Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Isles Sign Lee To 4 Year Extension

Photo by Zimbio

According to Arthur Staple, the Islanders have signed Anders Lee to a 4 year extension worth 3.75 million per season.
Lee had a breakout season last year scoring 25 goals and 41 points in 76 games.  He also had 1 point in 5 playoff games.  Throughout the season, Lee made the front of the net home and he was rewarded handsomely for it.  Late in the season, an article came out how Lee was offered a multi year extension last summer but instead of taking it took a one year contract betting on himself that he could earn more and it paid off.  Qualities of confidence and determination like that to me are things you look for in guys who wear letters on their uniform.

While the number is a bit higher then I anticipated this is an example of the Islanders betting on Lees goal scoring potential and that he will continue to mature.  With the Islanders lack of size and skill that Lee posses it is great that they were able to get a long term deal done rather than just another short term deal.

Isles Closing In On Deals For Hickey, Lee

According to The Score, the Islanders are closing in on a 3 year 6.5 million dollar contract extension for defenseman Thomas Hickey.

Hickey, who the Islanders claimed on waivers before the lockout shortened 2012/2013 season has had an up and down time with the Islanders.  At times you see what made Hickey worthy of the 4th overall pick in 2007 by the Kings.  However, at times you also see why Hickey was never given a chance in their organization other then their great depth.

I personally don't love this number for Hickey, however it isn't as bad as it could be.

Yesterday, Arthur Staple from Newsday reported that the Islanders were also closing in on an extension with restricted free agent forward Anders Lee.
After not making the team out of camp last year, Lee quickly showed them why that was a mistake as he ended up with 25 goals in his first full NHL season.  Those 25 goals left Lee at 9th in the rookie of the year voting at the NHL awards last week.

I am curious what the salary number will look like for Lee.  I would expect at least 2 million per season after seeing what other players have gotten in similar bridge contracts.  As far as next season for Lee, with the left wing spot open on John Tavares line the sky is the limit for him.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Meet Mathew Barzal

photo by hockeynow

Last night, the Islanders traded Griffin Reinhart to the Oilers for a first and second round pick in the draft.

With the first round pick, they selected center Mathew Barzal from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL.  In 44 games last season, Barzal had 57 points including 45 assists.  

The pick was praised among pretty much all fans and most analysts as well.  Prior to the start of the season, Barzal was thought to be a top 5 talent in this draft class.  The main reason he slipped so low was due to a knee injury that kept him out for part of the season of the season.  According to Arthur Staple, Barzals presence at 16 was the only reason the Islanders made the deal with the Oilers.  
The main strength of Barzals game is his play making ability as evidenced by his high assist total this season.  He is also an above average skater, according to hockey's future.

I hadn't thought about it til now but does his selection signal that Frans Nielsen time with the team could be winding down?  Interesting to think about in the coming season as Nielsen is in the final year of a 4 year contract


Friday, June 26, 2015

Isles Trade Back Into Round 1

After dealing Griffin Reinhart tonight, you probably thought the night was over for the Islanders.  However, you would've been incorrect as for the second consecutive year the Islanders traded back into late in the first round.  They acquired the Lightnings 28th overall pick in exchange for the second round pick acquired from the Oilers in the Reinhart deal and a third round pick.

With the pick, the Islanders selected left wing Anthony Beauvillier.  Beauvillier had 94 points for Shawinigan in the QMJHL last season.

BREAKING: ISLES Trade Reinhart To Oilers For Picks

photo by ESPN

After years of speculation, it finally happened.  Tonight, the Islanders traded former number 4 overall pick Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers for a first and second round pick in the draft.  The Islanders had been without first and second round picks due to the Thomas Vanek trade and the Johnny Boychuk trade respectively.  

It had been rumored on and off for years that the Oilers were interested in Reinhart so them as his destination shouldn't come as a surprise.

I know on the surface it doesn't look like a sexy return for a former top 5 pick just three years ago.  However, this was on a similar level to what the Bruins got for Dougie Hamilton.  All be it very different situations, however, even so, when thinking of it like that Garth Snow should be applauded.

Some may that the Islanders didn't give Reinhart a chance to develop as defensemen traditionally take longer to develop then forwards.  However, it was pretty evident to anyone that saw Reinhart this year that he was very slow on his skates and without tremendous improvement in that area he would never really fit in the up tempo system the Islanders play. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tavares Comes Up Short For Hart

photo by ESPN

Tonight, the NHL held the NHL award ceremony at the MGM in Las Vegas.  For the second time in 3 seasons, Islanders captain John Tavares was nominated for the leagues MVP award.

In the 2012/2013 season Tavares was nominated alongside Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin but unfortunately came up short.  This season he was once again nominated alongside Ovechkin but the third nominee was Carey Price of Montreal.  Like two years ago, Tavares once again unfortunately came up short as Price finished what was a spectacular night for him winning his 4th award.

Although Tavares once again didn't win it, it is just a matter of time before he does.  He is THAT good and has yet to even enter the prime of his career yet.

Isles Set To Kick Off Barclays Center Hockey On October 9

Earlier today, it was announced that the Islanders would kick off the Islanders/Barclays era on October 9th against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.  The game will have a 7:30 start, not 7:00.

More Details On Okposo.Grabner a Goner?

Yesterday, more details came to light on the bombshell report that the Islanders could in fact be shopping star winger and John Tavares linemate Kyle Okposo.

Pierre McGuire reported that the Islanders were frustrated with Okposo's playoff performance.  Okposo had 3 points in the Islanders 7 game defeat against the Capitals.  McGuire describes Okposo as, "...I think that it's one of those where if they were able to hit the motherload..."

I'm not sure I buy this as it reeks of an easy excuse rather than the truth.  

Meanwhile, Darren Dreger confirmed that Okposo is indeed available but that the Islanders would need a substantial return to move the winger.

I am torn on this pretty badly.  While I of course want to keep Okposo for the long haul, if he is in fact looking for a deal in the neighborhood of what the Islanders offered Thomas Vanek, I don't believe that is something they can hand out at this time.  I am also curious how other teams value Okposo given the serious nature of his eye injury last season.  This will definitely be interesting to follow as we get deeper in the summer toward training camp.

Grabner on the Move?

If it feels like we have talked about this repeatedly over the last few months it is because we have.  In a recent twitter Q&A with fans, Arthur Staple from Newsday once again reported that Grabner is in fact on the trade block.  This time he went a step further as he assessed his value at a mid round draft pick or another teams unwanted contract.

It would not surprise me at all if Grabner finds himself in another sweater before the start of next season.  With his health issues and the Islanders increased depth up front Grabner has lost his spot in the lineup.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Kyle Okposo Available?

photo by zimbio

Islander fans were sent abuzz earlier tonight after it was reported by Arthur Staple that Kyle Okposo could be in play in trade talks heading into this draft weekend.

Okposo, the Islanders first round pick way back in 2006 has become a fan favorite among fans over the last few years.  It is no coincidence that in that time Okposo has began to become the player all fans hoped he would be when he was selected by Neil Smith in 2006.

While everyone loves Okposo, this is where the business side of the game comes in and the fact is that Okposo is in the final year of his contract.  With Okposos production and chemistry with John Tavares, Staple speculates that Okposo could want as much as 7 million per season on a multi year contract.  After handing out very big deals to Johnny Boychuk and Nick Leddy, can the Islanders afford to hand a bigger deal to Okposo?  While you want to pay for loyalty and take care of Okposo after being here for so long, this is also a cap world and you don't want to hurt your chances of making moves in the future.

While everyone would hate to see Okposo go, maybe it isn't a horrible idea if they find out what he is worth on the open market.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mini Camp Details Announced

Update: There will be sessions open to the public.  The times of the sessions are unknown as of right now.
Yesterday, the Islanders announced that their annual rookie mini camp will be held at the Twin Rinks Ice Center in Eisenhower Park from July 7th-11th.  Top prospects Michael Dal Colle, Josh Ho Sang, and Ryan Pulock among others will be in attendance.

It is unknown at this time if there will be any sessions open to the public.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Isles Name Missouri Mavericks As New ECHL Team

According to multiple reports, the Islanders have ended their relationship with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.  The Thunder had served as the Islanders ECHL affiliate for a few seasons now.  Taking over the Thunders spot will be the Missouri Mavericks who will now serve as the teams ECHL affiliate.

NHL News: Coyotes Future Uncertain After Council Vote

According to various reports, last night the Glendale City Council voted 5-2 to end their lease with the Coyotes that still had over 10 years left.

In response, the Coyotes filed a lawsuit against the city.  If this is not cleared up, it is unknown if the team will play in Glendale next season because they will be projected to lose over 50 million dollars.

It is such a shame that after all this time there is still stuff like this going on over there.  Of course, just like always, it is the fans caught in the middle.  After what the Islanders went through, I feel for the Coyote fans and hope everything settles soon for them so they can go back to just caring about their team instead of politicians as well.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Isles Offer Indrasis A Contract

According to multiple reports, the Islanders have offered KHL free agent forward Miks Indrasis a contract.
Indrasis, 24, had 31 points in 59 games playing in the KHL last season.  The 31 points tied his career high.

First Petrov, and now possibly this guy, the Islanders aren't wasting anytime in trying to fill in their forward depth.  I wonder if this is yet another sign that a forward on the team now could be on the move this summer.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Isles Practices, Team Offices Moving To Cantiague

photo by fieldfinder

According to the Islanders official site, starting next season team practices and the team offices will be moved to the Ice Facility at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.

The team signed a 10 year license agreement at the facility and as part of the agreement agreed to hold 5 open practices, 2 annual scrimmages, and 3 public autograph signings each year.  

The team will invest 5.1 million into the facility for the necessary improvements.  As part of the agreement, the county will collect a minimum of $200,000 in revenue from the facility escalating to $250,000 by the end of the agreement.

I wonder what this means for Iceworks as I was under the impression everything was being moved to that location.  I am interested to see what ends up with this though and it will be nice for the team to have public practices again like they used to.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Michael Picker To Be Named New Sound Tigers President

photo by foxbusiness

If you have been to an Islander game over the last few seasons you may have seen him walking around the concourse.  This of course is Islanders Senior Vice President Michael Picker.  

According to the CT Post, the people of Connecticut will get more familiar with him as he is expected to be named the new President of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the Islanders.  Picker replaces Howard Saffan who was let go as team President on Wednesday after serving in that capacity since 2005.  Picker has known Charles Wang for a long time as the pair worked together when Wang owned Computer Associates and then Picker followed Wang over to the Islanders.

I am curious if his move to this position has anything to do with the prospect of the Sound Tigers moving to Bruce Ratners renovated Coliseum.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Islander Rookie Game Moved To Barclays Center

According to their official site, the annual Islanders Blue and White Scrimmage will take place at the Barclays Center on July 8th.  Tickets will be $10 and 50% of proceeds will be donated to the Brooklyn Events Center Foundation.  Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m.

This had become a hit with fans over the last few years getting to see the rookies live and then meet them in the expo hall after the scrimmage and skills competition concluded.  I am curious to see if it will be as well attended in Brooklyn with the additional time and cost commute for fans now.

Islander Traditions Making Their Way To Brooklyn

According to multiple reports, many Islander traditions will be making their way to Brooklyn next season in an effort to create a familiar environment for fans at games.

The Blue and Orange Army formerly of section 329 will now call section 229 home in Brooklyn.  Roger Luce, the Islanders PA announcer will be making the move to Brooklyn as well.  Islanders organist Paul Cartier confirmed that he had been contacted about moving over to Barclays Center, his status has yet to be confirmed though.  Like Cartier, the status of the ice girls have yet to be confirmed.  Additionally, last month, Shannon Hogan confirmed on twitter that she would be returning to MSG + next season.
Something new starting next season is the Islanders Legends Program at Barclays Center.  Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, and Butch Goring were named inaugural members.  They will make special appearances around games and the community throughout next season in order to, "...foster the teams presence in and around the borough." 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Isles Sign Petrov To 1 Year Contract

According to reports, the Islanders have signed 2008 3rd round pick Kirill Petrov to a one year contract.
Petrov was much talked about in his draft year as he was very talented but fell on draft day because of a pre existing contract in the KHL.  The Islanders have waited a long time for him but with this announcement the wait appears to be over.

To say this was a surprise would be quite the understatement.  I was in the camp of people that didn't think we would ever see Petrov in North America.  However, now that he is coming, I look forward to seeing what he has and if he can make an impact with the team.

Former Isles Nilsson Looking to Make NHL Return

According to multiple reports, former Islander goalie Anders Nilsson could look to return to the NHL after rejecting a contract extension with his team in the KHL.

Nilsson signed a contract with the team last May after it became clear he wouldn't get the one way deal from the Islanders that he had been seeking.  The Islanders traded the rights to Nilsson to the Chicago Blackhawks as part of the October 4th trade that brought Nick Leddy to Long Island.

Nilsson had a solid season in the KHL after struggling a lot splitting time between the Islanders and Bridgeport two years ago.  With Chicago already being deep in net, if Nilsson was to make an NHL return, I doubt it will be in the windy city.