Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Islanders Find An ECHL Team

According to the teams official website, the Islanders have agreed with the Stockton Thunder to be the teams ECHL affiliate.  The Thunder are the defending ECHL Western Conference Champions.

The Thunder will join Bridgeport as the Islanders minor league affiliates.

Matt Martin Goes Suit Shopping

 photo courtesy of

Recently, Matt Martin went suit shopping with Lesley Robbins from  To see what they picked out and hear Martin talk about next season check out the link below:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Asking The Crowd: Part 3

Part three of our series starts now:

Question: Do you feel confident with the goal-tending? please explain why yes/no

From Matt Clausen (Follow Here)

I'm perfectly content with the goalie situation, I would've loved to see a starter imported more in the vain of Jonathan Bernier, but this year's UFA goalie class sucked, and the Leafs aren't dealing James Reimer, so there goes that. Look, people need to put last season in perspective, it was 48 games, a lot of games were effectively 4 point games where you either gained or lost two points on your division irreverent of the actual standings. The Islanders played their best goalie to give them a chance to win night in and out, and that was Evgeni Nabokov, and the dude was gassed against PIT. We outplayed OTT against PIT so had we had a more rested Nabby, maybe, maybe we advance? 

Anyway, Nabokov will be fine, the Islanders need to rest him more night in and out, and Kevin Poulin will be more than capable of handling the work and I hope to see him get 20-30 Starts. KP only has 21 NHL games to his resume, so it's time to see what he can do as the back-up this year.

Also, what fans are forgetting is that Garth can go out and still make a deal for a backup or even a starter if Nabby and Poulin aren't succeeding (You'll also see Anders Nilsson called up if he's performing first), so if a back-up becomes available and the Isles are in buy mode (which I hope they will be after so many stagnant deadlines and off seasons), they'll swing a deal. If you have to meet your demand for a backup right now, I'd look at Justin Peters in Carolina, but again, not likely.

From Tom Ballantyne (Follow Here)

Of course I do. There's no reason to not feel confident. Nabby will have another strong season, and Poulin will be a sharp backup. The combination of those two should have no problem winning games as long as the offense is there all season long.

From Kevin Cosgrove (Follow Here)

I'm eh on the tending. I think Nabby is ok at best but I think Garth can get someone at the deadline to help via trade. It's not any Worse than last year but at least it's a 1 year deal, poulin is serviceable, and then we make a splash via trade or FA next year.

From Michael Willhoft (Follow Here)

I alluded to it earlier, but I'm confident that Nabokov and Poulin can split time in such a way as to provide a steady presence in net, something like Nabokov starting 50 games and Poulin starting the remaining 32. If and when the Isles get to the postseason, I'd assume Nabokov would get the starts, unless Poulin has the hot hand. Not having to ride Nabokov for 95 percent of the team's starts -- like last season -- will help the Islanders in the long run. While a Nabokov/Poulin tandem won't be the best duo in the NHL, it should be good enough for the Isles considering the type of offensive numbers than can put up.

From Myself (Follow Here)

I feel like I am in the minority on this one.  Most feel that Nabby and Poulin can give us effective goaltending all season long.  To me, Nabby is another year older and Poulin has never played enough to warrant enough confidence for me to not be worried.  Can Poulin be a great backup, sure! But its certainly a question mark.  Quiet frankly he needs to be or else the Isles are in trouble for this season.  If that is the case acquiring a goalie mid-season could be in order. This is certainly one of the most interesting topics that will last from the beginning and most definitely to the end of the season.

SaveTheIsles Chats With Isles 2013 Pick Alan Quine

photo by Redwingscentral

Recently, we had the chance to chat with Islanders 2013 6th round pick, forward Alan Quine.  We would like to thank Alan for taking the time to chat with us.  You can follow him on twitter here.  

STICan you give people some background info on you? Has hockey always been big in your family or did you fall in love with it on your own?

AQ: Born in Belleville. Raised in Nova Scotia and Orleans, East Of Ottawa. Started skating in a ditch outside my house at 2. Hockey has always been big in our family.

STI: Growing up, did you have a favorite player? Maybe someone you tried to model your game after?

AQ: My favourite player was Hossa when he played for Ottawa. Turned to Crosby when he came into the league. He's a guy to look up to.

STI:  What was rookie camp like on the Island? Was it everything you thought it would be? Why/Why not?

AQ: I've only been to one development camp as a recent draft pick and it was a great experience. First class all around.

STI: What was running through your head when you found out the Islanders drafted you? Have you spoken to anyone from the team?

AQ:  I was driving when I heard the news. Felt a ton of excitement but had to keep my eyes on the road. Got a call from Cairns shortly after.

STI: Where do you expect to play next season? Going back to school? Or playing with Bridgeport?

AQ: I'd like to be turning pro but it's still unknown.

STI: What is something people may not know about you?

AQ: I'm a pretty good golfer and my last name originates from the Isle of Man.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Conclusion To A Sad Story

 photo courtesy of

In 1984, the Islanders were fresh off their attempt at the drive for five and held the 20th overall pick in the first round of the draft.  With that pick, they selected Duncan MacPherson a defenseman from the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.  MacPherson was a physical player and playing that style of game really took a toll on his body causing many injuries.  Those injuries caused the Islanders to look past MacPherson and led to him retiring from hockey at the young age of 23.

Wanting to be the typical adventurous 23 year old, in the summer of 1989 Duncan took a trip to Europe and stayed with a family friend.  One day Duncan asked to take his car and that was the last day he was ever seen alive by his friends or family.  After realizing he was missing, his parents ventured on a journey that would change their lives.  It was a journey that wouldn't end until the summer of 2003 when after 14 years of searching, the body of their son, 23 year old Duncan MacPherson was found and his case was officially closed by local police.

For a more detailed version of this story check out the video below:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Asking The Crowd - Part 2

Today we feature part two of our four part segment. Lets waste no time and get started...

Question: Which prospect are you most excited about and why? the crop is large, but there must be one player that you cant wait for.

From Tom Ballantyne (Follow Here
The one player I am most excited about has got to be Ryan Strome. He's a future star in the making, dominant at all levels so far.  He has so much talent, that there's no way he could be a bust in the NHL.

From Kevin Cosgrove (Follow Here)
I can't wait to see Strome hit the NHL. His skill set pairs nicely with JT and takes some of the scoring burden off JT and MM

From Laura (Follow Here)
I'll be terribly unoriginal but honest and say Nelson and Strome. Nelson was really really good in the AHL last year.

From Michael Willhoft (Follow Here)
A lot of hype centers on Strome, and with good reason. But I'm more excited to see Brock Nelson perform over a full NHL season. He was steady in Game 6 and could provide that true second-line center that the Isles have been looking for over the past few years. Nielsen has filled in admirably in that role, but he's best served as a third-liner in an ideal lineup. I'm excited to see Nelson make the team out of camp and hopefully slide into the second line, giving the team more size and scoring up front on the second unit.

From Matt Clausen (Follow Here)
Man…SO MANY prospects…I LOVED what Brock Nelson brought to the playoff run, When Kris Letang bounces off of you along the end boards, you belong with the team. But honestly, the guys I'm most excited about are Scott Mayfield and Andrey Pedan. Big dudes who can hit, carry the puck, scrap and maybe add a little offense, THAT is what the team needs. I honestly wish Garth would go out every draft and grab one or two of these types of guys instead of the guy I've deemed the "Garth Snow Puck Mover:" Ryan Pulock, Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness, Sean Bourroughs, Ville Pokka, you get the picture. I'm not saying the "Garth Snow Puck Mover" is a bad thing, but man has it become a little crazy. After Mayfield/Pedan, the honorable mention will be Luic Leduc, if he's healthy, holy…crap.

From Myself (Follow Here)
Honestly I love many of our prospects.  Guys like Mayfield and Pedan I think can be very solid for us in the future.  Their great size and some grit can really solidify our small defense.  Even this years selection of Ryan Pulock is a guy I am excited about, a future powerplay quarterback could be in order.  Everyone likes seeing goals and that's why I would have to say Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson are the two studs I cannot wait for.  Yes, it may not be original but I found that these two have extremely high ceilings.  Put Strome with JT and the sky is the limit.  That is what I itch for, and we can easily witness that this season.  

Clark Gillies Inducted To Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, Islanders Hall of Famer and Hockey Hall of Famer Clark Gillies was inducted to the Saskatchewan hockey Hall of Fame earlier today.

Through 13 NHL seasons, 11 of which with the Islanders Gillies managed to put up 697 points and 1023 penalty minutes.  Gillies served as captain of the Islanders from 1977 until 1979 and was a member of the Islanders 4 Stanley Cup teams in the early 80's.

We would like to extend congratulations to Gillies on this great honor. (h/t to Lisa from Islander Mania for the link)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

SaveTheIsles Chats With Islanders First Round Pick Ryan Pulock

We would like to thank Ryan for taking the time to answer some questions. To follow him on Twitter click Here

1) How did you feel about the NHL combine? Was it how you expected, must of been a great experience.

The NHL combine was a great experience, meeting with so many smart hockey people was cool, and the physical testing part was tough

2) Did the Isles have an interview with you, If yes, explain how was there process. They ask about background personal questions to see your character or more hockey related?

I did meet with the islanders at the combine and they asked alot of personal back ground questions and a few about hockey

3) How was Isles rookie camp? Did you feel any added extra pressure considering where you got selected?

I enjoyed rookie camp, was a great experience and to be honest I really didn't feel extra pressure I just went out there and did my best

4) Have the Islanders told you anything about there future plan with you? Will you attending training camp in Sept?

Haven't really talked about the future plan but I will be attending camp

5) Was having an incredible shot always in your game or is that something you worked on to get to the next level?

My shot has been a big part of my game for a lot of years, but it's something I continue to work on.

6) Is there any NHL player that you look up to and even idolize your game too?

One player I feel I kinda play like is Keith yandle, good two way defensemen with offensive upside

ESPN Again Displays Their Hockey Ignorance

A recent article written for ESPN by Paul Grant about John Tavares has caused quite a stir in Islanders country.  It spawned articles from a couple from other Islander blogs including this one from Islanders Op-tismism.  Personally, the article caused me to wonder if ESPN actually requires their hockey writers to have watched hockey before writing articles for them.

The worst portion of Mr Grant's article is when he mentioned nobody taking Tavares seriously.  If Grant had paid attention to any person in the hockey world over the last six months or so he would know that not only do people take Tavares seriously but he is viewed as one of the best young players in the entire NHL.

Additionally, Grant made many references to junior hockey where Tavares hasn't played since the spring of 2009.  His references made absolutely zero sense and go further to prove the point that ESPN doesn't care about the quality of their hockey coverage.

Its ESPN's prerogative to not pay attention to their hockey coverage, but the least they can do is make sure they have people who have followed hockey in the last year do articles for them.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Asking The Crowd

Over the next few days I will be posting some questions that I asked some fellow Islander fans.  Each post will be one question with a few responses including mine.  Part one starts now!

Question: 1) What are your expectation for this upcoming season? & Do the isles have enough to make the postseason with for a full 82 grind

From Matt Clausen (Follow Here)

1) My expectations for the Islanders this year are to make the playoffs an place no higher than 2nd in the new Metropolitan Division (god that division name is awful, I wish we could swap names with the Atlantic as it just makes more sense), I can however see the Isles finishing between 2nd and out of the playoff picture looking around the division. the Islanders have added enough depth guys and have built enough of a system to sustain some injuries to the bottom 6 and the D corps. I would have preferred to see one "Go BIG trade" (think a Bobby Ryan or Alex Pietrangelo or someone like that) and say "bedamned the cost if the Isles make a deep run," but the team deemed most trades too high in price and not fitting their vision, so I guess I can't begrudge them too much. Anyway, This team will be tough to compete against especially if all four lines find their respective scoring touches. Who knows if Pitt has a full on melt down, the Isles would then become my pick to win the Division, especially if November turns into the month of joy in place of the month of hell that it's been.

From Tom Ballantyne (Follow Here)

1) I have enough faith in this squad, that as long as they stay healthy, they will make the playoffs.

From Kevin Cosgrove (Follow Here)

1) I'm cautiously optimistic due in large part to the new conference. Adding CBJ and DET makes the schedule tougher. NYI wouldn't get the 8 last year if those 2 teams were there.  I do however look forward to seeing the 4 lines roll for a full 82, hopefully Bailey and KO can keep improving esp if KO makes the US team

From Laura (Follow Here)(Also note that she is not an Islander fan)

1. It may be more difficult over 82 games, but they came close a couple years ago. I think injury free, they can make the postseason. They're just going to have to minimize the learning curve for any youngsters, which leads to question 2...

From Myself (Follow Here)

My expectations are playoffs, they must be.  As Kevin mentioned if we roll all four lines and they all continue to develop and grow, playoffs should be in the picture.  Over the course of the long season, injuries will occur and fatigue may set in but the battle will be there.  We will outwork almost all teams and that's something I really am looking forward to.  Some smart additions have been made, maybe not as impact as I may have wanted but a small upgrade. I need playoffs hockey again cause that atmosphere that those three games had is something that I will always miss.  Rocking the old barn never will get old.  

This is just part one of four.  Hope you enjoyed some different angles. Go Isles

Happy Birthday Nabokov

 photo courtesy of

Today, Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov is celebrating his 38th birthday.

Last season, on the way to leading the Islanders to their first playoff birth in six seasons, Nabokov had a 2.50 GAA and a .910 save percentage.  Nabokov resigned with the Islanders on July 5th to a 1 year 3.25 million dollar contract.

 photo courtesy of

Doug Weight To Be Inducted To The USA Hockey Hall Of Fame

 photo courtesy of

Earlier today, USA Hockey announced the inductees for USA Hockey Hall of Fame.  Among them is Islanders assistant coach and special assistant to the GM Doug Weight.

In 19 NHL seasons Weight compiled 1033 points including 64 as a member of the Islanders.

Former Islanders captain Bill Guerin is among others being inducted.

"Big Shot" To Premiere October 22

The ESPN 30 for 30 documentary entitled "Big Shot" about John Spano and his fraudulent purchase of the Islanders in the mid 90's will premiere on October 22nd according to the films director Kevin Connolly.

I for one am excited about this documentary.  Being a die hard fan of the team, and very young when this all happened I am very curious to learn more about it.

NHL News: MSG Moving?

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, Madison Square Garden may need to find a new spot to operate in the next 10 years.

Recently, the New York City Council voted to limit the Gardens permit extension to 10 years.  MSG had requested to operate the site forever.

Civic organizations want MSG moved so that Penn Station can be overhauled.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kyle Stop Flexing

Courtesy of Twitter ( @RichardATC )

Okposo hitting the weights?

Okposo,Cizikas,Strome and Tavares enjoying 
offseason workouts

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

RUMOR: Isles In On Tim Thomas?

According to the Boston Globe, the Islanders and Flyers have shown interest in Tim Thomas.

If you recall, the Islanders acquired Thomas cap hit back in February in a deal with the Bruins then declined to toll his contract making him a free agent.

I think Thomas makes a lot of sense for us.  Nabokov is another year older and Poulin is very uncertain.  Goalies are the most important position so after trying to build on last seasons playoff run having uncertainty in net isn't a good idea.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nabokov Invited To Team Russia Orientation Camp

According to reports, Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov was among 35 players invited to the orientation camp for team Russia.  The camp will take place on August 23rd and 24th in Sochi the home of the 2014 Olympics.

To view all the players invited check out the link below:

Okposo Invited To Team USA Orientation Camp

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, Islanders forward Kyle Okposo was among 48 players named to the orientation camp roster for team USA.  The camp will be held in Arlington Virginia on August 26th and 27th.

To check out the entire list of players invited check out the link below:

Tavares/Hamonic Invited To Team Canada Olympic Camp

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, Islanders forward John Tavares and newly inked defenseman Travis Hamonic were among 47 players invited to Canadas Olympic orientation camp to take place August 25th until August 28th in Calgary.

To see the rest of the players invited check out the link below:

Monti Backs MSG

According to Newsday, developer Donald Monti has backed Madison Square Gardens plan to develop the Nassau Coliseum.  MSG is competing with Forest City Ratner for the job right now with the winner expected to be announced next month by Ed Mangano.

If you are unfamiliar with Monti, he was selected late last year as the winner of the countys RFQ for the area and plans to put a biotech campus on the site. (subscription required)

For those that want to see Ratner get this job, this isn't a good sign.  Being the master developer there it would make sense that Monti has some pull into who gets picked because he will have to work with them after the fact.  While Ratner losing this job isn't a forgone conclusion yet, todays developments aren't encouraging.

Friday, July 19, 2013

2013/2014 Schedule Released

Within the last hour, after weeks of anticipation, the NHL finally released the schedule for this upcoming season.

Some key dates for the Islanders include:

October 4th-Season opener against the Devils

October 5th-Home opener against Columbus

January 29th-Outdoor game against the Rangers

February 9th-26th-Olympic break

April 8th-Potential last game ever at the Coliseum against Ottawa

April 13th-Last game of the season against Buffalo

For the full schedule click the link below:

Savetheisles Chats With WFAN'S Daniel Friedman

Below is a chat I had recently with WFAN columnist Daniel Friedman.  We would like to thank Dan for taking the time to answer our questions.  You can follow Dan on twitter by clicking here.

STI-Could you give some background on yourself for those that aren't familiar with you?

DF-Sure. I cover the Islanders for WFAN and have been following the team since I was six years-old (17 years). I’ve also interned for Stan Fischler and written for Bleacher Report and The Hockey Writers. I grew up around hockey and would like to think I know a thing or two about it.

STI-How would you grade the Islanders draft? Is there a sleeper in this years class people should keep an eye on?
DF-I thought the Islanders did well at the draft. They took Ryan Pulock, who should morph into their future power play quarterback. Then they brought in some quality talent and did that despite not having a second round-pick.
I would look out for Victor Crus Rydberg (fifth round). He has very good hands and is positionally-sound. I’d compare him to Frans Nielsen.
STI-What did you think of the moves on July 5th? Do you feel Snow has improved the team since the OT loss to the Penguins that ended our season?
DF-I’d be lying to you if I said there wasn’t anything I would’ve done differently. That said -- yes, I do feel this team is better (on paper, at least) now than it was in April.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard is absolutely an upgrade over Brad Boyes if he can stay healthy and, assuming Ryan Strome and/or Brock Nelson make the team out of training camp, the offense is going to be better than it was last year. That’s what gives this year’s team an edge over last year’s.
The loss of Mark Streit is a tough one, and players like Lubomir Visnovsky, Thomas Hickey and Andrew MacDonald will have to step up offensively in his absence, but they’re equipped to do so.
Evgeni Nabokov was re-signed, as was Kevin Poulin. I think that if Poulin can take some more starts and give Nabby some more rest, this tandem can get the job done. I don’t think the Islanders are finished in terms of exploring future options on the goaltending front, but at least for right now, what you see is what you’re going to have.
STI-Being that the team is over the cap floor already and hasn't really shown a tendency to go way over that, do you think our team as presently constructed is more or less the team we will see on opening night?
DF-Yes, I do. Jack Capuano said that Garth Snow is still considering a few other possibilities on offense, so we could see them make another move. Other than that, not much else is going to change.
STI-Did you like the move for Cal Clutterbuck? Do you feel like the draft pick of Nino is a blemish on Garth Snows record?
DF-I did like the trade. Clutterbuck is the kind of character, gritty player that all teams need to be successful. There are 29 other coaches who would be glad to have someone like Cal on their roster and Capuano is fortunate to. Clutterbuck is a proven commodity and fits right in; Nino is an enigma.
As for whether or not he’s a blemish on Snow’s record; it’s tough to say. I don’t think most scouts would’ve seen this coming on draft night, so to say that Snow’s mistake was in failing to avoid this eventual predicament would be unfair. His mistake was in passing over Cam Fowler, who I think will develop into the type of defenseman that could’ve been an anchor on the Isles’ blue line for years to come. It’s important to note that Snow also picked Brock Nelson in that same first round. If Nelson pans out, I think you have to give Snow a bit of a pass.
STI-If the season started tomorrow, what would your expectations be?
DF-I’d expect them to contend for a playoff spot all year and clinch the seventh or eighth-seed.
STi-Fast forwarding a little bit, do you think the way this team does business will change with the move to Brooklyn? Or do you think they will still be a team that operates at the cap floor?
DF-I do think it’ll change, but that really depends on how much progress is made on the ice. The new arena will help but players won’t want to come to a team that isn’t winning. The Isles should be a perennial playoff contender by then, so I don’t expect that to be an issue.
You can find a link to Friedmans most recent WFAN column below:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Islanders Sign Hickey

According to Newsday, the Islanders have agreed to terms with restricted free agent Thomas Hickey on a two year, one way contract worth 675K per season.

The Islanders claimed Hickey off waivers from the LA Kings prior to the start of last season.  Hickey was the 4th overall pick by the Kings in the 2007 draft.

This isn't a bad contract as Hickey really elevated his game playing with Visnovsky.  Hopefully, that is able to continue next season.

Coliseum Bidders Join Forces

According to Newsday, Ed Blumenfeld has joined Bruce Ratners proposal for the Coliseum.  If you recall Blumenfeld had a competing proposal for the Coliseum but was eliminated when Ed Mangano named Ratner and MSG finalists last week.

If you recall, former Islander Bobby Nystrom had thrown his support behind Blumenfelds proposal.

According to the article, Barclays/Nets CEO Brett Yormark has had preliminary discussions with the Big Ten and Pac 12 about bringing basketball games to the Coliseum.  Additionally, SMG who was a partner in Blumenfelds proposal will not be associated with Ratners proposal.

For more, check out the link below: (subscription required)

Islanders Resign Gallant

 photo courtesy of

According to, the Islanders have resigned enforcer Brett Gallant to a one year two way contract.

Last season for Bridgeport, Gallant recorded zero points and 202 penalty minutes in 42 games.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Parker Milner Goes To Twitter

Early this afternoon goaltender prospect Parker Milner went to twitter saying he is excited on joining the Islander organization.  It appears that Milner will backup down in Bridgeport unless something crazy happens.

To Follow Him:  FOLLOW HERE


Coming up very soon we have an interview with someone who has been rising in Islanders media.  You shall see shortly :-)

Isles Resign Bailey To 5 Year Deal

This afternoon, the Islanders announced that they had signed restricted free agent Josh Bailey to a 5 year deal worth 3.3 million per season.

Last season for the Islanders Bailey had 19 points in 38 games.  In his last full season, Bailey had 32 points in 80 games.

I think the deal was a bit rich personally.  I thought he would get around 2 million AAV.  Given what he has accomplished to this point in his career, this is the Islanders really banking on potential with Bailey versus what he has done.  This deal presents large risk for a budget team like the Islanders.  Hopefully, for the Islanders sake, Bailey makes it worth the risk and doesn't make them regret it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Isles Hire Former Maine Coach

According to Lee Goldberg, the sports director for WCSH-TV in Portland former Maine interim coach Bob Corkum will join the Islanders organization.

Corkum is expected to have a role in player development with the Islanders.

The Islanders organization has a strong connection to Maine as GM Garth Snow is huge there.  Also, both coach Jack Capuano and Scott Pellerin the coach of Bridgeport played for Maine as well.

For more, check out the link below:

Tavares Taking Strome Under His Wing

Over the last few seasons, John Tavares has quickly risen to star status in the NHL and a fan favorite among Islander fans for his outstanding play on the ice.

Being a guy who has been around for a couple seasons now, Tavares has started helping out the younger players.  Islanders top prospect Ryan Strome told Newsday, "It's unbelievable how much he's taken me under his wing, provided me every opportunity to learn, to get better..."  During his draft year in 2011, analyst Craig Button of TSN and the NHL Network was one of the first to suggest Strome and Tavares someday playing on a line with one another in the future.  Button went as far as to say he thought Tavares could score 50 goals with Strome on his wing.

For more:

As if fans needed more reasons to love Tavares.  The other day I had mentioned it, but I think we have the potential for a match made in heaven with these two guys.

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Islanders Choose Numbers

According to the Islanders twitter, the teams three newest acquisitions have chosen their numbers.

Agitator Cal Clutterbuck will wear number 15, Peter Regin will wear number 16, and Pierre Marc Bouchard will wear number 96.  Bouchards number is the highest number ever worn by an Islanders player beating out Ryan Smyth who wore 94 in his brief tenure here.

Islanders Prospects Give Fans A Dose Of Summer Hockey

Tonight at the Coliseum, Islanders prospects squared off in their annual scrimmage to end rookie mini camp. The crowd for the game where all ticket sale proceeds benefited the Islanders Childrens Foundation seemed to be larger than in years past after the teams run to the playoffs last season.

Below are some guys that stood out for me:

Ryan Strome-All I have to say is wow!!  I know its just a scrimmage so you can't take to much away from it, but I thought he was fantastic.  He showed great vision setting up LI native Joey Diamond on the first goal and his line pretty much held control of the play each time they were out there.

Griffin Reinhart-Wasn't as much a standout as Strome but still solid.  Him and Strome had a nice battle going at times throughout the night.

Joey Diamond-The LI native had a solid game tonight in front of his home town crowd and his own personal cheering sections 227/228.  Given he was aided by the fact he was the winger on the line with Ryan Strome but Diamond had a good game on his own.  Not sure if Diamond will ever be a regular NHL player.  However, if he isn't it won't be for lack of heart or desire.  Even in the scrimmage tonight you could see Diamond laying it out there including attempting to pick a fight with a defenseman nearly a foot larger then him.

Eamon Mcadam-While he struggled a bit in the second half, he was very solid in the first half making some big saves.  While he is a bit away from even Bridgeport I would think, there is potential in the third round pick we acquired in the Cal Clutterbuck trade.

Jason Clark-He had a solid game and scored a couple goals, not sure if I ever see him as a regular in the NHL though.

Kirill Kabanov-While he didn't register a point tonight, he did show some good board play and the willingness to go into the dirty area.  Plus he nearly pulled off the craziest move of the shootout.  He was derailed last year by his wrist injury that kept him out a few months.  If he can stay healthy this season I am expecting big things from Kirill.

Mike Dalhuisen-This guy has a nasty streak and some shot.  If groomed correctly he could be quite the asset for us.

Victor Crus Rydberg-I am intrigued by him as a prospect because had some good moments tonight that made me go wow.  Most notably his move in the shootout which reportedly hadn't worked in an environment like that since he was 15 years old.

Overall, this was a good time, could summer hockey ever be a bad time?  The post game autograph signing was much more organized than the one two years ago so good on the Islanders for learning with that.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

BREAKING NHL NEWS: Ilya Kovalchuk Retired

Update: According to Puckdaddy, Kovalchuk will be joining the KHL playing for the same team he did during the lockout and could earn up to 20 million per season as the marquee player in the league over there.

According to various reports Devils star forward Ilya Kovalchuk has announced his retirement.

Kovalchuk registered 31 points in 37 games last season but missed significant time for the Devils because of injury.  If you recall, after the lockout ended Kovalchuk was reluctant to return to the NHL from the KHL overseas.

We will have more on this as it comes out.

Brett Yormark Attending The Scrimmage Tonight

According to his twitter, Brett Yormark the CEO of the Nets/Barclays Center and the new person in charge of marketing, ticket sales, and suite sales for the Islanders will be in attendance at the Islanders Blue VS Orange scrimmage tonight at the Coliseum.

If you run into him tonight, welcome him to the Island and wish him luck with his Coliseum proposal.

Happy Birthday Ryan Strome

photo by zimbio

Today, Islanders top prospect Ryan Strome turns 20 years old.  Strome will be a participant in the Islanders Blue VS Orange scrimmage tonight from the Coliseum.

Last season, Strome dominated juniors accumulating 94 points in just 53 games.  After ending his junior season, he played in Bridgeports final 10 games where he put up 7 points while playing on the wing for Brock Nelson.  Strome was ranked the 11th best prospect in the NHL at the end of the season by Hockey's Future.

Strome will have every opportunity to make the team this season as either a center or John Tavares right wing.  However, I suspect that he will start the season in Bridgeport barring an injury or something else happening.  Even though he might start the season with Bridgeport, I don't think its to far of a stretch for him to a have a regular spot with the Islanders by the end of the season.

photo by photobucket

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bailey Files For Arbitration

 photo courtesy of

According to reports, Islanders RFA Josh Bailey has filed for salary arbitration.

The main thing this means is that he will likely not get a long term deal.  If you recall, a couple years ago the contract for Bailey went right down to the wire.

Some have said this means Bailey may get moved similar to the manner in which we picked up James Wisniewski a couple years ago.  While that is possible, I don't see it happening.  Bailey is Snows guy and his first ever first round pick.  I will be very surprised if Snow is able to pull the trigger on a deal for him.

Could Strome Be Tavares Winger?

A big topic of discussion this summer in Islander land has been the need to acquire a right wing to play on a line with John Tavares and Matt Moulson.

On July 5th, the Islanders signed Pierre Marc Bouchard, previously of the Wild to a 1 year 2 million dollar contract to presumably take that spot.

However, if that plan doesn't work or Bouchards health doesn't hold up, could we have the solution in house already in that of Ryan Strome?  Dating back to when he was drafted, Strome drew comparisons to Jeff Skinner of the Hurricanes by Craig Button from the NHL Network.  Skinner is able to play both center and right wing.  While in Bridgeport toward the end of last season Strome predominately played wing on a line with Brock Nelson and the since departed Nino Niederreiter.

Yesterday from camp, Ryan Strome said that hes been asked by the Islanders if he his comfortable playing both center and wing.  Further on that, yesterday coach Jack Capuano said "...its a real good possibility that we try him there" meaning Strome on the wing.

With Niederreiter gone, Strome is now the highest end forward we have who is capable of playing wing and with the large amount of centers we have it would make sense to transition Strome there.  With the playmaking ability he showed in the limited time I saw him in Bridgeport last season I think there is a potential match made in heaven between him and his summer workout partner John Tavares.

Streit: "...I Wanted To Be On A Team That Really Wants To Win..."

On June 12th, the Islanders shipped captain Mark Streit to the division rival Flyers in exchange for a 4th round pick in the draft and prospect Shane Harper who was later not qualified by the team.

Streit went on to sign a 4 year contract with the Flyers worth 5.25 million per season with a limited NTC.  Today, Streit issued his first statements since the trade and chief among them were that he wanted to go a team that really wants to win.

Coming from a team where he was captain statements like this make Streit appear that he has sour grapes over the way thing ended with us.  Further, with large leadership role he had with us statements like that won't endear him to his former teammates and fans which really isn't a big issue in the long run but shows a lack of professionalism on Streits part.  A lack of professionalism is something Streit never showed during his five years here so its odd to see it come from him now.

For more on this check out the link below:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Battle For The Coliseum: MSG VS Ratner

According to Newsday, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has narrowed down his choices down to two proposals for the development of the Nassau Coliseum.  One being from MSG and the other being from Forest City Ratner.

A final decision on matters will be made by mid-August, Mangano said.  Following that, a copy of the contract that gets worked out between the winner and county would need be submitted to the legislature because they need to approve all county contracts.  Mangano hopes that would happen by late August or early September.

I hope Ratner wins, if MSG wins that would be a disaster!

Islanders Sign Clutterbuck To 4 Year Contract

According to the Islanders official twitter, the team has signed forward Cal Clutterbuck to a 4 year deal worth 11 million dollars.  Clutterbuck was acquired in a draft day trade with the Wild along with a third round pick in exchange for disgruntled former top prospect Nino Niederreiter.  Clutterbuck had been a restricted free agent.

Clutterbuck had 10 points in 42 games last season and over 150 hits.  Prior to Matt Martin holding the record for most hits in a season, that record was held by Clutterbuck with 356 as a rookie.  Clutterbuck has averaged around 14 goals per season thus far in his 4 and a half year NHL career.  His scoring ability plus his ability to be an agitator and hit people will fit in perfectly with the Islanders and their system they started developing late last season.

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Isles Camp Rosters Revealed

Earlier today, the Islanders revealed the mini camp roster for this weeks prospect camp.  Those are the players that will be playing in the Blue VS Orange scrimmage at the Coliseum on Thursday night.

For the scrimmage, tickets are $10 a piece and the proceeds go to the Islanders Childrens Foundation.

To view the roster click the link below:

RUMOR: Isles In On Nathan Gerbe?

According to a report from Andy Strickland, the Islanders are among nearly a half dozen teams to show interest in former Sabres forward Nathan Gerbe.

Gerbe, who was bought out last week by Buffalo prior to the start of free agency is said to be seeking a one way deal.

I wouldn't mind an acquisition of Gerbe, but I don't know where he fits.  Unless they would be looking at him as an insurance policy in case Bouchard gets injured which with Bouchard is always a risk.

Poulin Accepts Qualifying Offer

According to Newsday, Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin accepted his qualifying offer earlier this afternoon.

Newsday reports that if Poulin makes the Islanders that in order to be sent back to the AHL he would need to clear waivers.

In 21 career games for the Islanders dating back to the 2010/2011 season, Poulin has a 2.76 GAA and a .912 save percentage.|NYI|home

Summer Autograph Lineup

A couple days ago the Islanders announced their summer autograph lineup for the off-season.

It begins tonight with defenseman Joe Finley at the team store from 6:00-7:30PM.

Next Monday, defenseman Andrew MacDonald will be at the team store from 7:00-8:30PM.

On July 30th, defenseman Brian Strait will appear at the team store from 6:00-7:00PM

The first 150 fans to come to the signings are guaranteed an autograph.

For more information check out the link below:

Is Wang Finally Starting To Get It?

In a recent article in the New York Times, Charles Wang talked about a variety of topics including the Islanders impending move to Brooklyn.

One thing that really stood out for me was that he said that he realized that star power would be needed in order to compete with the Rangers.

The same owner who for the last half dozen years has ran the team below the cap floor going as far as to acquire phantom salaries so they weren't penalized made mention of star power being needed for the team.

So, is Wang finally starting to get it?  Is he finally starting to realize that you can't build a team off draft picks and projects that you hope pan out.  For the sake of the fans, hopefully! (h/t to Roy for the link)

Name/Colors Will Stay The Same In Brooklyn

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the CEO of the Nets and Barclays Center and newly appointed leader of Islanders ticket sales, suite sales, and marketing Brett Yormark said that upon the Islanders move to Brooklyn the teams name and colors will remain the same.

There had been growing speculation of the Islanders undergoing a re-branding similar to that the Nets went through upon their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn before this past NBA season.  The idea gained so much steam that it led to the start of a fan made petition against the idea which garnered over 1,000 signatures in a matter of weeks.

For more on the article click the link below: (h/t to Roy for the link)

Its refreshing to hear this for me because I was one of the many fans concerned about a re-branding.  The only thing that I remain concerned about is the logo.  Only mentioned in the article are the name and the colors that wouldn't be touched.  The logo wasn't mentioned anywhere.  I am not sure if it was lumped in as one or forgotten but the logo on our primary jerseys shouldn't be touched either.  That has been tried before and failed miserably.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Isles Likely Done With Free Agency??

According to Newsday, after yesterdays acquisitions and the re signing of our remaining RFA's that would give the Islanders 19 players signed to one way contracts.

With that, that would pretty much close the book on free agent signings according to Newsday but leave the door open for some trades.

Projected Islander lineup today:




We all knows Garths history of making trades not on draft day or lack there of, not saying we couldn't use one.  However, I have a feeling the team above is the team that will be taking the ice on opening night for us.  

Islanders Sign Bouchard/Regin

Not only did the Islanders resign some players today, but they also bought in some new faces to the team.

Shortly after signing Nabokov, the Islanders announced the signing of forward Peter Regin to a one year one way contract worth 750K.  The one way aspect of the deal means in order to go to the AHL Regin would need to clear waivers.  In his only full season in 09/10 Regin registered 29 points in 75 games.  Regin happens to hail from the same hometown as Islanders center Frans Nielsen.

It appears Regin will provide Brock Nelson competition for the third line center spot.

Within an hour following that, the Islanders announced the signing of forward Pierre Marc Bouchard to a one year 2 million dollar contract.  Given Bouchards skill set, he has the potential to be a solid compliment on right wing for John Tavares.  However, the struggle with Bouchard is health.  Before last season, Bouchard had only appeared in 97 games the prior three seasons.  In those 97 games Bouchard put up 60 points.  Bouchards best season came in 07/08 when he put up 13 goals and 50 assists for 63 points.  If playing with Tavares could return him to that the Islanders may have yet again found one of those hidden gems Garth Snow is becoming famous for finding.

Am I the only one that can't wait for the day we can actually sign proven players rather than pinning our seasons hope on projects working out?  Garth has become good at this, but eventually his luck will run out.

MSG Summer Ice

Every Friday night for the rest of the summer, MSG will be re-airing a key Islander game from this past season.  Some key games that will be shown include our two playoff wins against the Penguins.

For a full schedule of the games being shown check out the link below:

Isles Sign Nabby/Resign Hamonic

This afternoon, the Islanders had a busy day on the first day of free agency.  Some of their activity including signing goalie Evgeni Nabokov back to a one year deal worth 3.25 million.

On top of that, they resigned Travis Hamonic to a 7 year extension worth 27 million dollars.  Hamonic was a restricted free agent.

Given what was left on the free agent market, Nabby was the best choice.  Not sure he deserved the raise given his largely sub standard play last season, but it is what it is.  It appears as though it will be a combo of him and Poulin in net next season unless Nilsson/Milner come to camp and surprise the coaches or Poulin is bad.

On the Hamonic deal, great move by Snow!  Hamonic has quietly become one of the better defenseman in the league the last two seasons and if he continues on that trajectory this contract will be quite the steal in 3-4 years.

Friday, July 5, 2013


Throughout the day we will run a live blog tracking all the rumors and signings of the day.  If you hear something from a reliable source and dont see it posted here, post it in comments and you may just see it end up in the post.

8:03PM Wild sign Matt Cooke to a 3 year contract

8:03PM Wild trade Devin Setoguchi to the Jets for a 2nd round pick

8:02PM Jarome Iginla signs a 1 year 6 million dollars deal with the Bruins

4:53PM Former Islander defenseman Aaron Johnson signs with the Rangers

4:30PM Kings sign Jeff Schultz to a one year deal worth 700K

3:55PM Islanders resign RFA Travis Hamonic to a 7 year deal worth 27 million dollars

3:40 Predators sign Eric Nystrom 4 years 10 million

3:30PM BREAKING NEWS: Ottawa acquires Bobby Ryan from the Ducks in exchange for Silverberg, Noesen, and a first round pick

3:30PM Rangers sign Dominic Moore to a one year 1 million dollar contract

3:15PM Carolina Hurricanes sign Anton Khudobin to a one year deal worth 800K

3:14PM Lightning sign Valteri Filppula to a 5 year deal worth 5 million per season

2:46PM Islanders close to signing RFA Thomas Hickey to a two year contract according to Newsday

2:41PM Dallas signs goalie Dan Ellis

2:41PM Matt Henricks signs 4 year deal with Nashville

2:18PM Detroit signs Stephen Weiss to a 5 year deal worth 4.9 per

1:46PM Toronto signs Tyler Bozak 5 years 4.2 million per season

1:45PM David Clarkson signs 7 year deal with Toronto worth 36.75 million

1:40PM Predators sign Viktor Stalberg to a 4 year deal worth 3 million per and Matt Cullen to a 2 year deal worth 3.5 million per

1:29PM Keith Aucoin signs 1 year 625K deal with the Blues

1:24PM Blackhawks resign Michael Rozival to a 2 year contract

1:23PM Devils sign Rostislav Olesz to a one year contract

1:20PM Mike Mottau signs with the Panthers

1:11PM Oilers sign Jesse Joensuu to a two year deal

1:03PM Ottawa signs Calrke Macarthur to a 2 year contract

12:58PM Rob Scuderi signs 4 year deal worth 3.375 per season with the Penguins

12:51PM Islanders sign Pierre Marc Bouchard 1 year 2 million

12:50PM Devils sign Ryan Clowe to a 5 year contract worth 4.85 million per year

12:50PM Nathan Horton signs a 7 year deal with the Blue Jackets

12:36PM Boyd Gordon signs 3 year deal with the Oilers

12:36PM Michael Handzus signs 1 year deal with Chicago

12:35PM Mike Ribeiro signs 4 year deal with the Coyotes worth 22 million

12:29PM Mike Komisarek signs 1 year 700K deal with Carolina

12:19PM Flyers sign 1 year 1.65 million dollar deal with Ray Emery

12:18PM Daniel Alfredsson signs 1 year 5.5 million dollar contract with the Red Wings

12:13PM Islanders sign Peter Regin to a one year deal worth 750K

12:11PM Andrew Ferrance signs with the Oilers 4 years 3.25 per season

12:06PM Kyle Chipchura resigns with the Coyotes

12:05PM Islanders resign Nabokov to 1 year 3.25 million dollar deal

Offer Sheets For Bailey/Hamonic??

According to TSN, there is talk about teams making offer sheets for the Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic and forward Josh Bailey.

In the event of an offer sheet the Islanders would have a week to match it and if they choose not to match it they would receive draft pick compensation based on the salary.

This is just talk nothing concrete, still a bit concerning though for me.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

NHL NEWS: Seguin/Peverly Heading To Dallas

Update: Here is the full trade courtesy of TSN

According to TSN, the final details of a trade are being worked out but the Bruins have traded Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly and maybe more to the Dallas Stars.

The exact return for Boston isn't known yet but forward Loui Eriksson would be one of the pieces heading to Boston.

More to come

Hedberg An Option For The Isles?

According to Arthur Staple, should a couple goalies sign elsewhere the Islanders may look at former Devils backup Johan Hedberg who is in the process of being bought out by New Jersey.

Last season with the Devils, Hedberg had an .883 save percentage and a 2.76 GAA.

As a backup I wouldn't mind Hedberg, but as a starter there is no way in the world I would look at Hedberg.

Islanders In On Ray Emery

According to TSN, the Islanders are one of four teams in on Ray Emery.  The other three being the Oilers, Flyers and Blackhawks.

Emery was 17-1  with a .920 save percentage and a 1.94 GAA this season with the Blackhawks serving as their backup.

Emery has only been a starting goalie once in his career so I am not sure how I feel about them bringing him in here to be a tandem with Poulin.  But with the slim picking left on the free agent market, Emery is near the best that is available.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Isles Send Qualifying Offers To Six

According to reports, the Islanders sent qualifying offers to six players today.

They are:

Travis Hamonic
Josh Bailey
Brett Gallant
David Ullstrom (retaining his North American rights)
Thomas Hickey
Kevin Poulin

Not on that list are forwards Shane Harper who was acquired in the Mark Streit trade, Bredan DeFazio, and Jesse Joensuu.  All of them will be UFA's come this Friday.

The Pride and Joy

Just a few short years ago..

Id hear this a lot "Oh your an Isles fan, I'm sorry for you". Day after day the same story.  "Hows DP" " Hows last place taste" and I would continuously take it, laugh it off and keep going.  During these times I wished about winning, playoffs and all the above.  Just wishing one day my team will be there before we left Long Island.  The New York Islanders have some of the greatest diehards in hockey, hell maybe even professional sports, and I truly believe that.   The silent army was in hiding, embarrassed to wear a shirt or a hat.  Just to get looked and talked about.  We just needed one thing, one word. HOPE.  Then April 15th, 2009 came around and hope was maybe granted.  Painfully the Islander fan waited for general manager Garth Snow to make a selection.  Day after day, it was quiet in Islander camp.  Could they really get this wrong, will we really pass on Tavares?  Every Islander fan asked themselves several times day after day.  Then HOPE came, Snow calmly walked up to the podium and drafted the man, the hero John Tavares.  Just check youtube if you didn't think we were excited at the selection! (that night was awesome)

It was going to be slow, we knew that.  Even more years of patience was in the future, fine but there was a plan.  A full rebuild, the way to win in the National Hockey League.  But this was a start and a damn good one.  Some waiver claims later with genius signings the Islanders had something going.  A shortened lockout season was upon us.  As usual, the league did not respect us, no shock there right?  Remember we are the "Islanders".

The first half of the season?  Nothing special to say the least, average .500 play was us.  Then a streak, a streak like no other I have witness with my team.  A special feeling, that all Isles diehards felt.  The league noticed, hell NHL tonight has us top 5 on power rankings. Yes, you did read that right.  That feeling of clinching the playoffs against Carolina felt like no other.  This was not just some hockey team, this is OUR team who've we watched grownup in front of our eyes.

Of course we know what happened with the playoffs.  A hard battled "shock the world" upset almost occurred.  Inexperience and tired goaltending we're our downfalls, also some players diving.(cough cough)

And the Now..

The atmosphere at the Coliseum for all three playoff home games I will never forget.  The crowd, the players,the pregame parking lot parties, all things we ALL will miss when we leave.  When this team wins, it feels like no others, we are all so emotionally attached.  Best part about it, we all know it!  I say this cause, this season the Islanders need to be back, we all must feel that playoff game atmosphere again.  Time is ticking for the coli, we need to rock it as many times as we can.  I want to have a poll once again saying WE are the loudest crowd.  Things will change when we play in Brooklyn, a part will be missing, and time goes by too fast...

Remember those Ranger/Devils fan that used to bash the Isles?  The ones years ago who called us a joke and not even NHL worthy.  Remember those guys?  Its gone, they cannot talk smack no more.  Best part about it the same friends are telling me how scary the Isles can be really soon.  Its sunny on Long Island but in a few years the doors will be shut, tears will be shed.  But until then we must do our jobs as fans...ROCK THE BARN.   

The Pride and Joy of being an Islander fan.... is Finally Back ! Lets Go Isles