Major Changes To Islanders Kids League (PAL) Programs Include Doug Weight, Radek Martinek.

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2015 03:18:00 PM | |||
These changes were announced 5/28 and fall in line with last weeks update on Bob Thormton. 

Some will recall Dan Marshall who used to run Iceworks, was promoted to Sound Tigers head coach for one season has been an associate coach in these programs.

Neil Smith went to Bridgeport & handled Dan Marshall's press conference the day before he was fired in 2006, and endorsed his hiring. 

Marshall was fired after his one season in Bridgeport.

Interesting to see if this changes Doug Weight's status as assistant general manager of an NHL team/assistant coach? 

Also I guess it seems Radek Martinek will be an assistant coach of kids under 14 with Weight.

Martinek is part of the Pee-Wee Quebec team, but Garth Snow is also.

I have no knowledge or much interest in kids programs out of Iceworks, just to see the assistant gm of the New York Islanders part of this with Radek Martinek is somewhat noteworthy if Weight is remaining in a new role or this is part-time working with kids in U14/U18 programs in local leagues?

This is all very new and multi-layered to me, so I'm clueless. The programs read like that of an NHL setup with associate coaches, general managers, assistant coaches for kids leagues of different ages.

It does read like a full time job during the fall/winter months, and big news if Weight did leave the Islanders management/bench for this position? 

New York Notables: Coliseum...Bridgeport...Ratner...TOH Approval

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2015 08:39:00 AM |
I guess my one big question about Bruce Ratner is if he's selling his stake in the Nets/Barclays, which includes his iron-clad lease with the Islanders to somebody why would anything think he's going to run or manage the Coliseum long-term when this is finally done? 

To say nothing of Mikhail Prokhorov who's a financial part in all of this.

This is all going to pass to someone else at some point in their company or be sold to another individual. 

Sure it could all be sold to Dolan.

To be fair Bruce Ratner's been an owner of the Nets since 2002, but he's no kid, and like Wang at some point no longer will want a stake in a sports team/or in any arena.

Dolan's Newsday Hurdles For Ratner:
So much for all those hurdles according to James Dolan's media that Ratner had to face on 4/29? They gave a blogger (who's very good, does his homework, and legitimately rips on Ratner's business practices) a nice negative op-ed before Ratner received unanimous TOH/Kate Murray approval on 5/26.

I guess they ran out of editorial board members. 

Now Dolan's business people are claiming all hurdles have been cleared when in fact on 4/29 only one hurdle had to be cleared which was TOH approval. We'll see what they can drum up to keep it negative.

So How Did Ratner Get Approved By Kate Murray?
Reading the TOH rules for meetings they make clear they never approve anything day one.  Ratner showed up on 5/19, after he finally gave them his plans in April, they reviewed the testimony and drew up a negative declaration (which means there is nothing adverse/negative to the environment or TOH 2011 zoning) so they approved Ratner's construction on the Coliseum, and around it's footprint. 

At first I thought a negative declaration meant they were going to vote it down.  Once I read the paperwork in advance of the 5/26 vote it was clear this would be approved. And we all know she is moving on to district attorney. Islander fans resolve to keep Murray from winning is the equivalent of showing up for weeknight hockey games.

Those maps I used to put up here have been changing since 2013.

Ratner is on the board of Sloan Kettering but that is not part of Ratner's renovations which remain only around the Coliseum footprint and is more Mangano's deal where the hospital will be spending the money for that project/buildings. I'm not sure about these proposed hotels beyond the fact Wang no longer owns the Marriott. Andrew Cuomo has to come through with state funds for a parking structure on that site.

Islander fans, please stop confusing this with the Rechler-Wang Lighthouse. TOH did not want a project large enough to pay for a massive Coliseum renovation, and the real estate that would provide the revenue to sustain a hockey team. TOH let it rot to death in 2009, this is 2015.

And Rechler-Wang only offered a ten year extension of the Islanders lease to 2025 there was some confusion  with the promise of the Islanders playing at a renovated Coliseum for thirty years as documented in 2009.

Ratner's renovation promised around ninety million for the Coliseum, about the same as Dolan's bid, it's all anyone felt the Coliseum was worth.

Now What?
If Ratner has his financing lined up, and still wants to start construction in August, there is nothing Dolan or his media outlets can do to stop it, and that likely includes Blumenfeld's lawsuit because these men have business interest in other places.

Until he starts construction Ratner can walk away any time he wants despite his enthusiam.  How he get's Smg employees or hires a new staff to host a concert on 8/4 when Smg's contract expires 7/31/15 will be an interesting trick.
So What About Bridgeport/AHL Coliseum?
Ratner learned his 2013 lessons no longer claiming  Bridgeport is coming to the Coliseum after Wang's president called his claims of the Sound Tigers moving as irresponsible.  Wang is obligated to provide an AHL team or better in Webster Bank Arena per his lease agreement with Bridgeport, and has put his own money into renovating that facility. 

Ratner has promised Nassau an AHL team as an anchor tenant, he claims this will be announced before the renovations begin, however Nassau could be willing to cut him some slack during the renovation because no hockey games will be played in the Coliseum for the next two years.

According to Brett Yormark the opening act for a renovated Coliseum is college basketball in December 2016. That means unless the plan is to move an AHL team there during the season, there will be no anchor tenant/AHL team ready to begin play until the 2017-18 season. 

Bottom line Ratner has to bring an AHL team to the Coliseum eventually, is he getting into the AHL business as a team owner? Is Wang as minority owner going to operate an AHL team separate of the Islanders? 

You would think Wang-Ratner could work this out, and make an announcement by August, after negotiating the Barclay's lease, unless Wang wants to leave it open for Mr Ledecky/Malkin, and their plans? 

As majority Islander owners Ledecky/Malkin are not obligated to Wang's management of Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport (unless it's part of the sale agreement) or Ratner's agreement in Nassau to provide an AHL team.

We have no clue as to anything Mr Ledecky or Malkin are planning to do as majority owners.

As For the New York Islanders:
Again we'll see how the logistics play out come September. It's a longer ride from Iceworks to Barclay's after game day practices for some players. The Islanders have had players who live in Manhattan, Brian Rolston stayed in the same house he lived in as a member of the Devils and commuted from New Jersey daily after he was traded here.

The Nets are finally moving their practice facilities from New Jersey for 2015-16. 

I found a fun footnote the Marriott hotel next to Barclay's Center is for sale at only 37 million.  Wang's foreclosure on the Marriott brought in a bidder who paid 66 million.

Visnovsky Negotiating New Contract With New York/Priority To Remain In NHL

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/25/2015 07:07:00 AM | Has Visnovsky's comments his preference is to remain with New York or the NHL.

"I spoke with representatives of Klagenfurt, but I did not sign anything. My priority is to stay still in the NHL, we are negotiating a new contract even with NY Islanders. If there is disagreement, test the free market.  I have practically the whole summer to get a new contract. "

The heavily translated article has Visnovsky's comments on Grabner perhaps playing in the Austrian league in the future. 

New York Notables/Short Version

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/19/2015 04:03:00 PM | Comments
We'll see.

That's my answer to virtually every question related to New York as they move into a new facility, same with their pending RFA/UFA at all levels.

Lee is going to want big money, and there is no one close with his hands/size/skills, Okopso even bigger money next summer. 

Same for Bridgeport/AHL future, and with a new ECHL affiliate needed. 

Same for the Coliseum/Ratner/Mangano/Murray vs Dolan/Newsday/News12LI.
Or is that Coliseum/Ratner/Mangano vs Murray/Dolan/Newsday/News12LI?

And for Wang/Ledecky/Malkin.

There will be some roster changes.

Anyone telling you a team is a lock for a playoff spot next season did not follow the defending champion Kings or Boston. It takes an excellent season just to qualify, and it will only be getting tougher. This is no longer a twenty one team league where sixteen teams qualify.

The one positive thing I can write for now is this organization is far ahead of where it was in 2013 defensively simply because they have most of their defense under contract long-term in Boychuk, Leddy, Hamonic.
This is not summer 2013 where they lost Streit, and obviously were looking to replace Nabokov.

Beyond that, we'll see. 

Islanders Hire Bob Thornton As Islanders Iceworks Director

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/15/2015 02:42:00 PM | Comments
Something interesting today popped up on the Islanders website. 

Islanders website 5/15/15: Named Bob Thornton Director Of Islanders Iceworks 
 “This is an exciting opportunity to return to the facility my family helped build,” Thornton said. “I’m excited to provide a place for the top players on Long Island to train, develop and progress to the next stage of their playing careers.”

 On 3/18/15 Bob Thornton Was Named 18U Head Coach Of The PAL Junior Islanders 

Bob Thornton into 2014-15 was the New Jersey Rockets General Manager, EHL & MJHL Head Coach.
Bob Thornton is entering his ninth year with the NJ Rockets Junior program as director and head coach of the EHL, U19 and MJHL teams. He was an assistant coach of Roanoke Express (ECHL), and played in the USHL, OHL and ECHL throughout his 10-year career as a hockey player. Bob is also the owner of Elite Hockey Group which specializes in off and on ice training development during the off season.

On 9/14/13 NYIFC had an entry titled: New York/Bridgeport Will Practice At Charles Wang's IceWorks Past 2015 which mostly detailed the Islanders history with practice facilities. 

That entry notes  Robert Thornton the first gm of the facility under Charles Wang passed away on Sept 3rd 2013. 

Mr Thornton and his wife resigned on 5/24/2004 filing a lawsuit in 2006 against the Islanders which from Islanders end was handled by 2011 Referendum firm of Nixon-Peabody.  Thornton was thrilled at Wang's purchase in 2001.

That would also be the same Robert Thornton SR who was Bryan Trottier's agent/business manager when he was a player, and had a huge financial falling out. Some folks may remember the Glice rink Thornton ran under Trottier's name in the 1980's.

NY Times 10/26/94 Has an article with details about what happened with quotes from Mr Thornton.

Long story short Bob Thornton Jr is the new director of Islanders Iceworks, his father used to run Iceworks for Charles Wang, and filed a lawsuit against the New York Islanders.

Does that mean the Islanders will practice there? No idea, depends on the terms of that lease which Wang said would be honored this year.

Part II: How Hard Will Dolan's Media/Newsday Work To Defeat Ratner Coliseum?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/13/2015 12:02:00 PM | Comments
Let's be clear the last thing New York Islander fans want to see is a Ranger logo in an Msg renovated Coliseum with a Long Island Ranger AHL hockey team. (which could still happen)

That's very bad for the New York Islanders, our fan base, and the team's future business which is why this is being addressed here again.

This is what Dolan's idea of a transformation was for the Nassau Coliseum in 2013. 

The latest attack editorial from Dolan's Newsday is comical, and entirely expected. This game will continue, same as it did to defeat the referendum which was the last chance for Charles Wang to keep the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum, and opened the door for Dolan to bid for the Coliseum.

No doubt it's being done to influence Kate Murray/TOH board on 5/19 during the public comment period which is really the best chance left to defeat Ratner's plan so Dolan can jump back in.

Expect to see some front page headlines. 

Anything think Dolan is going to approve Ratner allowing the Islanders to play regular season games in Ratner's Coliseum when he's done renovating? If the league/Dolan do not approve of the Isles having a second NHL arena, that will cost Ratner a million dollars per year.

Dolan made no promise to include any chance of the New York Islanders ever playing in the Nassau Coliseum ever again, his bid included a Long-Island Live/Msg-Zone with a Ranger themed sports bar in the first drafts before they claimed the promise of some Islander memorabilia.

And the Msg bid promised Ranger home games/practices during preseason at his Nassau Coliseum, despite Nassau remaining part of the New York Islanders territorial rights. 

This idea that Dolan offered something transformative for that site or far better than Ratner is insulting, his bid is part of the public record.

Mangano beat Dolan's guy Suozzi on election day. 

No bid was possible that renovated the Coliseum to a point where it would make the necessary revenue to support an NHL team feasible. All bids only included a downsized arena with retail in the walk of champions area, and development directly around  the Coliseum exterior.  (NYIFC put up the map to many times to show what Ratner was building)

Some things proposed do differ from Ratner's original plan but do not involve him at all. 
Let's get real on this latest smear campaign from Dolan's editorial board because Mangano's committee made it very clear what was offered by both NEC Ratner/Dolan in their bid, and why Ratner won.

Again here are the documents from 9/20/2013 on why Dolan lost from the Office Of Legislative Budget Review with the names of Mangano's financial advisory committee. 

Final two pages:

1: Dolan promised less overall revenue.
2: Dolan wanted more tax exemptions than Ratner (same as he receives now on the Cablevision Garden) on both the Coliseum and the plaza. (Ratner only wanted an exemption on the Coliseum)
3: Dolan indicated Msg required IDA financing, same as Ratner.
4: Dolan wanted control of all future real estate development, something Ratner did not ask for in his bid, and Wang did not get in 2013.
4: Dolan promised his WNBA team (that now includes Isiah Thomas) and his AHL team to go with Ranger preseason games. 

The ridiculous notion from Dolan's Newsday editorial board (again) that they promised anything transformative on that site vs Ratner's bid is a flat out lie.

Bottom line Dolan offered nothing to keep the New York Islanders on that site in any way. 

For now it's the same game from Dolan/Msg/Cablevision/Newsday  same as 2011. And again Don Monti is the master developer of the HUB for those wondering about the rest of the site acreage.

Mr Monti supported Dolan's plan but had no issues with NEC Ratner when it was selected Long Island Association/LI Business News 8/15/2013

Ratner's bid like Dolan's was to build only in the walk of champions area, and around the Coliseum's exterior, a very small area, hardly a transformation of the entire site.

But for Dolan/Cablevision/Newsday/News12 LI, Msg, their bid did not win, and are very poor losers. 

What will be interesting to see is what Dolan's friend in Albany (Andrew Cuomo) can do to withhold state funds for the site?

Mr Cuomo sure will not allow any vote to take away the only private company in the entire state of NY  from paying property taxes since 1982.

We all know that will never be in any Newsday editorial.

Mr Mangano, still happy you did not lock the door with Wang in 2013 like all the other politicians did, and do a deal for a new Coliseum like every other team received, instead of playing the will of the people card to take yourself off the hook?

So here is the latest all too familiar ploy, expect a steady diet of them moving forward.

How Hard Will Dolan's Media/Newsday Work To Defeat Ratner Coliseum?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/01/2015 04:26:00 PM | ||||||Comments
You saw this act with the referendum, the owner of Newsday, and his media reach got out the no vote for weeks with tons of mostly negative articles, and editorials, then when it was clear the 2011 referendum would fail the late tepid endorsement came, simply saying the process should continue, and to vote yes.

No gang, I was not convinced Dolan's mug on the Islanders website for two seconds saying to vote yes was genuine, his players, management absolutely were sincere. 

It's different now, Dolan showed his true colors, and bid for the Coliseum.

He lost to Bruce Ratner, his media people blamed the record of Nassau County politicians.

And Dolan Newsday put on the it's usual shameful show as they are doing now.
8/13/13: Long Island Press: Newsday Omission in Story on Owner’s Rival Raises Questions
9/9/13: Long Island Press: Newsday Fails to Disclose Suozzi Ties in Primary Endorsement

Msg made clear they are watching very closely at the time as things moved forward and Dolan's rep on Coliseum bid, Hank Ratner (no relation to Bruce) is now gone from Msg.  I cannot write Dolan would jump right back in if Bruce Ratner walked from the project which he can do at any time before the ground breaking, however it's very possible.

But it's clear Dolan's Newsday/News12 LI can go all out to make every update as negative as possible to influence the public on top of the fans still in denial since October 2012 the Islanders are moving.

Which is what we see again from the owner of Newsday, who lost the bid to Ratner, a circus in their paper every few days. 

Now every update is big news, almost always filled with downside, some of it is fair when Blumenfeld and Ratner sue one another, but let's get real because if Dolan was selected as winning bid you think his media would be doing one negative update about his project in his paper?

You would see positive articles or nothing at all.

Updated 5/2/15:
Sorry, Dolan's entire Newsday editorial board got into the act. Can't make it up.

Updated 5/1/15:
And here's a member of Dolan's editorial board on cue, mourning the Isles loss but really knocking Ratner's plan not mentioning Dolan's bid once or the massive tax money he receives for the Cablevision Garden or the exemption he wanted on the Coliseum and surrounding land + real estate rights.

I wrote my entire entry before seeing this. Welcome back to May-July 2011 when it was one negative article or editorial after another to defeat the referendum in James Dolan's Newsday before he bid for the property himself in 2013. 
Why Dolan lost Coliseum bid in 2013 to Ratner:
As some will recall in the past I asked who made up Ed Mangano's financial advisory board that decided who would renovate the Coliseum, and win the bid? I looked long and hard back to 2010 when he said he made up his board.

And yes, I fully expected Dolan to win the bid over Ratner, and wrote why here at the time. 

On 9/6/13 Nassau's Decision On Why Ratner Over Dolan: I got my answers when the decision was announced and in the end felt l it was strictly about who would spend the most money which for neither party was not much to moderately renovate the Nassau Coliseum.

No folks, around ninety million dollars was all anyone was willing to commit to renovating the Coliseum, these politicians waking from their slumber thinking more should be spent now have still not grasped the concept the revenue streams are not there to make any further renovations possible. 

Dolan wanted his usual tax exemption like he has now on the Cablevision Garden, the only private company in the entire state of New York not to pay property taxes since 1982, which is now worth 54 million dollars a year out of the NYC taxpayers pockets, which was voted on by NYC council members to repeal but will not come up for a vote in Andrew Cuomo/Shelly Silver's state legislature, who received money from the Dolan family during their runs for office.

Let's be clear Bruce Ratner/James Dolan lean democrat, Charles Wang republican and has been listed in articles at the RNC conventions. Wang's gotten both parties to support him in the past.

 NY Post 12/11/2006:

And of course I can produce a dozen or so articles from professional media to support what I'm writing about Dolan's exemption on Msg.  

From Mangano's Committee: 

And Dolan unlike Wang in 2013, and Ratner wanted development rights over the entire site which were awarded to Don Monti, who is the Master Developer of the HUB to this day. 

Dolan's media/business writers did not put any of this in his Newspaper, or it was well hidden behind that paywall.

The AHL/Coliseum/Sound Tigers Issue:
So now it's time for Newsday to make the AHL another of the many big hurdles for Ratner, and we all know who owns the Hartford/Ct Whale/Wolfpack since 1997 when they brought in their AHL team and have been soundly rejected by die-hard NHL Hartford Whalers fans since day one. 
In Ratner's 2013 Legislature Hearing on Page 135-139 the Sound Tigers/AHL issue was discussed at length with all possible scenario's where Ratner, Yormark and Kevan Abrahams pulled no punches on this subject.

Of course none of this made it into any article where Dolan's business writers, Robert Brodsky, and Randi Marshall are involved to say nothing of shock jock Jim Baumbach, who never met a positive article about the New York Islanders since Arbour in 2007 where he tried to discredit his 1500th win. 
Kate Murray/TOH Approval:
Ratner finally submitted his plan this year, Murray scheduled a public comment hearing in May, she can let it rot past Ratner's construction period, and kill it outright if she wants Dolan's plan or another but it may hurt her bid running for district attorney among fellow Republicans.
Ratner Issues: 
Let's be clear Bruce Ratner has been slow on every single thing he has said he was going to do, and was a year late submitting his final plan to Kate Murray's TOH who have to approve his plan vs her development criteria and zoning which she released in 2010 after driving out Wang-Rechler Lighthouse.

What's transpired has raised fair and legitimate questions about Mr Ratner's ability to see this project through in the manner promised but it's hardly uncommon based on most of these projects. It's usually more the norm based on the taxpayer stadium's in Queens/Bronx/Newark/East Rutherford, Harrison, and of course the Barclay's Center. 4/14/15: Ratner's plan submitted to TOH. 

Press Conference; Hub Conceptual Master Plan Submitted to Town of Hempstead from Nassau Executive on Vimeo.

Long Island Press 4/15/15 reported Ratner's final plans were submitted which required another legislature vote which was needed over financing and was approved 17-2. 4/22/15:

But there is the significant difference in how other professional media outlets on Long Island has presented the news on this subject vs Dolan's Newsday. 

Bruce Ratner has mostly put on a very poor show vs the day he was unanimously approved 19-0 by the Nassau Legislature on 9/23/2013 which I watched live as he put on a magnificent presentation.

The archives here have these updates/minutes from that meeting. 

Dolan's specific approval was discussed to the Islanders returning for regular season games, Mr Yormark at the time did not see this as an 157

Ct Post 3/1/15: On Wang obligated to provide AHL team or better in Bridgeport.

And as we know Mr Ratner is obligated to provide an AHL team as anchor tennant, even if Charles Wang is obligated to give Webster Bank Arena an AHL team or better with his lease through 2021.

Funny how Lou Lamoriello took his team from East Rutherford to Newark and there was never one hint of his AHL teams in Albany/upstate ever moving into their former home which was closed this year (Izod Center)  likely forever.
So Now What? The Circus Continues On All Fronts.
Brock Nelson, Kulemin, Anders Lee escaped the circus, and are playing in the World Championships.

The New York Islanders move to the Barclay's Center, many of our fans act like they were blindsided or asleep since 2012, and think Santa Claus is coming to give Nassau an NHL revenue capable rink to play in front of crowds under 10,000 most years on weeknights since 1989.

The same people who boycotted the team away since 1989 will now try to boycott them back, and are demanding a max payroll with ticket prices under twenty dollars. 

I think that's the Jay and Judy Jacobs circus tent which Tom Gulotta demanded be built by private money when Wang-Kumar bought the club in 2000.

It's next to Howard Milstein's scoreboard hoist eviction tent where some Islander fans now love the fisherman uniform? Mangano wanted a referendum for financing that tent in a public-private partnership.

The Armand D'Amato fund jar for donations is in the back of the tent, and everyone better donate. 

The Cosmos are already tired of Nassau County politics and Brooklyn would love for them to do more than make a few cameo's there.  (not kidding)

Hofstra President, Stuart Rabinowicz, wants a Shinnecock Nation t-shirt to go with some Jets training camp memorabilia and some Cosmos gear before they go.

Tom Suozzi will replace Alan Hahn on Msg/+/+2+3+4 to show us the proclamation he gave Charles Wang in April 2002 which Brandon Steiner will put up for auction.

Come on Charles Wang, here is your gift, Sam Wyly filing for bankruptcy with his Ranger governance from the CA days. 

The Long Island only crowd will play the Long Island card, the Brooklyn only crowd will play the Brooklyn card, most of them will go to baseball games and never call the Mets Queens or the Yankees Bronx, and wear their New York uniforms when they go to East Rutherford, New Jersey for football games with Jay Jacobs PSL tickets. 

The fans who see this as any other New York team (even the NJ football teams) will do what they do, which is where I sit in this hopefully with Charles Wang's forty percent of season ticket holders from around NYC area according to his 2011/12 interviews. (see audio archives) 

Dolan's media will likely do what they did in 2011 until the final day Ratner breaks ground if it goes that far, and bring up every negative issue they can forever.

Ratner/Blumenfeld will do their thing, likely in court because none of these friends never are  when push comes to shove. Mr Yormark will use the word Brooklyn three times in every sentence.

No one will consider my idea to make most of the Barclay's center seats unobstructed for free and center the scoreboard which is use the Boston Garden, Aud, older rink dimensions, people don't like money.

And the idea of adding Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens to the Isles logo will not happen even if it's as subtle as the 4th stripe and makes every single fan still feel welcomed. (IE make more money)

Barclay's Center President & Chief Communications Officer, Barry Baum will not return to the NY Post Islander beat or have any confrontations with John Vanbiesbrouck. 

Mike Vaccaro who went to the Nassau Coliseum once since 1978 for a Ranger game will play Islander historian for the Post.

Every die-hard older Ranger media fan will treat the Islanders at the Barclay's Center like Bryan Trottier coaching the Rangers, especially when the Islander fans double at Msg from the loud cheering crowds there now. 

Hopefully Mr Ledecky, Malkin make their payments on time to Charles Wang, and all three keep things quiet beyond cheering on their team.

Smg will get their celebrated walking papers on 7/31 but somehow will work on 8/4 so Billy Joel can take off his Ranger sweater for a night with his Msg performance contract? Another common sense fair question to be asked of Mr Ratner's decision making.

Wang and Mr Joel are being honored, and given a degree by Stony Brook University this month:

Kate Murray will be elected district attorney and be the only person to show up for George Maragos day to appreciate the Islanders history.

No, I did not get my coaching change, life goes on.