DiPietro Practices at Bridgeport/No AHL To Coliseum-Yet

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/26/2013 04:37:00 PM |
Rick DiPietro arrived in Bridgeport, and declined to speak with the Ct Post beatwriter per his twitter account.

Nino Niederreiter and Matt Donovan had nothing but praise for DiPietro.

NYIFC Comments:
Little to write beyond he should have been playing over the weekend. One thing to be injured, another to force an organization that's him paid a lot of money, and waited several years for that player to be healthy to force them to be short a goaltender when healthy.

This is a man who went to Germany for work. 

Not acceptable, however now his job is to prove he can remain healthy on a team that's allowed the most goals in the American hockey league, and in free fall.

Kevin Poulin allowing three or more goals in 11/15 starts was not only about Poulin's AHL performance.

DiPietro will prove he is healthy, work off the rust, and get the work he desperately needs or that will be the final chapter of his professional career. 

AHL.com Announces the Cablevision-owned Whale will remain in Hartford (if approved) through the first year of the Islanders in Brooklyn.

NYIFC Comments: 
The Sound Tigers/Howard Saffan, has made clear that Charles Wang's AHL team will remain in Bridgeport through 2021, this means at least for one year past the Isles existing lease the Nassau Coliseum will be without an NHL/AHL tenant of any kind. 

So it's Hartford again? Howard Saffan should have someone register the name Ct Sound Tigers/Islanders.

That would leave the Isles in the position of only adding an ECHL affiliate, if the Coliseum is available or not undergoing renovations/demolition for another project.

DiPietro's Worst Moment Ever-Wants Weekend Off

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/23/2013 10:39:00 PM |
So much for stepping up. Rick DiPietro stepped off.

In doing so he left Bridgeport short a goaltender.

I'm very disappointed in him unless he's seriously considering retirement. He needed to start a hockey game on Saturday, and get the work he needs.

Rick DiPietro asked for permission to take the weekend off from the Islanders and was granted permission after clearing waivers.

It's the worst moment of his career by a mile, a man who's done nothing but conduct himself in a first class manner since the day he was drafted.

Rick DiPietro decided to leave the Sound Tigers in the position of signing their goaltending coach, retired former Sound Tiger, Steve Valiquette to a PTO, while Ken Reiter got to face the thirty plus shots, DiPietro needed to face in a 3-2 regulation loss.

Appears that will be the plan through Sunday as well as Bridgeport now has lost five straight games.

Cablevision's current beatwriter played the " so-called former coach/goaltenders friction card, " from a former Ranger beatwriter.

Never read one story about a bad experience with one fan from the day he arrived in Bridgeport in 2001-02. 

Guess that beats Cablevison management questioning their own employees about the non-disclosure of injuries the same publication used to vilify the Islanders for on a daily basis about?

In the Arthur Staple comedy reporting department:
 Poulin struggled in the earlier part of the season, but he emerged as the starter for Scott Pellerin's team when Anders Nilsson struggled and then had injury problems.

Poulin started the season 5-1 the first month.
Anders Nilsson was out with an undisclosed illness from day one of the season, he did not make his season debut until 11/9 and did post a 4-2 record that month.

Does Mr Staple even attempt to do any research when he's writing these articles while sleeping through Islander games he's paid to watch? 

For DiPietro/Poulin: It's Show Time Or Go Time With New CBA

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/23/2013 02:00:00 AM |
This entry has been done many times in past, but with a new CBA some things have changed for Islanders/ Rick DiPietro regardless if/when he clears waivers or is recalled so the rules have to be updated. 

1. With the Redden rule, his NHL cap hit stays on the NHL books, even if he is an AHL player.

2. If he's hurt playing in Bridgeport, New York, he cannot be bought out because he's injured, hence Redden, Gomez being told go home by teams before NHL/PA worked something out.

3. Re-Entry waivers have ended for those wondering.
4. Partial cap hits can be traded.
5. DiPietro can play in Europe with Isles continuing to take cap hit. 

But here is the important thing that has not changed per everything presented.

If Rick DiPietro is injured, and can no longer play professional hockey, he does not have to be bought out, insurance still pays his contract, his cap hit automatically is wiped from the teams books without any buyout whether it be compliance or standard.

The question always asked here, and what could determine much of this if it comes to that is how much insurance did the team get on his fifteen year contract when it was signed?

If all of the contract was fully insured, there would never be any reason for a buyout unless the premiums were more expensive.

If the Islanders were on the hook for the last 20m or more of his salary with no insurance, that's when you ask does a buyout make more economic sense?

This is where the new CBA changes the old questions/answers.  

Bottom line if Rick DiPietro clears waivers he's coming to a Bridgeport team giving up the most goals in the American Hockey League with huge pressure against, having to play three games/three days with no Anders Nilsson at this time or top prospect beyond Ken Reiter.

Poulin's allowed three or more goals in eleven of his last fifteen games with Matt Donovan +5, Aaron Ness even. 

DiPietro will immediately see a work-load he has not faced since 2008, there is simply no hiding from it if he's healthy.

It may also be a very short AHL stay despite many writing his NHL obituary.  

Management's going to get their answer about his ability to play with any regularity, whether DiPierto or anyone else likes it or not. It's now or never for Rick DiPietro in terms of being about to play three games (or more) a week. Was anything being answered playing three NHL games? No.

Poulin has started thirteen of fourteen, DiPietro's going to be asked to do likewise, with longer breaks during week if the plan is for him to remain with the Sound Tigers. 

Make no mistake this is also Kevin Poulin's time to step up, and earn a full time NHL spot, playing the worst statistical hockey of his professional career. This will not be a reward or a call-up based on winning AHL goaltender of the month or riding the hot hand.

Poulin is a restricted free agent with his own injuries/struggles.

Pressure is on everyone, it should be because 2013-14 is being decided right now.

Matt Watkins Named Bridgeport Captain/DiPietro Waivers/Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/22/2013 01:38:00 PM |
Matt Watkins has been named the seventh captain in Sound Tigers history. 

New York has placed Rick DiPietro on waivers, if he clears he will likely become Bridgeport's starting goaltender with Ken Reiter the only other healthy roster goaltender if Kevin Poulin is recalled.

NYIFC Comments:
What makes this even worth writing about in terms of 2013-14 is New York could have sent DiPietro for conditioning which would not require waivers. It's also not the first time DiPietro has gone to Bridgeport to play games during a season, but the first time they put his name on a waiver list.

Kevin Poulin has started seven in a row and 12 of 13 games & to recall him to play last Tuesday would have meant four games in five days. Anders Nilsson is out indefinitely again with an illness which also sidelined him to start the season.

Poulin will likely start again Friday on the road for the Sound Tigers (perhaps Saturday) before a likely recall. 

Not the first time Poulin has been recalled to play against the Carolina Hurricanes for those who remember the 2011-12 post all-star break, Poulin statistically has struggled badly as he enters RFA in summer 2013-14.

The Sound Tigers would have to sign/trade for a goaltender/or contact restricted free agent/Islander property, Mikko Koskinen, who has a binding agreement with another team if the club decided to part ways entirely with DiPietro at this time.

Numbers Do Not Lie: Bridgeport In Trouble/Apology

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/19/2013 01:40:00 PM |
Forty nine games into the AHL season the standings do not lie with Bridgeport in 10th place. 

The gap from the 8th seed is not far, however even with games in hand, perennial top teams like WBS Pens, or Hershey are some of the franchises in Bridgeport's way. 

The alarming trend of allow goals in big numbers, or seemingly unable to hold leads has gone on since 11/21/12, and beyond the play of Kevin Poulin, or once again injured/ill, Anders Nilsson, who's had  a very tough/strange 2012-13 season.

This is a goaltending tandem that won back to back players of the month a year ago, a team that went from 29th overall to first place, not losing in regulation for two full months. Of course there were many different players/head coach.

In 2012-13 Bridgeport is a struggling team that is tied for most AHL goals allowed, and with the exception of Calvin deHaan's injury has their entire defense healthy.

Offensively there has been good news, but with the broken jaw by Brock Nelson, a falloff in Nino Niederreiter's scoring & some struggles/injuries between Johan Sundstrom, John Persson, it's not happening for Bridgeport recently, and many of the ot games the Sound Tigers lost leads. 

Sure the loss of Ullstrom/Cizikas, captain Colin McDonald is part of this.

The players signed to PTO/extended to full season contracts have had moderate success.  Brett Gallant, is not going to win games scoring.

Matt Donovan's been a nice individual story at plus seven with eight goals, Aaron Ness has been an even player. 

Kirill Kabanov returned from serious injury but in the nine games since he's returned has yet to score.

Bottom line the trends do not lie, or the franchises in front of them in terms of standings, who historically finish strong or at least make the playoffs.

Bridgeport has some issues they seem unable to work their way out of. There should be some pressure on head coach, Scott Pellerin, because of how the club has played in pressure situations.
I wish to apologize to our readers for my previous entry. A promise was made here to not post information based upon souces, but direct quotes with credible information. 

The intention was to point out the same writer did this on 10/1/2012, and previously with the Devils, those articles were ignored here. 

The last entry was also posted to correct poor/incorrect information. 

Regardless the same thing should have been done in this instance as was done with the 10/1 article, and ignored here.

New York Islander Fan Central functions at a higher level, posting confirmed information with direct quotes.

To dignify that level of reporting with commentary is not what writing here is about. 

Our time meaning mine/yours is too important to waste, a blank page is the correct response rather than acknowledge gossip of no value whatsoever.

NY Post: Fooling Islander Fans Again?

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/16/2013 01:14:00 PM |
Seems some of our teams fans never learn not to trust the New York Post rumor/gossip department, the same one that claimed in 2010 Wang was ready to throw the keys to league.  

The same writer (Josh Kosman) on 10/1/12 or twenty three days 10/24/12 before the Brooklyn press conference (with Larry the clown Brooks) that groups involving Pat Lafontaine/Bob Nystrom/Blumenfeld were in discussions to purchase the club, and keep it in Nassau County.

NY Post 10/1/2012: Wang selling to Lafontaine/Nystrom/Blumenfeld and keeping at Coliseum site. 

That article also incorrectly wrote the team had not invited LaFontaine back since Neil Smith despite him being at Arbour's 1500th game, and introduced to crowd, plus other appearances in the Coliseum.
  It’s now losing $40 million a year, sources said.

Of course today's comedy claims:
 His NHL team lost more than $10 million last year, a source with direct knowledge of its finances said, more than in any recent year.

Impressive for Mr Kosman to contradict his own words this quickly. How does a 40m loss on 10/1/12 become a recent high 10m loss on 2/17/13?

Does Mr Kosman really think people are that naive as he contradicts himself. 

The same Josh Kosman who in Sept 2011 claimed the Devils were on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Devils  &NHL Deputy Comissioner Bill Daly refuted the Post comical claims as untrue at the time.

Hopefully someone out there finally understands when they are being fooled by the NY Post.

NY Post: Zach Braziller claims the Islanders lost to the Lightning at home?

Charles Wang Blameless For Anything From Here

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/09/2013 10:33:00 AM |
Updated 2/13 The Cablevision Garden's Yearly Gift From NYC Taxpayers is now up to 16.5m a year.

I'm sure Ed Mangano, Kate Murray/Joe Mondello/Tom Gulotta all have a good laugh.

Tom Suozzi put the Lighthouse in a drawer for a few years, he helped do the Smg sublease, but is hardly blameless.

Perhaps the New York Islanders would have been more exciting for Kate Murray if the TOH gave the Isles, the 15m tax exemption Msg receives each year.

Al D'Amato is also smiling, while Stuart Rabinowicz see's Hofstra expansion dollars from Albany.

As fans, if you wish to assign blame, between Nassau County government, Town Of Hempstead, you have many to choose from. It's too bad they got the blame only one day a year, the Islander owner, countless times daily from sports fans/media.

It's not fair or right.

Charles Wang has done everything possible. No one is going to keep throwing money out the door for the privilege of doing so. Wang did not get the taxpayer funded facilities every other local team received, he will not be paid like many teams to manage new/modern facilities as promised to Phoenix/Edmonton.

From this point forward whatever Charles Wang decides financially regarding owning this franchise I cannot blame him for, which would include him trading John Tavares or letting any prospect go to save money.

That would even include putting the franchise in bankruptcy/walking away. 

I do not like writing it, however to not write it would not be fair.

In 2003, he said this would not be a church that remains opened forever. 

Because of the lack of government/financial support (like all New York/New Jersey) and most teams thorough the country receive Charles Wang has to protect himself financially. 

In May/June 2011 New York Islander Fan Central has two tough entries
 5/31/11 Why Are We Here Now? Blame Yourselves.
 6/3/11: Only Way To Save The New York Islanders Is Purchase Tickets

I'm sorry but this is not 1998, where new owner Howard Milstein got rejected by Nassau County, and cut the budget virtually to nothing forcing the trade of Zigmund Palffy. Charles Wang has been spending for over a decade from Hamrlik to Reinhart, he's gotten the same (much worse) than Milstein for his trouble.

Howard Milstein said, " Fill the building first ", Wang spent his money first.

Charles Wang has done his part and much more since the day he purchased this franchise, an entry was done here 3/14/2012: Total Support For Charles Wang which this website stands by moving forward regardless of what happens.

Also a little reality check of how bad things must have been with Nassau for Wang to agree to move the club to a facility in Brooklyn as a tenant where his revenue will not improve dramatically or he would have jumped at the chance before construction began on Barclay's Center, which could have been for a fully designed hockey facility.

I did not anticipate Nassau County being misguided/inept enough to lose it's only professional franchise, forcing Wang to separate his team from his hotel.  It usually takes an epic failure of local government for that to happen that is not seen often, but the signs were clearly there with Nassau/TOH.

They were there long before Charles Wang came along. 

Bottom line if Charles Wang's binding/lease is iron-clad in Brooklyn, he's secured the future for another ownership beyond his tenure, if it's the last thing he spends on, it will be the most important.

New York Organizational Roster Heading Into 2013-14

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/04/2013 07:38:00 AM |
Obviously at some point decisions will be made on the prospects in Bridgeport, CHL/European drafted prospects who's two years are up and must be signed by 5/31/2013, the qualified players who went to Europe (ie: Mark Katic, Justin DiBenedetto ect) , and the unrestricted free agents next summer.

But for now, let's set the 2013-14 roster of players signed because the list is very long, with a lot of prospects waiting for an opportunity, and a lot of NHL defenders signed on one-way contracts.

New York:

Brian Strait-Joe Finley (two way contract)
Andrew MacDonald-Matt Carkner

Rick DiPietro

Restricted Free Agents:
Travis Hamonic, Josh Bailey, David Ullstrom, Thomas Hickey, Jesse Joensuu.
John Persson-Brock Nelson-Nino Niederreiter
Mike Halmo-Johan Sundstrom-Kirill Kabanov
Jason Clark (ECHL)

Marc Cantin
Calvin deHaan-Matt Donovan
Aaron Ness

Anders Nilsson

Restricted Free Agents:
Ty Wishart, Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, Justin DiBenedetto, Mark Katic, Tomas Marcinko, Rhett Rakhshani. all require another qualifying offer by 6/25/13 for Islanders to retain NHL rights.
Signed Prospects:
Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Strome.

Kirill Petrov is signed through 13-14 in KHL, the Islanders retain his NHL rights. 

Mitchell Theoret-6/1/13
Brenden Kichton-6/1/13
Andrei Pedan-6/1/13

Cody Rosen 8/15/13

Note-CBA did not close Wheeler rule so any drafted college prospect can submit a letter to turn professional giving the team that drafted that player thirty days or they become an UFA.

This would include college junior, Anders Lee.

Bridgeport Staying Put Until 2021 Despite Registering Ct Ranger AHL Domain

New York Islander Fan Central | 2/03/2013 08:33:00 AM |
In short the Dolan's contract to play in the Whalers old facility in Hartford is up this coming summer, and could well be leaving. Harbor Yards Sports & Entertainment registered two Ct Ranger website domain names through 2018.

That would be the former name of the current, Webster Bank Arena, home of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. the building Charles Wang manages in Bridgeport.

Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio as usual confirms the Sound Tigers have a lease until 2021 and no plans to leave a building Charles Wang operates via team President, Howard Saffan's comments that he had no idea about the registered domains.

Bottom line a facility managed by the Islanders ownership registered two future domain sites for another team via Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment in a building they are running as of April 2011.

The Hartford Courant failed to reiterate Msg kicked former Whalers owner Howard Baldwin to the curb last summer.

Bridgeport has the higher recent AHL fan support which include many free tickets among the numbers.

NYIFC Comments: 
Yes, I read the Hartford Coutant article on this a few days earlier with Howard Saffan's comments.

If Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment are registering domain names for another team it does not make a lot of sense unless the intent is to prevent that team from using that name in the future or they really want them to move there as a tenant.

Of course Msg or anyone could register those domain names on their own as easily as I would register newyorkislanderfancentral.com each year.

Saffan makes clear this is the Islanders affiliate home.

How many times has Howard Saffan said the Sound Tigers have a binding lease until 2021? He did it pre/post referendum, and made clear the Islanders status had no bearing on that.  Enough updates have been written here from Mr Saffan's interviews on the club's operation to where it made a profit last season.

Plus Charles Wang spent to renovate that building with the new scoreboard, wrap-around boards, upgrades to the facility that has been the Islanders AHL affiliate since it opened.

For those who have followed this website since 2007 or it's predecessor, the Ct Post beatwriter, Michael Fornabaio, has always been a little more enthusiastic about the Rangers vs the Isles so none of this is a shock that in some manner the same Ct media, who did not lobby for the Islanders to simply move to Manhattan, are pushing past rumors of the Ct Whale into the Bridgeport Sound Tigers home arena where they did have a home playoff game last year.

For myself, who linked to Sound Tiger articles in the Ct Post since the ground breaking, when Chris Elsberry did features/Michael Fornabaio covered every game,  I have never read one past article of the Hartford Wolfpack relocating to Harbor Yard during Roy Boe's tenure or until this week.

Having written this there can be no blaming the media for Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment registering Ranger centric domain names, that's a question which must be asked.  

Saffan for his part practically had to defend why the Sound Tigers should simply not leave their own building, which Charles Wang operates under a lease with Bridgeport.

Nothing was written about in 2010 if the Sound Tigers were asked about Hartford re-branding it's name as Connecticut at the time which is the Bridgeport Sound Tigers home state, or the Rangers having events on the former Harbor Yard (Webster Bank Arena) doorstep?
Imagine if Msg simply allowed the Isles to relocate into Manhattan permanently which is what I wrote about in May 2012:  If There Is No Deal In Nassau, The New York Islanders Permanent Home Should Be Msg.

What's ridiculous was Fornabaio (with the Hartford Courant writer) selling the (said/unsaid) notion of how many Ranger fans are in Fairfield County, which was Hartford Whalers country, despite a lot of Bruins, Rangers, and Islander fans with Whalers fans who never embraced the Ranger brand or their AHL affiliate moving into that building almost immediately upon the Hartford Whales relocation to Carolina.

The former Hartford Wolfpack had playoff games with crowds under 2,000, the playoff game they played as a home team at Webster Bank arena last year drew even less. 

Will events eventually line up where an Msg/controlled AHL team moves to the Nassau Coliseum? For those who have read this website know that's a past point I have advanced often.

It could take a few more years to answer, for 2013-14 it's a question which must be addressed soon, even if temporary.