The only comment I will write beyond the 5/16 entry on the CBA is this blog does not do leaked speculation, guesswork or the usual source-game on other details of the CBA.
There is a lot more to be done which this blog touched upon, when the league or NHLPA get specific, so will this blog about those issues.
For many this is about page-views so they need to write about something/anything. For others it’s what suits their market best which is just a media/blogger game with many editors pulling the writers string because they need x teams advertising or are fans of the teams they cover.
Of course there is a segment of the media who act like the pr wing of the NHLPA, they want their local team to have spending advantages/more subjects to write about.
The New York Islanders do not have a professional media or a home newspaper, they have the worst media of any professional team in North America. The lack of professional, credible reporting on the club leads some to whatever is written anywhere.
That’s a waste of your time.
The lockout is not a story in New York, same as 2004-05, it cannot compete with the big market sports.
NHL.com Apparently the Edmonton Journal/Sun or Canadian papers are not Dolan’s Newsday in a very big rush to push out the New York Islanders who’s lease expires a year before the Isles. For the Oilers owner, Darryl Katz, they demand more taxpayer funding & more. (which all New York/New Jersey teams receive)
Compare this with what Charles Wang was willing to sign a lease agreement for last summer, look at what Nassau is offering today (nothing) vs Edmonton. Mr Katz did not spend close to nine years, his share of twenty million dollars for his first plan with no return.
Katz will not even meet with the local government, he did apologize recently for his conduct in Seattle.
Under the original deal, city taxpayers and ticket buyers would pay to build the arena, which was initially pegged at $450 million. But with land, borrowing and surrounding infrastructure factored in the price is now at $700 million and rising.
The Oilers would keep all profits from NHL games, trade shows, concerts and other events for 11 months out of the year. The team would also keep naming rights for the building (worth up to $3 million a year), along with $2 million a year from the city for a decade for advertising.
Concession sales alone are pegged at $20 million a year.
In return, the Oilers would pay the city $5.5 million a year for 35 years and pay to operate and run the arena, pegged at $10 million a year.
Katz, however, said the franchise is bleeding money. Along with the $6 million, the Oilers are also reportedly seeking tax breaks and a casino licence. The Oilers say the city can afford its new demands because the estimated $1.2 billion in extra money that will fill city coffers due to rising property values around the arena will actually be closer to $2 billion.
For those scoring at home, I have not forgotten about former LA Daily News beatwriter turned team blogger, Rich Hammond deciding to leave the Kings to cover another sport because the NHL media relations office (the one run by former Ranger Daily News die-hard John Dellapina, banned by the NHL media website during the last lockout which includes former Ranger die-hard, Frank Brown) deciding Hammond interviewing prospects about the lockout as a Kings employee was not acceptable.
The hypocrisy banned professional writer Dellapina displayed in 2004-05 vs NHL media relations coordinator Dellapina displays in 2012 is disappointing.
It should be noted the Orange County Register who hired Hammond did not add him for hockey coverage (they have had a long-time dedicated Ducks beat) in a market that barely acknowledges hockey, even when finally winning a Stanley Cup.
Hammond as a beat writer for the Los Angeles Daily News could interview anyone his editor allowed, however as an employee of the Los Angeles Kings, he must follow the NHL policy on how team employees conduct themselves, his obvious issue is with the NHL, not the Kings by his words so he decided to move on.
Mr Hammond proved a team sponsored blog can work when it’s done by an experienced professional writer who understood how to cover games, players, and tell a teams story that was hardly a playoff lock in 2012. Mr Hammond did not turn the Kings management into reality television despite many losing seasons or bring an agenda to the table for the purpose of making himself the story.
Hammond did not go to the Larry Brooks school of shock-jock journalism which is why his work connected.
There will be no PHWA (professional hockey writers association) comment/protection here because when Mr Hammond joined an NHL organization he was no longer part of that group.
As a New York Islander employee, Chris King, cannot go interview Travis Hamonic about lockout negotiations. Don Laibel Utica Observer Dispatch, who has interviewed King/many with ties to the Islanders working for a newspaper last summer is not bound by NHL rules.
For those scoring at home the heavily promoted Nets preseason opener received only an announced 14,000+ attendance rating for a Monday night game.
Hockey would have received far less regardless who participated.
A lot of questions for this club on paper if it enters training camp and next season as it’s currently constructed.
For me I do not really see hiring a coach as a huge question. Some will point out the club has never hired a coach this late but this season is starting a week later anyway. Does Tampa even have a general manager in place?
The important questions are ones that are frankly going to determine if this club can stay competitive in the first twenty games regardless of who is behind it’s bench.
For myself these are the questions that have to be looked at:
1. Is Mike Sillinger going to be at full strength from day one off his surgery given he has had to stay off skates for months with some reports that he would not be able to skate until August?
Will Guerin be at full strength, what about Comrie or Rick DiPietro?
Are Witt, Sutton close to a hundred percent after the injuries they had?
For that matter is Bergenheim fully healed after apparent injuries cost him most of the World Championships? Campoli has been off since early January, Gervais concussion problem was a serious issue at the end of last season.
The younger players recovering from injuries are a concern but for players who need to be in top conditioning like Guerin or Sillinger it’s critical because they must have one more huge year at a point where frankly if they were healthy all summer asking for the kind of production it will take could be too much.
2. What will the club be getting from Jon Sim, will he hit that wall that many do skating off that kind of injury where many say it takes two full years to regain the speed and quickness? This club desperately needs those seventeen goals he scored for Atlanta.
3. Isles need the version of Doug Weight who produced two years ago, anything less on a club with so many offensive holes could frankly be fatal, will he even match Vasicek’s early production?
4. What someone step up to make this powerplay better who can work the puck to the right player in the right spot? Will someone step up with Mark Streit and be a true number two point man with the entire defense signed beyond a year with only room for a trade/injuries?
5. Perhaps the second biggest question after the veterans health.
Can Comeau, Okposo, Bergenheim and especially Tampbellini produce enough to keep the club competitive. Will Hunter be able to produce more goals. A few of these players have to put up twenty goals or more or the club will not stay competitive. Okposo is going to have to give production on a level with a first or second line NHL right wing, same for whoever are the two left wings in the top six.
This is not 1999 where Tim Connolly is being asked to produce out of a draft, it’s not the same as when Taylor Pyatt or Juraj Kolnik were thrown into spots, outside of Okposo these players have been in this organization for almost five years in many cases, it’s showtime or go time.
6. Will the toughness factor be a problem with no true enforcer among the forwards or does the lack of enforcer mean Sutton, Witt have to become more involved in that role?
Some questions will work out ok, others will not. Isles have options and competition for spots which will settle some questions but not all of them.
Not many answers on paper in early August. I would not be shocked to see a trade or two toward the end of camp.
Rocky Mountain News: Rick Sadowski wraps up Colorado’s season with former Islander Ryan Smyth’s comments on a fourteen goal season in fifty five games with two goals and three assists in eight playoff games for the first season of his five-year, $31.25 million contract last summer as a free agent.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Going back to last summer I was glad the Isles did not do whatever it took financially to sign him, he’s not a seven million dollar player and to give him a Yashin-like contract would have only hurt the franchise. Ryan Smyth at his best is a good player, a lot like Peca with good offensive skills but this is not a franchise offensive star with great offensive speed or skilks. He brings good intangibles and character but if you are looking for an offensive talent to carry your offense Smyth is not that player with a great shot or great speed/passing skills.
Kevin Lowe got a lot of abuse for not resigning him but he’s still a smart enough gm to know when a players best is behind him. He saw it before everyone with Janne Niinimaa and a few others, that surface in Edmonton also helps players games so when they change teams it’s a factor.
You can bet on this roster as the first line left wing even if Comrie and Guerin were signed to play next to him those numbers would likely have been even lower.
Maybe next season he returns and does a great job and proves me wrong, but if he cannot stay healthy and produce big numbers with a Sakic and the great offensive talent on the roster (not to include Forsberg as a rental) why would anything think things will get better unless the support talent can find the time and space to get him the puck.
Sure we can debate whether he would have signed here for significantly more money than another club offered and by his agents comments the Isles were in it until the end but what’s done is done.
Hard to see the 2007-08 Islanders doing any better on the ice with Ryan Smyth given his performance in Colorado.
Tsn.ca: Reports the Detroit Red Wings have signed right wing Darren McCarty to a one-year contract and assigned him to Grand Rapids on a 14-day conditioning loan.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Were off and running with the first transaction. Unless Peter Forsberg decides to change his mind and play for a club I’m not expecting any more moves along these lines.
Updated 4:45 pm
Tsn.ca: Reports Peter Forsberg has signed with the Colorado Avalanche for the rest of this season.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
I had no idea when I mentioned him earlier today, I guess he changed his mind but it made me laugh.
Good news is we can stop hearing the reports on his injury, better news the league is a better place with him in it. Bad news we have to go through this again as soon as the summer.
All these news feeders all set up for trades and we get two signings……lol
Garth Snow, you go right ahead and sign Kenny Jonsson.
Tsn.ca: Reports the Flyers The Lightning have shipped forward Vaclav Prospal to the Philadelphia Flyers for defensemen Alexandre Picard and a second or third round draft pick in 2009.
If Philadelphia qualifies for the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals Tampa Bay will receive Philadelphia’s second-round pick in 2009, and if they do not the Lightning will receive Calgary’s third-round pick in 2009.
Tsn.ca: Reports The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed the 31-year old defensemen Dan Boyle to a six-year, $40 million dollar deal.
TSN has learned that the deal will pay Boyle $6.66 million per year for six years. The deal will include a no trade clause in the first four years and a modified no trade in years five and six.
Tsn.ca: Reports the St. Louis Blues have signed the Barrett Jackman to a four year contract extension worth $14.4 million.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
That noise you hear in the background is Brian Campbell’s agent cheering.
NY Times: George Vecsey has a full feature article on Ted Nolan with comments from Charles Wang, Bill Guerin and Mike Sillinger.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Usual first class work by Mr Vecsey who covered the Islanders during the dynasty years and was at the Coliseum for Al Arbour’s press conference.
Winnipeg Free Press: Gordon Sinclair jr reports Chris Simon flew to Winnipeg Friday, met with Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine and delivered a message of inspiration at the Manitoba Youth Centre.
Mr Sinclair interviewed Chris Simon outside and he reported the Islander winger who’s suspension is up on Feb 20th acknowledges he made some mistakes but that anyone who knows him understands there is nothing wrong with him as he briefly touched up his counseling.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Really good article that’s worth reading, too bad no one else picked up on it or will come the time he does return because it was very classy for Chris Simon to fly all the way to Winnipeg to meet the kids and I have no doubt this is the kind of man he is outside a hockey rink because I have read these kinds of stories through most of his playing career.
As for Chris Simon a few hard questions have to be asked. Can he play effective hockey in pressure situations and not over-react in a profession where his specific role is to over react and if he tries to control himself can he still be an effective hockey player?
How will Mr Wang and Ted Nolan feel if there is another incident which is why I ask is their loyalty and support to this man’s on-ice career part of the problem?
Based on what happened after his first suspension what’s going to be different this time?
What if a player decides to go over the line with Simon, who no doubt at this point will have players from other club’s doing all they can to get him off his game to provoke him and likely more.
Also a very fair question has to be asked who leaves this team for his return because Chris Simon, Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenheim, Ruslan Fedotenko and Richard Park are the club’s left wingers with Andy Hilbert also capable of playing the left side. Past this season Jon Sim is a left wing with two year’s remaining on his contract. From a hockey standpoint all of these players bring more on-ice value to the club than Chris Simon and if the team does drop out of contention how do you not play your prospects in Comeau and Bergenheim who are visible and work hard most games?
Should I even mention Jeff Tambellini is a left wing who’s dominating for Bridgeport on a club desperate for scoring?
And if the club does get hot how do you pull players who likely contributed to that?
Newsday did not pick up this story or even tell the fans there is a game Saturday afternoon as Mr Boland filed his story Friday and his editor did not include space to tell folks there is a game today. If your a casual fan looking for Islander hockey today you will not know the Islanders are playing.
No Islander blogs either folks unless you go to Steve Zipay’s page who apparently get’s paid by the word based on how much he is blogging for his beat.
Sporting News: Reports in a feature number one goaltender Cristobal Huet will start against the Islanders today.
One period, one goal against for Rick DiPietro.
The Western Conference scored their only goal in the opening twelve seconds while DiPietro was talking on a live microphone through the first period.
A few very good saves, one great one on Cory Perry.
Former Islander goalie Chris Osgood let in five but also made a few great saves. Eastern Conference while DiPietro was in had a big edge in the play.
Mike Emrick did a great job letting him do play by play in the final seconds.
MVP? Doubtful because he did not have to make a ton of great saves.
Eric Staal of Carolina won the MVP, Nabakov of San Jose was outstanding in the second period as was Tomas Vokoun of Florida.
Globe and Mail: David Shoalts felt Rick DiPietro was the games best player for the first twenty minutes in his recap.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio is in Binghampton blogging on the AHL all-star games and skills competiton reporting on how Jeff Tambellini is doing for the Canadian all-stars.
AHL.com: Recaps the skills competition which the Canadian all-stars lost.
All I can go by for now is what he said after Marian Gaborik took his second shot and was wired for sound as he went back to the sideline. On the play he was down on his stomach and kicked his left leg back against the post and made a great save.
Afterward he said as the mic was open as he skated back to the sideline after he made a quick comment on his save:
Timmy (Tim Thomas) you go in there, I’m done. Oh my god, I just blew my whole leg out. I’m out. You want to go? I just (expletive) up my hip again.
Afterward he stayed on the ice, was smiling and the camera’s caught him interviewing in the lockeroom with a big smile on.
Newsday: Greg Logan’s Sunday feature on the goaltender was not filed from Atlanta and before the skills competition.
Islanders website: Recap his very good night in the skills competition where he scored two goals and did not allow any. DiPietro told reporters after the competition that he was a little sore, but would still be okay to play in tomorrow’s All-Star Game.
I posted his post skills competition press conference where the media pressed him on getting hurt and he said he would be fine.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
This is a player who’s leg buckled less than a week ago in a game and according to media reports who had hip surgery after last season and was on crutches.
I have no idea about anything. If that’s what he said it’s impossible to know what happens from here. It was interesting to note he did not play in the youngstars game but that could have been predetermined.
All I do know is if he’s asking another goalie to go in for him during an event that’s not a good sign at all. His comments on a live open microphone speak for themselves.
AHL.com: Reports the Sound Tigers beat the Philadelphia Phantoms in a shootout Saturday night at Harbor Yard with Kyle Okposo scoring his second professional goal and Jeff Tambellini adding to his total, Matt Keith also scored for Bridgeport.
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio’s blog on the win reports Dustin Kohn appeared to seperate his shoulder,. Blake Comeau and Tim Jackman were sent to Bridgeport in terms of paperwork/salary cap savings but did not play in the game while Jeff Tambellini is simply dominating.
Islanders website: Has the recap of tonight’s 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers where Bill Guerin felt the team was sitting on the lead while Ted Nolan said the team did not play very smart after the first period with the forwards cheating by getting too far ahead of the defense.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
This loss stings worse than any this season to date because it was a game that the Isles were playing well and on their game. This is the kind of game you expect it to be a lock for them to get points from.
They did not even get it to overtime.
They did generate offense and were outworking Philadelphia despite falling behind and scored three goals Biron had little or not chance on which this team rarely does. Berard made a great pass to Park, Satan made a great play to hold the puck and feed Vasicek and Guerin snapped a great shot from his spot for the 3-1 goal.
For some reason the Isles powerplay could not generate chances with the lead after that to keep the pressure on Philadelphia and then Hatcher fought Hunter, the Flyers got position in front of the Islanders goal and overpowered Bergeron-Johnson for the 3-2 goal and that changed all the momentum. The Isles for all the second period and until Comrie’s chance about four minutes into the third had no pressure on Biron.
Meanwhile Philadelphia started earning powerplays and got a big break on the tying goal where a hard dump in with the powerplay seemed to hit two players going for the puck and went right in front for the tying goal and another hit the glass on a dump in which gave the Flyers the lead for good.
What was more disturbing was the Flyers were getting some great chances that DiPietro made some big saves on. The final goal was a play that was supposed to be icing but not called, Meyer tried a long pass which was intercepted and became a two on one which led to the 5-3 goal which was the final.
Philadelphia outhit the Islanders in front of both goals in this game which also was not a good sign. Hunter got bounced around good, three Flyers went to Guerin on one play.
The opening goal off the Johnson’s stick changed the passes direction which gave Hartnell position to beat Sutton for the shot.
Overall the Isles defense did not play a terrible game, Berard had two very good assists, Bergeron made a few good plays. The problem was the Flyers were able to play them physical. That second Flyer goal where Johnson and Bergeron were overpowered was not good.
Tough loss, no breaks either but after the first period Isles did not create any breaks for themselves and this is another game Isles did not seem comfortable on home ice. That goal off the glass was a killer but you cannot play one period in this league and this had the look of a game Isles could have made 5-1. Almost seemed like the Islanders wanted to get into a high scoring game after the first and they did have too much separation from the defense and the forwards were up looking to attack.
Richards made a fantastic shot for the 5-3 goal too. Have to admit Flyers defense was better than I have seen it in a few years.
That’s three losses in a row at home for the first time all season. Felt like the kind of loss you look back on as a turning point if the club falls out of contention.
NHL.com: Reports Rick DiPietro will be the Islanders representitive at the All-Star game in Atlanta.
Martin St. Louis
Islanders website: Confirms the announcement and that DiPietro just completed a one-on-one interview in Calgary with Islanders TV.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Flat out thrilled someone as deserving as DiPietro finally getting his due and a spot among the elite goaltenders and look forward to all-star weekend. I’m a little surprised Tomas Vokoun got in over a Martin Gerber or a Tim Thomas.
As an older fan it’s tough to remember back to the days of Bill Smith being an
all star and if I recall correctly he won the MVP in 1978. I do not recall Kelly Hurdey being selected as an Islander.
All I can do is repeat what the Islanders website wrote….CONGRATULATIONS RICKY.
Newsday: Greg Logan blogs about Rick DiPietro being named an all-star with comments from Ted Nolan & Mike Keenan.
“He’s been terrific for us. People here in the west don’t have a chance to see him that much. But we know what kind of goaltender he is, and the people here in the west can see what kind of goaltender we have on Long Island.”
ITV.com: Rick DiPietro gives a quick one minute interview with comments on being an all-star.
Newsday: Greg Logan’s article is on Eric Nystrom who grew up a die-hard Islander fan and lives down the street from Rick DiPietro in the summer and trains with him. Miroslav Satan sat out practice but is expected to play.
“It’s a little far from home,” Nystrom said wistfully. “It would be nice to get back and play a game . But this is great. I’m real excited; I know a bunch of guys on the Islanders, and I’d like to get one on Ricky. I’d have all summer for the bragging rights.”
Newsday/countless sources: Report on Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals signing a 13-year, $124-million contract extension yesterday with the Washington Capitals that he negotiated without an agent. It still does not eclipse Rick DiPietro’s contract in years which is noted in the article.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Is this why we had a lockout? Seems like this is what owners have to pay franchise players to keep them for their career because if Ted Leonsis did not give him this offer someone else would have as soon as they could. I wonder how DiPietro feels about this and Mike Richards contract because more and more it’s proving he did leave money on the table if he does play the entire length of the contract.
Ovechkin did not even need an agent to negotiate this deal. No doubt some of the jealously from Toronto and markets that could not sign him will produce criticism for Leonsis. Congratulations to Ovechkin who will no doubt be featured on the NHLPA site for this deal.
Newsday: Neil Best reports in his blog Newsday.com offers more Islanders stuff than ever and then goes into the seniority list at Newsday.
NYI Fan Central Comments:
Compared to when Newsday was covering the Islanders when they were winning the Stanley Cup or even in the 2002 playoffs when they were getting close to ten articles in one day’s paper?
Islanders now have a Thursday web feature, the Sunday agenda is controlled by the Rangers beat writer which is a disgrace considering John Dellapina and Larry Brooks already do this for the Rangers on Sunday.
It will be interesting to see if the club is happy with a coverage increase or if they want Mike Bossy used to talk about which is not just a fair share but what they deserve from the local paper.
Sorry gang, I come from a time where the Islanders could play a weeknight home game against a Western Conference team and draw the backpage of the Times, Post and Daily News. I’m not expecting that again but my point is the Isles as a franchise should not be satisfied or settle for what crumbs they can get here.
St Cloud Times: Kevin Allenspach has more on college prospects leaving programs with Kyle Okposo the focus and Don Lucia comments.
“I don’t think it’s a financial decision,” said Lucia, 49, who makes it sound like the players respond to a pied piper whenever an NHL representative starts talking. “From the (pro) teams’ perspective, why wouldn’t you sign someone when it’s cheaper to do so now than it was in the past? They use that adage ‘Bring ‘em all in and see who survives.’ They use the curve that ‘You’re going to have to spend some time in the AHL anyway, you might as well get started now.’ I guess I’m getting to be a dinosaur but, to me, it’s ‘Get your degree.’ How many of these players are really going to make a living for a long time playing hockey?”
National Post: Mark Spector has comments from Mike Sillinger and Bill Guerin on steroid use in professional sports.
“It would make you more powerful. I just don’t think it would make you a better hockey player,” reasoned New York Islanders forward Mike Sillinger. He has played for a dozen NHL teams in 17 seasons, and claims no knowledge of steroid use by a teammate. “The game’s played at a high speed, and you have to be able to think the game. [Steroids] might make you bigger, faster, stronger. But it’s not going to make you a better hockey player.”
“I don’t think anyone can even scratch the surface of where baseball is going,” Islanders winger Bill Guerin said. “Everybody was doing them.”
Calgary Herald: Jean LeFebvre has Eric Nystrom’s comments on what the Islanders meant to him growing up and Dubie’s mask with his father’s picture on it and how it came about.
“He’s following the tradition and the legacy on Long Island that my dad had a big part in building,” said Nystrom after meeting with Dubielewicz after Thursday’s practice. “He was part of those championship teams. There’s a strong tradition there and these guys are filling the tradition.”
“I didn’t really have much of an idea of what I wanted to do with my mask,” said Dubielewicz, who has a painted image of former Isles captain Denis Potvin on the other cheek. “Then a couple of guys came up (with the concept) of getting some of the heritage on there and I thought it was a great idea. Like Eric said, there’s a strong tradition on Long Island and obviously his father was a big part of it. I thought it’d be pretty neat to get some of that history on a mask.”
Albany Business Review: Reports a new business venture for Bob Nystrom as well.
Edmonton Sun: Derek Van Diest reports Robin Figren will be staying with the Oil Kings for the rest of the season with gm Bob Green’s comments.
“I definitely wanted to stay,” Figren said. “I really enjoy it here and I think things are going really well for me. I think we have a good group of guys and I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
“There were future considerations that we could have gotten for Robin in terms of younger players or draft picks,” Green said. “But I’ve been at the draft long enough to know that it can be a crap shoot. There’s no guarantee that when you get draft picks for good players that they’re going to turn into good players.
“It would have been nice to do that, but by the same token, Robin is a great person to have around. In dressing room the younger players really respect him and he’s a good leader.”