Sunday, May 27, 2012

Draft Profile: Filip Forsberg

Next up, we will be looking at forward Filip Forsberg.

Although he isnt related to Peter Forsberg, his play does sometimes draw comparisons to him.  He is a bid body and excellent along the boards which should translate well in the NHL.  He also has the ability to raise the play of his teammates which isnt something a lot of people have so that will likely make him a top 5 pick come draft day.  Some call Forsberg the most "NHL ready" prospect in the draft.

Although the Islanders probably will not select Filip, based off his scouting reports he seems like he is going to be a pretty good player so whatever team selects him should be happy.

 photo courtesy of

Vote For JT!!

As I am sure most of you know, Islanders center John Tavares is in the semi finals for the NHL 13 cover vote.  He is going up against Pekka Rinne the goalie on the Nashville Predators, and as of yesterday afternoon he was losing to him.

You can follow the link below to vote.  Voting for the current round ends tomorrow night at midnight.  Lets go Isles fans, are we really going to let Nashville beat us?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fans Letting Their Frustration Show!!

If you missed it, the other day the Islanders announced that you were able to pick up your tickets for the draft party on June 22nd.  Through promoting this they called it LI's Family Night of the Summer, and made it seem like we as fans should be proud that we have another lottery pick that we can celebrate.  After doing this, they received very negative comments from fans on facebook who were rightfully so bashing the team, more specifically owner Charles B. Wang.  Many fans have said they have been banned from the facebook page for comments they made.  The Islanders received so many comments that they released a statement yesterday regarding this:

"We understand our fans’ frustration and are disappointed in the team’s performance on the ice. The New York Islanders thrive on the support of the fans, which is why we’ll continu...e to hold events like the Draft Party. As an organization, we will not stop having these events because they give Islanders fans the opportunity to show your support, share your passion with friends and family and enjoy a fun experience with your favorite team."

Fans seem to be equally if not more frustrated with the management of the team as the teams performance on the ice.  When the team has ticket prices that rank in the top portion of the league but the owner cant even spend to the league mandated salary cap minimum, how do you expect fans to be content?  That's just the tip of the ice berg but you get the idea.  People say that Wang saved the team nearly 12 years ago now when he bought them so without him we wouldn't have team so he shouldn't be bashed.  However, Larry Brooks put it perfectly last year when he said in one of his columns, just because he saved the village doesn't now give him the right to burn it down.  By running the team on less then a bare bones budget that is basically what he is doing.

This year more then one team without an owner made the playoffs.  The eighth seeded Kings are on the verge of making it to the Stanley Cup only needing one more win to advance on.  However, the Islanders who have an owner haven't only missed the playoffs for five straight years.  They have been amongst the worst teams in the league where points are handed out like candy, with a payroll under the cap floor, that only meets it by technicalities. 

While a majority of fans are upset, you do have a handful that seem to be content and attempt to defend the team against the naysayers going as far to question peoples fan hood.  One of these said fans is a man named Gary Harding.  Gary is a former president of the Islanders booster club and a season ticket holder for 20 years.  He is also a writer on  Recently he wrote a piece asking why there was so much hate in Isles country as evident by the comments in response to the draft party.  He claims that the many fans who are looking for accountability are foolish because there will be no changes made to the team and in his opinion only shows the team in a bad light.

What I have to say to Mr. Harding and people like him is, I am surprised it took this long for fans to start to demand accountability.  The idea of accountability is something that has been absent here for far to long, and Wangs free ride for saving the team is all but gone.  Many fans are beginning to think if the owner doesn't support the team financially then why should I?  I cant tell you how many people I know who wont go to games because of the disdain they have for our owner and the way he runs the team.  However, they still watch/listen to every game and support the players.

If fans are seeing this then I am sure players are to.  If you were a free agent would you want to play for a team where nobody is held accountable within the organization and if you exceed more then expected you'll be fired and replaced by someone who can do your job for less money.  Additionally, a place where the owner doesn't spend money even on a competitive basis with other small market teams and is content with losing as long as the team isn't getting killed every night.  Back in November during one of our rough patches our owner was actually quoted by Newsday saying, "At least were not getting killed every night."  For years the excuse as to why we cant get players to come here is because of the Coliseum.  While I am sure that doesn't help, I think the biggest issue by far facing the team in this aspect is the culture of the team, and that starts at the top with Wang. 

For years many people just blindly accepted the way this team was run.  However, now people are starting to wake up and realize this isn't how a professional sports team is supposed to be run.  They realize its not right for a professional sports team to reach the cap floor just by handing out bonuses they know wont be reached so they don't have to hand out actual money and having coaches on the NHL staff with zero NHL coaching experience, amongst other things.  People are starting to demand that the owner support the team like he asks the fans to and its about time!

If you would like to view Mr. Hardings piece which presents basically the opposite view point to mine you can click the link below:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kabanov Rumors Untrue!

Late last week rumors broke from a Russian newspaper that Islanders prospect Kirill Kabanov had been seeking a contract with a KHL team.  This news caused Islander beat writer Arthur Staple to track down Garth Snow who said this was, "news to him."  This was news to many as well seeing as how Kabanovs team is currently in the playoffs.

The rumor mill was a buzz for a few days until a few days ago when Kirill posted on his facebook page that he was focused on the memorial cup and only the memorial cup.  After that coming here to work on things over the summer.

For more you can check out lighthouse hockey or pointblank.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Draft Profile: Mikhail Grigorenko

Our next profile will be on Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko.

Grigorenko has a nice frame at 6'3 200 LBS and after number one pick Nail Yakupov is the most ready prospect for the NHL.

The only big questions being raised about him are his work ethic, but that seems to be the case with most Russian players.

Grigorenko has superb vision, a great hockey IQ, and great hands which explains how he was able to put up 85 points in 59 games.  He is also a mainstay on Russias junior national team and was voted player of the tournament at the World Junior, A Hockey Challenge.

Most think he will defy the typical Russian stigma of being a lazy player.  If he is successful in doing that he should have quite the NHL career.

 image taken from

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Draft Profile: Nail Yakupov

In the next six weeks leading up to the NHL draft, were going to do some profiles on the top six prospects in the draft.  This will be capped off by a mock draft the day before the draft or the day of the draft.

First up is Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov:

Yakupov is considered by most everyone to be the clear cut number one pick in this Junes draft.  He was the number one pick by Sarnia in the 2010 CHL import draft.  He had 101 points as a rookie which is quite impressive.

Some in Islander land might know him for more then his skill seeing as how it was Islander prospect Mike Halmo who delivered a crushing open ice hit to Yakupov that took him out of action for a while.

There are some who think the Oilers should pass on Yakupov because they already have a high number of skilled forwards.  However, no matter how many they have, I think they would be crazy to pass on someone with the talent level of Yakupov.

The draft is June 22nd in Pittsburgh, it shall be interesting to see how everything shakes out.

 photo taken from

Petrov To Stay in Russia?

According to Dmitry Chesnokov, Islanders winger Kirill Petrov has signed an extension in the KHL with his team AK Bars.  He said the terms of the agreement haven't been made public yet.

However, about an hour after that, Chris Botta tweeted that after talking to Petrovs agent that its a possibility that Kirill would come to the NHL.  However, because of his ill mom and the uncertainty regarding the CBA he was considering signing for 1-2 more years in the KHL.

It will be unfortunate if he resigns in Russia, but not completely un-expected.  Hopefully he comes over soon so he can show us fans what the Islanders saw in him when they took a flier on him in the third round 4 years ago.!/dchesnokov/status/198013238854692865