Numbers Do Not Lie: Bridgeport In Trouble/Apology

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/19/2013 01:40:00 PM |
Forty nine games into the AHL season the standings do not lie with Bridgeport in 10th place. 

The gap from the 8th seed is not far, however even with games in hand, perennial top teams like WBS Pens, or Hershey are some of the franchises in Bridgeport's way. 

The alarming trend of allow goals in big numbers, or seemingly unable to hold leads has gone on since 11/21/12, and beyond the play of Kevin Poulin, or once again injured/ill, Anders Nilsson, who's had  a very tough/strange 2012-13 season.

This is a goaltending tandem that won back to back players of the month a year ago, a team that went from 29th overall to first place, not losing in regulation for two full months. Of course there were many different players/head coach.

In 2012-13 Bridgeport is a struggling team that is tied for most AHL goals allowed, and with the exception of Calvin deHaan's injury has their entire defense healthy.

Offensively there has been good news, but with the broken jaw by Brock Nelson, a falloff in Nino Niederreiter's scoring & some struggles/injuries between Johan Sundstrom, John Persson, it's not happening for Bridgeport recently, and many of the ot games the Sound Tigers lost leads. 

Sure the loss of Ullstrom/Cizikas, captain Colin McDonald is part of this.

The players signed to PTO/extended to full season contracts have had moderate success.  Brett Gallant, is not going to win games scoring.

Matt Donovan's been a nice individual story at plus seven with eight goals, Aaron Ness has been an even player. 

Kirill Kabanov returned from serious injury but in the nine games since he's returned has yet to score.

Bottom line the trends do not lie, or the franchises in front of them in terms of standings, who historically finish strong or at least make the playoffs.

Bridgeport has some issues they seem unable to work their way out of. There should be some pressure on head coach, Scott Pellerin, because of how the club has played in pressure situations.
I wish to apologize to our readers for my previous entry. A promise was made here to not post information based upon souces, but direct quotes with credible information. 

The intention was to point out the same writer did this on 10/1/2012, and previously with the Devils, those articles were ignored here. 

The last entry was also posted to correct poor/incorrect information. 

Regardless the same thing should have been done in this instance as was done with the 10/1 article, and ignored here.

New York Islander Fan Central functions at a higher level, posting confirmed information with direct quotes.

To dignify that level of reporting with commentary is not what writing here is about. 

Our time meaning mine/yours is too important to waste, a blank page is the correct response rather than acknowledge gossip of no value whatsoever.

NY Post: Fooling Islander Fans Again?

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/16/2013 01:14:00 PM |
Seems some of our teams fans never learn not to trust the New York Post rumor/gossip department, the same one that claimed in 2010 Wang was ready to throw the keys to league.  

The same writer (Josh Kosman) on 10/1/12 or twenty three days 10/24/12 before the Brooklyn press conference (with Larry the clown Brooks) that groups involving Pat Lafontaine/Bob Nystrom/Blumenfeld were in discussions to purchase the club, and keep it in Nassau County.

NY Post 10/1/2012: Wang selling to Lafontaine/Nystrom/Blumenfeld and keeping at Coliseum site. 

That article also incorrectly wrote the team had not invited LaFontaine back since Neil Smith despite him being at Arbour's 1500th game, and introduced to crowd, plus other appearances in the Coliseum.
  It’s now losing $40 million a year, sources said.

Of course today's comedy claims:
 His NHL team lost more than $10 million last year, a source with direct knowledge of its finances said, more than in any recent year.

Impressive for Mr Kosman to contradict his own words this quickly. How does a 40m loss on 10/1/12 become a recent high 10m loss on 2/17/13?

Does Mr Kosman really think people are that naive as he contradicts himself. 

The same Josh Kosman who in Sept 2011 claimed the Devils were on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Devils  &NHL Deputy Comissioner Bill Daly refuted the Post comical claims as untrue at the time.

Hopefully someone out there finally understands when they are being fooled by the NY Post.

NY Post: Zach Braziller claims the Islanders lost to the Lightning at home?

Charles Wang Blameless For Anything From Here

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2013 10:33:00 AM |
Updated 2/13 The Cablevision Garden's Yearly Gift From NYC Taxpayers is now up to 16.5m a year.

I'm sure Ed Mangano, Kate Murray/Joe Mondello/Tom Gulotta all have a good laugh.

Tom Suozzi put the Lighthouse in a drawer for a few years, he helped do the Smg sublease, but is hardly blameless.

Perhaps the New York Islanders would have been more exciting for Kate Murray if the TOH gave the Isles, the 15m tax exemption Msg receives each year.

Al D'Amato is also smiling, while Stuart Rabinowicz see's Hofstra expansion dollars from Albany.

As fans, if you wish to assign blame, between Nassau County government, Town Of Hempstead, you have many to choose from. It's too bad they got the blame only one day a year, the Islander owner, countless times daily from sports fans/media.

It's not fair or right.

Charles Wang has done everything possible. No one is going to keep throwing money out the door for the privilege of doing so. Wang did not get the taxpayer funded facilities every other local team received, he will not be paid like many teams to manage new/modern facilities as promised to Phoenix/Edmonton.

From this point forward whatever Charles Wang decides financially regarding owning this franchise I cannot blame him for, which would include him trading John Tavares or letting any prospect go to save money.

That would even include putting the franchise in bankruptcy/walking away. 

I do not like writing it, however to not write it would not be fair.

In 2003, he said this would not be a church that remains opened forever. 

Because of the lack of government/financial support (like all New York/New Jersey) and most teams thorough the country receive Charles Wang has to protect himself financially. 

In May/June 2011 New York Islander Fan Central has two tough entries
 5/31/11 Why Are We Here Now? Blame Yourselves.
 6/3/11: Only Way To Save The New York Islanders Is Purchase Tickets

I'm sorry but this is not 1998, where new owner Howard Milstein got rejected by Nassau County, and cut the budget virtually to nothing forcing the trade of Zigmund Palffy. Charles Wang has been spending for over a decade from Hamrlik to Reinhart, he's gotten the same (much worse) than Milstein for his trouble.

Howard Milstein said, " Fill the building first ", Wang spent his money first.

Charles Wang has done his part and much more since the day he purchased this franchise, an entry was done here 3/14/2012: Total Support For Charles Wang which this website stands by moving forward regardless of what happens.

Also a little reality check of how bad things must have been with Nassau for Wang to agree to move the club to a facility in Brooklyn as a tenant where his revenue will not improve dramatically or he would have jumped at the chance before construction began on Barclay's Center, which could have been for a fully designed hockey facility.

I did not anticipate Nassau County being misguided/inept enough to lose it's only professional franchise, forcing Wang to separate his team from his hotel.  It usually takes an epic failure of local government for that to happen that is not seen often, but the signs were clearly there with Nassau/TOH.

They were there long before Charles Wang came along. 

Bottom line if Charles Wang's binding/lease is iron-clad in Brooklyn, he's secured the future for another ownership beyond his tenure, if it's the last thing he spends on, it will be the most important.

New York Organizational Roster Heading Into 2013-14

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/04/2013 07:38:00 AM |
Obviously at some point decisions will be made on the prospects in Bridgeport, CHL/European drafted prospects who's two years are up and must be signed by 5/31/2013, the qualified players who went to Europe (ie: Mark Katic, Justin DiBenedetto ect) , and the unrestricted free agents next summer.

But for now, let's set the 2013-14 roster of players signed because the list is very long, with a lot of prospects waiting for an opportunity, and a lot of NHL defenders signed on one-way contracts.

New York:

Brian Strait-Joe Finley (two way contract)
Andrew MacDonald-Matt Carkner

Rick DiPietro

Restricted Free Agents:
Travis Hamonic, Josh Bailey, David Ullstrom, Thomas Hickey, Jesse Joensuu.
John Persson-Brock Nelson-Nino Niederreiter
Mike Halmo-Johan Sundstrom-Kirill Kabanov
Jason Clark (ECHL)

Marc Cantin
Calvin deHaan-Matt Donovan
Aaron Ness

Anders Nilsson

Restricted Free Agents:
Ty Wishart, Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, Justin DiBenedetto, Mark Katic, Tomas Marcinko, Rhett Rakhshani. all require another qualifying offer by 6/25/13 for Islanders to retain NHL rights.
Signed Prospects:
Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Strome.

Kirill Petrov is signed through 13-14 in KHL, the Islanders retain his NHL rights. 

Mitchell Theoret-6/1/13
Brenden Kichton-6/1/13
Andrei Pedan-6/1/13

Cody Rosen 8/15/13

Note-CBA did not close Wheeler rule so any drafted college prospect can submit a letter to turn professional giving the team that drafted that player thirty days or they become an UFA.

This would include college junior, Anders Lee.

Bridgeport Staying Put Until 2021 Despite Registering Ct Ranger AHL Domain

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/03/2013 08:33:00 AM |
In short the Dolan's contract to play in the Whalers old facility in Hartford is up this coming summer, and could well be leaving. Harbor Yards Sports & Entertainment registered two Ct Ranger website domain names through 2018.

That would be the former name of the current, Webster Bank Arena, home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. the building Charles Wang manages in Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio as usual confirms the Sound Tigers have a lease until 2021 and no plans to leave a building Charles Wang operates via team President, Howard Saffan's comments that he had no idea about the registered domains.

Bottom line a facility managed by the Islanders ownership registered two future domain sites for another team via Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment in a building they are running as of April 2011.

The Hartford Courant failed to reiterate Msg kicked former Whalers owner Howard Baldwin to the curb last summer.

Bridgeport has the higher recent AHL fan support which include many free tickets among the numbers.

NYIFC Comments: 
Yes, I read the Hartford Coutant article on this a few days earlier with Howard Saffan's comments.

If Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment are registering domain names for another team it does not make a lot of sense unless the intent is to prevent that team from using that name in the future or they really want them to move there as a tenant.

Of course Msg or anyone could register those domain names on their own as easily as I would register each year.

Saffan makes clear this is the Islanders affiliate home.

How many times has Howard Saffan said the Sound Tigers have a binding lease until 2021? He did it pre/post referendum, and made clear the Islanders status had no bearing on that.  Enough updates have been written here from Mr Saffan's interviews on the club's operation to where it made a profit last season.

Plus Charles Wang spent to renovate that building with the new scoreboard, wrap-around boards, upgrades to the facility that has been the Islanders AHL affiliate since it opened.

For those who have followed this website since 2007 or it's predecessor, the Ct Post beatwriter, Michael Fornabaio, has always been a little more enthusiastic about the Rangers vs the Isles so none of this is a shock that in some manner the same Ct media, who did not lobby for the Islanders to simply move to Manhattan, are pushing past rumors of the Ct Whale into the Bridgeport Sound Tigers home arena where they did have a home playoff game last year.

For myself, who linked to Sound Tiger articles in the Ct Post since the ground breaking, when Chris Elsberry did features/Michael Fornabaio covered every game,  I have never read one past article of the Hartford Wolfpack relocating to Harbor Yard during Roy Boe's tenure or until this week.

Having written this there can be no blaming the media for Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment registering Ranger centric domain names, that's a question which must be asked.  

Saffan for his part practically had to defend why the Sound Tigers should simply not leave their own building, which Charles Wang operates under a lease with Bridgeport.

Nothing was written about in 2010 if the Sound Tigers were asked about Hartford re-branding it's name as Connecticut at the time which is the Bridgeport Sound Tigers home state, or the Rangers having events on the former Harbor Yard (Webster Bank Arena) doorstep?
Imagine if Msg simply allowed the Isles to relocate into Manhattan permanently which is what I wrote about in May 2012:  If There Is No Deal In Nassau, The New York Islanders Permanent Home Should Be Msg.

What's ridiculous was Fornabaio (with the Hartford Courant writer) selling the (said/unsaid) notion of how many Ranger fans are in Fairfield County, which was Hartford Whalers country, despite a lot of Bruins, Rangers, and Islander fans with Whalers fans who never embraced the Ranger brand or their AHL affiliate moving into that building almost immediately upon the Hartford Whales relocation to Carolina.

The former Hartford Wolfpack had playoff games with crowds under 2,000, the playoff game they played as a home team at Webster Bank arena last year drew even less. 

Will events eventually line up where an Msg/controlled AHL team moves to the Nassau Coliseum? For those who have read this website know that's a past point I have advanced often.

It could take a few more years to answer, for 2013-14 it's a question which must be addressed soon, even if temporary. 

Brian Strait Signed For 2013-14

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/31/2013 05:34:00 PM |
Islanders website: Announced that defenseman Brian Strait has agreed to terms on a three-year contract..

NYIFC Comments:
This means Strait will likely be a part of the 2013-14 season in New York which for this website is the only subject at this time.

Bridgeport continues the 2012-13 hockey season on 1/31.

Matt Donovan, Nino Niederreiter Named Starters For All-Star Lineup

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/26/2013 06:09:00 PM | |
Matt Donovan, & Nino Niederreiter were named to the starting lineup by the fans for the 2013 AHL All-Star Game in Providence on 1/27-1/28.

Both players thanked the fans on their twitter feeds Saturday.

Bridgeport off losing a third period 1-0 lead on Friday, lost 5-0 in Norfolk on Saturday entering the break at AHL five hundred.

Mr Jaffe Still Defending Msg: " Wasn't Their Call "

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/24/2013 07:15:00 PM |
For those who follow this twitter feed, I had an interesting exchange with current part time Msg employee/guest, former Islanders announcer, Billy Jaffe, on 1/24, who again maintained his dismissal/contract new renewed from broadcasting New York Islander hockey was not Msg's call.

Is it possible something happened beyond the scenes with the Isles where he's right?


However Mr Jaffe on 12/20/10 went above/ beyond telling us what a great job Msg had done covering Islander hockey, is flat out disingenuous nor am I talking about people in a truck putting in long hours to produce a broadcast.  

I invite folks to read the twitter comments and make their own judgements, no interest in repeating what's been written here countless times in the past about Msg coverage disparity.  

Sure, I understand for Mr Jaffe to be critical of Msg has the likely potential to end any current appearances on their network,  nor was he going to go there in any exchange with me, but praising my passion?

Spare me. I do not do passion, only facts with supporting documentation, when I made my points with supporting links (direct quotes) Mr Jaffe wrote it had nothing to do with him. 

Fair enough, nor did I claim it was.

Having written that on 12/20/10 Mr Jaffe went to absurd heights to defend Msg's coverage disparity of the New York Islanders (and Devils) vs Cablevision's team with former Islanders media relations coordinator. 

Here is the audio link to Mr Jaffe's comments on 12/20/10 where he claims Msg goes above and beyond to cover the New York Islanders

Full 15 minute interview

And of course the 12/20/10 Video in full. 

For those listening to Isles former media relations coordinator here praise Msg for airing all games (they are legally obligated to)  the comical background propaganda of how tough it is airing HD is another insult to our fans intelligence considering Msg refused to air games in HD.

Verizon had to fight Msg for HD coverage until Dec 2011 when the Dolan's lost another lawsuit. 

Sure by 12/31/11 if you had Time Warner, goodbye Msg. 

Even now I'll ask are those +++ channels offering HD? 

I like Mr Jaffe's work, praised him for being positive here when Msg/Newsday employees announced his dismissal from their coverage in my past entries. I knew of his Dec 2010 interview, and considered his defense back then insulting, but if he's still doing this in 2013, it's time to get real.

Of course the same former media relations coordinator defending Msg in 2010 made clear in 2008 Msg hiding Mr Jaffe's ITV pre-season games was entirely about Msg.

Please don't take my word for it, read from the same man who interviewed Mr Jaffe: Sept 27th 2008  when Mr Jaffe's preseason work could not air live on ITV

Islanders TV’s inability to show these ex games in Canada live and in living colour is a more difficult issue, but the reason is essentially the same. Not only does MSG Network have the broadcast rights for Islanders pre-season games, an impeccable TV industry source tells Point Blank that MSG Network also has the right to give the red light to any other company that wants to show the games.

It’s a fair leap to assume MSG opted to block ITV from broadcasting games live in Moncton, London, PEI or anywhere else. Yes, last year they allowed it. This year, nope.

To be clear, it’s not like the Islanders don’t want to have these games on ITV, MSG+ or anywhere else on the dial. MSG is exercising their contractual rights.

For now, it looks like you’ll have to wait to see the Islanders’ own Emmy Award-winning commentator Billy Jaffe on MSG+ when the regular season begins. While you vent, let me look into rumors I heard in Manhattan the other day about the plan to eliminate Islanders pre-game shows (and perhaps a studio analyst) from MSG+ broadcasts.

Funny, that was the year the Isles lost their pregame in the first month. Eventually a studio analyst full time job was eliminated with no full time replacement for Butch Goring who said he felt detached from Isles when they would go on long trips.

Msg could have paid to bring Goring on the road with Jaffe, and Rose as an analyst, after all the Devils/Rangers have plenty of people covering them full time. 

Like Mr Jaffe I feel good about writing this. 

1/22: Niederreiter Speaks On Wanting To Be First Team All-Star

New York Islander Fan Central | 1/23/2013 02:55:00 AM | |


That's Nino Niederreiter speaking likely on 1/22/13. It must be noted he was named as an all-star on 1/17 so when he says he was just named to the all-star team those comments could have been recorded at an earlier point.

Niederreiter posting this or re-tweeting this on 1/22 however suggest otherwise which he did on both his  twitter/facebook pages.

The Sound Tigers website released this update on 1/22/13.

Note-The team video was released between 10am-11am on the teams twitter feed or before any other updates on Tuesday.

 TheSoundTigers VOTE FOR NINO: @thelnino25 is an AHL All Star but needs your help to make the starting lineup! Voting opens @ 12 today!

1/22/13: Niederreiter's personal twitter feed also RT this update around 10am here.

Niederreiter later added this to his Facebook page on 1/22/13
Kirill Kabanov is getting very close to returning, it's possible he goes to Norfolk next weekend.