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Sunday, September 30, 2007

NYI: A First for Everything

There really is a first for everything. Literally moments ago I was watching the warm-ups and as all the players were getting off the ice I notice Andy Sutton was standing on the Islanders bench.

No he wasn’t hanging out or soaking in the pre-season atmosphere here at the TD Banknorth Garden. He was signing autographs for kids by the bench. I counted at least a dozen signatures jotted down. And it all happened minutes before the start of the game.

Ok, I know what you’re going to say. It’s only pre-season. But still, it’s the Isles final tune-up for the regular season and built up as a pretty important game.

I asked assistant equipment manager Richard “Shakey” Krouse if he has every seen that before – pre-season or otherwise – and he said he couldn’t remember.

So, I guess that just shows you what type of guy Andy Sutton is.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

NYI: Bergy is a Hit

For over a year now, everybody has said “Sean Bergenheim is a ‘Ted Nolan type player.’” What everybody meant by that is this: Bergy plays hard, hits everything in sight, is “gritty” and just wants to help his team win.

Two periods are complete here in Bridgeport and we definitely have seen that so far tonight.

There was one shift in the second where he and Devils defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski battled hard for 45 seconds. Bergy must have finished at least three or four hard checks to Vishnevski. He took some hits too on that shift, but kept pedaling and kept playing with the same demeanor.

The former first rounder also has some scoring ability with his grit, not to mention an ability and willingness to play defense. Only time will tell if he will round to be the complete player we all hope he will turn out to be, but it certainly will be fun watching.

I’m Corey Witt and I’m a Sean Bergenheim fan.

Friday, September 28, 2007

MEDIA: Bourne/Hart Piece Online

Two days ago I told you about a piece that MSG, NY was airing on Islanders prospects Justin Bourne and Jordan Hart. (As you probably know already, they are the sons of Islanders greats Bob and Gerry). It was recorded when both players went to training camp with the Islanders in Moncton earlier this month.

Anyway, if you missed it Wednesday night, click here to watch it online courtesy of MSG.com’s Game On! Blog.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BLOG: Jiggs' Magic Number is Still 4

As a Mets fan, it hurts me to write this...

Last year for a handful of games, Islanders fans got a special treat when Hall of Fame broadcaster Jiggs McDonald came out of retirement to fill-in for Howie Rose with the New York Mets in the MLB Playoffs. And for a long time, it looked like that was going to happen again this season. Or so we thought.

As another Orange and Blue team from New York is on the edge of one of baseballs biggest collapses of all-time, we Islanders need to support them. Even if you’re a Yankee fan, you want the Mets to win just so Jiggs to have another turn as an Islanders broadcaster.

Hopefully this becomes an annual thing with Jiggsy coming back. But right now, Jiggs and the Mets need your support to get in the playoffs.

And if case you don’t know, the Mets only have a one game lead in the NL East and their “magic number” is four. Meaning they need to win four games or get four losses by Philly or any combination of that adding up to four to make the playoffs. Both the Mets and Philly have four games remaining.

So… Lets Go Mets!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LINE-UPS: Isles at Devils + Notes

I’m sitting in one of the best seats in the house here at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA for tonight’s game. The press box is center ice facing the benches and the view is perfect.

In case you missed it on NYI.com, tonight’s game will not be broadcasted live on Islanders TV due to bandwidth limitations at the arena. You’ll be able to catch it tomorrow with Steve Mears and Chris King calling the game.

Prospect Ben Walter makes his return to the Tsongas Arena tonight. He played here for three years with UMass -Lowlel from 2002-03 to 2004-05.

One note I want to pass along before I give you the lines for today’s game. I want to give credit to Lowell’s PA announcer Kevin Dunn seeked me out for name pronunciations for the Islanders. Most of the time, the home PA announcer will just go with their own interpretation. So tonight, fans will know its Bruno ZHUR-Vey and not Bruno Jarv-iss… Unfortunately, he didn’t ask about the coaches names. Oh well.

Line-ups
Islanders:
Goaltenders

34 Wade Dubielewicz
35 Joey MacDonald

Defensemen
4 Bryan Berard - 8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli - 24 Radek Martinek
44 Freddy Meyer - 2 Aaron Johnson

Forwards
16 Jon Sim - 18 Mike Sillinger - 7 Trent Hunter
15 Jeff Tambellini - 29 Ben Walter - 57 Blake Comeau
20 Sean Bergenheim - 51 Frans Nielsen - 28 Tim Jackman
54 Gordie Dwyer - 10 Richard Park - 27 Darryl Bootland

Devils:
Goaltenders
30 Martin Brodeur
1 Frank Doyle

Defensemen
6 Andy Green – 28 Karel Rachunek
2 Vitaly Vishnevski – 32 Mike Mottau
42 Mathew Corrente – 29 Johnny Oduya

Forwards
52 Nicklas Bergfors – 14 Brian Gionta – 16 Danius Zubrus
9 Zach Parise – 19 Travis Zajac – 48 David Clarkson
11 John Maden – 49 Rod Pelley – 22 Arron Asham
18 Sergei Brylin – 47 Barry Tallackson – 17 Mike Rupp

MEDIA: MSG, NY to Air Bourne/Hart Piece

Just got word that MSG, NY will air an Islanders piece tonight featuring Bob and Justin Bourne along with Gerry and Jordan Hart from training camp. It was produced by Kevin Meininger and should be a good watch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NYI: Where are the Goal Judges?

As some of you already know, the NHL has moved the goal judges away from the boards this season. There are many reasons why and each team has their own, too.

And let’s be honest… It’s sort of an archaic thing as this point. In the olden days, the goal judges were the referee’s backup for goals. They could make the difference in a game. Now, video replay has been around for years and despite whether or not it works all the time, the goal judges don’t have a say anymore. Even when they turn the light on by accident, play continues.

The position hasn’t been eliminated altogether, but the goal judges aren’t up behind the glass anymore. In each arena they’ll be in a different place. At the Coliseum and in Montreal and Carolina for an example, the goal judges will sit in a section located behind the each net. All goal judges now have a remote which will control the red light behind the glass.

So hockey purists, don’t worry, you won’t lose the red light.

Some teams like the Philadelphia Flyers are installing more seats. Some teams might not remove the goal judges from their traditional position. It’s up to each team.

But for the goal judges, their position is now about holding up the tradition that is the red light.

Monday, September 24, 2007

GAME: Post-Game Thoughts

Wow, what a game. It certainly doesn’t get any better than this for a pre-season tilt. It had everything a fan can ask for.

What heart the Islanders showed tonight. In a fight-filled game, everyone had each others back and it showed in the comeback victory.

Here’s my favorite quote from the post-game scrums… It was Rick DiPietro talking about his fight.

“If I see someone jump one of my teammates, I’m going to stand up for them. We’re one team and we have each others backs.”

Ted Nolan echoed that too and you could really see this Islanders team stand together and fight the battles. Not just with the gloves off, but on the penalty kill, on the power play and when the dirty work needed to get done.

I gotta think that this will be a common theme this season, which should make it great.

NYI: 10 New Things You’ll See Tonight at the Coli

We finally have hockey back at the Nassau Coliseum tonight as the Islanders faceoff against the Rangers.

Here are ten new things that you’ll see when you get to the Coliseum tonight.

1) DP’s new pads – Ricky re-designed the goalie pads he’s worn for the last season and half.

2) Team Apparel – From hats to shirts to pucks, you’ll find all new NYI apparel from the 2007-08 season.

3) All White Dashers – What now? The NHL has a new rule that all dasher board signage must have a white background. Everything will look a bit crisper on the boards now.

4) New Halo Graphics – The NYI Game Ops. crew designed the graphics for penalties and whistles.

5) New Jersey’s – The Islanders will wear blue tonight and it’ll give most fans the first opportunity to see them in game action.

6) Picnic Zone – One of the older smoking areas has been transformed into a picnic zone of sorts. Along with the open air and an additional bathroom, fans can buy food and drink before and during the game.

7) Bossy and Potvin – Those two legends have new banners hanging in the rafters. Nothing change, they’re just new. The old ones were getting yellow and they couldn’t be cleaned anymore.

8) TV’s on the Concourse – In one of many upgrades on the concourse, new flat screen TV’s have been installed all throughout the concourse.

9) Signage – Along with the signage, new gate and concession signage has been added to show you where to go. Again, all in Islanders décor.

10) Paint Job – The Coliseum finally painted the concourse Blue, Orange and White. The walls are still tight, but they look a whole not nicer.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

ITV Review: The Nates Show

Every once in a while I’m going to start to point out why some of Islanders TV’s “more unique” programs are worth checking out.

The first show you should watch is The Nates Show.

Most fans don’t know who Naoto “Nates” Goto is. He’s the Islanders Assistant Athletic Trainer and one of the nicest guys on the team. A native of Japan, Nates is being touted as this year’s “Shakey” in the Islanders TV world.

Here’s why you should check it out: Because not everything in hockey is pucks and goals. There are a lot of pieces to a hockey team and people like Nates are just as important as any other and Islanders TV shows you the other side of the team in some fun programming. The first three episodes of The Nates Show are up so check them out and along with future episodes.

Trust me, you’ll fall in love with Nates just as you did Shakey.

Friday, September 21, 2007

MEDIA: MM to TSN

Former Islanders GM Mike Milbury is adding a third TV gig to his 2007-08 resume as he has agreed to be studio analyst for TSN (ESPN’s Canadian cousin). As Islanders fans know, Mike was never one to mince word and it’s really great for hockey with MM back on a national stage. Fans will really enjoy his opinions and banter.

From TSN’s press release: [[[Milbury will appear weekly during the marquee NHL on TSN: Wednesday Night Hockey throughout the regular season and frequently during the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Milbury makes his TSN debut on September 28 during the NHL on TSN Fantasy Draft Special. ]]]

I enjoyed my time working for Mike. He kept everyone on his toes and if you ever went to dinner with him, you certainly were entertained by some great stories.

Now we just need TSN in the States… Not to mention NHL Tonight on ESPN!

CAMP: Thanks Moncton!

Moncton, NB – Training camp is winding down and I don’t think you can find an Islander who wouldn’t say it was a great success in Moncton.

Thanks to everyone up in Moncton for a great ten days. We look forward to seeing you again.

From the media side, I would especially like to thank Larry Haley for all of his help and hospitality with us New York media types.

LINE-UPS: Islanders at Montreal

Moncton, NB – There’s the list of players who will dress in Montreal tonight for the second pre-season tilt versus the Canadiens. Tonight’s game is at the Bell Centre.

Goaltenders: 34 - Wade Dubielewicz, 33 - Mike Morrison

Forwards: 11 - Andy Hilbert, 12 - Chris Simon, 15 - Jeff Tambellini, 16 - Jon Sim, 20 - Sean Bergenheim, 27 - Darryl Bootland, 29 - Ben Walter, 54 - Gordie Dwyer, 63 - Josef Vasicek, 67 - Sean Bentivoglio, 57 - Blake Comeau, 72 - Jeremy Colliton

Defenseman: 2 - Aaron Johnson, 8 - Bruno Gervais, 14 - Chris Campoli, 24 - Radek Martinek, 47 - Marc-Andre Bergeron, 63 - Jamie Fraser

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MEDIA: Logie’s Coverage

Moncton, NB – With all the talk of blogs today, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Greg Logan, his coverage in Newsday and his Newsday.com blog.

Greg provides excellent coverage on multiple levels for the Islanders on a daily basis.

If it wasn’t for the success of his blog, the NYI Blog Box idea might never have come up. Did you know Neil Best reported on Newsday.com that the Islanders Blog gets the most hits on the website.

Greg travels by himself to cover the Islanders and is away from his family just as long as the team is, if not a little longer sometimes.

From all NYI fans out there, thanks Greg for the coverage.


OK, enough of all of this "thanking" for now...

MEDIA: NHL.com’s NYI Coverage

Moncton, NB – I don’t know how I forgot to mention it… I mean, I went out to eat with him a bunch of times, yet it skipped right over my head.

NHL.com’s Evan Grossman came to training camp with the Islanders and provided awesome coverage. Daily blog updates and stories that I’m hoping made my colleagues around the league jealous.

Check it out.

Thanks Evan and I’m sure we’ll see you next season.

NYI: NYI Blog Box is Up!

The NYI Blog Box is finally up. Click here to check it out.

Thanks to everyone who applied. And don’t worry, they’ll be more.

If you weren’t selected, feel free to start your own blog anyway. Once you get it set up and running, re-submit your application with the link and we’ll take a close look at it.

Thanks again!

NEWS: Snowy to be inducted into Maine HoF

Moncton, NB – Found this little nugget on the web thanks to our friends at IslanderMania…

Islanders GM Garth Snow will be inducted into the University of Maine’s Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 14 as part of the school’s homecoming celebration. (Click here to view link)

From the press release on the website:
[[[ Garth Snow ('92) is one of the greatest goaltenders in college hockey history. He led the Black Bears with an undefeated season in 1992-93 on their way to their first national championship. He owned nine school records at the time of graduation and represented the United States in the 1994 Olympics. On top of that, he became the general manager of the New York Islanders franchise in 2006. ]]]

Congratulations Garth!

LINE-UPS: NYI Rookies vs. U of Moncton

Moncton, NB – On Thursday night, the Islanders Rookies will take the University of Moncton at the Moncton Coliseum. Here’s the lineup, subject to change. Expect Ouellet, a former first round draft pick of the Capitals, to get the start in net.

Goaltenders: Mike Mole, Maxime Ouellet

Defensemen: Drew Fata, Jamie Fraser, Martin Frechette, Jordan Hart, Dustin Kohn, Simon Lacroix

Forwards: Sean Bentivoglio, Justin Bourne, Derek Damon, Robin Figren, Chris Gaudet, Maxime Gratchev, Tyler Haskins, Tomas Marcinko, Masi Marjamaki, Jason Pitton, Steve Regier, Trevor Smith

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

GAME: What I Learned From Tonight’s Game

Moncton, NB – Here are some things I learned from tonight’s 3-1 win over Montreal…

1) With increased ice time, Jon Sim will be the best bargain in the NHL.
2) I don’t care what TSN SportsCentre says, our new jerseys are great and certainly not the ugliest in the NHL… Can anyone say Vancouver?
3) The great people of Moncton haven’t realized that Andrew MacDonald and Chris Gaudet were only away from the city for a few days before camp, not the decade they seem to make it out be. But the boys appreciate the “homecoming” attention nevertheless.
4) The Islanders have never seen as special of a player off the ice as Bill Guerin. With the fans or media, he’s a standup guy.
5) Andy Sutton can hit. H.I.T. Can’t wait to see what he brings in the regular season.
6) There’s plenty of heart, grit and character on this team, which will go a long, long way throughout the entire organization.
7) That Ruslan Fedotenko-Mike Comrie-Bill Guerin line might be something worth keeping together for a while.
8) Rick looked sharp in net.
9) Ted loves to coach. And loves to coach in Moncton.
10) Islanders TV continues to set the bar even higher. What a great night for them. Live telecast with Steve Mears and Billy Jaffe from Moncton. They also answered questions from IslandMania and Islanders Country. Great job by Josh Bernstein and his crew as usual.

GAME: Gaudet & MacDonald Ready for Tonight

Moncton, NB – Chris Gaudet and Andrew MacDonald return to the Moncton Coliseum tonight. Both played on the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL for the last two seasons. Tonight’s lineup is veteran heavy, but this will be a very special game for the two rookies. Both were coached by Ted Nolan in 2005-06.

MacDonald played in an exhibition game in Moncton last season, but he knew he was going to be sent back to juniors following camp. So it had a different feel to it for him.

Tonight will be different and I can’t wait to hear the standing-room only crowd go nuts when their names are announced.

And who knows, maybe Teddy will start both of them.

LINE-UPS: Isles/Montreal at Moncton - UPDATES

Updated: 2:45 PM - Blake Comeau will replace Jeremy Colliton in the lineup. Nothing to read into here and I wouldn't be surpsied if JC played in Montreal on Friday.

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Moncton, NB – Here’s Wednesday night’s for the Islanders versus Montreal. The game will be held at the Moncton Coliseum. Game time is 7:00 Atlantic Time, 6:00 Eastern. The Islanders are 0-1-1 so far in the pre-season, while the Canadiens are 1-1-0.

Goaltenders: Rick DiPietro, Wade Dubielewicz

Forwards: Blake Comeau, Mike Comrie, Gordie Dwyer, Ruslan Fedotenko, Chris Gaudet, Bill Guerin, Tim Jackman, Trent Hunter, Richard Park, Miroslav Satan, Mike Sillinger, Jon Sim

Defensemen: Bryan Berard, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Bruno Gervais, Andrew MacDonald, Andy Sutton, Brendan Witt


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Just wanted to take a minute to clarify something... Chris Botta posted a neat little note on his blog about one of his colleagues getting rejected in North Bay, ON in grand fashion. I read it, figured out who it was rather quickly and almost fell off my chair laughing. I also wanted to point out that it wasn’t me! Nevertheless, a great, great story!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MEDIA: Congrats, Stan!

Moncton, NB – Just got a nice e-mail from the NHL. Long-time hockey broadcaster Stan Fischler has been named one of four recipients of the 2007 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Also receiving the award is: Brian Leetch, Cammi Granato and longtime communications executive and historian John Halligan. The recipients will be honored at the 2007 Lester Patrick Awards Luncheon on November 7th in New York.

The fact that Stan isn’t in the Hockey Hall of Fame is a shame and hopefully that will change soon. I guess this is a start.

Congratulations, Stan!

CAMP: Power Play Gets Started

Moncton, NB – So, what’s going on in Moncton while the team plays in North Bay and St. John’s? Well, practice. (Say it in your best Allan Iverson voice)

The remaining players are broken up into two squads: veterans and rookies.

Today, the veterans practiced the power play, which was being run by assistant coach Gerard Gallant. I don’t want to give any secrets away and I believe Greg Logan will go more in depth on this subject in Newsday in the next few days. But what I can say is that as Greg and I watched from the stands, we both noticed big changes.

It was only one group, but there’s a lot of movement and quarks to it. And, it was fun to watch.

We’ll keep an eye on it, but we’re starting to see units and lines shape up. Must be hockey season.

MEDIA: News 12 in Moncton

Moncton, NB – Our good friends Jamie Stuart and Andrew Rappaport from News 12 Long Island once again traveled up north for Islanders training camp. They are airing daily reports from Moncton, which begin at 5:00 PM. So if you can, check out.

LINE-UPS: Roster for St. John’s

Moncton, NB – Here is Tuesday's roster for the pre-season game which will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland against the Boston Bruins. This is the team’s second of three pre-season games in three nights. The third will be held Wednesday night in Moncton.

Goaltenders: Joey MacDonald, Mike Morrison

Forwards: Sean Bergenheim. Darryl Bootland, Kip Brennan, Gordie Dwyer, Andy Hilbert, Trent Hunter, Olivier Labelle, Frans Nielsen, Chris Simon, Jeff Tambellini, Josef Vasicek, Ben Walter

Defensemen: Chris Campoli, Drew Fata, Aaron Johnson, Radek Martinek, Freddy Meyer, Matthew Spiller

Monday, September 17, 2007

GAME REPORT: NYI Rookies 1, U of NB 3

Moncton, NB – The Islanders Rookies fell to the University of New Brunswick Red Devils 3-1 Monday night at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre. Martin Frechette scored the Islanders’ lone goal, which was also the first of the night. Tyler Haskins recorded the assist.

For the defending CIS (Canadian Interuniveristy Sport) champions, Robert Pearce, Kyle Baily and Joshua Hepditch each scored. Hepditch also recorded an assist.

Mike Mole played the entire game in goal for the Islanders and stopped 29 of 32 shots. For the Red Devils, Michael Ouzas and Derek Yeomans split the game facing a total of 34 shots.

The stand out player for the Islanders was Jamie Fraser. The smooth-skating defenseman, who played for Bridgeport last season, was the best player on the ice for either team. Justin Bourne also continued his strong camp by staying in the play on every shift.

The difference in the game was team chemistry. Most of the Red Devils have played with each other for a few seasons, while the Islanders Rookies only first skated as a 20-man unit.

LINE-UPS: Rookie Game vs. U of N.B.

Moncton, NB -- Here’s the roster for tonight’s rookie game versus the University of New Brunswick. Basically this is a game for a lot of the younger guys in camp play against a local University team. Tonight’s game is at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre where we have practiced for the entire week. ** CORECTION ** There’s another rookie game against the University of Moncton and that will be played at the Moncton Coliseum on THURSDAY NIGHT.**

Forwards: Sean Bentivoglio, Justin Bourne, Marc Cavosie, Jeremy Colliton, Derek Damon, Robin Figren, Chris Gaudet, Maxime Gratchev, Tyler Haskins, Tomas Marcinko, Masi Marjamaki, Jason Pitton, Steve Regier, Trevor Smith

Defensemen: Jamie Fraser, Martin Frechette, Jordan Hart, Mark Katic, Simon Lacroix, Andrew MacDonald

Goaltenders: Mike Mole, Maxime Ouellet

Sunday, September 16, 2007

LINE-UPS: Rosters for North Bay

Moncton, NB – As promised, here are the rosters (subject to change) for the Islanders firstpre-season game in North Bay.

Sept. 17 vs. Atlanta at North Bay, ON

Forwards: Sean Bergenheim, Kip Brennan, Blake Comeau, Tim Jackman, Olivier Labelle, Frans Nielsen, Richard Park, Jon Sim, Chris Simon, Jeff Tambellini, Josef Vasicek, Ben Walter

Defensemen: Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais, Aaron Johnson, Dustin Kohn, Freddy Meyer, Matthew Spiller

Goaltenders: Joey MacDonald, Mike Morrison

CAMP: A Moncton Rock Star

Moncton, NB – We saw this a little last season when we were here. And we definitely see it up in Buffalo every time we’re there. It’s Ted Nolan and his rock star status. Teddy not only changed the culture of his Moncton Wildcats team back in 2005-06, but put Moncton back on the map. The people of Moncton certainly haven’t forgotten Ted.

Two years ago, he mingled with the locals and went all over the place to get people to support the Wildcats and it showed with a huge boost in attendance in the 2005-06 season.

But what we have seen so far this week is that the Nolan-effect that’s being felt all over Long Island is still resonating here in Moncton. Not a time goes by when Teddy walks down the street where he doesn’t stop for a picture or for a quick chat.

The folks up here in Moncton love Teddy and the feeling is mutual.

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Tonight is also the Wildcats home opener and former Islanders assistant coach Danny Flynn is behind the bench. Before the game, Nolan will drop the ceremonial puck. Should be another fun night in Moncton.


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Also, check back late tonight for the rosters for the first pre-season game.

CAMP: Not Just for Practicing

Moncton, NB – Training camp isn’t just for practices and scrimmages. It’s an opportunity to get the players to do an onslaught of interviews for our FSN NY, Islanders TV and Game Operations crews, or as I like to call them F.I.G..

All the veterans and some rookies take 45 to 60 minutes of their time to do the three-stop circuit. Why is it so important? FSN NY gets a lot of the interviews done for their one-hour pre-season preview show in addition to some spots for in-season vignettes. Islanders TV is planning some big stuff for this season and a lot of it comes from these interviews. And every time you see a player on the scoreboard during a game for trivia or announcements? Well, that gets done here too.

All of these interviews are done when the guys are at the rink and it’s all done in a short amount of time. Yeah the guys rib the staff for doing these interviews, but it’s worth it in the end, even for the players. They just don’t want to admit it yet.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

CAMP: A Moncton State of Mind

Moncton, NB – For the non-Canadians – and I’m talking from an American standpoint – it definitely takes some getting used to being up here in Moncton. For me, I don’t have my own bed and pillows and I’m away from my newly engaged to fiancée on Long Island. But don’t get me wrong, it’s a great experience to be up here. And I'm glad we're here.

Moncton is a big town and the locals say it’s the biggest in New Brunswick. It’s certainly not Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa. My New York-style driving definitely doesn’t fit in and I still can’t get used to a blinking green arrow after a few days. And I don’t think I’ll ever get used to not getting served ice with my soda at fast-food joints. Moncton is certainly different then life on Long Island.

I’ve spent my fair share of time in Canadian cities. From the major cities listed above, to Vancouver and Halifax, St. John’s, N.S. and Yarmouth. But Moncton is a town unlike I have ever been too before. The locals give off a big-town persona. Hey, they have a QMJHL team here, an arena and a skating facility that would put any in New York to shame. The streets are clean and the people are friendly. Plenty of restaurants and local watering holes.

If Moncton was on Long Island, it might be a stop in between Melville and Huntington on Route 110. But it’s the differences from everything I know about living on Long Island all my life that gets me to appreciate what seems like a less-complicated Moncton life style.

Moncton is perfect where it is and how it is. And the Islanders are happy to be here.

Thanks, Moncton.

CAMP: A Webb of Influence

Moncton, NB – Mark Katic spent some time today getting advice from a former Islander. And as part of the Islanders Alumni crew up here in Moncton and as part of the team’s player development team, Steve Webb spent some time dishing out advise as if they were hits in the 2002 playoff series versus Toronto. And the prospect Katic was all ears.

It’s easy to forget that Webb had to fight, figuratively, to make it to the NHL. From junior hockey to the ECHL to the AHL and finally to the NHL, Webb needed to persevere. It’s experiences from his trip around the hockey-sphere that Webb is handing out his biggest hits.

“I’m not going to give them advise on how to score goals, but I can tell some of our young prospects and rookies what it takes to make it to the NHL so they have a better idea of what to expect,” Webb said a few days ago.

Katic said Webb told him to take time during training camp to talk to the veteran defensemen and ask them what it takes to play in the NHL. To ask them, what’s best for a young defenseman to do in the gym and what to be prepared for. Stuff like that.

It’s that which Steve Webb might be making his biggest hit as an Islander.

Friday, September 14, 2007

CAMP: The Bourne Special

Moncton, NB -- Justin Bourne would have been the MVP of almost any other scrimmage, but his goaltending Wade Dubielewicz shutout the opposition for 45 minutes. A goal and an assist is impressive, especially for a training camp invite, as Justin fights for a roster spot.

But what’s more special about it is that he did it in front of his dad, NYI Hall of famer Bob, who is with the Islanders as part of the alumni entourage here in Moncton. When Justin scored, dad Bob jumped out of his seat and quietly yelled: “That’s my son!”

“My parents came up to Alaska to watch me play, but of course this is more special,” Justin told me at the hotel lobby. “A lot of my parents’ lives were on Long Island with my dad wearing this logo. And now I’m wearing it, so it must be really special for him to see me play here.”

Hopefully Justin keeps performing, making Bob jump out of his seat more.

Seeing his former Islander father watching his son score with the Orange and Blue is also something very special.

CAMP: Dunny, the Coach

Moncton, NB -- Training camp just isn’t a time for players to adjust to the team, but for coaches to adjust as well. The Islanders have three new coaches on their staff this season in Garrard Gallant, John Chabot and Mike Dunham and each are making transitions.

But for Dunny, the adjustment is two fold. He’s getting used to not only not playing, but coaching for the first time as well.

“I definitely didn’t miss the physicals and the fitness tests,” the former goaltender told me on Thursday morning.

And today, you could see that he was making the transition from player to coach with great strides. Dunny was a pleasure to work with last season and it seems like the same will hold true as a coach. And as he said: “Hey, don’t worry… I’m on your side now.”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

NYI: Must be Training Camp

Well, it finally and official arrived. Islanders Training Camp is upon us. Players have taken their physicals, filled out their paper work and taken their head shots. All that’s left is hockey.

Skating starts tomorrow at the Tim Horton’s 4-Ice Centre in Moncton, NB with the players broken up into three groups aptly named Team Bossy, Team Gillies and Team Trottier.

Let the hitting begin!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ISLANDERMANIA: Victory Song?

If you logon to the Islanders new fan message board IslanderMania, you’ll see a topic and a poll asking fans if the Islanders need a victory song. Similarly to the NY Mets “Takin’ Care of Business”.

Well, the Islanders do have a victory song that played at the Coliseum after each victory. It’s a variation of “Rock ‘N Roll – Part 2” (also the Islanders goal song). But how many fans recognize that?

So the question remains… Do the Islanders need a new victory song? And if so, what should it be? Logon to IslanderMania to decide.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

NYI: A Great Day at the Coli

It was a beautiful morning and it was great to see so many Islanders fans back at the Coliseum. Bruno, Dubie and Richard Park were awesome with the Orange and Blue supporters and you can really see each patron become a huge fan of each guy as they moved up and down the line talking to each and every one of them.

Looks like Islanders TV got some good stuff with Bruno, which should be very funny. So you’ll want to look out for that in the next few days.

Weirdest story of the day: A San Jose Sharks fan from Philadelphia drove up I-95 to purchase tickets to the Sharks/Islanders game on February 18th. Only problem was that only first-half tickets went on sale today. Fret not, the NYI ticket staff took his information so he won’t have to make the drive back up when second-half tickets actually do go on sale.

Thanks to all the fans who came down.

Friday, September 7, 2007

NYI: New Jerseys/Saturday Morning

Just as a no-duh FYI, the Islanders will indeed wear their new jerseys for all pre-season games. They've been numbered and washed and are ready to go. The Islanders locker room is filled with the new threads right now. Two were made up for for each of the 60 players (one white, one blue) coming to camp (more on that next week).

Here's a little joke I heard, but I'll warn you, it's bad. The Vancouver Canucks new jersey says "Vancouver" above the logo on the front. Will the Devils' new jerseys say "New Jersey" on them, too? Sorry for that one folks.

Back to business... You won't want to miss tomorrow morning's single-game ticket on sale event. Come down, buy a few tickets, have some fun and get some autographs. At least one or two more players not on the original list are set to join the party at the Coliseum.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

NEWS: New Goalie Coach on Horizon

Here’s what we do know for sure: The Islanders will have a new goaltending coach this season and that he will travel with the team to training camp.

We also know that former Islanders goaltender Mike Dunham is now retired as a player and that he’s on Long Island. And it wouldn’t surprise us if he is the man for the job.

Dunny was very instrumental in a few early season victories for the Islanders last season. He’s also a very smart hockey guy and has a great relationship with Ricky and Dubie. He knows the sport and knows the position. Dunny’s also one heck-of-a nice guy.

Nothing official yet, but expect it soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

NEWS: So Long, Pierre

So Pierre Turgeon has decided to hang up the skates after a 19 year NHL career. Turgeon spent four seasons with the Islanders from 1991-92 to 1994-95 before his infamous trade to Montreal.

Here’s a look at his Orange and Blue career:

Though only on the Island for four years, Turgeon made an impact here. He ranks 14th on the Islanders all-time scoring with 148 goals, 145 assists for 343 points in 255 games.

[ [ [ That’s a 1.3451 points per game average… Islanders Hall of Fame worthy? ] ] ]

In 1992-93, Turgeon scored 58 goals with 77 assists for 132 points. His 58 goals is the sixth most by an Islander and his 132 points is the third best season of any Islander ever. He won the Lady Byng that season, too.

[ [ [ Only Mike Bossy scored more goals in a season… six times… Bossy once scored 147 points in 1981-82, the most of an Islander ever… Bryan Trottier scored 134 points in 1978-79. ] ] ]

Pierre also won the Mike Bossy Award as the best draft prospect in 1987.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

FANS: IslanderMania Is Now Up

As Chris Botta alluded to in his blog earlier in the day, IslanderMania is now the official message board of the New York Islanders.

It's funny in a way, because fans have always wanted an official message board and the Islanders always wanted to have one. We feel our partnership with the good folks at IslandersMania will only benefit Islanders fans around the Internet.


Part of any good message board is moderation. That's not to be confused with censorship. Moderation keeps off the people who only write with foul or abusive language. At IslandersMania, you'll see that their team of moderators are top notch.

We at the Islanders feel extremely comfortable with our new message board. From the people who run it to the people you use it to express their passion for the Orange and Blue (both positive and negative).

Thank you to Lisa and everyone else at IslanderMania for making this a reality.

Click here to share you Islanders opinions on IslanderMania.

BLOG: Let's Start Blogging!

Welcome to the NYI Media Blog written by Corey Witt. I’m the Islanders media relations coordinator and as you can tell this is my blog. If last season was about changing the culture for the Islanders, this season is about blogging.
From the new NYI Blog Box to my blog, to Chris Botta’s NYI Point Blank blog to the We’re All Islanders blog on the main page, I don’t think too much is going to missed when it comes to Islanders Hockey this season.

Each Islanders-sponsored blog will offer you a little something different and we’re sure one will wet your appetite. We know Islanders fans want more written about their favorite team and that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

We also want to thank everyone who applied to the Blog Box. We decided to only start with about a dozen or so, but don’t worry, we’re not done yet. We’re constantly reviewing the applications, so you can still hear from us. Just hold tight!

BLOG: What You'll Find Here

In a nutshell, the NYI Media Blog will be a source for some game-day breaking news, quotes that don’t make it into the papers or on our website, news articles from the deep reaches of the internet, some opinion and some general hockey banter. And I’m sure there’s going to be some random stuff too!

Check back daily (or more!) for updates. As training camp gets underway and the season gets into full swing, the news will start flying.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 3, 2007

READ: Why Howie Rose is Great

You might remember me writing something on NYI.com earlier in the summer about why Howie Rose is one of the best announcers in all of sports.

Back in May during a Mets game at Shea Stadium, David Wright hit a very long home run to left-center field. Without missing a beat, Rose called it: "David Wright almost hit the first home run in the history of Citi Field!" It was a home run hit so far, it landed in the construction zone of the Mets' new ballpark. And Rose explained it perfectly.

This afternoon, when introducing Pedro Martinez and his return to the mound after missing the entire season due to an injury, Rose said: "Pedro Martinez, working on 341 days of rest, gets set to face the Reds..." Just as if it was Pedro's regular day in the rotation.

Just a reminder that as Islanders fans (and Mets fans, too) we are spoiled by Howie's witty remarks and great broadcasting skills. In our book, Howie's the most under-rated announcer in all of sports this side of Steve Mears.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

OPINION: Predictions and Upsets

I just got done watching Appalachian State (a Division 1-AA school) upset Michigan who was ranked fifth in the nation. It was the first time a Division 1-AA school defeated a ranked D1-A school. I'm listening to announcers on ESPN saying it is the biggest upset in college football history. It's the first week of the season. And I'm getting to my point.

Michigan's ranking was based on pre-season predictions. It was based on who the so-called experts thought had the best players which would make up the best team.

And the fact that Michigan lost to a team full of D-II players which D-1 schools didn't want just proves that experts can't tell which teams are going to be better than others and which teams will make the playoffs.

The Hockey News picked the Islanders to finish 14th in the East this season. Last year, they picked the Islanders to finish 29th or 30th in the NHL. Well, the Islanders made the playoff last season and 14 other teams didn’t. And the so-called fifth best college football team in America lost to a school who apparently aren’t good enough or big enough to be in the same league as their Blue and Maize opponents.

So much for pre-season predications.