Islander News Articles 10/1

Newsday: Greg Logan's article is on forward Jeff Tambellini with comparisons to how things worked under Ted Nolan vs Scott Gordon as he the left wing praised Frans Nielsen for how well he has looked.

Mr Logan had more speculation on when Rick DiPietro could be cleared to play which could come by the weekend but given the clubs injury policy just does not know.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
It's up to the player to do well and make an impact so the coach can give him more minutes.

Bergenheim did this, so did Comeau and for now so has Kyle Okposo. Justin Papineau never did and to date two coaches who gave Tambellini games on the top lines were not impressed to this point.

Steve Stirling went all out in 03-04 to give Mattias Weinhandl a good look and moved players to off wings for him to be put in the best possible position to produce and failed. Even after leading his team in scoring during the lockout he did not come in and play well enough to be a top six forward. He was placed on waivers did not make an impact with Minnesota and has not played in the NHL since.

Sure Ted Nolan could have given Robert Nilsson a serious look to be fair all the way around but Tambellini had a month under Brad Shaw when he was acquired and a few weeks in the top six under Ted Nolan late.

Ct Post: Micheal Fornabaio recaps practice on Tuesday with head coach Jack Capuano's comments on the opportunity the players have along with a lot of players in on try-outs as the club heads to Albany for it's pre-season game Wednesday.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio also has an article on Utah Grizzlies head coach, Kevin Colley and his assistant Jeff Dwyer. Announced today that forward Mike Lesperance has been called up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers from the clubs CHL affiliate in Odessa because of all the injuries.

Again here is Bridgeport's exhibition schedule with games beginning 10/1:
10/1: Bridgeport at Albany.
10/3: Bridgeport vs Hartford-Northford Ice Pavilion in Northford, CT at 7 p.m.
10/4: Bridgeport vs Lowell Devils- The Rinks at Shelton at 7 p.m.
10/5: Bridgeport at Hartford-Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT at 4:30 p.m.
More Wednesday:

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New York Announces Roster Cuts

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/30/2008 06:14:00 PM | Comments
Islanders website: Released an official list of the players sent to Bridgeport/Junior Hockey and who remains in New York for now with the official count down to thirty two.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I know the media did this but felt why not put the names and numbers to the rosters so you have one blog entry as a reference point.

If nothing else we can assign Thomas Pock # 17 because 22 was not going to be available, I will highlight the reported/speculated injured or injury list players.

New York Islanders Training Camp Roster
(as of 9/29/2008)

12 C Josh Bailey 6-1 188 L 10/2/1989
20 LW Sean Bergenheim 5-10 205 L 2/8/1984
27 C Jeremy Colliton 6-2 195 R 1/13/1985
57 RW Blake Comeau 6-1 207 R 2/18/1986
89 C Mike Comrie 5-10 185 L 9/11/1980
49 LW Mitch Fritz 6-7 242 L 11/24/1980
13 RW Bill Guerin 6-2 220 R 11/7/1970
11 LW Andy Hilbert 5-11 194 L 2/6/1981
7 RW Trent Hunter 6-3 210 R 7/5/1980
28 RW Tim Jackman 6-4 210 R 11/14/1981
51 C Frans Nielsen 5-11 172 L 4/24/1984
21 RW Kyle Okposo 6-1 200 R 4/16/1988
10 RW Richard Park 5-11 190 R 5/27/1976
18 C Mike Sillinger 5-11 198 R 6/29/1971
16 LW Jon Sim 5-10 195 L 9/29/1977
55 RW Brandon Sugden 6-4 231 R 6/23/1978
15 LW Jeff Tambellini 5-11 186 L 4/13/1984
93 C Doug Weight 5-11 196 L 1/21/1971

14 D Chris Campoli 5-11 190 L 7/9/1984
8 D Bruno Gervais 6-0 188 R 10/3/1984
38 D Jack Hillen 5-11 200 L 1/24/1986
47 D Chris Lee 6-0 185 L 10/3/1980
24 D Radek Martinek 6-1 203 R 8/31/1976
44 D Freddy Meyer 5-10 192 L 1/4/1981
17 D Thomas Pock 6-1 210 L 12/2/1981
4 D Brett Skinner 6-1 183 L 6/28/1983
2 D Mark Streit 6-0 197 L 12/11/1977
25 D Andy Sutton 6-6 245 L 3/10/1975
32 D Brendan WItt 6-2 223 L 2/20/1975

34 G Yann Danis 6-0 181 L 6/21/1981
39 G Rick DiPietro 6-1 210 R 9/19/1981
35 G Joey MacDonald 6-0 197 L 2/7/1980

The Islanders have posted a countdown clock for the release of it's third jersey which is in another thirty two days.

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Islander Notables

Globe & Mail : William Houston has an update on more dwindling hockey coverage in Newspapers around the league which include comments from sports editor Tom Jolly at the NY Times about local coverage.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is the same NY Times that went into see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil mode last year that announced it would cover Islander news in it's blog but now has taken that part out of it's advertisement covering European hockey more than New York hockey that sent Dave Caldwell to cover about two games but did features out of the Coliseum on Asian coverage of games and removal of goal judges?

Why did they bother heading to Bridgeport to cover Kyle Okposo's debut but not the games?

Lynn Zinser had no problem reporting Pat Lafontaine has to sit in a designated section last year from her blog at Msg when Anaheim visited the Coliseum to stir up something that did not even make it into Newsday even though Mr Wang and Lafontaine were on the ice together at Al Arbour night.

I'm no fan of Tim Panaccio's hockey writing but this is the trend in hockey coverage unless a newspaper owns a club and has a vested interest or needs a buildings co-tenant.

Without the Knicks who are the media meal ticket out of Msg the Ranger limited coverage would take a major hit and has already on a lot of levels. Reports goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin cleared waivers on Tuesday.

Note-To this point there have been no reported claims of any other waivers among the countless players listed in the last few days beyond Thomas Pock.

Ithaca Journal: Has more on Mike Iggluden clearing waivers and reports he has a foot injury but does not know the severity and links to Newsday's article/blog as he has been sent to Bridgeport. Reports Roberto Luongo has been named the new captain of the Vancouver Canucks but because of league rules cannot wear the letter to take part in faceoff ceremonies.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That's a first and could well be the beginning of a new trend where goalies are named captain but do not wear the letter or do the ceremonial things on ice that come with the position.

Fair to speculate Rick DiPietro and a few other goalies read this and the light blub went on or they felt, thanks but no thanks.

A bit silly to me, if a club wants to name a goaltender captain and put a letter on the jersey they should have every right to do so.

National Post/Several Outlets: Report Jeff O'Neill has been cut by the Carolina Hurricanes.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Sometimes clubs do this early so they can hook on elsewhere but impossible to know but O'Neill is only thirty two.

Updated 6pm:
Newsday: Greg Logan's blog update has Scott Gordon's comments on when Rick DiPietro could see live game action so all Mr Logan can add is his own speculation.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio updates the injury situation in Bridgeport as the Sound Tigers will have some games coming up with head coach Jack Capuano's comments.

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A Few Tough Questions for New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/30/2008 02:22:00 PM | Comments
A short while back I wrote about trends regarding this year's Islander team during preseason and at the time felt as long as they are competitive in games which they have been there are no problems that cannot be fixed.

I'm finding a disconcerting trend that goes beyond this.

This year's camp and preseason has introduced a new element or two into that mix that is a cause for concern with it's injuries that are at a point where our new coach plays preseason games in survival mode in the hope no one else gets injured.

Meanwhile other clubs are getting ready now to ice it's final opening night lineup and fine tune the roster which puts Scott Gordon at a disadvantage heading into the opener.

We have a starting goaltender who from all accounts has not faced any live shots in practice since March yet who was targeted a few days ago to play the final preseason games?

Reportedly we have about ten players or more on the current injured list or banged up to a degree with the new coach complaining about the players from last year not used to this training routine at high speed to withstand these drills and has never seen this many injuries which has to inhibit the job he is trying to do.

This is a rookie head coach with enough working against him already.

It should also be noted Scott Gordon said the first weekend he did not want to practice special teams until more of the core players returned when in fact his core is reducing so if this is being practiced it will not be his first string players.

I also have to write I think it's a bit of a reach to put this on Ted Nolan's training last year because the club only brought in a few players while giving the returning prospects a longer look.

Over the course of a career most players will work with over ten head coaches and countless assistants, players get injured in games which applies to Campoli and maybe a few others. If Andy Sutton is injured it's not because of Ted Nolan or Scott Gordon, it's because that's his history.

Bottom line this group has to get a little chemistry going and a core group healthy and working together daily. It's not going to happen if they patch things together just in time for the opener.

Teams doing that usually get their heads handed to them and look disorganized come opening night and a step behind.

And no, they cannot rush anyone who is not ready.

Tomorrow's only preseason home game will be about survival, not showcasing the best possible lineup.

That is not good and a major question, one that forces Scott Gordon to make sure his remaining core stay healthy by not playing some of them.

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Rico and Tambellini visit Cablevision

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/30/2008 11:16:00 AM | Comments

New York Islander Fan Central also has a special video of what really happened.

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Islander News Articles 9/30

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/29/2008 05:51:00 PM | ||||Comments
Newsday: Mr Logan's blog update has general manager Garth Snow's comments on why he acquired Thomas Pock with a little information on the injuries to Chris Campoli and Andy Sutton that could put them out for the season opener. Jeff Tambellini comments on his injuries as he practiced.

Mr Logan also reported Ben Walter, Mike Iggulden and defenseman Joe Callahan all cleared waivers and were assigned to Bridgeport. Bill Guerin, Doug Weight, Richard Park and Sean Bergenheim, all left the ice early today in practice as a precaution and are doubtful for Wednesday's game against New Jersey.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I'm going to add all news updates here heading into Tuesday to cut down on blog entries, just keep checking back.

I'm starting to understand why media/public seem more than a bit frustrated with the injury policy. Just creates more unnecessary work to speculate/explain what's going on/not going on, meanwhile we have players and the gm giving hints to what it's not which is just a waste of every one's time.

It's September, not playoff games, just tell everyone what's wrong to make less work for the media.

As for Andy Sutton all anyone had to do was look at his games played resume to know he is unlikely to play eighty two games.

Newsday: Neil Best reports Deb Placey is out covering Islander hockey for Msg, NY while C.J Papa of TV-55 will take that spot on the telecast.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
If allowed the time on the air Mr Papa will do a fine job. The seats at Msg's spindoctor show at 10pm (showing Liberty, Knicks and Rangers over baseball)
has a lot of competition for the two seats with all the recent hires and my guess is if Deb Placey wanted to keep her long-time spot going back well over a decade she has to work when/where Cablevision tells her to work.

Any idea she was ever employeed by the Islanders would not be correct on anyone's part, same for Mr Jaffe and Howie Rose. Pierre Lebrun and former Tampa gm Jay Feaster preview the Islanders with goaltender Rick DiPietro's comments about how competitive the club was in the Atlantic a year ago and was surprised a coaching change was made while Mr Feaster credited Garth Snow for not hiring a friend in Bob Hartley but someone who shared his philosophy even if both felt the Islanders have an uphill climb.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
My instincts on Mr LeBrun being a very good hire for Espn were right on the money because if Mr Burnside or Teri Frei wrote this we would be reading about the goalies contract or Mr Wang firing Neil Smith or Roberto Luongo, not what the on ice product looked like last season or how competitive they were in the East.

About time someone had a quote from DiPietro or anyone about how well this club played within it's own division last season. They opened 9-0 combined against the Rangers and Devils and won both season series.

Mr Feaster did a solid job here too writing about the young players baptism by fire and not from someone doing the shock jock routine but from someone who sat in an NHL general managers office and knows player ability.

Very good job across the board.

Chicago Sun-Times/Several sources: Report goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and his 6.75 million contract has been placed on waivers by the Chicago Black Hawks.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
In a word, NO.

I would prefer Danis and MacDonald to Khabibulin and would contact Dubie in Russia before taking that contract.

Windsor Star: Jim Parker has comments from Islanders assistant general manager Ryan Jankowski and Spitfire coach Bob Boughner who feels Islander first round pick Josh Bailey will stay with New York the entire preseason and perhaps some early season games with the NHL club. Mr Jankowski insist there is no plan and that it's up to the player while admitting he would be going back to a good situation in Windsor with general manager Warren Rychel's comments who is monitoring Bailey and in contact with the player and his agent in Pat Morris.

9/30 AM Update:
Newsday: Greg Logan an interview with head coach Scott Gordon on the injuries and if the changes from Ted Nolan's practice routine to more intense workouts has caused a lot of injury problems for the returning players which will likely sideline Campoli and Sutton well past the season opener which contributed to the club claiming Thomas Pock.

NY Post: Dan Martin's limited space article has Scott Gordon's comments on the difference in training along with Mike Comrie on how the up tempo skating suits him while Bill Guerin felt this structure is better for today's game in comparing Gordon to Ted Nolan.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio's article is on defenseman Andrew MacDonald which includes comments from head coach Jack Capuano as the roster depth on defense is looked at and how Tomas Pock added by Garth Snow could change things.

For those curious the NY Sun is closing it's doors after six years, it's links have been removed from the blog.

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Sound Tigers Camp Day One

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/29/2008 04:16:00 PM | |Comments
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio in his Sound Tigers blog has more on the Islanders acquiring Thomas Pock and what it could mean along with day one of camp for the Sound Tigers and Utah players with Sound Tigers coach Jack Capuano, assistant coach Pat Bingham, Utah Grizzlies head coach Kevin Colley and new Utah assistant Jeff Dwyer.

On the injury/waiver front:
No Michael Haley, who's still has his hand wrapped up. No Marcinko, who is with Bridgeport but sick. No Callahan who is on waivers, Ben Walter who is also on waivers but hurt. Mike Iggulden remains up but is also injured.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That trade for Ben Walter is looking like an outright bust with Nokelainen signing an extension with over fifty games of experience for the Bruins and it's fair to specluate Walter could be claimed by another club. Not writing the Isles would have had a spot for Nokelainen but Walter could not force management (or the coach who was working with him in Providence when he was traded here) to give him a longer look?

Islanders should receive a second rounder as part of the trade which will be all that remains for the 2004 first round pick.

Not one of Garth Snow's best deals at this time.

Just a quick list of the players supposedly injured or listed as such, working their way back from injury for those keeping score at home.


Jyri Niemi
Kirill Petrov

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New York claims Thomas Pock/Niemi injured

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/29/2008 01:28:00 PM | |Comments
Islanders website: Reports general manager Garth Snow has claimed defenseman Thomas Pock from the Hartford Wolfpack/Rangers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Pock has been on waivers before and played only one game for the Rangers, draw your own conclusions what this means on Campoli given we are not going to be told about injuries or if it's a depth signing for Bridgeport.

I have read a few things on the Rangers not wanting to expose him to waivers.

Now the question is has anyone claimed someone the Isles placed on waivers?

Mr Botta reports what I thought folks already knew. Pock is on a one-way deal which is why the Rangers during the last year were very reluctant to force a recall because there were concerns in the paper he would be claimed.

Now the Islanders have the same problem except he is stuck at the NHL level and to send him to Bridgeport means he has to clear waivers again. This is kind of like the situtation with Freddy Meyer.

My Point Blank: Mr Botta has plenty from day one of camp for New York and apparently Mr Martin from the Post along with Arthur Staple and Mark Herrmann were also on hand with Mr Logan.

I guess that means the Daily News has no interest in this club at all along with the Times, Journal News, NY Sun, SI Advance & Newark Star Ledger who should all be covering New York Islander hockey daily with full columns and blogs.

I would hope baseball season ending might send one writer to a live event but it's baseball gossip time which is even bigger than the games.

You can bet Mr Logan, Herrmann, Staple and Martin will be coming after the injury policy big-time along with DiPietro and it's been a few weeks since Mark Herrman made the clubs viability an issue so he's due to rub that in the fans faces.

Montreal Gazette: Dave Stubbs has Yannick Weber's comments about fellow Swiss product Mark Streit.

Star Phoenix: Reports Islander prospect Jyri Niemi was injured during the rookie exhibition game with the Boston Bruins in Shelton, Conn where he had a small fracture in his lower back with his comments along with praising his training camp experience and in particular Bill Guerin and Rick DiPietro.

Niemi is expected to be out from two-four weeks where his coach in Saskatoon also comments.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A bit disconcerting Niemi played with an injury until he says he could barely walk and that the Islanders/NHL injury policy did not release this until he got back to his junior club.

Media Blog: Cory Witt reports Cablevision has decided to promote long-time Islander producer Kevin Meininger who will now fill a similar role for the Garden's three teams. Mike Santini, who produced NY Mets broadcasts for MSG when they had the television rights
has been named his replacement.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Seems like a matter of when before Cablevision pulls this teams coverage entirely, not saying tomorrow but bet on it in the next few years. They pay this money to the teams to control competition and limit exposure.

NYI Fan Central Update:
Espn's Pierre LeBrun is doing Atlantic Confercnce Previews with analysis from former Tampa GM Jay Feaster. My guess is we'll see the Isles shortly and hopefully we will get the quality Scott Burnside's updates painfully lack.

New poll is up and I think it's a good one where some decisions have to be made with the opener a week from Friday.

On my club Colliton stays over Park and Hilbert. MacDonald stays for Danis but it's close. No enforcer/fighter is carried full-time, Bailey goes back to juniors and Hillen stays.

Cannot do anything to put Tomas Pock in the poll either way. My personal speculation is if Ben Walter had to clear waivers a club may take a chance so I'm waiting on Mr Fornabaio's report to see if something happened or if he was at practice.

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Islander News Articles 9/29

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2008 09:25:00 PM | |Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan has more from Scott Gordon on the clubs system and how the forecheck can generate chances, he also felt his club caught a tired Florida team playing it's fifth game in six days while Frans Nielsen also has a few words on how this system benefits him.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio reports in his blog the Sound Tigers met Sunday night to settle paperwork and get acquainted with the list set for Monday's skate as Bridgeport camp opens.

Here is the early list:
Team DiPietro," 10 a.m. -- G: Nathan Lawson, Mike Mole. D--Andy Sertich, Dustin Kohn, Jamie Fraser, John Gleed, Reagan Leslie. F--Jason Pitton, Vladimir Nikiforov, Mike Walsh, Tyler Haskins, Rob Hennigar, James Sixsmith, Jesse Joensuu, Pascal Morency, Tom May.

"Team Hunter," 11:15 -- G: Peter Mannino, A.J. Bucchino. D--Mark Wotton, Andrew MacDonald, Jordan Hart, Russ Moyer. F--Trevor Smith, Marc Rechlicz, Kazuma Takahashi, Kurtis McLean, Jean Bourbeau, Sean Bentivoglio, Joel Rechlicz.

Mr Fornabaio also reports Micheal Haley is with Bridgeport with a wrapped hand from his fights. Tomas Marcinko is also supposedly with Bridgeport or coming while Joe Callahan is on waivers.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Somewhat surprising Rob Hennigar did not make it to New York because he is a little older. Jeremy Colliton apparently will last a little longer with Scott Gordon and some depth defenders. Unsigned Sugden vs signed Tim Jackman head to New York while Joel Rechlicz heads to Bridgeport with his three year contract.

Peter Mannino did not make it to New York while Joey MacDonald and Yann Danis did.

And who the heck is Kazuma Takahashi for those scoring at home? No, not a sumo wrestler turned goaltender which might be a plan if any more goaltenders become injured.

Kazuma Takahashi (born 1978) after having played a few seasons professionals in Asia, was with the Renegades of Richmond in the Southern Professional Hockey League in the 2006-07 before joining the Grizzlies.

Newsday: Greg Logan had a late blog update with the list of players cut which did not include Mike Iggulden who suffered an injury in Saturday night’s 4-2 win over Florida or he likely would have been on the list also. Mr Logan also believes Ben Walter, Tomas Marcinko and defenseman Joe Callahan were placed on waivers for the purpose of assigning them to Bridgeport.

This is Mr Logan's list:
The Islanders’ current 31-man roster breakdown:

Jon Sim, Doug Weight, Kyle Okposo
Blake Comeau, Josh Bailey, Mike Comrie
Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen, Trent Hunter
Sean Bergenheim, Richard Park, Andy Hilbert
Mitch Fritz, Jeremy Colliton, Tim Jackman
Brandon Sugden

Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek
Andy Sutton, Freddy Meyer
Mark Streit, Bruno Gervais
Jack Hillen, Chris Lee
Brett Skinner

Joey MacDonald
Yann Danis

Injured list – G Rick DiPietro, RW Bill Guerin, D Chris Campoli, C Mike Sillinger.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I was not aware Marcinko had to clear waivers at his age?

So about eight, nine or ten roster cuts coming depending on how many Garth Snow decides to carry.

Absolutely one goaltender between Danis/MacDonald when DiPietro is ready.

Likely Lee, Skinner and Hillen on defense to bring the defense to seven when Campoli is activated.

At least two of three among Fritz, Jackman or Sugden in the enforcer department and perhaps all three.

And then what seems the toughest calls:
Bailey, Colliton, Hilbert, and maybe Nielsen along with Iggulden. A lot of this also comes down to when Sillinger, Guerin can play. No absolute lock Richard Park keeps his spot if a young winger out produces him here.

Ben Walter did not make Mr Fornabaio or Mr Logan's list so for now he's in limbo.

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The Cold, Hard Numbers on Scoring/Injuries

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2008 05:28:00 PM | Comments
In the next day (or sooner) the Islanders will make some decisions as to who reports to Bridgeport vs who is heading for New York. Some of it will be about competition for one spot or simply filling a preseason space until a Guerin, Sillinger are ready to return and ice a roster for preseason games.

Not the end of the decisions, only the beginning.

In the meantime we have to get down to the cold, hard numbers.

These are the numbers one of the lowest scoring offensive clubs in the NHL did not bring back over the summer and a roster that overall has not been durable.

Miroslav Satan RW 80 16 25 41 -11
Josef Vasicek C 81 16 19 35 1
Ruslan Fedotenko LW 67 16 17 33 -9
Bryan Berard D 54 5 17 22 -17
Marc-Andre Bergeron D 46 9 9 18 -14

Sixty two goals, Fourteen from the backline.

These numbers have to be made up for and vastly improved after that.

Add to this a powerplay that was at the bottom of the league that allowed the most goals with the man advantage.

On the plus side the return of Jon Sim should somewhat offset the offense of a Satan, Vasicek or Fedotenko if he matches his seventeen goals in Atlanta. Doug Weight will have to be where he was a year ago at this time statistically to replace another forward when he was a fifty point player.

The rest will come down to the progression of the young players and if they can not only produce to make up the difference but help in other area's that improve the overall roster production. .

Also on the plus side is Mark Streit replacing part of the offense lost with the trade/departure of Bergeron or Berard along with Campoli and Gervais being a year older combined with can Jack Hillen if called on be an offensive factor?

On the prospect front it's also fair to write it's desperation time for a Ben Walter or Jeremy Colliton to make an impact along with Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen, these are players selected in 2002/2003 along with Bergenheim and Blake Comeau.

The contracts define who is ahead for now but that can change quickly.

It's a better defensive club with Bergeron, Johnson and Berard off the roster despite how steady they looked at times in the second half but it's not a durable group no matter how you cut it.

The injuries also tell a big part of the story on a club that lost four hundred man games to injury, Guerin, Sillinger, Weight are not getting younger who limped to the finish line if they finshed the season at all. Comrie played hurt and already the injuries are piling up.

On the enforcer front the players with contracts will fight it out for what seems the occasional Islander callup or spot in the stands along with MacDonald vs Danis who will fight for the backup job unless the club decides to bring in a veteran to buy DiPietro more time.

As for Scott Gordon's practices/controlled scrimmages/overspeed the smaller the group becomes the more things can and will be worked on. Expect the best work to be done after preseason is over and the new coach has a group of days to work with his final roster.

That's when we will see who buys in vs who is going through the motions.

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A few words on Gary Bettman

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/28/2008 04:37:00 PM | Comments
Canadian Press: Has an interview with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on a host of subjects including the salary cap and playing in Europe full-time in the future.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
A lot of folks like to blame Gary Bettman for a lot of things but what most writers forget to point out is like most commissioners he is in effect an agent for the owners. There are a lot of owners in this league who want to exploit their corporate financial advantage regardless of how much money their hockey operation losses because it's a drop in the bucket to the company overall.

A forty million salary floor is a very bitter pill to swallow for teams without corporate billion dollar ownerships but unless they did this those corporate clubs stuck at a ceiling of fifty six million would be spending close to a hundred million and are more than willing to lose tens of millions for a clear advantage.

The kicker is the league does not talk about who makes or losses money or who shares revenue. They just tell you a few small details about revenue on rare occasion and most of that that only comes from Forbes which is just an estimate by an independant company with no access to any clubs books.

Any club can make a hundred million in revenue, but if your spending a hundred and fifty million in overhead to make that revenue your still losing fifty million which is something the league and those corporations want no part of telling anyone.

Gary Bettman cannot tell teams not to spend when they are allowed to do so.

It's also not Gary Bettman's fault the equipment and training techniques imporved to where the players are bigger along with their equipment. He has had to work with a landscape that is more about the sign of the times. He has gotten many rules adopted to try and improve the speed and entertainment value which I thought we we never see with shootouts, four on four overtime, a goaltenders box, the icing rules.

One of those things Mr Bettman was part of is breaking with Espn which has supporters of that station in the media ripping Bettman but was the right move for a network not willing to give hockey close to it's fair share of programming. Versus is far from perfect with a lot of terrible decisions like not showing finals postgame programs but it would be no better on Espn which is why this was decided in the first place.

I supose it's fair to blame Mr Bettman for the ownership siutuation in Nashville but this goes to the banks and the owners guidelines for acceptance also. If someone is determined to be a fraud and not pay for what they purchase it's tough for a pro sports league to do that kind of pre-investigation of an individuals finances.

One final thing about Bettman, he has to deal with some of the the worst multi-billionaire owners in pro sports in people with giant ego's like James Dolan, Ed Snider, Mike Ilitch the Jacobs family in Boston and the Wirtz family in Chicago among others.

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Islander News Articles 9/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/27/2008 11:22:00 PM | |||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan has an article on forward Jon Sim who has looked good so far in his return from a season ending knee injury with comments from head coach Scott Gordon that he might pair him on left wing with Doug Weight and Bill Guerin as the former Thrasher dismisses any comparison to Dallas winger Shawn Avery.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
With the return of many prospects to their junior clubs and more players headed for Bridgeport we are starting to get an idea of what the battlelines are for spots based on the coaches comments.

So far we have seen a few words on:

Obviously Bailey is going to get every chance to impress this gm and coach.

Only going to get more interesting with New York returning home.

Seems like good things are happening around Trevor Smith so far.

The Guardian: Jason Simmonds has comments from Trent Hunter and Frans Nielsen along with Panthers coach Peter Deboer who felt New York had the better legs and got to more pucks.

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New York 4, Florida 2

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/27/2008 06:45:00 PM | ||||Comments

 Has an updated scoreboard for tonight's game.

Frans Nielsen scored on a five on three powerplay, Mark Streit assisted. The infamous Craig Anderson who stopped fifty plus shots to basically end the Islanders season was in goal for Florida.

Trent Hunter scored on a rebound for New York's second goal and added a third period goal.

Frans Nielsen had a four point night in the Islander win with a second goal.

Newsday: Mr Logan is in PEI has several blog updates during the game and a recap.

Islanders website: Has the recap of New York's 4-2 win with head coach Scott Gordon's comments.

Joey MacDonald stopped eighteen shots in the win.

AP: Has comments from Frans Nielsen and Trent Hunter on the Islanders win.

Mr Botta tells us what we already have known for a long time about New York Islander hockey controlled by Cablevision by their treatment of the club this preseason, despite ITV doing outstanding work to bring us everything possible from countless interviews to games and practice.

The entire thing to me is kind of foolish, I know the Islanders are kept off television intentionally to limit competition which has only hurt the Rangers exposure in the process but why allow the Isles to show the repeats of these games at all or allow Mr Jaffe to even go to camp?

Good luck when it comes to newspaper covererage when push comes to shove and when it's time for a choice to be made.

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Florida at New York 6pm (Summerside)

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/27/2008 03:05:00 PM | |||Comments
Islanders website: Has the preview for tonight's game against Florida at 6pm from Summerside.

Sound Has an interview with team captain Bill Guerin where he talks about camp, how he feels Tambellini and some of the other young players will do as the website also has a preview for tonight's game.

Islanders website: Recaps camp from Moncton with comments from several players.

Newday: Greg Logan's blog update wraps up training camp from Moncton with Scott Gordon on more injuries and a limited group of veterans skating tonight in Summerside against Florida with Andy Sutton joining the list of injured players. The coach also wonders if his practices contributed to the injury situtation that has held back things he has tried to do the last few days and comments he has never seen this many nagging injuries.

Mr Logan is promising blog updates (depending on wifi connection) from Summerside for tonight's game against Florida.

General manager Garth Snow comments on the health of Rick DiPietro and what's ahead along with talking about the experience at Moncton and despite the small crowds whether they should return.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
What can I write about a training camp that virtually none of us got to see beyond a few video clips, it felt distant and sure it seems the coaches system is something a technically flawed club needed. Having written that the injury problems that have been a constant with so many of these players throught their careers are lingering.

New York Islanders lost four hundred plus man games to injury last season which led the NHL, it's not conicidence some players are breaking down even if Tambellini and Bergenheim have not been a part of that for the most part in their young careers.

As for Moncton no knock on the folks there, the New York Islanders need to hold camp on Long Island and in New York City to bring as much attention to the club as possible.

This is a New York team, time to tone down the Long Island mantra and connect with your fan base all over New York, that's how you sell tickets and market your product.

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Islander News Articles 9/27

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/26/2008 08:49:00 PM | ||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan has an interview with Trent Hunter where he talks about how he can help the club in the corners setting up the young wingers with their speed and skill along with how he has to give the club more goals while head coach Scott Gordon discusses a possible line of Tambellini-Nielsen-Hunter.

Mr Logan also had a few words on the doctors making a decision on Rick DiPietro when the club returns to New York.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Despite Trent Hunter's high assist total he has to find the net for this club and do the work in the corners along with the defense he is outstanding at. Asking a lot but this player can score and do these things and is in the prime of his career.

Sure the defensive system under Ted Nolan may be an issue but the team needed to play that kind of system to make up for the speed and skill.

Mr Botta felt DiPietro if he can play will do so the last two preseason game and has the early lineup for Saturday's game on PEI against Florida.

More Saturday:
Journal Pioneer: Jason Simmonds has an interview with executive director of player development Bryan Trottier where he talks about how much he enjoys working with prospects and that being an NHL head coach was not his cup of tea among how he still resides in Pittsburgh and praises the tradition of both New York and Pittsburgh along with a second article previewing tonight's history-making event with Summerside PEI hosting it's first ever NHL preseason game here.

Mr Simmonds had an article on the Florida Panthers arrival on Friday here.

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Friday Notables/Quick Hit

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/26/2008 02:14:00 PM | ||||Comments Has a recap of day seven at camp which was an optional skate with the Blue-White game at Summer and the NHL game in Ontario not getting either group back to Moncton until after midnight.

Newsday: Greg Logan's blog update has Scott Gordon's comments on what players are headed where after Saturday's game against Florida along with making sure no more injuries occur while the beatwriter tried to put together who was where in their recovery with some speculation as to when Rick DiPietro and others could play.

Scott Gordon also talked more about the loss against Philadelphia.

A few folks have asked me when I plan on doing a review and prediction for the Islanders this year?

I recently just reviewed every player in the organization, the plan is to do a review with a final prediction in the stretch between the final preseason game and the opener instead of putting something together early just to get it done quickly.

I want to see (or read) a little more about the players too. A week ago they just had their first practice with Scott Gordon.

Moose Jaw Warriors: Announced Islander prospect Travis Hamonic is scheduled to rejoin the his junior club later today as the Warriors get set to take on the Wheat Kings. Announce Justin Bourne who was in rookie camp with the Islanders a year ago and played for Utah has been signed by the Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Obviously the exodus is beginning with most of the unsigned prospects heading back to their junior clubs. Some of the Sound Tiger players will be heading to their camp in Shelton Ct because they have preseason games coming up while Scott Gordon and an excess of players from Bridgeport also will play the remainder of the Islander preseason schedule which includes trips to Boston and Florida.

Quick Hits:
It's amazing the selective amnesia the media has regarding players. I guess like Jagr, Satan put on the correct jersey to where media folks will forget what happened which led to a change of teams.

When Miroslav Satan was bought out by Buffalo after the lockout it was all about him being a team problem with the sentiment being good riddance. Now that he's joining the Pens his problems scoring were all about the Islanders and he's poised for a big season?

I hate when media/fans dump on players who are no longer with their team unless it's justified by their play, only thing worse is when they forget what they wrote last time that player changed clubs.

Satan had two very poor years here under Ted Nolan. From day one he looked lost playing the point on the powerplay under Steve Stirling and it only went downhill from there under Nolan with his slapshot virtually gone from the day he was acquired along with any semblance of speed. Those goals where he dropped his shoulder and charged the net were few and far between.

This season he played hurt in the second half with an injury that was supposed to keep him sidelined at least eight weeks. I never read a negative word come out of his mouth about anyone that made it into a newspaper but overall his tenure in New York was a failure nor was he a factor in big games nearly enough.

Like Fedotenko, I wish Satan nothing but the best of luck unless he's playing the Islanders and the same goes for Berard, Johnson, Vasicek and Dubielewicz but on the ice he seemed to continue his slide from back to when he was in Buffalo.

Having written that can the media stop revising the history of where Miroslav Satan was when he signed with New York?

Thanks for the two big goals on Al Arbour night.

Kevin Allen (several media sources report here defenseman Mathieu Schneider has been traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for defenseman Ken Klee, forward Brad Larson and a minor-league prospect.

Sporting News/Courier Post: Chuck Gormley has a preview of the Islanders season as he profiles all the clubs in the Atlantic.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Some good information and he did look at the prospects but he lost me when he had Blake Comeau on right wing in his possible line combos.

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Islander News Articles 9/26

Newsday: Greg Logan has Bruno Gervais comments on why he has gotten away from the offensive part of his game along with what he needs to do remain a regular defender in terms of playing in the top six despite his new contract.

Mr Logan had the fight card in the Islanders loss against Philadelphia.

AP: Has a brief recap on the game.

Sound Reported Team White recorded an 11-9 victory over Team Blue in the game on PEI. Matt Martin scored three goals in the win.

More Friday:
Times & Transcript: Gerard McLaughlin has an article on camp in Moncton wrapping-up after practice Friday with the Islanders headed back to PEI Saturday with comments from Seth Sylvan, the team's director of communications with a recap of how many of the players have been used in roles during some of the games.

Sun-Journal: Jason Pelletier reports Islander prospect could be returned to his new team in Lewiston by the end of the weekend.

Daily Gleaner: Bill Hunt has an interview with Islander coach Scott Gordon returning to the Aitken Centre on Wednesday night, where he broke into pro hockey as a goaltender with the Fredericton Express in 1986-87. In the interview he also had a interesting comment that Rob Hennigar has to identify there is more in the tank than he has been using and that the biggest thing is how quickly can he make the adjustment to become quicker on the ice and more explosive, and play out of that comfort zone.

Sarnia Observer: Dave Borody reports Sarnia lost 5-0 to Windsor with Mark Katic, Justin DiBenedetto and Matt Martin not expected back until Sunday while Windsor had all their players back except for Josh Bailey.

Newsday: Neil Best had Mr Botta's comments on the launch of his new blog that he will not be betraying confidences, that some could see it as a conflict of interest considering his friendship with Garth Snow combined with that this blog in effect is independant but carried by the club however folks should judge his blog for what it is.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Anyone who has read Mr Botta's blog from day one last year understands he gets it when it comes to the what our fans need and that's hockey information. I do not agree with everything he writes (just as no two folks agree on everything) but he goes all out for our fans to bring our teams story to light and that his contribution is always a huge positive, even if the news that day happens to be negative.

Anyone who needs an example of what we will see at the new Point Blank only has to check out his outstanding updates during the all-star weekend where he never let up with interviews and information for us and made us feel a part of it because of how hard he worked.

Mr Botta despite his friendship with the Islander general manager had no problem recently telling him in his blog to knock off the wise-guy act with the media on some issues and I have no doubt will be just as quick to pull no punches when it's called for on any subject.

What his blog will also do is bring us a level of Islander-centric reporting our fans are not receiving in the newspapers that's desperately needed.

This is like getting a second full-time writer who will give us a full blog packed with updates.

As for Mr Best he cannot even bothered to give us an update when our team announces a radio deal that even the LI business news questioned while he is quick to jump on any lack of radio coverage for Ranger fans on LI.

Point Blank: Mr Botta hooked in a feeder for us to follow his blog updates on the sidebar as before and does a great job with a new blog on the release of NHL injuries and how they are hidden from the public unlike other sports. Also included are comments from Director or Pro Scouting Kenny Morrow on last night's loss and his appearance on XM which he made available for those who do not have XM.

I should have done this before camp but with the blog running slower I held off expanding the news and blog box feeder updates, now everyone can view the last fifteen updates in both.

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Philadelphia 4, New York 0

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2008 09:40:00 PM | Comments
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight's 4-0 loss to the Philadephia Flyers.

Bryan Berard played for the Flyers and assisted on a goal.

Greg Logan did not travel to London Ontario (and explained why for everyone) so we may not have a Islander recap for this game beyond the team website.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Would have been nice to see Bailey, Nielsen or one of the young players finish one early but it will be interesting to see how Scott Gordon reacts to a loss along with some injuries piling up.

A few small blog tweaks:
Moved the Islanders website to the right sidebar.

Took the new media widget with about thirty five sites/blogs that cover the Islanders out of the template and listed it once on the left sidebar because it was causing page loading problems putting it in every blog post. I featured it long enough and I think everyone who visits it will find it a fine resource.

This was why I removed the poll a few days in, sorry about that.

Espn widgets for news, standings and scoreboard I took off this blog. Too many ads, too many pop ups and redirects, I put in the Espn feeder instead.

Kevin Allen's blog was added below USA Today site, same as Craig Custance below Sporting News and Pierre LeBrun feed below Espn.

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Bailey Update/More Injuries

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2008 06:10:00 PM | ||Comments
Journal Pioneer: Has a few more details on the Islanders Blue-White scrimmage game tonight in Summerside. The preseason game against Florida will be the NHL exhibition game.

Newsday: Greg Logan has a blog entry on Josh Bailey's return to London Ontario with his comments.

Mr Logan clarified his blog from Tuesday's game on the Bruins playing physical in the third period and reported Scott Gordon did send Mitch Fritz on the ice who bumped a few players but did not take a penalty in a tie game which he felt was the right move.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I always find it interesting we have fans who think playing an enforcer and taking a foolish penalty is a proper response to taking a good clean hit. This solves nothing but give the other club a powerplay and adds to the momentum that hit created.

Very simple solution, make sure your forward throws the big clean game-changing hits first so the other side can take the penalty and then make them pay with your powerplay.

This is why a Jason Wiemer never worked out here, he would throw the big illegal hit after an Islander took a clean hit and put the club shorthanded, he never initiated or had the ability to throw a big clean hit.

That's why Steve Webb had value, he would throw a clean-hit, the other player would be furious and would take a retaliation penalty while Webb skated away.

Brendan Witt knows when a player takes a retaliation penalty on him, he skates away and the Isles go on the powerplay.
Jeff Tambellini and Sean Bergenheim apparently are also injured and the club policy is not to give out details. Bergenhein will miss the Blue-White game at PEI but Scott Gordon reported Jeff Tambellini did skate but will not be rushed back. Mr Logan speculates we will not know anything definitive on Campoli based on team policy.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Now we know why Jesse Joensuu is getting a chance to play, if this group continues to be injury prone among it's young players and veterans that is going to be too much to overcome.

USA Kevin Allen has an Eastern Conference preview where he gives reasons why clubs do well or struggle.

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New York at Philadelphia 7pm

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/25/2008 01:16:00 PM | ||Comments
610.wip: Radio page is listing New York-Philadelphia as a game on it's radio station tonight at 7pm but also list another program.

Islanders website: Has a preview with Josh Bailey's comments as he is set to make his debut tonight as New York travels to London Ontario to face the Philadelphia Flyers.

Scott Gordon talked about how he felt camp was going and is giving Michael Haley another look tonight based on his play in an NHL exhibition game.

Projected lines against Philadelphia.

Yann Danis
Joey MacDonald

Andy Sutton - Freddy Meyer
Brett Skinner - Bruno Gervais
Jamie Fraser - Joe Callahan

Jesse Joensuu - Frans Nielsen - Trent Hunter
Blake Comeau - Josh Bailey - Mike Comrie
Sean Bentivoglio - Ben Walter - Tim Jackman
Michael Haley - Jeremy Colliton - Brandon Sugden

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Interesting Tambellini has been working with Nielsen and Hunter but Joensuu is getting the spot on the left side tonight. Obviously the Islanders are going to spot Guerin and this is Bailey's game tonight to debut at center while Comrie plays on a right wing which could be a fallback if Guerin takes a lesser role.

Seems contract extension or not Bruno Gervais may have to impress to receive a spot in the top six on this defense and Hillen reportedly has not looked out of place.

This is a Flyer home game so perhaps we can get some kind of feed from the other team. Isles apparently for unexplained reasons can only show parts of games and then the full game a few days later on ITV.

Sound Tigers website: Has a recap from day six of training camp with Michael Haley's comments about playing tonight's preseason game with New York along with left wing Jesse Joensuu who is the only roster playing who will play in both NHL preseason games.

Mr Botta opened his new blog. I linked it to the sidebar and feeder with too many early updates to recap. Mr Witt, Mr Mears had some updates which the sidebar feeder
has for everyone also. Adam Kimelman has a feature on Kyle Okposo with his comments he feels ready to play at the NHL level which seemed to have been written before the club departed for Moncton.

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Islander News Articles 9/25

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2008 09:10:00 PM | |||Comments
Newsday: Greg Logan has an article on Josh Bailey and how impressive he has looked with speculation about him starting the season here while Mike Sillinger rehabs with the Islander first round pick scheduled to make his preseason debut against Philadelphia. Mike Comrie, Bailey and head coach Scott Gordon who compared the situation with Patrice Bergeron when he was with Providence comment.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
I found it very interesting reading Comrie changed positions so Bailey can play center with Comeau on the left side. This is going to come down to how effective he looks in these games combined with producing chances at this level with his skills.

You see it with Kyle Okposo, he steps on the ice and he's involved, making plays and creating scoring opportunities. If Bailey can do the same and show his defensive skills are ready for this level he will make it a very tough choice for Scott Gordon and Garth Snow.

Islanders website: Has the recap of New York's prospects Wednesday's 4-1
win against the University of New Burnswick with comments from Sound Tiger coach Jack Capuano and Pro scout Rob Cowie on how the prospects played.

New York scored three power play goals in the game, two by Max Gratchev. Tomas Marcinko added a goal and an assist and Justin DiBenedetto recorded two assists. Peter Mannino allowed only one goal on 32 shots to earn the win.

35 Peter Mannino
49 Kevin Poulin

7 Mark Katic – 15 Travis Hamonic
16 Simon Lacroix – 6 Jared Spurgeon
3 Andrew MacDonald – 37 Jordan Hart

29 Matt Martin– 14 Rob Hennigar– 39 Vladimir Nikiforov
26 Max Gratchev – 11 Justin DiBenedetto – 19 Tomas Marcinko
24 Joel Rechlicz – 20 Tyler Haskins – 17 Jason Pitton

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Have to give the kids a lot of credit so far, they are going against clubs with an established roster and players who know one another and in some cases the players are older than the Isles prospects.

Updated Thursday AM:
Times & Transcript: Bill Hunt has an article on the Islander prospects win against the UNB with Rob Hennigar's comments on facing his former V-Red team.

Times & Transcript: Gerald McLaughlin has an interview with Islanders director of pro scouting Ken Morrow.

Journal Pioneer: Has an article on the team coming to Summerside PEI.

Islander Notables Day Five in Moncton

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2008 02:47:00 PM | |||Comments
Islanders website: Has a preview of tonight's prospect game against University of New Brunswick in Fredericton as Rob Hennigar returns to face his former team. Camp notes from Wednesday include comments from Sound Tigers head coach Jack Capuano who will be behind the bench for tonight's game, Director of Pro Scouting Ken Morrow and Kurtis McLean.

Islanders also have an article on Doug Weight here.

Quick Hits:
Mr Allen in his responses taught me a lot the other day and just did a great job when he wrote the media writes about what the fans want to know about.

* Sure would be nice if we were told by the team why Steve Mears and Billy Jaffe called a game our fans wanted to watch but could only see a three minute video from?

If Mr Botta wants to impress me with his new blog that should be written about on the first day. He's the former v.p of communications, please tell our fans why we cannot watch our team play games on television just as you told us Ted Nolan was not getting along with upper managment.

I could sit here and blame a lot of folks (starting with Cablevision who will take over Newark tonight only to showcase the house team) but I think if we can get live video from the Islanders website during the lottery and the draft we should be able to watch our team play live hockey games from virtually anywhere or receive an explanation.

As for the game if you want me to write how someone played or looked based on a few blogs and a three minute video I would not be doing a very honest job for you here because I do not know. It's fair to write a few combinations are a good bet to open the season together (Witt-Martinek) but that's about it.

* I find it kind of fascinating Blues President John Davidson gets another full pass for his players antics to the point Mike Brophy in THN feels sorry for him because he does a good job speaking to the media now that Erik Johnson injured himself on a golf course and will miss the entire season.

I guarantee if this happened with Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo or Rick DiPietro, Garth Snow would not be getting such soft treatment from the media considering the Blues brutal record under Mr Davidson where they have not been in playoff contention unlike New York and have imported a high priced bust so far in Paul Kariya.

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Islander News Articles 9/24

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/24/2008 01:44:00 AM | |||||Comments

Canadian Press: Has a recap of the game with Trevor Smith's comments who had the game winning goal in overtime for New York.

Newsday: Greg Logan has an interview with captain Bill Guerin who is working his back from shoulder surgery but has not been cleared to play. He discusses how the rookies will have to pull their own weight but that this team is in " win-now mode " as he shares his thoughts on the new coach and how he should produce more regardless of his age.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
That sounds nice and reads well from Bill Guerin but last year when this team fell apart the veterans were outworked by the kids and more visible far too many nights and if he got on anyone it was behind closed doors. He is absolutely correct in that he can and should produce more because clearly he still has hands and an ability to find the net when in the right position.

The Guardian: Jason Simmonds has more on the game in Summerside from assistant to general manager Kerry Gwidyr about how many veterans will be in the lineup with the club scheduled to arrive Saturday afternoon from Moncton.

Sound Tigers website: Also has a recap of tonight's game.

More Later:
Times & Transcript: Gerald McLaughlin has the recap of the Islanders overtime win where he felt the teams overspeed system looked very good and worked.

Telegraph-Journal: Bruce Hallihan has comments from all-time leading point-getter in UNB men's hockey history Rob Hennigar as he returns to face his former team tonight.

Newsday: Greg Logan has a blog update with Scott Gordon's comments on the condidition of defenseman Chris Campoli who has returned to New York for further evaulation.

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New York 2, Boston 1 Overtime

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2008 07:25:00 PM | ||Comments
Islanders website: Is providing period by period updates of the game but no live coverage with John Bishop again doing a running blog on the Boston Bruins website here.

John Sim scored half way through the game to tie it at 1-1.

Trevor Smith scored the game winner in overtime. Isles outshot Boston by a big margin. MacDonald started, Danis came in half way through.

Michael Ryder rammed Campoli into the boards in the defensive zone during the third period and reportedly stayed down on the ice before leaving the game.

Newsday: Greg Logan apparently knows the game is not being covered so he had a blog writing about the game as it's being played also.

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NYI Fan Central Exclusive Q & A with Kevin Allen

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/23/2008 03:19:00 PM | Comments
I spoke with Kevin Allen, President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America by telephone recently and detailed our conversation here where at the time I asked if he could answer a few questions regarding the Hockey media business and the Islanders coverage for everyone.

1. What would be your advice to aspiring writers who would like to become members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association of America who would like to cover hockey as a career and how should they get started?

Allen: Presently, membership to the PHWA is determined by each local chapter. The writers in each local chapter set standards for inclusion into our organization. The reason for the differing standards is simple: the media situation on Long Island where few writers actually cover the team is far different than it is in Toronto when the press box is always full. Our organization is open to bloggers, provided that the local chapter chairperson is comfortable that the blogger covers the team in a professional manner. Some chapters are more open to bloggers than other cities. For national bloggers, the PHWA Executive Board makes the decision about whether they are accepted into our group.

2. What can you tell the fans about being President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and what the job function requires?

Allen: I coordinate the balloting for the post-season awards, and I interact with the NHL with regard to the media regulations. If our writers have issues regarding access, for example, I’m the point man to discuss that with NHL. Over the years, I have fought for writers who were denied access. Issues are different every year. A few years ago we were fighting for wireless internet in every building and now we are discussing why the NHL wants to put all team media guides on CDs. Essentially, if you are included in our group, the PHWA stands up for your rights.

3. It seems we have many professional media doing blogs of their own, some in the newspapers that employ them but other media on what seems fan websites, do you think this is a good thing moving forward or something that only clouds the question?

Allen: It doesn’t matter whether it is good or bad, because this is the wave of the future. The internet has changed politics, the economy, global communication, the movie and music industries, and of course it has changed journalism. The craft of journalism is now interactive, and mainstream journalists now have to blog to keep up with the times. This is a world where people have come to expect instant news and microwave analysis. I don’t like it because it leads to far too many errors in judgment. But this is journalism today so I do what I must.

4. Any thoughts or impressions on the Islanders blog box program after year one and if you feel this is something other teams should look to do moving forward with even Caps owner Ted Leonsis having a blog where he does an excellent job sharing with the fans even though he is not a professional hockey writer?

Allen: I’m surprised more teams that are starved for media attention don’t do more with bloggers. I think Ted Leonsis is a forward thinker, and he has the right approach. I think his fans appreciate that he expresses his feelings in a blog.

5. What I find interesting is when the Islanders announced the blog box program some wrote about the fan/bloggers cheering for the team and maybe wearing the team colors during games, however what I notice in the work of many of the professional media the next day is they seem to do a lot of cheer-leading for the teams they cover as well in their space as they hype the club or rip them with the same passion the amateur fan writer would do. It's seems only natural long-time reporters of one team become fans and want that club to win so what's the real difference aside from the credential and the writing skills that separate the two?

Allen: I don’t agree with you that journalists generally end up being fans of the team. I’ve been writing professionally for almost 35 years and what I see is journalists always rooting for what serves their best interest. Most of us root silently for an interesting storyline or for an early end to a playoff series so we can go home sooner than expected. Most of us are usually happy when a very quotable player has a big game, because we know he will give us good verbiage to work with. Occasionally, I see journalists cross the line, but not often. I do agree that journalists often write from the fan’s perspective in that they try to anticipate what the reader wants to know about the next day. And their job sometimes is to dissect team happenings so that also can sometimes read like fan perspective.

6. I found it disappointing newspapers and hockey media websites that forced the Islanders to turn to fans and create a blog box to increase coverage because many claimed not to have revenue to provide regular coverage still found room in their budgets to come and report on the bloggers themselves when the program started, begging the question if they cannot afford coverage and daily Islander blogs in their papers why are they using their budgets to cover the fans?

Allen: I have no idea how to respond to that, other than to say that the newspaper world is now in crisis mode as it tries to make a determination about how to adapt to the changing marketplace. Most major newspapers have had significant buyouts or layoffs.

7. New York Islander Fan Central in one aspect of it's coverage looks at professional hockey writers/blogs and comments on the article only when it's from what we consider is the professional media (newspapers/established hockey websites Espn, THN ect) but what I encounter a lot of in my research are a lot of writers where it's very tough to determine who are the professionals vs those who in many cases do quality work but may only be writing/blogging, so how do I best go about setting guidelines to follow for my readers with regard to content here?

Allen: It will always be a judgment call going forward because some bloggers do this full-time while others do it as a hobby. People tell me that page view statistics can’t be trusted so there will be no help there. If it were me trying to decide who was worth commenting on, I would simply use my own standards of professionalism. Is this person fair in their analysis? Is their analysis layered in its approach. If someone writes, “this is a joke” or “the people running this team are morons” I tend to dismiss their writings. But if they write ‘This team has $1.45 million left under the cap and that means they still have room to add a stay-at-home defenseman. These are the players that can be had for that amount….’ then I tend to view that person as a professional blogger. I judge blogs on the depth of their perspective. I despise blogs that simply act as rant forums. Good Grief, when did sports become such a forum for hate and anger?

8. In my hockey research I have noted a lot of articles in general where it seems the unbalanced conference schedule combined with many papers like the Los Angeles Times outstanding writer Helene Elliott no longer able to travel for Kings coverage has created what seems an information void to where many writers do not see some teams for four of five years and have to work off past impressions. As an Islander fan I have see many articles out of media websites like SI/Tsn ect along these lines, how does this improve moving forward with a situation that only seems to be getting worse that began in many markets with the lockout ?

Allen: I agree that Helene is outstanding and that readers would be better served if she were traveling, but most elite hockey writers know just as much about the West as they do the East and vice versa. The NHL Center Ice is package is under $150 for almost every game. I don't travel as much as I used to, and I still feel like I know league. I guarantee you that Helene knows plenty about the Eastern Conference and Boston Globe reporter Kevin Dupont knows the West. New York Post writer Larry Brooks always writes from a national perspective. The schedule makes it difficult to see as many teams live, but it's still possible to know what's going on.

9. What are your thoughts on declining media coverage for the Hockey in New York market with the Times (who's blog has more coverage of European hockey) not even sending a writer to attend Scott Gordon's press conference after a thirty year relationship with the team going back to writers like George Vecsey to the Daily News and New York Post that at best has limited select home game coverage with no Islander blogs in those publications to supplement a lack of print coverage?

Allen: As I said, it’s a changing world and right now newspapers are trying to figure out how to survive. Editors are simply making guesses about what should be covered, and hockey isn’t a high priority. Often times, editors make decisions based on their perception and their perception is often colored by TV ratings. As we all know, hockey falls short there, although it has improved.

10. Living in New York, I always read folks in the hockey media write about this being a big hockey media market, but I have to ask what is a big about a media market when the Florida Panthers come to town with writers from the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald & Palm Beach Post meanwhile when the local clubs travel to Sunrise many New York editors simply let the AP cover the game because year round baseball dominates the back pages to a point even during the hockey playoffs in New York City television ratings for NASCAR, golf and poker repeats outdraw hockey which Richard Sandomir in the Times, Bob Raissman in the News and Neil Best Newsday report about with virtually no full back pages for hockey any longer?

Allen: No matter how many reporters cover the team, New York remains a major market because of the number of people who care about the teams there. We may wish hockey had better ratings, but it would be worse if New Yorkers weren't helping those numbers

11. Finally of course I have to ask what's your take on the Islanders splitting with Ted Nolan and will the media give a club that has made four playoffs in the last six years that were in a playoff spot most of last season (and competitive in the division) until four hundred man games lost to injury finished any chance at all of making a run at a playoff spot and more under Scott Gordon?

Allen: I believe the Islanders have a shot as long as Rick DiPietro remains healthy, but I think it will be an uphill fight. The Eastern Conference is more forgiving than the West right now. But the Islanders didn’t do enough this summer to assure that it will be a lock for them to make the playoffs. The read around the NHL is that Scott Gordon was a good hire.

Once again I would like to thank Mr Allen for going out of his way to answer our questions.