Sergei Ogorodnikov won't be coming to camp

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/31/2007 04:04:00 AM | |||Comments
Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog at the Ct Post, that Islanders third round pick, Sergei Ogorodnikov #82/2004 draft won't be coming to camp.

One semi-new thing: Sergei Ogorodnikov won't be coming to camp. "His choice," Howard Saffan said. The Islanders will hang on to his rights. There were summertime rumors that the Islanders might buy him out. Sergei, a likeable kid, had some skills, but the team had deep concerns with his defense.

Russian Prospects has some detailed background on Ogododnikov for those interested.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Ogorodnikov signed in camp last September 15Th with the Islanders but it's interesting a buyout is mentioned here or that he decided not to report if he is under contract? Last year he played forty two games for Pensacola of the ECHL and twenty seven games with the Sound Tigers.

Some more background information on Ogorodnikov is presented at Isles Info that links to several past articles.

Islanders Defense Preview Pt II

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/31/2007 02:30:00 AM | Comments
Friday we continue with our preview of the Islanders defense with Pt II on Andy Sutton, Freddy Meyer, Marc Andre Bergeron and Aaron Johnson. Comments on Berard, Aaron Johnson, Drew Fata and Dustin Kohn are included.

Part one on Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek, Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais can be referenced here.

Andy Sutton:
Not much I can give you on Andy Sutton's season last year in Atlanta other then he saw less minutes in the second half and the club decided to walk away from him on a club who's problem seems to be team defense in front of the goaltender. Islanders did take a risk here because he is a player who is injury prone with a new three year contract.

What Sutton brings to the table for the Islanders is physical play, size and some intimidation. His lateral movement, mobility are not good and he does struggle with his consistency at times which is seemingly why Bob Hartley reduced his role. The most consistent element to his game is his shot blocking which is very impressive and something the club needed in replacing Shawn Hill who also stood out in this department. At times he does a solid job controlling the puck to where he can be used for extended minutes and he has shown some past offensive ability at times.

It's going to be interesting to see how Sutton reacts to a new coach and a new situation after being in Atlanta for four and a half years. If Bob Hartley lost confidence in him will things be different under Ted Nolan? Islanders have made a big commitment here and Sutton is at a point in his career where his best game is to be expected. Can he stay durable with the game he plays after so many years with injuries? Who will he pair with given his skating ? Some may say he was brought in to replace Hill and some say he was brought in to replace Poti. Seems like from my perspective he has to do a little of both.

Marc Andre Bergeron:
This was a player who needed to get out of Edmonton as fast as Tom Poti. He had more than his struggles on defense his final season (on a terrible Oiler club) after some strong results earlier in his Edmonton career. As an Islander he seemed to play with a lot more confidence and took advantage of a new opportunity. He solved the problems the club was having on the point in terms of offense (especially on the power play) and even though he provides some scary moments in his own end at times overall for the most part he was solid and settled down here. His goal in game two of the playoffs won the Islanders their only post-season game.

Bergeron brings strong skating, an intimidating shot and as an Islander he did not seem shy to use it. For the most part his defensive lapses were few and far between but at times you could see him struggle with his confidence while at other times he looked as steady as Radek Martinek moving the puck. He also clearly is a gifted offensive defenseman with skills that no one at this time on this defense has.

Islanders need more of the same from Bergeron on offense this season. He needs to improve his defense and play with the puck in his own end but otherwise Ted Nolan should have something to work with here that can help the power play but if he's reduced to a pp specialist because he's struggles on defense it's not going to work out for Bergeron with the Islanders.

Freddy Meyer:
Last year was a tough year for Freddy Meyer. He struggled on a terrible Flyer team before his trade here for Alexei Zhitnik. He came here with lingering back problems that took him a while to get past. After playing for most of the second half he broke a finger which he played through until he had to be shut down by the club for the year.

Meyer is interesting in that he had the same rookie year statistically that Chris Campoli had here in 05-06 but on a much better Flyers team. When he was reasonably healthy as an Islander he played the kind of game that you did not notice which is to say he did not make mistakes. No doubt he has some offensive skills and a little size. His speed seems suspect and did have a few problems in his own end at times but he's also still a relatively young player and losing the time he did to injury was a huge factor.

Meyer is signed for this year at a low contract and would likely not clear waivers if they tried to demote him. Considering the Islander roster he's going to have to make an early impression on Ted Nolan or he could wind up a sixth defender, in the stands or on another club in a trade. He's also going to have to stay healthy on a roster with a lot of potential injury problems on defense to stay on the roster. One thing Meyer does have going for him is Garth Snow traded for him. This was someone the gm decided he wanted and he saw something in this player he felt could help the team. Snow likely wants to see him get a chance before any final decisions are made, but he is fighting a numbers game.

Aaron Johnson:
To do anymore on Johnson than note he played sixty one games on the Blue Jackets last year at age twenty three, has been mostly an AHL journeyman and was a player Doug McLean liked as gm but new gm Scott Howson decided to let go (but credited his talent) is really all I can contribute on this player at this time. To do more would be guessing and that's not fair to folks reading this. Comments here would be helpful from others.

Bryan Berard:
A lot has been written on Berard already here. He's invited to camp, both sides talked about this now so we'll see what happens.

Drew Fata:
Fata showed a little confidence in his call ups. In his three games he provided steady play for the most part but the final game he had to take Hill's place on no notice and he did not work well with Chris Campoli and was a -2 where the communication on defense led to the goals against. He scored his first NHL goal in the final seconds of a terrible team effort at Ottawa. He's signed and booked for a show with the Sound Tigers and under the right circumstances could see another call up. With the AHL depth veterans signed this summer that will not be easy.

Dustin Kohn:
Kohn is expected to begin his pro career with the Sound Tigers next season and should get a longer look in camp then he has had in previous years where he did play some preseason games in the NHL. Considering his progression and the fact he's a talented second round pick if he shows signs in camp that he's outplaying other defenders he would leave the Islanders with a very interesting and good problem to have if they decided to create a spot for him now.

Next up:
Islander goaltending with Rick DiPietro, Wade Dubielewicz and Andrew MacDonald.

NYI Fifteen to Remember Friday 8pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/31/2007 02:25:00 AM | ||Comments
This weeks Islanders Fifteen to remember is what I consider the best game of last season. The win against Pittsburgh on Mike Sillinger's goal in the closing seconds of regulation that broke their winning streak. Watch for Hunter's play on Crosby in the final seconds.

This game was played on 2/19/2007.

Game will be on FSN at 8pm Friday.
Will repeated Saturday am/pm.

Islanders on Berard tryout, Summerset on 9/22

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/30/2007 06:04:00 PM | |||||Comments
Islanders today issued a release on Bryan Berard coming to camp on a tryout. Newsday also points out Berard played for new assistant coach Gerard Gallant last season before he was fired as Blue Jackets head coach.

The 30-year old Berard will battle for a spot on the Islanders’ blue line when camp opens on Sept. 14 in Moncton.

"I loved my time on Long Island and I have great memories of how everyone treated me during my first three years in the NHL," said Berard. "I’m coming off a tough season when I was injured and I know I have a lot to prove. The Islanders offered me this opportunity and I’m going to re-pay them by making the most of it. I’m healthy and I’m determined to show Ted Nolan and the team that I can help the Islanders have a great season."

Said Islanders general manager Garth Snow: "You can never have enough skill in your organization. Bryan Berard still has tremendous upside as a defenseman and a power play point man. We’re happy to give him this opportunity to try and make our club."

Berard played the last two seasons in Columbus, where he was coached by Gerard Gallant, a new member of Nolan’s staff for 2007-08. Besides his Calder Trophy season with the Islanders, Berard’s best year was in 2003-04 when he was 13-34-47 in just 58 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 565 career NHL games with the Islanders, Toronto, Rangers, Boston, Chicago and Columbus, Berard has 71 goals and 230 assists for 301 points.

"Bryan is definitely worthy of a long look from us," said Nolan. "You’re always looking for depth on defense, and Bryan is a defenseman with excellent skating ability and someone who can run a power play. Gerard Gallant spoke highly of him, our staff likes his competitiveness and I know our fans understand how talented Bryan is. I’m looking forward to him showing us what he can do."

Follwing up on an earlier update The Journal Pioneer today announced the Islanders will play an intra-squad Blue and White exhibition game at the city’s wellness centre Saturday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m.

The Guardian had comments from the press conference.

“On Sept. 22, we will all be Islanders,” said a smiling Chelsey Moisan, the Summerside Boys and Girls Club member who officially announced the news at a press conference here Thursday.

“One day’s real short, but we’re going to make a lot of fun out of it,” said Islanders assistant coach Gerard Gallant.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow, who joined the press conference by phone, said fans can expect a high level of play. “Whether it’s a veteran who’s been around for many years or a rookie just coming in, everyone wants to make an impression.”

Gordie Dwyer will be attending Isles camp

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/30/2007 11:03:00 AM | |||Comments
Michael Fornabaio confirmed in his Ct Post blog on 8/28 that Gordie Dwyer (and Bryan Berard) will be attending Islanders training camp in Moncton from an earlier update.

Here is some background on Dwyer's career which is not to be confused with NHL referee Gord Dwyer.

NYI Fan Central:
Was cut from another teams camp on a tryout last season. Statistically speaking he has five NHL points since the 99-00 season with no goals in limited action.

Ray Ferraro ot winners vs Caps

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/30/2007 10:03:00 AM | |||Comments
Ray Ferraro's overtime and double overtime goals for the Islanders vs the Caps in the 1993 playoffs.

Prospect Tomas Marcinko update

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/30/2007 09:00:00 AM | |||Comments
The Barrier Examiner today checks in with comments on Islander prospect Tomas Marcinko in an overview of the Barrie Colts upcoming camp.

The team is hoping Marcinko will play a leading role down the middle in his second season. While he showed flashes of offensive ability, the Colts are counting on much more consistency from him in his second year.

"Speaking with his agent, he's been working hard back home, and the New York Islanders are happy with his progress," Carrigan said of Marcinko. "He has to come in here and be an impacting hockey player if this team's going to be successful, if he's going to be successful in the future with the Islanders, as well.

"Tomas has to show he's going to compete every shift, night in and night out."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Tomas Marcinko was selected in the fourth round, 115th overall of the 2006 draft. He was the first of four Slovakian prospects drafted that year. Marcinko was selected with the 55th overall pick in the 2005 CHL Import Draft by the Colts.

Islanders have to sign Marcinko before June 1st 2008.

Islander Defense Preview Pt One

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/30/2007 07:25:00 AM | Comments
Today we begin our preview of the Islanders defensive with an overview of Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek, Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais.

Brendan Witt:
As great a signing as Mike Sillinger was for the forward lines, Brendan Witt was just as valuable and set the tone for the club's defense last season. Witt is under contract for the next two seasons. He is not the kind of defender who puts up anything more than marginal offensive numbers, but in the trenches Witt absolutely won games for a club with his physical play, defensive play, shot blocking, intimidation and leadership last season. He also managed to stay healthy for the most part and at times played through injuries.

Witt's game simply put is to set the tone for games, while other players on the club feed off of it. He knows how and when to throw a hit to where the opposition gets frustrated and takes a retaliatory penalty. He knows how to get the opposition's best scoring threats to spots on the ice where it's harder for them to produce and he knows how to get a player off their game. Witt's not going to win any speed contest with anyone and will look bad on occasion in the open ice if a player gets an angle on him while driving to the net, and will take more than his share of bad penalties, but he also knows when to step up and throw a hit that changed a game as Malkin of the Pens found out early last season. He will not get much credit for his shot blocking but will get in front of anything he can and has instincts that cannot be taught,

Islanders are asking a lot of Witt this season. On defense his contribution will be critical to the club's success or failure. With the departure of Hill and Poti whatever chemistry Witt brought to the the unit will be altered. Can he help players like Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais develop a little quicker, will he work as well with Andy Sutton?

Radek Martinek:
Many will focus on Martinek's injuries as the overall theme of his season last year but for those who watched him when healthy that should be the focus because he made major improvements in his game to where he established himself as a defender you want on the ice in the most critical parts of a game. Martinek's best skill is his ability in the transition game, or skating the puck out of the defensive end of the ice. His ability to read a play improved as did his skating and decision making with and without the puck which showed a confidence he did not display in earlier years.

Martink's offensive game did not catch up to his improved defense last season as he still showed a reluctance to shoot, but he does know how to handle a puck from the point and at the very least should provide steady play. He's not a great shot blocker and has no physical game but does know how and when to get into position which helps him win puck possession.

Ted Nolan considered him one of his best defenders last season and with the changes on defense the Islanders in 20070-08 absolutely need a repeat performance in the final year of his contract. Martinek keeps working hard and does not take the easy way out of a play which has lead to some of his injuries, he's going to have to continue to do the same thing. For those who feel he's not durable when he had his broken ankle and was expected out for a month, he came back in a week. He's been the victim of some tough luck on a few injuries where he would get caught in a rut on the ice or hit from behind in a vulnerable position that can happen to any other player.

Bruno Gervais:
Looking back at Gervais first full season, many will look at his plus/minus or his turnover against NJ that led to an ot loss as proof he's a limited player. Plus/minus is a very misleading stat and that applies here. Some will note his lack of scoring which he was able to provide to a small degree in 05-06 in a shorter period of games. Some will talk about his injuries which essentially shut him down for a large part of the second half of last season. What few will discuss is what I will discuss and that's the progress Gervais made during last season when he was healthy.

Gervais made strong progression in his game last year that will not reflect in numbers but in steady, strong, smart decision making with and without the puck in the corners as well as in transition where it was tough to tell this was a player in his first full NHL season because of his composure. Ted Nolan noticed and was impressed which is why before he got hurt he played close to an average of twenty minutes a game for a solid month of last season. Gervais not going to run players over but he is going to get position and win the puck, his skating is also very strong as is his shot selection when he decides to use it.

Gervais comes into this camp under some pressure with a numbers game on the roster and perhaps a chance a being traded because he would have to clear waivers to go to the AHL and he no longer belongs in the AHL. But make no mistake about his ability. Gervais has a lot of upside and a very strong overall game which is why he would be attractive to other NHL general managers. What he did in the club's final playoff game where he scored and made a fantastic rush where he almost scored and drew a penalty is just a flash of Gervais upside. Islanders should keep him right where he is and just give him more responsibility because in my estimation he's part of the solution.

Chris Campoli:
2006-07 was a very tough year for Chris Campoli. He sustained an injury late in camp, missed the first two months and found himself with a problem. He had to earn his spot back from a coach who did not see him play over eighty games here in
2005-06 and even found himself playing for Bridgeport. More injuries, the Zhitnik trade and circumstances finally created a chance for Campoli and he did seem far more tentative early on but as he got comfortable and received more minutes he won his coaches trust. He also played through some injuries in the second half but saved his best for the playoffs where he had a strong performance and showed a lot of confidence and upside that we saw in his first year.

Campoli is a very well-rounded player who has good skating skills, solid defensive skills and excellent offensive instincts. He knows when to drive the net on offense or step in from the point to keep a play going or intercept a clearing attempt. He is not shy about stepping up and throwing the body around and can deliver a big hit. One downside to his game is at times he gets a little out of control on the ice and tries to do too much which will lead to mistakes, but this is still a young player with good potential.

Campoli was rewarded with a new three year contract this summer. He cannot be demoted without clearing waivers and no doubt there would be interest in the trade market. On a roster with eight NHL players, he will have to continue to progress and prove to Ted Nolan he can help this club. Good news is he has skills lacking on this defense which are needed and standout. Given no replacement has been found for Poti's play making ability it's fair to say Snow and Nolan are counting on progression from Campoli to off set this loss.

Next up Part II:
Sutton, Meyer, Bergeron, Johnson

Islanders to visit Summerside?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/29/2007 07:05:00 PM | ||Comments
The Journal Pioneer is reporting the New York Islanders may schedule a practice or intersquad game at Summerside during the clubs upcoming training camp.

Prince Edward Islanders might get to meet the New York Islanders this September.

The city is working to seal a deal that would bring the Islanders to the Summerside Wellness centre mid- to late September.

“As it stands ... it’s 75 per cent coming,” said Bill Schurman, director of recreation and public relations for the city of Summerside. The main goal is to host an intersquad game where all players on the NHL team would participate in a three-period game.

“We’re at least hoping to get a practice,” Schurman said.

It’s hoped the event will be confirmed by Thursday.
“The good news is we have a lot of friends on the Islanders,” Schurman said.

Among those friends is Gerard Gallant who recently signed on as an assistant coach with the Isles. New York’s head coach Ted Nolan took the Moncton Wildcats to the Memorial Cup final a few seasons ago.

However, at the end of the day there has to be a viable business proposal to make it work. Schurman said the New York Islanders are scheduled to go to Moncton around mid September, which creates a “golden opportunity” to have them visit Summerside.

Wednesday NHL odds and ends

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/29/2007 04:39:00 PM | |||Comments
Cheer up Islander fans. The Canucks just released their new uniform and logo in a huge ceremony and to me looks like a Hartford Whaler/Orca Bay merger and a disaster.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This almost is on par with the PJ's the Canucks wore in the 80's. Is the club mandated or contracted to advertise Orca Bay as their official logo?

In something that's hardly a shock the new Superseries between Canada-Russia is not drawing much interest in Russia.

"We know in Canada it is a much bigger deal," Strizhevsky said. "They will sell out 20,000-seat arenas there. But that’s just not the case in Russia. That’s why they didn’t have the games in Moscow because the arenas would have been half-full.

"There’s just not much interest in the national junior team."

Along with the cable channel, there are just two major newspapers and one news agency covering the games.

After Game 1, Strizhevsky was hoping his story would make it on the front page of Sport Extra. It was on page 10.

"It would be a much different story if this was the national team against NHL players, now that would have been huge," Strizhevsky said.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Cannot market an eight game prospect series in 2007-08 as any reincarnation of the 72 Summit Series. The article is correct if this were a national team vs NHL players it would be huge, but to this point the Russian fans and media do not see it as such.

The Hockey News makes a good discussion why the cap will not keep progressing up each summer to the degree it has the last two seasons and why the teams that have been spending will not longer be able to.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So much is kept in the dark from the fans it's impossible to know where the cap is heading next summer. One article will claim it's going down while another will make a case for it going up. What I do know is the avg player contract is back near
pre-lockout levels as are many clubs payolls. For many the cap does seem to act as a magnate as some predicted. As for individual clubs, as long as some corporate owners can front-load contacts they will have an edge but some seem to have spent their money this summer and cannot do this again for a while until other contracts expire.

Islander prospect Nick Tuzzolino who was selected in the Seventh Round 196 overall in the 2005 NHL Draft signed today in the IHL with the Flint Generals.

What's next on NYI Fan Central?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/29/2007 04:06:00 PM | Comments
A little behind the scenes work going on at NYI Fan Central lately.

This is still a very new blog/message board and I thank everyone again for the kind words and your suggestions/comments are always welcome.

The work to improve things will always be on-going as some things are added and some subtracted depending on how they look and function.

As for what's ahead first off some good news. NYI Fan Central will be going
wire-less and will be switching to a new computer so I can provide even more updates.

Starting Thursday I will begin our preview of the Islanders defense, then the focus will turn to the goal tending. Of course any/all Islander and NHL items I find interesting will be posted here as the day's progress until training camp.

When camp starts I intend to link up with the local Moncton Papers for their perspective and all updates from both Islander-Sound Tiger camp. Hopefully the local coverage will pick up.

I also will be working very hard behind the scenes to provide daily prospect scoring updates for every North America Prospect in the Islander organization and will try to include Europe.

I also have some other things I'm working on that I think our members will enjoy.

Once again my thanks to everyone for visiting and for their comments.

Islanders new commercial on NBC

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/29/2007 03:59:00 PM | |Comments
The Islanders commercial starring Christie Brinkley and some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage will be featured on the television show "Extra" Wednesday Night. Check your local listings for airtimes in your area. In the New York area "Extra" airs at 7:00 pm on NBC-4.

NYI Fan Central Comment:
Should be another opportunity for fans to see the new uniform and perhaps another marketing campaign. Not thrilled with the organization needing blog boxes or unconventional marketing tools but in this kind of sports market it's impossible for hockey to compete with the other sports for media coverage. I have to give the club credit for Islanders TV, the league even decided to go with it for it's coverage.

Tuesday Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/28/2007 05:47:00 AM | |||Comments
Quiet start to a late August Tuesday. Toronto Star late Monday afternoon has an updated quote from Bryan Berard's agent, Tom Laidlaw confirming his client will be at Islanders camp.

Article also has an update on Peter Forsberg, Teemu Selanne, Dany Markov, Brent Sopel, Curtis Joseph with quotes from their agents and an overview of the remaining UFA.

"He is going to try out with the New York Islanders," his agent Tom Laidlaw confirmed Monday.

Limited to only 11 games last season, Berard is out to re-establish himself. If he stays healthy, he's still a guy that can move the puck and spearhead a power play.

"He'll go out and prove what he can do," said Laidlaw.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The game is on for agents to find homes for their clients and talk about what they can do for a team in the media, closer we get to camps opening, the more talking they will do to find them the best situtation.

Former Islander John Erskine resigned with the Caps for two years.

Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun goes out of his way to point out new Canuck, Brad Isbister could only stick with the " wretched " Islanders in an article that seems over the top about insulting TSN'S Pierre McGuire covering the Super Series in an article talking about many things outside of hockey.

NYI Fan Central:
What was the point of writing this about McGuire, who does a poor job in my perspective but went all the way to Russia to cover hockey games in August?

Brad Isbister came in the Robert Reichel trade so he played on some terrible Islander teams, but he also played on the 2001-2002 club that had 96 points before he was traded for Janne Niinimaa during the 2002-03 season, let's get the entire story Cam Cole.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced a redesign of their website.

The Sound Tigers are the first team in the AHL to have their own innovative TV station identical to Islanders TV. Sound TigerTV will make its debut in the upcoming months. Fans will have complete access to player and coaches interviews, game highlights and special shows such as this season's newest edition, "Chewing the Fata," with defenseman Drew Fata.

Will numbers game force trade on defense?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/27/2007 05:32:00 PM | |||Comments
Before I do any previews on the club's defense it's time to ask the question will Gm Garth Snow trade a defender?

Going into this Islanders have seven NHL defenders under contract and former Islander Bryan Berard will be a tryout player in camp. My guess is Berard will be signed to a contract if he shows anything and would not be attending camp unless his tryout were more than a formality.

Signed/Resigned this summer:
Chris Campoli: Three year contract
Aron Johnson: One year contract
Andy Sutton: Three year contract

Signed last year:
Brendan Witt-Two years remaining on contract
Radek Martinek-One year remaining on contract
M.A Bergeron-Two years remaining on contract
Freddy Meyer-One year remaining on contract
Bruno Gervais-One year remaining on contract

Let's not even get into Dustin Kohn or some of the veteran defenders signed last year with limited NHL experience.

You put Johnson in the AHL (he played sixty one games for Columbus last season) and that still leaves eight NHL defenders on this roster and only six can play on a nightly basis.

For those thinking Gervais-Campoli can play in the minors both must clear waivers and it's highly unlikley the club would risk exposing them to waivers. Both of them seem the most well-rounded defenders on the roster in terms of overall game.

Martinek is expected to be healthy and in camp according to the club website reports.

This leaves lot's of questions, few answers. Fair to say the players just signed are not going anywhere in trades. Snow traded for Meyer and did not have to commit long term to Campoli. He also traded for Bergeron. Witt he absolutely needs and Nolan has stated how much he likes Martinek's game and how critical it is for the club's defense.

Of course if Islander fans are going to make a depth chart Meyer would likely be at the bottom which is why other teams may not want him.

I keep looking at this and who other teams would want who could be available with all the moves to this point. If the right talent were coming here in return and I keep coming back to one player.

Bruno Gervais.

Personally, I would keep Gervais unless the return is too good to pass up and brings the same kind of potential and talent. The question is will Snow address his numbers problem on defense with a trade. It seems he has to if Berard is signed.

Thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Update on prospect Robin Figren

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/27/2007 03:18:00 PM | ||Comments
Edmonton Sun today briefly touches on Islander prospect Robin Figren, who will play for the Oil Kings in the WHL after playing last season for the Calgary Hitman.

Figren,is the only Oil King forward who scored at least 10 goals in the league last year.

Islander Forward Preview Pt IV

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/27/2007 01:33:00 AM | Comments
Monday brings the end of this years preview of the club's forwards with the players at this time likely to be on the fourth line and the players on the outside.

Chris Simon:
Despite his suspension at the end of last season that will continue for the first five games of this season the Islanders re-signed Simon to a one-year contract with incentives. Last year he did not have to do much fighting but anyone who watched his game knew he kept the opposition honest on the ice. His on-ice intimidating presence was that of a leader and was missed during his suspension. He was used on the first, third and fourth lines last season, did a good job with Blake and Yashin early and saw limited pp minutes. This year it's tough to see where he fits beyond an enforcing role but Simon still at times displays the scoring touch he had earlier in his career and is a favorite of Ted Nolan because of how hard he works, he will make it tough to relegate to a fourth line role. Only problem is will the long suspension and the ramifications of what he did change his approach?

Richard Park:
Park enters the final year of his two year deal and quietly did a very solid job last season in several roles. Mostly he was relegated to a checking line but on occasion got a cameo on the first and second lines. His special teams play was solid, brought a lot of energy to the ice and on occasion was amazing with a five on three shorthanded goal against Pittsburgh. Park was never shy about working in the corners and showed strong skating ability. Down the stretch he picked up his scoring and the final weekend was critical in games against Philadelphia and New Jersey, with key goals in both games. Expect more of the same from Park this season unless he beats out someone on another line.

Shawn Bates:
Bates was reportedly almost ready to return during the Buffalo series. He has two more seasons on his Islander contract. Unless his groin problems are still hampering him or he is traded, the Islanders are paying him over a million dollars to play and that's what we have to expect. When he was healthy last season he did his usual solid skating and penalty killing job. Like Andy Hilbert he simply cannot finish his chances but is nowhere near the skilled offensive player. Is the likely fourth line center on the 2007-08 club if healthy unless he is traded off the roster or demoted for another player which is unlikely because he would have to clear waivers.

Jeff Tambellini:
Tambellini is signed for this season and is the only player on last year's roster who would not have to clear waivers. This to me is his make or break year after being traded from the Kings and showing some good signs in parts of the last two seasons with the club. He has nothing more to prove in Bridgeport and has to beat out a Bergenheim, Park or Bates to hold his roster spot. He brings offensive skills that give him an edge over those players. His game is best suited to a top six role, last season he saw some time with Satan on a second line. With Simon suspended for the first five games, he will likely start the season with the club regardless but this is his year to step up or he becomes this organizations next Justin Papineau. I expect Snow and Nolan to give him his chance, I also expect Bergenheim to be the second line left wing because the intangibles in his game look better suited to the NHL when you look at both players career's to this point.

Frans Nielsen:
Nielsen is not this young prospect who needs much more seasoning. He's been an over aged prospect for a while now, it showed on the ice in Bridgeport and with his brief call up with the Islanders. He's strong on the puck, showed the composure a player who's been in several international tournaments against NHL veterans for Denmark in shootout vs Toronto and in a big game vs Montreal he scored his first NHL goal. Tough to see a spot for him right now with the Islanders. He absolutely has the skills and talent to break through now and force management to trade someone to create a spot for him.

Petteri Nokelainen:
Nokelainen hardly looked out of place as a rookie in the NHL before his knee injury but it's been a long road back to get back to where he was but according to several reports he finally seems healthy. This kind of injury usually requires a full year to bounce back as we have seen with Radek Martinek, Michael Peca. Anything can happen but it's going to take a fantastic camp or a lot of injuries for him to take a spot from someone and hold it with so many fourth liners. Seems best suited for the third line center role.

Blake Comeau-Jeremy Colliton-Steve Regier:
All three players had brief cameo's with the club last year. Ted Nolan was very impressed with Comeau's game but given the depth chart here and in Bridgeport they would have a very tough task to beat out so many older veterans for a spot unlike two years ago when the club decided to fill the fourth line with prospects. Good news is anyone who steps up, is outstanding and shows they can help the club now will have a spot cleared for them. Better news is nine preseason games provides more opportunities.

Next up:
Part One Preview of Islander Defense

Pierre Turgeon's 50th goal in ot.

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/26/2007 02:44:00 PM | ||Comments
In tribute to Pierre Tuergon, who is expected to retire from the NHL.

I was at this game. Incredible play by Malakhov to gamble and keep the puck in and a fantastic celebration on Garden ice.


Islander Forward Preview Pt III

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/26/2007 01:21:00 PM | Comments
Today we continue with Pt III of the our Islander forward preview for the 2007-08 season and discuss Andy Hilbert, Trent Hunter and Mike Sillinger.

Part One Part Two.

Andy Hilbert:
Hilbert was given a two year extension by the club this summer after he decided to become an unrestricted free agent and could have signed anywhere for a short time. Expect Hilbert to go right back on a very effective checking line with Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter that carried the club for a long stretch of games last season and contributed like a first line. Anyone who followed Hilbert during the 2005-06 season in Pittsburgh saw him on a line with Crosby produce nineteen points in about twenty games and was not resigned.

Hilbert for a smaller player brought a lot of grit and was not shy about going into the corners and working hard at both ends of the ice. His defensive play was very under rated but these are two reasons why the club brought him back. Problem last year was Hilbert simply could not finish his chances as he did in Pittsburgh and it hurt his confidence. Speed and skill are not a problem, he brought both and for a short stretch was producing well. Between playing through an injury, another scoring slump and the Islanders acquiring Ryan Smyth, he was relegated to a fourth line during the playoffs and did not produce in a limited role.

This year it's time for Hilbert to take the next step. Two year deal or not he must produce and finish his chances or he will lose his spot to another player. Other area's of his game are solid and like many he's at a point where the Islanders should see his best hockey.

Mike Sillinger:
Best free agent signing this club had made in well over a decade. Easy to see from day one why so many teams trade for a Mike Sillinger,impossible to see why few teams ever gave him a long-term deal because he looks like part of the solution if you put him in the right role. Not only did Sillinger produce at both ends of the ice in 2006-07 but was outstanding on faceoffs and special teams. Sillinger's intangibles won games for this club last season and were a major factor in the club returning to the playoffs. In the playoffs he was moved up to first line center and even though he did not score generated chances that led to goals and was solid at both ends of the ice.

Sillinger is not going to impress anyone with speed or great scoring or defensive skills. He's simply knows how to make enough plays to win a game for a team at both ends of the ice and in the faceoff circle where he stands out.

Simply put the Islanders need more of the same from Mike Sillinger next season or this club will not be in playoff contention. He managed to stay healthy all of last season and will be thirty six this season.(Guerin is thirty seven) Like last year when games become critical expect Ted Nolan to give him more responcibility because of the lack of depth and experience at center.

Trent Hunter:
Hunter and the Islanders went to arbitration this summer and they could not get together on a long-term contract. Hunter's intangibles hid a lot of streaky production in 06-07 playing with a knee brace most of the season that seemed to again limit his speed in the open ice. That said when Trent Hunter get's to the puck he made something positive happen. Like 03-04 when Hunter's scoring carried the club his hot streak that produced a twenty goal season again carried the club when it was needed most. Despite a scoring slumnp again down the stretch in scoring last year, Hunter was on Nolan's top line come playoff time with Sillinger-Ryan Smyth and responded with three goals in a losing effort.

Hunter game brings intangibles that include being one of the leaders in hits in the NHL, grit, defensive skills, special teams skill that is critical to a team concept along with an ability to block a shot. His power skating with the puck and release are good, but stopped using his slap-shot as he did in 03-04 and as he did in Bridgeport. Defensive plays like the one that took the puck in the final seconds from Sidney Crosby are part of the package.

On a team that lost the scoring it did Hunter must be more involved on the scoresheet as he was in 03-04. This may come down to his skating but the rest of his game is outstanding. Hunter is gambling on a big year and pending UFA and so will the Islanders not to let him leave. Again like many on this team the club needs a huge year from Hunter.

Next Up Part Four:
The remaining fowards. Richard Park, Chris Simon, Shawn Bates, Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen.

No Islanders at Super Series

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/26/2007 12:47:00 PM | ||Comments
For those interested Russia and Canada are having an eight game tournament with prospects to recreate the1972 Summit Series.

are one of ten NHL teams that will not be represented, but many current and future top prospects will be. Many undrafted players will be participating for Russia as well as 2008 and 2009 draft eligible players.

Here is the tournament overview.

Clarke Gillies, nephew Colton Gillies will play for Canada.

Tournament will be not televised in the US, but will in Canada.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Disappointing the Islanders are not represented, but their prized prospect from the 2006 draft, Kyle Okposo is an American. A player from Sweden like Robin Figren 2006/3/70 or Finland's Jessu Joensuu 2006/60 would not be eligible.

Sunday Islander NHL notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/26/2007 11:33:00 AM | |||Comments
Boston Globe notes Berard will be attending Islander training camp. No comment from Berard, the Islanders or Newsday at this point.

NY Fan Central Comments:
Given Newsday had three blog updates and two articles on Michael Peca only negotiating with the Rangers and this is the third or fourth paper to report on Berard's training camp invite, isn't it time Greg Logan or his editor at Newsday provide our fans an update with some comments from Berard or Garth Snow?

Some interesting NHL Notables:
Teams have been granted permission by the league to relocate the two goal judges' positions, opening up some prime seat locations in the loge.

But the displaced judges won't be out of work. Most of them will move, plungers in hand, to the press box. If that takes them too far from the action, they'll be positioned elsewhere in the building, perhaps at the Zamboni entrance. Otherwise, the job will fall to referees and replays, and sometimes the scrutiny of the Toronto-based "war room" that pipes in telecasts of the games.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The role of the NHL goal judge has been obsolete for a long time with the introduction of video replay. Relocating them further away makes no sense at all, the position should be terminated and the area used for more prime seating.

Unlike referee's, who once they make a call on a goal/no goal have to be overturned with conclusive evidence from Toronto, when the goal judge turns on the light or keeps it off, it does not factor into any final decision on a goal one way or another. Video replay can also tell if a puck enters the goal before a peirod ends.

On Scott Niedermayer filing retirement papers:
If he files his retirement papers, he is effectively done for the season, because the 29 other NHL teams would all have to "sign off" on his return to Anaheim if he wanted back sometime during 2007-08.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No reported situatations of player filing retirement papers, then returning the same season. This is the first time I have read there is a rule where the other clubs can determine if someone is allowed to play. Hopefully Niedermayer, Selanne or any player who retires under contract understands the ramifications. Brian Burke as usual is a little upset, would be a lot of fun if Kevin Lowe had to make a decision like this.

Islander Forward Preview Pt II

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/25/2007 01:54:00 PM | Comments
Saturday, we present part two of our preview on the Islander forwards. Part one was done here on Friday.

Miroslav Satan:
Satan is in the final year of the three year contract he signed with the club after being bought out by the Buffalo Sabres so he has a lot riding on this upcoming season. To this point Satan has not been the star player he was in earlier years but did get his numbers in his first season. On this team he's been more a streaky scorer and in year one was moved to the second line right wing spot. Last year Ted Nolan kept him in that role for the most part and he disappeared for long stretches and in the playoffs.

Satan will do whatever is asked of him but looked lost as a pp point man early last season and maybe that played a role in his very slow start. He did turn into a descent penalty killer, but he makes his money to be an offensive impact player and score goals. His impact goals were few and far between besides one notable goal to tie a game with NJ in the final seconds to go with the final peirod of game five in the playoffs where he scored a goal and was robbed in the last ten seconds of another goal.

Satan still has a devastating wrist shot and great hands in front of the net that will be a huge part of his success of failure on next year's team but he seems far more reluctant to use his slap shot then he did in Buffalo. The bad news is Satan is painfully slow and considering the Isles team speed in prior years this hindered him and made him far easier to contain. More bad news is he will likely not have a proven second line player on his wing with second line scoring credentials. The good news is with a Bergenheim/Tambellini left wing and healthy Josef Vasicek playing at center he should find more time and space to take his shot. Other teams a few times got physical with him and he defended himself adaquetly.

Satan has to turn back the clock a little this year on a club where his production will be a must. Nolan must have a big offensive year from him and whoever his line mates are must be able to not only get him the puck where he does his scoring.

Joseph Vasicek:
Vasicek was signed a few weeks ago to a one year contract. Because he plays center and the Islanders need Sillinger on a checking line he's the best bet at this time to center the second line. He brings championship experience from Carolina but also brings a lot of injury and production/motivation issues which have hindered him. Some
felt his trade back to Carolina where he had his best season would spark his game and it did not happen which is a major red-flag. Many claim his potential is still in front of him while others claim he's simply not that good or motivated. Garth Snow and Ted Nolan intend to find out.

In terms of skill set Vasicek is the same package former Islander Oleg Kvasha brings to the table. Size, a good shot, occasional big games where he makes scoring look easy but does not have Kvasha's outstanding skating ability. I really do not know much more at this time or how he was used by Nashville or Carolina and I'm curious as to his defensive game. What I do know is Ted Nolan is going to try and bring Vasicek's potential to the forefront and will get his opportunity. He's going to have to produce and be able to set up his wingers.

For Vasicek, six goals and limited nightly impact is not going to work on a team like this. Almost every player is being asked to do more and is being given more opportunity. Vasicek either shows up from day one of camp and makes the second line center position his or he could find himself on the fourth line or in the
press box. After a trade, one year of UFA and only a 650k offer late in August after a six goal season, Vasicek could find himself out of the NHL if he does not step up this year so no doubt he will be highly motivated.

Sean Bergenheim:
Easy for me to put Bergenheim on a left wing in August after being locked out by the club for a full season but on paper is the best choice at this time. Islander fans and especially Sound Tiger fans saw Bergenheim's grit, speed and potential with both clubs in 2005-06 which clearly are that of a first round draft pick who can play in a teams top six forwards. Bergenheim also showed this last year after returning to the SEL from Russia in-season. Problem here is the same Chris Campoli had last season when he was finally ready to return in December. He's going to have to start from scratch and win over Ted Nolan or he could find himself back in Bridgeport with his one-way contract. Nolan does not care about 2005-06, he cares about 07-08 and what this player can do for this team now and that will decide where and how he will be played.

Bergenheim's skill set is an impressive one. Considered the fastest player in his draft class, grit and the ability to know when to use it to draw penalties. Good passing and defensive skills. Questions on Bergenheim revolve around his hands and his finishing skills since he was drafted but no doubt the ability is there and I see his as part of the solution long-term.

This is Bergenheim's year to step up and show what he can do and my guess is he will get the best opportunity and hopefully no bad feelings linger from last year. Jeff Tambellini has experience as this club's second line left wing with Satan and did play here last season. Tambellini has superior offensive skills, but all other area's favor Bergenheim on paper. One thing Nolan will never tolerate is a player speaking out as Bergenheim did when he was sent to Bridgeport at the beginning of
05-06. He's going to have to keep quiet and produce on a team with a lot of underachievers. He has the speed and skills to open the ice for a lot or forwards. To me, the most interesting player to watch going into this years camp.

Next up Forwards Pt Three:

No Outdoor Game for Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/24/2007 06:50:00 PM | ||Comments
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported today Pittsburgh will play Buffalo in an outdoor game next season on January 1st.

Several NHL officials said today that the game between the Penguins and Sabres on Jan. 1, 2008 will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL's Bills. In a made-for-television event -- the game will air nationally on NBC -- the Penguins and Sabres will skate on an outdoor rink in front of what the NHL hopes will prove the largest audience ever to watch an NHL game in the United States.

"If and when we have something to announce we will make sure the announcement gets heard," NHL vice president of media relations Frank Brown said.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's the right teams in the right setting and the game should go over very well. Sabres and Penguins are two of the top ratings clubs in the NHL for television locally.

I guess this puts to rest any idea of an Islander game played at Yankee or Shea Stadium. By January 2009 the race will be on for both local baseball teams to open their news ballpark's and demolish Yankee/Shea Stadium at the same time. Meadowlands may still have football and likely will also have major construction on that site.

Islander Forwards Preview Part One

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/24/2007 12:01:00 PM | |||Comments
New York Islander Fan Central today begins it's preview of the club entering the 2007-08 season.

This will be updated several times and run for at least three-four parts as a grouping of players by position will be evaluated every few days.

Today we begin with what's projected to be the club's first line which are all new signings with no previous chemistry:

Bill Guerin:
Guerin will be asked to produce as he did last year and be captain of a club for the first time in his career on a team with no established first line talent.

On other clubs he has been surrounded by first line players to a point he was under less pressure to produce and still struggled with production and in some organizations he was used as a second line player. Despite his eight goals in sixteen games with San Jose after he was traded, he failed to score come playoff time.

Guerin's outside shooting is something badly lacking on the roster and no doubt he will come to play every night in a leadership role with a two-year contract. His pp ability will be a plus as will his grit and deterimation. Will not be expected to perform the miracles Yashin was expected to but will have pressure on him to be a lot of things he was not in other organizations and that could be a problem and he must stay healthy.

Good news is he will have veterans like Sillinger and Witt to lean on for support, bad news is a lot of underachievers have to step into scoring roles they have never been in and contribute more and not every player will succeed. Guerin is being asked to play the lead role and much more than he has done for a long time and even his best may not be enough so it could lead to frustration.

Mike Comrie:
Comrie was talked into signing here reportedly by Ryan Smyth and said all of the right things in the summer. Garth Snow is counting on him to be a first line center and produce as such and as a pending UFA. There is plenty or pressure on him because he's more suited to the second or third line center role given his numbers but the Islanders are looking for a career year or at least the thirty goal season he had a few years ago.

One thing for sure that will be a problem for Comrie was all the open ice and favorable match ups he had had in Ottawa will be the exact opposite in New York. On this club opposing coaches are going to be talking about how to stop Comrie because he has the most skills among the forwards. That likely never happened on other teams and the opposition will be quick to try and to get him off his game. How will Comrie respond?

Comrie does bring excellent skating, a quality shot and good offensive skills to this roster that were lacking. His health is a question mark and it's impossible to ignore how many teams he's been moved from to say nothing of him not being a great defensive player. Like Guerin, the Islanders are asking a lot here but it seems his best potential is in front of him and for this club to have any chance on the ice this signing has to work out for the club.

Ruslan Fedotenko:
Islanders paid Fedotenko a lot of money for his one twenty six goal season. He has a Stanley Cup ring from Tampa Bay where he was a huge part of that club winning with a dominating playoff. He has to be that player all season here for this to work and there are a lot of legitimate questions whether he can fill that role in his one season before he can go UFA again.

No doubt Fedotenko brings more speed and skill lacking from the previous roster, but how will he react in a primary role where he is being counted on. One standout item here is not his drop in production but that a tough players coach like John Tortatella reduced his role. If Tortarella cannot get the best out of him, how can Ted Nolan?

Were going to find out here whether Tampa's offensive depth helped Fedotenko or held him back. Like Comrie this player is at a point where we should see him with his best potential in front of him. All excuses have been removed and it's time for this player to step up or it could be one and done for him in New York. No doubt if Tambellini, Bergenheim or even Chris Simon show more than Fedotenko his time on the first line could be limited so he's under pressure to start well.

Next up:

Bryan Berard invited to Islander training camp

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/24/2007 09:14:00 AM | ||Comments
Edmonton Journal today reported in an article on remaining free agents Bryan Berard will attend Islander training camp as an invite.

The 30-year-old Berard, meanwhile, has been forced to take the training camp invite from the Islanders, mostly because he can only see well out of one eye and has had two back surgeries..

"There's some pretty decent players still out there," said Berard's agent, Tom Laidlaw, "but you phone general managers and talk about a player and they're not negative towards them, but they say,

'I think I'll just sit tight, for now.'

NYI Fan Central:
Garth Snow apparently is not satisfied with his options to replace Tom Poti's abilities and Berard needs a training camp to showcase himself. The extended nine game pre-season schedule gives both the club and the player a chance to find out what Berard can do and if he can help? After years of injuries and ineffective play Berard is now a victim of the new salary landscape on the outside looking in.

Last year Islanders invited Richard Park and Mike Dunham to camp on tryout contracts and signed both. In Berard's case anything is possible because the club has a lot of NHL defenders under contract and the former Islander could impress a gm elsewhere and sign with another club.

Will be interesting.

New York Islanders Fifteen to Remember 2-13-07

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/23/2007 04:28:00 PM | ||Comments
This weeks game Friday 8pm on Fox is the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Islanders from
2/13/07 in Toronto. It will be repeated late and likely Saturday afternoon.

This was the game DiPietro made a few incredible saves, especially one in the third peirod.

Frans Nielsen had a very nice shootout goal.

Is it time for Bettman to go?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/23/2007 12:00:00 PM | Comments
I suppose it's easy for folks to blame Bettman for everything in hockey that's wrong and no doubt he's made some mistakes, but he's also done a lot of good things while others are just beyond his control and part of the changing times in sports that he get's blamed for because he's the commissioner at this time. His personality is not going to win him style points with anyone but John Ziegler and Gil Stein make Bettman seem flamboyant by comparison.

Still, anything happens and the usual folks will blame Bettman and demand he be fired. Even mentioning his name for some bring that response.

Bettman's biggest mistake was settling for no cap during the first work stoppage in
1994-95 which reportedly former NHLPA Bob Goodenow was willing to give at that time, which basketball and football had to incorporate later on. Maybe the owners demanded the league start the season but it was his job to convince them what was going to happen and apparently he could not do this.

This set the stage for many corporate owners where a hockey team is just one small element to their corporation where spending and losing whatever money it took to win made sense. This practice filtered to the entire player market and led the sport into a second lockout because not all teams are run by billion dollar corporations.

Unfortunately things regressed to a point only Toronto and a few other clubs in new facilities with lower payrolls were making any money like Minnesota.

Many of those owners from the 94-95 lockout were no longer around by summer 2004.

This set the stage for a second lockout and losing an entire year of hockey because Bob Goodenow was willing to lock out the sport forever then give up his free market system. Eventually too many sources came forward and even the players came to the realization that this business was making money but so much was going to the players it was impossible for most owners to even break even. Players paid a huge price in forfeiting twenty four percent of their contracts and losing a year's pay.

Goodenow was replaced and a deal was put in place where revenue made by the league is a major factor in determining the cap. Already we are seeing payroll's heading back or above pre-lockout levels and some of the same pre-lockout problems are again surfacing. The owners in many places has been to raise ticket prices which raises revenue which raises the cap.

Hard to blame Bettman entirely for this. He's not the final say and the owners play a big part of Bettman's decisions. Again some owners are leaving while new ones are waiting to spend money and purchase teams.

Financially, teams and the league will keep finding ways to increase revenue with things like Wang's Islanders-TV and the cap will continue to grow. Senators have PPV games. Star players will receive top dollar and front-loaded contracts which is something new today and second tier players will pay for it with lower contracts.

And yes, teams idea's like forum-fitting uniforms will continue to be introduced so fans can pay for them.

Sure he can be blamed for the John Spano fiasco, because the system to check owners finances and credibility failed, but Howard Milstein is a billionaire. Neither Bettman nor the board of governors (fancy term for other owners) know what people's intentions are. In Jim Basille's case we found out quickly but he was honest enough to tell people.

You get so much political spin from folks friendly to Espn who need them for their sports business it's hard to say if this is failing because Versus has had the television rights for only two seasons. What we do know is Versus offered more money than Espn and Bettman was tired of our sport being 10th or lower on Espn so he took the league's television rights elsewhere to a network that he hoped would treat them like TSN OR Sportsnet treat hockey in Canada. To that degree it's been a failure to this point with limited programming, limited exposure and a lot of spin-doctors in the media ripping Versus but their motivation has to be questioned. Ratings are on par with a limited network and down from Espn levels. NBC has done the same shoddy job, Fox, ABC did over a decade and the numbers are poor regardless who plays and that's how it will stay and the talk is beginning that Espn may re-enter the picture from some media sources.

I cannot blame Bettman here. He wanted his sport to be the number one attraction somewhere and was paid more than Espn wanted to pay who was doing a terrible job with hockey. He also wanted them on a network and NBC was interested. Maybe he should have made sure Versus and another station with more access was involved like TSN has with basketball but he cannot be blamed for local carriers like Time Warner and Cablevision refusing to switch Versus to standard programming so more fans can watch games. Of course Cablevision and Versus-based Comcast are also in competition.

The game on the ice:
This is where Bettman's done his best work in my perspective under very tough circumstances.

Folks want to blame Bettman for the trap but it's not his fault coaching/training techniques, body chemistry and equipment advances outgrew the rinks teams played hockey games on. Buildings cannot be altered to expand ice surfaces and take away prime seating. These equipment advances also brought about a lot more concussion problems. New glass was brought in, changed again, tougher penalty regulations were introduced to protect players. Even a change to protect the fans was brought in putting netting around all the back of the goals after a tragedy. Bettman brought in a competition committee to examine the way the game was played and made the tough decisions to make two-line passes legal, changed icing rules, brought in four on four overtime, touch up offsides, delay of game rules and of course shootouts with the dramatic changes in obstruction rules that has most complaining. To say nothing of changes to drug testing rule and the substance abuse programs the league has put in place.

Cosmetic changes were brought in under this commissioner's watch that reflect his NBA background taking out traditional division names long ago. Going back to pre-70's dark jersey at home has not been received well.

Many fans been critical, many have praised those changes and still it's tough to score goals and more things are considered. The game is still far from perfect but this commissioner seems open to doing what it takes, but again he's not alone or be credited/criticized for everything.

Owners decided to keep an eight game divisional schedule this season. Owners
decided that some teams the fans may not see for three seasons in their buildings, any idea that Gary Bettman is the first and last word on most decisions would not be fair, even if he is the face of this league. In essence he is the owners representative while the NHLPA represents the players.

In my perspective, Gary Bettman is not the problem with hockey nor should he be replaced any time soon. He's introduced many gound breaking ideas for hockey without changing the game entirely for traditional fans. I'm not confident he's going to survive the expiring CBA in a few years but many things that happened under his watch were beyond his control.

Thursday Islander Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/23/2007 11:32:00 AM | |||Comments
Quiet start to Thursday so far, Michael Peca is feeling regret he could not win a cup for the Leafs and Jason Blake is sorry his friend will not get to re-unite with him on the ice according to the Toronto Sun.

Peca will make a base salary of 1.3m with incentives that could bring his contract to two million with Columbus this season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Too bad Peca did not have that regret when he played here. He took a few parting shots at the Islanders despite the money he was given and Wang going out of his way to have the organization thank him when he returned as an Oiler which Peca acknowledged. He took a lot of shots at the Edmonton Oilers and the coach for the time he played there before and after the playoffs and said he would not resign there, but for a club who only gave him a one year contract he feels regret he could not win a Stanley Cup for them?

Good news is hopefully we have heard the end of Michael Peca for a while and he get's back to playing the kind of hockey people enjoy watching.

Bad news is we have to go through this again next summer because he's going to be an UFA again.

Ottawa Citizen called the new Islander jersey's horrid today in an article to talk about the new Sens jersey's.

Former Islander Colley Named Utah Assistant Coach

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/23/2007 11:14:00 AM | ||||Comments
Former Islander and Sound Tiger Kevin Colley was named an assistant coach on the organization's new ECHL affiliate in Utah in a press release.

Islander Fan Central Comments:
Good to see the Islanders followed through on a job for Kevin Colley. Who came up and provided a lot of grit in his short time before the injury that ended his career in 05-06.

Rick Tocchet vs Mark Bell should both be banned?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/22/2007 02:20:00 PM | |||||Comments
Espn's Scott Burnside does not take the same stand on Leafs Forward Mark Bell as he does on Rick Tocchet in this article. Tocchet for those who do not know was given probation for associating with gamblers while Mark Bell is heading to jail for six months for a DWI accident and leaving the scene. Bell may be allowed to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season before serving six months for an incident that took place while he was a member of the San Jose Sharks before being traded to Toronto this summer.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
In this increasing era of sports leagues suspending players for conduct detrimental to the league (regardless of the NHL having few incidents) Gary Bettman cannot cite the lack of these incidents as an excuse not to act.

A few years ago a young girl was killed at a game by being hit with a puck. It's the only reported instance in this happening in the thirty plus years. We know what the results were and what the league did immediately in every arena whether it was popular or not. That's the reaction Gary Bettman should have here.

In my perspective Bettman has to act regarding any individual's conduct if it is against the law or detrimental to the league and make his stand now. We also know what happened with Dany Heatley and it was a mistake not to act then.

Bottom line, Tocchet, Bell should not be allowed to represent our sport this season. The Staal brothers should also be called in by the league and a decision made regarding their conduct and playing status. I'm not advocating suspending players who go to the league asking to be put in their substance abuse programs who have done nothing wrong trying to help themselves.

This goes for every player, team official and employee who represents this sport.

Gary Bettman needs to take a stand now.

Usual suspects predict NY Islanders 14th-15th

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/22/2007 10:57:00 AM | ||Comments
Hardly a shock and it could turn out this way but like last year some of the editors or writers at some of these publications/websites simply do not understand hockey or have their favorites, clearly they do not include the New York Islanders.

Coming out of the lockout they had Carolina at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and got it wrong on so many club's it was comical.

Islanders have been to four of the last five playoffs and have a franchise goal tender who was outstanding last year and many of those players are returning, especially on the backline.

If DiPietro did not get a concussion there is a very good chance this club finishes sixth which is where they were into late February before acquiring Ryan Smyth and with Alexei Yashin on the shelf for most of the second half, with Blake struggling at times. Poti also had some back problems for a short stretch in the second half and this was with losing Martinek and Gervais.

Losing Blake, Poti, Yashin or Kozlov may be a big deal and the players the club brought in may not be able to score. Sutton may not play as well as Hill and no one on the back line was signed to provide Poti's steady play with the puck and this group may not be able to replace that. Last season's club was hardly an offensive powerhouse that had a power play to penalty disparity of over negative ninety which was second worst in the league.

It's tough to see a faster club with more skill having the same pp to penalty disparity again that should make a big difference.

The 2007-08 New York Islanders can finish fifteenth, it's also possible in my perspective this club could finish as high as fourth of fifth. A lot has to happen right or wrong for either of those predictions to come true. Truth is you can take about ten clubs in the Eastern Conference and make the same prediction.

In my perspective a lot of these reviews just seems like poor research or other things coming into play that have nothing to do with the roster. Ted Nolan is one of the best coaches in this league in getting the most out of a team and this is a roster both Snow and Nolan put together and many of the players are facing UFA and a poor season will cost them if they do hit the market next summer.

As I have written a lot of times, if someone asked me to review the Western Conference, I would miss a ton of things and likely do a poor job. A lot of these predictions seem like they have only noticed Blake-Smyth leaving and can only recall Neil Smith last summer or Mike Milbury trades from the nineties which has nothing to do with 07-08 and even less with an organization that has been to four of the last five playoffs.

That's where this organization is right now and what's it's recent record is and that's where I think a projection has to start.

Anyway here are predictions from the Hockey Forecaster, Hockey News and McKeens.

Feel free to discuss here in the comments or on the message board.

The Sports Forecaster
Islanders Fifth in the Atlantic.

The Hockey News
NY Rangers
Tampa Bay
New Jersey
NY Islanders



NY Rangers
New Jersey
Tampa Bay
NY Islanders Feature on Islander Prospects.

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/21/2007 08:30:00 PM | ||||Comments writer John McGourty had a good feature on the Islander prospects Tuesday that discusses the clubs depth at right wing starting with Kyle Okposo. All top the top prospects were featured with comments from Islander management including Frans Nielsen, Nokelainen, Dustin Kohn ect.

And for those needed a little laugh does writer John McGourty look like Jason Blake or what.

Islander tryout and an apology to Michael Fornabaio

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/21/2007 07:45:00 PM | ||||Comments
I'm going to make some mistakes in this blog with some commentary and information from time to time.

Today I have to acknowledge a mistake by not including Sound Tigers beat writer, Michael Fornabaio of the Ct Post in my update grading and discussion of the Islander media.

Michael Fornabio:
Has been with the Sound Tigers basically since it's inception. In my opinion Fornabaio's work is not only outstanding, with tons of information and an understanding not only of the game and team but let's the fans get to know all the players and tells their story and the teams. His work is so good is it usually ahead of Newsday in reporting possible moves the Islanders make in terms of call ups and signings. He has a blog at the Ct Post and had to relocate it and he seems to have an understanding of what the die-hards want and need to know. His paper also seems to give him the space required to do an excellent job. When he got in a car accident a few years ago he told us what was going on and really seemed to rush back to make sure the fans had game coverage. Chris Elsberry's updates on the Sound Tigers seem to appear less and less frequently on the club.

Needless to say Michael Fornabaio get's a A from me for a grade and an apology for not including him in the previous update because no one does a better job. Maybe the players are more willing to talk in the AHL but he also has an ability of making you feel you were at the game when you read his game reviews that is a skill many hockey writers lack.

Fornabaio reported in his blog that the Islanders may invite Gord Dwyer to camp on a tryout basis according to this
website he links to.

Islander spokesman claimed no confirmation on Dwyer invite and not sure we'd have room.

In another update from Mr Fornabaio former Nighthawk Chris Kotsopoulos will be the Sound Tigers' color analyst this year. A radio deal appears to be coming soon.

Isles release Pre-Season Schedule

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/21/2007 07:20:00 PM | |Comments released the clubs
pre-season schedule today.

2007 Preseason Schedule/Results
Mon Sep 17, 2007 Thrashers Islanders
Tue Sep 18, 2007 Bruins Islanders
Wed Sep 19, 2007 Canadiens Islanders
Fri Sep 21, 2007 Islanders Canadiens
Mon Sep 24, 2007 Rangers Islanders-Coliseum
Wed Sep 26, 2007 Islanders Devils
Fri Sep 28, 2007 Islanders Rangers
Sat Sep 29, 2007 Devils Islanders-Harbor Yard
Sun Sep 30, 2007 Islanders Bruins

The early home games in pre-season will be played in Moncton.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Had a thread on this with the games listed a while back and comments. Can only repeat the more pre-season games the more opportunities and only wish the club that does not need to get away from it all had their full camp at Nassau Coliseum and around the New York area to attract more interest.

Tuesday odds and ends

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/21/2007 11:25:00 AM | |||||Comments
Globe and Mail checks in with an article on the league's television options.

Regular-season ratings (percentage of U.S. households tuned in) have been low: 0.9 in 2005-06 and 1.0 in 2006-07. But ABC's average of 1.1 for its final season,
2003-04, wasn't much better.

What if ESPN, which balked at a $60-million (U.S.) annual rights fee in 2005, agreed to pay the NHL $30-million? Each of the 30 clubs would pick up $1-million a year, more than what is being earned in the NBC deal.

There could be other compelling reasons for the league choosing ESPN and ESPN2 over NBC.Although the NHL would lose carriage on a main broadcasting network by opting for ESPN over NBC, it would renew its relationship with the most powerful sports channel in North America.

Exposure on ESPN's SportsCenter, which dropped 28 per cent after 2005, would increase. And the constant scrutiny of the NHL's paltry U.S. ratings would largely disappear. Cable audience figures do not receive as much attention in the U.S. media as those of broadcasters.

Everything is speculative that this point.
ESPN may have interest. NBC isn't planning an exit strategy quite yet.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A lot of speculation, some of it political from the publications and websites producing the information that may need NBC, Espn or Versus.

Bottom line ratings will be poor no matter where games are shown.

Vancouver Sun is reporting former Islander Trevor Linden may sign an bonus incentive contract with the Canucks starting at 450k down from what he made last season.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Were a long, long way from a decade ago when his contract with the Islanders made him so unhappy he looked invisible on the ice for most of his time here, but nothing that happened under Milstein worked out. Linden belongs in Vancouver.

Daily News reports Peca's agent wants an answer today from Sather or he's likely going to sign elsewhere.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sure tired of Peca updates, a player who has thirteen goals since the lockout ended and is injury prone is not worth this kind of fuss. Meehan's likley using the Rangers to up the price as many do and wants a lot of easily attainable bouns incentives. Just pick a team Mike and spare the constant updates, he's becoming like Lindros more and more.

Wes O'Neill and Wyatt Smith sign with Avs

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/20/2007 06:42:00 PM | ||||Comments
For those who recall Chris Botta mentioned earlier this summer it was unlikely the Islanders were going to sign prospect Wes O'Neill, who was drafted 115th overall in 2004 and played for Notre Dame. Today he signed with the Colorado Avalanche
who also added former Islander Wyatt Smith.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Botta alerted the fans to O'Neill not being tendered a contract earlier this summer so this is no surprise. We'll have to see what happens after he dropped all the way to the fourth round and many draft experts called his selection a steal for the club at the time, guess not.

Wyatt Smith played for the Islanders in 05-06 and was an unrestricted free agent.

Offensive Comparsion 06-07 vs 07-08 Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/20/2007 10:28:00 AM | |||Comments
Going into a topic like this it must be made clear players have different roles on different teams. A Ruslan Fedotenko for example will be asked to do a lot more here than he was in Tampa, Mike Comrie will be relied on for much more than he was in Ottawa and Bill Guerin will not have a strong scoring support cast like he had in Dallas or San Jose. To say nothing of what a Bergenheim or Tambellini may produce in an expanded role.

Of course games go well beyond numbers and hard statistics, but just for this topic let's look at where the numbers stand among the forwards no longer here vs who was added.

Player GP G A Pts +/- Pim PPG Shots
Blake 82 40 29 69 1 34 14 305
Kozlov 81 25 26 51 12 28 5 152
Yashin 58 18 32 50 6 44 5 203
Robitaille 50 6 17 23 -2 22 1 74
York 32 6 7 13 -9 14 2 46
Asham 80 11 12 23 3 63 0 85
Smyth 18 5 10 15 0 14 1 49
Zednik 10 1 2 3 -2 2 0 15

Totals 411 112 135 247 +9 221 28 929

Because Bergenheim is likely going to be on the club an overestimation of his stats will be provided. Same for Jeff Tambellini to balance out eight players for eight players.

GP G A Pts +/- Pim PPG Shots
Guerin 77 36 20 56 10 67 9 225
Fedotenko 80 12 20 32 -3 52 2 154
Sim 77 17 12 29 -1 60 2 141
Comrie 65 20 25 45 E 44 7 125
Vasicek 63 6 16 22 -5 51 0 77
Bergenheim 78 15 25 40 +7 46 2 150
Tambellini 79 10 20 32 +2 38 3 125

GP G A Pts +/- Pim PPG Shots
Totals 519 116 136 252 +10 358 25 997

Comparison: GP G A Pts +/- Pim PPG Shots
O6-07: 411 112 135 247 +9 221 28 929
07-08: 519 116 136 252 +10 358 25 997

I was a little generous with Bergenheim's numbers but in a top six forward role twenty five assists and fifteen goals after his solid production in the SEL last year after leaving Russia does not seem a huge stretch.

Tambellini's numbers were scaled back because I don't see him on a top two line and right now it's a stretch to see him on a third line as a left wing with Fedotenko, Bergenheim, Sim, Hilbert and even Simon all left wings as their primary left winger.

Edit 8/20: I took away two goals from Tambellini's estimate but did not subtract two points from the teams totals, that has now been corrected.

At this time the club is relying on someone from last year's squad to replace Poti's numbers and Sutton to replace Hill's offense. I'm brining this up because the defense helps contribute to the numbers the forwards produce.

Overall this will likely not be reflective of the finals numbers for this forward group vs last year's. Too many variables can change performance one way or another I substituted four players who played less than sixty games on this roster last year.

Just a little number crunching on a quiet day so far but one folks who compare last year with this year will likely make.

Comments and discussion always are welcome here or on the message board.

Snow told Asham to look for another job.

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/20/2007 10:01:00 AM | |||Comments
Former Islander Arron Asham was quoted today in a national post blurb why he decided to sign with the Devils for a 200k pay cut.

The Islanders believed veteran tough guy Chris Simon could replace Asham's grittiness in the lineup and general manager Garth Snow told Asham that he should look for another job. After negotiating with four teams, he and his agent chose New Jersey.

"I got a better offer from one other team, but I thought if I was ever going to play on a Stanley Cup champion, it would probably be in Jersey," Asham told Winnipeg's Grass-roots News last Thursday. "When you have a goaltender like Martin Brodeur, you have a chance to win a Cup."

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Asham is usually quoted once a year in the National Post. Last year the Islanders wanted to sign him to a longer-term contract for more than he signed for. Have to agree with his comments that a team with Martin Brodeur in goal has a chance to win a Stanley Cup. Nothing more I can add other than what was written here when his signing was reported.

Gervais to play exhibition August 25th.

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/19/2007 03:19:00 PM | Comments
For the second year in a row, an exhibition hockey match to raise funds for cancer research will be held at Léo Crépin Arena Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. Maxime Talbot of the Pittsburgh Penguins is the game's honorary president. Bruno Gervais is expected to play according to this article.

All proceeds will be handed over to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Let's talk New York Islander print media game.

I always kind of laugh when once a year or longer a publication will mention the Long Island chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America awarded something to an Islander player or nominated them for a league award like the Masterson.

Where is this association of hockey writers when basically one person at Newsday covers the club on a full time basis during the season?

Can I apply after owning a mailing list for seven years, writing for websites and moderating/owning message forms regarding the club. I have problems even remembering the roster of people who have covered the club locally for the last seven years as hockey coverage in New York has decreased dramatically.

I think it goes like this:
Newsday-Valenti, Hahn, Logan
Post-Berman, Baum, Grossman, Martin, Everson-Brooks infrequent updates.
Daily News-Stephenson, Botte or Dellapina infrequent updates.
Times: Caldwell, Ron Dicker, A.P aside from features and rare Caldwell appearances.
NY Sun-Kevin Greenstein features only
Journal News-rare updates at best

No wonder the Islanders are reaching out to fans to start blogs and come report on games. I'm a little disappointed Chris Botta stopped ripping the media earlier this summer after getting into it with a few writers and promised a media-watch column every two weeks through the summer that he did not follow up on.

Just for reference when I started getting into hockey on-line a site called used to have weekly reports from Peter Botte from the Daily News. The Sporting News used to feature an Islander report from Alan Hahn weekly. Information was much easier to find and few sites were pay/subscription.

Those days are over and sites like that folded or scaled back hockey coverage or demand you pay for what I consider worthless content. Many teams do not have beatwriters on the road anymore to save money so you read the AP/ticker and club website for game information and check out the opposition. Once in a while a Newsday beatwriter like a Heyman, Powell or Howard will show up and the work looks like it's from someone who has only seen a handful of games because they are required, they provide nothing but filler and the die-hard fans know much more.

A major part of all this is the sports editor is the final say with regard to a teams coverage. I can only question the beatwriters content and effort here covering the club. It's kind of like fans blaming the beatwriter for the headline, papers have people to write the headline for a writers article, but we read something and blame the writer because his article is beneath someone else's headline.

Of course the major part of talking about the Islander media starts with new beatwriter Greg Logan, who was assigned to cover the club after Alan Hahn was
re-assigned the Knicks beat last summer. Let me start by writing anyone would have been an upgrade from Hahn after 05-06 who seemed to have an problem with some players and clearly the clubs PR director, Chris Botta was not happy with his work or lack of effort.

Worst of all Mr Hahn got very lazy and sloppy in his reporting of the games and information after the lockout. He never reached out to all the players on the roster. We read more on our European players in Europe and Canada in season then we ever did in Newsday. How long has Radek Martinek been here? Anyone ever read one quote from him in Newsday, even though he tries to give an interview once in a while on FSN.

Was it that tough for Mr Hahn to update his mailbag when in Pittsburgh their writers did one every week or two through the lockout? He claimed to be a life-long fan of the club and wrote two books (that badly needed editing) was it that hard for him to show some enthusiam if he grew up a fan? He ignored the clubs 25th anniversary of the 1980 cup during the lockout and only after fans contacted Newsday were some token features written with excepts from his book the following Sunday.

Mr Hahn sure had no problem constantly reminding us in his limited space that we are not a major market team so our space is limited.

Early years Hahn rated a solid C+ but his final year declined all the way to an F and not because of his negative view toward a losing team in 05-06. You want the beatwriter to tell it as it is, but from my perspective he just did not have any enthusiam for his job and the work was as sloppy as the club on the ice. In fairness Milbury was either a tough person to interview or one who fills quotebooks and makes the job easy. Later we found out his father passed away so maybe that was a problem all season his last year also.

Greg Logan: I don't want a homer covering the club and he shows signs of being one once in a while. Maybe he wants a good relationship with the club but so far I have to give him high marks. He took over the beat during some very tough times in the front office last summer.

If Logan wants to be critical that's great. A few times he seemed to take the high road during adversity where Snow and Nolan deserved some more tough questions, especially Nolan who went with Dunham too long and it practically eliminated the club from playoff contention. I like his blog updates and he does a good job but I don't think he understands this is the only newspaper blog the Isles have and the club needs all the updates it can get. Steve Zipay will put up three small updates in a day, Logan will do three big updates in a month. Meanwhile several of the other major papers have their their writers blogging because they understand the space in the paper is limited for hockey. The Islander blog at Newsday is critical to the coverage of the club.

Logan's work running down the Smyth trade was outstanding as was his getting an
interview from an airport as he flew here from Edmonton. Logan was also quick to point out blog views equals coverage. Islander fans set record numbers in Newsday
and newspaper coverage/backpages increased. That's what he mentioned in his first blog and he followed through which is what die-hards like myself look for.

All writers miss some items in reporting, Logan is no different but he had a very good first season here and I would rate his work a solid B under a lot of fan scrutiny from folks behind keyboards who have it easy like myself.

Peter Botte: I cannot blame Mr Botte for not being allowed to cover games, that goes with sports editor (Leon Carver?) at the Daily News. When he reports his work is usually very good and brings a lot of information. He knows when the club deserves credit and when they deserve to be ripped. Never saw any tendency where he played favorites.

Botte's been around for a long time on the Islander beat, he no longer is permitted to cover road games and the News will sometimes not send him to home games. I would give the editor an F and Botte a B+....

New York Post: Evan Grossman left for in season last year and aside from an infrequnet Dan Martin home game article that read like A.P coverage we have not had a new full-time writer named to this point. What's interesting here is I was never a fan of Grossman's work at the Post but his Islander/NHL features at are outstanding. I have doubts the Post will spend money on a full-time replacement and Larry Brooks noted the Isles ignored him in a conference call this summer so clearly Botta is not happy with the club's treatment.

Post sports editor Gallo has never given the Isles a fair shake in the Post, he get's a F while Grossman unitl the point he left rated a C. Grossman created a stir in Ottawa in the 2003 playoff when he picked the Islanders to upset the Senators.

New York Times: Again a F to the sports editor for not assigning any beatwriter to the club, Dave Caldwell game articles were so infrequent I cannot give it a fair rating, his Islander work from years ago would rate a B.

Sunday Islander/NHL Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/19/2007 07:55:00 AM | ||||Comments
Interesting two part article out of Kansas City from a writer named Peter Grathoff that mentions expansion or relocation in the NHL so a club can move into the new Spirit Center here.

The usual subjects are covered. Owners want more expansion fees because the NHLPA does not profit from it, teams losing money, attendance issues, history of expansion, franchise value's increasing, what adding a team (or two) would mean for talent pool ect....

What I find interesting here is you always get these people claiming to be hockey experts on markets they don't go to or live in. What does Allan Maki, a hockey/sports columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail (this article they wrote Toronto Globe and Mail) know about Kansas City beyond the fact the Scouts failed long ago and relocated? I have been following hockey for over thirty years and that's the best I could tell you about the Scouts aside from the fact they moved to Colorado then NJ.

Then you get someone named David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. Who provides us some background, history on expansion for the NHL but does he understand the history of the league at all and the Kansas City market? In this article he did his homework, he tried to contact Bill Daly from the league and has many comments from the league office regarding the CBA and future and he presents a lot of information, but it seems like this person has never seen a hockey game.

Maki is interesting here also because on one hand HE recently wrote about the NHL’s upturn in business recently. Today Maki's quoted as saying “I just don’t know about the business of the NHL,”

Then he writes:

“Some people are saying it’s very, very good and that’s why costs are going up, and others are saying it’s a reflection of there being only so many football, baseball and basketball franchises that can be had and if you want to get in, the NHL is both available and reasonably priced by comparison.”

When I looked at some recent Globe and Mail Articles Maki contributed to it's easy to understandy why he does not know Buying Frenzy defies logic The NHL suddenly a hot commodity.

Both gentleman feel it's inevitable KC will get another team because they seem to have the financial support from individuals or groups to make it happen and a modern facility is about to open.

As fans we all missed a full season of hockey, an unprecedented event.

Part of the lockout settlement was that both sides appointed someone to review all the clubs revenue in full. Instead of relying on a lot of estimates from Forbes that comes out every December and mostly deal with estimated franchise values, why not just post what each teams makes in revenue, what they claim to make or lose, what revenue sharing the receive or pay and the actual attendance for games, not announced sellouts?

What do the league, owners and NHLPA have to lose? Isn't the goal a better product for fans at an affordable cost that is strong enough it makes more money for the owners and players.

In other news:

Sunday's Newsday has a full page feature on the ice-girl tryouts
which seemed longer than most hockey updates this summer from Newsday aside from the new jersey release.

Of course the incident with Ranger goaltender Lundqvist was the lead part of the story from last season and why I'm bothering with it here. It's interesting Newsday writer, JOSEPH V. AMODIO who did the feature did not mention the problems with the Ranger City skaters that led to lawsuits here which ended the Ranger City Skaters and seemed to cost Times beat writer his column covering the club.

In today's version of Where's Waldo, Michael Peca rumors to the Blue Jackets are heating in with quotes from Peca's agent. Peca expressed interest in signing with Columbus and was quoted Saturday.

I hope he signs soon so these updates on him end, I do not care what team. Too many updates for thirteen goals the last two years in the regular season.