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Friday, December 26, 2008

Road Whites at Home

The Islanders will be wearing the white jerseys at home tonight.

Why?

It has to do with the Toronto Maple Leafs wearing their blue jerseys tonight.

You see, tomorrow night is Mike Gartner Night in Washington, DC. The Capitals asked the Leafs to wear their dark uniforms so they can go with their classic whites on the special night. And instead of the Leafs having to pack two sets of jerseys – very cumbersome for a two-day trip – they asked the Islanders for the switch. And the Orange & Blue said they’ll be the Orange & Blue & White tonight.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joe Callahan’s Trip to Nashville

With Andy Sutton out, Joe Callahan got the call from Bridgeport. But with the inclement weather in the northeast, it didn’t make the birthday boy’s trip to the south an easy one. No. 26 in the programs tonight turned 26 today.

Joe had to leave the greater Bridgeport area at 5:00 AM in a car service which took him approximately 160 miles in some sloppy roads to Philadelphia where he was able to get a direct flight to Nashville.

Would Joe have taken a connecting flight if it meant leaving from one of the NY airports or Boston or Hartford? Yeah, he would have. Were any available? Nope, all sold out.

So Joe got to the hotel at around 1:30 PM, got a quick bite to eat and is probably napping right now. Oh and that was also after Bridgeport defeated Springfield 4-1 last night. Joe was scoreless with one shot on goal.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Changes to All-Star Weekend?

TSN's NHL Insider Darren Dreger has this nugget about changes to the Skills Competition night of All-Star Weekend.

Click here to read.

Seems like the NHL is on the right track here.

And it's too bad that Frans got hurt because I think he might have been ticketed for the Young Stars game.

No word yet on if Versus will use a seven-second delay this year...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Plays of November

If you tune into the MSG-Plus (2) pre-game show tonight, you can see the Islanders top plays from the month of November. Rumor has it there might be a play or two from Islanders of the Month Joey MacDonald, a goal scored twice (Mr. Campoli) and one of Bill Guerin’s all-time greatest goals when he O’Burned the net in Montreal.

The highlight package will also be shown on Saturday’s pre-game telecast when the Islanders are on plain old regular MSG-Plus.

For a listing of where you can find MSG-Plus, click here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

B. Witt on HNiC Radio

Brendan Witt will be a guest of Kelly Krudey and Jeff Marek on Hockey Night in Canada Radio this evening at 5:30. On Sirius, it’s channel 122.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting the word out

Ah, kids these days.

Just a week after he was on the cover of the SportsBusiness Journal for the very same topic, Josh Bailey brought up Facebook in his media scrum this morning when discussing with the media that he’s staying an Islander for the 2008-09 season.

(See above: In their Nov. 17-23 issue, SBJ ran a headline that read “Can Facebook Change Sports?” and there was an image of Bailey skating through a Facebook page.)

The fact that Bailey had his photo on the cover had nothing to do with the story. It could have easily been Kyle Okposo, Patrick Kane or Greg Oden.

When asked by a reporter this morning how he told his former teammates in Windsor that he would not be rejoining them, the 19-year old Bailey said that he sent the team a Facebook message last night.

The SBJ article talked about how sports leagues and teams are using social networking websites to reach out to fans. But another way these types of websites are being used in sports is for athletes to keep in touch with each other. Almost every Islanders prospect has a personal Facebook page and after they meet at the summer mini-camps, they all keep in touch with each other online. It’s a friendship and bond that’s being created that wasn’t there 10, 15 or 20 years ago. The next generation of future Islanders are already teammates online.

I guess the art of the mass text message is out like Clear Pepsi.

How times have changed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From the Stat Wizards at the Elias Sports Bureau

(Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau and the NHL...)

The Islanders’ Joey MacDonald is 7-3-1 in 11 games this month following his 4-3 shootout victory over the Canadiens in Montreal last night. MacDonald’s seven wins in November are the most by any NHL goaltender. Boston’s Tim Thomas and Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom are tied for second with six wins each this month.

Friday, November 21, 2008

“A”

With the return of Brendan Witt to the lineup comes not only one of the team’s top defensemen, but also one of their on-ice leaders.

Brendan will be wearing an “A” on his jersey for both home and away games for now. Richard Park will wear an “A” for road games and Doug Weight will wear the “A” for home games.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Fritz Family Affair

There will be a Fritz Family Reunion on Sunday in Montreal. And no, “Fritz” isn’t French for “Big Man”.

With Mitch being recalled this afternoon by the Islanders, the 6-8 tough-as-they-come forward will be able to take in some football north of the border on Sunday. Sunday happens to be the Grey Cup, which is the championship game in the Canadian Football League. The game just happens to be in Montreal, the same the day the Islanders have a day-off there. The Islanders play in Montreal on Monday versus the Canadiens.

Why is this important to Mitch? Well, his “smaller” brother Luke, who is 6-6 and 300 pounds, just so happens to play for the Montreal Alouettes who are not only hosting the Grey Cup, but participating in it as well.

Mitch confirmed today that his brother is playing in the game and that his family will be in the area. Luke is in his 7th season in the CFL, all with Montreal. In fact, Luke had a tryout with the NY Jets in 2004.

The last time Mitch was up with the Islanders, he was looking at the schedule and noticed the Islanders would be in Montreal the day of the Grey Cup. He knew at the time that his brother was one win away from being in that game and that they would be the favorites to make it. He was hoping to be around for it.

Well, getting in the (way too early) holiday spirit, it looks like it’s a Festivus miracle… or you might be able to say Fritzivus miracle. (Sorry about that one...)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mac on HniC Radio

Joey MacDonald is scheduled to be on Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Sirius Satellite Radio this evening at 6:05. On Sirius, it’s channel 122.

Monday, September 29, 2008

So Long, Kev

Since 1987 (for the most part), Islanders games that were broadcasted on Sports Channel, FSN NY and MSG have been produced by one man: Kevin Meininger. He falls into the category of people who fans never heard of, but are an integral part of the Islanders extended family.

Meininger received a promotion from MSG two weeks ago and is now the Sr. Coordinating Producer of the NY Knicks, NY Liberty and NY Rangers telecasts on the MSG Network.

Mike Santini, who produced NY Mets broadcasts for MSG, has been named his replacement.

Meininger was one of the reasons that the broadcasts of the Islanders have won multiply NY Emmy’s over the past few years and the organization owes a lot to him for helping promote the team. Over the past few seasons, Kevin became a good friend of mine and he will be missed by many in the organization.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about John McComb passing away. Meininger actually took over producing Islanders games for him in 1987.

Congratulations Kevin. But remember…Now you’re part of the enemy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Catching up from Moncton

Here are some much belated notes and thoughts from training camp so far:

As I alluded to last year, from a media standpoint, Training Camp is used to get the major in-studio sit-downs out of the way for MSG-Plus, Islanders TV and Game Ops.

For instance, MSG-Plus gets a lot of their sound and video for the season-preview show in camp. All those videos you see at games with players answering questions gets recorded by Game Operations in camp. Islanders TV also records a plethora of video that appears on the website and also on the scoreboard. Game Ops and MSG-Plus also recorded their video headshots the night before we left for camp – which seems like forever and a day by now.

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I’ve been really impressed with Scott Gordon so far – but I’m not talking about his presence on the ice. Dealing with media, Flash has been confident, honest, endearing and open. It’s a great combination and a PR guy’s dream.

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The news of Jussi Markkanen’s son passing away has hit the team hard. Few Islanders know Jussi personally, but goalie coach Mike Dunham does. The thoughts and prayers of the entire Islanders family goes out to Jussi and his family.

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I for one am really excited for Chris Botta’s blog starting tonight/tomorrow at Midnight. I’m sure he and Greg Logan will keep each others on their toes from time to time. And that will be great for the fans.

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One player who has surprised me in camp so far is Mike Haley. He played in the rookie game against the University of Moncton and was a player who really stood out. You could really notice him on the ice and he might get a look in an upcoming pre-season game.

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Jack Hillen has showed the same poise he showed in those final two games versus the NY Rangers last season – and not just on the ice, but off it as well.

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You don’t really appreciate Mitch Fritz’s 6-foot-8 frame until you see him standing next to 6-foot-3 Trent Hunter and 6-foot-6 Eric Cairns. I’ve never seen Hunts appear as small as he did then at that time.

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At 37-years old, Doug Weight’s youthful enthusiasm makes me feel like I’m 50. I’m really in my 20s.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rose Goes National

Long-time Islanders TV play-by-play man Howie Rose will be calling the Mets-Atlanta Braves game for Fox Saturday Baseball.

I’ve always believed Rose is one of the most underrated broadcasters in sports and this will give a good portion of the country the opportunity to see him in action.

If you don’t know, Rose broadcasts the Mets on WFAN radio and used handle the TV duties back when the team was on FSN and MSG. He’s been covering the team for the past 30 seasons.

Congratulations Howie!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

R.I.P John McComb

John McComb falls under the category of someone in the extended Islanders family that fans probably never heard of.

For about 30 years, John was involved in Islanders telecasts. From producing games for Sports Channel to directing to stage managing for MSG-Plus, he was at nearly every Islanders home game along with games at the Garden and in New Jersey.

Last month, John suffered a stroke and passed away this past week.

He will be missed by the entire Islanders family.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Making sense of Legein

I found this to be an interesting read.

Making sense of Legein
By Gare Joyce
Sportsnet.ca

Sometimes we look at players and prospects as just a commodity and forget they have feelings that get hurt, too. Sometimes we look at them and say: "Well, you make a six or seven or eight figured salary, so don't complain." But with their heart and their feelings, they can change their mind and have the right to also. This is not to say Stefan Legein quit hockey because of hurt feelings - we don't know why he did. But this article does make you think. If you're not happy what you're doing, do something else.

Colley Named Head Coach of Utah

Utah Grizzlies CEO Kevin Bruder announced today at a press conference that Assistant Coach Kevin Colley has been named Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations. Colley replaces Jason Christie, who on Wednesday was named Assistant Coach for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. At 29, Colley becomes the youngest active head coach in the ECHL. Brad Church of Phoenix was previously the youngest at age 32.

The Grizzlies are proud to be the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

Colley joined the Grizzlies in August of 2007 after retiring as a New York Islander February 24, 2006 due to injury. He served as Assistant Coach this past season as Utah advanced past Fresno and Victoria in the playoffs and into the conference finals.

“We are very excited to name Kevin Colley the next Head Coach of the Utah Grizzlies,” said Bruder. “He is a valued member of both the Grizzlies family and the Islanders organization and was an integral part of our success last year. Along with Jason Christie, Kevin has spent the summer putting together this year’s team and this is an easy transition.”

“I want to thank Mr. Bruder and Mr. Elmore (Grizzlies Owner Dave Elmore) for this opportunity,” said Colley. “I have the passion and hunger to succeed and look forward to continuing the success of the Grizzlies organization. I also want to thank Islanders General Manager Garth Snow, Bridgeport President Howard Saffan and Islanders Scout Toby O’Brien for their support during this process.”

"Losing Jason to Chicago is unfortunate, but having a person as experienced as Kevin Colley to step in will make the transition seamless," Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan said. "Kevin learned a tremendous amount last season as the Grizzlies Assistant Coach and having him lead the team this year will help many of the young prospects within the organization develop into future Islanders."

Colley played in the ECHL from 1999-2003 and was named MVP of the 2003 Kelly Cup Playoffs as the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies captured the Kelly Cup. Colley was named an ECHL All-Star in 2003. In the AHL, he was named captain of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before making his NHL debut on October 27, 2005 for the Islanders. His playing career was cut short on January 31, 2006 when he suffered a broken neck and fractured his fifth cervical vertebrae in a game for the Islanders versus Washington.

The Grizzlies open the 2008-2009 season Saturday, October 18 at Idaho. The home opening weekend for Utah is Friday and Saturday October 24 and 25 versus Alaska at the E-Center.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Change in Utah

The Utah Grizzlies announced today that Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jason Christie will be named Assistant Coach for the AHL's reigning Calder Cup Champion Chicago Wolves. No replacement has been named yet.

Former Islander Kevin Colley served as an assistant coach under Christie and could be inline for a promotion.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Numbers

With training camp quickly approaching, here’s some news that some of you will enjoy.

Jeremy Colliton will switch back to 27 for camp. Josh Bailey will wear 12. Here are some other jersey numbers for training camp, which starts Sept. 19.





Joe Callahan – 26
Yann Danis - 34
Mitch Fritz – 49
Rob Hennigar – 68
Mike Iggulden – 37
Jesse Joensuu – 58
Chris Lee – 47
Peter Mannino – 1
Kurtis McLean – 54
Jyri Niemi – 48
Joel Rechlicz – 40
Brett Skinner – 4

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A message from the NYI Blog Box

Dear Corey, my Fellow Blog Boxers and the Entire Islanders Organization,

After much careful thought, I have made the tough decision to resign as an active member of the NYI Blog Box. I haven't been actively writing about the Islanders for some time now as it is and, with my wife and I expecting our first baby in just a few days as well as my constantly increasing responsibilities as the Tampa Bay Lightning correspondent for Hockeybuzz and, oh yeah, a pesky little thing called a "real job", I don't see that trend reversing itself any time soon. On top of all that, I'm actually looking forward to NOT writing about the Isles (or even PLANNING to write about them anyway ...) I'm very excited about taking in the upcoming season from my comfortable perspective as "Average Joe Fan".

That said, I cannot begin to explain to you all how much of an absolute honor and a thrill it was for me to be selected, first of all, and then to kick off the Blog Box project with the sneak peak debut feature on Ruslan Fedotenko that ran a few weeks before things actually launched. Seeing my mug on the front page of the team web site is something that I will never, ever forget.

Though my schedule (and location, of course) only allowed for me to partake in the Blog Box experience live but one time, that too is something that I will remember always. As I'm sure most of you would agree, walking down the corridor into the locker room area for the first time absolutely gave me chills. (My only regret is that I guess those chills ended up freezing up my yapper as well and a notebook full of questions went unasked ... oh well.) A special thank you to B.D. for his guidance that evening and for taking the extra time to help out the Florida guy (who was very, very cold that day ...)

Explaining to this bunch how much I love and have always loved this team is one hell of a difficult task, to say the least, so I can only hope you can take my word for it, since you all already understand that feeling as only a true Islander can. Knowing that, as I do, I'm sure you can also understand my desire to open up my spot in this crew so that someone else might fulfill a dream of theirs by being included. In the end, to me, that's just the right thing to do right now.

Moving forward, I'll be covering the Lightning with full credentials this season as the new owners have been incredibly open-minded, generous and kind with me. The long-term goal remains to turn my passion of covering hockey into my full-time career at some point and, though I'll remain as patient as necessary, I have reason to believe these days that it's not as far-fetched an idea as it once may have been. If you're interested, drop by and give me a read from time to time (and don't be afraid to say hello!) With my professional hat firmly planted on my head, I'll give that club my best effort

But with my heart - as I always have - I'll forever remain an Islander.

As I don't plan on sleeping much come this very Friday when our little boy joins our family, DVRd Isles games, after I've returned from Lightning home games, will be a real late night treat (and a fantastic way for me to teach this kid about OUR favorite hockey team from the get-go!) And, who knows ... maybe someday my boy will have a story of his own like this, still my hands down personal favorite of all the Islanders pieces I've ever written: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?user_id=3521&post_id=2536 .

The subject of this email is "Farewell (Kind of ...)" because, while I won't be actively participating in the NYI Blog Box in the immediate future, I'll never be all that far away (electronically, anyway) and I'll always be keeping tabs on all of you.

I plan on posting a farewell blog, of sorts, as I return to "regular fandom", in the coming weeks. If I'm no longer linked from the Blog Box home page at that time, hopefully some of you will still get the chance to give it a read (though the gist of it, I'm sure, is included this very email.)

Thank you for including this outsider as one of "The Originals"! I truly appreciate that more than I can say. I have no problem admitting that writing this was actually very tough for me, though I knew it was something that had to be done. I'm off now to try and wash down the lump in my throat with an ice cold Labatt's!

All the best ... and let's go Islanders!!!!!

Jon Jordan
http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blogger_archive.php?blogger_id=90

Monday, August 25, 2008

What's in a (nick) name?

What's in a NBA nickname? Make a decision, make it work for Oklahoma City

From The Oklahoman
By Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman gives his thoughts on the naming of the NBA's Oklahoma franchise (formerly of Seattle).

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Want to borrow from a regional characteristic? Minneapolis Lakers, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islande
rs did OK, which means the Oklahoma City Dirt Devils would, too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bossy of WFAN Tomorrow

Mike Bossy, the Executive Director of the Islanders Business Club, will be a guest of Ann Liguori tomorrow morning on WFAN 660 AM. The spot is supposed to air live in the 9:35/9:40 AM range. Bossy will discuss the IBC amongst other topics and the spot is scheduled to run between 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Witter on XM today

Fresh off his 2-year extension, Brendan Witt will appear on XM Radio's The Power Play with Jim Tatti & Gary Green at 5:05 today. The NHL channel is 204 NHL Home Ice. If you can't listen to it, we'll have the audio of the interview on ITV tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

TSN.ca Poll

If you check out the TSN.ca hockey page poll, they pose the question:

Which defenseman will provide the best value for his new contract?

And at 10:30 PM EST, the answers are as follows…

Mark Streit – NY Islanders: 5-years, $20.5 million - 49%
Brian Campbell - Chicago: 8-years, $56.8 million - 30%
Wade Redden – NY Rangers: 6-years, $39 million - 21%

How the news, if there is any, will get released

On July 1st and at the trade deadline, the Canadian news websites usually get the news out first when something goes down. Whether its agents tipping them off, or they have a mole at the NHL offices, they somehow get it before anything becomes official. But for today and the upcoming weeks, we’ll do our best at Newyorkislanders.com to bring you the news first.

So if all goes according to plan if and when a move happens, we’ll put a breaking news flash up on the website and tip off our friends at Islander Mania. Islanders TV is set up right outside Garth’s office, so if anything should happen, ITV will be there to put up a video interview from the GM himself. We’ll send out press releases to the media outlets and bloggers and we’ll go in depth with a website story as soon as we can.

And if I can, I’ll try to blog what’s going on and give any updates. Who knows, maybe the blog will be the quickest way to get any news – again, if there is any, out there.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Snow on NHL Live Today

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow will be on XM Satellite Radio’s NHL Live today at 12:30 with Don La Greca and EJ Hradek.

The show can be heard on XM 204 or on the NHL.tv web player.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Jerseys Arrive in Ottawa

I arrived in Ottawa on Wednesday evening after spending two hours on the LaGuardia runway with my fellow Air Canada passengers. The “08” Islanders draft jerseys were with me and never left my sight.

I’d like to think I’m going to get a lot accomplished in my few days in Ottawa. From league meetings to making contacts with the national hockey media.. I’m going to have a busy few days. But none of that is important if I don’t have jerseys with the accompanying nameplates with me on Friday night when the Islanders select …. With the fifth overall selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

What am I talking about? I’ll explain.

A few weeks before the draft, I got a list of names from Hockey Operations with potential names of players we might draft in the first round. It’s pretty obvious stuff, especially when you’re drafting fifth overall.

We take those names and make up nameplates (the fabric that has the players name sown onto the jersey material). Each nameplate has Velcro attached to the back so I can throw the nameplate on the jersey when I get the heads up from Garth right before he announces our pick. It should look pretty seamless when Garth selects…

These names and subsequent nameplates are guarded closely. Not so much because I think someone will look at my nondescript duffel bag and steal them, but because at this point I can’t afford to lose them!

Just as I did in 2006 when Kyle Okposo was drafted, I didn’t let these nameplates out of my sight when traveling today. The nameplates and five jerseys sat in a small duffle bag right in front of my seat the entire flight. I’m not willing to take the chance and have it being lost with my luggage.

If there is one thing I do right in Ottawa it is to make sure I can make up the jersey for …. And hand it off to Garth on Friday night for announcement and presentation.

I’ll probably sneak under the draft table to keep it a secret as long as possible when I get the word and I’m going to do my best to put it on straight. (Back in ’06, I almost put Okposo’s nameplate on backwards since his name starts and ends with an “O” and a certain former GM was pushing me under the table to hide it from the TV cameras!)

And as always, I hope the nameplate stays on the jersey!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A13

If you have a free second (and it will only take a second), check out the corrections on page A13 in Newsday today.

Isn't it funny, that something wrong can get a front cover headline... But to correct it, it gets hidden in the middle of the paper?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pick # 73

We put a web story on NYI.com yesterday listing all of our draft selections this year. That included the team’s two third round picks. # 66 overall and # 73 overall.

But here’s how #73 read: #73 (Edm to NYI to Edm to Ana to NYI)

The team abbreviations in the parentheses are the previous owners of the selection. Yup, Pick # 73 has been moved four times to be owned five separate times.

Well, here’s the story behind Pick # 73 and how Marc-Andre Bergeron was involved.

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The Edmonton Oilers were the original owners of the selection. Back on February 18, 2007, the Islanders acquired the # 73 draft pick and Marc-Andre Bergeron for Denis Grebeshkov.


However, in the summer of 2007, Edmonton wanted to make an offer sheet for Anaheim’s restricted free agent Dustin Penner. If you sign a restricted free agent, the signing team needs to give compensation to the team the player is being signed from. This is all negotiated in the CBA and the compensation is draft picks. But not any old draft picks. They have to be the team’s original draft picks.

So when Edmonton wanted to sign Mr. Penner to an offer sheet, they needed their original third round pick () back. You know, the one traded with Bergeron for Grebeshkov.

So Oilers’ GM Kevin Lowe swung a deal with Islanders GM Garth Snow on July 5, 2007 to acquire their original third round pick # 73 back (along with Allan Rourke) in exchange for a second round pick, which had no consequence on their offer sheet for Penner.

Edmonton signed Penner to an offer sheet and Anaheim declined to match the offer. So, in exchange for Penner, Edmonton had to give up a package of draft selections to Anaheim which included Pick #73.

But the story doesn’t end there.

At the trade deadline this past season, the Islanders traded Bergeron to Anaheim in exchange for Pick #73 on February 26. The Islanders got old #73 back. And it just so happens that Bergeron was traded only yesterday to Minnesota for … you guess it… a third round pick.

Fortunately, I don’t think the Islanders have any involvement with that third round pick.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Talking to prospects

It happens every year. It starts in February and gets heated up the weeks leading into the NHL Draft.

A reporter, or now blogger, hears that Team A spoke to Prospect X. And the reporter makes it seem like it is all but a forgone conclusion that Prospect X is going to Team A on draft day. You know, just because a scout from Team A was at a game for Prospect X and might or might not have spoken to him after the game.

In a nutshell, here’s how scouting works for the draft. Teams send scouts all over the world looking at players who are not only draft eligible this year, but in the coming years. So, when Team A’s scout goes to see Prospect X, he’s not only looking at Prospect X, but his teammates as well. But according to the reporter, Prospect X is the only one on Team A's radar. Chances are, the scout was there to look at Prospect X, but he wasn’t the only one to look at. And if you have ever been to a junior game, there is always a scout talking to a coach or a player after the game. It’s how they do their jobs. And it’s no secret.

This happened to the Islanders a few months ago. One of our scouts was at a game which a top-10 player in this year’s draft was playing in. Two days later I got a call from a reporter in that area saying “Hey, I heard the Islanders are looking at so-and-so…, Can I talk to someone about that?”.

Well of course we had a scout looking at him. He’s a top prospect for this year’s draft and we have a pretty high draft pick. So of course we’re going to look at him. And I’m sure the 29 other teams had a scout watch one of his games at some point.

So what am I trying to say here? Just because you read somewhere that the Islanders looked closely at this guy or that guy, just keep in mind that every team looks at as many players as they can and as closely as they can. Scouts try to get as much information as possible about these young kids so they can make educated recommendations come draft day.

Don’t get hyped up because someone is reporting that the Islanders looked at this guy "closely". Like the other teams, our scouts are just doing their job.

So, when draft day comes around, you can ask 10 different people who the Islanders are going to take and you’ll get 10 different answers, but they’ll all say: “I heard a scout for the Islanders looked at him closely. And I think they really like him and might take him at No. 5.”

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Osgood in the HoF?

Is Chris Osgood a Hall of Famer? You might not think so on first thought, but his career numbers give a good argument. The last goaltender to be inducted into the Hall of Fame was Patrick Roy. He and Marty Brodeur are the two best goalies to have ever played, so it’s pointless to compare Ozzie’s numbers with him. The previous netminder prior to Roy was Grant Fuhr.

Currently, Osgood has 363 regular season victories, a career 2.43 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He now has three Stanley Cups, 59 career playoff wins and a 2.11 GAA in the playoffs with a .914 save percentage. He’s been an All-Star and has won the Jennings Trophy for the lowest GAA in a season.

The basis for comparison is Fuhr, who has 403 career regular season wins and a 3.38 GAA. He picked up another 92 playoff wins and a 2.93 GAA to go along with five Stanley Cups. Throw in a Vezina and a Jennings Trophy and Grant Fuhr definitely had a Hall of Fame career.

So, Ozzie hasn’t matched those numbers yet. But this isn’t the end of his career either. Last January, he signed a three-year contract extension with the Red Wings. Barring injury, that will get him easily past 400 career wins and possibly close to 450 if he averages 29 wins per season over the next three years. And with most of Detroit’s best players still in the prime of their careers and no major salary cap concerns for the near future, there is zero reason to believe Ozzie’s regular season and postseason victory totals won’t continue to increase. So, when it’s all said and done, Chris Osgood might finish his career with 450 regular season wins, another 75 in the postseason, a career GAA of 2.50 and at least three Stanley Cups.

To me, that says Hockey Hall of Fame.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blog Box Hits the Road

We’ll go more in depth on NYI.com in the coming weeks, but NYI Blog Boxers Tom Liodice of The Tiger Track and Michael Schuerlein of IslesBlogger.com will be attending the NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa later this month. It’s a big step in the evolution of the Blog Box and I think they will do an excellent job of providing extra and different coverage for Islanders fans.


Also, our good friends at Islander Mania will be holding a tailgate party in the parking lot of the Coliseum before the Draft Party begins inside. For information on that, logon to Islandermania.com.

Friday, May 23, 2008

How does a PR guy pick a team to root for in the playoffs

The truth is, when you get so emotional invested in your team, when you’re around them for over seven months it’s hard to start rooting for another team in the playoffs. That is, unless they’re playing the Rangers. Then it’s really easy.

During the season, some people see the opponent as the enemy. But when the Islanders visit Pittsburgh or Detroit visits the Islanders, the staffs of both teams get to know each other on a business and personal. And then they become simply the opponent. You want to beat them and you get pissed off if you lose. But a working relationship or friendship develops.

So often times when I find myself watching playoff hockey and I find myself wanting to root for one team over the other I decide this way: Which PR staff do I like better? Yeah, I know that sounds dumb.

Most teams have great people working in their media departments. I was asked the other day who I thought had the best PR staff in the NHL. The answer was easy for me: Minnesota. Billy Robertson has assembled a staff that works hard for their team and treats visitors as one of their own. Granted, some teams are just filled with jerks. But the vast majority of the PR staffs around the league get along great.

So sometimes it’s tough. Do I root for Tom McMillan and his Penguins or Zach Hill and his Flyers? Or Jason Rademan and the Stars or Tom Holy and the Sharks?

Unfortunately I don’t know John Hahn from the Red Wings that well. But Tom McMillan is as solid as they come in the NHL PR world. So...

Go Pens Go.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guerin’s being honored for work in LI communities

In my six years with the team, I never saw a new player come to the team and embrace the local community like Bill and Kara Guerin have. It’s obvious the Islanders are reaching out to the community more than ever with the I.C.E. Tour debuting this summer. But that outreach and the connection the team makes with the community and its fans couldn’t be done without the participation and support of the players.

And Bill Guerin is a perfect example of that. Bill and his family clear their schedules to make room for community appearances.

For his outstanding work in just his first 10 months being an Islander, Bill and Kara are being honored at the Long Island Children’s Museum on May 30th.

Part of the evening will include a live auction, which Bill and Kara are offering up the opportunity for 12 children to play a game of street hockey at their Long Island home with Islanders captain.

To purchase tickets to the event, click here or call 516-224-5813.

Bill and Kara really stepped up this year with their involvement in children’s charities. Sometimes athletes only get mentioned when they did something wrong or bad. Although they don’t seek the attention, Bill and Kara deserve to be recognized for this.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

So, who said the conference finals would be good?

Ok, so I couldn’t have been more wrong with this one. Injuries, sure… But even still, I would have thought Dallas or Philly would have at least won a game by now between the two of them.

As one of my friends said: “Well, these playoffs really went down the crapper…”

But here’s to hoping that the Detroit/Pittsburgh finals will be great. Hey… If both teams are dominating right now, shouldn’t that be a great match-up?

If both teams sweep, the Finals could start as early as this weekend or Monday. With two weeks left in May, the Stanley Cup might be awarded in May for a change instead of June.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ESPN adds Cherry to beef up NHL playoff coverage

By WILLIAM HOUSTON

Don Cherry is taking his commentary and wardrobe south of the border, where he will make regular appearances on ESPN during the NHL’s Eastern Conference final.

“I guess they like my jackets,” the Hockey Night in Canada personality said yesterday.

Cherry and Hockey Night host Ron MacLean will leave the CBC’s Toronto studio for the road to cover the Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins series, which will start on Friday.

Cherry will do live hits by remote for ESPN’s SportsCentre at the end of each Flyers-Penguins game.

“When I’m finished with the wrap-up on Hockey Night, I’ll do the ESPN spot,” Cherry said. “Sherali [Najak, the executive producer of Hockey Night ] will help set it up for me.”

Cherry has plenty of critics, but ESPN’s move to hire the Canadian-based commentator speaks to his popularity and profile among NHL fans on both sides of the border.

“We’re thrilled,” said Mark Gross, ESPN’s senior vice-president of studio production. “He’s a great personality and being able to incorporate him into our hockey coverage is a nice addition.”

The U.S. sports channel also plans to use Cherry during the Stanley Cup final.

Adding Cherry to beef up ESPN’s playoff coverage will restart speculation about ESPN2 returning as a carrier of NHL games next season. Gross said that decision will be made at a management level above his.

In the conference finals, Cherry picks the Penguins over the Flyers and the Detroit Red Wings to defeat the Dallas Stars.

Monday, May 5, 2008

It should be a good series…

"It should be a good series"… That’s what I caught myself saying to Pittsburgh-native Steve Mears tonight when I asked him how long of a drive is it from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. (About 6 hours, according to him).

But then I stopped myself and thought, it’s the Conference Finals, why wouldn’t it be a good series? Sure, we’ve seen our shares of sweeps, but generally when you get to the best two teams in each conference, you’re going to get some pretty good darn hockey games.

Both Philly and Pittsburgh are coming off Semi-Final series where they dominated for wins in five games. This season, the teams have already played each other eight times with the possibility of seven more times for a remarkable 15 games. They know each other and most definitely have some “issues” with each other.

But, some in the Canadian media are saying it’s an un-sexy series because A) There isn’t a team from north of the border left in the race and B) Prince Sidney and the Pens will win because Sidney is Sidney.

Well, looking at the way Philly tore through Montreal to reach this point, there’s no reason why they can’t make this a good and long series. They’re playing up to the potential that they were built to have.

And give Pittsburgh credit… They could be the complete package. With Sidney and Malkin and Hossa and a kid from Long Island, they have as good of a shot as anyone.

And can anyone say Laraque v. Cote or Gill v. Hatcher

So what does this rambling and nonsense mean? There’s a ton of reasons why Philly/Pitt will be a good series and a fun one to watch. Just because there isn’t a Canadian team in the conference finals, doesn’t mean there isn’t good hockey left.

Pittsburgh in 7.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank Goodness for the Redline Rule

This is a YouTube classic… It’s from a Polish Hockey League game where the goalie on the white team tried to cross the redline and score on an empty net from point blank range.



Thank goodness the goalies can’t do this in the NHL, because I think we all know what would happen…

Video courtesy of Sean Leahy’s Going Five Hole.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mores pics from Bristol

Here are some more pictures of Bill Guerin at the ESPN studios.











Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another ESPNews Hit Added

Billy G will stay at the ESPN campus for a little bit longer and will do another ESPNews hit at 11:00 PM. That should wrap up his big day at ESPN.

So, that makes segments at 7:50, 9:30 and 11:00.

The picture on the side is of Billy with his ESPN ID badge on him... Photo courtesy of Josh Bernstein and his BlackBerry.

More on ESPNews

Bill will appear twice more on ESPNews today. Once at 7:50 PM and again at 9:20 PM (UPDATE: It's actually 9:30 now...).

The digital media was for ESPN.com’s video player and Verizon Wireless broadband.

A+ for the Captain

I thought Billy Guerin did a great job on ESPNews with Barry Melrose. He really opened up and became more comfortable as the segment went. People say he might have a career in coaching after he hangs up the skates, but I wouldn’t rule out TV.

And going on the assumption that Billy wasn’t prompted on which teams Barry Melrose played for prior to going on air, he might be the only person in the world to know the correct answer!

Guerin will do more hits on ESPNews later on, so keep an eye on it.

ESPN Ditigal

Prior to going on ESPNews with Barry Melrose, Billy G. sat down with Barry to do some digital media interviews for ESPN.com. Josh Bernstein sent this picture via his Black Berry. I know it's riveting, but it's something. Technology...


REMINDER: Guerin on ESPNews

We're told the segment will run a few minutes late, but he'll be on with Barry Melrose. Enjoy.

We'll provide more updates once we get them from our people up in Bristol with Billy.

ESPN.com Chat with Billy

So the radio interview got cut (really) short due to poor cell phone reception while Bill was headed up to Bristol. But hockey did get a good segment on national radio… Look at the positives…

Bill is still set to conduct the ESPN.com chat. Click here to log on.

Guerin’s Schedule

Bill is now on his way up to Bristol for his ESPN tour and here’s a tentative schedule of what’s going on.

2:00 PM – LIVE Interview with Mike Tirico on ESPN Radio
3:35 PM - ESPN.com Chat

4:00 PM - Digital Media on ESPN.com (updated at 12:45 PM)

4:50 PM - Hotlist on ESPNews

7:50 PM – More ESPNews
hits

More to come and possibly to be added…

Guerin’s ESPN Media Blitz

Due to some crafty work by Islanders TV head man Josh Bernstein, Islanders captain Bill Guerin will be doing an ESPN media blitz today.

Billy G. is scheduled to be on The Hot List, ESPNews PreGame, ESPNews Gametime, ESPNews Postgame, The Mike Tirico Show (ESPN Radio), and in an ESPN.com chat.

There’s also a chance he will appear on SportsCenter pending schedule formatting.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

From the NHL: 2008 NHL DRAFT DRAWING

2008 NHL DRAFT DRAWING TO BE TELEVISED LIVE ON MONDAY, APRIL 7 AT 8 P.M. ET FOR ONLY SECOND TIME IN EVENT’S HISTORY

NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 2, 2008) – The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, will take place Monday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET at the NHL’s New York City office.

The League, in cooperation with TSN, further announced that the results of the Draft Drawing will be televised live by TSN in Canada; VERSUS in the U.S.; and NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, the results will be streamed live on NHL.com and TSN.ca and broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio. It will be only the second time the Draft Drawing results will be televised live, and the first time since 2005, when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the right to select first overall and drafted Sidney Crosby.

The 30-minute, live program – titled “Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery” – will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will originate from the NHL on TSN studios in Toronto. TSN’s James Duthie will host the program, with Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie and analyst Mike Milbury.

The Draft Drawing involves Clubs that do not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the Clubs that acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs.

Per NHL rules, the club selected in the Draft Drawing may not move up more than four positions in the draft order. Thus, the only Clubs with the opportunity to receive the first overall selection are the five teams with the lowest regular-season point totals, or the Clubs that acquired an eligible Club’s first-round draft pick. No club will move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Drawing.

Under the weighted system, the club with the fewest regular-season points will have the greatest chance (25%) of winning the Draft Drawing and will pick no lower than second. Based on team finish, the percentage chance of being selected in the Draft Drawing is:

30th place team - 25.0% 23rd place team - 3.6%
29th place team - 18.8% 22nd place team - 2.7%
28th place team - 14.2% 21st place team - 2.1%
27th place team - 10.7% 20th place team - 1.5%
26th place team - 8.1% 19th place team - 1.1%
25th place team - 6.2% 18th place team - 0.8%
24th place team - 4.7% 17th place team - 0.5%

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft will take place at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. The first round will take place on Friday, June 20 commencing at 7 p.m. (local time) and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21.

Results of Previous Draft Drawings

Year Selected Effect On Draft Order Player Selected
1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg
1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips
1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton
1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier
1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl *
2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro
2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash **
2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin
2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby
2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson
2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane

* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.
** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.
*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Getting Jiggy with it Tonight

With Howie Rose on Mets duty tonight, Hall of famer Jiggs McDonald will be calling the action on MSG Plus. Howie Rose will rejoin the team for the final two games versus the New York Rangers later this week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

From the NHL: NHL CONTENT NOW AVAILABLE ON HULU.COM

NEW YORK (March 21, 2008) – National Hockey League (NHL) content is now available on-demand for free through www.Hulu.com. A partnership between the NHL and the new online video service known as Hulu was announced last week. Under the agreement, the NHL is providing full-length “Games of the Week,” full-length classic games, “Best of the Week” highlights and all-access features focused on NHL players and events.

The Hulu.com website brings together the widest selection of premium video from across 50 content providers with an elegant, easy-to-use interface. With a focus on the video viewing experience, Hulu.com streams videos in high-quality while offering additional tools to enhance the viewing experience, including full-screen view, a pop-out window, a ‘lower lights’ feature and much more.

“NHL fans are early adopters who consume New Media more than fans of other sports,” said Troy Ewanchyna, NHL Director Business Development.
“Partnering with Hulu is an important next step in our commitment to delivering NHL content our fans want, when and where they want it.”

In addition to NHL content, U.S. consumers can go to Hulu.com to watch a large selection of hit TV shows, movies, clips and more in high-quality – any time, for free. Hulu’s extensive distribution network includes Hulu’s partner sites (AOL, Comcast's Fancast.com, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo!) and other web
sites where users have embedded Hulu videos.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bruno Nominated for 10th Annual NHL Foundation Player Award

I know we’re not shy to hide the fact that Bruno Gervais is really one of the best guys in professional sports. A few weeks ago, the Islanders nominated Bruno for the 10th Annual NHL Foundation Player Award. That’s an award that is designed to promote the charitable efforts of current NHL players and to reward the player that best exemplifies a commitment to the community in which he lives. The NHL donates $25,000 to the players charity of choice.

Now why Bruno?

Islanders community relations coordinator Ann Rina wrote this letter to the NHL:

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Dear NHL Foundation Player Award Committee:

Since 1972, the New York Islanders have been a fixture in the Long Island community and a champion of charitable causes. It is through this dedication that the Islanders Children’s Foundation was created in the summer of 2003.

While every season, the entire Islanders organization shows a strong commitment to the Long Island community, one player that has gone above and beyond the call of duty is defenseman Bruno Gervais.

Despite being in the NHL for only two and half seasons, Bruno already embodies the spirit of the NHL Foundation by applying the core values of hockey-commitment, perseverance and teamwork to the people of Long Island.

Bruno knows how impressionable children are (he has said that if he wasn’t playing professional hockey, he’d be a teacher) and each year he makes it a point to visit local schools. During this year’s New York Islanders Literacy Day, he joined with his teammates in visiting local elementary schools to read to students and explain the importance of literacy and education.

He also took the time this season to visit local middle schools to talk about the importance of teamwork and how the importance of working together to achieve a common goal. Later this month, Bruno will be the post-game guest speaker at French Student Night at the Coliseum.

Bruno has made multiple visits to Schneider Children’s Hospital throughout the season going from room to room to give the children some hope and happiness. While he connected with many patients, one little boy really bonded with Bruno. The boy had just received a bone marrow transplant and had no real understanding of hockey. But as Bruno has such great way of connecting with children, when Bruno returned with his teammates a month later, he was only interested in seeing Bruno!

The past two seasons Bruno has connected with one of Long Island’s largest not for profit organizations, The American Red Cross. As an active member of The Red Cross Community, Bruno is currently featured in an informative Red Cross video and in the off-season traveled down from his home in Montreal to participate in one of their major events called the “Swim Across.” Bruno greeted and thanked each person for coming out to the event that day. The strong connection between Bruno and the Red Cross also led to a major fundraising event at an Islanders game this season where Bruno stayed after the game to meet the fans that participated.

At the beginning of the season Bruno showed his support for Long Island’s Volunteer Fire Departments by visiting a local a fire department with his fellow defenseman Chris Campoli. The pair learned what it takes to be firefighters and was featured in videos promoting “Firefighter Appreciation Night” on Islanders TV and in game at the Nassau Coliseum.

Bruno is also doing his part to help to grow the game of hockey here on Long Island by attending countless ticketing and youth hockey events where he will sign autographs, take pictures and give youth players encouragement and tips on how to improve their game.

There is no doubt that Bruno Gervais has increased his commitment to the people of Long Island. Bruno not only uses the core values of hockey on the ice but everyday of his life. There are numerous people on Long Island that have been positively affected by Bruno this past year, and I know that each year that number will increase. He has truly earned the respect of many Long Islanders and he strongly deserves to be nominated for this great award. I ask that you review this presentation carefully and realize that it takes someone special to touch the lives of so many in such a short amount of time. Bruno Gervais has become an integral part of the Islanders team and he will continue to enrich the lives of the people he encounters for years to come as a member of the New York Islanders.

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You can also watch a video produced by Islanders TV (Click here to watch) that was also included with his nomination. The nomination package that Ann put together also included letters from organizations and people that Bruno has worked closely with.

Earlier this season, Bruno and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Maxime Talbot created the Gervais-Talbot Foundation. Many raised will go to foundations that both players work closely with. The foundation will be holding a golf outing this summer in Montreal to raise money for the foundation.

And why Bruno? Well, he set up his own school assembly visit earlier in the year and was planning on doing everything himself before Ann stepped in to offer up her help.

That’s just the type of person Bruno is.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

From the NHL re: Progner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / MARCH 15, 2008
DUCKS' PRONGER SUSPENDED FOR EIGHT GAMES, FORFEITS MORE THAN $600,000 IN SALARY

NEW YORK/TORONTO (March 15, 2008) -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger has been suspended for eight games, without pay, for acting carelessly and recklessly in an incident against the Vancouver Canucks in NHL Game #1062 on March 12.

The incident occurred after Pronger became entangled with Canucks forward Ryan Kesler, who had fallen to the ice.
"In attempting to free himself, Pronger carelessly and recklessly brought his foot down," said Colin Campbell, NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations.

There was no injury to Kesler, and no penalty was assessed.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Pronger is considered a repeat offender. He will forfeit $609,756.08 in salary. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Pronger will be eligible to return Sunday, April 6, against the Phoenix Coyotes.

####(03/15/08)

Monday, March 3, 2008

B-Port's Smith Named AHL Rookie of the Month

From the AHL...

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The American Hockey League announced today that Bridgeport Sound Tigers center Trevor Smith has been named the Rbk Edge/AHL Rookie of the Month for February. Smith tallied eight goals and seven assists for 15 points in 13 games for the Sound Tigers last month.

Smith scored once in regulation and once in the shootout to lead Bridgeport to a 2-1 win in Hartford on Feb. 2, and celebrated his birthday on Feb. 8 with the game-winning goal and an assist in a 3-2 victory over Lowell. Smith then embarked on what would be a 10-game scoring streak, beginning with a goal and an assist in the Sound Tigers' 3-0 win vs. Worcester on Feb. 13. He scored another goal in a 6-3 win at Albany on Feb. 15, then had back-to-back two-point efforts as Bridgeport beat Hartford on Feb. 17 and Norfolk on Feb. 20. Smith closed out the month with another game-winning goal in a 3-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Feb. 29.

In recognition of his achievement, Smith will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Sound Tigers home game.

Smith, 23, has recorded 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points in 36 games with the Sound Tigers this season, ranking fourth on the team in goals. A native of North Vancouver, B.C., Smith signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders on Apr. 2, 2007, after two seasons at the University of New Hampshire, where he was an NCAA East Second Team All-American last year.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Core of the Four Payroll?

The team’s payroll back in the early 1980s wasn’t even a quarter of the 50.3 million dollars of this year’s salary cap. It was a different era back then and the group that consists of the Core of the Four will probably never be able to be put back together again for four straight seasons.

But if that team were to play in 2007-08, well, there wouldn’t be a team. As great of a general manager as Bill Torrey was, there’s just no way he would have been able to keep the Core of the Four under the salary cap.

So, basing the Core of the Four players on current NHL players to get estimate for a 2007-08 salary total, here’s how much the Core of the Four team would have cost.

*** Disclaimer *** Trying to find good current counterparts to those 1980s guys is almost an impossible task and everyone is going to have an opinion on who was the Jarome Iginla back in 1983 or who is the current day equivalent of Bob Nystrom. It’s not as much about that as it is trying to find a good basis for a salary comparison. We also kept current Islanders off the list.

Special thanks to broadcasters Howie Rose, Billy Jaffe, Steve Mears, Chris King and FSN producer Kevin Meininger and FSN director Larry Roth for their assistance on coming up with the list.

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We’ll start off with the New York Islanders Hall of Fame members. For Mike Bossy, Bob Bourne, Clark Gilles, Bob Nystrom, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith and Bryan Trottier, it would cost 40.55 Million dollars.

Mike Bossy: Ilya Kovalchuk (6.4 Mil)
Bob Bourne: Daymond Langkow (2.5 Mil)
Clark Gillies: Jarome Iginla (7.0 Mil)
Bob Nystrom: Brendan Morrow (4.1 Mil)
Denis Potvin: Chris Pronger (6.25 Mil)
Billy Smith: Marty Turco (5.6 Mil – Since both are good with their sticks albeit in different ways)
Bryan Trottier: Sidney Crosby (8.7 Mil – Using next year’s salary since Trotts was in the prime of career and then so would Crosby)



Then if you throw in Butch Goring, Ken Morrow, Stefan Persson and John Tonelli, well that’s another 17 Million to bring the total up to 57.55 Million. We’re already over the cap and we only have 11 players.

Butch Goring: Rob Brind’Amour (4.0 Mil)
Ken Morrow: Chris Phillips (3.5 Mil)
Stefan Persson: Brian Rafalski (6.0 Mil)
John Tonelli: Justin Williams (3.5 Mil)



And to round out the Core of the Four, we have Anders Kallur, Gord Lane, Dave Langevin, Wayne Merrick and Duane Sutter. That’s another 8.83 Million.

Anders Kallur: PJ Axelsson (1.85 Mil)
Gord Lane: Sean O’Donnell (1.25 Mil)
Dave Langevin: Robyn Regier (2.28 Mil)
Wayne Merrick: Kris Drapper (2.2 Mil)
Duane Sutter: Chris Neil (1.0 Mil)



So, for those 16 Core of the Four players, the Islanders would roughly have a combined salary of 66.38 Million. Just 16 Million over this season’s salary cap. And we’re still short a back-up goalie that played at least a third of the regular season games and three more skaters.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MORNING SKATE: Isles at Caps

Here are some notes from the morning skate…

- Probable goaltending match-up is Rick DiPietro versus Olie Kolzig.

- It looks like former Islander Tom Poti will be back in the lineup for the Capitals after missing the last two games.

- Newest Islanders defenseman Drew Fata will be in his usual No. 49 sweater tonight. He is the tenth defensemen the team has used this season, but it’s the first time the Islanders had to call a blueliner up from Bridgeport after carrying eight or nine defensemen on the active roster for the entire season.

- Without Brendan Witt in the lineup to try to shutdown Caps’ ace Alex Ovechkin, the task will fall on Radek Martinek and the Jo Vasicek shutdown line. Of course, Ted Nolan pointed out to the media this morning that Rick DiPietro is the team’s ultimate stopper.

- Visiting teams in the nation’s capital have been using Rainbow Busses and a particular bus driver named Joe for a long time. How long? Butch Goring remembers having Joe as a driver all the way back in the 1970s.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meet the San Jose Sharks

When Islanders radio play-by-play man Steve Mears went to college at Bowling Green, he had a roommate named Tom Holy. Mr. Holy, as you can see below, is the Sharks Media Relations Manager and is San Jose’s version of the Islanders’ Shakey.

Last year when the teams played, Mears and Holy made a side (friendly) wage on the outcome of the game. Mears had to buy dinner after the game back in October of 2006. No word yet if a similar wager has been made, but it’s safe to say this Monday matinée will have a little more meaning in the Coliseum press box then usual.




Saturday, February 16, 2008

MORNING SKATE: Thrashers at Isles

Here are some notes from the morning skate…

- TV 55/10’s CJ Papa is filling in for the absent Deb Kaufman on the FSN broadcast tonight. Islanders VP of Game Operations Tim Beach will sub for CJ for the in-game entertainment at the Coliseum tonight.

- The talk of the morning was once again the “Kid Line” of Jeff Tambellini, Frans Nielsen and Blake Comeau. They impressed with their solid play against the Maple Leafs as they went up against the Mats Sundin line in Toronto and more than held their own.

- Rick DiPietro will be in net tonight for the Islanders. It looks like Kari Lehtonen will get the nod for Atlanta. If he does, it will be the fourth straight Finnish goaltender the Islanders have faced. (Backstrom, Niitymaki, Toskala)

- Mike Comrie and Trent Hunter will wear the “A” on their jersey until the injured Mike Sillinger and Brendan Witt return to the lineup.

- On the FSN broadcast tonight, you can look for a small package on Hockey's Hockey Weekend in America with sound clips from Rick DiPietro, Bill Guerin and Andy Hilbert. Also, Billy Jaffe will talk to Aaron Johnson on the bench during the pre-game show.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

STATS: By a raise (or close) of hands…

So the Islanders have been penalized for closing the hand on the puck twice in the last two games. Radek Martinek has been the “guilty party” in both instances. It’s one of those penalties that could probably be called almost every game, but rarely is.

How rare in the land of Orange and Blue? Enough that it raised more than one eyebrow after the second penalty was called last night versus the Flyers. And offhand, no one could remember the last time the Islanders were flagged for that call.

So with the help of Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau, we found out when the last time it happened.

January 27, 2004… Arron Asham.

So my guess is that Marti doesn’t have to be worried about being sent to the penalty box for this penalty for at least another two or three years.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

VERSUS: Dubie mic’d up

Tonight’s game is being exclusively broadcasted on Versus and fans will be treated to a unique experience. Both back-up goaltenders will be mic’d up for sound. Wade Dubielewicz will be joined by Marty Biron of the Flyers.

Some of the best jabbing from the bench comes from the backup netminders, so this could be fun.

Monday, February 11, 2008

RADIO: Bill and Kara Guerin on KJOY Tomorrow

Islanders captain Bill Guerin and his wife Kara will be the guest of Kim Burke and Jim Douglas tomorrow morning on KJOY 98.3 FM.

The interview, which was pre-taped Monday morning, will air between 5:00 AM and 9:00 AM. Since the window is so wide, KJOY has offered up to give us a copy of the interview, which we will make available online as soon as possible thanks to the show’s producer Neil.

Amongst the topics discussed is: how the family has adjusted to life on the Island, Tuesday night’s game against the Flyers as well as Kara’s participation in the fashion show which will take place during the second intermission of the game.

Check back for updates…

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I get by with a little help from… Howie Rose

Not too much news from the morning skate for tonight. Same lineup for the Islanders other then Jeremy Colliton (# 72) being inserted for Miro Satan. Rick DiPietro will go against Ty Conklin in net.

So with that said, I have a story to share…

It starts when I got back into my hotel room last night after dinner at 10:30-ish. Tired, I figured I would do some quick ironing for today and then go to bed. I took out the suit jacket I was planning on wearing to see how it faired through the travels and it was good. Next up was the pants… Which I quickly remembered were still on Long Island in my closet. Uh oh.

I’ll quickly interrupt the story to give you a trade secret. On two-day trips (travel one day, play a game the next and come straight home), most everyone just brings one suit -- the one they’re wearing. For longer trips, it could be two or three suits which guys just rotate through. Don’t worry, we bring plenty of shirts and ties to help the illusion.

So, I decided to go with two suits on this four day trip which is more then enough considering I also brought with me a pair of khaki pants for the off day in Minnesota. Before 10:30 PM last night, I thought I was all good for this trip.

Anyway, down to only one suit I quickly called my fiancée to see if she could FedEx the missing suit pants to Minnesota so I could at least switch suits in Minnesota. But as I called her, I realized that Islanders play-by-play man Howie Rose stayed back on Long Island to celebrate his wife’s birthday. BTW, Happy Birthday Barbara!

By 11:00 PM last night, I texted Howie to see if he was still up. He was and more than willing to help me out. The pants were brought to his house early in the morning and packed with his luggage.

They’re now in Pittsburgh and don’t need to be ironed in case you were wondering.

So, to steal a line from the Beatles, I get by with a little help from Howie Rose. Thanks Rosey!