Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NHL Or Bust For Anders Nilsson?

photo by yahoo

According to a recent report, Anders Nilsson told one of his hometown media outlets that he is no longer willing to play in the AHL after doing so for the last three seasons.  If he isn't in the NHL Nilsson said that he is willing to go to Europe to play.

This season in 19 games for the Islanders Nilsson had a 3.11 GAA and a .896 save percentage.  He along with Kevin Poulin and Evgeni Nabokov combined for the worst save percentage in the NHL this season.

Meanwhile, in 29 games this season for Bridgeport, Nilsson had a 2.81 GAA and a .901 save percentage.

Well, for a while people assumed he would be in the AHL next season with Nabokov returning as a veteran backup and the team bringing in another goalie to start and saying goodbye to Kevin Poulin.  If this is true, it may have bought Kevin Poulin some more time in the organization.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Islanders Sign Leduc To 3 Year ELC

This afternoon, the Islanders announced that they signed defenseman Loic Leduc to a three year entry level contract.  Leduc was a 4th round pick of the Islanders in 2012.  The Islanders took Leduc with the 4th round pick they received from Buffalo in exchange for the negotiating rights to Christian Ehrhoff.

With this deal, Leduc, 19, is slated to begin next season in Bridgeport.  With him and Joe Finley part of the Sound Tigers top 6 that defense is shaping up to be an intimidating defense to play against next season.

This season, his 4th in the QMJHL Leduc put up 15 points, 102 penalty minutes and a +13 rating split between two teams.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wang Offering Potential Buyers 75% Of Islanders

According to Chris Botta, citing a recent memorandum released by the Islanders this week, Islanders owner Charles Wang is looking to sell 75% of the Islanders with a 5 year plan to sell the remaining 25%.  Botta said that he also believes that Wang wants to make a deal ASAP.

This is the first time we have had any real hard numbers relating to Wang offering up a majority ownership and how much exactly he wants to part with.

This is actually pretty smart by Wang because he sees the profit opportunity in Brooklyn and wants a chance to get some of that before totally giving up 100% of the team.  

Isles Finished In The Red Last Season

According to a report from Chris Botta, the Islanders suffered an operating loss of 4.8 million dollars last season.  The loss was minimized greatly by 15 million dollars in revenue sharing and escrow payments by the NHL.  Under the previous CBA's the Islanders didn't get revenue sharing because it was said they were in a major market and so they didn't qualify for it.  However, now under the new CBA that was changed and they now qualify.

To put it in perspective, Botta says that the Islanders made 22 million in ticket revenue this season.  The Montreal Canadiens took in more then 6 million in ticket revenue for their two playoff games last week alone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nassau Coliseum Name Change On The Horizon?

That could be the case according to a new report from Chris Botta.

Botta is reporting that Brett Yormark, the CEO of the Barclays Center and the Nets is seeking to get 6-7 million a year for the naming rights of the Coliseum.  A condition of any deal however is that Veterans Memorial must remain in the name.

If you recall, Bruce Ratner and his group will be redoing the Coliseum after the Islanders leave and Yormark is part of that group.
I wonder who if anyone would step up for the naming rights of the Coliseum.  It is a pretty classy gesture by Ratner and co to require that Veterans Memorial remain part of any name.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

REPORT: Islanders Sale Close

According to a new report tonight from Tony Stabile at hockey this week, a sale of the Islanders by owner Charles Wang is close to completion and could be finished as early as this summer.

Stabile went on to say that he was told that the perspective new owner has offered jobs within the organization to former Islanders players should the sale be finalized and 1 player has accepted a position.

You can follow Tony on twitter here.

This isn't the first time I have heard that a sale could be completed as soon as the summer so hearing this from someone else is very encouraging. 

Second Group Close To Pursuing Bid For Isles

A couple weeks ago, it was reported a couple days before the news of Andrew Barroway's interest in purchasing the Islanders that AHL team owner Howard Dolgon was interested in pursuing a bid for the club.

New reports are suggesting that after a 30 minute conversation with a main potential investor in the deal that Dolgon was left, "...more optimistic then ever..." that his investor would want to pursue a deal.  Dolgon was very secretive about the investors identity only saying that the investor has a net worth of between 500-700 million and is in his 50's.

When initial talks of Dolgon's interest were reported a couple weeks ago I thought maybe his involvement would be compromised because of his ownership of the AHL team.  However, according to a new article, there is nothing in the AHL bylaws that prevents owning an NHL team or being involved in the operation of one that is different then the AHL team's NHL affiliate.

Having multiple parties seriously interested would only mean good things for Wang.  However, it seems like Barroway and his group are a significant way past the starting line so to speak so Dolgon and his mystery investor might be to little to late.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Isles Likely To Keep This Years Pick

Last night, the Islanders held a town hall meeting for season ticket holders who were on the fence about renewing their tickets.

At the meeting, fans had the chance to ask GM Garth Snow, coach Jack Capuano, and assistant coach/GM Doug Weight questions.  When asked about this years draft pick Garth Snow said he would, "wager any amount of money that they will retain this years first round pick."

This is in line with what Newsday has been saying for a while regarding our desire to keep this years pick.

Given that the pick is top 5 this shouldn't come as a total surprise.  However, given the huge disparity in talent between this years draft and next years I was hoping that we would surrender this years pick and keep next years.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NHL News: Flyers Sign MacDonald

photo by philly

According to various reports, the Flyers announced this morning that they signed former Islander Andrew MacDonald to a 6 year contract extension worth 30 million dollars.  MacDonald was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.

The Flyers acquired MacDonald from the Islanders last month in exchange for a 3rd round pick this year, a 2nd round pick next year and forward Matt Mangene.

MacDonald reportedly rejected a 4 year offer worth 16 million from the Islanders before being traded.

I never really had any doubt that MacDonald would get his money and it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Flyers were the ones to overpay him.  This contract will keep MacDonald in Philly until he is 33 years old.  One has to wonder with the style he plays if as the contract wears on his body will be able to hold up.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jack Capuano To Return Next Season

photo by cbssports

According to Newsday, Garth Snow has said that Jack Capuano will remain as the Islanders head coach heading into their last season at the Nassau Coliseum.

After making the playoffs in last seasons shortened season, the Islanders took a major step back this season under Capuano finishing 34-37-11 good for the fifth worst record in the NHL.

Capuano is 118-120-39 in 277 games as Islanders head coach.  Those 118 wins place him second all time among Islanders head coaches only behind the legendary Al Arbour.
It had long been speculated that given the Islanders for the most part terrible season that the coach would be held responsible for it because we all know the owner would never hold the GM responsible.  However, given the lack of accountability within the organization the decision to keep Capuano shouldn't come as a surprise.  It fits right in with the Islanders way of doing things and signals that there is still a commitment to winning lacking. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Isles Finish Season On A High In Shootout Win

photo by hockeysfuture

This evening, our Islanders finished their season by defeating the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 4-3 in a shootout after coming from behind on two separate occasions.  Here are some of my notes from the final game of the season:

-Great game from Anders Lee, couldn't ask for a better way to finish off an overall disappointing season then with a multi goal game.  I would be surprised if he isn't a regular in our lineup come October.

-Much like Lee, good to see Frans Nielsen finish off what otherwise has been a career year on a high note.  The big question is if he can repeat it next season.

-For all the criticisms I gave Matt Carkner this season, he played pretty well down the stretch.

-Very nice shot by Brock Nelson to tie the game.  It was shots like that last season in Bridgeport that left me very excited for his future up here.

-Anders Nilsson had another pretty good game following up his solid effort from the Devils game a couple nights ago.  Hopefully, this gives him some confidence heading into the summer.

-The team not only won the game, but they had a good showing in the bouts to.  The most impressive showing was by the most recent Bridgeport call up in Justin Johnson.  In just his first NHL regular season fight Johnson one punch knocked down Sabres enforcer John Scott who holds a tremendous size and weight advantage on him.

This team had a 17-5-2 record in their final 24 road games, which means they won more road games in that span then they did at home all season.  If somehow they could figure out a cure for their home woes that would go a long way in seeing them potentially return to the playoffs next season.

Isles Down Devils 3-2 In Shootout

Last night, our Islanders defeated the rival Devils by a score of 3-2 in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Another good start by Nilsson against the Devils, I don't know what it is about them but Nilsson usually seems to play pretty well against them.

-Good to see Strome put another one to the back of the net for the second consecutive game.

-For such a small guy, Hickey can make himself much bigger when he goes down on the ice to block a pass.

-Good to see Bailey and Strome come through in the shootout to clinch the win.  While I am not wild about the spin move they used, it isn't the first time people in the league have used it and it won't be the last so complaining about it is all moot in my opinion.

Given the amount of rookies in our lineup it is truly remarkable that we are in each and every game and have gone on to win a fair amount of them.  Further then that, there have been times in some of the games where we have actually dominated the play which on paper is just crazy.  What is even more puzzling is the split between our home and road record.  This marks the second season in a row where there is a large disparity between our home record and our road record.  In order for the team to be successful this obviously has to change.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night 5:00PM @ Buffalo (Final Game of the Season)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Devils

photo by metroshu

Tonight, our Islanders travel to New Jersey to take on Jaromir Jagr and the Devils.

After starting last night, I would expect Evgeni Nabokov to have off for the Islanders meaning Anders Nilsson will likely get the start for them.  The Devils have yet to announce their starter.

With his injury last night, Johan Sundstrom will not be in the lineup which means Justin Johnson will be making his NHL debut in New Jersey tonight.  Newsday reports that he was at the Coliseum on Tuesday for the debut of Brett Gallant as the pair has become friends this season in Bridgeport.

Isles Recall Justin Johnson

Earlier today, the Islanders announced that they recalled Justin Johnson from Bridgeport after the injury to Johan Sundstrom last night.  Sundstrom was injured on a hit from behind by Montreal defenseman Douglas Murray.  If you recall, the Islanders signed Johnson to a 2 way contract earlier this season.

This season, his first with Bridgeport Johnson has managed to put up 5 points and 183 penalty minutes in 48 games.  After a very long time in the minors, this will be Johnsons first opportunity in the NHL.

Johnson is of the same mold as Brett Gallant so I would expect some fights in the teams final two games of the season.


Isles Shutout Habs 2-0

photo by hockeysfuture

Last night, we got a glimpse into our potentially bright future as we defeated the Canadiens by a score of 2-0 on goals from Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson.  Last night also marked Evgeni Nabokov's fourth shutout of the season.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-As the season draws to a close, Nabokov is sure making a case to be retained for next season in some capacity.

-Nice game from Strome, with everyone out good to see him continuing to produce.

-Good to see Nelson put one to the back of the net, showed off his great shot I saw in abundance last season in Bridgeport.

-Gallant held his own against another league heavyweight in Parros.  I'm a little confused as to why they kept Boulton instead of giving that role to Gallant.

The kids are continuing to put forth some impressive performances against solid teams.  These games maybe meaningless but I am sure these efforts are giving the young players a ton of confidence which in the long run should only do good things for them.

Next Game: Tonight 7:30 @ The Devils

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Habs

photo by hockeyinsideout

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Montreal to pay a visit to PK Subban and the Canadiens as their season winds down.

The goalie match up tonight features Evgeni Nabokov for the Islanders and Carey Price for the Canadiens.

This will be the first time the Islanders face Thomas Vanek since the deadline day deal that sent Vanek to Montreal.

The Islanders lineup will be the same as Tuesday's loss to Ottawa.

Isles Fall To Ottawa In Home Finale

On Tuesday night, our Islanders fell 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators to close out their home schedule.  With that loss, the Islanders finished with just 13 home wins on the season.  That record is the teams worst home record since 2000/2001.

With the lack of offense on the scoreboard in the Islanders favor the highlight of the night probably was when Brett Gallant making his NHL debut one punch knocked out Senators enforcer Matt Kassian.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pre Game: Senators vs. Islanders

Tonight in the final home game this season, our Isles faceoff against the Ottawa Senators.  

Lets hope the boys show up tonight in the finale, putting up a W for the home crowd.  

Anders Nilsson will be in net for the Isles.  Additionally Brett Gallant is expected to make his NHL debut tonight.  It could be like Goon part 2 tonight! 

Like always, Lets Go Islanders! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Isles Recall Gallant From Bridgeport

photo by rantsports

According to reports, the Islanders have sent forward Johan Sundstrom back to Bridgeport and in his place called up enforcer Brett Gallant.

In 140 games spanning over 4 seasons for Bridgeport Gallant managed to put up 6 points and 600 penalty minutes.  With his most recent tilt Gallant set the record for the most fighting majors in Bridgeport history passing former Islander and Sound Tiger Micheal Haley.

While I don't expect him to add much of anything offensively, Gallant has become one of the top fighters in the entire AHL so I am curious to see how he handles himself with some of the guys up here.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Isles Fall 4-0 To Blue Jackets

Tonight, our Islanders fell by a score of 4-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.  The Jackets seemed like a different team then the one that was at Nassau Coliseum a few short weeks ago.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-For his NHL debut I thought Scott Mayfield had a solid game.  He really wasn't noticeable very often which for a defenseman especially a rookie that is usually a good thing.

-Not Nilsson's finest game after what had been a pretty good stretch for him.

-Offensive chances were few especially later on in the game which after the way we played them a couple weeks ago is discouraging.

-Carkner has gotten a lot better in his fights and actually made a good play on defense to break up an odd man rush tonight.

Next Game: Tuesday Night @ Home VS Ottawa (Last Home Game)

Pre Game: Isles @ Jackets

photo by hockeyballparks

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Columbus to take on Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets.

The goalie match up tonight features Anders Nilsson for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky will get the nod in net for the Blue Jackets.

With the injuries sustained yesterday, the Islanders will have a little bit of a different looking roster this evening.  Johan Sundstrom will return to the lineup tonight after being sent down to Bridgeport and recalled yesterday within a matter of hours.  He will take the spot of Michael Grabner who was injured yesterday in his return to the lineup.  Meanwhile, defenseman Scott Mayfield will make his NHL debut in place of Calvin de haan.  Mayfield, a second round pick of the Islanders in 2011 registered 17 points and 125 penalty minutes in 69 games this season which was his first full season in Bridgeport.

Isles Fall 4-3 To Caps In Shootout

Last night, our Islanders feel 4-3 to the Capitals in a shootout.  Here are some of my notes:

-Congrats to John Persson on his first NHL goal.

-Good to see Halmo stick up for a teammate again after a questionable hit.

-Bailey managed to get another point in his quest to hit his yearly average of 35.

-Nabby was ok, not good, but not bad either.

With the way our lineup is currently constructed the fact that we are in most every game is a testament to the work ethic of the young players.  It is really nice to see!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pre Game: Capitals @ Islanders

This evening, our Islanders prepare to play host to Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.

The goalie match up features Braden Holtby for the Capitals.  Meanwhile, Evgeni Nabokov will get the start in net for the Islanders.

The Islanders lineup will look a bit different today with forward Michael Grabner returning from injury for this evenings contest.  To make room for him, Johan Sundstrom will take a seat and serve as a healthy scratch.  Grabner will play with Nelson and Clutterbuck, according to Newsday.

Friday, April 4, 2014

RUMOR: Josh Bailey For Sam Gagner?

Recently, a report surfaced on twitter that Islanders beat writer Arthur Staple was on an Edmonton Oilers radio show and while on the show Staple suggested that the Islanders and Oilers over the summer could hook up on a deal that would send Bailey to the Oilers in exchange for Sam Gagner.

This season, Gagner's stats are awfully similar to Baileys with Gagner only having 1 more point.  However, in his career Gagner has had multiple 45+ point seasons, something Bailey hasn't come close to.  Gagner has 2 years remaining after this one at 4.8 million per season.  Whereas Bailey has 4 more years remaining after this one at 3.3 million per season.
If there is truth to this, this is a deal I would probably make because it is your classic change of scenery type deal.  It is pretty obvious in my opinion that Bailey could use a change and Gagner has been the subject of trade rumors for a little while now.   

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bailey Leads Isles To Third Straight Win

photo by rantsports
Last night, our Islanders continued their recent hot stretch as they defeated the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1.  Here are some of my notes from the game:
-Josh Bailey is continuing his late season surge to get his usual roughly 35 points.  Additionally, he is attempting to give people the false hope at the end of the season like he does seemingly every year.
-Another solid game for Anders Nilsson, good to see him playing with confidence after such a rough stretch like the one he had.
-Ryan Strome seems to be coming into his own recently which is really nice to see.  According to Arthur Staple, our record with him in the lineup is 17-9-6 which is very interesting.
-Good to see Casey put one to the back of the net.
-With Grabner out of the lineup it seemed like Clutterbuck was trying to steal his thunder with his two short handed breakaways last night.  It is really a shame that the team didn't have him on the penalty kill from the start of the season because he has proved to be a real asset in that spot.
Next Game: Saturday Night 5PM @ Home VS Washington 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pre Game: Isles @ Ottawa

photo by CTVNews

Tonight, our Islanders travel to Ottawa to take on Craig Anderson and the Senators.

The goalie match up tonight features Anders Nilsson for the Islanders.  Meanwhile, Craig Anderson will get the nod in net for Ottawa.

The Senators will be missing some key pieces tonight as both Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan won't be in the lineup.  

Meanwhile, I would expect the Islanders to ice the same lineup as they did in last nights 4-2 victory over the Panthers.

Faith Is Fading

Hey New York Islanders, your loosing the season ticket holders!  The fans who spend silly amounts of money on your seats, those crazed fans that you don't seem to care about, they have had enough. 

Why should season ticket holders renew for next season?  There's no faith, no reason to believe that we are making a big splash this summer.  There's hope, but with many doubts.  How about the $3 tickets on stubhub?  Enough to make ANY holder sick to their stomach, with damn good reason.  

So with high prices and a poor product, what's the perk?  Maybe they give good discounts or host great events for all the holders, lies!  It's sad, fans with five game plans often get better perks.  But hey season ticket holders, you get free food vouchers for this weekends game.  Maybe that makes up for the thousands you wasted this season, right.  

For one section in the coliseum, this post is 100% accurate.  After talking with many of them, they are finished.  Why waste $55 a seat when on stubhub, a seat in the same row cost $16? 

I can go on a 5,000 word rant on this subject, but I'll save you the time and the headache.  All I ask is one thing.. 

Can they get a refund? 

Isles Dominate Panthers In 4-2 Win

photo by ESPN

Tonight, our Islanders dominated the Florida Panthers on the way to a 4-2 victory.  Here are some of my notes from the game:

-Congrats to Mike Halmo on his first NHL goal.  He did his best Tavares impersonation batting the puck out of mid air.

-Matt Carkner was ready physically tonight.  For a guy that doesn't always fare well in fights he handled both fights pretty easily tonight.

-You know its the end of the season when Josh Bailey starts putting up points.  I don't know what it is but the guy always seems to struggle to put up points except for the final month or so of the season.

-Pretty good game from Nabokov, running trend for him in the last few starts which is good to see.

-Much like the other night versus the Devils we continued to hit and hit often here tonight.

Tonight's game didn't paint the Panthers in the greatest light as they were more or less dominated by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.  As far as the results go they keep on coming as the kids continue to click on all cylinders down the stretch.

Next Game: Tomorrow Night 7PM @ Ottawa

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pre Game: Panthers vs Islanders

Tonight the Florida Panthers take on our own New York Islanders at the old barn. The Isles look to continue their strong play and build off a solid home win against the Devils.

Clemmensen will be in net for Florida, as Nabby gets the start for the Isles.  Expect the same lineup for the boys tonight.

Lets Go Islanders!