Kukla's Korner Hockey
The New York Islanders announced today that forward Anders Lee has agreed to terms on a four-year contract.
Lee scored 25 goals and 41 points in 76 games as a rookie last season with the Islanders. The Edina, MN, native finished second on the Islanders in goals and fourth among National Hockey League rookies.
“Anders has proven to be an effective goal scorer over his two seasons with the club,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We’re thrilled to have another home-grown talent signed long term.”
The Islanders selected the 24-year-old winger in the sixth round (152nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. He has 57 points (35 goals, 22 assists) in 100 career NHL games and 46 points (25 goals, 21 assists) in 59 career American Hockey League games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“I’m extremely excited to finalize this deal and ensure that I’m a New York Islander for the next four seasons,” Lee said. “The organization has been nothing but first class to me from the moment I was drafted. I look forward to competing for the Stanley Cup in each year while playing in front of the best fans in the NHL."
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
"We obviously have an opening in net behind Jaro [Halak]," Snow said. "That’s no secret. I don’t anticipate [blueliner Lubomir] Visnovsky coming back so there’s potential for one of our young defensemen to earn a spot, whether it’s [Scott] Mayfield, [Ryan] Pulock, [Griffin] Reinhart, we’ll see what happens via the trade route at the draft and then look into free agency. Those are not guarantees. We feel we have a good group. I’m not shy to say we’d be happy to have the same group back."
But will it include top-line winger Kyle Okposo? Veteran Islanders beat writer Arthur Staple, who is very plugged into the team he covers, raised eyebrows last weekend when he suggested Okposo could potentially be traded.
Snow when asked by ESPN.com refused to comment on the report or those rumors. Clearly from my own re-con I can say other teams have phoned on Okposo, but whether or not the Isles are actively shopping him doesn’t seem clear.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Kyle Okposo, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $14-million contract, could be on the trading block, according to two league sources outside the Islanders' organization.
The 27-year-old wing has posted the best back-to-back seasons of his career, but Snow might not be interested in ponying up for a long-term deal for Okposo, who missed 22 games after emergency surgery to repair a detached retina in January.
Both sources indicated that nothing appears to be imminent. But with eight teams already committed to at least $63 million on a projected $71-million salary cap for 2015-16, player moves could come fast and furious during draft weekend, and Okposo's extremely modest $2.8-million cap hit could be enticing.
Snow would not discuss specific players, but he told Newsday he will be busy fielding and making trade proposals, either to move players or maneuver up the draft board with only a pair of picks among the first 100 selections at his disposal.
No penalty on the play and Boyle went to the dressing room and did not return.
via the New York Islanders,
Islanders TV brings you a time-lapse of the final breakdown of the Ice before the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum closes.
from Cory Wright of the Islanders' website,
As the Islanders bundled their sticks, packed their bags and cleaned out their lockers this week, many took a moment to pay their respects to the franchise’s home for the last 43 years, Nassau Coliseum.
Players walked down the tunnel to the ice – the Islanders logo still painted at center – and took a look around. The banners still hung proudly, the air full of history, as bittersweet memories of the final game here – a 3-1 Game 6 win – slowly sunk in.
To some it’s just a rink, but to the Islanders – many of whom have known no other team – it’s so much more.
“It’s been home for six years for me,” John Tavares said. “It’s a lot more than just a building and playing games here.”
The Islanders worked and played together here nearly every day for eight months per year for 42 seasons. You can tell it’s been lived in. The low-hanging ceiling tiles outside the locker room have been dented by countless soccer balls, much like a dinged garage door after a summer of ball hockey. There are marks on the Expo Hall floor, from pucks being stickhandled before games. There are layers of paint covering up scratches from equipment bags and carts.
from Mark Hermmann of Newsday,
Hockey has no prescribed ritual to mark the end of an era. It has only the traditional end-of-series handshake line, which didn't do justice to the Islanders' loss Monday night. This one meant the end of the Islanders as a Long Island team. And it was a distant farewell to Nassau Coliseum.
The only responses were sadness, quiet and thanks, with an emphasis on the latter. Thanks to the Coliseum for being such a worthy home for 43 years and thanks to the people who always went there.
"It's hard to believe it's over. You put so much into the season, into the series," John Tavares said after a 2-1 loss to the Capitals in Game 7. Referring to Islanders fans, he added, "We're disappointed for them. I don't think we talked about it a whole lot, but we knew what this season meant, playing at the Coliseum. How they responded to us was absolutely tremendous."
added 8:52am, from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It will be different now, will have a different flavor when the Battle of New York becomes an inter-borough rivalry. If the Islanders can build off this season that ultimately built unrealized expectations and left unrealized the dream of one more playoff showdown against the Rangers, then the next stage of the rivalry can be as satisfying as the first phase.
And really, remembering the romance of the Coliseum is a fine thing, but the Islanders sure couldn’t have thought it romantic for most of the last 20 years in which their own fans were outnumbered in their old building by Ranger fans, and often by a sizeable margin.
Fans on the Island probably don’t want to hear this as any more than the employees of Sterling Cooper wanted to hear it when it came out of Don Draper’s mouth, but it’s true: “Hold on. It’s not the end. It’s the beginning.”
It’s the beginning of Rangers-Islanders and the Battle of Brooklyn.
Capitals defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 in game 7 and will now play the New York Rangers.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
There’s no telling how tonight’s decisive Game 7 between the Islanders and Capitals will play out, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that their first-round series got to this point.
There was little to distinguish these Metropolitan Divison rivals, results-wise, during the regular season. Both ended up with 101 points. Both won a combined 40 games in regulation and overtime. Both were strong on the road, picking up 22 victories. They were so close that home ice for this game had to be decided by a count of points gained in head-to-head play, the NHL's third tiebreaker. The Caps earned the edge, 6-5, on the strength of a shootout win over the Isles on Feb. 21.
Maybe that will pay off for the Capitals tonight. Or not.
In fact, losing that game might have been the best thing that could have happened to the Islanders, at least if recent history counts for anything.
Six series went to a seventh game during last spring’s tournament. Five of them were won by the visiting team, though home clubs hold an all-time mark of 91-65.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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