Monday, September 15, 2014

Ledecky And Malkin Only Purchased 10% of the Islanders?

According to the New York Post, Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin who purchased a "substantial minority interest" in the Islanders last month only actually purchased 10% of the team.  The article states, "Ledecky's group is buying only a 10% stake in the Islanders, and will need to line up additional funding or investors to buy out Wang, according to sources."

This is slightly concerning to me, however, this would at least partially explain the two year wait for them to become majority owners.

Who Is Phil Falcone?

photo by Bloomberg

The New York Post reported this morning that Minnesota Wild co-owner Phil Falcone is interested in selling his minority stake in the Wild in order to become an investor with the Islanders.

Falcone is the founder of Harbinger Capital and LightSquared.  Harbinger Capital is a hedge fund firm based in New York City.  The main thing they are noted for is investing in the public equity and hedging markets.  Meanwhile, at LightSquared they are building a state of the art open wireless broadband network.  This company has come under fire recently for different violations and last month Falcone filed 'divorce papers' from the bankrupt business.

As of last year, Falcone had a net worth of 1.2 billion dollars which made him the 1175th richest person in the world and 377th richest person in the United States.

Wild Co-Owner Interested In Investing In Islanders

According to the New York Post, Minnesota Wild co-owner Phil Falcone is interested in selling his minority stake in the Minnesota Wild in order to become an investor with the Islanders.  Falcone is old friends with new Islanders owner Jonathan Ledecky.  On August 19th, it was reported that Ledecky and London businessman Scott Malkin had purchased a minority stake in the Islanders with it turning to a majority stake in two years.

Falcone owns 45% of the Wild which he purchased in 2008.  He has recently clashed with the teams co-owner Craig Leipold over how to cover the teams losses which amount to roughly 20 million dollars yearly.

Upcoming Islanders Appearance

On Sunday, October 26th Islanders forwards Michael Grabner and Anders Lee as well as defenseman Brian Strait will be appearing at Hofstra University in the David S. Mack Student Center to sign autographs for fans as part of the JP Sports Long Island National Sports Collectible Show.  The players will be at the show from 11:30am until 1:00pm.

The cost for Grabner is $25 and you get one free inscription along with that.  Strait and Lee will be $20 each and you also get one free inscription if you want one.  If you miss out on the team function at Adventureland this is a great way to meet a couple of your favorite Islanders.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014/2015 Islanders Predictions: Top 6 Forwards

Over the next month leading up to the start of the regular season, we will be giving our stat predictions for each Islander player.  Today we will be covering those who we believe will be part of the top 6 forwards on opening night:


photo by bleacherreport

1) John Tavares

35 goals

60 assists

95 points

Tavares was on pace for the best season of his career before his Olympic injury last season.  I see no reason at all as to why he won't continue to build on that this season possibly eclipsing the 100 point mark.

2) Kyle Okposo

30 goals

50 assists

80 points

Last season, Okposo finally had the breakout season fans had been begging for, for a couple seasons.  With him now having residency on the right side of Tavares, I would be surprised if his stats saw anything except for an increase this season.


photo by zimbio

3) Brock Nelson

20 goals

35 assists

55 points

Nelson is the early favorite to play left wing for Tavares and Okposo.  If he remains in that spot for a majority of the season I see no reason why he won't reach these numbers.

4) Nikolai Kulemin

18 goals

22 assists

40 points

Kulemin's numbers had suffered the last couple years after being put into a more defensive system in Toronto.  Moving here and being put back into a more offensive role will only do good things for him.

5) Mikhail Grabovski

20 goals

30 assists

50 points

If Grabovski is able to stay healthy which is something he has kind of struggled with in his career these numbers are reasonable for him.  Reuniting with his close friend Kulemin should only do positive things for him as well.


photo by zimbio

6) Ryan Strome

16 goals

25 assists

41 points

If he is going to be with this team I think Strome will be on the right side of Kulemin and Grabovski to start with at least.  Strome was on pace for numbers similar to this last season so this should be realistic for him.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ex Isles Owner Spano Indicted On Theft/Forgery Charges

According to Newsday, former Islanders owner John Spano was indicted by an Ohio grand jury last month on one count of theft and 44 counts of forgery.

Court papers reveal that Spano stole between $7,500 and $150,000 from his employers in a scam that took place from June 2011-July 2013.  Spanos attorney Jay Milano told Newsday that his client played a, "minor role" in this scam and that the owner of the company was the person behind the whole thing.

Spano, 50, was the Islanders owner for a couple months in 1996/1997 before it was realized that he was a fraud and lied to get financing for the team.  In January of 1998 he was sentenced to 71 months in prison.  Although he only owned the Islanders for a short time, Spano was able to negotiate an extension of the Islanders cable contract with MSG which possibly saved the team from moving.

Savetheisles Chats With Dan Petriw From HockeyBuzz

In our next season preview interview, we had the chance to talk with Dan Petriw from hockeybuzz.com.  We would like to thank Dan very much for taking the time to answer our questions.  If you don't follow Dan on twitter yet, you can follow him here.

STI: For those who might not be familiar with you, could you give a little background information about yourself?

DP: I have been in the media industry since 2000 and have pretty much done it all.  I am an alumni of Quinnipiac University where I really learned how TV, print and radio all work.  I have worked at WTNH Channel 8 in New Haven Ct and also I spent 13 years at ESPN.  I currently write for hockey buzz where I am an Islanders writer and I also freelance direct at the MLB Network.  I have a passion for all things hockey and I'm also a huge fan of the Barclays Premier League.  The Islanders and Arsenal are really the only two teams that can make me cry tears of joy or conjure up fits of rage.

STI: Going into the season, everyone will be and are talking about guys like Tavares and Halak as keys to the Islanders season.  Who do you think is someone who is coming in a bit under the radar that will prove to be a key for the Islanders this year?

DP: I think Brock Nelson is going to have a big year.  I think he is the leader out of the gate to win that wing slot alongside Tavares and Okposo.  In limited time last season, Nelson did not look out of place playing with the big boys.  I also think, the combo of Nelson's size, skill and willingness to get his nose dirty will yield some solid results this season.

I also expect Calvin de Haan to build off a strong rookie campaign.  He is a key for this team.  If he proves that he can continue to handle top pairing minutes I fully expect that this defense will be much better off.  I also expect for de Haan to get out on the power play more and I think it is reasonable that we can see a jump in production from Calvin this season.

STI: Josh Bailey is someone who often comes up as a talking point among fans in Islanders Country.  What are your thoughts on him?  Do you think this will be the year he figures it out, or is it time for Bailey to move on?

DP: I have wrote about Bailey so much at this point I honestly don't know what the answer is.  I also don't know what his role on this team is if he is in training camp.  He is not a top six forward at this point and placing him on the fourth line is pointless as well.  I guess as of right now he would be penciled in on the third line.  I would, however, try to move him before the season starts if it could return a capable defenseman.

Bailey has not shown me any semblance of consistency that makes me feel confident that he will be a productive player for the Islanders.  Every time I think about Bailey's future, I come away with more questions than answers.

STI: Another popular player to talk about for different reasons is defensive prospect Griffin Reinhart.  Most fans are expecting him to make the team out of camp this year.  What do you feel are realistic expectations for him heading into the season?

DP: I am actually not as high on Reinhart as many others are.  I'm just not sold on his upside.  I think he can be a capable stay at home dman in the league but he does need to improve his skating.  If he can find anyway to develop an average offensive game I think Griff will be fine.

I just don't know how to project Reinhart at this point.  Is he Adam Foote?  Is he Brendan Witt?  Is he Mark Eaton?  It is honestly to early to tell.  As for making the team, there are roster spots open on the blue line.  If Reinhart has a solid camp I think he will have a great chance to grab one of those spots.

STI: Switching to off-ice topics, what was your reaction when you learned of the sale news last month?  What kind of effect do you think it will have on the team both in the short term and long term?

DP: I am pleased that the sale of the Islanders is occurring,  It was time and honestly long overdue.  Much like I am willing to give anyone with a goalie glove a chance to tend net for the Isles, I am willing to give any new owner a chance.

Over the short term this will give Wang a chance to recoup a large part of the money that he has lost over his term owning the team.  Once he moves into the background I think you will see these owners want to leave their mark on the team so if the team is still under performing I would expect to see a new coach staff, general manager and perhaps they add a team president.  I think the biggest thing the sale brings is some closure on the perception that the team is run like a circus and it should provide some much needed stability at the top.

STI: With this year being the last season at the Coliseum do you have a favorite moment or memory, or multiple ones of each that stick out from your time in the arena?

DP: I think back to all the great times I had their win or lose.  I have made some great friends in my years going to the games and I am grateful for my time spent their.  I will miss Nassau but it is time for a new chapter for this organization.  While not perfect, I think Brooklyn will be profitable.  If the team is making money and fielding a great product on the ice I think everyone will get over the move.

As for one moment that I personally saw.  I'd have to say when I went to game three of the playoff series against the Penguins.  That was the loudest building I have ever been in.  Despite the outcome of the game, it was one of my most enjoyable experiences at a sporting event.