Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Devils

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Tonight, our New York Islanders travel to the Prudential Center in New Jersey to finish up their five game road trip against Martin Brodeur and the Devils.

The goalie matchup tonight features Martin Brodeur for the Devils, and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

The Devils have sent enforcer Cam Janssen to Albany of the AHL with forward Adam Henrique returning to their roster.  Both Henrique and defenseman Adam Larsson will make their season debuts tonight.

For the Islanders, enforcer Eric Boulton will be dressing in place of the suspended Colin McDonald.  Casey Cizikas will be taking McDonalds spot on the third line with Boulton joining the fourth line alongside Matt Martin and Marty Reasoner.

Strait for 3 years!

Update: According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the contract is worth $775,000 per year.

Newsday has reported that the New York Islanders have agreed on a three year contract with defesemen Brian Strait. His solid play has been awarded already.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Was Howie Rose Right?

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If you remember after the infamous "fight night" game back in February of 2011 Howie Rose was adamant in radio interviews that followed that game saying that the NHL had two sets of rules.  What he meant by that is, that the NHL has one set they apply to elite level teams like the Red Wings and Bruins.  Meanwhile, they have another set of rules they apply to everyone else like the Islanders and the Blue Jackets.

Since then, the steam behind this had dropped off significantly and there really wasn't a mention of it.  However, early on this season after the Islanders have been the recipient of some questionable hits with no calls the talk is slowly coming back.

Early on this season, we have seen Dion Phaneuf hit John Tavares from behind, Dennis Seidenberg of the Bruins try and launch Frans Nielsen out of the TD Garden in Boston, and last night David Ullstrom take a hit to the head on his way down in our win versus the Penguins.  All of those hits went without call! 

However, also in the game last night, Islanders forward Colin McDonald was given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct for hitting Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy from behind into the boards near the end of the second period.  News came out today that McDonald had suspended 2 games by league discipline czar Brendan Shanahan for the hit.

Did McDonald deserve to get a penalty for the hit?  Yes!  However, was a major, ejection, and subsequent suspension a bit of a stretch?  Given the hits the Islanders have endured on this early season that haven't been noticed by the officials, it absolutely was. 

Now, take a look at the teams who dished out the alleged dirty hits against the Islanders.  The Bruins, the Leafs, and the Penguins.  Sure, according to their win/loss record the Leafs aren't an elite level team.  However, their standing as the most valuable team in hockey makes them an elite level team.

Now you have to ask yourself, in those interviews nearly two years ago, was Howie Rose right?  It would sure seem like he was onto something.


And we are suspended!

Update: Here is the video of Brendan Shanahan explaining the suspension:

According to reports, Islanders forward Colin McDonald was issued a 2 games suspension today by Brendan Shanahan for boarding defenseman Ben Lovejoy at the end of the second period of last nights victory over the Penguins.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cizikias First NHL Goal Leads Isles Past Pens In A Stunner

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Tonight, our New York Islanders surprised many in the hockey world as they defeated the Penguins by a score of 4-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-After some bad defensive lapses over the last few games, tonight we played a very solid defensive game which was refreshing especially against a star studded team like the Penguins.

-Congrats to Casey Cizikas on his first NHL goal

-Beautiful passing on the Tavares powerplay goal, the setup from Moulson was perfectly done.

-Bad call on the Colin McDonald hit!  Was it dirty?  Yeah probably, was it a major and ejection worthy?  No way!  As Howie Rose said a couple years ago after our infamous game against the Penguins, the NHL has two sets of rules.  One for the elite teams, and one for everyone else.

-Nabokov although with limited work was solid all game!

-David Ullstrom had another solid game.  He continues to impress early on in this young season.

-Great efficiency from the special teams tonight, both powerplay and penalty kill were right on point.  The 5 minute penalty kill at the end of the second and start of the third was a huge turning point in the game.

-Good to see Grabner finish another breakaway!  Like Ullstrom hes been impressive in the young season thus far.

-Hickey had a pretty good game to, showed a good willingness to battle which is good to.

Well, who saw this coming?  The Islanders didn't just win, they dominated one of the better teams in the eastern conference for a majority of this game.  They need to build on the momentum gained tonight against the Devils on Thursday.

Next Game: The road trip concludes @ New Jersey On Thursday night

Pre Game: Isles @ Penguins

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Update: According to Arthur Staple, Travis Hamonic is likely to play tonight.  Although, as a precaution Radek Martinek is going to skate during warmups.

Tonight, our Islanders continue their five game road trip as they travel to the Consol Energey Center in Pittsburgh to take on Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Tonight's goalie match-up will feature Marc Andre Fleury for the Penguins and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

Thomas Hickey will play in his second NHL game once again in place of Joe Finley.  Also, after sitting out Sundays game against the Jets, forward Casey Cizikas will return to the lineup in place of enforcer Eric Boulton.

The status of Travis Hamonic is unknown after suffering a sprained ankle at the end of the game against the Jets on Sunday.  If he cant go, Capuano said we will see Radek Martinek make his season debut.

After letting a point slip away against the Jets, tonight is a really big game for the Islanders and a chance at redemption after getting crushed by Pittsburgh on national TV last season.

Jesse Joensuu Out 5-7 Weeks

According to the Islanders official twitter feed, forward Jesse Joensuu will be out another 5-7 weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery.

If you remember, prior to the start of the season, Joensuu and Josh Bailey were both suspended by the team because they suffered injuries while playing in Europe during the lockout.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hamonic Injured In Tonights Loss

Update: News has came out that Travis Hamonic has a sprained ankle and was seen leaving in a boot. It's unknown how much time he will miss.

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic injured his ankle in the Islanders 5-4 loss against the Winnipeg Jets tonight.

The injury forced Travis to miss some of the third period and overtime.

We will post an update on Travis as soon as one is available.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kanes OT Winner Lifts Jets Past Isles 5-4

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Tonight, our New York Islanders fell to the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 5-4 in overtime.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Atrocious effort through the first two periods!  Save for Nabokov and sometimes Ullstrom it seemed like the rest of the team wasn't there to play.

-Nice to see the first part of the third period, but once again they did what has been ever so common since Garth Snow took over as GM and blew a third period lead. 

-Questionable move by Capuano keeping Reasoner in for this game over Casey Cizikas. 

-The defense has to better on the first two goals!  Guys got caught spinning and flat footed far to often.

-Nice to see Tavares finally get on the board, hopefully this stars a bit of a roll for him.

-Nabokov had a pretty good game and kept the Islanders in it.  Although, he has to cover up the winner in overtime.  No way should there have been a rebound sitting in the crease for Kane to bang in.

-For his NHL debut Hickey didn't look bad!

-Tonight I thought was Brian Straits first so so game of the young season.

Overall, since the Islanders didn't deserve to get a point because of how sloppy they played in the first 40 minutes the fact they got one is a plus.  If they want to have a chance against the Penguins Tuesday they need to have a full 60 minute effort though.

Next Game: Tuesday 1/29 @ Pit on NBC Sports Network

Pre Game: Isles @ Jets

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Tonight our New York Islanders continue their 5 game road trip as they travel to Winnipeg to take on Evander Kane and the Jets.

The goalie matchup tonight will be former Islander Al Montoya for the Jets and Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders.

The Islanders have also made some lineup changes following their loss Friday night to the Bruins.  23 year old defenseman Thomas Hickey will make his NHL debut tonight for the Islanders in place of Joe Finley.  Also, enforcer Eric Boulton will dress on the fourth line tonight in place of Casey Cizikas.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Agent: Visnovsky To Report By 2/11

According to his agent on twitter, defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will report to the Islanders no later then February 11th, because of medical reasons within his immediate family.

As long as Visnovsky isn't Brian Rolston on defense, he will be a more then welcomed addition to the blueline and will create quite a log jam there which will probably see Hickey and Finley shipped to Bridgeport.

Chara Leads Bruins Past Isles 4-2

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Tonight, our New York Islanders fell to the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-2.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Considering my expectations coming into the game, Dipietro was impressive.  It was refreshing to see this performance from him.

-The third line continues to be on fire!  When was the last time the Islanders had a third line contribute as much as this line has early this season?

-Why is Joe Finley on this team?  He is directly responsible for the second goal tonight and has been pretty bad in every game he has played.  If they didn't have defensemen scratched it would be one thing.  However, they have not one but two guys in the press box who are exponentially better then Finley.

-Marty Reasoner didn't have a good game either!  He struggles clearing the puck on the penalty kill and was partially responsible for the third goal.

-Keith Aucoin continues to amaze!  Early on he is looking like a sneaky waiver pickup by Snow.

-Once again an Islander gets cheap-shotted and nobody notices.  During the course of the game, while the Islanders were on the powerplay Frans Nielsen had the puck along the boards.  Bruins defenseman Denis Seidenberg launched himself into Frans Nielsen and got him good and there was no call on the play.  This is coming after the hit from behind last night by Dion Phaneuf on John Tavares.  Brayden Schenn of the Flyers was suspended one game for a similar hit a couple days ago, well see what happens with Seidenberg.

-The Islanders being on the back-end of a back to back really showed in the last 25 minutes or so of the game.  The Bruins basically all but dominated them for a majority of that time with the Islanders getting little offensive pressure.

Considering where I expected this game to be, this wasnt a bad game by the Islanders.  They need to come out with a better start and have a more consistent effort for the full 60 minutes Sunday night.

Next Game: Sunday Night 8PM @ The Jets

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Bruins

 photo courtesy of

Tonight, our New York Islanders travel to the TD Bank Garden to go against Tyler Seguin and the Boston Bruins.

The goalie matchup tonight features Tukka Rask for the Bruins and Rick Dipietro making his season debut for the Islanders.  With this being the back end of a back to back for the Islanders and happening to be in Dipietros hometown it has been assumed for a while that Dipietro would get the nod tonight.

According to Arthur Staple, although Thomas Hickey is taking warmups, the same defensive and forward group from last night is expected to dress tonight.

Phaneuf Gets Away With Another One Against the Islanders

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Update: Here is what Craig Button of the NHL Network had to say to me about why this hit wasn't discussed on NHL Tonight last night.

"There is so much in a 9 game night & John didn't appear to get injured. If he did, it would have had big play in the show."

I have a hard time believing that, if this hit took place in the Ranger Flyer game it would've been glossed over like it was in this instance.

During the third period of tonights game against the Leafs, defenseman Dion Phaneuf became an even more disliked man in Islander land if that was possible.

At the 11:10 mark of the third period, star center John Tavares came dangling down the ice and got by Phaneuf but had the puck knocked away from him and went to the boards to chase it.  Upon getting to the boards, Phaneuf followed behind and hit Tavares directly from behind right into the boards.  Tavares was shaken up on the hit but there was no penalty call on the play.  Following this, both Kyle Okposo and Matt Carkner began chasing Phaneuf and while this was going on Matt Moulson managed to score his second goal of the game.  After the goal, instead of hugging his teammates Moulson was hugging Leafs as a scrum had ensued.

If you remember this isn't Phaneufs first run in with the Islanders.  A couple years ago while he was with Calgary Phaneuf hit Kyle Okposo with a questionable open ice hit during a pre season game leaving Okposo with a concussion.  Then two years ago Phaneuf hit Tavares with an open ice hit away from the play that went without a call.  Some think the no call on that hit was sort of the straw that broke the camels back heading into the infamous Penguins game.  Later that season, Phaneuf hit forward Justin Dibenedetto from behind without a call and following that was knocked down on a hit by now former Islander Micheal Haley.

Here is what Matt Carkner had to say to Arthur Staple on Phaneuf,  "That's what I'm here for. Guys can't be taking liberties with our best guys."

You be the judge, clean hit or dirty?

Personally, I think Phaneuf is one of the biggest dirt bags in the NHL and rarely ever answers the bell.  His time will come though, and after all he has put the Islanders through the last few years, I hope the Islanders are the team fortunate enough to give him what he deserves.

2 Goals From Moulson Lead Isles Past Leafs

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Tonight, our New York Islanders defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 7-4.  Here are some of my notes from the game:
-The Tavares line was the most effective line tonight, it seemed like every time on the ice they were creating chances.

-Nice to see Moulson get on the board for the first time this year.

-Grabner had another pretty good game tonight, let off a wicked wrister for his goal.

-Nabby was sharp in the second half of the game after struggling badly in the first.

-Brian Strait continues to fit right in on defense and seems to be looking like a sneaky pickup by our GM.

-Keith Aucoin continues his solid play and was rewarded with a goal tonight.

-Congrats to Colin McDonald on his first NHL assist.

-Also nice to see Brad Boyes get on the board!

After a terrible first period, it was encouraging to see the team fight back the way they did and get the eventual win.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night @ Boston 7PM

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pre Game: Isles @ Maple Leafs

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Tonight, our Islanders head on the road for the first time this season to start a five game road trip.  The trip starts at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto against Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs.

The goaltender match up tonight will be Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Ben Scrivens for the Leafs. 

According to Arthur Staple, the Islanders lineup will likely be the same as it has been to start the season meaning Radek Martinek and Thomas Hickey will remain in the press box.  Also, forward Eric Boulton will spend his second consecutive game in the press box.

However, the Leafs will be down one key player tonight though.  Last night, top 6 forward Joffrey Lupul was injured after taking a Dion Phaneuf slap shot to the forearm.  According to various reports, Lupul is out six weeks with a fractured forearm.

Tonights probable Islander lines:










Happy 19th Birthday Griffin Reinhart

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Today, Islanders 2012 first round pick Griffin Reinhart celebrates his 19th birthday.  We would like to wish him a happy birthday, and the best of luck in the WHL as his teams season continues.

Seguin Moving In On Martins Girl?

Last week, news came out that Matt Martin was dating Sydney Esiason.  Sydney is the daughter of former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason.

Well, the other day there were a series of tweets between Sydney and Bruins forward Tyler Seguin which can be seen below.

I wonder if Martin will pay Seguin a visit when the Islanders meet the Bruins on Friday night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Visnovskys Son Is Awaiting Minor Surgery

According to reports, the son of controversial defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is awaiting to have minor surgery of February 9th.  Reports suggest that Visnovsky will report to the team after the surgery has been done.

BREAKING: Nino is Seeking a Trade From the Islanders

Update: According to Arthur Staple, the agent for Nino Niederreiter confirmed that he asked the Islanders for a trade.  However, to their dismay Staple reports that the team will not move him.

According to Katie Strang from ESPN NY, the camp for Islanders prospect and Bridgeport leading scorer Nino Niederreiter is seeking a trade from the Islanders because their un happy with the current situation.

After spending the entire season last year on the 4th line with Marty Reasoner and Jay Pandolfo and only putting up one goal, Nino has been in the AHL this entire season.  When NHL training camp started again it was a surprise to many that Nino wasn't among the prospects called up for camp because of his great performance in Bridgeport up to that point.  When Garth Snow was questioned on this he said that it was more conducive for Nino to be in Bridgeport getting top line minutes and playing in all kinds of situations versus playing here.

Nino can handle this one of two ways now, he can either use it to motivate him through the rest of this season into camp next year.  Or he could complain like these reports suggest and try and "force" his way out of here.

It will be interesting to see how Garth handles this.  He can either tell Nino to suck it up and hope he uses this to motivate him for camp next year.  Or he could try and use Nino as part of a package to acquire a piece to expedite this rebuild along a little bit.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Post Game: Isles Overcome 3rd Period Rush & Win 4-3

Today, before a crowd of over 15,000 our New York Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 4-3.  Here are some of my notes:

-Another great crowd today!  If they have a good road trip the crowds will surely continue when they get home.

-Joe Finley is atrocious, the fact that he is in the lineup over Hickey, let a lone Martinek is insane!

-Nabakov had his second solid game in a row.

-Michael Grabner was all over the place today!  Nice to see him finish the breakaway for the first goal.

-Keith Aucoin was good today, for a guy who has never had a regular spot in the NHL.  If he keeps playing like he did today he will make it tough for the coaches to take him out.

-Matt Martin had a good game!  Looked good in the fight off the opening draw and had a nice shot on his breakaway for his second goal.

-Third line was very effective!  Ullstrom was solid all the way around and had a nice goal.  Also McDonald brings really good grit to the lineup.

-Casey Cizikas was effective in his season debut

Overall, although the third period was a nail biter this is a big, much needed win as they head out on the road. 

Next Game: Thursday 1/24 7PM @ Toronto

Capuano Out of the Hospital

According to reports, Islanders coach Jack Capuano left the hospital this afternoon after being treated for kidney stones.  Capuano left the arena about an hour before the puck dropped suffering from the kidney stones. 

According to Butch Goring, it is 50/50 as to whether or not Capuano will be behind the bench for the Islanders tomorrow afternoon for their game versus the Lightning.

Pre Game: Tampa @ Islanders

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This afternoon, our New York Islanders play host to Steven Stamkos and the Lightning.

After a poor opener, the Islanders are looking to rebound and get an important home win before they go out on a 5 game road trip.

Arthur Staple reports that Evgeni Nabokov is expected to get the start in net again.  He also said, to not expect many lineup changes outside of Hickey & Cizikas entering.

Meanwhile, after a big win in their season opener yesterday the Lightning are looking to continue the momentum they built from that game tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Politician Attends Home Opener After Making Fun Of The Team

If you remember, back on January 8th, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos made headlines after telling local papers that the county would've been better off if the NHL lockout hadn't ended because bigger draws could've went to the Coliseum.

Well, tonight, the comptroller amongst the people and team he made fun of not even two weeks prior, attended the home opener tonight "cheering" for the Islanders.

It will be nice when we move to Brooklyn to know that the people in power actually want us there and don't just act like it.

Post Game: Isles Fall 2-1 to the Devils

Tonight, to open the season, our Islanders once again lost the home opener.  This time by a score of 2-1 to the Devils.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-10 shots through 2 periods?  That is a terrible job by the offense, you cant beat a goalie if you don't shoot on him.

-Finley over Radek on defense?  It doesn't matter if Cappy/Thompson/Weight wanted big bodies.  That was an absolutely brutal move, Finley looked terrible tonight.

-Could someone please explain scratching Casey to play Reasoner?  Reasoner is a guy who brought 0 to the team last year and yet a rebuilding team scratched a 23 year old center to play him tonight.

-Nabokov was sharp and gave the Islanders a chance to win.

-Nice goal by Hamonic

-Great, great crowd tonight!!  They were into before they even stepped into the arena which is always good.

- Tavares didn't look like he had missed a step which is encouraging.

Overall, on the back-end it wasn't a bad start.  However, for the forwards, back to the drawing board because tonight wasn't good!

Next Game: Monday @ 1:00PM vs the Lightning

Pre Game: Devils @ Islanders! Season Opener

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Well after over 120 days of waiting, our New York Islanders finally open the season tonight against the New Jersey Devils.

For the 18th straight season Marty Brodeur will get the nod in net for the Devils, meanwhile, for the Islanders Evgeni Nabokov will get the start. 

According to Arthur Staple, newly acquired center Keith Aucoin will be in the lineup tonight which means one of Marty Reasoner or Casey Cizikas will be on the sideline.  Being where the team is I will be shocked if it isn't Reasoner on the sideline.

Additionally, Staple reports that Radek Martinek was the last defenseman off the ice this morning, which usually means that your out for the game.  Martinek was paired with Streit in the brief camp this week so this came as a surprise to most.  Capuano told Staple that he wanted to have size on defense because he was concerned about the penalty kill, so some started thinking that newly acquired Joe Finley might be in the lineup tonight.

If you cant make the game tonight, tune in to IO channel 73 for the Islanders broadcast at 7:00 with the game starting around 7:25.

No better video to watch before you head out the door before the game then this one:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Isles "In" On Scott Gomez

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Update: Isles are now out on Gomez according to

According to Nick Kypreos of sportsnet, the Islanders are one of six teams interested in signing the recently bought out Scott Gomez.

Gomez has managed only 49 points over the last two seasons.

Predictions: Goalies

To end off our series of predictions, today we cover the goalie.

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1) Evgeni Nabokov

21 wins

15 loses


After proving that he was still one of the better goalies in the NHL last season, there is no reason with the regular playing time he is expected to get to expect anything less from Nabokov this season.

2) Rick Dipietro

1 win

1 loss

I think this will be yet another injury riddled season for Dipietro, leading to the kids from Bridgeport getting time.

Guys who could see time:
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1) Kevin Poulin

1 win

1 loses

I could see Poulin getting a couple starts while serving as Nabokov's backup.  He will play good enough for the team to have a chance to win which is all you ask for from a goalie.

2) Anders Nilsson

2 wins

1 loss


I actually think Nilsson will be the first call up over Poulin.  Nilsson will prove this year that his shutout against the Devils last season was no fluke and he will continue to show why he should be considered for the backup job next season.

Isles Suspend Visnovsky

According to, the Islanders have announced that they have officially suspended Lubomir Visnovsky.  Suspending him, made room on the roster for todays waiver acquisition Brian Strait.

Visnovsky has been making headlines since the lockout ended with his desire to stay overseas instead of reporting here.  Yesterday Arthur Staple reported that he is expected to report in the first week of February.

Isles Claim Another Defenseman On Waivers

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For the third time this week, the Isles have looked to the waiver wire for depth at defense.  This time, they claimed defenseman Brian Strait of the Penguins.

Strait was a 3rd round pick in the 2006 NHL draft, and has been with the Penguins the last three seasons.  He has seen limited NHL action over the last two years as a call up for injuries.

At the very least, this move improves our depth which is always a good thing.

NHL Intermissions Now 18 Minutes Long

According to Eric Hornick, the Islanders official statistician, all NHL intermissions will now be 18 minutes long, with 4 minutes of on-ice "silliness."

Previously, intermissions were 17 minutes with 5 minutes of on-ice "silliness."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nino/Donovan Named AHL All Stars

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According to reports, this season the Bridgeport Sound Tigers will have two players representing them in Rhode Island for the All Star Game on January 27th/28th.  Last year it was forward Casey Cizikas who took the spot of injured defenseman Calvin De Haan.

Well this year, forward Nino Niederreiter and defenseman Matt Donovan were both given the honors.  Nino, who is currently sixth in the AHL in scoring has been rejuvenated with this season in the AHL after struggling terribly as a rookie in the NHL last season. 

Donovan, in his second pro season, while he has had some struggles has had a pretty good season thus far.  Especially on the offensive side of things! 

Its nice to see these guys get recognized for their play, and in both their cases I have a sense we will be seeing them on the Island sooner rather then later.

photo courtesy of                                

Visnovsky to Report in the First Week of February

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, disgruntled defenseman Lubomir Visnovskys time table to report to the team, as of now, is the first week of February.  That means Visnovsky would miss at least 7 games which would be 1/7 of the season.

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Isles Claim Aucoin On Waivers

Earlier this afternoon, it was announced that for the third time this week the Islanders had snagged someone off the waiver wire.  This time it was 5'9 center Keith Aucoin from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

34 year old Aucoin split time between Washington and Hershey last putting up 11 points in 27 games with Washington and 70 points in 43 games with Hershey.  For the Toronto Marlies in the AHL this season, Aucoin had 37 points in 34 games.

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Strome/Reinhart Sent Back to Juniors

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, the Islanders informed Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Strome today that they were going to be sent back to their junior clubs.

This isnt surprising for Griffin, although, it does come as a bit of surprise for Strome who most thought would see at least the five game trial before a decision was made on him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Predictions: Defensemen

Next up we will do the predictions on defense.

1) Mark Streit

5 goals

25 assists

30 points

After struggling early last year coming back from that shoulder injury.  Streit really turned it on as the season winded down and ended up having a pretty good season.  The momentum he gained at the end of last year I think will translate into this shortened season and lead to the captain having a pretty good season.

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2) Tavis Hamonic

2 goals

15 assists

17 points


Last season, after proving his rookie season was no fluke Travis Hamonic proved that he was one of the better young defensemen in all of the NHL.  In this shortened season I think he will continue to grow and of course his physical game will still be there.

3) Andrew MacDonald

4 goals

10 assists

14 points

MacDonld has cemented himself as one of the more reliable defensemen on this team.  That won't change in this 48 game season and Amac will have another solid year.

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4) Radek Martinek

2 goals

5 assists

7 points

In his return to Long Island, when he plays I think Radek will be solid like he has been for his whole career.  Sadly, he has also been injury prone his whole career and I think that bug will catch up to him at some point this season and knock him out of the lineup.

5) Matt Carkner

1 goal

4 assists

5 points


When the Islanders signed Matt Carkner on July 1st last summer, they weren't signing an offensively gifted defenseman.  They were signing a stay at home defenseman.  Also, someone who will pummel guys who so much as look at guys like Tavares and Okposo the wrong way.  His addition will be more then welcomed on defense.

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6) Thomas Hickey

2 goals

10 assists

12 points

*These stats reflect a full season*

The newly acquired Hickey I think has a better chance of making the team then Joe Finley or Jon Landry.  If given the season I think Hickey could put up not bad offensive numbers based off the scouting reports I have read.  This guy could be another good waiver acquisition by our GM.

Guys who could see time:

1) Lubomir Visnovsky

7 goals

23 assists

30 points

The ever controversial Visnovsky now sounds like he will report here within the next two weeks after attending to his "sons health issues."  Arthur Staple said in his chat today that if he isn't here by February 1st he expect the Islanders to tell him to stay and toll his contract to next season.

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2) Joe Finley

1 goal

4 assists

5 points


Standing at 6'8 Garth Snows first waiver acquisition this week will likely see limited time for us this season. 

3) Jon Landry

0 goals

2 assists

2 points

Because of injury, I think Landry may see a handful of games in this shortened season.  In that time he wont look terrible but he may show why he has yet to crack an NHL lineup to this point in his career.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Orange & Blue + You

Lets Go Islanders sing out in the parking lot after a home win, the sounds of car horns chanting more of the same.  This is home to us, us meaning fans of the New York Islanders.  We are one, we root for a losing team year after year hoping for change and banking on future.  To many fans, this picture gets old and jokes arise just to make us laugh, but we all want the same.  We all have the same dream, that picture perfect image in our head, the image of winning.  Whether your ten or sixty, you imagine the coliseum sold out in May for a playoff game.  We all see it, we all want it.

We joke about our own team, cause hell sometimes we have too.  We get joked on, because well yeah its easy for them.  Look at our division,  four teams with 100 plus points last season.  Not surprising why we take crap but that does not stop us from buying tickets year after year.  We come back chanting the name and supporting the logo once again.

There is a bond here, with our young players and our diehard fans.  Something maybe out of a movie, like the underdogs are ready to take that step into stardom.  Sounds amazing right?  I wouldn't hold my breath for this season but that is the problem.  Time is running out on us, our Long Island team is coming to a close soon, real soon.  I think the organization owes it to us, we all need playoff hockey one more time in Nassau.  We need it one last time for the old timers to brace the memories once again and for the young fans to experience it for the first time.  Time is not on our side,  the Islanders have to be back.  The Isles need to be relevant again.

The dark cloud of our unknown arena situation finally faded but a new situation arose.  Thanks to a some greedy defensemen again the Islanders are brought into negative feedback.  Again more jokes across the league will be thrown at us,  again one more time we will eat them.  Everywhere you read or watch, the Islanders are the laughing stock.  It needs to change and winning is the cure.  Islanders have two and a half seasons left in Nassau, who knows maybe less if the lease is bought out.  Us fans and players need to make the coliseum alive once more.  I am not saying bring home the cup, hell it be nice of course but we need some winning.  Make the casual fan come out again, let them put on that Islander shirt they haven't worn in five years.  Let the fans come out and be proud to support our team.

The excitement for Saturdays game is real, fans are biting at the bit.  I am the first to admit that, I with many of you guys are ready to burst.  Hockey is back, another season will come and go.  Now its up to Tavares and company to make something special.  We have your back fellas as always, lets shock the hockey world.

Lets win now and later, lets take Brooklyn by storm, lets all be Islanders. 

Isles Suspend Bailey/Joensuu

According to Arthur Staple, forwards Josh Bailey and Jesse Joensuu were suspended by the Islanders because they got injured while playing overseas during the lockout.

Staple says the suspensions will be lifted when each pass physicals.

One Note on today's practice

I was rather suprised by the play of Islanders goaltender Rick Dipietro. It is only just one practice, I know but he looked quick in net. I was rather in shock when he made two nice glove saves on John Tavares in a matter of 15 seconds. If DP is our backup and it appears it may be the case, he needs to serviceable. Considering Nabby's age and schedule, Dipietro could easily play ten games this shortened season.

KHL Rejects Visnovskys Contract

Update: According to a report the KHL issued a statement today saying that they will negotiate with the NHL to find a compromise in the Visnovsky case.

According to reports, this morning it was announced by KHL officials that they would reject Lubomir Visnovskys contract in Slovakia until his issue with the Islanders could be worked out.  Their actions are in accordance with the MOU they have with the NHL regarding players under contract in one league and playing in the other.

Arthur Staple reports that Visnovsky has a personal issue to tend to in Slovakia and could join the team in 2-3 weeks.

Isles Claim Hickey Off Waivers from LAK

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, for the second time in back to back days the Islanders have claimed a defenseman on waivers. 

This time it was 2007 4th overall pick Thomas Hickey from the Kings.  In 33 games in the AHL this year Hickey had 12 points.  At only 23, Hickey still has room to develop his game and possibly become another solid waiver wire pickup by Garth Snow.

A little more on Hickey:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Predictions: Bottom 6 Forwards

Next up, we will do predictions for the bottom 6 forwards.

 photo courtesy of

1) Matt Martin

4 goals

6 assists


After setting the league record for hits last season and a career high in goals and assists, Martin will come out with a solid offensive season.  With the increased toughness on the team I think his penalty minutes will see a small decrease because it isn't all up to him anymore.

2) David Ullstrom

7 goals

5 assists

12 points

Ullstrom was solid in his cup of coffee with the team last season.  After having more time in Bridgeport to fine tune his game I think Ullstrom will build on his stats last season during this shortened campaign.

3) Eric Boulton

0 goals

1 assist

100 PIMS

Boulton wont contribute much when in the lineup, but he will serve his role as the teams new Trevor Gillies well.

4) Marty Reasoner

3 goals

2 assists

5 points

Reasoner will be solid at faceoffs and serve as a good mentor for the young players in this shortened season.

 photo courtesy of

5) Jesse Joensuu

10 goals

5 assists

15 points

After having a solid season during the lockout, although a little banged up Joensuu will finally be able to translate his game up here.

6) Casey Cizikas

6 goals

10 assists

16 points

After a brief time with the big club last season, I could see Casey putting up a similar pace of points as he did with the big club last season.  The additional time in Bridgeport has done nothing but help him.

Guys who may see time:

1) Colin McDonald

3 goals

5 assists

8 points

McDonald is an AHL veteran and has put up solid numbers in his career in the AHL.  With the expected injuries in this shortened season I could see McDonald get a look and not look out of place.

2) Josh Bailey

5 goals

7 assists

12 points

In this injury shortened season, although it will be short for him I think he will be productive.

 photo courtesy of

Isles Claim Joe Finley From the Sabres

According to reports, the Islanders have claimed 6'8 247 pound defenseman Joe Finley off waivers from the Buffalo Sabres.  Finley, a first round pick of the Capitals in 2005 had 5 points and 81 penalty minutes in 36 games in the AHL this season.

Visnovsky Traveling With His KHL Team

Update: According to reports, Visnovsky told Slovans official site that he intends to reach an agreement with the Islanders allowing him to stay in the KHL.  He went on to say that there is no agreement between the NHL & KHL so he is allowed to play for Slovan.

According to a play by play announcer in the Czech Republic, Lubomir Visnovsky was seen traveling to Prague with his KHL team today. 

Bob McKenzie reported yesterday that if Visnovsky didn't report by 10am today that he would be suspended.  Bill Daley told Arthur Staple that the only way Visnovsky would be able to play overseas is if the Islanders give him permission.  Arthur Staple reports that they will not give him permission to play there.

So it seems like Visnovskys options are simple, if he wants to play hockey again come play out his contract here, or he has to retire.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Isles Notes: Lines & Camp Rumors

Update 2: According to the Islanders, two camp practices will be open.  Tuesday at 11am practice will be open and Thursday at 10am practice will be open.  The practices are at the Coliseum.  Also, they will have a scrimmage vs Bridgeport on Wednesday night at 6:00pm.

Update: According to Islanderspointblank the Islanders will scrimmage the Sound Tigers on Wednesday and the event will be open to the fans.  More on this as it comes out.

According to Arthur Staple, these were the lines at the Islanders first practice of 2013 at Iceworks today:






There has been a lot of curiosity amongst fans whether or not camp would be open to the public.  Well, I am hearing only a Tuesday morning practice will be open to the public & everything else will be closed. 

TSN: Visnovsky Has Until 10am Tomorrow To Report

According to Bob McKenzie, reluctant Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has until 10am tomorrow morning to report.  If Visnovsky fails to report by then, he will be suspended.

McKenzie said that a key element in this is the KHL needs to declare Visnovsky ineligible.  If that happens he is likely to report.

8 Players Called To Camp, Six from the Tigers

The following players have been added to Isles camp.
  1. Ryan Strome
  2. Griffin Reinhart
  3. Ty Wishart
  4. David Ullstrom
  5. Colin McDonald
  6. Jon Landry
  7. Travis Hamonic
  8. Casey Cizikas
I cannot wait to hear how Ryan Strome plays throughout camp.  With his play making ability he has a legit chance of making the club.  Guys like Ullstrom and Cizikas are in a fierce battle to fight for a bottom six foward spot.  Wishart and Mcdonald I do not see making the club off the start by any means.  Same goes for Griffin Reinhart as the Isles want him to gain pro camp experience.  So here we go, hockey is back !

Radek Martinek Signs 1 year Deal

New York Islanders just released and announced that they have signed defenseman Radek Martinek to a one year deal.  Welcome back.

I'm not opposed to this move, he can be a decent defenseman when healthy.  He gives time for guys like Donovan and Ness to gain experience with Bridgeport and not be rushed. 

Some Fun Quick Thoughts

Just taking a glance at the official schedule for our New York Islanders, what serious streaks there are.  Whether its going on the road for six games or being home for five, its going to be a difficult task.  We start with five of the first seven games on the road and end with five away from the coliseum.  Not an easy way to start or finish with such a young team.  How about February 24th to March 7th, during this stretch the Islanders play seven consecutive home games. Yes seven,  I took a double take when i initially saw this.  Anyways not that we can complain, at least we have hockey.

Tonight I found myself bored playing on my laptop so I decided to do some fantasy hockey research.  With my draft being so close, I thought it be a good idea to use my time sorta wisely.  While searching on I saw the name John Tavares coming up often and being ranked high on the top 175.  He was sitting at number 11 to be exact.  Its nice to see at least one of our players being a great fantasy asset.  Another note was Matt Moulson ahead of Alexander Semin.  Good for you Mr. Moulson, now put up another 30 goal season!

Is anybody extremely ready for Saturdays game against the Devils?  Every home opener gives fans the reason to be excited and hold hope for the upcoming season but I am ready to go.  I cannot wait as I may get there hours early, you can find myself tail gating in the cold weather.  I should note, I will love every minute of it (haha).  Getting back on track now, the lockout just made fans hungry.  Just starving for hockey so even though these past few months pissed MANY people off, I fully expect this Saturday to be rocking  full of hungry fans waiting to get there hockey need.  Lets Go Isles

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1 Day Mega Draft June 30th

According to RDS, this season there will be a one day mega draft.  All 7 rounds will take place on June 30th in New Jersey.

Normally the first round would take place on a Friday night with rounds 2-7 taking place all day the following day. 

With the playoffs capable of going as long as June 28th, a June 30th mega draft isn't to surprising.

Isles Raise Ticket Prices Following the Lockout

Earlier tonight, a friend of mine tipped me off to a link with the Isles ticket prices for season ticket holders for the upcoming season.

To my surprise, I saw that my section I have tickets was more then it was before the lockout started.  Prior to the start of the lockout my tickets were $33 a piece and now they would be $38.  Additionally, other sections have seen small increases of $2-$3 a ticket.  From the looks of the map it appears that the prices are pro rated for the shortened season.

A giant negative with this though is if prices are this much, that means single game prices are going to be more expensive then that.  After the lackluster performance of the team the last few seasons, whose brilliant idea in the teams brain trust was it to raise ticket prices for a second time before this season starts?  While teams like the Red Wings are waiving ticket fees for online purchases you have the Islanders who have been a lottery team the last 5 years raising ticket prices for the second time in less then a year.

After a lockout the teams are supposed to endear the fans and give them reasons to come back.  Raising ticket prices for the second time in less then a year surely doesn't do that!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Isles Schedule Released

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the NHL & NHLPA less then an hour ago, all 30 teams schedules were released.  Below you can find a link to the Islanders schedule.

I noticed a couple stretches of 4-5 games in a week.  The trainers are really going to be earning their money in this shortened season.

Camp Starts Tomorrow

According to Arthur Staple, Islanders training camp will begin tomorrow with practice at Iceworks.  However, it is not expected to be open to the public because of lack of parking at Iceworks.

The team is expected to practice there through Monday or Tuesday then move to the Coliseum for the rest of camp before opening the season Saturday.

Predictions: Top 6 Forwards

As the NHL season draws nearer we will issue our predictions as far as how many points we think each Islander player will score.  Today we start with the top 6 forwards:

photo courtesy of

1) John Tavares

18 goals

30 assists

48 points

After averaging just under a point per game last season we see no reason why Tavares can't do the same in this shortened season. 

2) Matt Moulson

21 goals

20 assists

41 points


After being a Lady Bing finalist last season and getting yet another season of 30 goals, I think Moulson has another solid season and is again in the conversation for the Lady Bing trophy.

3) Brad Boyes

10 goals

20 assists

30 points

After struggling badly the last few years, playing on Tavares right wing will revitalize his career and possibly lead to another one year extension similar to PA before last season.

 photo courtesy of

4) Kyle Okposo

15 goals

18 assists

33 points

After struggling early on last season leading to being a healthy scratch for a few games, Kyle really finished the season strong last year achieving his first 20 goal season.  He should build on that in this shortened season and put up some solid numbers.

5) Frans Nielsen

10 goals

18 assists

28 points

Over the last few years Nielsen has cemented himself as one of the better two way centers in the league.  In this shortened season I think Nielsen will hold true to the expectations he has set for himself over the last few years.  However, if Ryan Strome makes the team as the second line center, we should expect a small dip in production from Nielsen because of decreased ice time at the third line.

6) Michael Grabner

15 goals

10 assists

25 points

After struggling last season, I think Grabner will recover a little bit in this shortened season.  However, I don't expect him to return to the 30 goal pace that he put up as a rookie.

Guys who could see time:

 photo courtesy of

1) Ryan Strome

10 goals

20 assists

30 points

*These stats reflect a 48 game season for Strome*

After the dominance Strome has shown in juniors this season and the good world junior tournament he had it wouldn't be a shock if he makes the team out of camp.  At this pace he would put up slightly less points then Tavares put up in his rookie campaign.

Bailey Out 2-4 Weeks

According to Arthur Staple, Josh Bailey will be out 2-4 weeks because of injuries he suffered while playing in Germany during the lockout.  Bailey had his knee scoped on Wednesday which revealed the injuries.

Latest on Visnovsky: Misses His Flight To LI

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, the Islanders made travel arrangements for Lubomir Visnovsky which would've had him here to take physicals tomorrow.  However, Staple reports that Visnovsky did not board the flight the Islanders booked for him.  He says this is an issue that will likely be settled between the KHL and NHL now.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Biotech Campus Proposed For Coliseum Site

According to the LIBN, developer Don Monti who won Nassau Countys RFQ (Request For Qualifications) for the Coliseum site has proposed to build a biotech campus on the site and linking it with a development he is doing in Hempstead.  Monti estimates the project would cost between 2 billion and 3 billion dollars.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Isles To Open At Home VS Devils

Update: According to Newsday, the Islanders will also have an afternoon game on Martin Luther King Day.  This should come as little surprise as the Islanders have had a home game on MLK Day every year since 2007.  The opponent is expected to be the Lightning.  However, without a schedule that has yet to be confirmed.

According to Tom Gulitti, the Devils beat writer for the Islanders will be opening the season against the Devils at the Coliseum next Saturday January 19th.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BREAKING: Owners Ratify New CBA/Players To Vote Friday/Saturday

According to multiple reports, at a NHL board of governors meeting in NYC this afternoon, the NHL BOG voted to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement agreed to by Gary Bettman and Don Fehr early this past Sunday morning.

Now, on Friday/Saturday reports suggest it will be the players turn to vote.  Assuming the players ratify the CBA as well, then training camp would open on Sunday.  The regular season would then start six days later on January 19th with all 30 NHL teams in action on that day.

CBA: Critical Dates For the New Season

Although the CBA has yet to be ratified, here are some of the critical dates for a shortened NHL season as of now from John Shannon of sportsnet:

  • Season Opener January 19th
  • Trade Deadline April 3rd
  • Season Ends April 27th
  • Playoff Start May 1st
  • Could go as long as June 28th with some speculation being if that happens there could be a massive one day draft in New Jersey at the Prudential Center on June 30th.
Of course, without the new CBA ratified these dates are all subject to change.  But as of now it sounds like this is what the season will look like.

Strome/Reinhart to be at Camp

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, 2011 first round pick Ryan Strome and 2012 first round pick Griffin Reinhart will be attending Islanders camp which is reportedly going to start on Sunday.

Strome I think has a chance to get at least the brief look before they decide on him.  Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that junior players will have a five game window in the shortened season before teams need to decide if they are being kept up or sent back to their junior team.  However, regarding Reinhart, I think he is just being kept here for the experience of a pro camp and they don't realistically think he can make the team.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nassau Politicians Continue To Show Incompetence

Nassau County Comptroller, George Maragos made headlines in local papers today when he said that he thought Nassau County would be better off if the NHL lockout didn't end.  This is the same guy who told Newsday back in September that, "it wont be the end of the world if the county doesnt have a hockey team."

When speaking of the lockout Maragos had this to say, "If they actually cancel the season, we may be a little better off because the Islanders are not a big draw compared to other events."  Maragos also downplayed the economic impact of not having anything at the Coliseum right now saying that if the season were canceled that the county was looking at losses of $500,000 or less.  This is after Newsday recently reported that surrounding businesses were losing up to over $100,000 per month without Islander games going on.

Isnt it scary that an elected official is this out of touch with the area he's elected to represent?

Monday, January 7, 2013

TSN: KHL Trying to Keep NHL Players Overseas

Update 2: Bill Daley told Tom Gulitti the Devils beat writer for the record that he has received confirmation from the KHL that they will honor their agreement with the NHL.

Update: Ilya Kovalchuk has said that he is waiting to see the language of the new CBA before deciding what to do for the rest of the season.

After losing Parise to the Wild, losing Kovalchuk to would be a huge loss for the Devils.

According to Bob Mckenzie of TSN, a player who just returned to North America from the KHL says that KHL teams are putting major pressure and huge money on the table in attempts to keep NHL players from returning to North America.

I'm pretty sure smoke just came out of the ears of Gary Bettman among others.  Will have more on this as news comes out.

BREAKING: Lubomir Visnovsky Chooses To Stay in Slovakia

Update 3: According to Arthur Staple, Visnovskys agent said that his wishes are to remain in the KHL.  However, if the KHL says that he can't stay that he will come and play for the Islanders.

Update 2: According to Arthur Staple, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley tells him that an agreement is in place with the KHL that would prevent Visnovsky from continuing to play there once the lockout is over and he assumes that agreement will be honored.

Update: According to Bob McKenzie, the NHL was assured by the KHL that players with valid NHL contracts wouldnt be allowed to remain in the KHL.

According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has chosen to not fullfill his contract with the Islanders and instead will remain with his team in Slovakia once NHL play gets under way again in a little over a week.

This is coming after a report broke yesterday that Visnovsky had received an offer to remain with his Slovakian team for the rest of the season and was seriously considering it.  Kevin Schultz from pointblank thought it was unlikely that he would stay because of the trouble it would cause between the NHL and the KHL and the memorandum of understanding between the leagues pertaining to players under contract.  Now it will be interesting to see if the NHL doesn't anything to stop Visnovsky from doing this.

Visnovsky has issued a statement about deciding to stay in Slovakia and not come to the Islanders:

"I have decided to stay and continue my career in the KHL for the remainder of the 2012-13 season.  I am thankful to the Isles for being so good to me. My decision not to play in the NHL is due to family and personal reasons.  I have made no decisions on next season. My focus now is on Slovan Bratislava, and enjoying my family in my home country." 

Latest on Visnovsky

Well, the NHL lockout hasn't even been over for a full day yet and there is already drama in Islanders Country surrounding summer acquisition defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Earlier this evening, reports came out that the Slovakian club Visnovsky has played for during the lockout made him a contract offer to remain with them and he was seriously considering it. 

Kevin Schultz with pointblank reports that it is unlikely for Visnovsky to stay with his Slovakian team because of the large amount of issues it would cause between the NHL & KHL.

With all the commotion Visnovsky has created since his trade here and his apparent reluctance to come here he better play well once the season starts.  If he doesn't, his time in Uniondale will be very unpleasant as Islander fans have a long memory and wont forget things like this and the grievance he filed with the NHLPA over his trade here over the summer.

NHL BOG Set To Meet Wednesday

According to various reports, the NHL board of governors are set to meet this upcoming Wednesday with the main goal of their meeting voting to ratify the new CBA agreed to this morning by the NHL and NHLPA.

Elliotte Friedman of HNIC reports that the season will start January 19th, with all 30 teams in action on that day.  That would have training camp starting this upcoming Saturday or the following Monday the 14th.  However, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reports that if things are ratified quickly there is still a chance of a 50 game season starting on January 15th but that isnt as likely.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

BREAKING: The Lockout Is Over

Update 2: According to Chris Botta, due to Disney on Ice presence at the Coliseum training camp will likely be at Iceworks.  The season opener will be the 19th if not earlier and the Rangers & Devils are possibilities for opponents.

Update: A 50 game season would start on January 15th and a 48 game season would start on January 19th.  It seems as though both have been drawn up and it is not yet known which will be used.

According to multiple reports, the NHL & NHLPA have come to a tentative agreement ending the NHL lockout which was beginning its 114th day.

Federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh really saved the process in the last few days by acting as a bridge between the players and the owners before having them come together for a meeting yesterday afternoon.

Alot of I's and T's need to be crossed according to Gary Bettman, however, a 50 or 48 game season is on the horizon to start no later then January 19th.  Speculation yesterday was that the Islanders could open up at home against the Rangers.

More updates of course as the news breaks.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jaffe: Multi Sports Facility To Be Constructed In Nassau

Update 3: It is rumored that the Ferraro brother would be in charge of hockey operations at this place. 

We will try and attend the announcement regarding this on the 15th.

Update 2: According to Rich BD Salgado, President of Coastal Advisors LLC an announcement will be made regarding this on January 15th.

NHL Network analyst Kevin Weeks also shed a little light on this:

Update: According to Rob McGowan who is a credentialed Islander blogger, it will be an rink/community center and will be built by former NHL players.

Within the last hour, former Islander broadcaster and NHL Network analyst Billy Jaffe tweeted that a multi sports facility will be built on Long Island (in Nassau) with the ground breaking soon.  He said full details will be available later this week.

Some fans have speculated that this could serve as a practice facility for the Nets/Islanders.  Like with the CBA we will certainly update as more details become available.

CBA: Reports Tentative Deal Could Be Done Today

Update 6: According to puckdaddy, the NHL & NHLPA have agreed to a 10 year term CBA.  The exact terms and such havent been worked out yet.

Update 5: According to Doug Maclean, former NHL GM & Head Coach, progress has been made in negotiations between the NHL & NHLPA.  However, an agreement won't happen tonight.  Hes confident one will happen though.  Maclean says, the parties motive to get something done is hope to play more then 48 games.

I guess they never hoped to play a full season huh?

Update 4: According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, there's still a few significant issues that need resolution but the NHL & NHLPA are trying to figure it out.

Update 3: According to former NHL players, while nothing is official they are hearing an agreement is in place.  Now we wait for confirmation.

Update 2: According to David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period, when talking about the negotiations a league source said theres been a tremendous amount of "movement."

Update: According to Tim Panaccio, a Flyers beat reporter some NHL board of governors have been notified that progress has been made but there is still a ways to go.

According to Nick Kypreos of sportsnet, a tentative agreement between the NHL & NHLPA could be done within 24 hours or the NHLPA could serve the NHL with notice to decertify as soon as today.

Additionally, Chris Botta said that he expects the season to start in two weeks.  The two weeks would be spent ratifying the CBA as well as holding training camp in advance of the season.

We will certainly have more on this as news comes out.

Friday, January 4, 2013

CBA: Players Will Have the Chance to Vote by Deadline

According to Andy Strickland, NHL players will have the chance to vote on what ever CBA proposal is on the table at next Fridays deadline.  Strickland said that the impression he gets from players is that they will vote to play.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Selanne Thinks the Lockout Ends Monday

In a recent interview with MTV3 in Finland, Ducks forward Teemu Selanne said that he thinks the lockout which is now over 100 days old will end this coming Monday January 7th.  He went on to say that following that, camps would open on the 10th and then the opening game(s) would be on the 18th or 19th.

That timeline would coincide with reports saying that CBC the TV station in Canada was contacted by the NHL notifying them to be ready for a January 19th opening to the season.

After all that has gone on, it is refreshing to know that one way or the other we should have closure on this issue by next Friday.  Personally, no matter what people say, I wont be sold on their being a shortened season this year until Bettman and Fehr are at the news conference side by side announcing a new CBA and an end to the lockout.

CBA: 2 Amnesty Buyouts to be Included

Reports surfaced today that although a new CBA hasn't been agreed to yet, certain aspects have.  One of them is the inclusion of two amnesty buyouts for teams.  What this means is that teams will be able to buy out up to two players without it effecting their cap space.

For the Islanders this led many to speculate that goalie Rick Dipietros days are numbered.  At the height of his play back in the summer of 2006 the Islanders locked the goalie up to a 15 year 67.5 million dollar contract.  Since then though, the injury bug has caught up with Dipietro limiting him to less than 50 games in the last four seasons.  Many fans argue that with the move to Brooklyn Dipietro should be bought out for a fresh start and as a symbol of moving on from that era. 

Unfortunately for fans, both Chris Botta and Arthur Staple said they don't think the Islanders will use an amnesty buyout on Dipietro.  BD Gallof later agreed with them.  BD said that hes been told that Wang won't spend more then he has to with DP.  Arthur Staple also noted that the cap space isn't a dire need for the team right now which makes paying a large lump sum which this would be less likely.

I think it is pretty obvious to anyone who has seen the Islanders and specifically DP play in the last two years that he is no longer an NHL goalie.  To keep DP on the roster instead of using a buyout on him would be slap in the face to fans and yet another signal that the team isn't serious about competing which would be unfortunate.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

CBA: Players Returning From Europe

After multiple reports about negotiating intensifying in CBA negotiations with the NHL & NHLPA, many players who went to Europe for the lockout have left Europe and came home or are coming. 

This has caused many to speculate that its a sign that things are further along then the NHL & NHLPA have let on and maybe we will have some NHL hockey this season.

The speculation got started a couple days ago when goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said that he was leaving his Russian team citing the end of the NHL lockout.  He later said his quotes were incorrect.  However, since then, many players have followed suit including teammate Claude Giroux and Bruins star forward Tyler Seguin.

Does this mean we will have the NHL back within the next few weeks?  At this point it's anyones guess, but I think its clear to most that something is up.