Eight Months & Already Islanders/Barclay's Not Working As Partners/Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/30/2014 11:00:00 AM | |Comments
Sorry folks, that's how fast this iron-clad lease can dissolve if both sides agree they cannot work together, they cannot even get together in announcing a 2014 preseason game in Brooklyn which is unconfirmed for 9/26/14 against the Devils.

This does not even include the drama going on between Bruce Ratner's comments about Bridgeport vs Charles Wang's President there, Howard Saffan, and the Sound Tigers future. 

If the agreement falls apart the NHL will not care one bit, and would love more revenue/relocation fees in a facility with more ticket revenue/fan support. Atlanta had a lease until 2019.

Dolan could always offer Wang a buyout of the cable contract as incentive, all things that could have happened before October 2012.

Mangano kicked out the Islanders so Nassau get's paid by Ratner, if he walks from that agreement which he can, Dolan/Msg will pay/renovate.

Nassau is getting paid, someone's giving them a renovation/revenue that's their only priority.

Kate Murray will do all she can to slow/off track Ratner with her zoning if she wants Dolan's bid instead.

Wang was right when he said the Islanders needed a place to play, no person could have said it better about the politicians who created every problem with a fan base too lazy to hold them accountable by filling the seats to make this team a public trust where any discussion of relocation would cost that politician any public/business support with their political career.

If things fall apart with Barclay's expect the franchise to relocate out of  New York entirely, that lease may not even be binding until Sept 2015 for those clinging to it.

No, I would not blame Mr Wang one single bit if he decided to sell out of market, he's done beyond enough, and been served very poorly for his efforts by everyone. 
As written many times, Charles Wang does things quickly/quietly behind closed doors.

If Mr Wang decides to sell expect it to happen with virtually no advanced notice unless the person he sells to does that. Of course outgoing owners exit quietly.

Former country executive, Tom Gulotta (largely responsible for the team leaving Nassau who made it impossible for all Islander owners since 1990) tried to announce the purchase in 2000, and it was reported Wang was rightfully angered by that. 

The agreement with Barclay's was done in the middle of the night, done by 7am (Wang's words) and the press conference was only a few hours later catching those NHL sources/leaks completely off guard.

No, the media does not like that one bit, they want/need their leaks/sources. The two former Ranger die-hards from the NY Daily News working in NHL media (Frank Brown/John Dellapina) made a career out of ripping this franchise.

When the NY Dragons were sold, Wang was in the front row in Philadelphia, seen visibly cheering with a ton of enthusiasm, four days later the team was sold.

He corrected his Neil Smith mistake in summer, and there was no distraction for the players in 2006. Sure if Neil Smith did not sign his contract Wang had every reason to fire him as quickly as possible saving money.

Ed Snider turned his team into an in-season circus in October 2006, and the Flyers never recovered, the Islanders without the distractions come September made the playoffs. (granted they lucked out but were in sixth in the conference at time of Ryan Smyth trade)
Howard Dolgon/Steven Gluckstern:
No folks, Mr Dolgon apparently does not have that kind of revenue, and not selling his AHL team, so he can only play the Steven Gluckstern role, who did that very well with full integrity in Phoenix before the other Howard. (Milstein)

Howard Dolgon, the long-time well respected AHL owner has friends.

I like Howard Dolgon, our fan base will not like him.

He sounds a lot like some of the entries here about the terrible fan support.

This is a man who pulls no punches, something Wang, Michael Picker, Paul Lancey should have been doing by October 2003 with all the empty seats after fans refused to pay 2003 ticket price increases.

By then Wang had only Tom Suozzi's April 2002 proclamation to show after spending 130 million dollars for improving the franchise, renovating the Coliseum for Nassau County as a tenant while he waited for Todd Boe to pay the bills in Bridgeport, as he started the Lighthouse Tournament out of pocket, flying/housing kids from around the world to no fan fare at all after he honored Bill Torrey, Bryan Trottier, and Pat Lafontaine.

Steamed Syracuse Crunch owner Dolgon to fans: We did our part, now where are you? .

"I've been a big supporter of our market, but this was embarrassing tonight,'' Dolgon said in the War Memorial concourse well after the game. "For 19 years, people have been telling us give us a winner. This team deserves better. The people who work here, and the club, deserve better.

"This is not a good product. This is a very strong product. This place should be packed for this team. You don't see hockey like this.''

"I don't want to hear from anybody, 'Give us a winning team.' Don't give us that (junk) anymore,'' Dolgon said. "I don't go for the Wednesday night excuse. This team deserves more support. Time to stop the excuses already.''

Sounds like he was visiting here. I emphatically agree with every word.

Dolgon said his staff had worked 20 hours a day at times to put the team on track for a strong presale, but that the walkup suffered. He said Friday's home Game 4 looks to be heading toward a better number, but Wednesday's turnout has him unsure.

"We're going to do our thing,'' he said. "We've been good soldiers. We put our money where are mouth is. This is a quality product.''

Charles Wang Statement Regarding Possible Sale

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/28/2014 06:49:00 PM | Comments
Charles Wang had the following on the Islanders website 3/28/14:

In recent months, there have been numerous expressions of interest in the purchase of the New York Islanders. As I have consistently stated, I have been and remain willing to listen. However, potential buyers expressions of interest in the team or even my listening to them does not mean that any deal will be reached.

NYIFC Comments: 
The bottom line here for everyone should only be one thing.

Does the binding, iron-clad lease signed with Barclay's in October 2012 still stand or can Wang sell to someone out of state and relocate the team?

The first hint of Charles Wang setting a three hundred million dollar purchase for the team surfaced on 10/1/12, a full twenty days before the Barclay's press conference.  

That's also far from the first time Charles Wang's had conversations about selling over the years. 

Sure Wang could have sold out of market before October 2012.
I noticed in January the lack of any announcement for a 2014 preseason game at Barclay's.

The shift in power back to the Long Island campaign almost seemed defiant on the Islanders website.  

The Islanders website on 3/6/14 did update to include plans for 2014-15 which footnoted purchasing tickets in Brooklyn.

Nothing from the Islanders or Barclay's side starting to heavily promote/market this teams move in eighteen months. 

Two years ago I wrote the time is coming that Charles Wang no longer owns this franchise, he's approaching seventy in August, and has received nothing but financial loses with absurd ridicule for his efforts. 

Painful as it is to write this again, Charles Wang now has to protect himself. If he can get out of his agreement, he is obligated the get the most money for himself/family.

If that is not in the New York market so be it. 

I do not see see anyone willing to meet that price locally now or in the future, whether it be the Nets owner, or someone else willing to become a tenant with a fan base that does not support the current team since 1989 win or lose from October to March, much less one that's moving.

New York Islander owners lose money, no one is going to line up for the privilege of losing tens of millions of dollars a year from a fan base only interested in attending opening night or playoff games since 1989 that demand max payrolls at 1975 ticket prices. 

Dynasty owner, John Pickett's son has the following about his father in 1998 before the team was sold to Howard Milstein.

 " Fans of his crumbling franchise assumed that meant he didn't care. "But it really pained him to see the Islanders were not being as successful as they originally were under him," Pickett's 29-year-old son Brett said. "But that was not enough to make him relent to fiscal insanity."

I think you can put away those July free agent list now.

No One Should Be Happy With The Current New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/23/2014 05:03:00 AM | Comments
Folks, please let's be clear about this.

Absolutely no one should be happy about where this franchise is right now.
Please don't tell me about playoff series wins.

If Claude Lapointe or Alex Yashin finished in game seven in 2002, or Colin McDonald scored the two overtime goals last spring and the Islanders advanced, no one would care right now just like no one cared when the post Stanley Cup Islanders won playoff series. 

A year from now Anders Lee, Nelson, Strome could be dominating, some big defenders from Bridgeport could fix the problems, and things may turn. The fact this team got so many leads says something positive, but overall means nothing until they close games.

Some players will always step up statistically, others will regress.

However let's get real. Frans Nielsen had a career year, so did Kyle Okposo, Tavares was second in NHL scoring, and Vanek had forty four points in forty seven games with a plus rating.

One of the top scoring lines in this league was right here. What happened? 

The team never ever came close to realistic contention from day one in October.

The penalty killing atrocious to quote Garth Snow. Hamomic/MacDonald were dominated in front of their own net, and worn down from overwork.

It's a small/not physical group up front, Clutterbuck is better at skating than hitting, Martin's hit numbers a lot like Trent Hunter. A lot of players eat minutes/produce little.

It's a bad time right now, it could get even worse unless Tavares has a perfect rehab because one setback likely means surgery, his 2014-15 season over.

This franchise is not beating Comcast, Cablevision, Con Sol Energy, or Little Ceasar's/Amway in free agency or the other corporate teams all with taxpayer funded facilities/revenue from local government in modern buildings.

Sorry, this fan base voted for the Kate Murray, Mangano plan to get rid of this team forever, and overwhelmingly supported them for doing it. 

After losing forever Columbus may finally be ready, other teams also will improve. 

Charles Wang cannot front load contract offers with no corporate incoming revenue to pay for it, he's not going bankrupt for us, no one's coming to buy this team to lose hundreds of millions of dollars from him in this market as a tenant at the Barclay's Center in empty luxury boxes.

Win or lose the fan base will not support a winning team forty one times at corporate prices or any price, that's been proven since 1989. 

Garth Snow is going to have to overpay for rentals in trades to upgrade as he did with Vanek/Smyth.. he's not signing anyone in free agency of value because those players want their money up front, he's going to have to pick and choose among retreads or gambles.

Same as Moulson/Parenteau/Boyes/Bouchard.

This roster is too small overall/not physical enough, or too young.

It's going to take time, and it could completely collapse.

Sure it could work too. 

Right now it's a very small defense, Strait-Hickey are the bridge to Reinhart, Pullock and some of the bigger defenders in the organization, that takes time.

deHaan is skilled/physical is not his strength but he tries. No clue what they have in Czurczman. Matt Donovan did not have the right veterans with him here.

If Visnovsky has another concussion (not reported) a decision about 2014-15 may have to be made.

Hamonic is one more concussion away from the same question. Ton of heart, not a ton of size.

There is no clear answer in goal. Poulin had has streak, Nilsson is getting his look. The veteran retreads on other teams available are more of the same questions, and come with baggage. 

Look where Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald are right now in the standings on a corporate team with  tons of veteran help. That's another thing players want come July when they get to pick/choose.

That's not here.

This is not the NHL of the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's or even the pre 2005 lockout league where it was easier to keep teams together long term or keep them out of free agency until age thirty one. 

It's now a corporate market based league just like Don Fehr's MLB, and what he said at the outdoor game press conference in the summer.

Corporate teams have massive advantages. Players have choices,  hundred million dollar contracts where they control their trade rights entirely like never before as the cap climbs. 

For now the 2013-14 New York Islanders finish out what was almost a sixty game preseason that was in trouble from day one.

It's going to be very tough moving forward, it's also going to take time for the young forwards, and defenders to grow up.

What many like to label an eight year rebuilding came with tons of injuries, the prospects outside the franchise level players of the top picks beyond Tavares.

No one should be happy now, no one should be happy moving forward until things turn around.

The eight years produced a very good prospect base, that cannot be denied, but it means nothing unless the team wins.

The odds are against it. 

It's going to take years for Reinhart, Pullock, Nelson, Strome. 

Bottom line pick a plan, the Milbury plan (Clutterbuck-Niederreiter) or Snow's plan which now includes some Milbury desperation to take chances to improve now at a steep price. 

Garth Snow XM Radio Interview/Injury Updates

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/21/2014 11:42:00 AM | Comments
Garth Snow gave a twenty minute interview on a variety of subjects. Snow on Matt Moulson: "The money just didn't make sense"

Moulson on negotiations: "We never had discussions about any future plans or anything. That kind of caught me off guard.” 

Newsday 9/20/13:  There have been no talks yet between Newport Sports, Moulson's agency, and Isles GM Garth Snow

Newsday 3/18/14: Garth Snow did not like the Moulson camp's initial numbers, believed to be about $6 million per year, and the talks were brief. Neither side was pleased.

3/18/14: Pioneer Press  Even after initial negotiations during the preseason reportedly went sour, Moulson said he figured he and the team would end up coming to an agreement.

New York Must Get Out Of 30th In Attendance Or Lose Team Forever (Revisited)

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/20/2014 03:43:00 AM | Comments
In July of 2013 this entry was written, it's time to repeat it.

Nothing to add beyond game two in October this fan base showed it's true colors, and were in their usual disguise of empty seats to support a playoff team with John Tavares, Matt Moulson for a 6-1 win against Phoenix.

New York Signs Adam Pelech

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/15/2014 06:44:00 PM | Comments

New York Signs D Kevin Cuczman

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2014 07:45:00 PM | ||||Comments
Islanders website: Reports the club has signed Lake Superior State University standout Kevin Czuczman to a two-year, entry-level deal.

“It’s been a life-long dream,” Czuczman said after signing his first professional contract. “I’ve devoted my life to the game and it’s nice for it to finally pay off.”
“My comfort with New York was the key to me signing there,” Czuczman said. “The culture that is starting to develop and the opportunity to be a part of something special with a new wave of players coming up is something that’s too good to pass up on.

“He’s matured a bit physically and he’s played a lot of hockey. We are extremely excited to work with him and have him as a part of the organization.” Doug Weight
“It’s definitely going in the right direction and I want to be a part of it,” he added.

NYIFC Comments:
Given the defenders here already signed for next season, the four who need to be signed by June 1st with Ness, Mayfield, Pedan, Finley in Bridgeport, not including signed Reinhart, Pullock, this move strikes me as odd to go with the Jack Hillen plan.

This player stepping  in immediately means someone out of Hamonic, deHaan, Strait, Hickey, Donovan, Visnovsky takes a seat with Carkner/Martinek already sitting for extra long periods of time.

Does a defender move up into a forwards spot or do seven dress?

I do not think this can be the last move.

The lack of forwards remaining in Bridgeport (Alan Quine, Johan Sundstrom, John Persson, Justin Johnson) with Kabanov in Russia, Petrov's folly, Taylor Cammarata, and Victor Crus Rydberg, with the two players acquired at the trade deadline are the remaining forwards with ties to the organization.

New York Ties All Time Team Record With Seven Third Period Goals !!

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/11/2014 01:25:00 AM | |||Comments
 Islanders website: Recaps New York's comeback down 3-0 to tie a 1978 team record in a 7-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks with seven third period goals.

December 23, 1978 - Trottier scores five goals and three assists against the Rangers in a 9-4 Islander victory.

NYIFC Comments:
I almost hope that's the last game Jiggs McDonald ever calls, it would be a wonderful memory to end his hall of fame career. 

That's three third period comes backs down by two goals.

The all-knowing Vancouver media is not going to be happy.

Honestly the worst game they played of the four road games. Hamonic's one rush at the net about nine minutes into the first period was all the club had to show for skating poorly over forty seven minutes.

Last three minutes of the second, the Islanders started skating, getting chances. All it took was one powerplay goal by Joshn Bailey, and chances/powerplays started coming.

A lot of this was poor Vancouver defense/goaltending, but they were up 3-0 in playoff contention.

Anders Lee looks like a player this team can build around. 

Nice character win in such a long season.

Time for a little good news.

Charles Wang's President In Bridgeport Howard Saffan Says Arena Profitable

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/07/2014 03:18:00 PM | ||
Bridgeport Sound Tigers President, Howard Saffan, discussed his background, running the Sound Tigers, and why he left running the day to day operations of the Islanders several years ago.

Saffan took some time out to talk about his career and what it takes to lead a staff in managing Sound Tigers and the arena under the umbrella of Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment.

Q: How did ownership of the sports center turn into presidency of the Sound Tigers and the Webster Bank Arena?

A: The Sound Tigers came into being in 2001. Alan Panzer, CEO of U.S. Surgical, knew I was a hockey fan. He encouraged me to see the Sound Tigers. In the suite next to us was Mike Milbury, general manager of the Islanders. I introduced himself, and I said we were building hockey rinks less than 10 minutes away. I was introduced to the owner of Islanders, Charles Wang, and two months later, I was at their practice facility in Syosset, L.I. He asked me to comment on what they should and shouldn't be doing. It led to me becoming partners with Charles Wang at Ice Works at Syosset.

Two years later, the Islanders purchased -- took over the assets of -- the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Charles asked me be president.  About five years ago, Charles asked me to help him run the business side of the Islanders and oversee the Nassau Coliseum, which I did for approximately two years. But I was reverse commuting from Weston every day, and I told him I wasn't having fun. Those are the magic words for Charles -- not having fun.

I told him I have a great idea -- why don't we become partners in the Arena at Harbor Yard? I believe we can turn it around. On March 30, 2011, we purchased it from CenterPlate. We've invested millions of dollars into the facility. We've taken what I foresaw becoming the next New Haven Coliseum and bringing it back to the jewel status that it is today.

Q: What are the pluses and minuses of being president of both the Sound Tigers and the arena?

 A: A plus is flexibility of scheduling with 365-day control of the calendar. We can be mobile. Example, Elton John wanted to practice and wanted to play a date here, but the date was blocked by a Sound Tigers game. I called the president of the other team, and we changed the date. Elton John was a sellout and a huge success for the city of Bridgeport. That was a huge get. The minuses -- aggravations 365 days a year. When hockey season is over, whole other series of issues arise.

Q: Are the Sound Tigers and arena profitable?

A: When we took over the Sound Tigers, they were losing quite a bit of money. Charles has been extremely patient, and the fans have come out. The team does well in the American Hockey League. But in Fairfield County, people have the means to go to Madison Square Garden, the Nassau Coliseum and the Prudential Center. It's challenging, but being part of the community is critical in what we do. It's substantially better. Harbor Yard Sports & Entertainment is a profitable venture. Both entities have been turned around.

Garth Snow's 3/6 Interview On His Team/Trades

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/06/2014 02:17:00 PM | |||Comments
Garth Snow did a full audio interview on WFAN590 on Thursday and had a lot to say about his team/trades/deadline.

Video of call/full interview.

Calgary getting nothing for pending UFA, Mike Camallari was not in the article. 

NYIFC Comments: 
What is also not included was Snow calling his penalty killing atrocious after praising his coaches a few months ago. He also said Calvin deHaan's emergence was the reason they did not revisit resigning Andrew MacDonald.

Snow has until June 1st to defer his pick to Buffalo this year or in 2015 it it's a top ten.

All in all he explains why he did what he did.

Bottom line trends change in trade deadlines as quickly as front-loading came along. Many past deadlines first rounder were thrown in for rentals, the trends changed this time.

Another emerging trend seems to be additional compensation for signing a player you acquired at the deadline.

Snow said he accepted the best/only offer, but he had to get more, and failed.
Market or not, that's his job. 

Vanek likely did not help his value (or Snow) with his pre-Olympic struggles or what happened with team Austria off the ice that he was named captain of, however he had 43 points in 47 games with a +4 rating, and improved this teams five on five scoring.

I also wrote about him being too outspoken which many organizations want no part of. He did it in and upon leaving Buffalo, also here after games. 

That line with Tavares/Okposo was one of the best in the NHL for a month after Moulson had one 5/5 goal against Columbus opening night, and one open net assist against Carolina. 

Nothing helped fix this teams issue in losing Mark Streit, then Lubomir Visnovsky. MacDonald/Hamonic were overused/extended, and a forward group small/not physical could not compensate.

And nothing excuses a fan base that again has stayed home since 1989 (unless it's opening night or a playoff game) for failing to support a playoff team last year with an MVP candidate in John Tavares that began with game two against Phoenix in October.

Twenty Nine other fan bases would have filled the seats to see John Tavares after making the playoffs
Not here, never here.
Playoffs or not.

Ed Mangano, Kate Murray,  Al D'Amato, Jay Jacobs, Joe Mondello, Tom Suozzi, and Tom Gulotta are laughing hardest.

Vanek Traded To Montreal

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/05/2014 03:52:00 PM | |Comments
 Updated 6pm: Islanders website Garth Snow's comments

Canadians website confirms:

Collberg is playing in Europe.

NYIFC Comments:
In short Snow gambled, he upgraded his offense in acquiring Vanek, but lost his first round pick in 2014 or 2015, without gaining that back.

If Montreal fails to make the playoffs the Islanders receive no second round pick. 

Snow lost huge not being able to resign Vanek, or enter playoff contention and will face very justified criticism for misreading the market. 

NY Post: Snow made clear this was the best offer he received and was very high on player he received in deal.

 “Have you ever seen Collberg play?” Snow asked The Post over the phone after he took a bevy of criticism from television commentators and from all corners of the Internet. “He has the chance to be a top-six forward in this league.”

“Good speed, good hands,” Snow said. “He could be a real impact player.”
 “It was a good day,” Snow said, “under trying circumstances.”

Andrew MacDonald Traded To Philadelphia

New York Islander Fan Central | 3/04/2014 04:11:00 PM | |Comments
Islander website release:
Mangene, 24, has six points (three goals, three assists) in 51 games this season with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League. A native of Manorville, NY, Mangene played three seasons of college hockey at the University of Maine, scoring 16 goals and 34 points in his final year with the Black Bears in 2011-12.

Matt Mangene is a third year center in the AHL with the Phantoms
Will not stand out in the size department which is needed here. 

NYIFC Comments: 
I guess Shane Harper was not available again. Seems one team in our division loves our pending UFA defenders. For me the return price has to be higher for a divisional rival as in if MacDonald signs with Flyers the 2015 pick becomes a first rounder.

So now the Islanders have the Flyers third/fourth round selections in the 2014 draft. 

Note-My apologies to everyone for hitting the wrong button earlier in possible anticipation of a trade that was not intended to be posted, but saved in draft. I deleted the entry within minutes, but understand many link to this website. 

New York Notables

Updated 2:50pm:
Vanek, MacDonald, Capuano all comment on trade deadline NHL.com

Updated 7:00pm 
Justin Johnson was signed by the Islanders, he remains in Bridgeport. Anchorage paper is planning a full interview with comments on signing.
This 3/1-3/2 weekend  in 2014 did remind me of the core of the four weekend, that team was on it's last legs also. 

Far too many passengers, and this was with Vanek/MacDonald still here.

Yes, I think both losses would have happened even with Tavares healthy.

New York showed up, skated hard against Toronto, and did for one period against New Jersey.

Then they stopped for the next four periods, lead against Florida notwithstanding.

They could have been up 5-1 (perhaps more) against Florida, but still they were not working hard. There is no excuse for it.

Win or lose, this team has had few poor efforts much less two back to back.

Sunday's game was gift-wrapped to be a win. 2-0 lead, a five on three two minute power-play? Florida was ready to surrender two points without a fight for two periods when both teams were not mocking one another or looking for cheap-hits/fights.

This was different than those other two goal leads the Islanders worked hard to earn, they earned nothing going up 3-1 on Sunday.

 Is Garth Snow still thrilled with his special teams coaching now that Florida dominated them with their poor special teams?

Win/lose you can always control your skating.

No excuse for it or some of the lazy frustration penalties, especially in the offensive zone.

If these players like Jack Capuano they sure did not skate like they want him to return as coach this weekend.

This group mostly seems to play to the best of it's ability for Capuano, it's not good enough but a team in a position to win all these games to begin with must say something positive about the head coach. 

Should that be enough? No, not if you believe management last October. They made clear what the goal was for 2013-14.

Shawn Matthias skated like he did in January when he dominated the Islanders, who let him when he started working, he may have had seven goals, but every time I watch him he's very noticeable for all the right reasons.

Playing Anders Nilsson three days in a row was a mistake. Why he looked ready for the third period against the Devils, and like he was lulled to sleep after two periods against the Panthers is on him or management?

It was like that one goal (off Carkner) completely shook him.

Carkner's penalties down the stretch were lazy, nothing more. MacDonald got picked apart by Matthias.

Colin McDonald looked he was skating in mud all weekend.

Mike Halmo was the better player on Saturday.

Why is Matt Donovan in Bridgeport so Carkner can dress? So much for Bridgeport's winning streak, two 2-1 losses for Kevin Poulin, and some defenders who deserve a look here.

I like what Hamonic did Saturday, but have not seen the league make a call like that in well over a decade awarding a six plus minute powerplay.

Isn't that was Cal Clutterbuck was traded/signed for again, so Hamonic with his concussions does not have to fight?
It seems ever since the Islanders won the rights to a player the Rangers were heavily rumored for in Vanek, Msg employees have been taking some snarky shots at him.

His conditioning was targeted earlier this season by Msg.

Howie Rose was over the top (between his usual apathy for having to work before another vacation), Goring on Saturday/Sunday seemed to be getting into the act.

What is all this Vanek lately has not been whatever when teams have not played for almost three weeks?

 He did have three points Sunday, and more impressively back-checked hard to break up a 2-1 against early in the third on a power-play? Maybe Vanek should change his name to Callahan or Richards so the Msg employees know they have to be positive. (or with the laughingstock Msg meal-ticket Knicks)

Mr Goring, when the team scores five goals on Thursday, you cannot say, they have not been scoring a lot of goals lately when the last game was almost three weeks earlier. 
I have no remaining sympathy for Pat Lafontaine, but of course the national media circus that went over the top to criticize the Islanders in 2007, was far more muted about #16 or the Sabres this time.

Perhaps it's because it's in-season with teams playing, and there is just not the time/space? What happened with the Islanders was in summer at a time nothing was going on.

This time #16 was the teams President, he hired the gm/others so it's much worse because his own choices did this. This was not Charles Wang's committee where he made clear what everyone's role would be at that press conference, this was Lafontaine's group. 

The Buffalo News knows where it's future ad money comes from, it's not Pat Lafontaine, so the circus is a lot more muted from their paid media salesman who cover the team.

John Pickett, Bill Torrey, Charles Wang deserve an apology from Lafontaine/media.

Wang's 2006-07 team made the playoffs, he did the right thing dumping Neil Smith before he signed his contract. Special adviser Lafontaine walked.

Lafontaine's very good at walking away when he does not get what he wants, it's something he has to start taking accountability for. I don't know if history repeats but I expect Ted Nolan stays, he did not walk away for Lafontine before, and the reality is no other NHL team would hire him if he walks now.
I'm not sure what happens with the trade deadline for the Islanders.

I expect if there is a trade (or two) the return will be mixed. They don't have a lot of forwards left in the organization to simply recall so forget any housecleaning unless players are coming this way who would have to be young or signed for at least 2-3 years.

Plus they are in western Canada for the deadline, granted an off-day. 

Personally, I would take another shot at resigning MacDonald, putting Hickey/Strait in play for a trade instead. It's not going to shock me if Vanek is interested in July if the Islanders put the same offer on the table, but a corporate team will likely front-load which makes all the difference, even if the Islanders do offer more.

Most folks do not understand the front-loading of contracts. Players want that 10-20-30 million of their 50 million dollar contract as a signing bonus immediately. They do not want to wind up like DiPietro or Yashin, losing millions because they took their money as a straight contract with same dollar amount every year.

Why risk a buyout, losing money in the later years? Wang cannot front-load, he's not the only one who cannot front-load.