Kukla's Korner Hockey
by William Morrison on 09/14/11 at 09:31 AM ET
According to Newsday and Bob McKenzie, John Tavares is close to signing a big, long-term contract extension with the Islanders. Reports are that the deal will be around six years with an average salary of around $5.5 million. If Tavares does indeed sign an extension, it guarantees that the Islanders core of Michael Grabner, Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson, and Tavares are all signed long-term. People criticize GM Garth Snow for many things, but one thing they can’t get on him for is wasting any time signing the Isles most important players. Maybe after JT signs his extension, the media across the border will finally stop reporting that he wants off of Long Island and wants to play for the Leafs.
Last night, the Baby Isles took Game 2 of a back-to-back rookie game series against the Baby Bruins 7-2. Anders Nilsson played well in net for the Islanders. All indications are that he is going to really challenge for a spot in Bridgeport this season. Nino Niederreiter once again showed why he is basically a shoe in to make the Isles roster. Niederreiter, after having a good game on Monday night, scored 1 goal and added an assist. Ryan Strome scored 2 goals and also added a helper.
On Monday night, the Isles lost to the Baby Bruins 8-5. One of the bright spots for the Islanders was Nino Niederreiter, who scored 2 goals. Mikko Koskinen started in net for the Isles on Monday and looked really, really bad. My live stream wouldn’t work for some of the game, but the goals that I saw him give up should have been easily handled. Koskinen was frequently out of position and gave up way too many rebounds. Nino fought hard to gain position in front of the net and showed that he has no hesitation using his body to get where he wants to go on the ice. Ryan Strome, Kirill Kabanov, and Justin DiBenedetto also looked very impressive. Kabanov netted 1G and added a helper.
There were two significant injuries in the rookie games to players who had a shot to make the Islanders out of camp. On Monday night, Rhett Rakhshani suffered a concussion. The severity of the concussion is unknown at this point. Mark Katic, another player hoping to make the NHL roster, suffered a separated shoulder in last night’s game. Mitchell Theoret also left last night’s game early, but the significance of his injury is not yet known.
There are no official stats kept on the rookie games, so these stats are based on the parts of both games I watched when my live stream was actually working and from live tweeting of other writers and bloggers who were either at the games or watching via the live stream.
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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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