New York Resigns Colin McDonald Through 2014-15

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2013 09:21:00 PM |
Islanders website Report Colin McDonald has been resigned to a 2 year extension.

NYIFC Comments:
Given how he's been used, it's likely a one way contract, another player signed very early for the next two years based on a short body of NHL games, and a long AHL resume.

Of course in this cba even if sent down (via waivers) he would receive his full salary.

Bottom line another part of the 2013-14 season for New York.

Islanders website confirm this is a one-way contract with McDonald's comments.

Questionable Moves Out Of Bridgeport Jack Combs Traded

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2013 12:21:00 AM |
On 1/9 Jack Combs and Chad Costello, former teammates were reunited in separate signings for the remainder of the 2012-13 season with Bridgeport. Combs came in on a tryout earlier.

Jack Combs was traded in the AHL on Thursday to San Antonio for future considerations, leaving Bridgeport likely a forward short for a very important three game weekend with John Persson still hurting, and Kirill Kabanov in and out of the lineup frequently.

AHL trades of players signed for a full season traded like this for future considerations at this stage of the schedule is unusual.

Both are now gone, with ECHL league leading scorer Costello, being very critical of how he was used. Articles were posted (via twitter) with Scott Pellerin's Ct Post response.

Bottom line here a team that has had allowed this many goals, that has struggled at franchise record levels to score one goal on the powerplay, with two seven game losing streaks, now with an ECHL player asking out, and another being given away shorting your roster reflects very poorly on, Scott Pellerin, who has had the benefit of very few NHL call-ups taking his depth.

This did not happen in the Dan Marshall era at Bridgeport, along with some other very poor seasons.

It's the kind of thing that can take a team getting some marginal traction defensively, with a modest streak going, and sink it for good.

The New York Islanders do not have an official ECHL affiliate.

How Does This Play Out?
I'm not really sure given the new CBA. Jason Clark can be recalled from the ECHL but has not played for close to a month, and struggled statistically here. 

Max McKay can be returned from his loan to Wheeling.

Perhaps someone signs an ATO from the college free agent ranks?

The new CBA seems to allow the chance of a player who was qualified by the Islanders (Justin DiBenedetto, Rhett Rakhshani IE) to sign upon conclusion of their respective season in Europe, but these were players who turned down staying in Bridgeport despite the qualifying offer.

Mitchell Theoret was traded to Barrie, his team's regular season concludes on 3/16, but they are division champions. He must be signed by 6/1 by New York or his rights are forfeit so the answer will not be an ATO as we have seen with past Islander prospects.

All I do know is there is no hiding from the limited depth at the forward position or the points behind in the standings.

New Conference Format A Total Joke For New York/NHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/14/2013 03:37:00 PM | website announced new conference format that will be in place for the next three seasons. 

NYIFC Comments: How poor a format is this for the Eastern Conference, much less the New York Islanders? This is even worse than the CBA that within five years will have 90m dollar payrolls packed with front-loaded contracts with a floor near sixty million that many teams cannot keep up with now that were losing money at fifty million heading into the lockout already.

A sixteen team conference vs one with fourteen, but each conference has eight seeds?
Now if one conference is Southeast-like terrible, they have three automatic playoff spots regardless? Does anyone remember the eighty point Canes getting a division title third seed in 2002, that pushed the ninety six point seeded New York to the 5th seed vs Toronto, and four road losses in round one?

Then add in two wildcard spots. 

Under this poor format, it's division playoffs all the way, one conference champion will emerge to play what will likely be the mild, mild west to produce finals that will not be of high interest.

Anything to make Little Ceasars Wings owner, Mike Illitch, lead Amway sponsorship happy with Columbus? 

Gary Bettman/BOG/NHLPA never figured out the old 1-16 format that worked until the early eighties was easily the best. Anyone could play for a Stanley Cup or in any playoff series.

Last I looked air travel has improved since that era.

The road for teams not front-loading in the Eastern portion of this poor three year system just got much harder.

The NHL product overall just got much weaker.

It's Getting Late For 2012-13 Bridgeport SoundTigers

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/07/2013 09:37:00 AM |
Updated 3/8: Sundstrom, Persson are expected to return to the lineup.

Standings do not lie

It's getting late.

No hiding from the trends of the 2012-13 Bridgeport Sound Tigers, enough games have been played since October to identify them.

Head Coach, Scott Pellerin, does not seem to be able to put an imprint of his own on this team that stands out. Whether or not he plays Jack Capuano's system has not been stated as with past head coaches, but likely given Isles staff, and Capuano himself spending time in Bridgeport during lockout.

Bottom line two seven game losing streaks usually write the defining story of a season at any level.

The league or conference leading goals against have been a season long issue regardless who's in goal.

Nino Niederreiter since his agent spoke has largely been a non-factor (which goes beyond production but involvement) most games, even with a few deflection goals. Anyone who watches/listens can see/hear the difference. Sure it could be the injuries on the club or the grind of his first full season where he has not missed significant time, still anyone who follows Bridgeport has noticed.

Brock Nelson is showing signs he's finally getting back his game since his injury, much more involved in recent games. Seems Jack Combs is forward most involved lately.

Kirill Kabanov obviously with his injury, has not adjusted to this level yet. With John Persson/Johan Sundstrom out, Cizikas/Ullstrom gone, with injury to Brock Nelson that's a lot of offense to lose so that could have also played into things for Niederreiter.

Mike Halmo's offense has not translated to this level. Cizikas was -15 with Bridgeport, Ullstrom +11, Colin McDonald -9 so there are trends in numbers that make them less important.

On defense Matt Donovan has been solid, Aaron Ness has played well, but as a unit defensively this Sound Tiger team does not stand up to opposing pressure well most games or take back momentum easily.

Jon Landry has been a nice story. Ty Wishart has not shown major progression statistically.

Anders Nilsson's illness is a huge story with the loss of Calvin deHaan.

Kevin Poulin's largely ineffective play reflects defensive problems combined with some poor performances.

Rick DiPietro needs this work desperately.

The numbers ahead do not lie for the 2012-13 Bridgeport Sound Tigers, for any chance this team needs to go on a serious run of wins, they have to be able to earn points in games they do not score more than a goal or two.

Bridgeport has to play at a level. they have not shown capable of doing for long stretches to make that kind of run possible.  

Overall I do not see a playoff spot for this team. There have been moderate signs the defensive game is improving, however it seems the best players (veteran/prospects) for other teams have been better than Bridgeport's when two points are on the table.

This team also surrenders goals in huge bunches, they have struggled to find offense. 

Bridgeport Losing Streak Ends At Seven: RDP Win

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/02/2013 09:50:00 PM |
Bridgeport ended it's second, seven game losing streak of the 2012-13 season 4-3, it's first regulation win since Feb 2nd.

Rick DiPietro made 22 saves, allowed two powerplay goals, one during a delayed five on three.

Brock Nelson came out of the box, converted a feed from Matt Donovan for the winning goal, and the end of that penalty. 

Bridgeport's franchise high for not scoring on the powerplay now stands at thirty three.

John Persson, Johan Sundstrom remained out, Kirill Kabanov was benched for part of the second, Nino Niederreiter had another very quiet game.

Bridgeport is home again Sunday afternoon, the Ct Post reports, Ken Reiter, is expected to start. 

Dolan News12LI/Newsday Make Something Of Absolutely Nothing On DiPietro

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/01/2013 08:35:00 AM |
Is it that personal, vindictive or are the Dolan controlled outlets simply that incompetent?

Only one backtracking here is Dolan's assigned beatwriter, Arthur Staple, for Dolan's owned News12LI, all under the Cablevision/Msg/Newsday umbrella. 

Dolan's Newsday was too cheap to even go to Bridgeport, and interview him, copying Michael Fornabaio's interview after Arthur Staple at first left out praise from Nino Niederreiter/Matt Donovan, of course that meant no Islander coverage that day. 

Direct Quotes Anyone?  

Find me a direct quote from Rick DiPietro where he said he was suffering from depression?

Fine me a direct quote from Rick DiPietro where he said fan hatred?

That's right there is no direct quote. 

Dolan's News12 salesman did a nice job going out on the ice by himself (in the edited version) to discuss DiPietro's contract, and make his ridiculous claim.

On 4/6/12 Rick DiPietro said the following to the NY Times.

Half-joking, he said: “There were times I was driving over the Throgs Neck Bridge and I thought I’d veer right and end it. It’s tough times. This is a tough business. Physically, it’s hard, but mentally, it’s incredible. I always say you’ve got to laugh to keep from crying, because there are those days when you sit in the stands, and your teammates are like a family.”

I remember reading that, and not one media outlet in North Amercia wrote one word about the comment at the time while Dolan's Islander beatwriter was moving on to cover Dolan's hockey playoffs. Among RDP other comments that day he joked:

“I talked to Snowy about maybe putting me in some bubble wrap throughout the summer to make sure nothing happens, I wish the season could start right now.”

As for RDP direct comments on being waived, that is quoted so it's accurate, and an internal matter with the team where they should be not be happy. 

Another Dolan created circus for absolutely nothing. 

Now it's time for everyone to keep quiet, while the hockey player, plays games if management allows.

Of course now if he plays, another distraction. 

DiPietro Practices at Bridgeport/No AHL To Coliseum-Yet

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/26/2013 04:37:00 PM |
Rick DiPietro arrived in Bridgeport, and declined to speak with the Ct Post beatwriter per his twitter account.

Nino Niederreiter and Matt Donovan had nothing but praise for DiPietro.

NYIFC Comments:
Little to write beyond he should have been playing over the weekend. One thing to be injured, another to force an organization that's him paid a lot of money, and waited several years for that player to be healthy to force them to be short a goaltender when healthy.

This is a man who went to Germany for work. 

Not acceptable, however now his job is to prove he can remain healthy on a team that's allowed the most goals in the American hockey league, and in free fall.

Kevin Poulin allowing three or more goals in 11/15 starts was not only about Poulin's AHL performance.

DiPietro will prove he is healthy, work off the rust, and get the work he desperately needs or that will be the final chapter of his professional career. Announces the Cablevision-owned Whale will remain in Hartford (if approved) through the first year of the Islanders in Brooklyn.

NYIFC Comments: 
The Sound Tigers/Howard Saffan, has made clear that Charles Wang's AHL team will remain in Bridgeport through 2021, this means at least for one year past the Isles existing lease the Nassau Coliseum will be without an NHL/AHL tenant of any kind. 

So it's Hartford again? Howard Saffan should have someone register the name Ct Sound Tigers/Islanders.

That would leave the Isles in the position of only adding an ECHL affiliate, if the Coliseum is available or not undergoing renovations/demolition for another project.

DiPietro's Worst Moment Ever-Wants Weekend Off

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/23/2013 10:39:00 PM |
So much for stepping up. Rick DiPietro stepped off.

In doing so he left Bridgeport short a goaltender.

I'm very disappointed in him unless he's seriously considering retirement. He needed to start a hockey game on Saturday, and get the work he needs.

Rick DiPietro asked for permission to take the weekend off from the Islanders and was granted permission after clearing waivers.

It's the worst moment of his career by a mile, a man who's done nothing but conduct himself in a first class manner since the day he was drafted.

Rick DiPietro decided to leave the Sound Tigers in the position of signing their goaltending coach, retired former Sound Tiger, Steve Valiquette to a PTO, while Ken Reiter got to face the thirty plus shots, DiPietro needed to face in a 3-2 regulation loss.

Appears that will be the plan through Sunday as well as Bridgeport now has lost five straight games.

Cablevision's current beatwriter played the " so-called former coach/goaltenders friction card, " from a former Ranger beatwriter.

Never read one story about a bad experience with one fan from the day he arrived in Bridgeport in 2001-02. 

Guess that beats Cablevison management questioning their own employees about the non-disclosure of injuries the same publication used to vilify the Islanders for on a daily basis about?

In the Arthur Staple comedy reporting department:
 Poulin struggled in the earlier part of the season, but he emerged as the starter for Scott Pellerin's team when Anders Nilsson struggled and then had injury problems.

Poulin started the season 5-1 the first month.
Anders Nilsson was out with an undisclosed illness from day one of the season, he did not make his season debut until 11/9 and did post a 4-2 record that month.

Does Mr Staple even attempt to do any research when he's writing these articles while sleeping through Islander games he's paid to watch? 

For DiPietro/Poulin: It's Show Time Or Go Time With New CBA

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/23/2013 02:00:00 AM |
This entry has been done many times in past, but with a new CBA some things have changed for Islanders/ Rick DiPietro regardless if/when he clears waivers or is recalled so the rules have to be updated. 

1. With the Redden rule, his NHL cap hit stays on the NHL books, even if he is an AHL player.

2. If he's hurt playing in Bridgeport, New York, he cannot be bought out because he's injured, hence Redden, Gomez being told go home by teams before NHL/PA worked something out.

3. Re-Entry waivers have ended for those wondering.
4. Partial cap hits can be traded.
5. DiPietro can play in Europe with Isles continuing to take cap hit. 

But here is the important thing that has not changed per everything presented.

If Rick DiPietro is injured, and can no longer play professional hockey, he does not have to be bought out, insurance still pays his contract, his cap hit automatically is wiped from the teams books without any buyout whether it be compliance or standard.

The question always asked here, and what could determine much of this if it comes to that is how much insurance did the team get on his fifteen year contract when it was signed?

If all of the contract was fully insured, there would never be any reason for a buyout unless the premiums were more expensive.

If the Islanders were on the hook for the last 20m or more of his salary with no insurance, that's when you ask does a buyout make more economic sense?

This is where the new CBA changes the old questions/answers.  

Bottom line if Rick DiPietro clears waivers he's coming to a Bridgeport team giving up the most goals in the American Hockey League with huge pressure against, having to play three games/three days with no Anders Nilsson at this time or top prospect beyond Ken Reiter.

Poulin's allowed three or more goals in eleven of his last fifteen games with Matt Donovan +5, Aaron Ness even. 

DiPietro will immediately see a work-load he has not faced since 2008, there is simply no hiding from it if he's healthy.

It may also be a very short AHL stay despite many writing his NHL obituary.  

Management's going to get their answer about his ability to play with any regularity, whether DiPierto or anyone else likes it or not. It's now or never for Rick DiPietro in terms of being about to play three games (or more) a week. Was anything being answered playing three NHL games? No.

Poulin has started thirteen of fourteen, DiPietro's going to be asked to do likewise, with longer breaks during week if the plan is for him to remain with the Sound Tigers. 

Make no mistake this is also Kevin Poulin's time to step up, and earn a full time NHL spot, playing the worst statistical hockey of his professional career. This will not be a reward or a call-up based on winning AHL goaltender of the month or riding the hot hand.

Poulin is a restricted free agent with his own injuries/struggles.

Pressure is on everyone, it should be because 2013-14 is being decided right now.

Matt Watkins Named Bridgeport Captain/DiPietro Waivers/Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/22/2013 01:38:00 PM |
Matt Watkins has been named the seventh captain in Sound Tigers history. 

New York has placed Rick DiPietro on waivers, if he clears he will likely become Bridgeport's starting goaltender with Ken Reiter the only other healthy roster goaltender if Kevin Poulin is recalled.

NYIFC Comments:
What makes this even worth writing about in terms of 2013-14 is New York could have sent DiPietro for conditioning which would not require waivers. It's also not the first time DiPietro has gone to Bridgeport to play games during a season, but the first time they put his name on a waiver list.

Kevin Poulin has started seven in a row and 12 of 13 games & to recall him to play last Tuesday would have meant four games in five days. Anders Nilsson is out indefinitely again with an illness which also sidelined him to start the season.

Poulin will likely start again Friday on the road for the Sound Tigers (perhaps Saturday) before a likely recall. 

Not the first time Poulin has been recalled to play against the Carolina Hurricanes for those who remember the 2011-12 post all-star break, Poulin statistically has struggled badly as he enters RFA in summer 2013-14.

The Sound Tigers would have to sign/trade for a goaltender/or contact restricted free agent/Islander property, Mikko Koskinen, who has a binding agreement with another team if the club decided to part ways entirely with DiPietro at this time.

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.