Sweden 3, USA 2 WC Bronze Medal Game

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/10/2009 12:13:00 PM | ||Comments
IIHF.com: Reported Sweden defeated team USA 4-2 in the Bronze medal game at the World Championships.

Kyle Okposo did not score or register a point but had two shots through the second period. Former Islander Mattias Weinhandl assisted on all three goals for Sweden.

IIHF.com: Reports Russia defeated Canada 2-1 to win the Gold medal.

This officially ends all blog entries at NYIFC. Nothing I can add that was not written on 4/17. Most likely in the upcoming weeks this blog will be set to private along with prospects blog.

Thanks Again.

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US vs Sweden 10am Sunday for Bronze

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/09/2009 09:06:00 PM | |Comments
USA Hockey.com: Has the preview for Sunday's Bronze medal game against Sweden with Kyle Okposo's comments.

Universal sports will have the game live and likely the television network will have a tape delay version along with the championship game.

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Final State of Islander Prospects

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/09/2009 06:50:00 AM | Comments
I left the link up to Michael Fornabaio's article he does at the end of every Bridgeport season where he list the contract status of everyone in Bridgeport.

Max Gratchev and Simon Lacroix do have to be signed by 6/1 or they can re-enter the NHL draft. Aside from that I do not think another CHL prospect has a deadline to sign, even the overage ones.

At this time there are no graduating seniors from college that mandate the Isles to sign them (unless someone off the radar like Troy Mattila, Shea Guthrie, Tyrell Mason are) or lose them unless someone decides to leave school and turn pro.

That will start to change next summer to a larger degree.

With no transfer agreement there is nothing to write about any of the European prospects status until it is finally settled. Some are signed in Europe but after Radulov in Nashville seems anyone can do anything in some instances even with a contract but hopefully the all sides respect the verbal agreement between IIHF, Rene Fasel, the KHL/NHL not to sign anyone other leagues signed players but it did fail because of the time line on Radulov on that verbal agreement.

The Isles did live up to their agreement on Robin Figren to play his first contract year in Europe, I suspect now he has to play in North America.

NYIFC Prospect blog has the links to these sites. That blog will not be updated to include this summers changes or draft picks.

These are the recent moves I know about from European Hockey.net:
Posted 7/5/2009: Emil Axelsson (D)
From se VIK Västerås HK to se Örebro HK

Posted 23/4/2009: ru Kirill Petrov (F)
From ru Ak Bars Kazañ to ru Neftyanik Almetievsk website.

Posted 27/4/2009: se Stefan Ridderwall (G)
From se Djurgårdens IF to se Örebro HK (On Loan)

Russian Prospect.com: Released their restricted/unrestricted free agent list which includes an Islander prospect in Sergei Ogorodnikov from long ago.

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For the Record Nassau's First Meeting With Wang

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2009 06:49:00 PM | Comments
Was in Newsday on 4/15/2002 after clinching the teams first playoff spot since 1994 when the County issued a Proclamation praising the club.

I do not have the link but courtesy of Islanders-Sound Tigers archives, here is the full article.

By Monte R. Young
Staff Writer

April 15, 2002

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang and Nassau County Executive
Thomas Suozzi held a 45-minute meeting today to discuss the fate of
the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as both agreed the county
should have a new, first-class facility for the National Hockey
League team.

But with Nassau's massive fiscal problems, Suozzi admitted that the
county is in no financial shape to take on such an expensive project
that some say could cost as much as $200 million.

"If Nassau County is going to be the best it can be, then we should
have a world-class sporting facility," Suozzi said. "But it must be
done economically and done within a county master plan that includes
all parties."

Suozzi's comments came as he and Wang joined other county leaders in
celebrating the Islanders playoff berth this week. After the news
conference, Suozzi and several members of his staff, along with Wong (that's how his name was spelled by writer) and his senior vice president of operations for the Islanders and the Dragons Arena Football League team, Michael Picker, during a forty five minute discussion about the Nassau Coliseum.

"We are open to all the ideas about how we are going to go about
this," Wang said. "We know this great metropolitan area will
eventually have a new facility. Our focus is the playoff, we will
deal with tom on how best to go about this."

Islanders fans have long complained about the conditions at the aging
Nassau Coliseum. Meanwhile, SMG and Nassau County have had a long-
running dispute. Last year, then county comptroller Frederick Parola
said SMG owed the county $4 million in back rent and fees. SMG
maintained it is up to date on its payments after withholding
millions of dollars to pay for repairs to the old sports arena, which
the firms argued were the county's responsibility. Officials with the
Suozzi administration said they were not sure of the status of the
issue and SMG officials did not return calls for comment.

Still, Picker said that Wang has met with officials from SMG, the
Philadelphia company that manages the Nassau Coliseum, and "put
aside" a lawsuit against the Islander's prior owners.

The Philadelphia company and the Islanders have spent more than $2
million recently in upgrading the scoreboard, sprucing up the
exterior and renovating locker rooms and office space.

"We did what we had to do first, and that's build a solid hockey
team," Picker said. "We settled all lawsuits and complaints with SMG.
It's a county issue with SMG. It's a county building. We are a

Officials with SMG could not be reached for comment.

Wang's and Suozzi's meeting today was the first where they've
discussed the coliseum issue at any length.

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The Perfect Job for Denis Potvin with Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2009 06:20:00 PM | Comments
Would be the second professional team sponsored blog along with Mr Botta.

I think Potvin with his Hall of Fame credentials along with someone who worked on broadcasts since 1993 as a member of the media would be an outstanding choice to do this job from Florida or New York any way he sees fit. He obviously has the media and player contacts along with vast hockey knowledge that would be great for past generations who saw him play and the current generation from his insights.

At this time with Billy Jaffe in the color analyst job there is not a spot for him and there is the time Butch Goring has done sideline commentary.

If I'm Chris Dey, Denis Potvin is someone I'm contacting immediately to add to Mr Botta outstanding efforts in a sort of an independent media blog box made up of professionals.

It will only help to supplement the lack of print media coverage. Potvin's criticism of the Panthers also makes him of great value because he has proven he will step up and write whatever needs to be written.

I see this as a perfect role for Potvin with the Islanders given his media and hockey background.

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Russia 3, US 2 Okposo scored

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2009 04:08:00 PM | Comments
IIHF.com: Lucas Aykrord reports team USA lost 3-2 to Russia Friday with Kyle Okposo's comments who scored in the 3-2 loss.

The US will play for the Bronze on Sunday, today's game will be re-aired (some outlets) on universal sports television if you want to watch the tape delayed games Friday night or beyond.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I wondered after Robert Esche almost made fifty saves against Finland if Scott Gordon is doing a little scouting for a possible goaltender given Garth Snow has not made up his mind (or obviously not talking) on whether to bring back Joey MacDonald or Yann Danis which seems an either or choice if Peter Mannino-Nate Lawson are signed for next season with Bridgeport?

I'm not a fan of Esche despite how he played for the US and would prefer Danis or MacDonald to him regardless of his NHL experience. He has played in the RHL/KHL the last two seasons and I'm too lazy to see if he's a free agent.

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The Final Words on Point Blank/Quick Hit

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/08/2009 05:12:00 AM | Comments
There are a few things I am not going to miss when I'm done with NYIFC, this will be one of them but while I'm still here I felt obligated to write it for my readers.

Last week Mr Botta did something outstanding with Point Blank, he forced Newsday's Eden Laikin to go back and update a story that Kate Murray received campaign money from Frederick P Clark Associates where he was not even credited after his entry obviously forced the paper to update it's story.

Along with his excellent informative interviews and tireless blog entries he's forced Newsday (specifically Greg Logan) to work a little harder in my estimation this year after a great job as a team official his first year when he started Point Blank.

The only thing I have ever asked is the playing field be fair and level when it comes to coverage and commentary about our team vs any other.

If the media wants to rip all the teams or praise or the clubs at Newsday or any other publication, that to me is a level playing field and fair enough. I have made no secret there is one standard for other teams at Newsday and another for the Dolan's teams.

The Post and Daily News ripped the Dolan's and their teams this week but not Cablevision owned Newsday.

This brings me to Mr Botta and his Point Blank entry Thursday where he covered several subjects in somewhat of his state of blog address but also discussed the media where he concludes that he stands by the facts he wrote with an opinion that comes from the heart and the mind. Note-I am putting this part out of context because it was at the end of his writing about the media/Newsday.

Thursday in his entry he started off pulling no punches that Newsday refers to Point Blank as the “team-sponsored blog” - as opposed to the Rangers-sponsored newspaper - and he had never hid from that.

He then went on to write Long Island’s newspaper is owned by the company that owns the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and MSG Network. That Neil Best who he praises as one of the finest media columnists in the U.S. and a man of impeccable honor, covers one of the major holdings of his boss. So do the Newsday writers on the Knicks and Rangers.

But here is where he completely disappoints me (and should you) in that he only singles out Wallace Matthews for blistering Charles Wang last summer who he felt has plenty of tough opinions on the Steinbrenners and at times has been vicious toward Jeff Wilpon. As for the Dolans, Wally doesn’t seem to have much to say.

Mr Matthews did one article (same as Barbara Barker) within the last year critical of the Islanders and Mr Wang at or around the time Ted Nolan left.

But all this begs the question from NYIFC how come Mr Botta did not write the exact same thing he did on Matthews about Anthony Rieber, Jim Baumbach (two Newsday writers Mr Botta himself told our fans to ignore last summer) Mark Herrmann, Arthur Staple, Steve Zipay and the teams beatwriter Greg Logan for similar conduct on a regular basis where Charles Wang and his club are constantly criticized but never even heard of James Dolan's teams?

The Islanders scored nine less goals then the Rangers and lost about five hundred and fifty more man games to injury. Until injuries caught up with them a year ago they were in position to make their fifth playoff in six years under Charles Wang.

It does not merit a parade and a mediocre result but does it justify the constant ridicule Newsday's staff has put on this team which effects attendance and influences perception?

To only single out only Mr Matthews here to me seems a easy way out from Mr Botta to pick on a peripheral (as in once a year hockey writer)and not the daily/weekly writers who have pounded our team and it's owner into the ground relentlessly at times (blog or print) over several years even before Cablevision purchased the club which has buried this team and it's owners reputation all over North America where those reports are usually based upon something reported in Newsday.

Anyone ever think Mr Wang also regrets buying the team because he spent 130m on players his second summer after the previous billionaire spent fourteen million on the entire team payroll and received far less criticism than Wang?

Maybe Mr Botta does not understand this but his blog a week ago had the readership and influence to force Newsday to correct a story, his reputation inside the media industry and ability earlier this year forced Mike Francesa to correct a story he was telling horribly wrong for over a hour on WFAN where afterward I wrote he saved Mr Francesa.

Point Blank has the readership to pressure Newsday to cover all the hockey teams exactly the same or lose their credibility.

Instead Mr Botta completely pulled his punches only singling on Matthews, my question is why and I ask it because you deserve better from him.

No Mr Botta, if you do read this, it's not an insult or making fun of you, it's asking a fair question I would ask of any media and one I think our fans have a legitimate right to know if you go in that direction.

Singling out only Mr Matthews over one article he wrote last summer seems you did not want to step on anyone else's toes on the Dolan's hockey writing staff or at best kept it peripheral for reasons you did not care to explain.

I was one of the folks who passionately wrote to you last summer and told you we needed Point Blank and to please continue it. We do not agree on the media much but you have been first class with NYIFC and I cannot write how much respect I have for your efforts.

Having written that you needed to make your point about the Dolan's entire writing staff, starting with the daily hockey writers.
Folks, I did read the article on the possible Cablevision spin-off of Msg, I really have no thoughts on it other than to write as usual the Msg unit (however they present the numbers) lost money because they cannot generate enough revenue to cover what they spend and never breakdown the individual units.

Newspaper and Mr Levitt reported the Rangers lost money going into the lockout, never Cablevision/Msg.

If the board of Cablevision works in a way where ten people each have a single vote but Charles Dolan's vote counts for twenty votes what's going to change other than this is the Dolan's way to try and make more money in some manner which they have every right to do as businessman.

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WC Semi-Final USA-RUSSIA 10:00 AM Friday

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/07/2009 07:17:00 PM | Comments
Universal Sports: Has the link for Friday's live game but I cannot tell at this time if this will be a free presentation as US-Finland was on Wednesday.

The 10am start time is EST.

USA Hockey: Cameron Eickmeyer has a preview of Friday's game.

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Professional vs Amateur: The Final Words

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/07/2009 06:39:00 AM | Comments
A lot of final, final entries but I can hang in until the WC ends Sunday.

After that I could care less if Charles Wang or the Islanders are on the front page every day or what any paper writes about anything whether it be Lighthouse Approval of the Islanders moving to Msg and kicking out the Rangers.

I'm pretty much done.

I did receive an e-mail asking why I do not mention some amateur blogs.

If you have followed NYIFC from the beginning you know I do not comment on amateur fan blogs even those that appear on some major websites and require the writing to come from a professional newspaper or someone with a real media credential or hockey background whether it be Jay Feaster writing or even Mike Milbury writing along with someone like Mr Botta.

I felt from day one there is a line to be respected and I have drawn a very conservative line with what I consider professional. Many things others consider professional I frankly do not (call it generational or whatever) which is why you never saw their work here or you saw me scale back and drop some sites because I do not see them as professional media as I linked to their content.

This is not an insult to anyone but just the way I see it.

Competition? I could have posted a dozen or so great fan blogs here and anyone who asked to be included on my sidebar was never turned away. I was never into the page view game here and stopped counting after a hundred thousand plus hits because I was thanking everyone almost weekly that first year.

That kind of thing was simply just not an interest of mine. If I wanted to do that I could have gotten some sponsors and put advertising all over the place but I did not start NYIFC for that kind of thing either nor did I have any aspiration to write for anyone but myself out of enjoyment. I did offer to include my writing here for some publications and websites but I frankly this would never be about some kind of personal gain but only to promote the team in my own way.

As I wrote the other day I was never into the funny picture game from professional media who write blogs to supplement quality and need that to produce daily or weekly information as part of the job description. I also never broke news or played the inside source shock jock game here because I respect those lines above all.

I also did not play the rumors game unless it comes from a professional newspaper and promised from the beginning my goal was to be dead last and a hundred percent correct in what was presented here out of respect and kept my promise.

New York Islander Fan Central is, was and always has been an amateur blog and I have made clear countless time I am not a media nor is my viewpoint professional or ever to be taken in that light. If you did you have you misjudged what this blog was about or placed too much importance in my commentary.

Having written that I feel I have acted with professionalism in my own way by keeping the funny pictures and shock jock game out of NYIFC because you deserve as close as a professional blog an amateur can present.

My comments on professional media articles or in Mr Botta's case have always
been along the same lines you would see a Phil Mushnick, Bob Raissman, Richard Sandomir or even a Neil Best comments on announcers viewpoints or how they call something during a game. I simply extended that to professional hockey articles or professional viewpoints about our team with a ton of my own articles, game reviews and whatever.

I get the impression many viewed this as a blog about media, that was just one small aspect of NYIFC but many responded because it was a new concept, my only regret there is we had more articles to praise than to be critical of and maybe a few days I worked so hard on the mountains of critical content I neglected praising some other things I should have given equal time to.

Beyond that I respect and encourage everyone's efforts to write what they wish in their own way amateur or professional and to draw their own lines in terms of content.

Everyone has their own way of doing things, this was my way and I feel the correct one.

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Quick Hits/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/07/2009 04:04:00 AM | Comments
NY Post: Marc Berman, long-time season ticket holder and former long-time beatwriter actually did an article (not all about hockey) but where he leads with the Islanders circumstances.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Islander reporting at the Post would improve a thousand percent with Berman back on this teams beat, is the paper making a change in Knicks coverage or his role with the paper?

One nice thing about the NHL playoffs is you read so many articles about New York Islander championship traditions between the cups and all their accomplishments this time of year it's fun seeing so many teams try and come back down 3-0 or the comparisons.

Jussi Jokinen, Sergei Samsanov all these players on waivers or fringe players at best in the right circumstances seem to have no problem producing big goals or being major factors come playoff time. This is the kind of player Garth Snow needed to target because you cannot teach scoring hands and finishing skills in big games.

I only wish you could place Samsanov's offensive skills in Andy Hilbert's game because you would have a fantastic overall hockey player.

Palm Beach Post: Brian Biggane reports the Florida Panthers decided not to renew the contract of broadcaster Denis Potvin for next season with his comments. Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark of the Panthers said one reason for the changes is Potvin had not made a 12-month commitment to the franchise, instead spending the summers in Canada but the article speculates Potvin's criticism of the club also was part of the decision.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

Potvin called this clubs games since the Panthers started in 1993 and this feels a little like the circumstances Jiggs McDonald left under a long time ago. Meanwhile we have a play by play man in Howie Rose who if were lucky will show up a week after the opener after doing nothing for the club all summer or preseason, take his vacation during the season and then we'll see if he sticks around for Islander playoffs or not at the beginning of baseball season.

Of course Howie Rose is not an Islander employee nor does the club own it's telecast. I have a feeling Bill Torrey who still works for the Panthers in some capacity is not happy about this decision at all.

Sun-Sentinel: Steve Gorten had a blog entry with Potvin's comments about what happened and that he did expect to return after a shorter version appeared in the paper.

LIBN.com: John Kiernan writes in his article if the Lighthouse project is not approved, Nassau County should consider condemning the SMG lease and building a new Coliseum. Obviously, there is great value in the property the county owns around the Coliseum. In the end, the Town of Hempstead should not be pressured into approving a huge real estate venture because the developer happens to own a hockey team and that the first thing he should have done was put together a real plan to get a new arena knowing about the Smg lease and he would absorb losses.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
This condemning the lease has been going on for well over a decade, did the writer not know this already? He also failed to point out Wang-Rechler own the Marriot and Reckson is a huge part of that area.

Wang's makes it tough on himself with his comments, by the time they circulate and are reinterpreted from town to town you read it twisted into twenty different versions but the writer here does a terrible job in the LIBN. If he's losing all this money I guess this is the only way he can get this project approved as quickly as possible but he's not going to circumvent the approval process which the TOH did not enter the picture officially until Nov 2007.

Funny but Howard Milstein did what the writer said and came in with an immediate plan and within months wanted out so quickly he even tried to leave before a court forced him back and at one point offered to pay for a new Coliseum. Wang says he spoke with Suozzi and was told from day one the county is broke and cannot afford to replace or renovate it's own facility. Why should Wang or any Islander owner pay to replace a building where everyone but an Islander owner receives the bulk of the revenue from doing so?

A lot of writers do not get that part of it.

For a guy who regrets what he's did in buying the club he seems to have no problem going with his general manager to scout prospects but we saw this with the Dragons where he was in the front row cheering during the playoff and four days later sold the club.

John Pickett had these same problems back in the early nineties with Nassau County and Smg. Wang did not create them and spent hundreds of millions on player contracts which right or wrong on the ice proved he was in it for the hockey and something many fans now regret he did.

Until it's time to sign John Tavares to a contract that is or keep Kyle Okposo someday on July 1st.

Edmonton Journal: Dan Barnes seems to do the best job describing Jim Basille's end game best with the Coyotes and current owner Jerry Moyes, who placed the club in bankruptcy and will be in court against the NHL who removed him as an owner from all decisions regarding the club because of the filing which there are questions whether he was allowed to do so legally but there are tons of articles by pro and anti-Bettman/Phoenix/Basille writers all with their own agenda's which run very deep.

NYI Fan Central Comments:

I personally do not want this man owning an NHL team because he makes up his own rules. He comes off more like John Spano in his ruthless attempts to grab an NHL club a decade ago before he targeted the Isles which is not how the NHL BOG works.

You think men with ego's like Ed Snider, Richard Peddie, James Dolan, Mike Illitch, Charles Wang or the Jacobs family in Boston who likely make life impossible for Gary Bettman already and give us a lot of decisions that tie Bettman's hands want him in their NHL fraternity?

I just do not see it unless they want his money that badly, for those with billion dollar companies with hockey as an ego-purchase don't count on them approving him.

The part about the White Sox owners wanting to purchase the club and keep it in Arizona I found most interesting but from the day this team left Winnipeg the media seemingly everywhere has been on a campaign to bury hockey in Arizona and regardless what happened would never accept that team.

We see this with Carolina and Tampa all the time but look what's happening in Carolina again now and looked what happened in Tampa when they won.

I have a feeling Gretzky will as a minority owner and long-time coach have a huge stake and influence in how this plays out.

One thing for sure is the Coyotes do not have an owner willing to pay the clubs bills any longer and the NHL needs to find someone who will.

The kicker and the thing Islander fans have to note here is filing bankruptcy for the Coyotes allows them to have a possible out on their thirty year lease in Glendale, the Isles have five years left on their Smg-Nassau leases.

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A Few Small Items

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/06/2009 01:59:00 PM | Comments
No, for those wondering I am not planning a return to any kind of regular updates when the WC ends. I kept updating Bridgeport-WC so if I saw something that mandated a blog I decided to write about it because I felt it was important and I'm here anyway so why not?

For those interested the Finland-USA WC game is currently on that site I posted in the links.

Kansas City Star: Randy Covitz reported this afternoon the official date of the Islanders preseason game will be September 22nd which was set today by the Spirit Center officials.

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What is Newsday So Scared Of?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/05/2009 03:15:00 PM | Comments
Who knew a little blog like NYIFC had the Newsday crew panicked into a corner to such a point they rejected my entry on their blog yesterday?

Anthony Rieber had a Question after Mr Botta wrote in Point Blank that the Isles in their current situation would lose money if they sold out every game and won the cup which is common knowledge for well over a decade.

So Mr Rieber created a blog entry and asked a question " for everyone who wants to weight in " (apparently except for us) Would Wang make money -- or at least break even -- if the Coliseum were renovated but the rest of the Lighthouse Project never happened if he paid for the renovation but gets to keep all of the profits from the building, then writes that is his " boilerplate " for sports teams -- the town/city/state/county or whatever gives you the right to build on their land, you pay for it, you keep all the profits with no public financing beyond infrastructure, transportation....ect but if the answer is no, even in a new Coliseum the Islanders can't make money, then isn't that proof that the Islanders in that location are not a sustainable business and should be allowed -- mandated, really -- to move somewhere else here.

I answered his question respectfully that Smg or Nassau County is not putting that on the table for Wang at this time for his to receive revenue from all Coliseum events but did point out that there is an example of a team that lost this kind of money already and that is his employers hockey team which did get all the things Rieber had in his " boilerplate " and still led the league in losing money as late as 2004.

The Rangers lost 25-40 million for several years as late as 2004 who enjoy a tax exemption from 1981 that kept them from moving at the time which is common knowledge here and other perks like a discount on electricity paid for by Con Edison customers according to the 1982 settlement in the NY Times here.

In Feb 2004 the Times reported Msg had to lay off 3.5 percent of it's work force to cut costs here.

I also questioned why Mr Rieber or the Newsday staff would not write about this or are they in fear of the Dolan's and their jobs after lead Newsday editor John Mancini walked off the job in January here & here and here with some staffers because he wrote something about the Knicks the Dolan's did not approve of about his sports teams?

I'm not throwing out this information or making a single claim without professional media documentation to support this.

Is Anthony Rieber or Jim Baummbach (along with the rest of the Newsday staff) that much in fear for their jobs they are not allowed to be critical of the garden, their teams or questioned their finances and ask same hard questions they do of the Islanders viability?

Does this not mandate if they ask these questions of the Islanders they must ask them of the Rangers if they have a history of losing significant amounts of money themselves?

Who knew these kinds of questions would be such a threat and evoke such fear among Newsday staff they could not address them or allow them?

I guess they only accept responses that say maybe it's time the Islanders relocate which helps their employer or to talk about Milbury's trades and Wang's signings.
Once again NYIFC presents it's documentation that as late as 2004 the Rangers lost money. The Post, Washington Times, NY Daily News and Arthur Levitt wrote or said the Rangers lost money, this is not my personal claim nor would I make such a point without supporting documentation.

A few of these links are outdated but these are the dates they appeared in the respective papers. I had them available because Islanders-Sound Tigers has them on my mailing list from that season so it's not as if I sat here researching them for days.

Why can't we have full transparency from Newsday if their sports bloggers/writers are asking these questions when the idea is to provide information?

I guess some questions they cannot go near which means they are doing our fans and their customers a dis-service.

Excerpts from interview with Arthur Levitt
On 640 Mojo Radio in Toronto, Sept. 30, 2004

Watters: And I agree with you -- they are whacking away at the wrong syllable -- if I could use that term. The one thing that seemed to play into the union's hands -- and you can clarify this Mr. Levitt --Bill Daly was talking on ESPN last week and said that the New York Rangers lose money. ... Can you envision the New York Rangers losing money when the building is packed every night?

Levitt: Yes, they do lose money and I did see those numbers. And we accounted for those numbers -- we accounted for revenue that went to television ownership that the club has -- there are a number of clubs that own their own television stations and their own arenas.

Watters: And the Rangers do that, do they not?

Levitt: Yes. We analyzed those revenues and included them in our overall computation. I've asked the leadership of the Players'
Association that if they have questions about the report if they'd
want to meet with me and talk about it. They wrote back and indicated that they did not think that that would be productive.

Watters: To go back to the Rangers -- because I think that your
explanation certainly solidified my opinion at least of the validity
of what the owners are saying. And I think they are close to being
right on as they can be. What about television -- the television
market in New York. Do the Rangers as a hockey club receive a fair market value for their television rights from MSG Inc. Or were you able to ascertain that?

Levitt: We were able to account for television revenue received by
the Rangers by setting up a template which compared revenue for
various clubs in different markets. We were able to account for it
and we did account for it.

Watters: And it was not unreasonable?

Levitt: No. It was not unreasonable.

Watters: Because that is where the attack would be made. What about paying rent for Madison Square Garden per se. Was that disproportionately large so that Rangers appear to be losing money when the other people in their lodge don't pay nearly as much in rent.

Levitt: No. I don't think that's the case. What we did with the
Rangers, as well as with every club that owns their arena is to not
only take into consideration the fact that the arena isn't used
exclusively by the hockey club but we actually set up a formula that established precisely how much revenue was received and we accounted for that.



September 17, 2004 -- The owners of the perennially money-losing Rangers hockey team are going to plug up a big red-ink hole with the National Hockey League shutdown of the season. The Rangers haven't made the playoffs in seven years r any profits in years.

In fact, industry sources say the team loses between $25 million and $30 million a year with its highly paid players and steep overhead in Madison Square Garden arena.

With the team now on ice, owner Cablevision, controlled by media
mogul Chuck Dolan, won't have to write that many big checks for
hockey players.

It'll lose revenue, of course, from the 41 home games at the Garden, but analysts say the typical $45 per seat for Ranger games is hardly a drop in the bucket in Cablevision's fortunes.

"It's barely negligible. It's so small that Wall Street doesn't even
forecast it," said Jason Bazinet of J.P. Morgan Securities.

Cablevision, which controls Madison Square Garden along with the Rangers and the Knicks basketball team, gets about 13 percent of its $4.2 billion revenue from the Garden.

NHL owners reject players' proposal

By Eric Fisher

Twenty teams lost money during the 2003-04 season,
according to the NHL.

As the two sides again grappled unsuccessfully with a governing
structure for the sport, yet another side fight broke out on the
NHL's claims of fiscal distress. According to Bettman and Daly, the NHL has lost more than $500 million over the past two seasons and nearly $2 billion over the nine-year life of the current labor deal.

But union officials say more than two-thirds of a listed $224
million loss for the 2003-04 season was because of six teams and
about a third arose from just New York-area teams. Saskin declined to identify those teams, but both the Rangers and Islanders have sustained heavy losses in recent years.

"You shouldn't hide behind a leaguewide loss figure if most of
the problems are centered on six or seven unique situations," Saskin said.

Canada wins, worries


How far apart? The Daily News has learned that the Rangers were among the teams to have claimed to have lost the most money last season -approximately $40 million. The Players Association finds that claim incredulous.


September 17, 2004 -- With the NHL season shut down abruptly this week by team owners in a desperate cost-cutting move, experts fear the deepening turmoil could also shut down several teams permanently by next year.

The NHL admits its sport is broke, and lost $1.8 billion in the past
decade. Owners blame their players for draining team treasuries with high pay averaging $1.79 million per man.

"Twenty of our clubs are losing money," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "There have been too many bankruptcies and too many close calls. The losses cannot continue."

He said 75 percent of the league's $2 billion in revenue last
season ? the highest rate in pro sports ? went to payroll.

New York's home team, the Rangers, is one of the league's biggest losers, with red-ink estimated at between $25 million and $30 million a year.

Owners are also stressed that they have nowhere to turn for revenue except their own pockets.

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Repeat After Me, A Guide Moving Forward

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/04/2009 12:29:00 PM | Comments
I thought I would leave everyone with a little more ground work and somewhat of a guide as you read more non-sense about hockey, the New York Islanders and how they are covered along with sports in this town and the financial business in terms of sports reporting.

* Repeat after me. Smg receives eleven percent of the Islander gate receipts, all parking, all concessions and forty percent of all revenue brought in from advertising. That deal ends 2014-2015 but Smg has some rights beyond that.

* Repeat after me. Some NHL teams receive these things from all events (not just hockey) in their facility. This is what the Devils and Mr Vanderbeek got along with Newark paying for part of the construction of the Prudential Center and this is part of what the baseball teams received for their new ballparks.

* Repeat after me. If Charles Wang had full parking, gate, concessions and advertising with revenue from all Coliseum events the hockey team would be self-sustaining as it is for most pro sports owners.

That's why Charles Wang needs the Lighthouse as the alternative to those revenue streams (a wonderful vision anyway for an ugly parking lot) that pays for what Smg currently enjoys which also pays for Nassau Country failing to renovate/replace the Nassau Coliseum themselves which Tom Suozzi made clear he cannot afford to do and frankly never should have been Charles Wang or any Islander owners problem.

* Repeat after me. Nassau Coliseum is Nassau County's building and they are responsible to modernize it or build a new one. The Lighthouse does not give Charles Wang all revenue from events at the Coliseum which is why he needs other means to make money on that property by developing it. For Suozzi, Wang or anyone to claim the building is not sustainable without the Lighthouse really means Nassau County wants to keep it's rent and revenue from events as part of the Lighthouse.

* Repeat after me. Charles Wang saved this team in a lot of ways but just like he has an enforceable lease until 2015 it was never in danger of moving in 2000 (or prior) and it cannot be relocated at all until the lease is up unless TOH approves the Lighthouse project and Nassau County cannot agree to a lease afterward.

That's Mr Wang's only out before 2015, or he can sell to someone determined to move it elsewhere after 2015 or take on partners to offset his losses until the leases are up but that's basically it so don't be so quick to buy Greg Logan's blog entry today especially after he failed to report NHLPA boss Paul Kelly would endorse revenue sharing for the Islanders after the CBA expires in two years in February
here which never made it into Newsday Monday afternoon who has a vested interest in seeing this team depart ASAP and will have it's staff grease the skids whenever possible to influence you that it may be time for the Islanders to go.

In a few years whoever owns the Islanders with these leases expiring will have Nassau, Smg and everyone else coming to them with hat in hand asking what can we give you to stay which keeps the Dolan's on the hook for hundreds of millions you can bet they do not want to pay after 2015 but are stuck with until 2030.

That's a very powerful incentive for this newspaper staff made up of mostly Ranger fans in the sports department to begin with.

* Repeat after me. You think Tom Suozzi is letting Mr Wang out of his lease if the TOH turns down the project that is something that has never been reported and it would ruin Suozzi.

* Repeat after me. You read about the losses in modern buildings like Dallas and Colorado (the later who will apparently now receive revenue sharing) for their hockey teams now among several franchises that were bleeding losses prior to the lockout with Msg leading the pack because of those 80+m dollar payrolls to operate a sports franchise in Manhattan with insurances, taxes higher for everything bringing the cost of running the franchise to 130 million and above in 2004.

How many times did you read the Wings or Flyers needed to make the finals simply to break even in an old building in Detroit or a modern one in Philadelphia. This is why hockey needed a hard cap to save some owners from themselves.

Then there are owners like George Gillette in Montreal bleeding red ink from his other interest (along with Tom Hicks in Dallas) and may have to sell while Tom Suozzi for now is not being paid by the NHL like what's happening in Phoenix.

* Repeat after me, if you spend 130 million a year to run a sports team, generate only 90 million from that spending you still lose 40m a year, that's why Msg led the league in losses in what Greg Logan writes today is a big financial market while everyone only reports about revenue made which is where publications like Forbes goes along with a lot of media because most owners do not talk bottom line and keep it positive.

This is why writing about revenue generated is worthless and you should know this upfront from the lockout already. The NHL generated a lot of revenue, when almost sixty percent went to the players contracts your not making money or coming close to breaking even unless you are the Minnesota Wild (pre-lockout) in a brand new building with 19,000 fans with a very low payroll. (pre cap floor)

* Repeat after me, Ignore Forbes Magazine entirely who have no access to any NHL teams financial records and make estimates of franchise values only entirely on guesswork and their opinion. Michael Ozanian actually appeared during the lockout and apparently YES network needs filler so they put him on television lately, when he writes about hockey for their publication it's beyond comical how uninformed he is but you have no information but in it's absence will accept anything as factual.

Stop it.

* Repeat after me. I know it's easy to blame the TOH and Kate Murray for everything short of global warming and her conduct has raised a ton of more than fair questions about her partisanship of the Lighthouse project but Tom Suozzi is the man who waited for years to settle on a developer and has done nothing to ease Wang's financial burden with Smg or the County.

* Repeat after me. Kate Murray and the TOH did not delay this process for years, Tom Suozzi and Nassau County did with people like Tom Gulotta who are the biggest part of today's problem that tied Suozzi's hands long before he took office. When Mr Wang wants to lament his purchase that's where he must direct his focus at the risk of losing his biggest verbal-only supporter.

* Repeat after me. The TOH must go by the process and cannot green light something of this scale that quickly and as frustrated as Mr Wang is he has to face a hard reality. We can play with words and Mr Wang can talk about his second decade as owner frustrated and waiting for action but the proposal was not submitted to the TOH until November 2007 and it was February 2003 that Wang first discussed plans to renovate the Coliseum with Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi here.

The Yankees and Mets as late as 2000-2001 had ballpark deals ready to go that were dropped until 2006 after Mike Bloomberg canceled Rudy Guliani's prior agreements when he took office.

* Repeat after me. I dare anyone who reads NYIFC to produce one Newsday article or blog entry just as harsh or critical of James Dolan who resides in as big an outdated dump of a building with far worse sight lines (that reportedly lost as much or more than the Islanders as late as 2004) than what we have seen their staff do not only to the owners or general managers of the New York Islanders, but the Jets, Mets, Yankees.

What's the line in the Caine Mutiny by the late José Ferrer about Fred McMurray's character in the movie? Newsday never even heard of James Dolan when it's time to be critical.

The Rangers have two playoff series wins since 1997 and have been a league-wide laughingstock for countless terrible moves on ice with no shortage of lawsuits off it it including it's latest disaster with the league itself where they are reportedly going to pay 15 million for the leagues leaal fees. They have signed seemingly half the NHL to poor or front-loaded contracts and their seats hardly look filled at many weeknight home games despite announced sellout. The Knicks by comparison make the four playoffs in six years Islanders under Wang look like another New York Islander dynasty in this town with hirings, firings and signings that make Mike Milbury look like Bill Torrey by comparison.

The day after Kasparaitis six year deal expired, Redden was signed to his front-loaded contract.

* Repeat after me. So where is Mr Baumbach or Mr Rieber's or Wallace Matthews, Barbara Barker's countless blogs or articles ripping the Dolan's with Neil Best also getting in his shots about Redden, Kasparaitis, Holik, Naslund, Gomez, Drury just for openers combined with that pathetic sideshow in front of all those empty seats for Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate which woke Steve Zipay from his slumber only to blame the fans and not his employer?

All I read are positive spin articles on both Garden teams as if the staff cannot be critical for fear of losing their jobs while even the city media was critical of Dolan who usually focus only on his relevant media purchase which is the Knicks. One team has not seen a playoff game since 2001, the other just choked away a 3-1 series lead for the first time in their dubious history with their latest coach suspended for conduct after he benched a player he said did not belong in the league before he cashed Dolan's check and took his job and changed his tune with their hired spin doctors doing the rest. They made the Islanders seem transparent when it came to reporting injuries when they finally had one.

* Repeat after me. You think Scott Gordon would get away with those tantrums John Tortorella has pulled on the Newsday media if he did that to Greg Logan, Dan Martin or even Mr Botta?

* Repeat after me. You think if the Islanders ejected Ovechkin from a practice at the Coliseum or Snow issued a statement blaming security at whatever the Caps call home Newsday would have had their back like Mr Dolan's writers did for the Rangers?

A writer like Larry Brooks for all his Ranger bias and vindictiveness toward the Islanders and other clubs is still even honest enough to call out John Tortorella's unprofessional conduct even after he lobbied like his agent for his hiring.

* Repeat after me. NYIFC would never have written a word about it if Newsday was just as harsh and critical of Dolan as they are of Wang and other sports owners. All that this fan (and you) should require is an even playing and coverage field. What should bother all of you is the double-standards in reporting that influence your thoughts.

* Repeat after me. Charles Wang, why are you giving someone like Jim Baumbach or anyone access to your teams books? Do you really trust him given what he has written about your ownership when he does not apply to exact same reporting standards to the Garden's teams.

I would not trust Jim Baumbach to do anything for us much less provide him those kind of documents. This is why you have a Lighthouse website and a hockey website and can communicate this information directly to your customers.

These are mistakes you CANNOT continue to make unless the intention is to bury this team forever in a ton of negative publicity that will drive away virtually all of your customers even if the Lighthouse were finished and ready for business tomorrow.

I do get the concept you cut the budget and Newsday became a sponsor advertised during games and your website so you owe them something but you are paying one heck of a price for whatever the Dolan's paid you.

By the time the message filters down through Canada and the blog communities all we read about is Milbury and the nineties along with how your good intentions in spending 130 million on players in 2002 was a mistake along with your decision to hire an inexperienced gm which the jury is out on but not looking great considering 30th is 30th.

Your message gets completely lost just as quickly as it is to ignore all the man games lost as a fair reason the club finished 30th which is almost never noted in outside coverage of why the club had such a terrible season.

* Repeat after me. Don't count on Charles Wang spending on player contracts beyond the league mandated cap floor this summer. He's gone above the cap and did a great job with this last summer (and thought his entire tenure) spending 20m on Streit, will he even sign his first round pick is the only real question remaining but I think the bank is closed in terms of increasing payroll but the money is in the budget to send fans to the NHL draft but not do ITV updates?

* Repeat after me. Is Greg Logan actually working harder these days on the Newsday Islander blog and cut the disparity of updates vs Steve Zipay from about seven to one to six or five? This is a man who could not stick around to blog for Arbour night and was AWOL from blogging when DiPietro started the all-star game and now he's writing about team website contests and blogging on the WC in May?

* Repeat after me. I know I'm very late to the dance on this but Kyle Woodlief is one of the most respected prospect authorities out there. Red Line Report follows prospects all year long around the globe from the time these kids turn fifteen and would never, ever exchange a rating for a headline. If Mr Woodlief who's picks often do not fall in line with CSB (E.J McGuire) or what some teams do on draft day feels John Tavares is not as good as another player and dropped him in the ratings it was done strictly based on performance.

Red Line Report and Mr Woodlief's reporting on prospects are as good as it gets and a first class product. Should that influence Garth Snow and Ryan Jankowski?

No, because they are paid with the scouts to conduct their own evaluation.

Repeat after me. There are more than enough professional sites/blogs out there with the funny pictures and jokes to make up for their lack of quality content who need filler and page hits that would write anything to generate some coverage about themselves in a heartbeat. Stop getting swallowed up by them because you want to read something about hockey or at the very least don't let it influence your opinion so much.

Half of them present themselves as insiders with all kinds of rumors and gossip, they know nothing but how to influence you and draw attention to themselves.

Repeat after me. You deserve a hell of a lot better.

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So Why Did Newsday Wait Until Now?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/03/2009 02:17:00 PM | |Comments
Yes, a very, very brief return to the front lines just to discuss a few things before the WC ends because I had the time and received a few e-mails on this and I have been working the sidebars with links anyway.

I have been doing a few updates anyway so why not a quick blog entry?

Why is this on Newsday's front page today?

Anyone who listened to Charles Wang on WFAN 4/16 here knew he said he regretted purchasing the club back then.

Jim Baumbach wrote today a Newsday reporter viewed the team's annual audited financial reports last month.

So why was this reported today like it was some ground-breaking announcement?

Today's front page was not to help Charles Wang or the Islander fan, it was Newsday's way to influence perception locally & nationally to push the concept this team is not viable and must relocate which helps Cablevision. The intent seems to be to drive away our fans by a company that will not even show live webcasted preseason games because it stands to gain a great deal from the Islanders departure.

What was really new today that merited the front page? I guess Chris Dey's comments on increased ticket inquiries required action to stir up something negative and get TSN/AP along with hockey fans everywhere talking.

You can bet the Toronto media is licking their chops with today's news to drive home the point Tavares should refuse to play here.

Jim Baumbach almost never has a kind word about our team and goes out of his way to take shots at them led by his insults at Al Arbour's win last season, why should our fans or anyone trust his motives when he's not just as critical of the Dolan's poorly run teams?

Mr Baumbach wanted the financial records after the Newsday interview on 2/28 here and questioned on 3/27 here if Charles Wang would follow through and only now according to Baumbach today he finally gets around to telling us a Newsday reporter viewed the team's annual audited financial reports last month.

Why did he not report this as soon as he knew or at least disclose the team did give a Newsday reporter this information and an article was being prepared as quick as he complained in his blog?

Nor was Baumbach completely transparent even Sunday afternoon 5/3 with the time-line where he had a little more from Tom Suozzi that did not make the article here but does a second entry with year by year losses here.

He has a blog and could have written an update as soon as he knew a Newsday reporter had information from the club on their finances.

I guess today beats being critical or putting any spotlight of the latest Ranger playoff collapse, because it looks like this was saved for a rainy day considering a Newsday reporter had it and we had Wang's WFAN comment since 4/16.

Ernst and Young had access to some things provided by the club and Art McCarthy who had some comments. Was anything said beyond what Wang told Mr Baumbach during his interview in February or in his WFAN interview?

Front page on 5/4 for things we knew 4/16 and earlier?

And what happened since Friday? Eden Laikin had to have her job done for her by Mr Botta's Point Blank blog as usual by not reporting Frederick P Clark's donations to Kate Murray first-hand, which is a conflict of interest by Murray and Newsday (despite this company having worked in Nassau County in the past) while Ms Laikin is never shy about painting any support of this project is only from Islander fans or those who stand to gain from the project who have contributed or benefit in some way?

Regarding Mr Botta as I have written here several times he is a good guy and a class act who does a great job with his blog but he will not question Newsday in this manner because it's a fight he cannot win or is reluctant to take on because from his friend Greg Logan to their entire staff they will all take a bite out of him if he went in that direction.

Mr Botta gave Eden Laikin and Newsday another very big pass Friday for failing to do the job properly in the initial report and only was mildly critical of them for his blog not being mentioned as the reason for a follow-up.

Mr Botta needed to be critical of Newsday for their mistake and stop treating this paper as if they are friends of the Islanders who are hardly innocent bystanders with no vested interest in the outcome. A few times last summer 8/2/08 he told our fans to stop responding to what he wrote were " these pathetic blogs by non-hockey writers ripping the Islanders on Newsday.com " for entries like this or this.

Mr Baumbach is one who wrote many of those " pathetic blogs " and most of today's article and was permitted by Mr Wang to sit down with him.

Sorry Mr Botta, but you cannot hide from Newsday's role in this.

Newsday does not hold the teams they own as accountable as they do others, they only give their team the only backpages for playoff hockey anywhere in NYC.

Did you read Steve Zipay go off at James Dolan's team for not disclosing injury information on Chris Drury like Greg Logan did here almost daily for the first half of this season because they decided to go with league policy which the Wings brought up to the league during last years finals.

Mr Zipay on 4/13 here reported the Rangers aren't even describing Drury's injury as "upper body'' or "lower body,'' the league approved terms.

So how come Mr Zipay did not act as Mr Logan did?

These are clear reporting double-standards that have to be written about and need to be questioned.

As for Mr Wang, if the Rangers can lose 25-40 million a year as late as 2004 where the NY Post, Washington Times, Daily News and Arthur Levitt confirmed massive Ranger losses because of steep overhead in the soon to be league's oldest facility which is as big a dump as the Coliseum and the facility in Detroit (which NYIFC posted the links to countless time) what makes your circumstances any different than teams losing big amounts of money.

You settled all litigation with Smg when you bought the club and had to know the landscape was not changing with them because they have a binding lease that runs until 2014, you also have a binding lease until 2015 with Nassau County and your only option is to sell because both leases are enforcable or you ask for Tom Suozzi to condemn the Smg lease now to lose less.

No folks, Charles Wang should not pay to fix Smg's lease. Tom Gulotta extended this deal when it was supposed to be reviewed every six years, instead around 1991 Gulotta took out the six year review.

Should Mr Wang be upset over Nassau County and the TOH for their roles now and over the years? Absolutely if all you ask is Murray attend a crummy meeting for her part.

And as easy as it is to blast Kate Murray for everything including who in politics pulls her strings, the TOH did not delay this project as long as Tom Suozzi who has only provided token verbal support and given Wang nothing in terms of financial relief.

Here's my problem with Mr Wang's stance on his hockey finances:

If the Lighthouse is approved today you and Mr Rechler will need financing for what the media has been told is a project estimated at 3.7-8 billion. The Islanders will still require an owner spending on the product during that time and until 2014 Smg will continue to take a percentage (eleven to be exact) of the gate, all parking, concessions and forty percent of advertising revenue generated which you paid in advance according to the Feb interview.

Oh yes, your fans want some high-priced free agents signed to help these prospects develop who score a lot more at even strength than Doug Weight.

If losing 25-30 million a year is a problem now, what's it going to become when it's time to secure financing for the Lighthouse, the lease even without Smg as part of this will run until 2025 and you have construction costs?

Your significant losses have yet to begin.

All due respect also if you can use the teams website to report on ticket sales by Mr Dey you can make your case on New York Islanders website to the fans without Newsday involvement at all.

Folks, please stop believing Cablevision owned Newsday is a friend to the New York Islanders, nothing could be further from the truth.

They want our team out and stand to gain a great deal from them leaving on every possible level, this is a perception battle the team is losing on all fronts. How
nice of them to barely note Smg had no comment when a reporter should be visiting their offices.

Today was about saving an article to get people talking on a rainy day.

If someone at Newsday pulled this on the Dolans and how they run their teams or lost money they would be out of a job immediately.

The Dolan's hold onto those 1981 tax exemptions that kept the Garden from closing like they hide games on Msg2 here so Suozzi could work to condemn the lease now or introduce legislation to suspend the clubs rent at the Coliseum until the Lighthouse is approved or even completed.

Newsday should have had this article available as soon as their reporter had the documents and as soon as Wang appeared on WFAN.

Why did they wait when we knew almost all of this already?

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