Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
Still, Wang says he is proud that he was able to save the Islanders from leaving Long Island nine years ago, and that it was important to him that the Island’s only professional sports team got a legitimate shot to succeed. Before Wang’s purchase of the team, many area public figures asked him to step in - an action that the financial documents show has cost him close to $300 million.
“I knew going in,” Wang said, “that I was going to lose money.”
National Hockey League Commissioner William Daly said the league is aware of Wang’s losses on the team. “His numbers are real,” Daly said. “Yes, we’re aware the Islanders lose money, a significant amount of money. And it goes back to the team’s need for a new arena.”
more on Wang and the Lighhouse project…
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
Consider this is a commentary on the state of New York area hockey, the only market anywhere, in any sport, that has three major-league teams: Right now, the hottest club around here is the Islanders.
Yes, the Islanders, 30th out of 30 National Hockey League teams in the regular season, are on April 29 the only ones who have something to which they can look forward. They’re the only ones coming off a victory, having won the draft lottery. They will be right in the mix of NHL talk from now until the draft in late June.
That is what is left of the New York hockey season, which came to a sudden ending for the Rangers and Devils in Game 7s Tuesday night.
from NYI Point Blank,
You can bank on this. If the Red Wings scouts truly knew Datsyuk and Zetterberg were going to be perennial all-stars, they would never have waited so long to take them. They might not have used a first or even a second round pick on them, but they would not have chosen Jari Tolsa (120th overall), Andrei Maximenko (149th) and Kent McDonell (181st) with their only three draft selections before tabbing Zetterberg.
Before they finally drafted Datsyuk, they would not have used rounds 2-5 to take Ryan Barnes, Tomek Valtonen, Jake McCracken, Brent Hobday, Calle Steen and Adam DeLeeuw.
The Datsyuk and Zetterberg picks were amazing. They were the stuff of which champions and legendary scouting careers are born. But don’t think teams - even as great as Detroit - have the ability to make a habit of it. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are the only A-list NHLers the Red Wings have produced in the late rounds since 1995. Other than the since-waived Kyle Quincey and maybe Darren Helm, they haven’t drafted any B-listers in the late rounds in the last 14 years either.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
So, the hockey world knows of Burke’s interest in the No. 1 pick. What is Snow’s position?
Asked today about Burke’s offer, Snow said, “I’m not going to comment on the conversation I had with another manager. But I’m not inclined to move the pick.”
Never mind that Burke doesn’t have the assets to come close to swinging such a deal or that he would have to enlist other competing teams to help in his quest. When Snow said on Monday that he would listen to trade offers as a matter of due diligence, that was before he knew exactly where he was picking. Now that he controls the No. 1 spot and the right to choose between Ontario-born sniper John Tavares and Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman, there’s a big difference.
“We’re in the driver’s seat,” Snow said.
from Neil Best of Watchdog at Newsday,
Charles Wang to WFAN regarding the trials and tribulations of owning the Isles: “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t do it.”
Not surprising, since he said the team is losing $25 to $30 million a year.
He also called the Nassau Coliseum as “dump.”
click for the link to listen to the audio interview…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
The Isles gave up at least five goals in nine of their last 12 games, which underlined how much they especially missed goaltender Rick DiPietro, who was limited to five games by a left knee that did not respond well to surgery in June and a second procedure in October.
Asked where DiPietro stands now, coach Scott Gordon said, “He’s upbeat. I don’t know the specifics of his timetable, but he’s been encouraged with the way things are going and he fully expects to be on the ice sometime in mid-summer and ready to go.’‘
Islanders fans will believe it when they see it. DiPietro recently was seen on crutches at the physical therapy facility where several Islanders do their rehabilitation. No explanation was immediately available from the Islanders, who previously released a statement saying he will be ready for training camp in September.
more on the Islanders
from the New York Islanders,
The Islanders have signed center Doug Weight to a one-year contract extension. In his first season with the Islanders, Weight is third on the team in scoring with nine goals and 26 assists for 35 points despite missing 29 games due to injury.
Weight originally signed with the Islanders as an unrestricted free agent on July 2, 2008. The contract runs through the 2009-10 season.
“Long Island has been a wonderful place for me and my family,” Weight said. “It was an easy decision to come back for another season. The Islanders have been a first-class organization and I’m looking forward to helping our team continue its development into a contender.”
via NYI Point Blank,
With four games remaining for both, the Islanders have 61 points, Colorado now has 66. Tampa Bay also has 66 points and three games left. If the Islanders lose in regulation on Tuesday in Carolina and on Thursday in Pittsburgh - a big if - they “clinch” a top 2 pick and the best odds of getting the No. 1 pick.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Their competition for the No. 1 spot in the draft lottery, which is assured of a top-two pick because no team can drop more than one spot, comes from 29th-place Colorado and 28th-place Tampa Bay, which visits the Coliseum Saturday night. The Isles are five points below the Avalanche, which has gone 9-25-1 in its last 35 games, including 0-7-1 in the past eight. The Lightning, which plays tonight at New Jersey, has gone 7-15-7 in its past 29 games, including 1-4-3 in its past eight. The Isles are 2-5-1 in their past eight games.
The Islanders still can get four points out of the final 10 available to them and be assured of No. 1 position in the lottery. So, it’s not like they have to lose every game.
But say it comes down to the final game of the season against Boston, and the top team in the Eastern Conference sits out its best players to rest up for the playoffs. Would the Bruins be tanking a regular-season game that could have a profound effect on the draft lottery?
from Justin Del Giudice at The Hockey News,
Doug Weight, a 16-year NHL veteran, was just entering high school as the Steve Yzerman era was beginning in Detroit. Only five years his senior, Stevie Y was the kind of player Weight modelled himself after.
“Yzerman was always my favourite player,” said Weight, a Warren, Mich., native and self-proclaimed Red Wings fan. “The way he played, the way he carried himself, that’s what made him great.”
Few would dispute the fact Yzerman was one of the greatest players in NHL history. Besides his knack for scoring big goals and racking up impressive statistics, it was Yzerman’s leadership that marked him as a true great, captaining the Wings for nearly two decades.
According to Weight, Yzerman is the benchmark for what great leadership really is: being genuinely dedicated to the team.
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.
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