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.


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!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

MORNING SKATE: Ducks at Isles

With the fresh faces up from Bridgeport, there will some changes tonight. Here are some notes from the morning skate…

- According to Ted Nolan, Bryan Berard and Marc-Andre Bergeron are out tonight and Aaron Johnson is in. Only six defensemen will dress.

- With that, don’t be surprised if you see Radek Martinek, Miroslav Satan and Brendan Witt getting power play time at the points. Said Nolan: “We need to put guys there that will get the puck through traffic and on net.”

- Richard Park (flu) is a game time decision. If he doesn’t go, Jeff Tambellini will skate on the left side of Josef Vasicek and Bill Guerin.

- With the chance of Teemu Selane making his season debut for Anaheim tonight, the Finnish media was in full force this morning. While in town, they also took the opportunity to talk to Sean Bergenheim.

- Mike Sillinger spoke to the media this morning about his hip injury. Greg Logan will have a more substantial report, but Silli said: a) He has battled through the injury since the beginning of December and b) He loves playing and wants to contribute, but at this point he can’t perform that he knows he can and that’s it better for some young guys to get an opportunity.

- If the match-up in goal is anything other than Rick DiPietro versus Jean-Sabastien Giguere, we’ll be surprised.

Friday, February 1, 2008

ROAD TRIP: Stuck on the Plane / Mears Correction

The team’s chartered flight up to Montreal is supposed to take a little over an hour. But as I blog this, we’ve been waiting on the plane for an hour and half because the Montreal airports are closed down due to snow and inclement weather.

As of now, we’re planning on waiting out the weather and try to get in today.


Yesterday I wrote that Islanders radio play-by-play man Steve Mears admitted that a Britney Spears concert was “the best he’s ever been to.” That was incorrect. Mearsy actually stated: “It was ONE OF the best concerts I have ever been to.” Clearly there’s a difference.

So Mearsy, again… Really?