Garth Snow's Incredibly Brutal Interview

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/30/2013 08:44:00 PM | | Comment Here
Anyone's who's read this website knows Garth Snow does not get a free pass on his wordage when he makes definitive claims about his team/organization.

I don't care about fluff interviews or stock answers made in most interviews. 

I also understand in the context of a few minutes the words sometimes do not come out right (general managers are not required to be great public speakers) or the gm did not want to make headlines, however some of his statements in those few minutes bordered on absurd, and should make the man who pays his salary (and his own players/coaches) ask some hard questions of Mr Snow. 

Garth Snow signed some painfully ineffective UFA last summer, he traded for Cal Clutterbuck/Thomas Vanek. Those are not the owners moves or the coaches decisions. He also made his usual excellent signings of his core players.

In 2009 Mr Snow made clear he does not like to use the rebuilding word.

On 2/3/12 The entry here was Garth Snow now openly using rebuilding word  because he started using it in every interview.

Words have meaning. 

On 12/29/13 in those brief few minutes with Butch Goring, Garth Snow sounded like a man in denial or stuck between trying to do two/three plans at the same time. He even finally employed the words Mark Streit, who the gm should not be blamed for failing to resign because ultimately it takes two to agree to a contract.

Having written that this gm made clear from day one the expectation was to win now with most of the same roster returning. His team has struggled since day one of preseason.

Some Of Snow's Comments:
1-He completely ignored Goring asking him about trading for defense or as part of the deal for Thomas Vanek after correctly pointing out how tough it is to trade in the salary cap era where most players have no trade clauses. 

Yes, Mr Snow, you made arguably the biggest trade of the season, and as you said paid a big price to acquire Vanek, paying that price is not an accomplishment. 

Mr Goring failed to ask if Vanek can be retained or Andrew MacDonald. 

2-Calling a coaching staff's performance "incredible" (currently nine games under five hundred) which features the 30th ranked pk/and a powerplay that was operating at thirty percent in October that is now 23rd because it's been in free fall with no quarterback is an insult to our fans intelligence. As much as the coaches deserve credit for Frans Nielsen, they deserve the same very hard questions for Grabner/Bailey struggling to this degree.

Last I looked Hamonic, MacDonald, Bailey, Nielsen, Grabner, Cizikas, Martin, are all back killing penalties from 2012-13 which finished twenty first. 

Even the Florida Panthers (28 other clubs) hold some leads, and win some easy games while with this club that's virtually impossible.  Sure coaching deserves credit for being in position to win many of those games but to flat out lose leads in self-inflicted fashion to this degree must go on the coaching also.

Incredible to describing the coaching is not the word I would employ. 

3-Snow also gave no credit to the strong play of Kevin Poulin/Anders Nillson or the fact this team was struggling since the preseason, not when Nabokov got hurt when they were already in free fall.

4-Finally it seems Snow has his 2014-15 Scott Mayfield plan mixed up with his 2013-14 Matt Donovan plan that's looking like it's now backdated to 2014-15, or his 2013-14 go for it now Vanek offense plan, with the entire defense signed for next season. (less Andrew MacDonald)

The players who resigned here, who believe in this management, and felt the club was going in the right direction listened to this interview with their agents.

This website asked before, if Snow does not believe his own words, why should any else?

It's time to ask again.

Looking Ahead To 2014-15 For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/24/2013 07:25:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
I am not expecting an announcement of Nassau County allowing Charles Wang to break his lease.

If that changes it likely has to be done no later than January 2014. There has been no marketing done to promote such a move by Barclay's people to build a season ticket base. 

I have no idea if Wang's 2009 sublease is still in effect with Smg in some capacity. (Smg handles booking again)

Smg (regardless of sublease) will want their money to the final day of the Islanders lease in July 2015, and even if the Isles left it would still require a buyout from Nassau County to vacate the remaining year.

Nassau County is not going to spend taxpayer money under any circumstances. Everything that happens they expect the developers to pay for the privilege.

Wang has another big hearing 2/4/14 on his Plainview property here. His hotel ownership has not changed, and he makes money off NHL teams/savings using it on Islander players.

Neulion on Long Island has exclusive rights to 2014/16 Olympics & Mr Wang's company spent 140m dollars for this.   Along with NHL, Mr Wang's company also has all Barclay's center video rights. (not Nets games)

If Bruce Ratner wants to walk away from his Coliseum legislature approval that's not even finalized because Nassau/TOH are doing nothing as usual, he can at any time.

If Ratner decides to do the NEC Coliseum project, is finally approved, and secures financing, the Nassau Coliseum closes August 2015, reopens Sept 2017.

By mid 2016, we'll likely know the story with Bridgeport, or if the NHL will allow the team to have two home arena's for regular season games.

Expect the answer to be no. All forty one home games will be at the Barclay's Center. 

On the ice the string will be played out in 2013-14. Some wins/many more losses. Too tough a schedule, and far too many weaknesses discussed at length here. This team has eight total goals from it's defense, four on the powerplay. A few corporate teams will exploit their financial advantages to close out the third seed in a weak division.

No team can win consistently without some scoring from it's defense or a power-play quarterback which no team is going give to Garth Snow in a trade. Thomas Hickey, Brian Strait, are in their first full season. Matt Donovan, Calvin deHaan, their second or third partial season. Hamonic is twenty three, MacDonald is not that player offensively with this group. I'm skeptical at Visnovsky's age if he will return at all despite being signed for 2014-15. Ironic a man who walked away from an auto racing accident sustained such a serious concussion on such an innocent play.

No coach can improve the issues on defense. No gm is giving away a defender signed long-term who can really help without a franchise player (Tavares) as the return.

We saw the bigger, older, veterans who could not score or play physical with Mottau, Eaton, Staios, Jurcina, at least this group is young with potential for improvement.

It's going to take years for the defenders in the system (Reinhart/Pullock/Mayfield/Pedan) unsigned defenders to be a factor here whether the gm/coach stay or go. 


Still make no mistake this team cannot use it's past massive injury numbers, it's a losing season plain and simple where winning was expected/promoted by management. They cannot hide from it, and deserve criticism. 

If the team works hard win or lose (they have worked hard to get into position to win despite results) I expect Jack Capuano will keep his job playing his veterans. There have been many teams that fall apart, losing games big for extended periods, that's when a coach is dismissed.

If the teams best defender Travis Hamonic is getting beat one on one by Kopitar, Crosby, Ovechkin why is a different coach going to play another defender in those circumstances?

I also suspect Garth Snow will keep his job despite Charles Wang not being shy about buying out big contracts because of fan pressure. Snow deserves some big criticism for the Clutterbuck trade.

As written about here already it's tough for many owners to find a compatible general manager or team President which is why many keep their jobs for years regardless of results. 

The UFA market the last few summers did not have a defender to address the loss of Mark Streit. 

Oddly Rick DiPietro started eighteen games in March/April 2013 risking his buyout if that was the intention from the moment he was demoted so these things usually are undecided until the final day.  

Perhaps an Andrew MacDonald resigning/likely not because we know the history by now, and suspect that's why he was split from Travis Hamonic, but both struggled together.

Calvin deHaan, Aaron Ness (despite big minus rating) are doing nothing to be sent down which is good news but leaves few spots.

Matt Donovan should be back for the second half of this season, big scoring defenders are a must here, he likely will take MacDonald's spot.  

Likely a trade of Nabokov by the deadline if healthy, but a moderate (conditional third) return.

Have seen nothing but solid work by Kevin Poulin/Anders Nilsson in front of a defense that implodes, no doubt both can split the work if necessary.

An attempt at resigning Thomas Vanek will not be with a contract front-loaded by thirty five percent which he will demand, and many corporate teams can/will offer because Charles Wang does not receive the taxpayer money of his counterparts in New York/New Jersey/or around NHL.

Unless Vanek really loves being here, risking money in a future buyout, he likely will have to be traded.

Solid first line player? Yes. Franchise superstar? No.

Has Tavares taken over games in the third period or produced any big goals with him? No, beyond Vanek's goal against Washington where the team had their worst collapse of all. 

After Andres Lee, Sundstrom, & Persson, Alan Quine that's it for the prospect depth at forward beyond Taylor Cammarata. Kabanov's done nothing to merit an NHL opportunity.

The folly of Kirill Petrov should finally be decided for good this summer. 

Expect Anders Lee to get a call, and see some time with Strome, Nelson in the NHL.

Scott Pellerin's done a solid job with a lot less than he had a year ago, his contract is up.

It is possible Pellerin could get the interim call to the NHL if things go off the rails completely with Capuano, but he's done nothing close to merit this.
*********************************
Even though the entries are becoming very infrequent here, I would like to wish everyone, and their families a Very Happy Holiday/Merry Christmas/New Year. 

Nothing Else Can Be Written For The 2013-14 New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2013 12:38:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
Sorry folks, it's completely pointless to keep repeating the same entries from early October that saw this coming even before the injuries. Capuano's firing or Garth Snow dismissal changes nothing.

For now they will sink with the veterans like Carkner, Martinek, Bouchard, Regin, Clutterbuck. Eventually Nelson, with more prospects (who were not Capuano's in Bridgeport) will become regulars.

Everyone's doing their best, it's not nearly enough.

It will only get worse.

If Snow were smart, he would do everything possible to resign Andrew MacDonald immediately because he's not replaceable (just as Mark Streit was not replaceable to this organization) and make his best effort to lock up Vanek. 

No individual would spend any more than Charles Wang has or purchase the team in this market with no taxpayer/corporate support as every other team receives to fund their payroll for the privilege of losing fifty million dollars (or more)  for the max payroll some demand.

No owner of this franchise can ever give you that.

You want max payroll/front-loaded signings from Charles Wang or any future Islander owner they need the taxpayer money/Lighthouse projects that other teams received or are getting quietly approved. (Edmonton, Detroit)

Wang should not be happy with the results for what he spent on Bailey, Grabner, Hamonic, Clutterbuck, however he should be thrilled with the below market based signings for Tavares/many others vs Wisniewski, Ehrhoff, Richards, Lundqvist.

They all demanded huge front-loaded money.

After fifty five goals in two years Michael Grabner should be producing. Bailey's drop off is stunning but perhaps all the changing positions finally caught up with him? 

I cannot improve on what was written earlier because a free fall was expected (even before Visnovsky was injured) & a three win November. 

The problems are not fixable because the defenders needed to change the biggest weakness are not available in trade (the entire league of quality defenders are pending UFA with a NTC/NVC) or ready to play at this level.

Want aging veterans? Go ask Florida how much signing Brian Campbell or Ed Jovanovski helped? 

My suggestion would be to read the Sept-Oct entries here again because unfortunately it played out exactly as expected even back to last summer.

There is nothing else left to write. 


Capuano Should Be Feeling Pressure For His Job

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/28/2013 10:49:00 PM | | | Comment Here
As coaches like to say you can always control your effort win or lose.

The New York Islanders are a losing hockey team, expect things to get even far worse in December with the competitive part of the season coming to an end in terms of any playoff expectations. 

A coaching change does not alter that reality. 

Is Jack Capuano responsible for the holes on defense costing them most games? No.
The collective weaknesses on the roster? No.
The injuries? No.
The lack of production from Regin, Bouchard? No, because they did not come here as consistent players who produced for Ottawa/Minnesota.


The handling of the lineup, of who dresses vs who sits? Absolutely.
The obvious drop in performance of some of his top players? (Grabner, Bailey) No doubt.
Penalty killing? No.
Faceoffs? Mixed, because some of the centers who took face offs are no longer here.   
Is this overall roster working hard for this coaching staff? Yes.
Does the work reflect a direction where something is being built to sustain a winning team? No. 

Of course you look at the Devils collective defenders, who is out for them, but play consistent low scoring games against top teams it's not unreasonable to ask why this  defense has struggled since the season opener?  The Devils lost Bryce Salvador, Anton Volchenkov, and their team with a younger defense play/win many low scoring games.

That's how you survive eighty two games. (granted it collapsed a year ago for the Devils)

Jack Capuano should be feeling  pressure on that small fact alone.

Most opposing coaches don't even feel the need to play their top goaltender against this roster.

Who Sent Down Matt Donovan?
That could have been the coach or general manager, but going by game reaction that seems to be on Capuano, who is always rolling out Matt Carkner for mistakes above his ability, that lead to goals against without the exact same reaction from management. 

Capuano was not Donovan's coach in Bridgeport, the players that come up are no longer his past prospects. 
 
Too bad Capuano has not seemed to notice Donovan was paired with Aaron Ness last season, and despite the 2012-13 Sound Tigers being  twenty ninth in goals against, Donovan was a plus fourteen with solid offensive numbers. (Ness minus ten)

Why not just dress both together for a bunch of games when it's obvious Carkner will keep making the same mistakes? Carkner's not a physical player clearing the crease or can do much beyond a fight by appointment?  

Capuano tried Donovan with Hickey often, with Carkner far too often. 

Martinek now makes a bad read or two a game, it's obvious why management was so reluctant to bring him back or sign in a league desperate for defenders.   

Either way it's a huge mistake sending down  Donovan given the breakdowns that lead to goals behind MacDonald/Hamonic, as they constantly wear down in games with all these extra minutes.

Both are making several mistakes of their own, and looking dangerously close to getting hurt far too often.
Hamonic has concussion issues, MacDonald is always playing off blocking a shot where he's hurting. 

Capuano must feel enormous pressure extending their minutes.

Donovan's demotion reflects very poorly on Jack Capuano, who's going to have many more prospects coming if he remains head coach. 

So What's The Answer? 
There is no real answer until Reinhart, Pulock, Donovan or the other defensive prospects in Bridgeport get at least three years of NHL experience. There was a problem here from day one defensively with Visnovsky, Strait healthy on this defense. The defenders they need now are not available in trade for any NHL franchise beyond being a rental at an enormous price.

The answer for now is who's obviously not part of the solution which begins with Martinek/Carkner mistakes. One should be the seventh defender/spot starter, nothing else.

The other should go on waivers/become the veteran in Bridgeport. 

The best current alternative would be the following:
Hamonic-MacDonald
Hickey-deHaan
Donovan-Ness

At least you put six skating defenders together with some offensive/defensively ability who will make mistakes, but gain experience as a unit.

It worked a few years ago for a few months with an excellent second half.

I'm skeptical Visnovsky can return the same player if at all off a concussion at his age. Brian Strait will help this defense when healthy. 

Calvin deHaan:
Absolutely time for a long look after he's finally stayed healthy for over a month.







The New York Islanders Cannot Win With This Defense

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/22/2013 11:01:00 PM | Comment Here
It's pointless to keep repeating the same items. 

The team is above my November projection of three wins with four. 

The loss of Mark Streit was the beginning, it took away scoring (at five on five/powerplay) that was critical.

His loss on defense moving the puck away from the net in transition was noticeable from game one.

After that you take away Visnovsky on a defense already struggling with him most games, finally Brian Strait.

Management seems determined to win or lose with some veterans despite the prospects (Ness, Nelson) showing more. There was a reason Radek Martinek was unsigned at Iceworks waiting for a chance. 

Do I really need to write it again about the mistake(s) every game Matt Carkner makes that always wind up in the net any longer?

When a team is this fragile on defense, it's a matter of when before another team can make a play to beat them, especially in a conference where virtually all the teams can put together long stretches of two goals or less allowed.

Other teams see the exact same thing.

MacDonald/Hamonic have been worn down by so much work, they are not scoring defenders at this point, hard as they try, Mark Streit was. 

Sure the penalty kill is about the defenders, but the forwards as well. The faceoffs have to go on the coaching, along with some players (especially Bailey/Grabner) very quiet recent games.

Thomas Vanek outscored Matt Moulson's entire season with the Islanders on Friday at five on five.

They also went 0-6 on the powerplay which is where Moulson did his best work here.

Bottom line until this team learns to play some defense it has no chance of winning with any regularity, they do not have the players at this time to win on defense.

"It's Different Here"......Staple vs Zipay

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/21/2013 11:27:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Cute play of words for the more astute readers, but simply how things have always been at New York Islander Fan Central.

Let's begin by being clear the New York Islanders deserve  media criticism for the 2013-14 season along with many past seasons despite injuries.

Exactly the same as other teams with/near/worse/same record in newspapers. 

Let's also be clear our fans are the only thing that matters. The media in newspapers are the "only" professional media, not myself or other amateur fan blogs/websites.

You visit this site as a substitute you have come to the wrong place.  The professional media is the standard, they are what counts, not here. 

Did anyone really think since 2007, or even back to the mailing list, I was critical of  media  for my own gain? Do some of you understand how easy it would have been simply go along with anything written like most others do?

Never. 

Don't you see enough self-serving individuals do this to the point you cannot even tell what's professional anymore?

If folks saw this website critical of media for not covering our team well or with a bias considered unfair, the harder path was taken, especially when it meant a backlash directed toward me which is very easy with a last place team struggling most of the time while I have consistently defended the position Charles Wang has been placed in.

Example: Arthur Staple of Newsday is outworked, out-blogged, and does thousands of less twitter updates vs the usual middling or worse Knicks/Rangers, who are covered by Steve Zipay.

I look at the numbers, post them on twitter, asking why...........and more. I do not pull punches on the former self-admitted former Ranger fan/full time beat-writer. 

Here comes the backlash----- my favorite response being: "The Islanders deserve it" despite the Knicks being worse than the Islanders over a decade, the Rangers eight years without playoffs, and middling play. 

Funny how George Richards covering the Florida Panthers, or the Columbus Dispatch selling the Blue Jackets have no problems working much harder than Mr Staple/Newsday staff covering New York Islander hockey, those organizations have been far worse, so have many others at different times.

Those professional writers treat those teams great win or lose......beatwriters work hard. 

No. I'm not playing the Dolan card (although the drop in coverage/pay-wall happened when they bought Newsday)  much of what I'm writing about  was going on when the Tribune company owned Newsday, and the Islanders were making the playoffs in 02,03,04,07.

Steve Zipay's newspaper blog back then outright advertised: "If you think Long Island is really Ranger Country prove it by visiting my Rangers blog." 

Last I looked the Rangers were one (11/21)  point ahead of the Islanders, the Knicks well below five hundred and a non-playoff team for close to a decade. 

On 10/29 a Newsday extra writer did a blog entry titled: Rangers have been here before at 3-7.

Our team did not get that entry from Mr Staple or a secondary writer. How come?

This season Frans Nielsen has had not one entry from Mr Staple? Three scorers on this team top ten in NHL scoring. Nothing?

The Numbers:
Blog Entries/Twitter 2013-14:
Arthur Staple vs Steve Zipay:

November 2013:
Zipay 23 entries, mostly positive updates.
Staple 18 entries: 12 mostly negative since 11/6 what's wrong with Islanders.

Content: (only negative themed content)


11/6:
What's Wrong With Islanders
11/8:
Fixing the Isles powerplay problems.
*11/9:
Vanek is Garth Snow's gamble
It's about the W's for Nabokov
No talks with MacDonald yet
11/11:
Islanders having another November swoon
11/15:
Thoughts after Thursday night's loss
11/16:
Cizikas has struggled amid high expectations
Faceoffs a problem for Isles
11/19:
Grabner expected the scratch
11/20:
Test of leadership for Isles,Tavares
11/21:
Isles hope to turn it around avoid last place in Metropolitan Division. 

*Yes, Mr Staple's three entries on 11/9 was one short of his entire October total of four. 

October 2013:
Zipay 36 entries
Staple 4 entries (one pre-dated season opener)


Total Newsday Blog Entries: 
Zipay 61 (extra writer cheer-leading 10/29/13-1)
Staple 22

Twitter:
Zipay: 22,855
Staple: 7,934

For those who check the Newsday archives past 2013-14 it's not even close with the disparity around a 10/1 ratio.
 
Yes, I got the Greg Logan is a different kind of writer than Zipay excuses prior to the summer intern (Katie Strang) getting the beat where Strang outworked Logan/Staple between her Peter Pan/Prince Charming references until she went anonymous sources/friction in the Islanders locker room. (she did not go there with the bickering Tortorella Rangers in 2013 with the players quoted comments but graded only Islander management from afar?)

I have kept my promise of not discussing local media since the season started. and wished to share this only on twitter, but after a while felt it appropriate to explain better here.

Bottom line it's up to you as fans to confront professional the beat-writer (or his/her editor) with these numbers/content disparity, asking why? 

I did this entry because you deserve better/more coverage whether or not the New York Islanders win or lose games.

The professional media does for many other losing teams in New York, and around the NHL. 

Thank You for reading.



Nabokov Injured, Parker Milner Recalled To Bridgeport:

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/17/2013 04:55:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Stockton Thunder: Stockton Thunder Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach Rich Kromm has announced that goaltender Parker Milner has been called up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, effective immediately.

Milner, 23, has played in five contests as a member of the Stockton Thunder and has posted a 1-4-0-0 record with a 3.22 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

NYIFC Comments: 
The decision needed to be made today with the Islanders leaving for a road trip by Monday afternoon.


The story is the loss of Nabokov on the ice/around the club, an injury like that can have long-term lingering effects. This is Kevin Poulin's chance with a lot of young defenders around him. As written here often no doubt he can handle the starters role.

Milner's recall likely means Anders Nilsson is recalled to New York with Bridgeport off until Friday even though it's been a rough start for Nilsson who missed most of last season & needs work.

Kenny Reiter is better suited to sit for long stretches than Nilsson, come in and give his team a chance to win, however it's highly unlikely he's called up to the NHL, and would have to sign an NHL contract.

What's Next For New York? More Very Tough Games

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/15/2013 11:23:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Bottom Line:
To make the playoffs in a sixteen team conference with only three top seeds guaranteed a spot, it's going to take at least ninety five points.

This means the three games under five hundred New York Islanders from this entry forward must play about eighteen games over.  

The team matched my projected wins for the month, they have played some very competitive hockey although a free falling Nashville Predators team is not the best barometer.

The Kings held a hot Devils team to zero goals on 11/15. They came here 11-6 good for only 9th place in a fourteen team conference.

Aaron Ness had the best finish by a defender this season, tying him for the team lead in five on five goals at one.

I like what I'm seeing from Nelson, Donovan, Ness. Outside of the first Kings goal in the third period, Kevin Poulin's been excellent.

The goaltender overall has not been the problem for this organization in 2013-14. 

Matt Carkner had his usual redirection/screen leading to the tying goal. To constantly put him out in key situations much less shorthanded just gives talented fast scoring forwards on other teams an advantage.

No doubt Carkner's doing his absolute best.  

Still despite the competitive play reality does not lie. Three games under, few regulation wins, so many weaknesses from penalty kill to faceoffs.

This is with three players in the top ten in NHL scoring. One (Okposo) who had four goals in forty eight games in 2013. Another (Nielsen) having a career year.  

It only get's much tougher from here. One look at the rest of this month with the December schedule likely spells the end.

The criticism will be brutal, some of it will be justified, others well over the top. A lot of it from the professional ranks will come from a place of ignorance from afar, but you know that.

No one wants this franchise to prove me wrong more than myself. 

Pat Lafontaine's Hiring: Old/New/Selective/Rules For Inexperienced Candidates/Owners/Media? Bridgeport Changes

Other than being very disappointed at one of Bill Torrey's proteges in Darcy Regier's, sixteen year tenure ending with Buffalo, I'm thrilled for Pat Lafontaine/Ted Nolan, and wish them the best of luck.

However what happened reaffirmed a lot of things, the biggest being NHL owners really have no clue on hiring executives which explains why most of them hate making a change in the first place.

Also that hockey media have the same selective standards as owners depending on the individual hired regardless of experience.

Prospect Blog New Name: newyorkislanderfancentralprospects.blogspot.com

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/11/2013 07:04:00 PM | Comment Here
newyorkislanderfancentralprospects.blogspot.com

For those interested please change how you visit the prospect blog.
The old link will no longer work.

My apologies for any inconvenience. 

Win Or Lose New York Must Work In "Some" Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/11/2013 01:17:00 PM | | | | | | Comment Here
Some prospects does not mean all.

Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and some rookie defenders have to be managed very carefully in their first professional season. 

Of course the same folks who complained about Niederreiter/Bailey being rushed will be the first demanding Strome/Lee be called up claiming the team will not give them a chance. 

As for the 2013-14 New York Islanders, I wish this was a slump where it's clear things would even out eventually because there is too much talent on this roster.

It's not the case, not even close.

This group collectively is doing their absolute best. They have gotten a lot of unexpected production from different players already which makes the overall record even more troubling.

Still they have had chances to win/earn point(s) in most games. 

The problems go far beyond coaching, or a tendency to play unproductive struggling veterans.

They have been there since preseason.

Expecting Nothing Special From New York

I kind of laugh when some are complaining about the Islanders power-play going 0-30/something.  

This is not the 1980's. 

A power play at thirty percent levels off, which was never a good mix of distributed scoring that was sustainable to begin with. Even successful teams don't operate at that number any longer for a season with the equipment goaltenders/players wear. 


Entering Matt Moulson's final game against Philadelphia the unit had ten goals (one 5-3 perimeter goal against Phoenix from Tavares) but was operating at 30.3 percent, while getting virtually nothing from it's defenders.  


Overall the numbers were more anomaly then fact, nothing built to last. Expecting Nielsen or Okposo to keep up their offensive pace was/is not realistic based on their career trends.

Bottom line until this team leans how to win low scoring games, and play some defense, it has no chance. 

Twenty nine other teams are always looking for quality defenders. That kind of player is only available as a pending UFA rental if they waive a NTC/NVC because all of them have this clause.  

Garth Snow's experienced enough by now, and has seen this movie here with Steve Staios, Mike Mottau, Mark Eaton & Milan Jurcina. The team played better without them  because the defense was faster.


3-12 Season Ending Stretch Starts 2-0? Bridgeport Breakthrough?

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2013 12:03:00 AM | | | | | | | Comment Here
I would like nothing more than this team making my last entry look very bad.

The April 2013 New York Islanders returned for two games.
2-0? Thrilled.

That is how Jack Capuano's team must play win or lose.
It's the only way they have a chance. 

Fifteen Games/Thirty Days/Struggling Defense: Does Capuano Survive?

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2013 08:21:00 AM | Comment Here
I absolutely see this becoming a 3-12 season ending month, the problems on defense are beyond coaching.

When a general manager is not satisfied, coaches do lose their jobs so it's problematic, Jack Capuano, survives even if it's not his fault in any way.

The upcoming schedule does not lie, nor do the defensive weaknesses (at both ends of the ice) which cannot be fixed internally within the organization as has been obvious since opening night in Newark.

New York Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/30/2013 05:28:00 AM | | | | | |
When the National Hockey League (not Tsn/Espn personalities) make a trade call that the New York Islanders have options with regard to the first round pick in the Vanek trade there is something to write about here. 

This is one trade call, dozens are made at the deadline so it should not be a very tough job to release all details if that's the case. When the Devils were penalized by the NHL for the Kovalchuk contract,  it was made very clear by the league the team would have a choice of when they forfeit their first rounder.  


New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters Monday that the organization has decided to retain its first-round pick for the 2013 NHL Draft, which the Devils are hosting, on June 30.

The Devils forfeited a 2011 third-round pick, and also were told they needed to forfeit a first-rounder at some point over the next four years following the penalty.


So What's The Worst That Can Happen For New York?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/29/2013 05:22:00 AM | | |
The odds of  Thomas Vanek resigning here are very long, he declined to be the one of highest paid players in the league to resign with Buffalo to be part of a youth movement.

Vanek's going to have to wait for Donovan, Ness, deHaan, Reinhart, Pullock to develop, along with the rest of Garth Snow's long list of prospects.

Let's also look at the history of these signings (now limited to eight years) how many of them end with a winning team/Stanley Cup long-term vs the Brad Richards, Elias, Yashin, Kovalchuk, Bryzgalov, Wisniewski, Jeff Carter/Mike Richards, Robert Luongo, Dany Heatley, Chris Drury, Wade Redden contracts?

DiPietro was not front-loaded, but he absolutely goes on that list. 

New York Trades Matt Moulson (2014/1st 2015/2nd) For Thomas Vanek

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2013 10:48:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here






Islanders website: Announced that they have acquired Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Matt Moulson, a first round selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft and a second round selection in 2015. Vanek, 29, joins the Islanders after playing in 13 games with Buffalo this season, accumulating nine points (four goals and five assists). 

Even Bigger Cracks Appearing In New York's Weaknesses

No one wants to write about it, however it cannot be hidden any more than the thousands of empty seats when this franchise is listed at the official home team.

This is simply not a good hockey team overall who's goals allowed is at the bottom of whatever this division is called, and struggle badly at five on five.

It's beyond Jack Capuano/or any head coaches ability, although he's doing Nelson/Donovan no favors. 

It's likely to only get much worse as the special teams start to even out.

Expecting New York To Go Into Free Fall Losing Streak

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/20/2013 12:22:00 PM | | | | Comment Here
10.20.13: Updated 6:15pm. Brock Nelson was recalled to New York after playing one game for Bridgeport.

There are simply too many holes. Visnovsky's likely extended loss to injury just created another big one. Nabokov has been very solid.

What I see is a team doing it's absolutely best, not a question of effort. 

NYIFC Update/Spano/Kevin Connolly's Worthless ESPN Documentary

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/19/2013 11:36:00 AM | | | |

After months of no audio for items posted on left sidebar, everything has been restored via a free file hosting service, however it also plays everything when you click that link if you let it continue running.  

Islanders-Sound Tigers mailing list from 2000-2006 on the right sidebar is again accessible  for archive reference reading only with some files/images/articles readers should enjoy.  No members will be accepted, no new entries posted.


Yahoo changed to a neo groups format that frankly made the list not accessible to current active owners much less an inactive group with no updates since May 2006.

Full articles with original wording are good reference information, along with laughing at how many things I got wrong over the years.

Prospect website page updated with more changes.

Also finally attempting to keep a long broken promise requested by many to tag entries, it's been lazy/inexcusable on my part. 

Blogger's link issues continue but adding items.
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Twitter:
The only reason the twitter account for this website is not protected is so everyone can read entries here at the top left of this website.

I'm officially cracking down on my twitter followers, there has always been a zero tolerance on profanity of any kind for my followers since day one. Anyone who reads this, then would like to follow via twitter that's the one thing I insist upon. You will receive a direct message about this subject now upon joining. 

Agree/disagree respectfully also asked of all followers---a little common courtesy. 

Anyone who cannot conduct themselves along those very simple guidelines will be immediately blocked.
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Give Me Something Hockey Related?
Ok, I could care less about John Spano or some documentary, who in his brief twitter time responded to me, and apologized for his conduct, it was very sincere from my viewpoint.

The media too cheap to cover our games should save money on this non-sense, and go interview John Tavares instead.

Kevin Connolly should have demanded a 30/30 documentary about the greatest American US hockey team of all time, the only professional sports team ever to win nineteen straight playoff series, arguable the best professional sports franchise ever that made it as far as semi-finals from 1975-1984 every single year but one in it's most established division/conference at the height of the NHL's popularity in New York City year round. 

How many professional sports teams have won four straight championships since? Zero.
How many have won nineteen playoff series in a row ever? Zero. 

Mr Connolly did enough interviews where said he met Espn resistance who wanted the great teams omitted for the controversy instead. How many Espn Ranger die-hard fans/self-serving former team media was he forced to interview/include?

Connolly wanted Tonelli goals vs Pittsburgh, Espn wanted downside, he should have taken his project elsewhere or cancelled it. 

Bottom line John Spano would have done the exact same thing to Dallas, Florida which he previously almost bought or any other NHL franchise. It was never a New York Islander issue beyond the league's failure to vet a potential owner's finances properly.

When Fleet Bank found out, John/Brett Pickett took back the team. 

What's amazing, and the true enduring legacy here is Spano's deal to extend the cable rights will stand until 2030-2031 for future New York Islander owners as long as this franchise remains in this television market.  

That increased the teams resale value from Pickett, to Howard Milsten by thirty million dollars.

Charles/James Dolan signed a television deal with Spano that gave the New York Islanders a television contract which runs through 2030 that gave any New York Islander hockey owner eighteen percent of all Msg revenue.

Charles/James Dolan upon learning of this in the agreement at some future point in 1998 immediate pulled games off television (invoking a phony competition clause) until the Islanders agreed on a flat fee, but the Dolan's never simply sued to break the deal because it was made with an owner who was never legitimate in John Spano.

Don't expect the documentary to tell you that. 


Wall Street Journal Cuts LaFontaine Hit Job Writer Mike Sielski Out Of Their Picture...Told "Get Lost" By Flyers New Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/18/2013 12:04:00 PM | | | | | Comment Here
Wall Street Journal Cuts Mike Sielski Out Of Their Picture, Flyers Coach Tells Him " Get Lost."


Apparently the April 2012 Lafontaine hit job writer, Mike Sielski ( The Questions LaFontaine WSJ Writer Mike Sielski Could Not Answer About His 4/2/12 Article.... ) has quietly left the Wall Street Journal without explanation but had a parting shot for the editor/fellow employees, and has returned to Philadelphia, where he immediately got into trouble with the Flyers new coach, Craig Berube, after writing about the Flyers culture in a press conference with Flyers owner Ed Snider, which he never did about the franchise with one Stanley Cup since 1940 at the Journal, who's owner never even gave a single interview in seven years.

Note-The Wall Street Journal started covering sports in 2009.
For those wondering:
Sam Walker is the Sports editor of The Wall Street Journal.
The second individual is, Geoff Foster, the editor of podcasts at WSJ sports.
The third is, Rachel Bachman, who covers college football, basketball, and other eccentricities for the journal.
No folks, that was not a friendly/funny re tweets from any of those individuals, who never wrote a word about it.

New York Struggling...Capuano Looks Desperate For Answers

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/17/2013 10:03:00 AM | | Comment Here
Six games, one regulation win against a Phoenix team that self-imploded.

Wait until the schedule get's tough. 

Chemistry with a team working well as a unit is a fun thing to watch as we saw for about three weeks in 2013. That looks completely gone now despite most of the same roster returning. 

Yes, for this franchise it seems Mark Streit was that valuable in terms of moving the puck from defense to offense, quarterbacking the powerplay, and hitting open players with passes in spots they could finish.

Jack Capuano after the Buffalo game seemed very pleased his club just lost another late lead, and without Nabokov making the tougher saves would have lost in regulation to a win-less team on Tuesday, that had played on Monday in front of 18,000 actual people. (triple pathetic true Coliseum turnout?) 

Buffalo was terrible on Tuesday. That's why the Islanders finally got some zone time on offense. I guess Capuano cannot call out the passengers (or employ the word battle level) after every game or he losses the room.

Again expecting Frans Nielsen goals (eight straight shootout misses)  is not his resume, same for Matt Martin, who scored off nice work from Cizikas, Boulton.

Bouchard looked slightly better, his open net crossbar could have turned this into a Phoenix game against a team waiting to get beat.

A powerplay goal from an outside shot deflected off Matt Moulson is not the goal Vanek scored on a perfect setup. (Hamonic lost Vanek)

Bottom line this is not a sustainable formula for winning, expect a lot more games like Chicago/Nashville if this continues against established teams that can play as a unit.

Nashville is not a good team either. 

Many of those games the Islanders will be pinned in their own zone with little sustained time unless something dramatically changes. 

Capuano Deperate? 
He already seems to know a line of Moulson-Tavares-Okposo is too slow.

It was too slow come playoff time with Brad Boyes there, so again Moulson is off that line in October. Grabner could not escape the third line in the forty eight games, now he's a top six player.

Yes it seems Capuano is pushing the panic button because he knows this is not working.

Donovan has looked no worse (even better) than Brian Strait. No one should ever be sitting for Matt Carkner.

Brock Nelson needs games, and a chance to show his 1st round draft pick offensive skills this roster desperately needs, not a seat in the stands. Nelson should never be sitting for Peter Regin, Cal Clutterbuck, Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton or Casey Cizikas. 

A Defense That Cannot Score: 
Diehard hockey fans, who have played will understand this point, others will not.

To quote Al Arbour on Mike Bossy: " I can teach anyone to play defense, I cannot teach scoring."

There are offensive defenders who know how to get a shot through traffic in a way where it will go in the net, leave a big rebound, or be redirected.

Then there are defenders who just want to get their shot off  hitting the logo of the opposing goalie.

There are defenders who produce points vs those who do not.

Mark Streit had that ability which produced a lot of points.

Garth Snow saw this when he replaced  Drew Fata, and Allan Rourke's shot with Marc-Andre Bergeron, which produced 21 points/23 games in late 2006-07 with six important goals.

Yes, we all know Bergeron needed a map to play defense here, and everywhere he went afterward, but teams took a chance because he can produce points. 


Moving forward Hamonic, MacDonald could produce points. At this level so far they don't have the time, space in a much faster game for their developing skills. Hickey, Strait have not demonstrated this ability.

Visnovsky has this ability, but a lot of mileage, and seems more of a perimeter player at this stage of his career.

The fact Radek Martinek is skating suggests management feels that defender is not Aaron Ness, Calvin deHaan or anyone else in Bridgeport at this time. Perhaps management was a bit gun shy about Reinhart, but a lot of young players his age can play in this league.

The Devils kept Adam Larsson.

Reinhart's preseason goal in Calgary off a rush was the best goal scored by a defender on this roster all season.

Is that going to be his Calvin deHaan most memorable moment years from now? 

For our fans using the Niederreiter example that's misguided judgement. Nino was a almost a full year young than Tavares when he began here, and got hurt from the last week of preseason into December, so the club never got a chance to see him with healthy/productive forwards around him which were clearly never Jay Pandolfo, or Marty Reasoner.

Nino was second on that team in hitting for a part of that season. 

Did sending back Calvin deHaan to juniors ever help him between injuries?

Snow has himself locked in with Brian Streit, Thomas Hickey, they have demonstrated the ability to play strong defense at this level.

Answers?
There are no easy answers. This team is trying, and still being pinned in or pushed back in most games.

If it continues to look like the team even worse than the sub-five hundred team in late March 2013, it's going to become a long year quickly. 

They may get past Edmonton/Carolina's many weaknesses, or implode to their offensive skills. If the goaltender has to be the Islanders best player that's not a formula for anything to build a winning team on.

Nielsen's giving them production that likely cannot be counted on. Bailey at his age should not be expected to produce sustained numbers as he keeps moving around on the Blake Comeau plan.

Collectively they miss Mark Streit's ability to move the puck in all three zones, and the powerplay. The club looks collectively slow in reading/reacting to plays. Yes for a good forty minutes of games Mark Streit was not on the ice in 2013 all of the same defenders who skated on this team are back. (less Martinek/Finley)

Hamonic had a nice rush against Buffalo in the second period, took the puck right up the middle, and shot at Miller, was that Hamonic or Buffalo's poor team play? 

Someone has to develop into Streit's role, or the Islanders must become a six man defensive unit that does not score much anymore, and produce by committee which seems to be a trend in the league.

That was why Roman Hamrlik, Adrian Aucoin kept getting signed by someone.

More younger players have to give the club sustained scoring, and an offensive push that pins in the opposing team.

So far we have seen the opposite.

This may play out ok for two more games with Edmonton, Carolina. By 10/22 against Vancouver, there is no more hiding.

Either they become the team that was 11-1-2 from around March 23, 2013 to end of schedule, or they are a lesser version of the sub five hundred team for most of those forty eight games. 

Garth Snow Out Of Right Wing Depth

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/13/2013 08:29:00 PM | | | | |
Unfortunately my projection of this team out of right wing depth is holding. Jack Capuano from day one of camp has sounded like a coach who knows he does not have enough talent.

It shows in games.

The New York Islanders are lumbering around the ice, unable to sustain any fore-check as a unit.  Only thing close in games is the scoreboard, this team is getting outworked win or lose in all three zones.

Brad Boyes/Nino Niederreiter are making Garth Snow look very bad right now. One off to an excellent start, Niederreiter already past his fifty game production here as a rookie. 

Kyle Okposo as a first line right wing is getting some points, but his line is very slow collectively. Josh Bailey has been on the second line with some results, but again he's moved around too much.

Wait until Nielsen stops producing which will be soon given his career trends.

Bouchard does not look to have a clue, Nelson was first to be benched. 

Clutterbuck does not seem close to game shape, nor is he likely to produce when he is in shape.

The answer is not coming from Bridgeport. 

Alan Quine was Bridgeport's first line right wing on Sunday, after he was a third line right wing, then fourth line center. Joey Diamond went from first line right wing to third line left wing.

Scott Pellerin's touch of getting less out of more seems to be working fine from last year, albeit with a very young AHL roster this time.

Record Does Not Reflect New York's Struggles In Games

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/11/2013 08:47:00 AM | | | | | | Comment Here
Please understand everyone wants the team to win, and you take October points, however Jack Capuano's comments say it all in how this team has struggled.

I will not do cheer-leading here, it's about getting back to the team in April 2013, during those four weeks that limited chances/shots around twenty five, with the other team pinned in by skating/hard work, and a different line creating quality goals every game.

That team wore down it's opposition by skating/board work. 

This team is nowhere close to that right now.

Instead Jack Capuano's team has largely been outplayed, outskated, outworked in games. The scoreboard has not reflected the play beyond Nabokov carrying the club which is likely not to last.

This team should be 1-2. If Phoenix did not implode that 6-1 result is likely far different. 

The power-play needs a calendar to set up a quality chance, usually from the perimeter. Visnovsky is not a player who drives the net. What can I write about Nielsen/Okposo from the outside I have not written before? They are trying their hardest.

Sure, everyone's happy Matt Donovan scored, it was a poor goal allowed by Mike Smith, the three pass goal by Bailey was amazing, more Coyote struggles.


The rest is watching Nabokov carry the club, and them being pressured in their own end of the ice. They absolutely miss Mark Streit's ability to move the puck, find skaters cutting to net, and quarterbacking the powerplay.   

The past decision making suggests Brock Nelson takes a seat for Cal Clutterbuck, but it could be Bouchard, maybe Cizikas. We'll know soon enough.  

Ok, we'll see. Hoping for the best version of this team, but don't expect this level of play to be any kind of answer, maybe they are simply not ready yet.

Understandable for October if ugly points keep coming, many teams are finding themselves, but this club will be losing 5-1 games soon if these trends persists. 
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Notables:
* Nielsen is now 0-7 in shootout attempts, his last goal coming 3/2/13.

*Mikko Koskinen (listed as prospect by Islanders website despite not being qualified) left SEL where he's signed  through 2014-15, and now is in KHL.

*Griffin Reinhart was not happy at all upon arrival in Edmonton, or not getting a chance here in a game. I posted his comments on twitter with article link.

*Once again Msg Network is acting as if  Brooklyn does not exist or never happened.

*If this team continues to draw an announced 10,000 (which looks like 7,000) Wang/Picker should ask Dolan to black home all home games unless 14,000 seats sold forty eight hours in advance.

People showed up with only road coverage on channel 9 long ago, perhaps that's what it takes? 

Most ignored the thousands of empty seats Tuesday which is inexcusable. This website was very hard on the fan base all summer over this issue.

The NHL is not going to permit this to continue when this team moves to Barclay's center.

* NIFA's meeting portal for live meetings now working, they met Sept 9th at Charles Wang's hotel with NEC Ratner agreement on menu, apparently because it's a full financed deal it does not require their approval which contradicts Mangano's comments, and it being listed in their meeting packet page 30-34 pdf.

The full October 9th meeting now can be viewed here.

* No local professional newspaper coverage links will be part of New York Islander Fan Central, that ended long ago.

* The NY Post sending a part-time writer to a regular season game in Chicago, outside NY area since Evan Grossman was beat-writer many years ago does not change anything here until all 82 games are covered with complete quoted articles.

* Espn again insults our fans intelligence holding onto interviews for six days or longer as was done with Tavares/Mark Streit a year ago. Matt Moulson was interviewed a week ago on 10/4 in Newark.

It was finally posted on 10/10.

Espn sent Katie Strang to Philadelphia to cover the Flyers over the Islanders at home on 10/8, she wrote three quick paragraphs (more than usual) with no quotes on the win against Phoenix, a long article on the Rangers latest loss with no quotes on 10/17.

Now Espn permanently goes off our radar here, that's not professional or worth our time.
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NYIFC:
* Minor tweaks to pages/prospect blog, more prospect  newspaper coverage added. Blogger having link issues so currently limited in what can be done. Added Stockton radio links.

New York Sends Reinhart To Juniors/Seven Defenders Remain

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/09/2013 12:35:00 PM | Comment Here
Islanders website: announced that defenseman Griffin Reinhart has been returned to his junior club, the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.

NYIFC Comments:
That leaves New York with one extra defender in Matt Carkner before having to recall someone from Bridgeport whether it be Joe Finley, Aaron Ness, Calvin deHaan or one of the rookies on that roster.

Joe Finley cleared waivers, he would not require waivers again to be recalled. 

A trade or another contract to Radek Martinek can always become a possibility.

Kabanov Sent To ECHL Stockton

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/09/2013 04:50:00 AM |
Sound Tigers website: Announced Kirill Kabanov has been sent to Stockton of ECHL

Ct Post had article on move. 

Ct Post Michael Fornabaio had following:
 They’re framing it as a hockey decision; get him more minutes, work on his game in both ends, and so forth, sing along, and playing on the third line, he probably could use some more time. His “personal-reasons” absence this morning suggested more, and a source said Kabanov was late for a meeting and it wasn’t the first time.
NYIFC Comments:
No issue if conduct related. Having written that Kabanov (who scored) was the third line right wing Sunday, with no prospect on the top two lines at right wing.

Bridgeport had Joey Diamond as the first line right wing, Chris Bruton the second right winger. 

This is another reason you don't trade a franchise pick RW Niederreiter for Clutterbuck.

With Ullstrom in KHL, Joensuu in Edmonton, Niederreiter in Minnesota, and Nelson in New York the top drafted prospect depth has gone down significantly with Strome, Lee, Persson, Sundstrom, Quine.

Jason Clark was in the ECHL last season, he was on the same line as Kabanov Sunday.

Projection For New York 2013-14: A Step Back

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/02/2013 01:12:00 PM | Comment Here
On 9/7/13: An entry was written here titled " Anything Can Happen, But Expect New York To Take Step Back Out Of Playoffs "

Nothing that happened during the preseason has changed this viewpoint. Bouchard did not even make it out of camp before he was off Tavares line.

It's going to take some very unexpected offensive steps forward from Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, and a huge step forward from a defense with few offensive players for this franchise to make a jump that only was an 11-2-1 stretch during a short season that lasted for a few weeks where the club was sub five-hundred in late March.

The weakness and downgrades made during the summer hurt, I do not mean Brad Boyes or Keith Aucoin.

No one is going to convince me Peter Regin, Bouchard are better offensive (or physical/size options/potential) than Nino Niederreiter, Jesse Joensuu, and David Ullstrom.

Clutterbuck can play physical hockey, and has an element teams want that will help this franchise, however he'll never have potential to produce as Niederreiter which is why you never trade young offensive potential, unless the return is the same.

Matt Martin so far has proven for all the hit numbers if you cannot produce, it only has a limited value which changes as fast as Boulton will dress (to play less than five minutes) for someone on his line.

How fast would some of you trade Matt Martin to have Niederreiter or a comparable prospect back? Exactly. 

Niederreiter was not Nikita Filatov, he left Bridgeport an AHL All-Star, with a solid World Championship which followed that, he was a player who came to New York a month early to make this team as a rookie before he kept getting hurt.

His agent wrote a tweet last January demanding a trade? Who cares.

Where was Niederreiter going again besides home with a signed contract, and the Islanders holding his NHL rights for years?  It's not like Garth Snow had to negotiate a contract last summer, nor did Niederreiter say one quoted negative word.

Bouchard's two million dollars is comparable to what Niederreiter would have received.

Anyone who watched a healthy Jesse Joensuu the last few years could see his game dramatically improved which did not happen when he reported here injured after the lockout, and the Isles made him a healthy scratch short a few games of retaining his rights automatically so Marty Reasoner could dress? 

Nothing's been done to replace Frans Nielsen's lack of scoring as a center whether it be Bailey, Nelson or Casey Cizikas.

Matt Donovan, Brock Nelson could surprise, (Reinhart could be a huge surprise) but expecting those players to be the answer at this point in their young careers is not realistic.

No four man forward unit replaces Mark Streit on the powerplay or his passing ability on a rush. Nielsen's not beating goaltenders from the point with his shot on a powerplay, everyone knows he is there to pass the puck.

Now we get to see Josh Bailey/Kyle Okposo move around as they did under Scott Gordon in 2009. Both are capable of being first line players, however the sustained production is not there to merit this.

You can bet all NHL coaches will start their meetings with the following when the New York Islanders are on the menu. Give John Tavares zero room to work with, never miss a chance to put a body on him, and don't let him beat us. 

I get some writing about the 2013-14 team likely only watched a few games in April 2013, and did not bother noticing the rest. Most write worthless previews about thirty teams when they barely know anything about one team.

Perhaps those forty plus games the 2013 team led or was tired entering the third period is something the majority of the returning roster can repeat.

Again anything can happen, however what's likely to happen is a step back to the sub five hundred club this franchise was in late March 2013.

I believe Garth Snow is as bullet proof as George McPhee is in Washington, he's already been general manager for Charles Wang longer than Mike Milbury, but a losing year means there is nowhere for Snow to hide.

Only management knows how long Jack Capuano was extended for last summer.
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Ed Mangano responded via twitter, writing he will speak with Charles Wang about releasing the letter he gave the legislature on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

I also asked Mangano if he could provide a date for a NIFA/TOH meeting decision on Ratner Coliseum agreement, he responded today, that he is awaiting that information.

NIFA has not met since July.

Tom Suozzi if back in office could not overturn this decision (see Wang/Smg Dec 2009 sublease) if all approved by end of calendar year. 

Nassau Coliseum will close under Ratner plan from August 2015 (when Smg officially out) through Sept 2017.

New York/Bridgeport Announce Rosters

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/30/2013 05:28:00 PM | |
Islanders website: Announced it's 23 man roster to begin the 2013-14 season. 
Forwards
Josh Bailey
Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Eric Boulton
Casey Cizikas
Michael Grabner
Matt Martin
Colin McDonald
Matt Moulson
Brock Nelson
Frans Nielsen
Kyle Okposo
Peter Regin
John Tavares

Defensemen
Matt Carkner
Matt Donovan
Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey
Andrew MacDonald
Griffin Reinhart
Brian Strait
Lubomir Visnovsky

Goalies
Evgeni Nabokov
Kevin Poulin

Injured Reserve
Cal Clutterbuck

Ryan Pulock, the Islanders’ first pick (15th overall) in the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, has been returned to the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League.

Radek Martinek was released from his professional tryout agreement. 

Bridgeport announced it's roster/changes. 
Mike Halmo, Kirill Kabanov, Anders Lee, John Persson, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom. Calvin de Haan, Scott Mayfield, Aaron Ness, Anders Nilsson, Joe Finley.

Forward Justin Johnson, goalie Ken Reiter were released from professional tryout agreements, while forward Riley Wetmore was released from an amateur tryout agreement. Johnson, Reiter and Wetmore will report to the Sound Tigers Training Camp, which continues Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Ct Post fills out Sound Tigers roster/status.

NHL contracts in normal font, AHL contracts in italics, PTOs in bold:

F (16)–Chris Bruton, Jason Clark, Joey Diamond, Brett Gallant, Mike Halmo, Brayden Irwin, Justin Johnson, Kirill Kabanov, Anders Lee, Greg Miller, John Persson, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, Riley Wetmore, Sean Wiles

D (9)–Marc Cantin, Mike Dalhuisen, Calvin de Haan, Joe Finley, Dallas Jackson, Mike Keenan, Scott Mayfield, Aaron Ness, Andrey Pedan

G (2)–Anders Nilsson, Kenny Reiter

NYIFC Comments:  
Playing split-squad games that late in the preseason came with some expensive price-tags, despite some meaningless wins.

And sure if I'm going to be critical of the early losses, the later wins (especially the one at home against Nashville) with close to the opening roster has to be acknowledged. 


No real surprises outside of Martinek, who could still be signed if Hamonic goes on IR which made Sunday's games very expensive along with breaking up your opening night roster that late to play meaningless split season games. (No, I forgot to include the eight man veteran rule in my previous entry because those kind of games are still somewhat new)

Makes playing those split-squad games an even bigger risk at a point the roster should be final. 

Maybe a trade comes/waiver pickup.

Alan Quine has  left juniors, he's now a Sound Tiger. 






New York Signs Ryan Pulock/Alan Quine To Three Year ELC/More Roster Cuts

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2013 06:35:00 PM | | Comment Here
Updated: Alan Quine has agreed to terms on a three-year Entry Level Contract
Islanders-twitter.


Islanders website: The New York Islanders announced today that Ryan Pulock has agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract.

Islanders website: Also announced Forward Jason Clark, along with defensemen Marc Cantin and Andrey Pedan have been loaned to Bridgeport. Forward Greg Miller and defensemen Mike Dalhuisen and Mike Keenan have been released from their amateur tryout agreements (ATO), while defenseman Dallas Jackson was released from his professional tryout agreement (PTO). All seven players will report to Sound Tigers training camp, which continues Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers: The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have announced that the following players have been assigned the the organization's ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder: Mathieu Coderre-Gagnon- D Nathan Deck- D Sean Escobedo- D Ryan Hayes- F Nick Larson- F Parker Milner- G Shawn Mortin-Boutin- D Landon Olslanski- D Ben Rosen- F


NYIFC Comments:
Was looking for a Pulock ELC signing, a little later than usual. Alan Quine a nice surprise.  This organization needs some signed forwards from it's very small draft pool remaining.

Friday's roster (less injuries) is likely close to the final team which means Martinek could be in some trouble or he will split time with Carkner, and Finley. With Nelson here, expect Lee/Strome to debut in Bridgeport, with Sundstrom likely closer to an early call-up.

After Sunday's games expect the second split squad team to be sent to Bridgeport/rest of the players. Expect Reinhart/Pulock returned to juniors unless there is a injury or trade.

Three New York/Bridgeport Practice Groups

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2013 12:06:00 PM | | |
There seems to be some confusion out there.

One group is practicing at Nassau Coliseum, that is mostly the players who have NHL spots or are still in competition for them.

Second group is practicing at IceWorks in Syosset. that may be players more on the outside of the NHL but this could also change quickly.


John Persson, Kirill Kabanov,  Aaron Ness are not getting a lot of ink or mentions.


Ct Post list names of a third group mostly of invites/ECHL players from Stockton at Sound Tigers camp

Updated-The Sound Tigers website has twittered the ECHL/invited players are practicing at IceWorks in Syosset.

Oddly, the Islanders will have one more split/squad game in Canada against Ottawa which is very late for such an event. 

Even for preseason this collective roster has struggled badly in games outscored 13-2 in second periods, winning a game in New Jersey with two shorthanded goals, a Boulton goal out of the penalty box, one powerplay goal, and an unassisted goal among seventeen shots, it's not impressive in terms of five on five play.

Misc:
I asked Ed Mangano, Kevan Abrahams to publish the letter Charles Wang sent regarding the Bridgeport Sound Tigers presented at Monday's legislature meeting.

Obviously Nassau County's post 19-0 vote release makes clear the Sound Tigers are still not the AHL team Bruce Ratner will bring to the Nassau Coliseum by 2017-18 or sooner.


19-0 UNANIMOUS LEGISLATURE APPROVAL OF RATNER COLISEUM BID

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2013 01:34:00 PM | | Comment Here
Highlights on twitter:

Coliseum renovations will begin  August 1st 2015, with the building set to re-open by September 2017.

Video Conference Post 19-0 vote.

Mangano said in video 11:00 mark NIFA has contract, more information from them Tuesday 9/24.

Bruce Ratner, flat out dazzled with eloquence, experience, and information. Legislature members who were voting no changed their mind. 

Ratner said when plan submitted to league on Islanders playing six games at Coliseum, Dolan must approve, this has not been submitted to NHL yet. 

Still murky on Sound Tigers depending on lease agreement to 2021 can be changed earlier. Ratner said he tried/will bring in another team if not Sound Tigers. Wang submitted letter on Sound Tigers to legislature.

Ratner may need Dolan's AHL team if Sound Tigers not allowed to move. 

Only feasible for Wang economically to play maximum of six Coliseum game. 

Construction begins Aug 2015, will take two years for everything which would be done all at once (inside/outside) that means there will be no two, four, six, whatever New York Islander hockey games for 2015-16, and likely 2016-17.

The timetable given was fifteen to eighteen months for renovation so for the older readers think 1973-1976 Yankee Stadium renovation.

Spending to retain the Islanders, increasing capacity of Nassau Coliseum was not financially viable given small scale of project. 

Ampitheatre just a grassy area, not a big concert venue.
Skating rink in grassy area more like Rockefeller Center, just for skating, not to compete with local hockey. 

NEC Coliseum lease with Ratner was listed as item one on agenda Ordinance. No. 134-2014

Long Island Press reported Gov Cuomo made major changes to NIFA Nassau's Democratic Board which could hold it's first meeting on Friday 9/27, and would be the final hurdle if legislature approval is given because the minor changes to the Coliseum's footprint obviously fit in TOH/re-zoning.

September 27th 1972 First Nassau Coliseum Preseason Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/21/2013 11:16:00 PM | | |
New York losses first ever game at Coliseum 6-4 (9/27/1972) Billy Harris goal, Glen Sather on defense.

Kind of looked like 1972 tonight at Barclay's Center.

This team was badly out-skated, outworked, outclassed for the entire sixty minutes with absolutely no clue how to move the puck in transition without Mark Streit to say nothing of how lost it's powerplay looked.

I don't care where the game was played. 

The passes were slow, telegraphed, predictable, and the Isles painfully lethargic the entire game. The Devils easily read the play, and dominated from beginning to end. I'm not even sure they played very well or were forced to.

Sure it's preseason, but this is four games now the club has been collectively outplayed for most if not all of the games, even in winning at Newark.

The one thing you don't want to see are weakness that do not seem correctable with the current roster in a preseason. Win/lose not issue at all.

How they are collectively playing as a unit is a very alarming trend.

Last time I saw an Islander team with transition problems like this from defense to offense, it lost 2-0 opening night to the Florida at home in 2011-12, and things went down hill from there. 

Now they fly to Nashville on a gameday likely with a different group.

Barclay's Center was not the story tonight, how poorly this team competed at every level for an entire sixty minutes was. 



New York Playing Top Prospects Out Of Position Again

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/20/2013 05:56:00 AM |
I'm a little more interested in sticks/pucks so far then I thought, so why not a few words. 

I'm well aware it's training camp, and only seven days since the team even gathered, however it's also painfully obvious once again the New York Islanders are taking someone they used a high draft pick on, and changing their position along with asking them to make the jump to the NHL/AHL level.

There was even a brief period of making John Tavares a wing that ended quickly as soon as he spoke up. Funny, leaving him at his natural position worked out just as expected.

Sometimes all you have to do is teach players at their natural position. 

We have all seen this before with center Josh Bailey, many forwards changing wing. Brock Nelson's been moved around a lot also,  he should be an NHL center.

I asked this question a few years ago when Strome/Nelson were drafted and wondered what the team is going to do with all these natural centers? 

Is drafted center Ryan Strome really going to be made an NHL/AHL winger so Frans Nielsen, Peter Regin,  cannot produce in the middle? Casey Cizikas is not at their draft level talent.

Isn't it tough enough that so far it seems Frans Nielsen is back to being Mark Streit's powerplay replacement on point, plus he's going to be centering two players he can only set up well?

Frans Nielsen should be a fourth line player with his production, at best he should be the checking center which means someone else in the middle who can score plays between Bailey/Okposo or Bailey moves back to his natural position.

We saw this game with Blake Comeau, he became so versatile he forgot how to score, and played his way off the Islanders when his late season hot streaks ended as soon as the next season/change of plan for him was announced but did a heck of job skating around the perimeter.

At the end Bergenheim was asked to play the off wing, he did not want to change his position.

Bottom line these are Garth Snow's drafted talents now, not Mike Milbury's. 


Of course Ryan Strome says all the right things, they all do for a while.
"I'm definitely 100 percent comfortable there now," Strome said of playing right wing. "I learned some habits I needed to work on, learned how to get the puck a little bit more since you're a bit more restricted than at center. But I like it so far, I'm able to use my creativity."

What's so bad again about Strome-Nelson being the #1-2 centers in Bridgeport or one of them taking Peter Regin's spot? 

What's so bad if Nielsen sets up other forwards on a lower line.

It's time to develop a second line center long term to take the next step as a team. Pittsburgh did not decide to make Malkin or Crosby wingers, they both play center most of the time (not powerplay) on a different line. 

Jack Capuano on the day he has those options can start talking about this team winning games more than one way of playing.

Teams all over this league draft players at their natural position leave them alone, and they become very good NHL players. Sure many teams also change prospects positions from center to wing also.
****************************
Notables:
I know it's only two games, but to borrow a phrase out of Minnesota,  Griffin Reinhart, screams NHL defender. He cannot beat out Matt Donovan, who obviously is ready.

Matt Carkner screams Eric Boulton's minutes or waivers. I can see Radek Martinek or Joe Finley, not both. One's signed, the other is here on a PTO.

I would risk Joe Finley on waivers, keep Martinek because he can skate in traffic, and is solid at moving the puck if that's the menu. Strait/Hickey worked out that's 2/3 so a good percentage. deHaan/Ness or someone else is going to push likely MacDonald or one of these players out of a job.

Kevin Poulin's body movements were that of an unmade bed (even with a few very good saves) in goal for two periods against the Devils, and a few undeflected pucks that found the net were like his game against Carolina at home 2013.

He said he settled down in the third period which I missed. 

I trust him to be the backup, know he can play at this level, however he has to be the goalie he was at this level a few years ago. This is camp but as a backup, he's getting more work than usual.

Bridgeport needs one starting goaltender, not two. Based on last year that should be Anders Nilsson.

Ratner Coliseum Legislature Vote Set For Monday 9/19/13 1pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/19/2013 06:25:00 AM | |
89 million dollars for Coliseum, 140m for restaurants/bowling/theater. Lawn is winter ice-skating rink Ratner added.


The images posted here before showing scale of project, who has rights to what area.
The first image is the final Coliseum blueprint. 
 
Long Island Herald: Reports the legislature vote will be Monday afternoon 9/19 in a 1pm meeting. 

The Live Stream link that worked last week is down as of this entry. 

A simple majority of republicans in a republican controlled legislature is required for approval of Mangano's deal with Bruce Ratner, that in September received  unanimous approval of the county lawmakers' finance, rules and economic development committees.

D-Kevan Abrahams had the following:

He also said he wants to be certain that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the New York Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, would be a permanent tenant of the refurbished Coliseum. Last month, Ratner announced that the Sound Tigers would make the move, but that it would require the approval of owner Charles Wang.

Abrahams added, however, that officials from Forest City Ratner were “receptive” when he raised those concerns during committee meetings on Sept. 9, and was scheduled to meet with them again on Thursday of this week. (9/19)

“We feel that Forest City and Bruce Ratner have a tremendous track record …,” Abrahams said. “We’re glad to see that they’re part of this process to rebuild the Coliseum.”


On August 22nd Mangano said NIFA “sees no issue” with the NEC plan. 


NIFA at this time has no scheduled meeting

Ratner has committed to bringing the team back to the Coliseum for six home games per season once development is complete. Such a move would require approval by the NHL, but Ratner said last month that he was “confident” he would get it.

NYIFC Comments:  
Hard to believe, however this time it's really the end of the process.

There is nothing to stop it beyond Ratner not having financing at some later point. 

Once legislature/NIFA approve, the Coliseum's future is decided (not the TOH approvals Master Developer Don Monti will need for rest of property) I know you have read that many times before, but Monday is the true big vote if you believe Mangano about NIFA.

Kate Murray is Don Monti's problem, not Bruce Ratner.  The scale of the images shows you why because Coliseum is a very small RFP.

Abrahams wants no part of stopping this, Nassau County legislature wants the Coliseum issue decided with an election coming after a generation of many of them being rightfully blamed for it. The New York Islanders are pawns in this. Wang can reject any plan he deems would hurt his hotel, but obviously not Bruce Ratner's.

Huge questions from there would be Sound Tigers future/NHL approval to let the New York Islanders be the only NHL team with two home facilities.

All Gary Bettman has to say if the league approves of this plan. Either way the New York Islanders own all NHL territorial rights to Nassau/Suffolk, from Brooklyn, same as they do now from Nassau Coliseum over Brooklyn/Queens/Suffolk. 

Charles Wang did not say one word about the Sound Tigers nor was he asked. If Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan works for him, Ratner, Wang, Saffan need to have a discussion.

Of course if the Coliseum remains open as is through the Islanders lease in 2015, and a renovation requires a closing of the facility for a period of time, that can be at least three years in the future.

NYIFC Notables:
The header now includes the 2013-14 New York Islanders/captain John Tavares.

A few years ago it was hard finding current upcoming players to feature, now there were so many some had to be left out. Also many prospects two years ago were wearing 40th anniversary patch.

Ryan Strome is wearing Ed Westfall's number, Reinhart, Gary Howatt's.


The twitter wallpaper has images of Griffin Reinhart (did not use poor image of his first NHL goal) and Ryan Pullock.

New York Preseason 101

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/16/2013 11:38:00 AM |
Schedule:
9/17: NY Islanders (split squad) at Calgary (split squad), 9 p.m.
9/17: NY Islanders (split squad) vs. Calgary (split squad), at Regina, Sask. (Brandt Centre), 9 p.m.

9/19: NY Islanders at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
9/21: New Jersey vs. NY Islanders, at Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center), 7 p.m.
9/22: NY Islanders at Nashville, 6 p.m.
9/27: Nashville at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
9/29: NY Islanders (split squad) vs. Ottawa (split squad), at Barrie, Ont. (Molson Centre), 6 p.m.
9/29: NY Islanders (split squad) at Ottawa (split squad), 7:30 p.m.

Bridgeport opens it's training camp Sept 23rd. 

Expect many/most games live streamed somewhere/none on the teams official television network starting with Calgary. 

Jobs Available?
For a prospect to win a job means someone (outside of Radek Martinek) is going to lose their job or there are going to be injuries. That's a dangerously thin center position in terms of scoring after Tavares, also  painfully weak scoring on defense on paper.

Everyone will get a look or two, but for a Brock Nelson, Matt Donovan or Ryan Strome (among many) to make this roster it may require someone go (or someone's hurt) for a spot to open.


Many of those forwards are signed beyond one year.
Moulson-Tavares-Bouchard
Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo
Grabner-Regin-Clutterbuck
Martin-Cizkias-McDonald
Boulton

Hamonic-Strait
Hickey-Visnovsky
MacDonald-Carkner
Finley-Martinek (tryout)

Nabokov
Poulin

New York/Bridgeport Will Practice At Charles Wang's IceWorks Past 2015

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/14/2013 03:24:00 PM | |

Iceworks Remains New York Islanders Official Practice Facility After 2015 per Charles Wang' Oct 2012.

That's what Charles Wang said at the Brooklyn press conference in October 2012.

Wang purchased the facility lease in a bankruptcy sale at or around March 2nd 2001. At the time former Islander Gerry Hart dropped a competing bid as he managed the Rinx at Hidden Pond Park in Hauppauge which still has ties to the club in 2013  with the P.A.L. Junior Islanders & the USPHL merger with Eastern Elite, Empire Junior Hockey Leagues which start in Sept 2013 and include Garth Snow's comments. 

On May 26, 2004, Hart sold the Rinx, and day camp to Francis J. Palamara, a business consultant, who formerly served as Executive Vice President for Aramark.


The Islanders release on 2013-14 team joining the new league at the Rinx
                                          
In an earlier entry here travel distances were compared to NHL rink among other teams in the division, the distance was a little over thirty miles, with some teams over twenty miles.

Some will recall the Islanders moved their offices out of the Nassau Coliseum basement in 2001. Wang's original plan was to construct a practice facility in Plainville, N.Y. for the club but had decided against it in this 2003 article.

Plainville is the home of Neulion TV, and the clubs offices in another building Charles Wang owns. 

Robert Thornton the first gm of the facility under Charles Wang passed away on Sept 3rd 2013. 

Mr Thornton and his wife resigned on 5/24/2004 filing a lawsuit in 2006 against the Islanders which from Islanders end was handled by 2011 Referendum firm of Nixon-Peabody.  Thornton was thrilled at Wang's purchase in 2001.

A few will recall the name of Dan Marshall became general manager of Iceworks, then was named head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, only lasting for 2005-06.  The Ct Post reported in 2012 Marshall coaches and manages junior teams on Long Island

History: 
The New York Islanders 1972 training camp was held in Peterborough, Ontario. Trainer, Nick Garen, had the Islanders do strength and flexibility exercises on the infield of a nearby harness track. One driver complained that the players were scaring the horses. Bill Torrey did not allow the players to keep cars at camp, so everyone—Torrey included—had to walk the half mile from the Holiday Inn, where the team was staying, to the rink.

The New Yor Times actually paid a beat-writer named, Gerald Eskenazi, to attend camp---some things were better in 1972.

In 1972  the team would change into its equipment at the Coliseum and then travel by bus to one of the smaller, recreational rinks on Long Island, sometimes as much as an hour away. One time at Skateland in New Hyde Park, the Rangers were using the ice according to a 1982 SI article here.

By the mid 1970's the New York Islanders training facility was  Racquet and Rink in Farmingdale where a lady named Barbara Williams helped Bob Nystrom/other Islanders skating as the NHL's first female skating coach.

Barbara Williams power skating.

Some may recall the 1975 comeback practice video's aired a few years ago which was written about here, those were at Raquet and Rink. The three rink facility in an airport hanger was closed in 1980 due to financial losses here.
 
Cantiague Park  was the New York Islanders (National Hockey League) practice facility from 1979 to 1992. 

In Sept 2012 the Islanders opened a Pro Shop there with the players appearing.

In Sept 2011 the club opened a Pro Shop At Dix Hills Ice Arena

In October 1992, Hart, along with college roommates Thomas Mattioli and Randolph Nash, opened The Rinx recreation complex in Hidden Pond Park in Hauppauge, New York with a 20-year land lease from the Town of Islip..
 
The Rinx at Hidden Pond Park in Hauppauge was an Islander training camp facility in 1993, which Al Arbout & Don Maloney praised but one issue (money/personal) included was travel distance to Nassau Coliseum which ties into the Barclay's story  

The Rinx was re-branded to HPP Rinx, now it is again called The Rinx.

Islanders Iceworks was called the Long Island Skating Academy back then, it was re-branded to it's current name in 1997 here.

The club's current business directory does not list a specific operator or general manager of iceworks, only pro retail & merchandise operations.

My Point: 
Very simple. The New York Islanders owner made clear his team is going to continue to train at his facility in Syosset past the Brooklyn move. This team may well also be playing a few games at the Nassau Coliseum, and then there is the Sound Tigers factor. 

Islanders Iceworks is not going anywhere, it was time for some historical background.

The Ferraro Bros Ice Center, expected to be opened in Fall 2013 in Eisenhower Park was heavily advertised by Msg salesman Billy Jaffe earlier this year. 

Both Chris (via corporate bicycle) & Peter played for the New York Islanders or Sound Tigers in their later career.

"It really has no effect on players wanting to play hockey or not," Peter says. "The athletes on Long Island are great. There's great soccer players, great lacrosse players, great hockey players. The Islanders making the move to Brooklyn, I don't think that has an effect on youth hockey."

Plaza Surf N' Sports is a small family-owned retail store which was established in 1972 by the Ferraro family.