Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: new york islanders
We haven't had this kind of day in a long time. It's the middle of July, officially, and while the Wings named their assistant coach and the Predators signed Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro, the balance of the day's stories have played out as follows:
The NHL also sent out this press release:
Isles replace Nabokov?
TSN's posting double doses of Insider Trading videos due to the massive amount of pre-draft trade talk, and I should've known better than to simply post the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's update on Jason Spezza's situation without looking for a rumor-related column on other Sun newspaper sites (the Ottawa Sun doesn't always post articles on his columnist page in a timely manner).
The Toronto Sun posted Garrioch's wining-and-dining update, and I need to say this out loud: while this summer's class of unrestricted free agents-to-be is particularly thin, I have the sinking feeling that we're going to see more classes like these--where second-line players and second-pair defensemen are the ones who hit the market and make top-player money, serving as the main source of player-value inflation (as yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika suggested).
The wining-and-dining period is great in terms of allowing teams to explain their expectations for players, and vice versa, but the number of offers these players are receiving over the course of consecutive days are driving up their asking prices considerably (of course, there are no numbers being exchanged ), and I really get the feeling that we're going to see Paul Stastny and Matt Niskanen become $7 million players come July 1st.
Anyway, here are Garrioch's updates regarding Stastny...
According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, the New York Islanders may own the 5th overall pick in the NHL draft, but they don't plan on using it to draft an 18-year-old:
he Islanders have the fifth pick in Friday's draft and, rather than going into draft weekend looking to add to their prospect pool as in years past, Islanders general manager Garth Snow is looking to trade that pick for NHL-ready talent after an unsuccessful season.
"We're open to trading the pick for someone we think can come in and help us right away," Snow said recently.
After spending last summer plugging smaller holes and prioritizing long-term deals for his own restricted free agents, Snow clearly wants to upgrade his roster this summer. He began doing it early, trading a fourth-round pick May 1 to the Caps for the rights to goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who signed a four-year, $18-million deal three weeks later to become the presumptive No. 1 goaltender the Isles haven't had.
The Islanders still need a backup or two, with Evgeni Nabokov having turned down a one-year offer. But now Snow's main focus is using that fifth pick to find either a top-pair defenseman or a top-line left wing to play alongside John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.
As noted during the GM's meetings post, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun tends to issue a set of "Rumblings" in conjunction with an episode of TSN's Insider Trading, and that is most certainly the case this evening. TSN's Darren Dreger, James Duthie and LeBrun spent three-and-a-half minutes discussing hot topics, and TSN conveniently provided a transcript of the video.
The Stanley Cup Final is on but GM's are already focusing about next season. We expect Brad Richards to be bought out by the New York Rangers - what about Mike Richards by L.A.?
Darren Dreger: Well the Los Angeles Kings don't plan on buying out Mike Richards because then they would have to replace him. But Mike Richards doesn't want to be a fourth-line centre next year for the Kings. The Kings are expected to push Richards in the off-season to improve his conditions and get a little bit stronger. But we also know that Richards is a strong and confident young man and he may not want to follow the path that the Kings want him to follow. So this could get very interesting.
Is current Philadelphia Flyer Vincent Lecavalier soon to be an ex-Flyer?
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Tags: dan+boyle, david+poile, garth+snow, los+angeles+kings, mike+richards, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, philadelphia+flyers, ron+hextall, shea+weber, toronto+maple+leafs, vincent+lecavalier
George here...This probably makes me a bad person, but USA Today's Nate Scott reports that Sabres goon John Scott was taken down by a young Islander, 5'10" rookie Justin Johnson, and well, sometimes it's good to see a hockey player who doesn't respect hs opponents get his just desserts:
I was perusing Twitter when I saw this:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson leads us up to the trade deadline wondering whether the trade deadline will in fact play out as witnessing Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim attempt to strike back at the St. Louis Blues' preemptive roster-strenghtening strike in bringing Ryan Miller and Steve Ott into the fold:
Do the Kings have to get New York Islanders’ unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek now, even if the whole world knows Vanek is going to sign in Minnesota, where he has a summer home? Or should they go for Matt Moulson, who played 29 games with L.A. after general manager Dean Lombardi signed him as a free agent out of Cornell University in 2006?
Do the Ducks, who have two first-round picks and two seconds this June and need a right-handed shooting defenceman, take a big swing at six-foot-eight Tyler Myers in Buffalo, even though his salary-cap hit is $5.5 million? They could offer somebody like forward Kyle Palmeiri, but would probably keep winger Emerson Etem and goalie Viktor Fasth.
Are the Sharks deep enough with the return of third-line winger Raffi Torres following knee surgery, No. 2 centre Logan Couture (hand operation), and rookie sensation winger Tomas Hertl (knee) skating again?
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, andrew+macdonald, buffalo+sabres, chris+phillips, christian+ehrhoff, dean+lombardi, kyle+palmieri, los+angeles+kings, matt+moulson, new+york+islanders, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, thomas+vanek, tomas+hertl, tyler+myers
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers a smorgasbord of rumor news in his last pre-trade-deadline Sunday missive, but the best way to summarize his statements involves encapsulating the following and letting you read on from there:
TOP 5 SELLERS
- BUFFALO SABRES - GM Tim Murray made a huge move Friday by dealing goaltender Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues. He isn’t finished yet, he still has Matt Moulson and anyone else up for grabs.
- EDMONTON OILERS - Craig MacTavish has been trying to make moves all year and he’s made a couple of deals. He’d like to move forward Ales Hemsky and will retain salary. A lot of teams will try to make a bigger deal for winger Jordan Eberle.
- N.Y. ISLANDERS - Losing captain John Tavares to injury gives GM Garth Snow the green light to move left wing Thomas Vanek and defenceman Andy MacDonald. Vanek might be the most sought-after player and MacDonald won’t be far behind.
- NASHVILLE PREDATORS - This might be a bit of a surprise but they are a longshot to make the playoffs. A lot of teams have called about centre David Legwand. He may not be the only one to go. Wouldn’t be surprised to see many gone.
- CALGARY FLAMES - Interim GM Brian Burke hasn’t made any bold moves since he took over but you can expect him to be busy. The club would like to keep UFA Mike Cammalleri but it’s doubtful he’ll stay. There are options for buyers.
Garrioch goes from there, listing his top 5 buyers, discussing Markov to Edmonton(?), the Stars' situation, news from Long Island, New York City, San Jose, Calgary, etc...
And this is just me, but if Garth Snow wants a top prospect, a 1st rounder and a 2nd rounder for Thomas Vanek, I may have considered that before Vanek confirmed that he wanted to test the maret...But now that he embarrassed himself and the Austrian Olympic team by going out and getting blotto with some teammates prior to battling Slovenia, I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole.
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Tags: ales+hemsky, andrew+macdonald, buffalo+sabres, calgary+flames, craig+mactavish, david+legwand, edmonton+oilers, garth+snow, matt+moulson, mike+cammalleri, nashville+predators, new+york+islanders, thomas+vanek
The Canadians squeaked out a 2-1 win over Latvia in the Olympic Quarterfinals, setting up a Friday semifinal against the U.S., but they'll be playing without a key contributor going forward:
Here's what the hit looked like:
I'm not exactly sure that you'd call this a blockbuster, but the Islanders' sell-off has begun:
But wait, there's more:
The Edmonton Journal's "Hockey World" columns now hit the web as a set of blog entries, and Paul covered this week's first entry, which discusses the play of Los Angeles Kings goaltender Ben Scrivens. Overnight, Matheson posted a slate of "Short Shifts" and a "This 'n' That" entry, and the former offers bite-sized observations in the, "I was thinking that, too!" department...
An NHL pro scout, after watching the Buffalo Sabres, said: “Ryan Miller is about all they’ve got. He’s playing unreal.” So where do the Sabres send the goalie at the trade deadline? Are the New York Islanders on his list of teams he’d play for? Are the Nashville Predators, if Pekka Rinne is out for longer than they thought?
- I find it interesting that the NHL was dead-set against those 12-year contracts for players, making a term of eight years for their own free agents and seven years for another team’s players the maximum, but jumped for joy when Rogers came up with the same 12-year, $5.2-billion TV deal.
- Defenceman Shea Weber will have a visor on when he returns to the lineup. The hockey gods smiled on him when David Perron’s shot hit the Nashville Predators’ captain around his right eye. He escaped major injury. Why any D-man would ever go without a visor is a mystery to me, with all the errant pucks. Marc Staal also got lucky last year when Kimmo Timonen’s deflected shot nailed him.
- Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie, Mike’s younger half-brother, has a routine at every stoppage where he comes to the bench and gets down on one knee, away from the other players, a la Tim Tebow. “It’s always the same place. I do some breathing exercises, trying to maintain my energy,” said Comrie.
It continues as well.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch must be doing triple time this weekend. He's offered all but "embedded" coverage of Daniel Alfredsson's return to Ottawa, but he still found the time to posit his weekly roundup of trade rumors, and he leads off with the suggestion that the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres may make another blockbuster trade:
Two league executives told the Sun that [New York Islanders GM Garth] Snow has been working the phones to see if he can get a goaltender to try to get the club back on track in the race for the post-seaason.
The ideal scenario: Convince Ryan Miller to waive his ‘no move’ clause and leave the Buffalo Sabres for a short-term stay in Long Island to help the club make the post-season.
Miller will find it a lot different with the Sabres under Ted Nolan. He is a players’ coach but he also likes things done his way. If they aren’t, he’ll come down hard on the offenders.
It may be in Miller’s best interests to move on. The Isles may be a longshot but they need to improve in net or it’ll be an even longer year and coach Jack Capuano is on the hotseat.
Former New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro tells the Globe and Mail's Viv Bernstein that he's doing quite well in the AHL at least on a personal basis, and the current Charlotte Checkers (the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate) goaltender tells Bernstein that he's very happy to be taking one final kick at the pro hockey can, but it sounds like DiPietro's going to have to move on to the next stop if he is to resurrect his career:
DiPietro has had a difficult start with Charlotte. He is 0-4 with a 5.18 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage in his first five games, including a 4-3 loss to the Rockford IceHogs on Sunday in which he made 26 saves. On a recent night when [Hurricanes GM Jim] Rutherford went to a mostly empty Time Warner Cable Arena to watch him play, DiPietro allowed five goals on 15 shots against the Hershey Bears and was pulled midway through the second period of a 5-3 loss.
“He doesn’t have his confidence now,” said Rutherford, a former NHL goalie. “That position, more than any other position in hockey, it’s important to have your confidence, and so he’s probably thinking too much while the game’s on, which isn’t a good thing.”
Only the NHL would take a good thing and ruin it.
Okay maybe they are not alone but they did create a great event with the Winter Classic in one (more) partial lockout possibly destroyed it.
The NHL made the Stadium Series as a way to create quick cash after the lockout. Let’s not pretend there is any other reason behind it, the NHL is a business, and the Stadium Series was created to make up revenue lost while the NHL and the players battled out the new CBA.
Now with so many outdoor names the casual fan that the NHL has been going after with these games (hey there are neat and a great way to teach the game and get some history in to these new and novice fans – not going to deny that); however, if people that follow the NHL to the point they write on an NHL teams blog are confused as to what is and isn’t the Winter Classic than you have to know that the new fans are just as lost if not more so.
Welcome to the morning after! A recap of the games from the night before and quick hit hockey news.
In Case You Missed It
New York Rangers at New York Islanders
Twenty-four hours after their home opener the Rangers were on the road again. This time just a short trip to the neighbors the Islanders.
After losing at home long time starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat out last night while rookie netminder Cam Talbot got the start.
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Tags: anaheim+ducks, chicago+blackhawks, edmonton+oilers, lundqvist+sits+in+win, montreal+canadiens, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+sports+daily, phoenix+coyotes, st.+louis+blues, teemu+selanne+stick+to+face, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets
Over the last 36-or-so hours, hockey pundits have dedicated a significant amount of bandwidth to dissecting the Thomas Vanek-Matt Moulson trade, attempting to discern whether either player has a long-term future with their new respective employers, or whether the New York Islanders or Buffalo Sabres "won" the trade.
In an "Ask Matty" column, I believe that the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson offers the most honest--and blunt--assessment of the trade:
Q: What do you think about Buffalo trading Thomas Vanek now and not waiting until the trade deadline? (Jeff Lore)
A: Embattled Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier did nicely to get first- and second-round draft picks and Matt Moulson for essentially a rental player, and he can use Moulson at the trade deadline to maybe get another first-rounder because he, too, is an unrestricted free-agent. Moulson, who had John Tavares passing him the puck on Long Island, will find it a tad more difficult to score goals in Buffalo with nobody nearly as good as Tavares in the Sabres lineup. Vanek is a better sniper, but Moulson is a solid NHL winger who can fill the hole for now. It’s not a deep amateur draft, but if Buffalo can move Moulson, they could still have three first-rounders in June. Question I have: didn’t the Islanders need UFA goalie Ryan Miller from Buffalo more than Vanek? Evgeni Nabokov is a middling tender, at best.
Matheson continues while answering Oilers-related comments, and I just don't know whether Garth Snow can convince Vanek to remain an Islander long-term. As ESPN New York's Katie Strang suggested, Snow made a "gamble" in removing Islanders captian John Tavares' closest on-ice pal from the equation:
What are the Islanders getting from Nabokov?
Nabokov is going to play for the Islanders this season, and he’s showing off his new mask. He’s keeping with the same theme on his mask, with the swamp zombie skull head, only this time the swamp zombie is done up in Islanders colors. The question is, after most of last season off, will Nabokov be fresh, healed, and ready to play, or is he liable to find himself stale?
In their first game since Friday’s goonfest against Pittsburgh, the New York Islanders are in Buffalo today to take on a Sabres team that needs to win in order to end the day within three points of a playoff spot.
It’ll be interesting to see what condition emotionally the Islanders are in today, not far removed from back-to-back nights that featured a nice shootout win in Montreal and an unforgettable team bonding exercise against the Penguins.
The Sabres obviously won’t complain if New York’s balloon deflates and they come out flat, but it would be foolish to expect it. The Islanders, who have already beaten the Sabres twice in the past month, are a close-knit group that at last check still has a talented group of young forwards playing on a team with nothing to lose.
Buffalo’s game plan should center around shutting down John Tavares, who had a 4-point night on Friday and has tallied 3 goals, 3 assists, and 16 shots on goal in three games against the Sabres this season.
Ryan Miller will likely get his 31st consecutive start, and Patrick Kaleta is expected to return to the lineup from injury. The Sabres defeated the Islanders in their only day game played thus far this season, while New York is 3-3-0 in day games.
Sometimes it’s as simple as your best players being your best players.
The Sabres earned a big 4-2 win in Boston last night, and regardless of what the 3-stars voters had to say, this game was about Ryan Miller (38 saves) and Thomas Vanek (game-winning goal, assist) coming through when it mattered most.
On the subject of Miller, there have been rumblings in the local media that he should get a game off before the All-Star break. The talk after last night’s game was about whether or not Patrick Lalime or Jhonas Enroth should start the following night against the New York Islanders.
This is the same media that reminds us continuously that the Sabres as an organization don’t display enough desperation. Sitting a healthy Miller tonight, when the alternatives are a guy who hasn’t won a single game since Easter and a rookie struggling to be a .500 goalie in the AHL, wouldn’t exactly exemplify a sense of urgency.
from New York Islanders beat writer Katie Strang via Twitter:
Rick DiPietro did not practice with #Isles today; he is flying back to NY for eval on his groin strain
Here’s another Rick DiPietro related tweet one from New York Islanders Examiner Jon Lane:
A groin strain put Andy Pettitte out for two months. We may not see the 15-year man for some time. #isles
From the New York Islanders:
The New York Islanders announced today that they have agreed to terms on a two year contract with defenseman Mike Mottau.
Mottau, 32, spent the last three seasons with the New Jersey Devils. Last season, the Quincy, MA, native scored a career high 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) and a +4 plus-minus rating in 79 games with New Jersey.
“Mike is a solid puck-moving defenseman who will bring more experience to our blueline,” said General Manager Garth Snow.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Mottau found a home, but the injury to Mark Streit obviously created an opening the Islanders needed to address.
Good for Mike and good for the Islanders.
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Sources tell TSN that the New York Islanders and veteran forward Chris Simon have agreed that time away from the team is needed to come to terms with his recent on-ice behavior and potentially, his playing future.
Islanders owner Charles Wang met Simon earlier today to discuss the direction best suited to provide Simon with the support he deserves.
Simon has been granted time away from the team to seek counselling, or any other method to help restore his career.
Updated 3:48pm ET: Confirmation from the Islanders:
Charles Wang: “The actions of Chris Simon on Saturday do not reflect what the New York Islanders stand for. They were reckless, potentially dangerous and against our team concept of grit, character and heart.
“We know Chris as a respected teammate and as a gracious man away from the playing surface and believe strongly that he has earned our continued support. The Islanders are going to provide some time for Chris away from the team and give him the counseling he needs and the compassion he deserves.”
Still awaiting suspension news from the league.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Last week, the New York Islanders hosted their fathers on a road trip through Atlanta, Florida and Tampa. Team captain Bill Guerin immediately informed the fathers of their curfew—no one was to be in the team hotel until after 1 a.m.
Defenseman Andy Sutton has been in the NHL a decade, but this is the first time he and his father, Nigel, have shared something like this.
“This is a huge thing. My dad is just like a kid in a candy story. He’s just so pumped. It’s a pretty special thing,” Sutton said.
more plus other NHL talk…
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because salaries are pro-rated against the cap on a daily basis, when they reach the mid-point of the season, the Islanders will have the ability to take on players whose contracts total up to $15 million at that point because half their salaries already will have been paid. So, cap room isn’t a problem.
But since the NHL isn’t a fantasy league, the trouble is finding someone who is ready to give up a goal scorer. That’s not likely to happen much before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. At a time when the Islanders have gone 12 straight games without scoring more than two goals (not counting the shootout goal against Ottawa), that’s why they must look within for help.
from the New York Times,
Wednesday’s game was a sort of dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, veteran sports broadcasters based in New York. But today, when the Islanders face Atlanta, viewers who press the S.A.P. button on their remote controls will be able to hear Peng and Chang describe the action on Fox Sports Net.
The broadcast Wednesday, the second such dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, apparently went so well that the Islanders have decided to take the next step in telecasting games in Mandarin.
By the end of the season, the Islanders hope to have at least one of their games telecast in China.
from the AP via CBS Sportsline,
As players from both teams entered the fray, Martinek said Hollweg threatened him and then reached for his face.
“He said he is going to take my stitches out. I think that was stupid,” said Martinek, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound defenseman.
Martinek added that no damage was done, but said he had never seen a player act in such a way.
“No, no. Never, never,” he said. “I think he could show a little bit of respect, but he didn’t. I cannot respect him.”
Hollweg contended that he was merely defending Orr, a 6-3, 222-pound forward, who has five career points and 239 penalty minutes in 114 NHL games. Simon and Witt had already double-teamed Orr before Martinek got near.
from the Good, the Bad and the Duthie,
The New York Islanders are clearly Devil-Worshippers. It’s like they took Jersey’s old trap and said “This is too exciting, let’s make it more defensive!” For 40 minutes, they spent more time in their own backyard than my dog. We ran a 30-second clip during our intermission of Ottawa with the puck in its own end. You never saw more than one Islander in the frame.
And sadly it works. The Isles have now scored 2 goals or less in 10 straight games. And they have 5 wins and 11 points to show for it.
Herein lies a major problem for hockey.
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators joined the New York Islanders winger for dinner Tuesday night because they apparently really do like him and not because there might have been a chance to see Comrie’s squeeze, singer/clothes designer/teen idol Hilary Duff.
“I’ve got a lot of friends in the NHL now,” joked Comrie, who made the Islanders his fifth NHL organization in seven years when he signed here as a free agent during the summer.
more on the Sens…
from Jonah Keri at ESPN Page 2,
Page 2 recently chatted with Sillinger about growing up in Saskatchewan, his early experiences as a pro and living the life of an NHL nomad.
Page 2: Since I’m a fellow Canadian and not far from your age, I have to start by asking you about growing up in Regina in the ‘70s. As a kid, was it all about games of shinny out on a pond or an outdoor rink somewhere, only without the constant falling down and embarrassment?
Mike Sillinger: Hockey was just something I loved to do. I can remember way back—the first team I played on was the Citations hockey club. I was 4 or 5. We had these bright orange jerseys, some real beauties. When I got older, I’d always do my homework right away after school so I could go outside and play….
from George Vecsey of the New York Times,
The woman was in the heartland of the opponent, wearing a fancy orange and blue jacket commemorating the four Stanley Cups won by the Islanders, albeit a quarter of a century ago.
“New York?” she shouted. “Is this the train to New York?”
It was, indeed. Parallel steel rails now connect the three hockey franchises in the area.
via Watchdog at Newsday,
For their eight games on FSNY, the Islanders are up spectacularly, from 0.07 percent of area homes last season at this point to 0.32.
The Rangers are up 102 percent on MSG compared to last year.
From Erik Boland at Newsday,
The quarterback for a power play that Islanders coach Ted Nolan said lacked power in Monday’s loss to Philadelphia expects to be back on the ice tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
Defenseman Bryan Berard took the point position on the power play during practice yesterday and said the injured groin that has kept him sidelined six straight games felt “100 percent.”
Berard has not played since leaving the Oct. 20 game against the Devils. “Today was probably the first day I felt 100 percent,” he said. “It’s been a little longer than I would have liked but I kind of got lucky enough where with our schedule, I haven’t missed that many games.”
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
Far be it from me to tell anyone how to spend their $2 billion. So don’t look here for a quick yea or nay on the sweeping plan to completely redo Nassau Coliseum and develop the 77 acres around it.
What we can help with is to see the question behind the question, which is a biggie: Is Long Island the right place for a major-league sports team?
That is the $2-billion stumper we have to answer because a project such as the village proposed by Islanders owner Charles Wang and Scott Rechler is the cost of doing business in the big leagues these days.
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Captain Bill Guerin did not accompany the Islanders to Philadelphia for their game against the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers tonight at Wachovia Center. Guerin was hit in the eye by a puck in Saturday’s home win over the Devils and is suffering from a condition known as hyphema, which is bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye.
When Guerin was hit by the puck, it caused a blood vessel to burst and essentially turned the eye red and made it difficult to see when he took two brief shifts at the start of the third period. The Islanders described Guerin’s condition as day-to-day while he waits for the swelling around the eye to subside and for his vision to clear.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
Timing is crucial for a big goal-scorer such as Miroslav Satan, who was just where he needed to be when he needed to be there in each of the Islanders’ past two games. His timing has been good ever since he grew up at just the right moment to be a hockey player in Slovakia.
As a boy in what was then Czechoslovakia, he never pictured himself in the National Hockey League because he barely knew there was such a thing.
“There wasn’t a lot of information before ‘89. After all the changes in Russia and Eastern Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall, basically, the information stream opened up,” he said at Islanders practice Friday, the 18th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
from David Amber at ESPN,
Q: Why did you sign only a one-year deal?
A: I wanted to see how I fit in on the top line and to see if I enjoyed playing in the New York area. It’s better to see that it works for me and works for them, then we can move forward.
Q: So, how has it been so far?
A: I like it here. We have a great group of guys. We have to win games by everyone chipping in. We don’t have a $10 million player on this team. Everyone has to come and play hard every night.
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
But I have a hard time accepting the fact that Arbour gets credit for the game and the win when his presence was completely ceremonial. In baseball there is a rule that limits the number of coaches who are in uniform in the dugout during the game, but I skimmed through the NHL record books and I couldn’t find a similar rule….
There was nothing wrong with having an Al Arbour night and putting him behind the bench for the 1,500th time with the Islanders. Everyone there still would have had a blast. But let’s stop fooling ourselves. In my record books, I’m crediting Ted Nolan with the win.
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning Jim?
This was not a PR stunt, but was actually suggested by Coach Nolan. Hockey honors their past greats, and it will continue to do so, with or without your record book.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
In his 40 days and nights as general man ager of the Islanders during the summer of 2006, Neil Smith ran the team’s Entry Draft, selecting Minnesota Golden Gopher right winger Kyle Okposo seventh overall, and he signed free agents Mike Sillinger, Brendan Witt, Chris Simon, Andy Hilbert and Tom Poti, the first four of whom remain with the club.
For his trouble, Smith, who unaccountably never signed the three-year, $2.1M contract to which he and owner Charles Wang verbally agreed before reporting for duty, has yet to be paid a nickel by the franchise as he waits for Gary Bettman’s ruling on the grievance he brought against the Islanders more than a year ago . . . and waits . . . and waits . . . and waits.
continued plus more NHL talk…
from George Vescey at the New York Times,
A bunch of lucky Islanders are about to play for Arbour tonight in his 1,500th game with the team, after an invitation from Coach Ted Nolan.
This is the kind of homespun event that only hockey could produce, turning the Nassau Coliseum into a town rink somewhere in the true north strong and free.
Arbour signed a one-game contract yesterday in the cramped team quarters under the Coliseum.
He insisted that this was mostly a ceremonial duty, but Nolan said that Arbour was going to do more coaching tonight than he expected. Is there a bonus for winning for the 740th time with this team?
“Trust me,” General Manager Garth Snow said.
“I’ve heard that before,” Arbour said, deadpan.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
It’s too trite to say “Give the Devils their due,” but kudos to owner Jeff Vanderbeek and the team that probably ranks last among New York-area franchises in Q rating. They’re finally first at something. With their home opener last night, they became the first in this generation to build a new house.
Last night was an occasion, the kind that makes you feel, “If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.”
It also made you think, if you happen to be from someplace, say, east of New York City, “How come we can’t pull off something like this?” As a member of the Islanders organization said the other day, “I’m jealous.”
From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Says Buffalo goalie Jocelyn Thibault, who played with Simon in Quebec, Colorado and Chicago, “Unbelievable guy [who’s] always been recognized as a straight shooter.” Says Montreal defenseman Roman Hamrlik, who knows Simon from Calgary, “He loves you, he kicks ass for you. Awesome. Best teammate I played with.” Says Toronto winger Jason Blake, who played on a line with Simon last season in New York, “Good teammate because he cared so much.”
Thus the case of one of the NHL’s most physical players raises some metaphysical questions: If Simon is so good, why does he do so many bad things? And if he does so many bad things, can he possibly be good?
via the NY Islanders,
Islanders defenseman Bryan Berard will be sidelined approximately 2-4 weeks with a groin injury suffered during the team’s 4-3 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.
From Greg Logan at Newsday,
Coming off two straight wins in which they generated nine goals, the Islanders would like nothing better than to keep the ball rolling to build on their 5-3-0 start. But it’s as if the NHL has scheduled a fall recess for them with only one game in the final 11 days of October and just four games in a 20-day span through Nov. 9.
Privately, several Islanders have complained about how tough it is to maintain not only game conditioning but also a game mentality with such long breaks between games. For instance, they got off to a slow start in Washington on Thursday after a four-day layoff before adjusting to the speed of the game. [...]
“We’re playing well,” goaltender Rick DiPietro said. “It’s kind of a weird schedule. We played six games in nine nights at the beginning, and now we play three in [16 nights]. I’m not sure how it’s going to affect us.
KK friend Roman at eNHL.cz just contacted me and he believes Guerin set a record last night, scoring a hat trick for six different teams.
Even though Roman’s site is in Czech, you can get a clear picture of some of the stats he produced.
*here is the complete 2 Man Advantage selection on YouTube
From the CP via TSN,
It’s almost as if a ship full of NHL castoffs washed ashore and decided to dock in Long Island.
Just take a look at some of the players the New York Islanders have on their roster: Mike Comrie and Josef Vasicek are each now playing for a third team in less than a year; veteran Bill Guerin is skating on his fourth since the lockout ended; and then there’s Jon Sim, who is wearing his eighth different NHL jersey since 2002.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
His eye never will be the same. It always will look somewhat closed, a reminder of having accidentally been hit by the stick of Marian Hossa on March 11, 2000. He had looked done then, less than a week after his 23rd birthday. His mom, Pam, said at the time, “Just say a prayer for my kid.”
Berard never will be the big star he seemed destined to be when he was picked first overall in 1995 by Ottawa, which dealt him to the Islanders. But he is just fine, testimony to drawing straight with crooked lines. His odyssey says that you can get there if you just hang in there.
“I don’t take things for granted now,” he said. “I did have the game taken away from me for about a year and a half with the eye and almost [the same] with the back. I just love to play.”
from Eric McErlain at the NHL Fanhouse,
But if you had taken a trip to the “Blog Box” on Long Island on Saturday night, you would have seen something quite different: A group of fans segregated from the rest of the press who were only allowed guided access to Islanders players and no access to the visiting locker room at all. Most galling of all, many of the box bloggers trooped down to the Islanders locker room wearing Islanders jerseys….
All throughout the SI.com piece, you’ll see claims about how this “experiment”—one that comes complete with a couple of academics from a university in Pennsylvania who ought to be ashamed of themselves—is some sort of incredible innovation in sports media.
That’s actually the last thing that this deserves to be called. Instead, we ought to call it for what it is—a glorified fan club. That this farce is sponsored by Eklund, the least credible voice in sports blogging today, only makes the joke complete.
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because Meyer is in the final season of a deal that pays him $540,000, it’s possible he might be claimed by another team in need of defensive depth. The cost and term of Meyer’s deal would make him a bargain investment.
Once Meyer clears or is claimed off the Islanders’ roster, there’s a good chance free-agent defenseman Bryan Berard would be signed. It’s uncertain how quickly he would find his way into the lineup. The Isles scored on three of four power-play opportunities in their season-opening win Friday night in Buffalo.