine was inducted, Monday, Nov 3rd, 2003 in Toronto.

For the first time since the closing of Islanders-Sound Tigers in 2006 changes have permitted New York Islander Fan Central to make available our complete archives, this includes the daily articles from newspapers in full when Pat Lafontaine was inducted and what coverage was provided November 2003  up to the induction and the Isles ceremony.

11/4/2003 Islander News Articles/Lafontaine Coverage

Our archives also include the Islanders website itself. 

To be completely transparent here for everyone. I found an old site out of business today to document the coverage separate of our archives to see if anything was missed here.

I also found something a little extra Companions In Courage's Newsletter detailing what happened on 11/8/2003 page 4 at the Nassau Coliseum.

Islanders Honor Newest Hall of Famer with “Night”

Among those joining LaFontaine and his family on the ice were Bill Torrey and Bob Nystrom. FoxSports’ Howie Rose emceed the event that included excerpts from LaFontaine’s Hall of Fame induction speech. The New York Islanders honored the newest member of the Hall of Fame – Pat LaFontaine – with a special night on November 8th at Nassau Coliseum.

Part of the pre-game event included a brief video retrospective of Patty’s career, along with a presentation on the charitable work that LaFontaine is performing with his Companions in Courage Foundation. The Coliseum crowd was treated to the debut of a video that was created by Display Presentations Ltd. that shows a walk-through of the completed “Lion’s Den” rooms.

Per LaFontaine’s request, there were no gifts presented to him. Rather, he asked that the night be used to present “a gift to the children of Long Island.” He wanted the night to focus on the building of a Lion’s Den room at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park. More than $20,000 was raised through the Islanders and the evening’s sponsor - JPMorganChase.

Andrew Parton of JPMorganChase presented Pat with a check for $10,000 toward the build-out of the room. He also noted that each fan in attendance was given a commemorative Pat LaFontaine puck.

“It’s in keeping with his reputation as a great humanitarian, that Pat would deflect the attention away from himself on ‘his’ night,” said Jim Johnson of the CiC Foundation. “It’s the way he’s conducted himself for the last 20 years.


Why should tonight be any different?”

Here was the " Skinny " on the Isles Website
LaFontaine Honored

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Pat LaFontaine was honored before the game.
Legendary Islander General Manager has the line of the night,
saying, "I drafted him, I signed him, I traded him." After the fans
booed, Torrey continued, "Two out of three's not bad."

LaFontaine's Honorable
Patty refused to accept any personal gifts in honor of his induction.
Both the Isles and Chase Bank donated $10,000 to his Champions in
Courage Foundation.

These were the articles on gameday 11/8/2003

Media Disgrace:
Islander News Articles 11/9/2003

NYIFC Comments: 
There were always questions from my end on the Isles retiring Lafontaine's jersey that day, obviously Lafontaine did not want any gifts. Did the Isles offer, or did Lafontaine turn that down?

We don't know.

Alan Hahn largely had other things to write about at Newsday.

Peter Botte did his usual lazy job and these days works much harder not covering the Isles beyond twitter insults. Evan Grossman from the Post I guess could not be bothered that day. Ron Dicker was the Times last full time beatwriter.

I thought folks would enjoy this.

New York Signs Brock Nelson

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/03/2012 04:04:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
Islanders website : Reports Brock Nelson has signed an entry level contract. 

Isles twitter reports it's a three year ELC. 

UND.com Also confirms signing and that Nelson will turn pro.

Michael Fornabaio reports Nelson is expected to join the Sound Tigers in the near future on an amateur tryout.

NYIFC Comments:
As much as folks may have been disappointed with Anders Lee not signing yet/returning to school, Brock Nelson was the one Garth Snow traded up for that draft experts were very impressed with.

Nelson was the player Snow needed to get under contract after Kessel/Gregoire used the Wheeler loop-hole to sign elsewhere. 

Nelson on an ATO with Bridgeport would not make him playoff eligible because he's was not on clear-day/residence list. He could get a game before the season ends.


New York Pre-Season Game In Barrie/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/03/2012 12:14:00 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!
Islanders website announced a preseason game in Barrie against the Ottawa Senators on September 30th.

“The New York Islanders are excited about the opportunity to host a game in Barrie, one of Canada’s true hockey communities,” New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said.  “With several of our players such as John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Matt Martin having been a part of the OHL, we know how passionate fans are about hockey.”

NYIFC Comments:
For those scoring at home:
Edmonton Oilers, September 27th, Regina SK.
Ottawa Senators, September 30th, Barrie.
New Jersey Devils Oct 2nd, Brooklyn.

What's of note is the Isles are hosting the game in Barrie, with the Isles controlling the arena in Bridgeport, plus the usual Coliseum game, it could mean a longer preseason.

If there is a season.
************************************
Obviously by now folks know Matt Donovan was recalled, he will debut vs Devils.
************************************
Lottery Watch:
New York's weekend dropped them back into the lottery. Toronto/Anaheim controls the ROW as the first tie-breaker. Isles control the tie-breaker vs Minnesota.

Any wins/points could change the entire mix.
************************************
Notables:
NYIFC twitter feed fired back at an article on Pat Lafontaine, where this blogger believes it comes from and pulled no punches in the comment section.  

This blog was one of the few to be critical of the Isles for not using it's website to rally support for Jason Blake when he announced he had Leukemia.

Management was praised by Jason Blake for their support in his first year when he left the club long ago.

This blog was critical last summer when former coach Steve Stirling was hospitalized during the AHL finals, and it was ignored by the Islanders/teams peripheral media.

In the past we have seen the clubs website chronicle the finals exploits of Brent Sopel and Aaron Asham. Let's be clear the Isles not inserting an image of Pat Lafontaine on the teams 40th anniversary website calendar is not a big deal but perhaps a bit petty?

Omitting his efforts with Steve Webb's earlier this year in an article is not appropriate because NHL.com did include Lafontaine and Webb together, and has featured Lafontaine/Webb/Royals.

To the other side of that, the teams skinny (game recap) has consistently detailed Lafontine's career accomplishments vs games played or records during the 2012 season. 

Having written this there are two sides to a story, selective reporting/questionable standards either way should never be ignored.

Pat Lafontaine was honored by the team in Nov 2003 with a night after he was inducted into the Hall Of Fame. To the best of our knowledge, Lafontaine declined to have his number retired.

Lafontaine was announced at the Coliseum on Al Arbour, night and was on the ice. He is pictured with Sidney Crosby on another occasion at a different game.

Before the Metro Ice Challenge fiasco, the Islanders and Rangers agreed to donate to Lafontaine's charity based on head to head game results.

In short, everything is placed on the table for transparency here, otherwise why bother? 

Jack Capuano's Return Is The Correct Move

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/02/2012 07:43:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
I feel it's important to start this entry by noting the Islander website archives go back to the summer of 2005.

Within seven days, the club announced two new assistant coaches for Steve Stirling after the lockout. Dan Bylsma on 8/18/2005 & Jack Capuano on 8/25/2005.








One left the Islanders, the other stayed, both became head coaches in the American Hockey League, both replaced coaches at different stages in their teams progression/circumstances.

Jack Capuano's Islanders had success against Dan Bylsma's Penguins at home last year, Capuano's team just became the only one to pin back to back losses on the Penguins since Jan 10th-11th.

Capuano's job status was a subject this blog pondered over several times, as even Mark Streit was called out indirectly by his head coach, and the captain fired back. It was pondered over with Kyle Okposo riding the bench with Josh Bailey, who played a lot of games out of position where the coaching was again questioned here with management.

Michael Grabner has also seen some time in the stands with Nino Niederretier, and several other veterans.
**************************************
The Decision Had Been Made Coach Stays:
What Charles Wang said on Sunday was expected regarding his general manager/head coach.

On 2/2/12 (15:08) Garth Snow appeared on Gary Bettman's NHL Hour, and praised the job his head coach had done in detail. At that time the Islanders were two games under five hundred.  (same as 4/1/12)

Garth Snow discussed, Capuano's great relationship with the players/communication skills, x/o's second to none. (cue goals off faceoffs as part of that comment)

Mr Snow on 2/2, also employed the rebuilding word  which he avoided for years which was blogged about in detail here also. 

Is Coaching The Problem? 

2010-11:
Capuano inherited a 4-10-3 club that bottomed out at 5-18-5 losing over six hundred man games to injury, his team in Bridgeport was struggling when named the interim coach. 

From that point Capuano got his teams overall record to 29-33-12 before a final wave of injuries in mid-March.

This blog documented the thirty plus regulation losses by one goal/open nets. There were signs this team had a deep offense, a defense with some mobility, there were reasons to expect what happened in the second half combined with the return of Streit/Okposo would produce a playoff team with a chance to win a Stanley Cup.

The praise for the hard work shown by the 2010-11 New York Islanders was a theme opposing coaches used often which was not token praise. 

Reality:
Then we discovered every year is different, games are not played on paper, and for every player who progresses there is one who takes a step back, the mix changes, and with it things that worked.

2011-12:
The changes altered the chemistry, some of those decisions made upstairs doubled-down on the problems that cost Scott Gordon his job by the same players returning from injury. 

Some fair gambles in free agency did not work, they forced Capuano to fall into the trap of his predecessors with Blake Comeau, a notorious poor producer in the first half even when left at one position.

Okposo returned looking  as slow, tentative, as the player who was still working his way back from injury, his 2010-11 stats hidden somewhat by the success of  Michael Grabner on left wing.

New Captain, Mark Streit,  in his thirties, returned from a year injured to find Steve Staios as his opening night partner on defense, who's trade value in March 2010 equaled former Islander, Aaron Johnson/3rd rounder.

It was a flawed team with obvious weakness from opening night, which looked nothing like the club from the second half of 2010-11.

This club never won more than three games in a row.
Terrible on home ice. 
Was one of the worst five on five teams in hockey.
Terrible production on the back-line.
Blocked the most shots in the league as a reflection of the pressure on the slow, low-hitting defense.
Horrible holding leads.
Poor under pressure where games hung in balance. 
Almost no easy nights. (5-1 Tampa games)

Despite all those obvious weaknesses. The club basically remained in a box between six under and five hundred after October, to this day never entering serious playoff contention.

As soon as a free-fall seemed apparent, the club rallied.

The clunkers seemed to pace most other clubs, the ugly wins reflected the overall roster's weaknesses. 

Talent, Coaching?
There was individual progress, however players who took steps back.  Yes, there were questionable moves by the coach with his pulling of goaltenders at odd times.

Character? Fan blogs are not in locker-rooms, only the people in the room/management can speak to an individuals character in terms of how they play hockey.

Folks who go there on the outside are wasting your time.
**************************************
Playing To Your Career Trends Not On Head Coach:
I did not see the weakness incorporated into the lineup or their failure as the fault of Jack Capuano.

Marty Reasoner, was hurt in camp and never got started.. I cannot put what I saw on the head coach, sometimes you discover why a player is a free agent beyond statistics.

Brian Rolston had a very strong second half for the Devils a year ago, he cleared re-entry waivers in Dec 2010, he played to his lesser trend. Capuano cleared positions, power-play minutes to get the best out of his performance. Finally/correctly, he decided it was not going to work.

Staios, Mottau, Jurina, Haley, Pandolfo, Reese, Moulson, Nielsen, (beyond short-handed goals), Bailey all played to their career trends, outside of Frans Nielsen all those players were scratched.

Nieslen's five on five production was consistent with his career offensive struggles, despite his recent improvement. 

Michael Grabner played to his 2010-11 trend before his injury. Andrew MacDonald played to his very early career trends with Travis Hamonic which is good on a team with this many weaknesses.

Tavares progressed as a first overall pick should. 

PA Parenteau took a big step forward statistically.

Evgeny Nabokov finally got healthy, and showed his trends from San Jose as a reliable starter. Rick DiPietro's recent trend of injuries made him a non-factor. Al Montoya played to all his career trends late last season, and as a struggling AHL backup prior to his acquisition.

Matt Martin's scoring did not progress as you would hope, despite hit totals.

Kevin Poulin, Anders Nilsson both played to the trends you would expect with highs and lows.Calvin deHaan, Mark Katic's injuries are part of their trends.

David Ullstrom, Casey Cizikas, Rhett Rakhshani, have no NHL trends, they did not seem held back by the coaching of Jack Capuano. 

Okposo, Streit looked like players who missed a year or were asked to do too much. Both looked closer to their career trends recently in terms of their impacts on games.
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Ultimately:
Based on what I have written and seen since October, Jack Capuano should return as head coach for 2012-13.

Capuano was as good (or bad) as the talent (and weaknesses) on the roster provided to him.  

Those weaknesses should improve with talent/natural progression from inside the organization.

Having written this we wrote that a year ago after Ty Wishart played twenty second half games at a plus five, and seemed very reliable on defense entering his 5th NHL season. The former first round pick never got more than a token look as the veterans struggled badly on the backline.  

In 2011-12, I did not see a coach who lost his team, the losing was always met by a team that rebounded with wins which speaks to the coach.

No doubt Jack Capuano was one reason some players wanted to resign here who had options.

Overall I saw nothing long-term that Capuano cannot produce the success Dan Bylsma did when they finally reach that next level.

The 2011-12 roster was not that team from opening night.

The remaining question here is does Jack Capuano want to return?


Charles Wang's 4/1 Interview In Ottawa Pregame

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2012 03:14:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Comments on the loss to Ottawa are on twitter. 

Our earlier summary via twitter comments on Charles Wang's Interview out of context




NYIFC Comments:
Only so much time we can wait for the Isles website via Msg to make this available.

For those looking for inconsistency from the owner, the GM spoke with Gary Bettman on  Feb 2nd, and made clear at that time he was satisfied with Jack Capuano as his coach with the club two games under five hundred.
**************************
Matt Martin has won the Bob Nystrom award. 

Boston 6, New York 3: Charles Wang Sunday

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/31/2012 03:56:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
New York was eliminated from playoff contention with Saturday's 6-3 loss.

Comments from the game are on twitter, overall the game was there to be won in the third.

Boston turned up the pressure, New York failed to match, contest was closer than score.

The goal off Travis Hamonic, Montoya needed to stop from that angle. The work for Parenteau's two goals, no goaltender was going to stop.

Charles Wang will be interviewed during Sunday's pregame against Ottawa.

Bridgeport won Saturday.

Casey Cizikas was injured, not sent down to the best of our knowledge.

New York Sweeps Pittsburgh: Bailey Five Points

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/29/2012 10:25:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
When a team losses it's first back to games since Jan 10th-11th they are doing everything right, when another team beats them twice in a row this says something very positive about them.

You know it's a sign of something good when Steve Staios is breaking in shorthanded.

All kidding aside, New York was the better team, had the extra step, outworked the Pens, and earned their sweep of the home and home.

They have had success at home vs Pittsburgh before this season.

Not sure what to make of Bailey but a remarkable night to register five points. Of course for this blog he should play his natural position of center. The concept of him being a winger has been tried many times without success, but that's not for today.

Congratulations to Josh Bailey.

Nielsen-Okposo played with Grabner the entire second half of last season.

Congratulations to Kyle Okposo for a new career high in goals. 

That was an incredible effort by Pandolfo short-handed to get the puck to Bailey. 

When a dominating team hits the wall like Pittsburgh has, they are going to lose some games, and make some mistakes trying to do more, despite this they still almost came all the way back.

The Pens short-handed play was good, despite the goal they allowed off their defense.

Montoya's surprising me a little, he looked unplayable for a long time (even before injuries) but now he seems to have settled down which does not happen in a vacuum.

The shift Reasoner came off the bench and scored his first, like in Florida the team had a dominating shift, you could see the Isles were beating the Pens to the net.. Okposo found the quality spot, the first line did not finish but generated chances, Grabner, Niederreiter and Martin had chances.

Streit is just playing like he was told go play offense for a while now, he got caught in Pittsburgh when someone did not cover well, but he has to do it.

Isles took some big hits to clear some pucks on defense.

Overall this suggests nothing new, the Isles have been a team between five hundred and six under the entire season. This is no carryover to next season if there is one.  

Now we see what happens with Bridgeport, who need Ullstrom (plus Cizikas) and what happens when Boston/Ottawa visit over the weekend. 

Those teams have not hit the wall the Pens have, they will be much tougher.

For this day congratulations to the New York Islanders. 

Lottery Watch:
New York is five points clear of the 27th place team. Toronto is playing the kind of hockey where they may well not win another game, anything can happen. 

Beating Winnipeg/Columbus or even better having success against Boston/Ottawa/New Jersey could place the Isles around the 8th or 9th team from 30th spot. 

New York Notables: Poulin Recalled

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2012 06:53:00 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
New York recalled Kevin Poulin on Wednesday, David Ullstrom was listed on practice lines.

Nabokov is out with a lower body injury and a contract for next season so despite being on bench in third period against Pens, it's possible they may shut him down for the rest of the season. 

Anders Nilsson is still out with his sprained ankle in Bridgeport as of March 17th, for now they have the goaltender on an amateur tryout contract in Dan Clarke. The early projection when Nilsson got hurt was seven to ten days.

New York has games Saturday/Sunday.

Bridgeport has three games this weekend with huge playoff implications.

Mikko Koskinen (on loan) is participating in the playoffs with his team up 3-1 in their series. Beyond one video nine days ago of Rick DiPietro there is nothing to suggest he is ready to return to practice much less play a hockey game.

Cody Rosen to the best of our knowledge has played one game for Clarkson.
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What's Next:
Round two with Pittsburgh and likely Al Montoya's chance to see if he can continue to elevate his game.

Not surprised at all with what happened in Pittsburgh besides how Fleury played.

All teams hit the wall after a long winning streak which we wrote about before the game. Ottawa had eight goals against the Pens, the signs were there despite the Sunday win for Pittsburgh. 

The second half against Florida was a sign the Isles had some extra jump to their game.

Isles should have had a few early in the third and put them away handily. The shots against seemed very inflated.

Comments for that game are on twitter.

Unless Montoya struggles or the Pens are on the power-play a lot, I expect another very competitive game against Pittsburgh. 
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Lottery Watch:
One point by Buffalo eliminates New York from playoff contention.  The trends suggest Minnesota (first in Western Conference in December) will not catch the Isles. Toronto could well fall past the Isles.

As written last week trends mean nothing. 

New York needs seven points to match their best season since their last playoff team. At best it will be statistical progression. The club has not had a five hundred season since 2006-07.

The win in Pittsburgh matches last seasons point total. 

Our thoughts have been you miss the playoffs x years in a row, your franchise should not be awarded a lottery pick at all.

However this blog does not make the rules.

The NHL lottery is April 10th.

Charles Wang Cannot Move His 90m Dollar Hotel From Nassau Coliseum Site/New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/26/2012 07:54:00 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
Perhaps if it's in the title more folks will understand?

I'm not a big fan of these kinds or repetitive entries however someone has to reiterate, Charles Wang is the last person who wants to move business away from a hotel he spent ninety million dollars for in 2005 (with Scott Rechler) then bought out Mr Rechler's share of it which was reported July 29th 2010.

The same day, 7/29/2010 Islanders website released images of the renovations done to the Marriott Hotel which means more resources were put in by Wang/Rechler.

I do not believe our fans, or a lot of lazy professional media, who don't do their homework in reporting much beyond gossip understand Charles Wang even owns the hotel (and connecting abatement) to the Coliseum.

A closed Nassau Coliseum is the worst possible scenario for Charles Wang because he cannot move his hotel whether he owns the team or not.

There is no also expiring lease for that hotel in 2015.

Folks speculating asbestos concerns are Charles Wang's chance to get out of his Islander lease fail to understand if Nassau Coliseum is closed, he losses huge event money at his hotel.
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To the best of our knowledge nothing has been reported that the Nassau Coliseum must be closed immediately/near future because of asbestos issues.

Aerosmith announced Monday it will perform at the Coliseum on it's tour.

The Cablevision owned Garden did have to close for a few days because of falling debris/asbestos concerns in 2010.

The circus did take place last weekend at the Coliseum, if there were any safety doubts, the inspecting federal/state authorities would have informed Nassau the facility must be closed immediately.
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Anyone who believes NIFA, which held only their second meeting of the calendar year on Thursday 3/22 (at Charles Wang's Marriott Hotel) approved over 2.4m in emergency capital repairs to the Coliseum (among a huge list of expenses) because of asbestos concerns do not understand how slowly Nassau/NIFA work.

Coliseum emergency repairs page 21.

I read this last week and did not even feel necessary to write about it, but put in this entry for those who did not know.
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Ed Mangano had his state of the county address on 3/14 here.

His Hub/Coliseum/Islander related comments are on page 18/19 of 22.

That is exactly why I launched “Accelerate Nassau Now” – a plan that seeks to partner with Governor Cuomo’s Economic Development Council to launch new development
opportunities at the Hub……along with development at Belmont Park on the western
end of Nassau and the former Navy property to the eastern end of the County.

Nassau’s Hub, home to Long Island’s only major professional sports team and its 200
million dollars of local economic activity, has L-O-N-G been the victim of Long Island’s most notable export, the word “NO”.

To solve that problem, I challenged developers with privately-financed plans to come
forward; and I challenge critics today, to become supporters of redeveloping the Hub.

I am confident that if we come together, we will find a path forward that leads not to empty parking lots, but RATHER to a vibrant center of economic activity with Islanders banners hanging from every post and the Stanley Cup on display at its heart.


NYIFC Comments:
For those who recall a year ago Mangano's referendum was plan three of his three part plan, which he arrived at by May 2011.

Mr Mangano is very good at not responding when NYIFC asks him why Nassau was the only local municipality in New York/New Jersey not to give taxpayer bonds/exceptions or outright investment for their local teams, but a referendum?

In 1998, Queens City Council member, Peter Valone, called for a referendum on a new taxpayer funded ballpark for the Yankees here despite supporting a new Mets stadium in an article that screams what politicians are fans of what teams.

Plus what referendum's on sports teams really meant to the Yankees.

Mr Mangano's been great at being a NJ Giants fan, supporting county events for both local baseball teams, while being completely invisible in his hockey support for Nassau County's only professional sports team with a championship tradition like no other NHL franchise in the US, and arguably in the history of professional sports.

New York 3, Florida 2 Shootout

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/25/2012 08:46:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
The game New York played their best hockey was the one where they got no points.

Win or lose Sunday, I was very satisfied with the second half of this game by the Islanders.

New York played two poor games in Canada, four points.

New York played two better (not great games in Florida) one win, which should have been two, despite Montoya falling/Martin St Louis missing an open net. Roloson played well, the Isles were in control Saturday with momentum, but the game got away from them.

Our comments on the Tampa game are on twitter.

Florida for it's make-shift roster has size, speed the Isles lack and some more hitting, that's par for most teams the Isles play. The Panthers have earned their standing as a first place team.

After the opening night disaster the Isles played in Florida, Jacob Markstrom stole that game in relief for the Panthers in the third period for those who recall.

On this day, Andrew MacDonald (especially Parenteau like in Tampa) did not have his man on the opening goal, the Isles were scrambling a bit early in the game, but did also get some early pressure, they did not have the extra step.

Florida was hardly good themselves on this day.

Then a funny thing happened with less than eight minutes left in the second, the Isles had a shift where they dominated play, kept the puck in for longer than it seemed they had any team pinned in all season. That concluded with an outside Okposo shot that Theodore saw with no screen (a common theme in this game for the Isles) but the game did change from that point.

From there, the Isles dominated. Moulson converted on a pp, it seemed a matter of when before the Isles got the lead.

Then the common third period theme of a break/breakdown and it's 2-1 Florida, Nabokov's reaction said it all, he had to stop it regardless of the board bounce.

On this day the breaks evened out as Okposo's pass to Sreit, found Dmitry Kulikov's stick, who deflected it past Theodore 2-2.

Isles closed third/overtime out skating very well, obviously Theodore's sweep/check with the stick look like it was thrown.

From there New York won the skills competition.

What stood out in this game for me was the Isles had the five on three pp, Jucina took a bomb from the outside, no one screening (or near) Theodore, which happened a few times.

Ullstrom was very good and kept driving the net, Martin did that once, this team needs a lot more of that. Okposo again had a little more jump. Jurcina looked motivated to stay in the lineup.

Tavares looked tired with no extra step in this game, he still had his chances.

Niederreiter should never sit for Pandolfo/Reasoner. Enough's been written on it.

What was disappointing is it took half a game to really start challenging Florida's defense or pushing the play at them.

In the end folks only remember the final season standings, the Isles have six of eight points on a five game trip that concludes in Pittsburgh.

The best game they played they got no points.
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What's Ahead:
New York heads to Pittsburgh for a home & home. The numbers are what they are, but if history has taught us anything when teams peak too early, it balances out.

Ottawa broke their streak with eight goals, Sunday they came home and defeated New Jersey.

First time in Pittsburgh the Isles lost in a shootout, where DiPietro replaced Nabokov for the skills contest. Unlike recent years this one has been a problem vs Pittsburgh at home.
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Bridgeport:
Broke their long regulation/overtime/shootout losing streak Sunday with Matt Donovan's pp goal in overtime in a game for a shot at first place. Kevin Poulin needed to make over forty saves, in a game the Sound Tigers were short-handed a lot.

Their playoff hold is a mix of Ottawa/Florida.