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Thursday, November 29, 2007

OPINION: Send them to the Olympics!

A recent report out of Canada states that the NHL is considering pulling NHL player participation from the Olympics following the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

That’s a mistake.

First off, I’ve spoken to a lot players about this subject since the 2006 Olympics and they want the chance to play for their country on the international stage. And they should be able to play if they want too.

Secondly, the NHL would be stupid not to let the players go. The Olympics are always a big deal. Granted, Ice Hockey doesn’t get the mega headlines as Figure Skating at the Olympics, but it is put on the international stage. And why wouldn’t the NHL want their star players to be on the big international stage? After all, the league is planning to host regular-season games in Europe again next season. So wouldn’t this fall into line with their plan to grow the game internationally?

Now the chances of another Miracle on Ice coming along are slim, but the Olympics have a way of turning a few stories every time around into one of those feel-good attention grabbers. If it involved hockey, it would do wonders for the games – again, both internationally and here in the United States.

So what if the season gets shutdown for two weeks every four years. It gives some players a chance to heal injuries, rest and get better for the stretch run. If you think it will kill momentum, just think of the momentum there is to be gained from an incredible Olympic tourney?

Lastly, as a throw-a-way point, how many times have you caught yourself watching an Olympic sport that you never watched before. Probably just because it’s on and you’re feeling patriotic and want that American to win. Sometimes you get hooked onto the sport and when the Olympics are over, you’re watching it on ESPN Ocho. The point is the Olympics also have a way of turning people onto sports they didn’t follow before. And the last time I checked, the NHL could never have enough fans.

In 2014, the NHL should go to Olympics. It’s the smart and right thing to do.

Monday, November 26, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: It's Go-Time

It's "Go-Time" for Mike Comrie. This shot was taken of the Islanders star center while he was on bench right before the opening faceoff of a recent game at the Nassau Coliseum. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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It's Go-Time

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TV: FSN NY HD in NYC

Islanders fans in New York City can now finally watch Islanders games that are broadcast in High Definition in...well… High Definition.

For a while, Time Warner Cable only had the MSG Network HD channel on their programming lineup. But now, FSN NY HD is available. Yup, that’s Howie, Billy, Butch and Deb in H.D. in N.Y.C.

If you ask Kerry Cornils, the Islanders customer service legend, if this complaint was in the top-10 of all time, he would said “YES!”. Complaint resolved.

For those wondering, the FSN NY HD is located on Ch. 748.

Enjoy city Islanders fans.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Big Foot Hunter

New York Islanders forward Trent Hunter walks off the ice after the pre-game in Philadelphia on Monday, November 12. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Big Foot Hunter

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

TV: The Jiggs-ernaught Returns Again

You might have caught this at the end of the Rangers-Devils telecast on MSG, but if you didn’t here it is… Howie Rose will not be with the Islanders tomorrow night in Pittsburgh or Friday night in New Jersey due to a death in the family. The condolences of the entire Islanders family are with Howie, his wife Barbara, their children and the entire Rose family.

Replacing Howie in the broadcast booth will be Hall of Famer Jiggs McDonald. Jiggsy met the team in Pittsburgh this afternoon from his summer home in Florida

BABY WATCH: More news from the broadcast booth of FSN NY… Billy Jaffe and his wife Victoria are expecting their first child at anytime. Don’t be surprised if one day soon you see Butch Goring filling in as the color analyst. Butch has done a great job as an intermission analyst for FSN’s Islanders telecasts so far this season

Monday, November 12, 2007

TV: Mears on FSN, Butch on Radio

Due to family reasons, Howie Rose will be unable to join the Islanders in Philadelphia for tonight’s game versus the Flyers. Stepping in for him will be Islanders radio play-by-play announcer Steve Mears, who will be making his NHL TV debut. He will of course call the game with Billy Jaffe.

This will be Mears’ first foray into live TV, but not TV altogether. When he was with the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Mears occasionally called the CHL Game of the Week for Leafs TV.

On the radio side, Chris King will slide over to play-by-play and will be joined by FSN analyst Butch Goring for tonight’s broadcast.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Marti with the Save!

He’s not Marty Brodeur, but our Marti (Radek Martinek) makes a big skate save while defending an open net against the New York Rangers last night at the Nassau Coliseum. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)


Radek Martinek with the skate save!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NEWS: Jack’s the Man

When the Islanders hit the ice for their 10:30 morning skate today at the Nassau Coliseum, Tim Jackman was the new forward in the group. It looks like he’ll replace the injured Aaron Johnson in the lineup tonight against the Rangers.

Jackman had two goals and five assist for seven points in ten games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before his recall to the big club.


The 6-4, 210 pound winger will wear No. 28 for the Orange and Blue tonight.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

NEWS: Bergy Out, Walter In

As Ted Nolan told the media earlier today after the morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum, Sean Bergenheim is out with a shoulder injury and is day-to-day. Replacing him on the roster is Ben Walter, who was acquired just prior to training camp from Boston.

Walter is in a four-way tie for the team lead in scoring in Bridgeport (AHL) with seven points (four goals, three assists). He leads the Sound Tigers with four goals.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

ISLAND SNAPSHOTS: Silli, the Early Years

I tried searching for a photo of Mike Sillinger when he played for his first team, the Detroit Red Wings. But a quick search in the NHL's photo database and Google didn't turn up anything. So here's a photo of Silli when he was with his second team, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He looks pretty young back then in 1995.

Mike Sillinger

BLOG: My Thoughts on Silli

Granted, I haven’t been around hockey too long, but this is my sixth season with the Islanders already. And I can say for certain that Mike Sillinger is one of, if not THE, best guys I’ve worked with so far in my short career.

I stressed the words “worked with” because Silli is the type of guy who will simply work with you. Fans hear stories of how some players don’t get along with their teammates, team employees and/or media – but that’s the exact opposite of Mike Sillinger and what he represents.

For one, he’s never turned down an interview request for me. And for a media relations person like me, he can’t do any wrong in that case! But if something is bothering him or if he sees something is bothering one of his teammates, he’ll simply (and politely) walk over to you to discuss the issues at hand to make the situation better for everyone involved. Team. Staff. Media. Everyone.

And he’s a fun guy to be around, too. He’ll keep the mood light even in tough situations. He’ll always step up to the plate after a bad loss. Sometimes I think that Greg Logan only talks to Silli after a stinker. That’s not the case. But the point is, Silli never backs down when the tough gets going. I’ve never seen him represent the team in anyway other then positive.

Mike is playing in his 1,000th NHL game tonight. It’s only his 92nd as an Islander, but he’s already made a lasting impact on the Island and on me. He’s shown me how true professionals act on and off the ice. And I kind of wish he played all 1,000 games in the Orange and Blue.