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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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