New York Notables: Season Summary/Look Ahead

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/14/2017 08:47:00 AM |
Unless official news on the Islanders website, it's time for a break which I expect lasts until the NHL draft at the very least. (prospect site will be updated)

The only lease or arena news I'm interested in comes off the teams website, enough people going for page views or Dolan's puppets who are not credible.

Either folks understand the Dolan family has owned Newsday since 2008, and News12LI for a generation & did everything via their business & sports writers to defeat the Lighthouse Project, then 2011 referendum so Dolan could bid in 2013 to turn the Coliseum into the Rangers AHL home, and are not partners, friends or neighbors simply don't get it or care to.

Dolan wants NYI out of NY market, his 300 million back in his bank account through 2031 for the television contract, and full territorial rights in five boroughs and Long Island, with their AHL team at Coliseum, and other programming replacing crumbs our team gets on their joke of a television network.

Whatever you think of Mangano, or Ratner, Dolan lost 2013 bid for Coliseum because Mangano's committee did not want to give them more tax exemptions or full real estate rights to HUB so it's been nothing but one vendetta or another since. (while Cuomo's Albany feels they are entitled to a permanent tax exemption of close to fifty million a year on Chase-sponsored Garden)

To say nothing of Ranger fan Sheldon Silver, Joe Percoco scandals that lead directly from Albany to Chase Garden.

Randi Marshall, Robert Brodsky, Jim Baumbach (rehired by Dolan in 2010) and Ranger fan Staple write what Dolan's editors permit (with least Islander coverage/glass always empty) which means to whatever serves Dolan's interest or they go find another job with a big black mark on their resume. 

Since 2012 I wrote Dolan would do everything in his power to drive the New York Islanders out of New York City with every negative narrative they could create and push via the outlets they own and control.

This team needs to stay at Barclay's any way possible, and build up it's NYC fan-base, the numbers are good on weekends, and if it takes a decade (even with Dolan hiding them at every chance) they will build on what already is a good NYC following.  It took a decade + in Washington, the Devils still have problems on weeknights in Newark.

And the Rangers have plenty of ads for individual tickets, and empty seats themselves, it's hockey, not basketball. 

This has been a New York team since 1972, a large majority of the fans came from watching games on WOR in seventies from inside NYC, and as Wang said before the referendum vote in 2011 unscripted forty percent of season tickets were from inside NYC. (despite how low season ticket numbers were)

Negotiations are from now through 12/31/17 on a new lease, then from 1/1/18 to 1/30/18 we see if one or both sides opt out.

No one opts out the lease runs until 2040. 

Nassau does not work, has not worked since 1989, NYI needs to be a NYC team, and fight to improve it's professional media coverage, and eliminate credentials for all bloggers. (including those who are Stan Fischler's interns)

And most fans are smart enough to understand these amateur bloggers/pod casters want a job in media, and know bringing up Dolan is a bad career move as his long media arm can open or close doors for them permanently. The Islanders are an easy target with no media reach or ability to respond so they get hammered. 

The former Ranger beatwriters from Daily News who run, and made a career knocking them in print would fire Brian Compton for a younger, cheaper writer if he did not sell the Islanders the way the Garden/Dolan want it.

Basically the best narrative to explain coverage would be Rose and Kris King (former Ranger/NHL SVP) try to justify Vanek's no-goal with a straight face, they know what they cannot talk about which could have resume changing ramifications.

Either fans are smart enough to understand what's happening or they don't. Best way you can help this franchise is to fill seats at Barclay's and defeat the false narratives created. 

The Sound Tigers basically have to win or face a season where they will miss the playoffs in the division they are in vs finishing first in the other division. Worcester will be announced as the new ECHL affiliate when the current season is concluded.

Updated: Bridgeport lost 7-0/eliminated from playoff contention. 

As for the final NHL standings what can be written? Most years I write here it takes fifteen games over to qualify, that's what it took. Those fans/media on 6-3-1 bandwagon were wrong, 9-3-1 was not enough.

No team for a third straight year had a worse schedule, and this was the worst schedule of all. This team basically lived in hotels for the final month and a half, coming home was a one-day cameo. The Winnipeg cancelled game at Devils gave them a rest, and some time to practice, while the Islanders were exhausted entering that game.

Two years ago it took seventeen games over for the 8th seed, and in this division the Islanders would have been the 8th seed if they were nineteen games over.

My thoughts on Garth Snow are simple, eleven years is enough. This was the new majority owners chance to prove things have changed, and now they will pay at the box office. If Weight is the correct choice it should not have been Snow's decision to make.

Snow should not have picked any coach, his successor should have decided on Weight or someone with real experience, who has not been an assistant since 2011-12, and assistant gm since June 2014, with a power-play he could not improve.

Weight rarely had the chance to run real practices with 40 games in 75 days during his tenure, he has zero coaching experience, and being a good quote wears off fast if you don't win. Also many of his decisions were boom or bust gambles. In elimination games Hickey played left wing, while the 5th overall pick who plays left wing was not recalled.

Snow is great at always making sure there is depth around, even for meaningless games, I think Weight just went with his gut. He had some of those big losses, I kept asking here why they never lose badly during the first half.

Despite Weight's record the big losses arrived.

Not about Snow's decisions in a terrible market last summer, and Ladd was hardly a poor decision but has to produce more overall. Nielsen was an awful decision for Detroit who finished -20.

Okposo is a good player, and was the best right wing available, Snow left himself open there, and when you saw Clutterbuck as your most qualified RW, there is a problem, but they could have resigned Okposo, and had the same problem.

Overall it took too long for the new players to adjust here, whether Ladd was hurt or not. Chimera changed positions, and despite goal totals, how he got there did not help. Kulemin had a good year, Clutterbuck seemed like he could not keep gutting it out after doing it so many times the previous year.  Quine/Prince could not settle into a position long enough, or were hurt too often.

Bailey had his best year, but when he disappeared offensively it was noticeable. Ho-Sang will have to keep improving, and get his twenty goals to contribute. Write what you like about Nelson but a 6'3 230lb center at age 25 with three straight 20 goal/40 point seasons has value.

I understood the need to carry three goaltenders to start the season, and even though Halak has the highest ceiling, and proved it at the WC, he put the organization in this spot with his constant groin injuries, and something behind the scenes which makes other teams always trade him. The odds of him being healthy the entire season were long.

Halak/Berube have the same agent, Mr Walsh decided it was best for Berube to chance sitting again, and receive NHL money over AHL money, and work elsewhere, so no sympathy there.

No knock on Berube for me, he got seven starts, and had points in five of them. Halak/Greiss lost games in regulation to the teams he won or got a point against. 

Defensively Boychuk's loss was a big factor, Hamonic had a very rough year as if his injuries caught up with him. Seidenberg was the defender they needed for years at +25, but he's keeping Pulock off the defense so pick your alternative. Hickey struggled, de-Haan was excellent, as was Leddy.

Outside of Seidenberg everyone is signed, they have a ton of options, and some players who merit a look in Bridgeport. I don't think Mayfield (signed for next season) would clear waivers again, Pelech is a RFA.

My expansion draft guess is Strome or Nelson are claimed unless someone waives their NTC like Boychuk, or Ladd. If that is the case my guess is deHaan is selected. 

Most of this team will return because they are signed, it's not a league of big trades any longer with a cap, and those thinking Snow should have built a team like Pittsburgh/Chicago/Tampa/Edmonton did are not realistic, the NYI did not own the top of the lottery (besides Tavares pick) or in an era all those franchise players got the front-loaded money for over a decade you cannot sign players for in this CBA.

Tavares (like Stamkos) has until 6/31/18 to resign, the notion it must be done a year early is a Staple narrative, not reality for other pending UFA simply to stir the pot.

If Tavares wants to resign he will. Lee keeps proving he's a top line talent regardless who he plays with.