Islander News Articles 5/1

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/30/2008 10:21:00 PM | |||Comments
St Catherines Standard : Bill Potrecz has a full feature article on Islander prospect Sean Bentivoglio about his first season in Bridgeport with his comments. Scott Cullen has a feature called off-season game plan where he breaks down the Islanders. Only actual quotes are Ted Nolan's from an old Newsday article.

When bad media attacks

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/30/2008 07:32:00 PM | |||Comments
It's kind of funny to me the same Daily News that went above and beyond to report Newsday pulled a report on an Islander-Ranger game at Yankee Stadium here after Al Trautwig stuck a shoe store in his mouth and said a game involving the Islanders was confirmed was even quicker to pull a report claiming a player had a life-threatening problem.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Why didn't the Daily News just admit they made an incorrect report instead of pulling it? If the Daily News is going to call out Newsday for pulling a far less significant issue than a supposed life-threatening situtation doesn't it demand Leon Carver and his people awake from their slumber and just admit an error was made?

Just remember folks, these are some of the same people who attempt to tell us what's happening in the Islander lockeroom covering the team in a few short paragraphs for occasional home games and all of us take every word as gospel, even the speculation.

As for what happened to Avery, no one wants anyone to have an serious health issue and you hope long-term the player is ok which is all that matters. Having written that this player went straight at Rick DiPietro's head last season after his first concussion and gave him another one with no regard whatsoever for his long-term health so apparently he does not feel the same way.

I guess for some it depends on what uniform you wear each season or whether you want to rock the ambulance or shed a tear.

Folks who remember Pat Lafontaine will understand this.

Bottom line another poor day from the brutal New York Hockey media.

Newsday: Barbara Baker in Newsday asks Clark Gilles about coming back down 3-0 in a playoff series and his experience from the 1975 Islanders who were the last NHL team to accomplish this.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
The headline written vs Gillies comments are two different worlds. The Islanders not only did it against Pittsburgh but rallied a second time down 3-0 against Philadelphia to tie that series 3-3 before losing game seven. For all the lack of Islander coverage you would think Newsday would not have the budget to be bothered hunting down Clark Gillies for something this trivial considering how many teams go down 3-0 in a series. It's one thing if a team rallied to force a game seven but
at 3-0 why bother aside from it being a small footnote?

NYI Fan Central Final Review: Frans Nielsen

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/30/2008 07:20:00 AM | |Comments
Today a quick review of Frans Nielsen's very brief Islander tenure in 2007-08.

Frans Nielsen was expected to be with the Sound Tigers for the majority of this season despite getting a look from the Isles a year ago and scoring in a big win against Montreal. He again was recalled and beginning on February 5th once again in his very limited time displayed a level of ability at both ends of the ice where he did not look out of place with the speed of the NHL game. This year he scored against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh before an injury shut him down until the final week.

Moving forward:
Frans Nielsen is at a point like Tambellini and Bergenheim, he must clear waivers to play in the AHL. Isles have a lot of centers who can play defense, a lot of wings who cannot score. He brings a nice level of grit, skill and offensive ability that needs time in the NHL with a game better suited to the NHL vs the AHL. It's tough to say but will Garth Snow give him that chance and make a spot for him or will he become the next Petteri Nokelainen which to me would be a mistake.

One thing for sure is a decision has to be made for someone who had thirty eight points in forty eight games in the AHL and now has to clear waivers. I would like to see him get a full opportunity but with Park, Bates, Hilbert, Walter and Colliton among others he's in a very big group. Some of those players have options, the Isles have to play him here or risk losing him.

To me there is something about Nielsen's game that has always stood out and part of it is an edge that Bergenheim also plays with.

Bettman, Aaron Johnson, Espn and Hejda

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/29/2008 11:15:00 PM | |||Comments
Cape Brenton Post: TJ Colello has Aaron Johnson's comments after being honored before tonight's World Championship exhibition game in Port Hawkesbury here where Slovenia defeated Norway 6-4.

Colmubus Dispatch: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets have re-signed defenseman Jan Hejda to a three-year contract worth $6 million.

Hejda, 29, could have become an unrestricted free agent on June 1. He’ll make $2 million per season through 2010-11. Hejda had no goals, 13 assists and a plus-20 rating that was tied for 10th-best in the NHL.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Just seeing how the market is being set for defenseman, that's why I posted this here.

Scripps Howard News Service: Ray McNulty, blames Gary Bettman for the decline of hockey because they left ESPN.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr McNulty is one of those former writers from the NY Post (among other publications) here who obviously had blinders on when Espn/Espn2 decided to drop most of it's hockey coverage when they still had the NHL rights to a point Gary Bettman was better off finding someone who would give the league more attention. The ratings game has been spun a lot of directions, the one the folks who are in ESPN's corner never bring up is how low ratings and coverage were on Espn/Espn2 before the lockout.

For all the abuse Mr Bettman takes he is one person. He does not own Comcast or have the right to tell the Wirtz family how to show the Blackhawks in Chicago or what Ed Snider should do with Comcast Flyers or Mike Ilitch what to do with Wings games in Detroit. You think the Six Canadian clubs care one bit about Espn?

If anyone thinks Gary Bettman does not have resistance one team sued the league for control of it's own website this year and lost.

That owner controls the rights to four NHL teams game telecasts.

There are things to blame Gary Bettman about and some of them are fair but many go beyond the commissioner who is not at fault for equipment and body training methods improving which hurt the product by making the space on the ice smaller. You have to put some things on all the owners, the NHLPA, the folks who own the rights to the games and the competition committee.

Nothing is as easy as Gary Bettman deciding this is what's he is going to do and that's final. How many times has Bettman said x owner owns the club, he gives advice when asked but he does not own x team.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has a blog on the AHL playoffs and a few words on the Islanders/Sound Tigers heading into the World Championships.

Why can't hockey writers be questioned?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/29/2008 04:04:00 PM | ||||Comments
Globe & Mail: William Houston of the Globe & Mail asks his readers should Hockey Night In Canada commentator Don Cherry be allowed to put down Jermain Franklin, a TSN reporter who asked a question of San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson and was ridiculed on Cherry's Coach's Corner for doing so.

Mr Houston speculates at TSN, the hockey people are upset with Cherry over his denouncing Franklin on Monday night and says can you imagine TSN's Mike Milbury airing a clip of a muddled query by Hockey Night host Ron MacLean or one of dozens of leading questions by reporter Cassie Campbell, and then belittling MacLean or Campbell on the air?

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I really have nothing to write about Don Cherry, Ron MacLean or anyone else in terms of what happened in this instance. But I do have to ask why not put the print media under the spotlight and question their hockey viewpoint, what they are asking and why?

Bill Guerin jumped on a Newday writer earlier this year with the Ranger-hangover questions. It was more like the writer had Ranger hangover and after a few questions Guerin got tired of being asked. Any writer asking questions can create any theme they want to an article.

For all the talk of bloggers being fans the only difference seems to me (beyond some professional writers having their credentials) is the bloggers at least wear the teams colors in public.

Seems Newsday pays Steve Zipay to cover media, same for Richard Sandomir in the Times, Bob Raissman in the Daily News and Mr Mushnick over at the Post. Why not do articles questioning the hockey writers and their agenda with coverage and what teams they are die-hard fans of?

Over on the political channels they tell you going in when someone from a media outlet does an interview who they prefer or what party they have a vested interest in.

How come Newsday completely omits Greg Logan's tenure as a Ranger beatwriter in his profile?

I think it would be great to hire someone to watch the writers work a lockeroom and see who they like vs who they do not like and then follow the coverage. I would love to see who Greg Logan wants to speak with after games and who he goes to for quotes vs who he avoids at all costs.

You could do that with all the local hockey writers. Larry Brooks and Jay Greenberg are visibly disgusted with Rick DiPietro after beating the Rangers and are seeing complaining before leaving the Isles lockeroom without a comment.

Watching Peter Botte and the latest Post part-time writer and who they go to would be more fun than the interviews themselves.

Mr Botta could probably write a book about those kinds of experiences.

You see trends in the reporting, some seem fair, others do not. Writers can make or break players or teams and the fans take everything written (including writer speculation vs actual quotes) as gospel.

If Mr Logan wants to speculate Rick DiPietro is hurt that's fair enough
(turned out he was right) but when he's covering games and sees him playing well after the all-star game but the other team simply is scoring on good setups and only goes to the numbers to make a statistical argument he should sit, it's fair to ask is Mr Logan watching the games or was there an issue between him and the goaltender?

Anyone who thinks for a minute sportswriters do not rip players or create issues with players they do not get along with do not understand these writers want quotes, have deadlines and there are some players or teams they simply do not like.

Sports editors and publishers push these folks to stir things up as well to sell papers, a majority of this kind of coverage usually comes from that.

And sure you can bet some players want no part of some writers or any writer.

Of course Isles are not like other clubs where the writers compete with each other but still there is pressure to produce quotes and information.

In the Isles lockeroom the Newsday beatwriter can make or break you as what's written usually is what's quoted in the Canadian press and websites which gives fans their perception of a player. It's why a Radek Martinek can only be under-rated if he's playing well in league circles.

Alexei Yashin was someone who did not fill Alan Hahn's quotebook so he was not protected by the former beatwriter. Mr Hahn flat out misreported Mark Parrish signed only a one year extension in August 2005 and speculated he only took a year because of Yashin.

Sounded nice at the time but the only problem was Parrish did not sign, he signed in September just before the club left for camp. Mr Hahn was so busy running down Yashin in print (who was just named captain) he did not even bother to correct himself.

Mr Botta later ripped Alan Hahn and questioned Newsday's overall coverage back on April 7th 2006 here so it's not something new that I'm introducing here.

Same thing with Mr Logan and Ted Nolan's contract. Out of nowhere the coaches contract becomes this big issue because Mr Logan seemed to want to make it an issue. Ted Nolan said he did not have an agent but next thing we know game day coverage is not even written for articles about so-called rifts where the coach could be leaving or fired?

All Ted Nolan said was he has not met with the club about a contract extension, he was asked and gave an answer. What's the man supposed to do, lie or not answer the question? I guess he did not repeat Garth Snow's comments that management contracts are not for the public discussion.

To me that is simply poor journalism designed to stir things up and makes me question the writer. If Ted Nolan went to Mr Logan and said he feels he deserves a contract extension that's another matter and fair game.

What I do not like about Mr Logan's work most is he seemed to go out of his way to portray DiPietro as someone hurting his team by playing and created this entire issue about his games being cut back, despite playing as much as he did a year ago and facing close to two hundred less shots (something Mr Logan never wrote once) but not a single time did he write the other veterans were hurting the club by continuing to play while injured.

In fact he seemed to bend over backwards to protect the veterans in Newsday, but not Rick DiPietro. Even when Ted Nolan was blowing up at them the final days.

Doesn't that work both ways?

It's almost funny seeing Ted Nolan's answer when pressed about how many games Rick DiPietro should play next year because it's something he cannot answer for certain in advance nor should he even try. I guess that's why he jokes about him playing eight one games instead of eighty two.

I got an e-mail asking why I'm critical of Mr Logan and some of the writers recently?

All I can tell you is what I told the person who wrote me, I do things based on the article for that day. One day I can be critical, the next I have written the writer has done a good job with a lot of information. It's up to them and have credited Mr Logan for good work on a lot of occasions also. I defended Greg Logan for the headline writer making a mistake about Nolan threatening trades (which Mr Logan talked about) and I never criticize a writer for space given to them in a paper for coverage.

I see someone like Mr Fornabaio at the Ct Post and I honestly cannot recall one instance where he wrote something to stir something up. He covers the games, writes the comments and does his own speculation but I have never seen him write to create an issue.

That's why I think his work is excellent. The hockey tells the story.

Nielsen, DiPietro, Snow, Johnson & Nystrom Lucas Aykroyd reports Frans Nielen's shoulder injury will keep him out of the World Championships for Denmark.

The World Championships begin on May 2nd. It looks like Sean Bergenheim for Finland will be the only New York Islander participating.

Ottawa Citizen: Announced Tuesday the formation of the goalie equipment working group which will meet June 11th in Toronto. Rick DiPietro will be a player representative with Martin Brodeur and Ryan Miller. Garth Snow will be representing the NHL with Jim Rutherford (Carolina) Doug Risebrough (Minnesota) and Brett Hull (Dallas), Dany Heatley and Mike Cammalleri (Kings) represent the skaters.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Isles website also updated this with a quick word from Garth Snow.

Cape Brenton Post: Greg Macvicar reports on Team Norway playing Team Slovenia in International Ice Hockey Federation exhibition game tonight will honour retired Montreal Canadians forward Mike McPhee of River Bourgeois and New York Islanders defenceman Aaron Johnson of Port Hawkesbury during the ceremonial faceoff.

Calgary Sun: Randy Sportek has agent Wade Arnott's comments on his client, Eric Nystrom who is an unrestricted free agent this July with the writer speculating about the Islanders.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sorry folks, too much Robert Nilsson/Frans Nielsen coverage has had me writing Robert in a few posts lately. Obviously it's Eric Nystrom. Hopefully he signs with the Isles so I can get his name correct if for no other reason.

Of course Robert Nystrom is Bobby Nystrom's correct name. For twenty points anyone want to take a shot at his correct middle name ?

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Andy Sutton

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/29/2008 08:43:00 AM | |Comments
Today the focus shifts back to the defense with a final review of Andy Sutton.

Have to give credit to the Islanders staff when due here because when they seemed to overpay to sign Andy Sutton who's been a defender who struggled with confidence and turnovers and played his way off of Bob Hartley's top four late last season I was very skeptical he would prove reliable. I wrote constantly about Dany Markov for those who read this blog at the time.

After a very shaky couple of weeks early, struggling with Marc-Andre Bergeron and Bryan Berard I saw nothing that made me feel differently and wondered if the club made a mistake giving this inconsistent defender who was always getting injured a three year contract? I saw a lot of bad turnovers, a player who did not look confident and a player who took some poor penalties. I liked the big hits early but if they are penalties they do not help.

Having written that after those early problems he settled in and shocked me with a level of solid play and consistent defense to where he seemed like a bargain and made the team defense stronger. He did an excellent job protecting the goaltender and looked like a great fit in the Isles defensive system and looked good with whoever he was paired with while Gervais-Campoli/Martinek-Witt were kept together.

He took the tough job as the new defender and got more out of less, he looked good with Freddy Meyer and also with Rob Davison. He looked good with whoever he was paired and it was obvious it was more important to the club for him to stay on the ice and eat up minutes with strong defensive plan than engage in fights. Offensively the system did not help him but he did have a big goal against the Devils, he seemed to pick his spots better to step up and hit but did it in a way where he did not cause a turnover or force a penalty to be taken.

When Brendan Witt went down he stepped up even more and did not miss a beat. His defense was a big part of the club's winning streak before his season ending injury against San Jose. He looked like a stopper on the backline and you could see the opposition try and get him off the ice.

Looking forward:
He's signed for the next two years and what he brings to this defense is lacking in terms of physical play and steady defenseman is this league are always a commodity.

Problem is his career resume in terms of injury does not lie and plays on a group of defenders with the same problem. If the right offer comes along for Andy Sutton who's stock should be at a high right now given his defensive play last season that improves the club how do you say no?

Of course with Brendan Witt as a pending UFA how do you move him when he seems the closest fit to Witt's game on the roster? I think we saw this player at this best and it was impressive.

Final Grade:
He did the heavy lifting as a new player with a lot of the fringe defenders and his play only got better as the season moved forward regardless of who he was paired with. For a player who was not in great demand who did not finish well in Atlanta he proved a lot of folks wrong with his consistency.

Andy Sutton gets a very solid B.

Update on " Shave to Save Campaign "

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/29/2008 02:55:00 AM | |||Comments

Just a quick update on the " Shave to Save Campaign " Michael Schuerlein posted about a while back on his site Isles blogger they are up to $ 2,260.00 with a May 10th goal of $ 10,000 according to their blog update here.

“Shave to Save” campaign is asking for donations that will go towards research for a cure for Multiplemyeloma here as is the network for here.

It's best you visit Mr Schuerlein's blog for the full details if you can help these folks out in any way.

Hennigar, Hillen, Aquino, Isles notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/28/2008 09:46:00 PM | ||||Comments Reports Rob Hennigar was named one of Canada's best university athletes Monday at the BLG Awards. Islanders website updated the earlier release to include Garth Snow's praise for his accomplishment while Canadian Press has Hennigar's comments.

BLG Gives some background as to what the Borden Ladner Gervais awards are all about and Rob Hennigar's accomplishments here.

Newsday: Katie Strang again updated the Isles blog with a Jack Hillen interview.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Could be old comments from when Hillen was here at the end of the season, tough to tell from the content but a lot more from a player who seems to be someone the Isles are going to give a chance to play full time in the NHL.

Times Herald: Notes Islander prospect Rookie of the Year Luciano Aquino in the IHL Turner Cup Finals with the Ft Wayne Komets.

Ft Wayne Journal Gazette: Justin A. Cohn has blanket coverage on the Komets and a blog.

Newsday: Mark Harrington reports on Cablevision's bid to purchase Newsday with former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, whose Park Strategies Washington Group Llc is listed as a lobbyist for Rupert Murdoch's NY Post.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I don't think folks understand how bad a situation this is going to become.
A. The Post owns Newsday's Islander coverage.
B. Cablevision owns Newsday's Islander coverage.
C. The Daily News owns Newsday's Islander coverage.

You take a team off television or limit them only to games, knock their newspaper space down to nothing to a point they cannot market themselves and then your opposition buys the only paper in your market the Isles are going to have an impossible task to market themselves which is already nearly impossible.

They are not having these town halls just to tell us the direction on the ice, it's also because of a media who will not tell the New York Islanders story so folks will purchase tickets.

The man who talked Charles Wang into purchasing the Islanders (Al D'Amato)
and used to work the other side of the street in the past for Smg (and likely still does) now is paid by Rupert Murdoch who's Fox merger with Msg killed Islander ratings and sportschannel a decade ago?

Now Mr D'Amato wants Rupert Murdoch's NY Post (a paper without a full time Islander beatwriter) who's merger with Msg hurt the Isles on television to have ownership of Newsday so we can lose all coverage here too?

That may be the good news.

Cablevision (Charles Dolan/James Dolan) that made Islander television a necessity because they hid our team to drive down ratings also now could own the only paper that covers our team? These are the people who took over the teams television rights from Murdoch's Sportschannel and took them off television a decade ago, and hid our
playoff games on Metro. How are you going to feel knowing Msg owns the articles printed on the games?

What's next Islanders will be in Newsday plus when the new format comes out that features only the Garden-owned teams on the sports pages?

Roy Boe in 1972 did not even have these kind of roadblocks.

And the third party in this disaster is Mort Zuckerman who treats the Islanders like dirt in his Daily News and all but threw the club crumbs for coverage last season and those crumbs are getting smaller each year.

Pick your poison folks because if you think the New York Islanders are hurting now in the stands partly because of poor coverage and limited space you have not seen anything yet if one of these three entities purchase Newsday.

When Hockey mattered in New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/28/2008 02:47:00 PM | Comments
Good day for a little Islanders-Sound Tigers mailing list retrospective from the hockey media on 4/29/2002 after the Islanders tied Toronto 3-3 in the 2002 playoffs.

In those days only Cablevision was hiding Islander Hockey on Metro.

I'm doing this today just to remind everyone it was not too long ago hockey had a media presence in New York. Isles were getting close to or more than double digit articles in Newsday, look at the blanket coverage from top to bottom all over New York.

Back then the New York Islanders winning was very important in New York.

The links to these articles likely no longer work but if anyone wants them let me know by e-mail and I will send them.
Newsday 1: Islanders Push It to Limit Get even in many ways, force Game 7

Newsday 2: For Finale, Home is the Place to Be

Islanders 3: Mariusz Shows Up in the Nick of Time Scores first two goals of playoffs, plays physically

Newsday 4: Webb makes an impact at home, on the road.

Newsday 5: Ow, Canada, Leafs still offer hope

Newsday 6: NHL will not evolove until flagrants are fouls

Newsday 7: Peca shoots from hip on check

Newsday 8: Wang: Tucker was trying to hurt Peca

Newsday 9: Coliseum crew pulls off quick makeover

Newsday 10: Not a total loss: Travis Green on Leafs

Newsday 11: Maple Leafs say, Flu bug as tiring as Isles wining

NY Post 1: Isles lay into Leafs

NY Post 2: Gave of their lives

NY Post 3: League won't hit Leafs for cheap shots

Daily News 1: Isles get mad, even

Daily News 2: Yashin unbelievable

Daily News 3: Campbell swallows his whistle

NY Times: Isles force game seven

NY Times 2: Leagues soft power aides Leafs strategy

NY Times 3: Fans booing anthem need a penalty box

Toronto Sun 1: Leafs fail to sink Isles: Tucker credits the Isles grit

Toronto Sun 2: Isles PP proves the difference

Toronto Sun 3: Injury intent denied

Toronto Sun 4: Hits were hard but not dirty: NHL

Toronto Sun 5: Peca pining for clear-cut suspension laws

Toronto Sun 6: Isles, Leafs have battle scars

Toronto Sun 7: Strong Case for defence

Toronto Sun 8: Corson accused of a kick

Toronto Sun 9: Leafs knocked off their game plan

Toronto Sun 10: Maple Leaf is abused on Island

Toronto Sun 11: Superpest adds his two cents: Steve Webb

Toronto Sun 12: Game seven loss to Devils lingers for Leafs

Toronto Sun 13: Isles feeling loose

Toronto Sun 14: Isles watch

Toronto Sun 15: Leafs watch: Mixed bag on Baby Leafs-SoundTigers and Cujo's birthday

Toronto Star 1: Get Ready for a Wild one

Toronto Star 2: Leafs, Isles doing nothing for the game of hockey

Toronto Star 3: Isles frustrate Leafs and get to Joseph

Toronto Star 4: Lumme finds home with Leafs

Toronto Star 5: Leaf chances are being killed on penalties

Toronto Star 6: Battle of Tawdry hockey goes to Isles

Toronto Star 7: TV smelled blood so real, that other stories got overlooked.

Islander News Articles 4/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/28/2008 01:44:00 PM | |||||Comments
Calgary Sun: Steve MacFarlane has an interview with Rob Hennigar, what his experience was like coming to the Islanders and what Ted Nolan said to him about training camp.

Daily Gleaner: Also reports Rob Hennigar finds out tonight if he's the top male athlete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport at the 16th annual BLG Awards dinner in Calgary.

The Sault Star:
Ben Leeson reports Ted Nolan was on hand to help open the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and is a planned guests for Thursday's award dinner with Bryan Trottier.

Calgary Sun: Mr MacFarlane also does some speclation on Eric Nystrom who is an unrestricted free agent and mentions the Isles.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Nystrom is a year older than Bergenheim for those wondering why two players from the same draft class have different free agent status.

Daniel Wagner had a few words on the Marriot Hotel which is tied to Charles Wang.

For those asking nothing updated on Kim Johansson or Robin Figren from the Europan Prospect sites.

Updated 4:00pm:
Islanders website: Also linked to the Calgary Sun article on Hennigar, tonights BLG dinner with comments from Garth Snow.

Isles left wing lock

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/28/2008 08:14:00 AM | |Comments
It's very interesting looking at the Isles on the left side and wonder where they go from here in terms of free agency?

They simply do not seem to have any openings on the current roster unless a Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim or Blake Comeau were traded.

Of course given what the organization has said all three should be on the roster come training camp come September. In Tambellini's case if he is resigned as a restricted free agent (as is Bergenheim) he no longer can play in the AHL without clearing waivers.

And here is where it gets very tricky given the Islanders have constantly said Tambellini cannot be a fourth line player.

Joensuu (played left wing in his Bridgeport debut)

We know the top four here with Sim all are natural left wingers and how Comeau struggled when moved to the right side. Unless Hilbert is moved or is the fourth line center where is there an opening?

I did not even mention Fedotenko.

The right side even without Satan goes into the summer with Guerin & Hunter signed.
If Okposo does make the NHL roster there goes another spot.

Seems like Isles are locked in on the left side.

Preliminary WC Rosters Bergenheim & Nielsen

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/27/2008 03:57:00 PM | ||Comments

International Ice Hockey Federation: Released all preliminary rosters for the upcoming World Championships that begin this week which include Sean Bergenheim for Finland and Frans Nielsen for Denmark.

Denmark had fifteen forwards listed, Finland thirteen.

Please note that the official player entry procedure begins on May 1 at the first directorate meeting which means this is subject to change.

No other players who are currently Islander players/prospects are listed, including Russian players/prospects.

So what will Isles do with Fabian Brunnstrom?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/27/2008 03:06:00 PM | Comments
Just a fun question for a Sunday afternoon.

I would think unless the Isles overwhelm him with money to where he does not mind playing in Bridgeport one of the things for signing here would be a guaranteed top six forward spot.

One his agent says he may not be ready for at this time with others saying he could be a bust.

Cue Mark Gandler (Bergenheim's agent) and Jeff Tambellini's agent because they are going to want to have a talk with Garth Snow if he spends that kind of money as their clients are restricted.

So let's just speculate for a moment Isles do win his rights and sign him.

What Islander left wing is Garth Snow trading for him to get his spot on the team next year? Bergenheim, Comeau, Tambellini or Sim are the left wings and all must play at this level or go through waivers.

Is Comeau going back to the right side where he looked lost last year and play the fourth line if Okposo makes the club. Is Bergenheim or Comeau moving to center?

We all know Guerin and Hunter are not playing fourth line.

What makes me laugh most is reading the papers. Toronto, Detroit, Philadelphia, Vancouver among others all have their media people out lobbying for him coming to their team or they already claim their club has an inside track.

How can all those teams have the inside track? Someone has to be on the outside.

If the Isles do bid Garth Snow may have to talk to a paper in another town before we get an answer to that one even though Katie Strang on the Newsday blog is making a nice effort to update us on peripheral items.

If they want to impress me get a quote from Garth Snow saying the Isles made a bid or declined to make a bid. If he's twenty three he should fit a team working in prospects somewhere.

Boss, Bergie, AHL, WC, Mr Prospects & Tom Liodice

NY Times: Jeff Hale, staff editor on The New York Times sports desk did a blog on former Islander Michael Bossy Saturday and what his current role is with the club in the business department as the talk turned to hockey.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Good interview and as always great stuff from #22 who's never been shy about talking about the game and being frank about some things he does not like. I missed his blogs last season when the club had him doing that as part of his role. Reports Sean Bergenheim played in Saturday's World Championship exhibition with Finland vs Canada and had a penalty in the 3-2 loss.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio is doing his usual great job on the AHL playoffs and filling in the blanks on contracts regarding some Islander-Sound Tiger players and elgibility.

With prospects Jason Gregoire and Blake Kessel still playing games I followed through on my message board change. Mr Prospects did such a great job on that thread here all season for everyone, my thanks again to him for a fantastic job.

Like Tom Liodice over at Tiger Tracks both have a great talent. Tom in live blogging and writing, Mr Prospects in following prospects daily which is not something I had the time for here besides some articles. Released Germany's World Championship roster with former Islander Uwe Krupp as head coach and I think former Islander Jason Holland on the roster. (if it's same Jason Holland?)

Team Switzerland : Also announced it's lineup with Paul DiPietro. (It's the same Paul DiPietro who killed the Isles in 93 playoffs w/Montreal)

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Yes, I'm still annoyed with Paul DiPietro. Mike Lupica ripped him big time back in those days but back then the Isles actually had writers who got behind the team.

Great turnout on the poll. No, I cannot alter the choices once it's started. Maybe I should have broken up the top three but I kind of felt those three would not drop to the Isles or most would have voted Stamkos.

Only going to get tougher next year when the Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders select 30th.

Updated Sunday:
Victoria Times Colonist: Sharie Epp has a full interview with former Islander and Sound Tiger, Kevin Colley who is an assistant coach with the Isles ECHL affiliate in Utah.

Vancouver Province: Ben Kuzama had an article on new Canucks gm Mike Gillis that also had a lot of comments from Garth Snow and some of his experiences as gm in his first two seasons.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Miroslav Satan

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/26/2008 08:25:00 AM | |Comments
Today's review puts the focus on Islanders right wing Miroslav Satan.

Going into his contract year a lot was expected of Miroslav Satan given the changes made to the roster and the veterans needing to produce more offense on a club that lost a lot of goals off it's roster last summer. Many expected a big year after what was an off one by Satan's offensive standards.

Simply put it did not happen and he struggled for the most part with his inconsistent production from beginning to end.

There are a lot of ways you can go with this, was it the defensive system or the coach again putting him on the point where he is not longer the player he was in Buffalo that Ted Nolan saw a decade ago?

From what I saw this was simply a player who looked like he has declined and picked up right where he left off the year before. He started slow, he a few nice goals where he dropped the shoulder and charged the net and he had the big goals on Al Arbour night, but in the end he went from being a streaky player to one where he was virtually invisible in the second half.

I'm not putting it on Vasieck, Bergenheim or his other centers or wingers, he simply did not produce consistently regardless of who he was with.

Worst of all I do think he was trying his best. I saw him dive to create plays and work hard on defense and penalty killing when called on early.

Part of me want's to give him high marks for playing with a knee injury that reportedly was supposed to keep him out for eight weeks but if Alexi Yashin did not get a pass for playing hurt and being unproductive, why should Satan who did not seem nearly as hurt as Yashin but did not get into the high quality area's?

For a few games Nolan even tried a makeshift first line as Satan shifted to the left with Comrie-Guerin. Nothing got him going nor did he generate his chances beyond a rare goal. He never complained in public about trying to play on the point for the a terrible powerplay as Bill Guerin called it.

Looking forward:
I don't have a clue what's going to happen. Reportedly he was offered a two year contract, but did not want to negotiate in season. Suppoedly he was never asked to waiver his NTC at the deadline. With Guerin, Hunter under contract and Okposo perhaps waiting for a right wing spot come camp or the year after there may not be a spot for him. His skills may be on the decline, he has had a couple of poor years in a row and the Isles did not have a great three years with him here. One thing I do know is they need more speed and skill than Satan gave them for his paycheck and overall ability whether he was hurt or not.

Tough call, but I think it's time to take a chance and walk away, even if he his skill and shot are tough to replace. Even in the world of crazy UFA contracts I cannot see a club willing to overpay here, someone else may end up with a bargain on a team loaded with speed/skill who can get him the puck with time and space.

Final Grade:
Even if I wanted to give Satan a full pass and high marks for playing hurt with an injury in the second half, why did he start so slowly, why was he outworked by Bergenheim and Vasicek and the other wingers with most of half a season? Where was his urgency from day one to step up as a remaining veteran and be visible for the new veterans with his play?

Thanks for the two goals on Al Arbour night, but first half, second half, no matter how you slice this, Miroslav Satan gets an F and a pink slip.

Some quick notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/25/2008 04:29:00 PM | ||||Comments
To answer one e-mail, I can time-release blogs, this way the blog keeps updating with new articles.

Ct Post: Micheal Fornabaio blogged in more detail on the great game in Albany last night. He also looked at the report on Kim Johansson and indicated it could mean he's just released from Malmo, not necessarily signing with the Islanders or anyone. The bad news of the day is that former Islander coach Steve Stirling was reassigned and will no longer coach the Norfolk Admirals here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I may be the only one but I really liked Steve Stirling and felt he did a fantastic job here as a rookie coach getting a club without Yashin, Parrish and other injuries for long stretches in the second half to a ninety two point season and a playoff spot in 2004. He got a fifty point season out of Oleg Kvasha when he needed him to step up and play center. I really like Ted Nolan but what Stirling did his first year was far more impressive then what the Isles did the last two seasons because he had even less to work with.

I wish him luck in whatever he does, classy man who not only did a good job his first season but did a great job in Bridgeport leading the Sound Tigers to a Calder Cup Finals appearance in their first season.

In terms of Kim Johansson we just have to see how it plays out. As I indicated earlier he could be moving to another club in Europe or signing with the Isles. There is no rule that he cannot sign with a club in Europe for next season then do a deal with the Isles unless it's in the contract he must play for his new European club.

With a little more than a month left before he can re-enter the draft it is something that bears watching.

Point Blank: Mr Botta had a great blog the other day on draft rankings and how as fans sometimes we become experts based on one report we read one day. I used to be a lot more in tune with the draft and had a lot of great help back in the mailing list days as I had a poster named Kevin who just did these incredible breakdowns months before on the top one hundred prospects in detail. I do not have that anymore and usually rely on Kyle Woodlief who's work is amazing but like anyone his ratings can be far different than someone else.

That was one reason I did a poll on this now. I was hoping for some feedback to go with the voting and hoped I got the concensus top players correct. With this being such a great draft class some of those second rounders would be first rounders in a weaker class so it's the right time to do a lot of reading from whatever we can find.

International Ice Hockey Updated the rosters for team USA, Russia (no Igor Volkov) and Canada for the World Championships while Katie Strang at Newsday did a brief blog here with no new information whether Sean Bergenheim can play for Finland tomorrow vs Canada given his injury.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Given he was not announced as confirmed for Finland's roster I guess that's new information?

Canadian Had an interesting feature using their own standards to determine the value of all NHL players, teams vs salary and production this season.

Cape Brenton Post: T.J Coletto reports Islanders defenseman Aaron Johnson of Port Hawkesbury will be honored this coming Tuesday prior to a World Championship exhibition game between Team Norway and Team Slovenia.

So how is Garth Snow adding an enforcer?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/25/2008 01:17:00 PM | Comments
I look at this roster and the general manager's comments about adding an enforcer/heavyweight and wonder where he plans on fitting such a player?

Just a quick review of the Isles depth chart excluding their own UFA which clouds the picture even more if one is resigned:

For the record folks Tambellini has to play in the NHL now or clear waivers and the same goes for Frans Nielsen. We can debate Okposo playing in the NHL or Bridgeport later but for now I'll keep him off the list.

So where does Garth Snow plan on adding this enforcer to his forward group without trading someone?

I'm not even talking about Hennigar, Ben Walter (rfa) Colliton or last year's closest thing to an enforcer who did not fight much in Tim Jackman.

Backline does not seem to have a spot either with Witt, Meyer, Martinek, Campoli, Gervais & Sutton signed with Hillen. Johnson also is restricted if Isles decided to qualify him. Only seems logical Dustin Kohn gets a longer look next year.

I'm not seeing it in terms of adding a pure enforcer unless it's someone who can produce offense and play physical like a Darcy Tucker but why would Toronto let him go and how much does he have left? Obviously he's no fan favorite with Isles.

Not as easy as bringing back Eric Godard or handing a Donald Brashear type a spot on a club that cannot score.

Should be interesting to see how Garth Snow does address this because I'm having a head time seeing it. I cannot see him going back to Chris Simon and how do you justify a spot for him with those young players on left wing the organization wants to play?

Former Islander Aaron Asham is not going to help with offense if you are thinking he is available, he did nothing for his team in the playoffs.

Who's roster spot are you giving this enforcer? We know Witt, Sutton can fight while Guerin and Comrie should not be fighting. Davison can fight supposedly but did not do much of that here if he were resigned.

Easter Epic revisited in Albany Thursday-Friday

We have a hundred shot game in the American Hockey League playoffs. Reports Philadelphia defeated Albany in the fifth overtime in game five of their best of seven series which set an all time records for the American Hockey League in longest game played and shots against.

Albany goaltender Michael Leighton faced one hundred one shots in defeat.

The scoreboard did not go over a hundred shots and had to start over at zero. Leighton somehow got the third star, Monroe was credited with an assist on the game winning goal.

A reported 1,809 people in Albany just saw something historic.

SCORING 1 2 3 OT 2OT 3OT 4OT 5OT Total
Philadelphia Phantoms 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3
Albany River Rats 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

SHOTS 1 2 3 OT 2OT 3OT 4OT 5OT Total
Philadelphia Phantoms 9 15 14 20 17 12 12 2 101
Albany River Rats 15 14 3 11 6 6 11 1 67

Munroe, Scott 2 142:56 67 65
Leighton, Michael 3 142:58 101 98
1st 2nd 3rd OT 2OT 3OT 4OT Total
Islanders 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 3
Capitals 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

The "Epic" concluded at 1:58 a.m. local time, 6 hours and 18 minutes after the first face-off. Kelly Hrudey stopped an amazing 73 shots over the 7 periods, including 40 straight from the end of the second period on. His 73 saves still stands as an NHL record, though Jean-Sebastien Giguere (2003) and Roberto Luongo (2007) have both recorded 72-save games. Mason stopped 54 shots, including 36 from the end of regulation until LaFontaine beat him to end the marathon.

Isles World Championship update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2008 05:57:00 PM | ||Comments outlets: Report Jason Spezza & Dany Heatley were added to the team Canada roster.

THN: Ken Campbell's update is on the Swedish team at the World Championships which will include former Islander Kenny Jonsson &
Fabian Brunnstrom's removal from the Swedish World Championship roster.

His agent JP Barry comments on what apparently is now a draft lottery of his own for the twenty three year's old services with fifteen teams expressing interest, as of this point the Isles are not included in that group.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
No idea who this player is nor can I recall such a public process for an undrafted player out of Europe in the recent past. If someone reports the Isles also submitted a letter I will follow up on it.

USA Announced Defenseman Mark Stuart (Rochester, Minn./Boston Bruins) and forward Adam Burish (Madison, Wis./Chicago Blackhawks) have been added to the roster of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

What would you do with fifth pick in draft?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2008 04:47:00 PM | |Comments
Took a little extra time to come up with the latest poll and think it's a good one that once again puts us in the driver seat on draft day with the Isles fifth overall pick. In this case you can pick from many options.

I separated the 2008 draft section from the Isles prospect section today. I will keep adding to both sections but with prospects needing to signed who are Islander picks already vs possible new draft picks it was time to create an individual spot for both here.

As usual I'm not going to make it easy and respect my readers too much to give you an easy option of Stamkos, Filatov or Doughty who seem unlikely to drop as far as five which leaves the Isles in a position if they do not take the best player available according to most of the lists from CSB or Red Line Report do they go best forward available even if that player is ranked lower than five by some?

Cue Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury.

I will also give you the option of trading up or trading down as well as going off the board and trading the pick outright. It would be great if you post and tell us who you are drafting if you go off the board and I will make sure that's included when I update along with any general thoughts on the Isles upcoming draft.

Isles TV with more season-ending interviews

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2008 02:57:00 PM | Comments
I'm not sure how folks follow the Isles TV section here on this blog but I wanted to point out a mistake to my readers that I made in my comments.

A short while back I asked where was Bill Guerin's season ending comments on Isles TV and was critical of him not doing an interview.

That was a mistake on my part because apparently the Islanders after posting a bunch of season ending interviews and then stopping for a while have started adding in more intereviews the last few days that today included Bill Guerin.

Just wanted to point this out for the readers here who are curious what these players said at a time when the season just ended and were leaving for the summer. I guess they could not add twenty plus interviews at once just as I am not doing twenty player reviews at once.

Bergenheim, Satan, Fedotenko, Guerin, Johnson, Campoli, Sutton among others have been added the last few days to the early interviews and I expect we will see something from everyone.

Quick Prospect Notable on Kim Johansson

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2008 01:33:00 PM | Comments
Nothing definitive but Islanders fifth round pick #141 overall in 2006 according to
elite has made a change to Kim Johansson's status as confirmed leaving Malmo for an unknown team as of 4/23.

Note-European does not have this on their transactions page at this time so take the information for what it is but both sites are very reliable and conservative with information along these lines. I would not waste anyone's time posting this otherwise.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Johansson according to terms of the new cba falls into the same group as Robin Figren and Tomas Marcinko in that he must be signed by June 1st or he can re-enter the draft this summer. It could mean a signing with the Isles or the prospect signing with another club in Europe which likely means he may not be signed by the deadline.

With about a month left it's something worth watching for now. I asked Michael Fornabio in his blog because he's always three steps ahead and does a great job for the fans.

Malmö J20 SuperElit 26 5 14 19 32
Malmö Allsvenskan 30 0 1 1 24
Team Sweden U20 (all) International 3 1 0 1 0

Five years ago....Claude Lapointe

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2008 08:01:00 AM | Comments
A little Islanders-Sound Tigers look back today at some interesting things Claude Lapointe had to say five years ago when with Philadelphia. Hard to believe it's been that long.

For those curious about the former Nystrom award winner he never returned to the NHL after his problems in Philadelphia. He played four games with Bern, a Swiss A league club in 2006-07 but was injured.

Despite reports of retirement in 2007-08 he played eighteen games for Trois Rivieres Caron and Guay of the LNAH with a goal. (Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey)
By Tim Panaccio
Inquirer Staff Writer

Claude Lapointe still doesn't know why the New York Islanders soured
on him.

He knows only that on the first day of training camp last September,
general manager Mike Milbury called him into his office and told him
in rather unflattering terms that he was unwanted.

"Right away, he said he was going to trade me," recalled Lapointe,
who joined the Flyers at the trade deadline in March. "He said there
were better players than me and that I belonged in the minor leagues.
He told me the only reason I was there with the Islanders was because
of my salary [being high].

"From day one, I felt unappreciated the entire year, and it showed in
my ice time. I didn't get the time I deserved. But that's OK. It was
for the best. I'm here now."

Lapointe, who pronounces his first name as "Clode," cost the Flyers
virtually nothing - a fifth-round draft pick this summer.

While it's well known that his final season on the Island was one of
acrimony between him and the club, you'd be hard-pressed to find a
league scout who wouldn't see value in a man who has long been
regarded as one of best defensive centers in the NHL.

His worth to the Flyers is simply this: gritty, veteran depth at the
bottom of the lineup to match the same at the top. Lapointe had a
goal and two assists in Tuesday's 6-1 rout of the Toronto Maple
Leafs, which advanced the Flyers to tomorrow's Eastern Conference
semifinal round against Ottawa.

It was his first playoff goal since April 28, 1993, when he played
for the Quebec Nordiques.

Lapointe spent the Toronto series working straight up on a number of
veterans - Shayne Corson, Darcy Tucker, Travis Green, Robert Reichel,
even Mats Sundin. Some nights he centered a skill line with John
LeClair and Mark Recchi. Others, he worked with Donald Brashear and
Marty Murray or moved to wing to work with Jeremy Roenick or Keith

In a very short time, Lapointe has proven his versatility. Whenever
the Flyers have a key defensive draw, he's usually on the ice with
Primeau in case Primeau is thrown out of the circle.

Guys like Lapointe have their own niches. Lapointe's is the defensive
draw and penalty killing.

"It's very important," he said of face-offs. "That's one thing I take
pride in. I practice it pretty much every single day. At the end of
games and there's like three or four minutes left and you're up by
one goal, you want to win that face-off."

With the Islanders in a youth movement under coach Peter Laviolette,
the 34-year-old Lapointe was gradually phased out for 28-year-old
Shawn Bates, who played for Laviolette in Providence of the American
Hockey League.

"In New York, I had a tag number on my back that read fourth line
only," Lapointe said. "I got maybe five or six minutes a night under
Laviolette. It's a lot different here. I love being here."

Under Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock, Lapointe isn't an old piece of wood
to be thrown into the fireplace. He's something worthy of putting on
the mantel.

Hitchcock compares Lapointe to Guy Carbonneau, who was a key player
on the Dallas Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup squad. Carbonneau was a veteran
checker who came up big in the playoffs.

"Carbonneau could always make the good plays at the right time... ,"
Hitchcock recalled. "My feeling was, we wanted to use Claude the same
way we used Carbonneau. When you have proud, competitive people, when
you get into the playoffs, those players seem to stand out. Their
pride takes over."

Hitchcock reasoned that after being devalued by the Islanders,
Lapointe's pride would overtake him once he got to Philadelphia. So
the coach decided to test his versatility by moving him around the

"My feeling was," Hitchcock said, "why not put him in a situation
where he can have an impact instead of a little bit of a role? Give
him a bigger bite."

Lapointe averaged 15 minutes in the Toronto series and figures to get
decent time in the series against Ottawa, as well. He's never gotten
past an opening round in the playoffs in his 13-year career. He
admits it hasn't been easy to play with LeClair and Recchi one night
and then jump back into a strict checking-line role the next.

"It was hard," Lapointe said. "I try to use my common sense and read
off Johnny and Mark... . One thing about coming here, when you feel
appreciated, your mind and attitude changes. You go on the ice and
feel like you're a different player. I think Hitchcock sees that."

Said Recchi: "He's been a terrific player and skater since we got
him. He kind of energizes us."

Yesterday, Recchi accidentally called Lapointe "Marty" as in the
Bruin, Martin Lapointe.

"Hitch called him Marty the other night [in Game 7]," Recchi added.

Lapointe laughs that stuff off. And, he said, after spending seven
good years with the Islanders, he laughs off how things ended there,

"Someday, I will ask Peter Laviolette, 'Why did you do that to me?' "
Lapointe said. "I did my job for the last 12 years the same way. He
never gave me a chance. He took his boys who played for him in
Providence and gave them my job."

Right now, no one is going to take away Lapointe's job with the

Espn Poll

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/24/2008 12:43:00 AM | Comments
Espn: Ranked all one hundred twenty pro franchises on several categories. They claim this nationwide poll done by Markitecture, Inc, it does not say when it was specifically done.

New York Islanders were ranked seventy fourth.

BNG (Bang for the Buck): Wins over the past three years per revenues directly from fans 68.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Considering how much Smg takes vs Cable contract that seems like a generous number.

FRL (Fan Relations): Ease of access to players, coaches & management 67.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
There is no team in pro sports that has been more accessible to it's fans than the New York Islanders with all the open houses and outreach programs the last two years combined with all the blogs introduced the last two years. Mike Bossy himself said at the first open house this never would have happened in his time. Isles have to do this with no newspapers to tell their story properly and they have gone above and beyond.

OWN (Ownership): Honesty; loyalty to players and city 58.

NYI Fan Central Commments:
Mr Wang deserves a much higher grade for his honesty/loyality to this market for the money he puts up for this franchise. No doubt you can write he was too loyal to Mike Milbury. Having written that he stands up at the podium and tells you what he's going to do whether we agree or not and he took a big media beating for firing Neil Smith which was deserved but he stood up and told the public why he made a change.

AFF (Affordability): Price of tickets, parking and concessions 76.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Espn claims through padded attendance numbers Isles are last in the league in avgerage so that number seems far too low.

STD (Stadium Experience): Friendliness of environment; quality of game-day promotions

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Considering how successful Loudville was last season and all the efforts made this year for the efforts to get kids to games this ranking is very reflective on the age of the Nassau Coliseum. Of course Pittsburgh and Msg are older and hardly beautiful while the Coliseum seems to have a ton of great promotions.

PLA (Players): Effort on the field; likability off it 61.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Effort on the field/ice in this case was spotty and that's being kind. I really do not have a favorite among the players and have no idea how likeable the players are off of it.

CCH (Coach/Manager): Strong on-field leadership 5.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I hope Charles Wang and Garth Snow see that whenever this was done, Ted Nolan finished first among NHL coaches. He did not do better than Stirling or Laviolette in year two but people feel this man is a leader.

TTR (Title Track): Titles already won or expected -- soon 66.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems like a very low ranking considering the Isles past but also seems offset by the playoff record since 1984. I don't know.

Some quick hits

Amazing how many articles referencing the New York Islanders this time of year.

From the dynasty or the comebacks down 3-0 or just the incredible memorable wins and even the playoff beards this time of year. The history and the legacy are just fun to see everywhere even without the team in the playoffs. Other teams just do not have this kind of incredible tradition.

Islanders website: Reports Bill Guerin was nominated for the King Clancy award with his comments and Garth Snow's.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Glad he got nominated, we'll see if he gets picked in June. He could be fantastic off the ice but on the ice he played large stretches of the season where he did not work as hard as he is capable. In terms of on ice I think the gm went overboard with his praise. A player who had one assist after the opening weekend going into December who's veterans were called out by the coach on several occasions is not above and beyond.

Ted Nolan admitted last week he went easy on his veterans and it was a mistake, one the captain has be directly accountable for also.

Everything and more, Mr Snow? Scoring thirty with a bunch of big goals and a playoff spot is everything and more. Worst offensive club in the league where the captain called the powerplay awful is not everything and more.

If his name was Yashin people would be looking for a buyout and Yashin had no one nearly as talented as Comrie all those years.

To be fair the King Clancy award is given to a player who exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in the community. If Mr Snow feels his contribution was above and beyond off the ice I cannot say and do not know. It was reported he did a lot of great things, I do not want to give my readers any impression my comments are about anything but what I saw watching him play hockey games which is where my disagreement with the gm is here.

I felt that had to be added in here to be fair across the board. I have no idea what Bill Guerin does off the ice or in the community.

Vancouver Sun: Elliott Pap reports player agent Mike Gillis has been named the new general manager of the Vancouver Cauncks with speculation assistant gm Steve Tambellini could be replaced.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Another player agent makes the jump to general manager. Interesting the great class of potential general mangers for the Isles job two years ago are not exactly looking like incredible talents right now, although Chiarelli did a fantastic job getting Boston to the playoffs this year. I wonder how folks would feel with Dean Lombardi's record or Brent Sutter's fighting with his veterans, despite a solid year.

Some playoff notables:
All those former Islander defenders play game seven's.

Hamrlik Montreal-Won
Chara Boston-Loss
Aucoin Calgary-Loss

Mike Keenan is still the most destructive coach in hockey and once again his giant ego just had to tinker until he kills him team. Pulling Kiprusoff for Curtis Joseph and within a minute he let up a softie that basically put the game away. I know Calgary was outshot and outplayed badly before he did this but it's like he cannot help himself and has to try something/anything instead of trusting his world-class talent.

Without that absurd move it's a one goal goal down the stretch instead of a Calgary club that seemed resigned to it's fate after falling behind three.

Kiprusoff and his agent should be demanding a trade unless Keenan is fired, it was that dumb a move by a coach who's team was outplayed and outshot badly and did not need a gimmick but a leader.

Speaking of ego too bad Washington did not win for another reason.

Dick Ebersol and Sam Flood would have looked like Msg employees on Dolan's payroll if Montreal and the Garden's team got the NBC games vs Washington-Pittsburgh which is the best matchup of all for ratings.

It would have been very entertaining watching them put a spin on showing a
Montreal-Ranger matchup over the leagues best draws by a mile. I think they would have gotten some heavy abuse from the hockey media also if they tried to pull it off.

Funny how last Sunday NBC's partner Versus did not get the hockey games when NBC showed the pope but Msg plus did? That's how friendly Msg and Mr Ebersol are.

It will be fun watching Ed Snider Comcast/Versus in Philadelphia vs the
Dolan-Ebersol connection fight for NBC games with Crosby in the middle. Personally the league needs to go where Crosby goes unless they wish to dig up the Detroit-Colorado rivalry now that Ovechkin is out.

In my opinion Ovechkin-Crosby was the only real ratings draw they have. None of these matchups will pull in big numbers.

For some reason I found myself pulling for Washington and was happy to see big crowds and a great building from a fanbase that even after going to a final looked lost after leaving Landover. What is Ted Leonsis waiting for to add Alexei Yashin to that speed and skill with his world-class shot?

If he stays healthy he will put up eight points in his sleep with everyone targeting Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin. Announced former Islander J.P Parise was named the general manager and head coach of the Des Moines Buccaneers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Congratutions and best of luck to JP Parise.

Article also credits Parise for his prior work as director of prospect evaluation at Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School in Faribault, Minn as one of the premiere prep school hockey programs in the world that has produced the likes of Sidney Crosby and Kyle Okposo.

Newsday: Katie Strang had another blog on the Islanders Newsday page with Pat Lafontaine's comments on his latest charity endeavor where he praised Ted Nolan for his coaching and gave his thoughts on the young players and the Isles future.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Rick DiPietro

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/23/2008 08:05:00 AM | |Comments
Today's NYI Fan Central final review puts the bright spotlight on goaltender Rick DiPietro.

Rick DiPietro for the most part aside from a few early bad goals was simply outstanding beginning to end. He was a first time all-star who someone kept his team in contention scoring two goals or less fourteen games in a row at a time the veterans should have been at their best and healthy. Isles season should have been over right there, instead they got up to six games over break even before injury/illness and the club's inability to score and a terrible powerplay finally finished them.

Go watch his games on that West Coast trip, every point they got he stole for them as the club was horrible in Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, Minnesota before finally beating a tired Senators team.

Isles led the league in one goal wins for a good part of the year, Rick DiPietro was the biggest reason. His movements seemed more compact for a good part of the season, and most nights was an asset with his stick handling.

Unfortunately he could not get enough games to overtime with the lack of scoring in front of him and a defense that even though they cut the shots against by close to two hundred from a year, still made glaring mistakes at times where no goalie had a chance.

Anyone who only looks at his second half stats and not the quality goals against where he kept them in several games after the All-Star break simply were not paying attention or looking for a reason to complain for reasons beyond the game.

He said he was playing hurt, I challenge anyone to look at the game highlights from the All-Star break on, right through his final game against Montreal and tell me how his goal tending was not outstanding and carried the club most games? One look at the goals against the oppositionn scored tells the story.

If that's not enough the six game winning streak with all those injuries that got them into contention should be, injured hip and all.

Unfortunately Mr Logan had a need to create some controversy at a time he lost a family member and went overboard with his own speculation and found a few games after that where he struggled to make his injury seem like he was hurting the club by playing.

We did not see that theme a year ago against Buffalo when he also played with an injured hip and from his play there he did not look hurt either.

It was unfair and unprofessional on Mr Logan's part. He played hurt and aside from a game in Philadelphia and a game in Tampa played very well. He deserved far better for his overall season from the teams only regular beatwriter as he created a
so-called rift even Nolan denied.

You could make a case Brendan Witt was this club's MVP, you could throw Radek Martinek in that mix, but without Rick DiPietro early this team is out of contention by Christmas, it's not even close.

Looking forward:
He reportedly had no problems with his hip after last season's surgery so there is no reason to think there should be a problem this time around. Despite all the talk of limiting him the only thing that needs to be limited are schedules where a team plays three games in twenty days to start the season. If he had the five three days plus breaks the Rangers had from mid-February through the end of the season it would not even have been an issue.

Isles did not have one three day break after December and only a pair of two day breaks for close to a month starting around Feb10th.

I have no doubt DiPietro will be played based on how he performs, not some advanced program determined by media speculation. He played sixty games the last two years, if the schedule provides he will play more if he's healthy.

I only see a goaltender who is getting better. Hopefully the club in front of him gives him a chance.

Final Grade:
He receives an A for keeping the club in contention early, for holding the lowest scoring club in the league in contention, for being named to the all-star game and for his play right through his final game in Montreal. Martin Brodeur felt he is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, Isles are lucky to have him.

Garth Snow's things to do list

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/23/2008 05:50:00 AM | |Comments
Now that Garth Snow has talked about his plan it seems a good time to go over his things to do list.

The scouting staff and the general manager have a lot of work to do going into this draft but while that is on going here is my little to do list for the gm.

1. Make some final decisions/offers on Satan, Dubielewicz, Fedotenko, Davison, Berard & Vasicek.
2. If Marcinko is signed, finish something with Robin Figren.
3. Time to get Bergenheim's name on a long-term deal along the lines of Hunter.
4. Time for Jeff Tambellini to also get his three year deal also or be taken to arbitration.
5. Make the same offer to Gervais that Campoli received.
6. Qualify everyone restricted, including Aaron Johnson.
7. Sit down with Ted Nolan and ask does he want changes on his coaching staff.
8. Sit down with Howard Saffin and Jack Capuano about the direction in Bridgeport.
9. No harm asking your college prospects if they are interested in leaving school early and signing them now.
10. More scouting combines, prospect workouts and interviews.

Isles World Championship Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/22/2008 01:58:00 PM | ||Comments
 Reported Sean Bergenheim was playing for team Finland at the Ceska Pojistovna Cup on the European Hockey tour, he had the only goal for his club against Russia a few days ago and had to go for an MRI according to a European publication here.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I guess we'll see if Bergenheim can play or has been invited to play for team Finland at the World Championships if he is not hurt too badly. With the first round games coming to a close teams will be leaving spots for NHL players but now will be finalizing rosters with teams gathering in a few days.

Updated 5:30pm
Katie Strang again updated the Isles newsday blog with Bergenheim's agent Mark Gandler saying his client is day-to-day with a slight groin pull here with his comments on negotiations for a new contract.

Team USA here announced Paul Martin and Zach Parise were added today to the roster for the US.

I did not see Kyle Okposo on the list but perhaps playing in the WJC championship does not allow him to participate?

Bill Guerin on Espn

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/22/2008 12:38:00 PM | |Comments
Media Blog: Cory Witt updated his blog on what programs Bill Guerin will be on today as well as Newsday with Katie Strang also doing another update on the Isles page.

Islander News Articles 4/22

Newsday: Katie Strang reports in the Islanders blog at Newsday Tomas Marcinko has been signed by the Islanders with comments from Garth Snow, Islanders Asst GM and director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski and Pro Scout Toby O'Brien.

Islanders website: Has more on Tomas Marcinko's signing.

Regina Leader-Post: Greg Harder has a full update on Mike Sillinger's injury with the Islander center's comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It did not seem this serious and will keep him off skates until August but apparently he will be able to continue his career.

SW Iowa News: Patrick Donohue had a few words on Islander prospect Jason Gregoire and his teams upcoming series.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports in his blog Bill Guerin will be appearing on several Espn shows.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting but how come Islanders TV did not have his looking back/looking forward recap of the season? I know Chris King could not get everyone but he did have Sillinger and Hunter, some words from the team captain are appropriate.

I do not even recall his words in Newsday either after the final game, just a few quick comments after the last game in the AP and he was gone.

Newsday: Ellen Yan reports Rupert Murdoch is close to purchasing Newsday for five hundred eighty million dollars.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
So the paper that virtually eliminated Islander coverage in the Post now will own Newsday combined with Rupert Murdoch behind the Fox-Msg merger that took Islander coverage off sportschannel which has hurt their ratings for years?

Tough running a team with no newsprint to hype the product or sell tickets. Wonder if Mr Murdoch will apply the same standard to hockey coverage he does at the Post and eliminate all Ranger coverage from Newsday. Only good news is Murdoch was so sick of Dolan's garden the merger was ended but Msg got full control of what was Fox Sports New York.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had Howard Saffin's comments on the business end of the Sound Tigers with the problems selling tickets for weeknight games as the attendance trends and start times are discussed along with corporate support in Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's blog has several features but today's includes some pictures from the Islanders-Canucks Stanley Cup Finals with one picture showing Mike Bossy with what looked like him scoring his overtime goal in game one.

Seems like only one open spot at center

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/22/2008 08:23:00 AM | |Comments
Funny thing looking through this roster with all the talk of UFA and prospects.

The club is locked into a lot of players.

By all reports Mike Sillinger will be back for the final year of his contract.

Mike Comrie is signed for next season.

That leaves a possible replacement for Josef Vasicek and his sixteen goals and a fourth line player which could include:

Richard Park
Andy Hilbert
Shawn Bates
Frans Nielsen
Jeremy Colliton
Ben Walter

To say nothing of bringing in an unrestricted free agent at center.

Seems to me not much room to maunever unless something unexpected happens.

Islander/Sound Tiger Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/21/2008 06:02:00 PM | |||||Comments
islanders website: Had an article on Trent Hunter with his comments on resigning with the team, giving advice to the younger players and praises Bill Guerin.

Islanders also had another prospect update which is down to Jason Gregoire and Blake Kessel which was added to the prospect section.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updates his blog on the AHL playoffs and Bridgeport sell-off next Sunday.

Happy Twenty First Anniversary plus two, Pat Lafontaine.

Updated 7:45pm
Newsday: Katie Strang had a blog update on the Islanders page about Rob Hennigar with his comments.

NYI Fan Central Final Review of Jon Sim

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/21/2008 07:50:00 AM | |Comments
Today a quick look at Jon Sim.

Jon Sim went into 2007-08 with a lot on his shoulders playing for a new club and coming off two seventeen goal seasons in Atlanta. He seemed one of the players management targeted early and gave extra years specifically to land him.

I saw a player in pre-season games/his two regular season games who had a nice ability to get in quality area's of the ice and not waste his speed and quickness with a lot of peripheral skating, a few times he went straight at the net from the corners or behind the goal. I remember one very impressive goal in preseason against Montreal he just took the puck and drove straight into the crease and started banging away. It was something lacking on this roster all season but it's fair to write on a limited offensive roster Sim would have had the same problems because it seemed contagious in 2007-08. All we know is he was supposed to play with Hunter and Sillinger and we could be back to square one come October with that line getting another chance.

Moving Forward:
All I know is every player who had this kind of injury needed an extra year before regaining their quickness and hit a wall in recovery. I know from reports Sim would have returned for the playoffs and was practicing at full speed. Maybe the summer makes a difference but we saw this with Peca, Martinek, Nokelainen and a lot of players where things are not a hundred percent for a full two years before they get their full speed back. Sim is not a young player but he has two more years on his Islander contract and we will find out come September.

Bergenheim, Comeau and Tambellini are all left wingers who should be here in September. Sim is a career left wing, he has to score and provide grit and speed.

A lot is being asked.

A little Tim Ryan Ch 9 Islander Hockey

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/20/2008 06:30:00 PM | |||Comments

A little spring dancing between Bob Nystrom and Mike Milbury and one amazing fight with Mel Bridgeman. I used to love Tim Ryan's work on channel nine calling Islander hockey. If I have the time line correct, Mr Ryan was replaced by Steve Albert in 1980 before Bill Torrey contacted Jiggs McDonald for 1981.

I have to admit I do not know who is doing the play by play here unless it's George Michael of Sportsmachine fame.

I know for a short time John Potvin was in and how of the booth in his Islander career before going into the radio side after his official retirement. John Sterling also did play by play on WMCA radio in those day for the Isles.

Here is something incredible. The Channel Nine opening to Islanders Hockey back in the 1980's on WOR with Jiggs McDonald.

Islander News Articles 4/20

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/20/2008 12:42:00 PM | |||Comments
Kingston Daily Freeman: Msg employee Stan Fischler does an article wondering where the hockey coverage is in New York, takes a few shots at the Daily News Bob Raissman and quotes from some of Chris Botta's recent blog on the subject

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Where was Stan Fischler when the Islanders were put on Metro channel during the playoffs in 2002 and the Dolan machine was doing all they could to regulate and control Islander and Devils coverage/content to the point the sports editors finally decided to cut coverage to all three local teams?

Where was Mr Fischler for all the years the Isles could not get a preseason game on television unless it was against the Garden's team?

Can't have it both ways. You want to be criticial start with your own networks coverage of the Islanders and Devils. Also seems clear your speaking for Dolan's suits who are offended at lack of Ranger coverage.

Too bad, your network is a big part of the probkem.

It's damaged the Isles in Manhattan to a point they have no regular coverage. Phil Mushnik at the Post told me recently hockey coverage for the Isles is a luxury and talked about the cost.

Mr Dolan himself appeared on WFAN live and when grilled on hiding the Isles-Leafs playoffs on Metro because he owned the Rangers he just laughed back in those days.

Unfortunately the other sports all got the last laugh because they forgot about hockey and that includes the Garden's team.

Turns out the Garden needed all three teams to market hockey, despite the Ranger fan reporters in the media selling the product with limited space. This year the Rangers not only played the Devils but were covered just like the Devils.

In the end Msg created this problem and by limiting two teams (now three with control of Sabre hockey) have done a lot of damage to their own product. When Msg network p.r department issues releases on improved hockey ratings, I do not believe a single word of it because it does not come from the independent people who do the ratings or did them last year telling us hockey in Manhattan drew horrible ratings.

Backpages? Regular season hockey in New York has not received a single back page in a good four-five years for a game. I don't know where Stan Fischler has been but clearly he's just a salesman for the Rangers and needs to do this to keep future employment in a stable of spin doctors and has been since the forties despite his time with the Isles and Devils on sportschannel.

Islanders have had the most backpages (Newsday) but very infrequent. New York City will not be on the Ranger bandwagon for more than a few days if they make a deep run or win the cup. The business of baseball is big ratings, advertising dollars and now a critical resource to these publications.

Oh yes, eight million will attend games this season for both clubs, publishers and editors cover what they want first and what the public wants second.

Having written that Msg helped create this problem, give all three teams the exact among of coverage and content on both networks and you help hockey.

Limit the Garden's competition and you limit the scope of coverage for hockey.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio had a blog update on former AHL player Ben Guite, who helped Colorado advance.

NYI Fan Comments:
No criticism of Mr Fornabaio here but how come his editor did not give him some print space for a few extra articles to wrap the season? I have noticed the drop in print coverage this year.

Unchartered waters for Nolan and Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/20/2008 12:11:00 PM | Comments
Last August 2nd I did a blog on whether the second year trend for Islander coaches will surface and cost Ted Nolan his job.

I'm very glad the Islanders have decided to make sure that trend finally breaks, even if it's not in a contract extension but just seeing through Ted Nolan's contract.

The pattern has almost be the same, first year solid/signs of improvement, second year message team takes steps backwards, coach goes.

We saw this with Butch Goring who worked miracles his first year to reach twenty four wins and was fired in his second season.

We saw it with Peter Laviolette who did not survive his second summer.

Finally Steve Stirling after a miracle playoff berth his first season with Oleg Kvasha hitting fifty points (more than any Islander this season..ouch) did not make it through his second year after the lockout.

Ted Nolan's first two years have had a lot of the same trends as these coaches, it looks like he will be back for a third year.

I still see Ted Nolan as part of the long-term answer for this organization and think he's someone who can bring the Stanley Cup back to New York under the right circumstances.

Early World Championship Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/19/2008 11:43:00 AM | Comments

Early update on the 2008 World Championships with exhibition games starting up within the next week and a section created here at NYI Fan Central. Parts of some team rosters have been leaking through but very few official and confirmed lists. No confirmed Islanders to date.

Frans Nielsen will not participate for Denmark between his shoulder injury and his contract status.

Sean Bergenheim I have seen on and off lists for Finland but is restricted and needs a new contract.

Robert Esche was named for team USA for those wondering if DiPietro could participate.

Kyle Okposo was not on team USA early roster, could be a lot of reasons he has not been added but he already participated at WJC.

Miroslav Satan's knee injured will keep him out of the tournament.

Final Poll Results: Who's out at forward?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/19/2008 10:48:00 AM | Comments
Final results for this week's poll a bit early, nice job as always on the voting.

This weeks question was who's out among the forwards?

Someone under contract for next season 10
Restricted free agent foward 1
Josef Vasicek 13
Ruslan Fedotenko 19
Miroslav Satan 24

No one voted everyone (all UFA) would be back.

Yashin vs Satan, double standard by Nolan?

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/18/2008 06:11:00 PM | ||Comments
I'm not going to claim to be an insider or anything. I have no idea what goes on in the Islander lockeroom, who talks or is popular among the players.

All I see is what happens during the games and to me it begs a fair question be asked and one I have been wanting to ask for a while.

If Alexei Yashin who had an outstanding start and carried the club into December two years ago scored forty percent of the offense with Jason Blake and Chris Simon on his line can be sent home for ineffective play because he was playing hurt and ineffective how come Ted Nolan did not apply the same standard to Miroslav Satan this year and force him to sit until he could be effective?

Let me refresh you to Yashin's circumstances. He injured his knee on a ninety point pace, missed a few weeks, came back early, had a good game but was injured again and clearly could not move on his knee. Anyone watching could see him in obvious pain.

Ted Nolan let him play about eighteen games where he had maybe a goal, was clearly slowed and totally ineffective before he finally sent him home and basically ran him down in the press telling everyone he would not play until he could contribute as if he had no tolerance for a player trying to play with an injury on one leg.

This year Miroslav Satan did not look good early, aside from a few brief flashes. I do not know when he specifically got hurt but after missing a game the team announcing he has an injury that should sideline him for eight weeks kept playing and for the most part was terrible. He did not contribute on the scoresheet.

So how come Ted Nolan did not apply the same standard for Satan, who has been ineffective for most of the last two seasons?

Alexei Yashin when he finally returned produced ten critical points to help the club make the playoffs and two key goals against the Rangers, one in the third period.

Someone needs to tell me what the difference is here because I'm not seeing it. Viktor Kozlov when he signed with Washington also felt there was a double-standard against his friend.

It should be noted Yashin's fifty points in fifty eight games was greater than any one player on this years roster.

If Yashin's buyout was on Ted Nolan's opinion it gives the owner fair reason to ask questions because the loss of his offense hurt the roster whether he was popular with the media or not.