New York Islander Fan Central | 12/22/2009 10:50:00 AM | Comments
Simply put it's almost over for the 2009-10 New York Islanders.

They returned home after surviving fourteen out of seventeen on the road in mediocre shape (but in playoff contention) with a lot of beatable, struggling clubs on the schedule. The scoring they did earlier should have given them the collective confidence to produce goals and some wins or a unbeaten in regulation streak.

The hard work has been there, it has not happened.

Back on December 17th I did a twitter update and wrote my concerns about the goals per game and how the Isles went from a club that scored 3-4-5-3-0-1-6-4-4-4-4 from 10/28-11/16 which was excellent to now a point where they have scored 2-1-4-1-3-1-4-0-2-2-3-1-2-2-0-2 in all the games since which is a non-stater most nights to get many games to overtime much less sustain a winning streak.

In short that is twelve out of sixteen games with two or less goals.

Combine that with a club that has no back to back wins since early November and we find the New York Islanders six points out of a playoff spot (technically seven counting wins as a tie-breaker) and five teams separating them from the 8th seed on this day.

Not happy writing it, I hope I'm wrong but unless this team very quickly solves it's scoring and special teams problems the competitive part of the 2009-10 season will be over in a very short time.


New York Islander Fan Central | 12/15/2009 02:21:00 PM | Comments
So now we find out what the 2009-10 New York Islanders are made of, it does not matter if they play the Rangers, Montreal Canadians, Abbotsford Heat, Hartford Wolf Pack or any other team in the upcoming games.

Only time is for this teams best game, nothing else.

Another crossroads for the 09-10 NY Islanders, no more hiding from wins they have to have.


New York Islander Fan Central | 12/06/2009 05:48:00 PM | Comments
The big picture has not really changed since our last blog entry a week ago.

That is a good news/bad news thing for the 2009-10 New York Islanders.

The good news is a lot of younger players up front are still carrying the club playing fourteen of seventeen on the road leading the league in back to back games that defeated a red hot, high-scoring Atlanta team. In others ways it is frustrating because you are going to get ups and downs that come with development which we saw in Tampa on Saturday.

The bad news is the record unfortunately goes hand and hand with this which means a team at five hundred which in the NHL is a non-starter for playoffs but keeps them in contention for now.

Statistically the team that was in the middle of the pack scoring about a week ago when we did the last update is now having some games in hand made up by other clubs and went from around fourteen-sixteen to near the bottom five which is in line with the struggling powerplay.

However the expectations are higher, that's always something you strive for and the club continues to play very competitive hockey.

Let's look at the big picture.

New York 3, Pittsburgh 2: So Far, So Good......

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/27/2009 05:51:00 PM | Comments
What can be said of a game the New York Islanders never would have won a year ago, much less against the defending champions?

It's not 2008-09 anymore. Malkin, Crosby looked like they were in a war after this game and they came out on the losing end.

Which brings us to an actual blog entry about today's win and the 2009-10 New York Islanders.

Islander News Articles Available? Yes & No

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/11/2009 06:11:00 PM | Comments
Updated: Sorry folks, the Newsday pdf is only a preview of their pay subscription article.

Updated Thursday 11/12/09
: The Islanders did update this page again, Newsday's complete game article was included with AP/Washington Times/Post coverage.
The Islanders website has at times in the past has collected a digest of articles from local and sometimes out of town papers/websites and placed their links on one page as NYIFC used to do.

Our daily articles here covered everything possible that could be found across North America that was New York Islander related.

On Wednesday 11/11 the Islanders website released a pdf file of several articles including Newsday's pay subscription content (not blog entries) entitled in the media.

Some may recall the day before news of Cory Witt's departure broke on his blog he announced his intention to do this daily for our fans here.

A lot of downside to this because even though it's technically an 11/11 update the articles are a few days old or from the night before. It did not include anything from the Ct Post as NYIFC has in it's media sidebar or blog entries from Mr Fornabaio.

It may not mean anything moving forward or just a one day thing, it depends how dedicated the folks assigned to do this are to getting articles to the public and what they are allowed to reprint in terms of copyrighted material or when but I felt it worth a blog entry so you could be informed.

I can tell you in the past the Islanders website has been spotty with doing these updates daily. I have no idea obviously what they will do moving forward.

New York Islander Fan Central will under no circumstances link to Newsday content as long as it forces anyone to pay any kind of subscription fee if this blog ever returned to a daily articles format as in the past.

NYIFC has the media feeds in the sidebars from all newspapers as reference but that's about all that will be done beyond linking a few articles (not Newsday) in twitter updates.

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Sunday Quick Hits/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/08/2009 03:36:00 PM | Comments
A few new things on this Sunday that I have not been twittering about.

I would suggest all readers here subscribe to NYIFC twitter page so you get plenty of updates daily or just follow the feeds/crawls here with the latest.

As for the hockey and this blog entry....

Next Hurdle: Nine of Ten on the Road for NY

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/04/2009 10:34:00 AM | Comments
Ok, the New York Islanders saved their season for now, won four games in a row they had to have.

What a difference seven days, four wins and eight points can make.

Unlike last year for the most part they have stayed surprisingly healthy, especially on the backline, even with a lot of players struggling to balance out the scoring.

Still they wake up fifth in the Atlantic on 11/4 but in a playoff spot with nine of the next ten on the road, with little room for anything but piling up points and maintaining a streak where they at the very least get games to overtime.

Now we see if they can win on the road, there is no hiding in this league if you cannot win games in other teams buildings. Look at the Devils road record who New York will visit Friday.

Welcome to the next hurdle, the 09-10 New York Islanders survived the first hurdle.

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Election Results not good for LH/Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2009 10:56:00 PM | Comments
Consider this our only political blog entry ever.

Seems like a terrible night for the Lighthouse.

Nassau County website is updating all races here with Kate Murray winning huge (projected winner) and Tom Suozzi at this time trailing the Republican Edward P Mangano for county executive by the slightest of margins. I'm not sure how TOH board works but it seems the Republicans will easily maintain their majority there and have gained in Nassau Legislature to a point the Democrats could lose their majority.

What this means for Suozzi's negotiated lease with Wang-Rechler remains to be seen but if at some point his lease is not approved in an eventual vote Wang would be out of his Islander lease immediately.

It should be noted Mr Mangano is advertised as pro Lighthouse if he does win.

Final Update Regardless 12:00AM:

Suozzi-Mangano is a statistical dead-heat at this time but Suozzi cut 3,000 vote deficit to take slight lead. Fox News projects Al Gore the winner in Nassau.

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Five Hundred, Questions Remain About Gordon

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/01/2009 06:38:00 AM | Comments
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No dream.

On this day where most get an extra hour of sleep the New York Islanders wake up at NHL five-hundred in a tie for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after beating one of the best even strength teams in the league and driving one of the hottest goaltenders to the bench.

Someone even knew to throw the traditional sombrero for a New York Islander hat-trick.

The Islanders Saturday did what they failed to do last season already and that's fight all the way back to five hundred. A year ago they got within a period against Pittsburgh but gave up a big lead and a few games later the freefall was on.

It is impressive how they rallied for three wins this week and how they have been competitive in virtually every game all season with a very tough schedule. They were outplayed for big stretches against Washington and Buffalo but got some goaltending and a few friendly goalposts or it easily could have been different.

Having written that Scott Gordon's lineup decisions still raise serious doubts and make me wonder how much better they should be already because this years success was not tied to John Tavares or Matt Moulson's production.

The players that should be tied to Scott Gordon's success for the most part have failed in terms of production at a point they must produce.

NYIFC Notables & A Regulation Win

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/29/2009 07:05:00 AM | Comments
* About fifteen plus twitter updates with links to articles in last day so no need for full blog entries here, nothing I can add that I did not write already.

* Added link to Mr Botta's efforts as Pat Lafontaine runs NYC Marathon for Companions in Courage to benefit local hospitals.

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Forget The Payroll, Stick With The Plan

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2009 10:23:00 PM | Comments
Follow New York Islander Fan Central on Twitter or from NYIFC in realtime/scroll formats. RSS/ticker crawl also available

Seems a lot of media and fans never learn.

It makes no difference what is spent on payroll but that Garth Snow stick with his plan, that's a point many do not seem to get as they write or discuss New York Islander payroll and the roster.

You remember that plan, the one most wanted Mike Milbury to follow but did not show up and support a decade ago? I guess some want Bergenheim, Nielsen, Comeau, Tambellini traded or even Okposo, Bailey not here or in the minors.

From Boedker in Phoenix or Filatov in Columbus no matter how you do it there will always be questions and no perfect answer unless a player produces immediately.

Why is it so hard for some folks to understand this team went into the summer with most of it's forwards and all it's defenders signed to one way contracts already (less Nate Thompson's two way deal) and that this is not a payroll or ownership commitment to save money no matter how it's spun but sticking with your plan.

How many times did I write or audio blog during the summer that if you want to add you have to subtract. Did some of you even note all the one-way contracts here?

Bottom Line: It's getting late early

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/23/2009 11:16:00 PM | Comments
New York Islander Fan Central on Twitter.

For those who feel this is a rebuilding year for the New York Islanders, think again.

Clock is ticking folks, another three weeks of this and we can start talking about next year. In this league you cannot fall ten points behind the final playoff spot and have five or six teams in front of you fighting for the eighth seed.

Look at the age on this defense or Park, Weight, Sim up front. All the years put into developing Bergenheim, Comeau, Nielsen or since taking on Tambellini in 2006.

That is not a rebuilding.....

Newsday Ends Free Coverage 10/28

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/22/2009 01:48:00 PM | Comments
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Associated Press/Several outlets: Report as of October 28th Cablevision owned Newsday will start restricting Web access to non-subscribers beginning next Wednesday with the price five dollars per week.

NYIFC Comments:

No big loss here as far as I'm concerned, but for those who still want the coverage get ready to pay the Dolans five dollars a week to read Mr Herrmann, Staple and others keep the proverbial glass mostly empty on the New York Islanders and the glass entirely full or not write a word at all about the teams Cablevision owns.

It should be noted Msg's franchise team, the Knicks open 10/28.

Don't waste your money would be my advice to everyone.

Not surprising Mr Botta was guarded/muted in his response, he seems to be far quicker these days to criticize his former employer's hockey operations/off ice decisions (at times contradicting his earlier viewpoint) than risk a response from the Newsday staff as he received last year when he criticized Greg Logan and Newsday here after the former beatwriter took what Mr Botta felt at the time were "carefully worded jabs" regarding his blog and how it was sponsored.

Bottom line Mr Botta did not criticize Newsday but has been quick to go out of his way to criticize his former employer. Positive or negative all content & commentary must treat everyone exactly the same or what's the point?

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Reading Between the Lines....Islanders Practice

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/20/2009 08:25:00 PM | Comments
An extra NYIFC blog entry on Tuesday lineups at practice and a big-time look at a lot of players out of position and the numbers game.

Doing an extra entry here for a few reasons, one to write about some hockey and the Islanders lines, the other to test something called jump breaks that puts a preview of an entry on the main page.

Let's begin with the Newsday article from Tuesday, Mr Botta also covered practice so see sidebar to link to his article.

NYIFC Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/20/2009 04:32:00 PM | Comments
*Someone's going to have to explain to me how Charles Wang and the New York Islanders ever have to say anything much less be bullied into statements?

We have teams in this market who built stadiums who rarely said a word that got plenty of tax payer exemptions. We have a football stadium opening in New Jersey where the two owners rarely speak about it if at all.

Charles Wang and the LH did not respond for seventeen hours to some rumors last week and you expect Mr Wang, Mr Rechler or the folks employed by them to respond, as if they owe us an explanation?

Nonsense, get over it.

Sunday Night Quick Hits/Notables....

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/18/2009 08:55:00 PM | Comments
Newsday: Katie Strang had general manager Garth Snow's comments Sunday night about his team's poor start.

NYIFC Comments:
Cliche/stock answers by the general manager about the sixty minute game and needing more secondary scoring. Ms Strang needed to ask the gm the tough questions about his head coach and his job status, even if he did not care to comment.

Daily News: Queens reps make it clear they want the Islanders but will not become part of the political football game for Wang to use against Nassau.

NYIFC Comments:
Good for Queens County, but it is part of the game. What they require is Wang saying he is willing to move the Islanders to Queens or he is willing to sell to someone who wants to own the team there and to date Wang is not going to make any such comment.

Personally Mr Wang should never speak again regardless of what anyone writes until he receives a yes or a no. Wang is also partnered with Scott Rechler and both own the Marroit hotel.

Quick Hits:

Lighthouse Project Not Abandoned ?

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/14/2009 11:26:00 PM | Comments
Newsday: Staff reports despite no comment or return calls from LH folks contacted and even Mr Suozzi's calls not being returned had one person close to the developer who would not speak for the record tell Newsday Wednesday night the Lighthouse project has not been abandoned.

NYIFC Comments:

And you wonder why I went to twitter format?

To waste our time with full blog entries on basically nothing but un-named sources or off the record comments all add up to absolutely nothing even when Newspapers get in on the act.

From here on in until the day Wang, Rechler, Suozzi or Murray say on the record the LH will be approved or not, I will not waste a single entry of our time on this political football any longer during New York Islander Hockey season.

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LI Press Source: Wang pulls plug on LH

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/14/2009 05:41:00 PM | Comments
Long Island Press (not business news as I twittered) reported that a source claims Wang has pulled the plug on the LH project here despite no confirmation or comment from Mr Wang, Rechler, Picker, Lancey or anyone in the TOH or Nassau County government.

Newsday: Reported despite the majority wanting the project, Kate Murray Tuesday commented "the town board is taking the time to do it right and she supports reasonable development around the Coliseum."

Newsday: In one district race it appears LH does appear to be along party lines whether it be coincidence or not.

NYIFC Comments:
Nothing to say until it's confirmed or denied either way and as we know sources can sometimes be incorrect or very misleading. Political football, pressure on politicians or Wang-Rechler have had enough, take a number and get in line because all that matters is what actually happens. My estimation right now is only deadline most politicians care about is election day and their own future.

We'll see.

Mr Wang is stuck in his binding leases with the County, Smg until 2015 and is only in a position to sell the club at this time to someone else who must keep the club here until 2015.

Only thing that has been consistent is as information is filtered down more and more misinformation comes out of it to where very little of what we read is correct.

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New York Islander Fan Central Update/Questions

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/10/2009 09:50:00 AM | Comments

In response to a few questions:

* Those who understand how New York Islander Fan Central has worked since 2007 knows there will be tons of updates just shorter, less NYIFC commentary within the twitter framework.

Simply follow the twitter crawl or feeds (still working on this) at the top of this page or the top left section where you can scroll to the latest update or just go directly to the twitter page itself.

* I cannot do absolutely everything I used to do like daily articles but the feeders here have everything from the Islanders/Bridgeport and when I see something of interest I will do a twitter update with a link to the article and a brief word or two/or a hundred and whatever as twitter permits.

* You can bet I will write what needs to be written when necessary but as always the media is never the priority here, the games and our team is. I tend to think because this blog wrote about coverage and content from hockey writers and it was kind of ground-breaking for an amateur fan blog some saw this as a media kind of blog.

Not so.

* From Dan Martin to Katie Strang to Michael Fornabaio all their feeds/twitter updates along with the Times Islander page feeds are here to represent the newspapers. The Daily News Isles section (Devils also) was removed and it's feed not updating.

And yes, Ms Strang to date has done a fantastic job in my estimation while the veteran newspaper writers have done their usual questionable work which seems intended to drive fans away...Old news and usual coverage double standards by usual veteran writers speak for themselves.

Mr Botta, outstanding interviews, updates, good analysis and thrilled his blog will remain (through his new employer) plus his work will only help SI perception of the club. For some reason recently he made the goal chant a topic and put's it on the Isles management to give them people what they want while long ago when the problem started he did another entry and asked the fans to stop here.

Mr Botta will always be the first to defend Islander management and go out of his way to get the correct story out.

* From Mr Botta to Justin Bourne to Mr Witt and almost everyone in between their feeds, blogs or twitter pages are linked here in some manner as to what I consider the professional media blog/site section. That can be anyone from players or commentators, former coaches, team employees ect or writers affiliated with newspapers or major hockey sites like Tsn. I don't want to over do things with this because let's say for example Mr Botta does an update, to include his twitter page means we're going to see three updates of the exact same thing.

* If (very big if) I find time maybe I will put in feeds to opposing teams coverage on the left sidebar (newsgator widget) so you see everything written on a game from both sides but that's tough because many papers do not have hockey centric feeds only for one team and we don't need updates from every sport like does with their rss which makes it useless for our purpose here.

Perhaps I will create my own little list of feeds from game to game during the season so as things progress I will have built up something to move in and out of the blog feeds as each team is played. But when teams play three games in four days again it causes a lot of conflicts or I would have done this the last few years.

* The Ct Post web folks invented a newspaper feed one specifically for NYIFC last season on a day their tech folks were asking for website improvements, Mr Fornabaio did not even know but he was very happy about it, he already had a feed for his blog but not his newspaper articles.

Other AHL teams coverage are almost impossible to link feeds here and move them in and out on a game by game basis with three games in three days. I have put links to sites that have newspaper coverage links for every team NHL and AHL current and prior.

* Islander Blog box?
Given the only two people I ever contacted from the Isles about the box are no longer team employees I did contact the Isles customer service last week to see if they can find me the right person to put NYIFC back on their blog box page being that I asked for it to be removed last April-May a few times and would likely still be there now.

Either way this is not a big deal.

Two years ago I offered the blog to the team to help out but that was through Mr Botta the first year and Mr Witt the second. With or without me in the blog box (by link only) I'm not sure what to do with the blog box feeder on the right side (newsgator widget) of this page.

Some blog box members do update, others do not, some stopped long ago and I have not seen any new blogs added or the page changed to include new members. I don't want to pull something folks who visit here may want to read from someone but I am looking for space if I decide to return the prospect blog here.

* As always amateur fan blogs/blog box or others have a place here and those with respectful content are welcome to have their link advertised on our sidebar but never in our main content sections with the professional media or the newspaper writers.

* No, I'm not interested in taking on a second writer to update here. I only did this one update to answer questions I received and explain some things so you can get the most of of the updates and both NYIFC and the


New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2009 02:30:00 PM | Comments


New York Islander Fan Central and the Prospect Blog have been Updated/Re-opened and will now remain open and updated for the entire 2009-10 season.

I have finally come up with a format that works for me and that is using Twitter as the exclusive NYIFC written blog with smaller updates but it's feeds and crawls will be linked here with all the other media feeds professional and otherwise.

I have been writing on Twitter during training camp and preseason.

No written blog entries will be made from NYIFC other than this single entry to inform everyone.

No more indecision, changes, closings, experiments, final decisions or goodbye's, you have gotten more than enough of that from this me since last April.

I ran a close second to the indecision on the Lighthouse and as I wrote in August I'm sorry about that.

New York Islander Fan Central is back to writing about our team and that's the way it will now stay as one of the hardest working NY Islander amateur blogs anywhere.

You deserve nothing less.

The only promise of possible changes I will give all my loyal readers is if Twitter does not work out NYIFC will reopen with full entries as we had since it's inception and if space permits the prospect blog returning to this page.

Regardless, it's time to get back to work.

Thank You Very Much.

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The Final Goodbye...

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/11/2009 06:50:00 PM | Comments
Islanders leave Saturday for Saskatoon so that is when both blogs go off-line/private.

I set up the preseason roster, audio blogged or wrote what I think will happen on the ice and gave analysis on latest lighthouse news countless times with a lot of other things.

I got a little busy here for the final few days to send everyone into the season best as I could.

I hope for the best on and off the ice for the New York Islanders moving forward and I do think this team will be in contention. Off the ice I said/wrote everything I thought and not sure how it will end up but feel a compromise will happen at some point to allow the project to be constructed and this team will be here regardless until at least 2015 with no owner moving them away from a 300m dollar cable deal in the NY market whether they play at Coliseum, Queens or across the street from Msg as they have the right to relocate anywhere in New York.

Feel free to google cache, internet archive to keep viewing working links or old entries but I will not be making any more changes.

Nothing else to be done here now, once again Thank You very much.

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Islander News Articles 9/11

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/11/2009 04:18:00 AM | Comments

One final day with a return to our pre 4/17 format of doing daily articles.

Newsday: Katie Strang's Islander preview reports the club will have physicals Saturday and fly to Saskatoon to open camp, she has changes and asks some questions about this years team with an earlier blog entry/training camp preview here.

Star Phoenix: Has an interview with some serious and lighthearted questions/answers from head coach Scott Gordon as the club will travel to Saskatoon on Saturday.

NYIFC Comments:

The Star Phoenix is the paper of record for Saskatoon coverage for those who will be following for the time the Islanders camp there. I'm not sure how in depth the coverage will go because the Blades hockey team is the primary team and it's season is about to begin.

The Islanders for the most part will be playing split squad games including hockeyville game Monday in Terrance, going to Edmonton and Calgary before the team plays it's preseason home games at Saskatoon, then it's on the road again to KC to play the Kings who are the home team.

NY Post: Redesigned it's pages somewhat in a much better format than Newsday but we'll see if Dan Martin or someone has anything from the players before departing.

I would expect the Ct Post will not be sending Mr Fornabaio to Saskatoon but he always seems to find a way to keep his blog updated through camp here regardless and Bridgeport did hire a new media relations coordinator to go with a very nice new look (like Islanders website) and slight logo change to the website here but having written that the lead is Mike Schroeder being hired which I audio blogged on in late July.

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Provisions TOH wants in Nassau's lease

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/11/2009 12:14:00 AM | Comments
We really need another professional media source like LIBN or a Mark Harrington to verify Eden Laikin's reporting because there have been too many omissions in past articles but if all this is true in the above links that hundred foot wall preventing the LH from happening has finally come into view.

So I will work within the landscape provided by these articles and try not to make any mistakes in how I interpret what's being reported.

Sure I could get some of this wrong too nor do I know what's standard practice in such building agreements vs trying to drive away a development.
For Kate Murray/TOH it begins not even with local town issues or environment but Nassau/Tom Suozzi's " 99 percent completed " lease with Charles Wang and Scott Rechler which TOH has no part of but will not prevent them for making their own demands while holding zoning approval for what they want included in any completed lease.

And that would be only the beginning, who knows what else TOH/FPC want before giving approval and none of this has anything to do with environment, water, garbage, schools or electrical or what their outside agency requires once billing issues are settled.

Even worse let's say for argument sake the TOH approves the LH, the next step is the Nassau lease where Kate Murray wants in writing the project will create thousands of construction jobs and generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and is essentially re-writing the lease at this late date.

In short this means TOH can approve the project, Suozzi/Nassau can negotiate lease they want and right at the end, TOH-Murray can reject the project at the building permits hearing or the final step because they don't like the lease Nassau negotiated and approved.

Some of the things asked for are positive but some on paper seem completely unrealistic and a deal breaker for Wang-Rechler or any developer as if it's done to force them to walk away.

And this is only one article.

" Mr Suozzi as usual played his no LH, no Islanders card after he comments. Murray played her, they already knew this card. Charles Wang played the frustration and disappointed card.

So let's dig into the article, I know ten items were listed but things like Coliseum comes first was all in the LH proposal so some of this would not be considered new as presented.
The article reports the following so-called new provisions with even that aspect disputed by both sides:

1. The New York Islanders to play all home games at the coliseum for no less than 30 years after its completion.

NYIFC comments: Wang was only offering a ten year extension until 2025 of the existing Islanders lease. Murray, TOH had to know this so as much as we all want the Isles here long-term beyond 2025 that provision puts Wang-Rechler and Nassau on the hook to keep renovating to play at the Coliseum for at least the next thirty five plus years if current renovation happened. This is something Murray and Suozzi could have negotiated with Wang on for years now.

As an Islander fan you want the club here for the next thirty years so that's a good thing but we all know what Wang offered there and he's not going to own the club forever.

Part of the negotiating or compromise? Sure, nothing wrong there or that Wang must get everything he wants and he can still sell any time he wants but it seems this was put in at this late date to stall things when Nassau/TOH should have put that out day one. Ten years for a renovation of this size is not a long time but that should have been negotiated years ago, now it seems thrown in for leverage by TOH specifically to drive Wang away.

It's also been common knowledge the Coliseum renovation comes first as Wang has said on several occasions with a lease extension until 2025. I have no idea why Murray is quoted as saying the Isles can move after rezoning when they cannot move until 2025 as part of a new lease?

2. The developer cannot:

Apply for tax breaks

NYIFC comments: So apparently every baseball team can get tax credits or free bonds, full ownership of their new stadiums and who knows what plus NJ-Newark paid for part of Prudential Center but Wang-Rechler cannot get a tax break and to date no one has explained how Smg will have it's lease condemned without a lawsuit from their side?

Is this how TOH works with businesses or makes sure a project is killed?

3. Leave any building in mid-construction

NYIFC comments: That one seems reasonable if a building is under construction but designed to keep up the pressure on a developer to have all financing in place before any shovel goes in the ground to construct anything and this rezoning commits Wang-Rechler to build everything approved as per final plan where x building goes on x spot.

4. Sell the developer's rights to, or change ownership of, the property without town consent

NYIFC comments: That also seems unreasonable because Wang will have to co-own the property into his nineties with Mr Rechler approaching his seventies so ownership will change hands in the future or sold to an outside party. It's not unreasonable TOH is consented when a change is made.

5. The developer must:

Seek building permits from the town for any construction on the county-owned site.

NYIFC comments: This seems in line with current approval process because there will be building permits hearings as the final step before the shovel goes in the ground unless TOH wants to do that step a second time in some manner when it's time to begin actual construction.

This could also mean some buildings are altered in the future for whatever reasons but why have a final draft if that's the case?

6. Hire local residents for all construction jobs, pay prevailing wages and offer state-approved apprenticeships.

NYIFC comments: This from the same TOH that hires Frederick P. Clark from Rye New York to do county business for a project of this magnitude when they could have hired local businesses? I don't even want to touch the reports about Kate Murray's father beyond writing what was in the newspapers when they add in who must be hired for construction jobs?

7. Make the town a third party beneficiary of the lease - a move that would give the town the right to sue for any breaches of the agreement.

NYIFC comments: So basically TOH wants ownership of this lease in the future knowing Wang-Rechler will not be around forever and TOH has to approve anyone they may want/have to sell to so they can take control of the completed LH at some point and have rights to sue them for any breaches of the agreement?

I keep thinking of Tom Gulotta's infamous " Pigs at the trough " quote about Howard Milstein a decade ago applies to the TOH here.

All this basically means the TOH wants to re-write Nassau's lease agreement which is a step they have no vote in. Nassau county will approve or reject whatever lease Wang-Rechler-Suozzi negotiate which is the out in the current lease but TOH/Murray want their say in that as well to the point they will not approve the project?

Is TOH/Kate Murray ready to pay to renovate the Coliseum or buyout Smg's lease on the taxpayers dime because that's the alternative with or without the hockey team after 2015. She wants TOH to have a say in the lease they should also be on the hook to pay for the ramifications if this project is not approved or they force Wang-Rechler away.

Meanwhile Wang-Rechler still own the Marriott hotel on that property.

Bottom line: TOH does not trust Wang, Rechler to complete the project or come up with the financing and feel Wang or Rechler could sell development rights while Wang can also sell the hockey team which will happen some day whether the lease ends in 2025 or it's included the Islanders play at the Coliseum until 2045. TOH also wants some financial interest as a third party and the right to sue the developers with guarantees of local permanent jobs and long-term profits.

Un-official New York Training Camp Roster

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/10/2009 09:32:00 AM | Comments
In what may be the final entry here is as much of the training camp roster as I could put together.

For those scoring at home it appears Nate Thompson changed uniform numbers to Wayne Merrick's old number eleven.

Not a sign he's about to be sent down with his two-way contract?

I'm not sure when this was written/posted by Islanders website or how updated because the article I linked yesterday has comments from London Knights general manager Mark Hunter that Islander draft pick Anton Klementyev will be attending training camp but in the ad for the Devils Coliseum game the Islanders website added in a training camp roster some players apparently invited are not listed yet.

For comparisons to the 2008 Training Camp roster which included Jared Spurgeon currently coming off shoulder surgery as of 8/31/09 and Jyri Niemi here in Moncton last season.

Jyri Niemi plays for the Saskatoon Blades which is where the Islanders will hold camp.

The Western Hockey League also released a full list of all the players attending NHL training camps on Tuesday 9/8.

Travis Hamonic, Niemi are listed as attending Islanders training camp and Hamonic is also listed in another article as leaving his team for camp this weekend here.

The OHL AND QMJHL websites at this time do not have a list but for what this is worth the Islanders prospect site has assigned numbers here for Calvin DeHaan (3), Casey Cizikas (53), Hamonic (36), Niemi (49), Klementyev (48), Jared Spurgeon (61) and goaltender Kevin Poulin. (60)

deHaan wore #24 with Oshawa so obviously these updates are not old despite 2002 pick Alexei Stonkus still on the prospect list.

This is the list off the Islanders ad for the Devils Coliseum game where it's listed as training camp roster.

12 Josh Bailey
67 Sean Bentivoglio
20 Sean Bergenheim
57 Blake Comeau
81 Justin DiBenedetto
41 Robin Figren
59 Micheal Haley
68 Bobby Hughes
7 Trent Hunter
28 Tim Jackman
58 Jesse Joensuu
50 Tomas Marcinko
46 Matt Martin
62 Greg Mauldin
27 Greg Moore
26 Matt Moulson
51 Frans Nielsen
21 Kyle Okposo
10 Richard Park "A"
40 Joel Rechlicz
17 Jeremy Reich
54 Tony Romano
16 Jon Sim
77 Trevor Smith
15 Jeff Tambellini
91 John Tavares
11 Nate Thompson
93 Doug Weight

4 Mark Flood
8 Bruno Gervais
38 Jack Hillen
71 Mark Katic
56 Dustin Kohn
47 Andrew MacDonald
24 Radek Martinek
44 Freddy Meyer
2 Mark Streit
25 Andy Sutton
42 Brett Westgarth
32 Brendan Witt "A"

43 Martin Biron
39 Rick DiPietro
1 Mikko Koskinen
52 Nathan Lawson
33 Scott Munroe
30 Dwayne Roloson

For those who wonder how you divide five into four Utah signed two goaltenders over the summer so a home has to be found for Mikko Koskinen or someone out of Lawson/Munroe who both just signed or resigned and carried the bulk of their AHL teams games last season have to find another team.

Michael Fornabaio in the Ct Post Sound Tigers blog also has his updated roster of signings and invites with both Utah goaltenders.

At this time unsigned former prospect Max Gratchev is not with Lewiston for their preseason, is not on any Islander or European transfer list (or KHL) nor is he listed as invited to any teams camp or at least one that made a large newspaper. If you recall he signed a late season ATO contract with Bridgeport and played in one game but the June deadline came and went so he could re-enter the draft but to my knowledge was not selected a second time.

Not the first time Maxim Gratchev has been lost according to 2007 Boston Globe pre-draft feature but this time hopefully only in terms of hockey status temporarily.

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Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/09/2009 11:00:00 PM | Comments

Not to hit any of this stuff too hard....................however.

It seems a few years ago the New York Islanders were one of the first clubs to go all out on the camp invites and folks were critical then as Park, Dunham were brought into camp without an NHL contract and tried out to make the club.

Now it seems unless a bunch of players are invited it's a mistake again?

Times sure have changed.

Anyone ever think all these prospects need the best chance to win a spot over someone with a one-way deal and perhaps between waivers/ possible trades the Islanders already have their plan?

They still have first call on all players placed on waivers based on last seasons standings and with clubs against or over the cap Garth Snow if he wants holds the cards.
Regarding informal workouts Michael Peca still skates in Buffalo, it does not mean he's about to become a Sabre but as the Buffalo News article I posted stated this is one venue former players gather to skate before a season contract or not.

How many McCabe to the Islanders rumors surfaced because he spent part of his summers working out here?

Benoit Hogue worked out here also, it never meant he's about to be resigned by the Islanders.
If Mr Botta wants to report he has sources where the Islanders could relocate just give us all the locations interested (plus who) and please spare us the teasers.

It would also not hurt to report once again the team has a binding lease with Nassau/Smg for the next six years so maybe folks can concentrate on this season and not have them thinking Charles Wang can relocate by next summer or next week?

At the very least start being as critical of the newspapers for not covering the club as you used to be in your old job and put the blame on the papers/editors where it belongs. It would not have been a bad idea to call out the Times who had space to talk with you about Point Blank but not New York Islander hockey print coverage in their newspaper/blogs?

Bottom line here if you are going to correctly write the Isles website is 80/20 ads vs hockey content you have to blame everyone or why bother at all because the Knicks are going to be covered regardless of how brutal they have been so it's not about games and results?

I don't recall the Post spending more than a day in
Moncton the last few years if that and the News/Times did not go at all.

We all get the coverage is poor and involves only part of one newspaper.

The other bottom line is Mr Botta is no longer obligated to write about the New York Islanders yet still provides excellent interviews like the one we got with Bergenheim.
As for the New York Islanders website if an amateur blog like NYIFC can have Steve Webb's update four or five days ago they are not giving the fans enough new information.

No one is asking for infomercials daily from Snow, Gordon or even the players but how about a crummy list of who is attending camp like so many other clubs have already released on their website?

It's not a state secret to do a pdf file of who is attending and post a link? Isn't the idea to get folks excited about camp and the start of hockey with a televised game in a few days?

The Ct Post Michael Fornabaio tonight had the list of Bridgeport invites so we have that, if the Islanders are not inviting anyone it should only make it easier to release the full camp list now.

The Islanders on the website for the Coliseum preseason game against NJ have the camp roster listed so perhaps I was wrong on that. Still announcing the complete roster in a separate update would not have hurt.

Bottom line Mr Wang-Rechler will get their vote/certainty (or not) at some point and it still may happen by opening night. If TOH hired agency does not do it's job over a disagreement on billing and slow the process the TOH will suffer the fallout for their part if Wang-Rechler walk away from the project after opening night.

Charles Wang is stuck in his Islander lease certainty or not unless Suozzi cannot get him a new lease agreement after a TOH approval regardless who is interested.

Mr Suozzi sure has been quiet lately, just as he was for two years after the MOU.
I'm getting interested to see how many owners still want to turn down Jim Basillie over spending 140m of their own money to carry the Coyotes under the NHL umbrella and forfeit his 200 plus million bid and relocation fee.

For those scoring at home that's about a 400m dollar swing with a relocation fee included vs owners spending out of their own pocket to run the franchise through the league.

Character has it's price too.

I'm also fascinated to see Richard Peddie and the Leafs teachers pension fund make a case for keeping a team out of Canada while the same media lobbied for another team in Canada all these years who will wrap themselves in the Leafs media flag if it comes down to a relocation vote.

I guess for them a team can only relocate to Winnipeg.

You can bet Buffalo does not want another team near them also.

By my count (or the media articles at the time) the Coyotes lose as much as the Rangers did heading into the lockout in a far more modern building so why shouldn't they stay and see if a winning club changes the financial dynamic?
So the International Ice Hockey Federation approved the disputed transfer of Jiri Hudler from the Detroit Red Wings to Dynamo Moscow on Wednesday even though he was Wings property as Radulov was a year ago?

I'm curious what can any of these organizations/leagues do to stop anyone from doing anything?

Was Rene Fasel going to call the KHL police and haul Hudler off the ice during a game for playing in the KHL or if Alexei Yashin wanted to sign with an NHL team tomorrow was the league going to lock him out of an NHL facility with league security once he came to terms with someone?

Nikita Filatov last week pretty much said (if not misquoted or misinterpreted) that if he does not get NHL ice time he could have signed in the KHL despite his NHL contract with Columbus like he was doing the Jackets a favor.

Twenty years ago we had players in Europe escaping countries to come play in the NHL, it feels in terms of contracts the same thing is still happening with no apparent hope or even discussion of a transfer agreement.

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Tavares natural position and the depth chart

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/09/2009 10:11:00 AM | |Comments

Simply put you do not draft a franchise talent first overall, bring him from junior hockey all the way to the NHL with no veteran first line (or second line) players in terms of age/production and change that players position.

John Tavares is a center, that's where he should be playing if he's going to be in the NHL this season.

I have read some of Scott Gordon's comments about Tavares perhaps playing wing and the question is why?

So Doug Weight or Richard Park can be his center?

On my depth chart down the middle it's Tavares, Bailey, Nielsen for better or worse.

It appears the only opening is for Doug Weight to slide to the right side (Guerin's spot) to be his winger because Bergenheim, Comeau and Tambellini are all left wings but that means Okposo does not skate on his line because he is a right wing.

Let me set the NHL on paper depth chart and no I'm not including prospect signings.




Only Nate Thompson has a two way contract and he likely has to clear waivers, all seven defenders have one-way contracts.

I can blog about Joensuu, Figren, Smith, Bentivoglio, some of the AHL signings and the Sarnia connection in Bridgeport with Kohn, Katic and MacDonald all week and even talk about deHaan winning a job but this is where things stand right now regardless if Garth Snow invites someone or signs a fighter or a Satan/whoever or makes a trade.

How many times this summer did I say in audio blogs if you want to add you have to subtract?

Why change Tavares position when it's going to be all he can do to play his natural position at this level?

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If Intangibles go Isles way they make playoffs

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/08/2009 02:00:00 PM | Comments

What can I write that I have not written before before departing?

How about the Intangibles.

This is around the time so many worthless previews come put that don't even know the Isles lost close to a thousand games to injury mostly since January of 2008 or even report it. Do you really think they care about all the one-goal losses or blown leads?

Many of these writers don't write about four playoffs in five years before that and frankly don't care about that mediocre result (nor should it overplayed either) but will them portray them as a basement dwelling club as if they have not seen a playoff series as long as some other clubs in this league.

Many of these professional projections begin with the Milbury era or things of little/no consequence to the 09-10 season and it's because they don't follow our team enough to give us anything of relevance but have to write something.

You think most of these writers care DiPietro played sixty plus games the previous two years when they want to write about his contract?

It's not a knock on many writers either in some cases, they don't get enough space to follow their own local teams much less preview clubs they don't see play some years and sure in some cases the coverage is poor for a lot of reasons but that's old news.

If I had to do a Coyote preview I would be writing about Bob Francis or Winnipeg, how many years did Gretzky go before visiting the Coliseum as a head coach two season ago?

Rick DiPietro never went back to the city he was drafted in until 2008 to play a hockey game.

Scary how so many media folks and fans associate winning a playoff series with a successful season these days? Call me an older fan but winning a playoff series here never used to be any cause for celebration without a Stanley Cup.

But this is old news you know, time to move on.
I think on paper this team will be better than most will project, I see them in the playoff mix all the way if they are healthy if not qualifying outright.

But I wrote that last year which was a lost season before it even started.

For all sports some intangibles have to happen to be successful, the New York Islanders are frankly overdue in this department.

Last year only one intangible went huge in this teams favor and that was Mark Streit's defense and overall play.

Okposo drifting to left wing/center and his production was acceptable for a first full season as was Bergenheim's play after he and Scott Gordon got on the same page but I felt at times Okposo was cheating his natural right wing position by drifting to his left and center so much to get chances off his forehand, Scott Gordon after the season discussed why he was moved him to the left wing for a time and also had him on the left powerplay point.

Okposo has to score off his natural right wing side and what made him a top pick.

Aside from these things and maybe Witt getting back his full mobility after December, no single intangible really went the New York Islanders way all of last season unless you want to add some moderate progression from Bruno Gervais in how he played bigger and was more involved.

This time the intangibles have to be different, this time Bergenheim, Comeau, Nielsen and Jeff Tambellini have to carry their offensive weight after all the time they have gotten in the NHL despite Tambellini's benchings or Comeau being sent down. The veterans on the backline have to stay healthy or Jack Hillen/Andrew MacDonald/Calvin deHaan (if signed) or Mark Katic have to take their spots from them.

Yes, it starts with a mostly healthy roster or a manageable amount of injuries.

Yes, Trent Hunter has to get his twenty five goals and skate much better, Doug Weight has to produce at even strength and at times accept a lesser role, Richard Park has to have his hot streaks with a lesser role. Tim Jackman has to use that twenty goal ability he showed in Bridgeport and finish some of those chances his hard work created.

Yes, a Trevor Smith, Jesse Joensuu, Robin Figren, Matt Martin, Tomas Marcinko, Justin DiBenedetto or someone else does have to break through and make an unexpected impact if the chance comes for them or even Jon Sim if those forwards cannot produce.

Yes, Scott Gordon has to prove his system and methods can work with a healthy team at this level, break in a new coaching staff and somehow not put too much pressure on so many young players and has a huge task in front of him. I loved the coaches comments Bergenheim should not be worrying about scoring but when someone is drafted with a first pick in 2002 and your team is 29th is scoring of course you are going to worry about it and press.

Yes, the pressure on Tavares and to a lesser degree Josh Bailey without a prime scoring forward will be enormous especially if the club does not have a breakout offensive game.

Yes, Garth Snow is going to have to learn there are times where you have to make changes when some things simply are not working or holding back other players whether it be come waiver time before the season or to get his team out of a slump.

Yes, a lot of intangibles for this to work and for this club to be in contention. About a good seven out of every ten intangibles have to go in the Islanders favor this season with some surprises.

Last year one intangible worked out in the Islanders favor.

I know in sports sometimes you make your own breaks/intangibles.

Last year was not that time.

This time it not only has to happen but in many cases it should happen.

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Hockey in Seven Days...Final Closing at NYIFC

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/07/2009 06:35:00 PM | Comments

I guess to a degree I have been sending mixed signals about New York Islander Fan Central since last season ended, this was never my intention.

The New York Islanders have a hockey game in seven days against the Vancouver Canucks on September 14th with the club traveling to Saskatoon on 9/12.

Shockingly it will be televised on Time Warner at 10pm and repeated but will be the only pre-season game televised or at least scheduled at this time.

The Islanders half hour season preview debuts around 9/21-22 and runs only a half hour.

New York Islander Fan Central will not be covering the 2009-10 season.

If I wanted to keep things going here or even do this part-time I obviously could but I made my decision during last season and despite some blogging since 4/17, during the WC/NHL draft and some unexpected things happening like going audio for a brief time as an experiment (did not see that coming) I never changed my mind from what I decided in February.

Back on 7/29 I said it would be unfair to stop just before camp but I did extend things, left the blog viewable and the time went very quickly.

NYIFC did help what was a very quick summer go by even faster so it served a good purpose for everyone.
I have done everything I wanted to test here in the last month and no longer have any need to do any more written blog entries and I got a great deal accomplished.

A month ago when the blog went private for a part of a week I got a bunch of very kind e-mails asking me to keep NYIFC visible or to keep doing the blog as I did at the end of last season knowing it would be tougher to stop just as hockey begins.

I have tried to be extra generous posting preview links with the articles lately to set everyone up as best as I could for 2009-10 because you have been so great here.

Sadly, having written this when the New York Islanders leave for Saskatoon to officially begin the 2009-10 season NYIFC is finished entirely.

I have written additional blog entries after this one here in the interim that will be released before Friday because hockey is always the story but when the team departs for Saskatoon that will be the official end of NYIFC.

At that time I will also be setting both blogs to private permanently.

I do not intend to update these pages or the sidebars any longer so to leave NYIFC visible is to present something that is sloppy and not fair to anyone.

You can always visit what these pages looked like with internet archives or Google cache old entries if you want to keep finding links from these pages.

That's about it, as I have written a few times (or said by audio) the 4/17 entry was our real goodbye and one I cannot improve upon.

Of course, when the Minnesota Vikings come calling offering me twenty five million to do NYIFC over two years we'll be right back at it next week from Saskatoon.

What will I tell you? I took the money.

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NY Times is the problem, not New York Hockey

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/05/2009 05:34:00 PM | ||Comments

All the News that's fit to print?

Long time since we saw that mantra at the Times.

Amazing what you get on a labor day weekend for stories from papers who rarely attempt to cover home games, fail to come out to cover press conferences when coaches are hired or even when franchise players drafted have their initial press conference after 10,000 attend a draft party.

It sure does not apply to New York hockey any longer at this paper. Since Ron Dicker left the Isles beat rare Dave Caldwell game coverage and mostly hit and run articles all negative beyond the Sugden feature last year is about all we have seen unless you are counting that Mandarin broadcast feature by the Times.

The Times even had legendary dynasty writer George Vecesy surface on 5/23 to tell us it may just be hockey has come and gone on Long Island here while claiming the league's biggest money loser at the Garden going into the lockout in 2004 cutting back here is a money machine despite the same paper contradicting him and as late as August 2009 the NY Times is still reporting Msg losses from it's sports division here.

But on this day the Times came out of it's New York Islander coverage cave here here to do a feature about the Isles dwindling coverage written by Mark Messier's biographer Jeff Z. Klein.

His content included an insulting old quote from Jaromir Jagr but he did fairly recap what Mr Botta saw in his tenure with the club over twenty years and noted the draft turnout showed there were a lot more loyal Islanders supporters than most outside observers realized.

And the NY Times are outsiders now, by their own choice and this is where the problem lies.

An expert was brought in to question blog coverage content hired by a team but none of that applied to Chris Botta who won over folks with his honestly and viewpoint regardless if we agreed every day or not as he told his story about Point Blank along with team President Chris Dey who gave his side of why a former team employee was hired to write about the club and in the biggest news out of this article was quoted as saying:

" There might be an opportunity for another entrepreneur to cover the Islanders in a similar manner " which was really the only thing new from the article beyond Mr Botta's efforts to find a new home for Point Blank which he has discussed a few times recently.

Mr Botta and Mr Dey as expected did a very good job here and Mr Dey put it out there about the lack of media coverage as he needed to.

Bottom line here folks is the problem has never been the New York Islanders and it's not about any clubs record or what uniform they wore in 1996 because the Devils receive the same poor coverage regardless of how many Atlantic Division titles they win.

The Rangers have had coverage cuts also, but not nearly to the same degree.

Rangers-Islanders at Msg received only AP coverage this year from the Times (for at least one Msg game) and most Ranger road games were not covered, but the budget has been there for Mr Klein, Stu Heckel and Lynn Zinser to do many Ranger game articles and blog updates plus keep an updated European league page.

If that is the case there should be plenty of resources to cover all the local New York hockey teams regardless of record by blog or print.

This problem goes on the Times editor and their staff, a small part of it goes on a lot of Ranger fans on the print side controlling spin but all of this is old news.

This problem with the Times (and you can absolutely include Newsday, Daily News, Post and the Journal News, SI Advance) is all about selective coverage that says a lot more about their business practice and not the teams they cover.

Mr Botta's Point Blank proved the fan interest is there in New York Islander hockey so excuses by editors and sometimes the writers are about them and their own lack of knowledge.

The Times supposedly went to an SI format for all hockey teams not playing at Msg (likely because they need the Knick ad revenue) but again this goes to their judgment and not how a team performs or the Knicks would not be covered by anyone.

As for the Times, go back to a traditional format, cover all eighty two games from all three local teams and forget Europe.

New York hockey comes first and this is what New York hockey needs.

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