Mikko Koskinen Signs With SEL Through 2014-15/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/08/2013 02:18:00 PM |
Blues FI: Announced Islander prospect Mikko Koskinen has resigned with the team through the 2014-15 season.

NYIFC Comments:
New York qualified Koskinen last summer, and will need to do so through June 2015 if the club wishes to retain his NHL rights. That does not cost anything, however Koskinen was the first overall goalie selected in his draft class so it's looking like a pick that will not work out or has moved on for good. During his time in North America he was frequently injured, however showed some flashes of his ability at all levels.

Anders Nilsson is signed for next season, however illness has taken virtually all of this year from him (he's healthy enough to backup now for Bridgeport) it could also mean the second goaltender drafted very high that summer, the only prospect anywhere to receive a first round contract (Nilsson makes practically same money as Ryan Strome) could turn out to be another big miss on the draft front.

Kevin Poulin needs to be resigned this summer, and has struggled in the AHL. Only management knows how things play out with DiPietro, who's finally proving durable if nothing else on the AHL's worst defensive team most of the year. 

Not much to write about the Sound Tigers playoff chances that was not written about recently. Another devastating loss is followed by a win that keeps the conversation going, but without six of seven wins in the remaining games, it's highly unlikely. Too many teams in front of them.

Defensively the frequent breakdowns still happen, but the addition of Strome, the return of  John Persson, Sundstrom, Ullstrom with the standout play of  Brock Nelson, it's a team that can also finally score some power play goals after a franchise record setting slump. Niederreiter has not had a strong last few months where he's dominating the puck when he's on the ice, but management may want him to concentrate on learning the defensive game.

Most recent games Bridgeport is getting the better pressure.

The loss of Jack Combs offense has hurt given what he did last weekend. Kirill Kabanov has landed on the bench in what looks like a lost season after injury where Scott Pellerin has pushed for more from him.

Individually Matt Donovan is producing at a very high level for the Sound Tigers. 

New York Signs Draft Pick Scott Mayfield Three Year ELC

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/05/2013 04:34:00 PM |
Islanders website: Announced Scott Mayfield has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal. Mayfield will join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on an Amateur Tryout Contract.

NYIFC Comments: 
Another early college prospect signing by Garth Snow. The 6/1/13 clock continues for Theoret, D Kichton.

On paper between Reinhart, Donovan, deHaan, Ness, Pedan, now Mayfield in Bridgeport, with Strait, Hickey, Finley, Carkner, Visnovsky, Hamonic (rfa), MacDonald under contract to New York for 13-14 the depth chart screams they are running out of spots for Kichton/2012 drafted defenseman from CHL (Jesse Graham/Loic Leduc, Adam Pelech) who will have to be signed by 6/1/14.

Ville Pokka from Finland will have to be signed by 6/1/14. 

There are college prospects (Robbie Russo, Doyle Somerby, Jack Bischoff) behind that in the years ahead.

This does not even include qualified, Mark Katic, Ty Wishart or some of the current defenders in Bridgeport.

D Marc Cantin is signed through 2013-14 was recently sent to the ECHL, and is New York property.

New York Signs Andrey Pedan To Three Year ELC

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/03/2013 11:57:00 AM |
Islanders website: Announced that Andrey Pedan has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal. Pedan will join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout agreement.

NYIFC Comments:
Pedan had to be signed by 6/1/13 or the Islanders would lose his rights. Mitchell Theoret, Brenden Kichton, and Cody Rosen (8/15/13) deadline are the remaining prospects that need to be signed this summer for the club to retain their rights.

Anders Lee Signs ELC With New York/ Ryan Strome to Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/01/2013 01:05:00 PM | |
Islanders website: Reported Anders Lee has agreed to terms on a two year ELC.

University Of Notre Dame just released a statement with Lee's comments.
 After making his decision to turn pro, Lee said, "I love this University, my teammates the coaching staff and everyone with the program who helped me get this opportunity. I've been blessed and am so thankful to have had the opportunity to play at Notre Dame."
NYIFC Comments:  
Lee only signed for two years because he's 22.
Bottom line, New York got one of their highest rated prospects signed unlike those who submitted letters, and signed elsewhere. Lee will be a restricted free agent next summer. (worse case)

Updated: Lee just gave his initial twitter comments on the Islanders website. He will wear #27.
Islanders website announced that Ryan Strome has been reassigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

Sound Tigers website reported Strome will make his AHL debut on Tuesday in Worcester. 

Sound Tigers twitter account reported Strome will wear #18, he practiced with Niederreiter/Nelson, and commented on joining Bridgeport.

Visnovsky Signs " No Move " Contract Through 2014-15

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2013 07:38:00 AM |
Islanders website: Announed defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has resigned with the New York Islanders through the 2014-15 season. 

Agent Neil Sheehy had the only comments so far on the signing via twitter, and like Islander prospect, Brendan Kichton, had some criticism for the media which again screams Arthur Staple of Cablevision another NHL owned team at Newsday. 

More importantly Sheehy, said this is a no-move contract, which means little if Visnovsky at some future point wishes to be traded. Bottom line another player comes here, finds it a place they wish to be, and resigns which say everything about how this franchise is run.

Yes, if Visnovsky decides to retire or stay home the Islanders have themselves a cap hit with no player so there is a risk here. 

  1. Islanders announce Visnovsky signing. Lubo never had issue with NYI as media continually and falsely reports and signed "No-Move" contract.
  2. Expect an announcement from New York Islanders regarding Lubomir Visnovsky's future with the Club. Lubo loves New York! :-)
  3. Lubomir Visnovsky is impressed with Garth Snow and his teammates on the New York Islanders. Lubo wants to help the organization win.

New York/Bridgeport Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2013 07:44:00 AM |
Sorry folks, there will be no trade deadline updates beyond New York Islander related transactions for the 2013-14 season, or unless it's a player that helps Bridgeport down the stretch.

There was no official clear day for the AHL this year.

Sean Wiles was released by Bridgeport after a goal, and two assists, apparently that was the intended plan as he returned to the ECHL for their playoffs. Defenseman Jordan Hill continues to be used as a forward.

Bridgeport needs a winning in regulation streak to gain the ground necessary, last weekend was mostly more time knocked off the calendar. Rick DiPietro has been very good, Ken Reiter's been even better. Anders Nilsson backed up a game, it will be interesting to see if he continues to practice with the goal of playing.

Nilsson is the latest drafted pick since the 2005 CBA to receive first round money, that means his contract is virtually identical to that of Ryan Strome.

As for the 2013-14 New York Islanders, the lockout will end here with the conclusion of the forty eight game whatever whether that is in late April or late June. An announcement of a preseason game is not worth an entry here.

Deepest condolences on the loss of former New York Islander assistant, Wayne Fleming.

Bridgeport's Last Stand? Wiles, Keenan, Diamond, Clark

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2013 11:46:00 PM | | | |
Winger Sean Wiles is reporting to Bridgeport on a ATO here, who's leading his team with  14 goals and also posted 10 assists to go with long resume of penalties.
Forward Joey Diamond has signed with Bridgeport out of UMaine.
D Mike Keenan out of Dartmouth signed an ATO on 3/20.

And of course C Jason Clark was recalled after not playing/injured for about a month in the ECHL.

Sound Tigers website did a feature calling the weekend: " Pivotal "

Sure Bridgeport can get 3/6 points (even less) and we can keep doing these big weekend/game entries. Reality is they step up now or it's going through motions, too many teams in front of them.

Defensively the team has been better, and they are getting the goaltending from DiPietro/Reiter.

Brenden Kichton On Signing With New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2013 09:56:00 PM | |
Spokesman.com: Has Islander prospect Brenden Kitcton's comments on signing with the New York Islanders, and his teams playoffs along with Chiefs head coach, Don Nachbaur 

 Kichton said the Islanders’ plans for him are murky.

 “We haven’t come to terms with anything on a contract, so we’re kind of in a waiting stage right now, to see what they’re going to do and what my agent wants from them,” Kichton said.

 “Not many kids have accomplished what he’s done, whether it’s games played, whether it’s the awards, the goals or the assists,” Nachbaur said. “He’s had a tremendous career and he’s going to be a good pro.”
NYIFC Comments: 
And this is what happens when your teams primary beat-writer is an employee of a company that is owned by another NHL franchise.  Don't believe everything you read unless the player is quoted, now we have Brenden Kichton's comments.

New York has until 6/1 to complete a contract or he can re-enter the draft so the pressure is on Islander management. This is not a late round pick in Jared Spurgeon, who the Isles did not sign, and then made a team on a tryout (Minnesota) before sticking in the NHL over many of their current NHL roster defenders.

It's also not Andy Chiodo, who made Pittsburgh for a time after the Isles did not sign him.

Some will recall Justin Mapletoft was also drafted in the 5th round, and signed a three year contract with the Islanders off winning WHL player of the year 6/1/2001 for Brent Sutter's Red Deer Rebels. 

Many CHL players with great numbers did not translate into great/good NHL players, some times those players seek max contracts as in first round money.
The latest drafted player who received max entry level contract in the last CBA was New York Islander prospect, Anders Nilsson, who according to the Ct Post practiced with Bridgeport on 3/20 who discussed his health issues.

Nilsson's contract is virtually identical to Ryan Strome's ELC.

Jason Clark Recalled To Bridgeport-More Changes

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/19/2013 01:36:00 PM | | | Comment Here
Connecticut Plus-Reports Jason Clark has been reassigned to the Sound Tigers by the New York Islanders from the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, defenseman Marc Cantin has been reassigned by the Islanders to the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, and forward Adam Huxley has been released from his professional tryout contract (PTO).

NYIFC Comments:
Bottom line defender Jordan Hill dressed as  forward last weekend, scored a goal, in a game Bridgeport trailed 2-0, tied the game, then lost in regulation shorthanded in the last two minutes. Cantin returned to play his first games since mid-Feb on defense during the weekend.

The effort for the most part was there, the defensive game better, Ken Reiter stole a point Saturday after a four hundred mile trip, Rick DiPietro had a shutout Sunday after the team traveled half that distance for a Sunday 3pm game. 

Bridgeport had two shutouts on Saturday/Sunday, lost one game in overtime, a three out of six point weekend where they failed to gain ground on the clubs in front of them.

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 |
NHL.com/Islanders 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.