Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
A couple of words about tanking a season: It works. Lemieux saved the franchise as a superstar player and again as principal owner. In the latter capacity, he pulled the old bait and switch with Kansas City, making believe he was going to move the franchise so he could get Pittsburgh officials to build a new arena. Who knows where the Penguins would be had they not been bad enough to land Mario?
Ineptitude paid off again early this decade when the Penguins finished last for four straight seasons (one place ahead of the Stirling-Bylsma Islanders in 2005-06). That enabled them to draft Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, which transformed them into the NHL’s glamour team.
All of this is encouraging for the Islanders as they endure a rough year in last place. This is not to say they are tanking or that they should. There is no Lemieux or Crosby in the 2009 draft. But there is hope. The Penguins are living proof of what can happen if you play your cards right, as long as you have a bad hand.
Just be cautious and patient. The Penguins finished last in both Lemieux’s and Crosby’s rookie seasons.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
The news doesn’t get much worse than this for a 30th place NHL team playing without it’s All-Star goaltender. But the Islanders just announced that center Doug Weight, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the second period last night against the Devils, is out for six weeks.
From Justin Kendall at The Pitch:
I called Neil deMause a couple of weeks ago. He’s the author of Field of Schemes, a Web site devoted to the ins and outs of stadium deals. He also lives in New York. deMause told me that “everybody’s freaking out” about the possibility of the Islanders skating to KC.
“The tabloids are in at least in 50 percent panic mode,” deMause said. “What are we going to do? This means we need to get an arena deal done. If that was the intent, then it’s working really well.”
But deMause added some clarity.
“You don’t leave New York for Kansas City,” deMause said. “Even in a down economy, there’s more opportunities to make money in New York.
“Maybe if Nassau Coliseum were literally falling down, and they felt like we’re not going to get anything, but they’re pretty close to getting deal in Long Island,” he added. “It’s just a matter of getting the local government to sign off on some of the approvals. It’s not like there was $300 million gap or something like there was in Seattle.”
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday.com:
When everyone looks back on it, this Islanders season might not seem a total loss after all. Aside from possibly helping them ace the draft lottery, 2008-09 looks from here as if it will be remembered as the season Kyle Okposo really earned his NHL sweater, and a USA Olympic jersey.
It is not too early to think about Okposo’s future, which looks brighter by the day. It definitely is not too early to think about next February and the Vancouver Winter Games.
Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat wrote this before the Islanders lost 1-0 tonight in Tampa…
I survived the pirate invasion during the Gasparilla Festival parade and came away with a handful of colored beads for my effort this afternoon in downtown Tampa, but the Islanders might be another story. An afternoon nap is part of the pre-game routine for some players, but that was next to impossible at the team hotel located on Sedon Channel, where cruise liners and pleasure craft alike dock within walking distance of the St. Pete Times Forum, where the Isles meet the Lightning tonight.
Radio color commentator Chris King reports that a large flotilla of private boats docked in the marina outside the hotel kept up a cacophony of loud music and cannon fire the entire afternoon as revelers dressed in pirate costumes partied like it was 1784. Let me tell you the toy cannons they fire from the boats in the channel and the floats in the parade pack quite a wallop.
continue if you want to read more about the Gasparilla Festival (which I happened to witness first hand in the early 1990’s.)
from Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank,
How do you respond to a fraud?
Do you even try?...
Do you link to all the stories written by pros questioning his integrity and even his life story?...
Do I discuss how the Islanders once caught the fraud back-timing his reports to make it look like he had a trade scoop before anyone else?
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
If I were John Tavares, I would be clear about my future and make certain I never play for the New York Islanders.
Tavares hasn’t said that much—and quite likely he won’t. But if I were in his position, as the logical No. 1 pick in June’s National Hockey League entry draft, I would pull a John Elway, an Eli Manning or an Eric Lindros.
And find a way to get out of playing for the Islanders.
If you think about it, why would anyone with dreams and aspirations of greatness want to play for the Isles?
They have become a Gertrude Stein kind of franchise: “There is no there there.” From the owner to the front office to the players to an old rink and older fan base, there is nothing about the Islanders that represents hope.
read on for more hockey notes…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
...because NHL owners couldn’t bear the prospect of giving a portion of their revenue-share money to the Blackhawks back in 2005 when Bill Wirtz was doing his very best to drive his historic franchise into the ground, they concocted a clause in the CBA that prohibits teams in television markets with more than 2.5 million homes from eligibility to participate in Bettman’s socialism.
It is a clause that disqualifies the Islanders, even though they are about as big-market as Edmonton, and far more needy. It’s a clause that discriminates against the Islanders, even though they are as much in need of aid as the Coyotes, who are receiving advances from the NHL even while employing the top-paid coach in the league.
more and a few more hockey topics too…
...Mike Comrie is enjoying his break with Hilary Duff.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com