Quick Hits

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/13/2009 10:00:00 AM |
* I Have to admit it's tempting and the bait is out there with Bridgeport playing games at the Coliseum the day this blog closes for good but I am going to stick to the closing date Friday despite some very kind e-mails asking me to keep going which was very appreciated.

This is why there are feeders for newspapers and to go through Bridgeport's playoffs means perhaps blogging into June, then the draft and free agency.

Does it feel completely right to cover a team like Bridgeport all season and stop blogging the day the playoffs begin? Absolutely not, but then the question becomes when is the right time to stop?

I suspect Bridgeport is going to win at least a round and it would not shock me if a team that was first overall for a few days makes a very serious run at the Calder Cup into June.

I sure do hope so.

Trust me, I will leave NYIFC setup very well for Bridgeport's playoffs and the World Championships here even without any more blogs entries. I will tweak a few things if necessary here and there to keep things updated.
* I feel bad for our fans who despite any picks they draft this summer and regardless of who they sign will for the first time really have a serious distraction hanging over them with the Lighthouse and Mr Wang's start of season deadline. I'm afraid to write as tough as many have had it this year torn between losing to gain something tomorrow or winning to gain something for the prospects no matter what happens on the ice until the Lighthouse is resolved it will take on a life bigger than the hockey games as it did in other places.

Charles Wang in 2006 fired Neil Smith when he did to avoid a September distraction, this time it will be unavoidable unless the Lighthouse is approved.

Unfortunately if it's not resolved it's going to take over everything.
* I wonder if Tom Suozzi thinks he can let Charles Wang (or anyone who buys the club from him) out of a binding lease before 2015? Just as importantly now I think Gary Bettman's patience is run out waiting for progress even if the Cablevision Garden is older and just as run down as the Coliseum.

All I do know is ticket plans for some involve next season and 2010-2011, a few more years beyond that and all bets beyond a huge cable contract are off with the Isles only gaining more leverage as the lease and Smg agreement wind down.

And we have heard nothing from Smg, who are entitled to their contract and not to say one word until it expires.
* To answer a question I received, the New York Islanders have never contacted me with any criticism either year of the blog box and like Mr Botta were nothing but first class with NYIFC both seasons. If the Islanders continue the program understand going in they let you write whatever you want or at least they did in my case and were a pleasure.

I'm sure the folks who actively participated will have the same praise but my involvement was to blog without sitting in the box or doing interviews because that was not my interest which they knew and understood going in.

In my estimation instead of an amateur blog box they need four more professional media individuals to do what Mr Botta has done so very well for our fans all season with Point Blank. There are many Newspapers folding or limiting hockey coverage and something for the Islanders to consider.
* Interesting how some media despite the Tampa organization saying they would not trade a player who's ten year contract (complete with no trade clause) kicks in come July 1st in Vinnie LeCavalier would move him anyway.
* No shock Miroslav Satan was recalled by Pittsburgh, sad how far he has fallen he had to go through recall waivers to rejoin his own team but if he were claimed he could not play for the team that claimed him until next year and that's after resigning him because he's an UFA.
* Quick, name any player in this organization who can be a top two right wing next season after Kyle Okposo who has a prayer to score twenty five goals and please don't tell me Robin Figren, or Kirill Petrov?

For that matter let's stop calling Trent Hunter a top two right wing until he produces as such.

Unfair? Maybe. Mariusz Czerkawski scored thirty with a lot less help. Alexei Yashin had no excuses made for him when he had to play with Kvasha, Weinhandl and did not score enough to satisfy anyone and got anything but a free pass finishing his career with Jason Blake and Chris Simon as his first line that final year.

Love Hunter's game, but no more excuses, this team needs a prime time scorer up front for these kids which is why I wonder why Doug Weight with his five even strength goals should have been resigned.

And it looks like that spot has to be the one Bill Guerin used to occupy on paper.

One of the announcers Sunday was trying to change Tavares position to right wing to play next to Doug Weight, this is why you cannot bring back Weight.
* All I read about Mike Komisarek is he's struggling and headed for free agency, last time I read this much about a player like that his name was Wade Redden. This is
not Mark Streit who came off a very good year in Montreal offensively.

* I know what Chris Higgins did for the Canadians but this year he's a left wing with less goals than Richard Park. Do you want to move Tambellini, Comeau or Bergenheim to bring in another left winger in Higgins just because he's from Long Island?

For those wondering Jesse Joensuu who could well make next year's team is a left wing.
* I strongly suggest those who want pics of Andy Hilbert in an Islander uniform this Sunday was last chance, tell me where he fits unless it's as a fourth line center with Nate Thompson cut? Could be wrong but I think the numbers suggest I'm right which is tough because he gives everything he has, but on this team he just cannot score enough.

Tomas Pock for all the mistakes he made early did a lot better than anyone will give him credit for once he settled in. I just don't see a spot.

Andy Sutton came into this season reportedly in great shape and still lived up to his reputation of getting hurt, where do you go from here with someone who cannot stay healthy over 82 games?

I'm almost stunned Brendan Witt after three knee injuries out of nowhere was able to remain healthy the rest of the way.
* As for the goaltending don't get down on MacDonald or Danis, they both had a long tough year and despite both looking like they ran out of gas late both proved they can start at this level for a good stretch of games. Not sure what the Isles will do here because MacDonald was picked over Dubielewicz and Danis to start the season and last week Danis was put out for three straight games and even back to back the last weekend.

Obviously management is looking long and hard because with Lawson and Mannino signed this is likely a one or the other game unless DiPietro's future is in doubt.
* You have to wonder if Scott Gordon will want changes behind a bench he inherited when this season ends. His former assistant Rob Murray in Providence did a good job this season, I'm not sure the Bruins will give him permission to leave to be an NHL assistant, they apparently did not give the Isles permission after allowing Scott Gordon to go.

I would guess the assistant coaches from Ted Nolan's staff's contracts are up because Nolan's is up on 7/1.

Nothing that went wrong on the ice from what I saw should go on the assistant coaches, it will all depend on the chemistry between Gordon and how they work together.
* It's never as personal as it's made out to be most of the time. Scott Gordon, the Pens staff and Bill Guerin were all very classy at the end Thursday.

Who can blame Guerin for wanting to win and being frustrated this season? If you are a player/coach and not frustrated with losing you are in the wrong business.
* Always nice to not know down to the bitter end the New York Islanders make fans from inside the city limits feel like they root for the wrong team and slap that Long Island label on everything they can with Richard Park's little speech Sunday.

Sure does wonders for a fan base that needs every fan from all over the tri-state area and the city newspaper coverage tuning out.

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