New York Notables/Sticks & Pucks

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/30/2015 07:18:00 PM | Comments
The 2015-16 New York Islanders have played ten games, and frankly could have lost nine of them in regulation with Winnipeg their only effort that looked like 2014-15.

6-2-2 looks like an illusion.

So far, it's not the dominating puck possession/fast skating/hardest working team they were to play against last season on terrible Coliseum ice. This is the opposite, and it does not seem like a developing strategy where they are trying to play Ranger like 2-1 low maintenance chess games with a five man goalie unit once they get any lead holding teams to under 25 shots with few quality chances.

And the Islanders had five players back against Carolina on the tying goal. Bailey not having the passing lane to a cutting forward.

Opposing teams now bring the game at NYI, outshooting/sometimes outhitting them and they seem much slower/easier to shut down for long stretches of games.

I would love to wave the pom poms, and sure things can (perhaps should) improve, but even in beating Calgary it was a 1-0 game into the third period against a reeling team who played a goaltender that had weak goals go through him. (like Coliseum win against Dallas)

The goaltenders (Greiss) have been the Islanders best players, but again Halak showing his lack of durability or someone who can shoulder the same work load Nabokov did in 2013 is a fair reason why other teams decided to let him go for another #1 goaltender despite some dominating play at times.

Lee, Strome, Nelson have hardly improved, and regressed offensively. Grabovski looks like a career center finally playing his natural position. Seems everyone but UFA Okposo plays right wing next to Tavares.

Hamonic-deHaan look very beatable too often. Strait-Zidlicky are very mistake prone. Leddy's shots are being deflected in but he has not been visible enough and Boychuk does not look like a top pairing defender capable of producing consistent offense making seven million this season.

It's not the loss of rarely healthy Visnovsky or Donovan who was glued to the stands on defense. Strait played 52 games last season, and all seven playoff games a year ago on a team with 101 points.

The core forwards are unchanged besides being a year older. Given the home record for years it's not the commute because this has been a better road team for years, and other teams have players commuting/staying in hotels at home on game days with their practice facility as far away as Barclay's is from Iceworks.

Our players are accustomed to playing in front of empty seats at home.

My impression about the special teams are despite numbers, it's also an illusion after ten games or other teams issues.

Ok, that's what I can write about ten games, sorry if it's not positive despite 6-2-2.

It can turn around but there is no hiding from 0-4 Devils, now 5-4-1 playing low shot against games, who can score, skate, playing an up-tempo game this team has not shown since last season.

A lot of hard working, good, fast teams will be playing the NYI soon.

There has to be a big improvement, and it has nothing to do with where they play, game-day routines or how many empty seats at Barclay's vs empty an Coliseum seats since 1989.


For what it's worth Richard Brodsky of Newsday told me on twitter 10/29 Nassau would consider asbestos air testing, and other things as Ratner doing construction on the Nassau Coliseum which would mean he's honoring his lease.

He had no answers for an anchor AHL team tenant being announced as NEC Ratner promised before a ground breaking/construction.

If all this happens and Prokhorov does purchase rights to most of NEC Ratner Coliseum stakes and the agreement with Nassau County, it makes one wonder why Bruce Ratner wanted to bid on the Coliseum renovation in the first place even back to the planning stage before bids were taken?

Ratner was a majority owner of the Nets for close to a decade before he sold eighty percent to Prokhorov, he currently owns a majority stake in Barclay's so it's not like he was in these projects short-term, he did countless interviews on video in front of audiences that were posted here.

Does this have anything to do with the Islanders playing home games in NYC or it's three owners? No.

Does this have anything to do with the Islanders lease in NYC until 2040/revenue or television contract to play in NYC until 2031? No.

Is it going to change the Nets guaranteed television money and new contract with YES Network which could pay them 40 million a year to continue playing at Barclay's? No. 

Twin Rinks NY Islanders Pro Shop Opened

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2015 08:09:00 PM |
I have been following the Twin Rinks proceedings, obviously the bonding issues were settled to where Wang could complete his purchase, and open a pro shop plus put the Islander logo on the marquee. The question is does John Ledecky/Scott Malkin want the team to practice there next season when they are majority owners?

If Wang wants to change practice routine to this facility from Iceworks, obviously he can, same as he intended to do with Cantiague Park on 12/31/15. Seems some Islander branding has happened.

Remember the postings early in summer here about changes at Iceworks, Bob Thornton?

Seems Miro Satan will be there too, expect Radek Martinek if he still lives here. 

This was on Twin Rinks Facebook page last week 10/21/15:
Twin Rinks will host the Elite Hockey Group clinic every Friday 5:45-6:45pm. $40 cash or check for elite level Midgets, Bantams, Peewees and Squirts. Coaches include: Bob Thornton, Miro Satan, Eric Conway and Alexis Moed.

Michael Picker New President In Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/27/2015 01:55:00 PM | |Comments

 “Michael has done an incredible job running the front office for the Islanders,” Islanders Owner Charles Wang said.  “I have worked closely with Michael for almost 33 years and know he will do a great job with the Bridgeport operation.  Michael was involved with the purchase of the Sound Tigers and, through his work with the Islanders, is quite familiar with the operation and the employees in Bridgeport.  I look forward to a vibrant and active Arena.” 

NYIFC Comments:
This was reported back when Howard Saffan left.

Mr Picker will also run arena for Mr Wang under lease until 2021. 

New York Signs Anthony Beauvillier

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/23/2015 01:57:00 PM | Comments

NYIFC Comments: 
Given the history with late 1st rounders (Ho-Sang/Nelson) about on par to see him signed to an ELC at this point. Expected him signed before he left New York because he seemed to have a good camp. 

Coliseum Construction/AHL Team Deadline

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/21/2015 08:28:00 PM | Comments
Long Island Association: Copied Dolan's Newsday (Altice sale will close in 2016) back in April. This was followed up on several times here already. If the reporting was accurate, it's deadline time.

New York Islander Fanbase Demographics Vote

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/19/2015 05:08:00 PM | Comments

New York/Bridgeport Notables

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/17/2015 01:51:00 PM | Comments
I'm happy the team's preseason is finally over. Those early regular season games were the full squad games they should have played against Washington, in my view was a mistake because it's not what other NHL teams do, nor has Capuano done in past seasons.

They are very lucky to be at 2-1-1, but they have the talent here to win games unlike past teams.

The rust is off (not Halak/Hickey) but the chemistry should develop.

Any NHL team can beat another, and we will see the trends take shape for the 2015-16 team.
Not a fan of drafted center Brock Nelson being converted to right wing after a full season of letting him play center after he started as a left wing. We saw this plan with Bailey/Comeau, and despite moderate success at times it never helped elevate either players game.

But then I would ask why sign career center Grabovski, and never let him play center here last season as he played wing. (getting two concussions)

Not easy or perfect. 

Between Bernier sitting with his sixteen goals, Petrov, Quine, and others in Bridgeport waiting for a chance, that's a lot of money for clearly lacking ITV video/radio coverage to let Eric Boulton mentor this team on IR.

Boulton still has hands/skills, and can contribute to an NHL team, but this is not the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 New York Islanders which is why Keith Aucoin or Colin McDonald is no longer here.

In 2015-16 he should simply be in a role with the staff.
Greiss was very solid, so was Johnson against Boston/Los Angeles last year. Ultimately if Halak does his job it will come down to how Greiss plays when sitting for over a week.
Love how Okposo held the puck before scoring against Nashville, and picked a corner. That's what top scoring forwards do, and will determine what management does in terms of UFA.

He has to produce, simple as that whether it be with Tavares or another line. 
Have always been a defender of Brian Strait, he simply handed over the puck on the first goal against Nashville as soon as the pressure came which directly led to the first goal against. It almost seems like he is not in his natural position because his reads/reaction are not good/regressing since his arrival.

His skating, speed, ability to move puck is why he is here.

No, Ryan Pulock, does not play that side of the ice, and is not getting a call unless one of the very durable defenders who play his side are injured.

Zidlicky played 84 games last season, 81 the year before, and Capuano is using him on the powerplay.
I do not believe Matt Donovan clears waivers last season.
What do you want me to write about attendance I have not written forever beyond Mr Yormark should stop selling Brooklyn, and start marketing Barclay's center in New York City?

The Ranger media jumped all over his Brooklyn narrative to avoid NY branding, same as media did Long Island narrative which keeps fans from supporting a New York team, it's done nothing but cost this team fans/revenue/ticket sales.

No doubt, it's good for relations with Msg for Yormark to market Brooklyn.

Everyone since 1972 bears responsibility from Roy Boe/Bill Torrey/alumni/John Pickett/Charles Wang.

It's nice for me to go point out Charles Wang said on 7/26/11 forty percent of his season ticket base comes from NYC, but if the total full/partial season tickets come to around 7,000 total or less most years that's not a lot of people no matter how how you slice it. 

One more time 10+ other teams in NY/NJ (even Cosmos at Hofstra) all marketing NYC cannot be wrong nor can all the Islander fans at Msg/Newark for games.

Guess the Long Island fans (without baseball playoffs in Bronx/Queens) were not feeling too nostalgic early last season which sadly was an improvement compared to many previous seasons. 

Not a fan of the pregame policy, and as always Mr Yormark's people skills leave a great deal to be desired (same as his brother Michael Yormark who acted the same with Florida Panthers) but need to know a little more about this in other NHL facilities in 2015-16, and if the league is encouraging changes?

In 80 years it took one kid to get hit with a puck, who died to put nets in all NHL facilities permanently.
Thrilled for Bridgeport fans, hope their start continues, but in terms of players who are top picks expected to become NHL forwards on current roster? No, most have moved around often or low draft picks.

Is Charles Wang going to celebrate the Sound Tigers 15th season by announcing they are leaving?
All we know regarding the Coliseum is it's supposed to re-open fully renovated in December 2016, and an AHL team anchor tenant is part of that agreement.
Ok. More games.

Pulock To Bridgeport...Boulton Signed

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/13/2015 10:38:00 AM | |

NYIFC Comments: 
Steve Bernier with his sixteen goals needs to play at this level, along with Petrov, and a lot of players in Bridgeport with some NHL potential, not Eric Boulton who takes up a roster spot as long as he is not on IR.

No, a team cannot IR a player unless he is injured. Boulton can be placed on waivers to be sent to Bridgeport, but that team is packed with AHL veterans already.

New York Struggled Badly At Coliseum With More Rest/Less Gameday Travel

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/13/2015 08:59:00 AM | Comments
Numbers do not lie over many seasons. Whatever these players were doing on game days after practice at home did not translate to wins at the Nassau Coliseum despite a very strong road record.

A few times it made all the difference between playoffs/no playoffs or a much higher seed.

My thinking on this subject has always been the empty seats/opposing fans played a huge part, same as why the Islanders strong fan support at Msg/Newark upset the Rangers/Devils.

And obviously the Islanders game day routine/travel distances being any different than the Rangers who live near their Greenberg facility is simply not true.

The Islanders have had players who lived in Manhattan, Brian Rolston stayed in the same house he lived in with the Devils when he commuted from New Jersey. 

The first time I read of the Islanders booking rooms at home goes as far back as March 2003 which even had former Vancouver (huge travel miles team) Canucks Adrian Aucoin, saying "He's never seen a schedule this bad."

Season #44 Begins For New York

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/09/2015 06:04:00 AM | Comments
Once again this site has set our fans up for the season to the best of my ability. Now hopefully it's time to just sit back & see how it plays out. There will be no entries for every win/losing streak, everyone knows the numbers/expectations/other subjects.

New York Notables/No More Hiding

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/07/2015 09:43:00 AM | Comments
Barclay's Center/Nassau Coliseum? It's season #44 in New York.

Like last season there is no time for any distractions.
It's win or go home for this coach, and likely this general manager. Especially with a new majority ownership taking over. There are very high projections for this team, words mean nothing, only results.
Opening Night: 
Hopefully they can raise all the banners properly, do a decent tribute to Al Arbour, but I'm skeptical it will be controversy free while Mr Yormark does his Brooklynizing which has even gotten Bettman to ask him to tone things down.

I expect everything from the Hall Of Fame banner to the plaques in that building.
Obviously Dolan/Ranger media, cheap NYC sports editors love the Brooklyn branding wall, which is great for Mr Yormark despite this being only a New York franchise. The Islanders website seems staffed by Barclay's with hockey updates coming slower because they seem to have few website holdovers.

If there is any hope of any Islander regular season games ever being played in a Ratner renovated Coliseum, Dolan/NHL must approve, if it's rejected Ratner has to pay for that lost revenue. 

Daily News editor, Bill Price, did what he said after we spoke, the Islanders have a Daily News logo/section. I also suggested the Devils are represented which did not happened.
All I can write is a renovation that was expected to begin in mid-August, has not been announced well into October. There are deadlines, but renovation can mean doing the smallest things first.

Mangano, Rabinowitz at Hofstra are all getting exactly what they want on that property, no doubt Cuomo will approve funding for everything requested. 
Sound Tigers:
Their website does not list Jon Ledecky or Scott Malkin as owners. Wang is not breaking his professional-only team only lease at Webster Bank Arenaand it's been a long time since anyone saw Charles Wang/Bruce Ratner together anywhere.

Seems Wang again put money into upgrading WBA. 
Twin Rinks:
It seems the assets have been sold off,  and claims settled. Not sure what that means in terms of bonding issues or Wang getting control soon.  Nothing would shock me here if practices were shifted. 
Jiggs McDonald wrote in April when he visited Barclay's they were working on a scoreboard fix, I put a lot of stock in his comments, if it was attempted it was done to no publicity.

The one thing both sides needed to do was fill in those empty seats behind the net. Never happened, and the draft opts four rows behind the goals were not advertised for sale.

If anyone has noticed what Mr Yormark said on 6/30 to the WSJ about over 8,000 full season tickets sold are the exact same numbers being said now which would mean in a hundred days not one season ticket has been purchased.

It took two years to center the first Nassau Coliseum Skate-land scoreboard. 
No Hiding Come Monday Against Winnipeg:
I have big doubts the fans will be there starting Monday as we see the usual October, November, December Coliseum turnouts under 10,000.
On The Ice:
Wrote it before.......will again. This team could finish 1st overall or 30th overall.
This was a very bad preseason, one that raised significant questions. I wrote recently unless the team shows disturbing trends in preseason is not a big deal.

They showed awful trends across the board but never put their best team on the ice. That's contrary to Capuano's history as coach.

No one won a spot either besides Pulock, will he sit behind Brian Strait, and burn up eligibility?

Still it's not last preseason before the trades where they put mostly their best team on the ice at Webster Bank Arena, and the Bruins completely dismantled them 6-1. 

You play seven games, and are outplayed badly in all seven (with the games on the line & even the two games they hung on to win) against prospects that's not good.

The Caps, Flyers badly outplayed them, there were enough regulars dressed to take over the game with Michael Neuvirth ready to give up plenty of goals for the the Flyers.

The Caps announcers kept repeating how easily they were dominating both games, and noted the Islanders had regulars dressed, and barely applied any pressure.

All seven games this team regressed as they wore on, other teams built chemistry, and were having a good time. Washington barely broke a sweat, and this was an Islander team who just lost to them in a playoff series.

Over the years I cannot recall one NY Islanders camp the regulars did not dress together for a single game.

Bottom line these trends continue, there will be no hiding from a very early coaching change as in October, this core was mostly kept together.
Ok, they play Chicago who will have their home opener/rust out of the way, while the NY Islanders will not have let Tavares, Leddy, Boychuk, Hamonic dress for a game together in thirteen days.

Tavares-Okposo did not play one minute together. 

The full roster not dressing together at all for one single game.

Maybe they hit the ice, and start winning immediately, who knows?

I went to the hockey school which says that is not likely unless you build a little chemistry in preseason games, and play your regulars a game or two together but it's possible. 

Greiss got a two year contract, he comes in with a resume less than Johnson a year ago, but this is what he was signed to do, and there was competition for his services, so his job is to give this team a chance to win.

The goalie they took off waivers has zero NHL experience.

New York 23-Man Official Roster

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2015 05:09:00 PM | Comments

New York Claims Goaltender/23 Skaters

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/06/2015 02:18:00 PM |

NYIFC Comments:
This means Halak will go on IR, Williams goes to Bridgeport.

Berube would not be an improvement over Kevin Poulin, and has no NHL experience.
Bridgeport: Still has roster decisions, and too many extra players.

Roster Deadline 5pm Tuesday

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/05/2015 05:50:00 PM | Comments
With the team at 24 skaters, one move needs to be made plus a decision is needed on Eric Boulton who cannot remain on a PTO. Obviously Halak on IR could be that move unless Williams is sent down. Petrov has a two-way contract, but if he wants to return home he would require the clubs permission to play for another team.

Islanders website reported the following: Louis Leblanc was placed on waivers. Mathew Barzal was returned to Seattle. Kirill Petrov was loaned to the Bridgeport. Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech were returned on loan to Bridgeport.

Islanders website: Also announced a mix of radio stations to cover the team including Hofstra again with Mr Yormark again spamming Brooklyn.  

NYIFC Comments: Obviously the team did not wish to spend the money or could not find one major station. I checked the teams website Sunday, saw the same stations (not in NYC) and waited in case links from last year were repeated by mistake. Hofstra on Sunday did not have games scheduled.

10/1 Mr Yormark Interview: Yes Network

New York Islander Fan Central | 10/01/2015 07:16:00 PM | Comments

 NYIFC Comments:
I wish our fans were this motivated to blame Msg/Newsday for the lack of games/television/print coverage. Sadly many think it's the Islanders decision or the Devils to be hidden so less people want to purchase tickets.

My thoughts are Mr Yormark had good intentions with the goal horn, and deserved better but again as I have written many times, this is a NY team.

His counterparts doing his job in NYC/NJ & Long Island with Cosmos all market NYC.

You think Mr Yornark's counterpart with the Yankees (pick team) goes around calling them the Bronx (wherever) three times in every paragraph?

Also the official colors of Brooklyn are not black/white, to say they are is simply incorrect.

New York Islanders is the name of this team, and where the majority of the season tickets were on 7/26/11. 40 percent NYC/30 Nassau/30 Suffolk.

Mr Yormark correctly sounded a lot like my blog entries here for many years, calling out the people who talk a great game but do not buy tickets under any circumstances unless it's opening night or a playoff game.

I'm afraid the reality for everyone will be hitting home beginning with Winnipeg on a Monday afternoon in October.

It's the biggest reason things are where they are today, and why many of the things our fans wanted were never paid for.

Of course Barclay/Islanders deserve blame for seats not being filled in and available/advertised in lower level, they did a great job with the lockeroom.