Friday, May 14, 2010

Islanders Sign Poulin

From Islanders Authorized

The Islanders have agreed to terms on a three-year entry level contract with goaltender Kevin Poulin. 

Poulin is coming off his fourth and final season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Victoriaville Tigers.  He posted a 35-16-0 record this season, a 2.63 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.  In 169 games, Poulin finished with a 81-65-0 record over his career.  The Montreal, QC native joined the Sound Tigers at the end of his 2008-09 junior season and served as the back-up net-minder to Nathan Lawson and Peter Mannino in the final games of the AHL season.  Poulin was drafted by the Islanders in the fifth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (126th overall).

There is a lot of hype with Poulin. Where he ends up playing at the beginning of the season remains to be seen. It's always nice to see a low draft pick come in and add depth to the organization, so Kudos goes to the scouting staff once again. This also takes care of Ridderwall not signing with the Isles. Poulin and  Koskinen will be a nice tandem if not this year, then in the near future. More to come on future draft pick signings.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Islanders Moves, & "News"

So there have been some minor news since the playoffs began, so I'll briefly touch on a few noteworthy moves/news and add a comment or two on each.

The Islanders officially came to terms with defense prospect Calvin de Haan on a three-year entry level contract.  The Islanders picked de Haan with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

This is somewhat significant, considering he was making a case for the Islanders to keep him with the big club at the start of last season. I do believe however, with the depth on defense, that de Haan needs a perfect camp to make the team this year. A year or two of AHL grooming will be very beneficial for both parties.

Goaltending prospect Stefan Ridderwall turned down the Islanders' offer for next season, which means that the Islanders will not retain his rights as of the June 1st deadline.  Ridderwall has agreed to play with Djurgarden IF Stockholm to become the team's starting goaltender next season.

Not really surprised here. Ridderwall really wasn't on the radar until this year when he began to show significant improvement in net. If he does improve and then decides to become and NHL goaltender, he would probably be too expensive to be an Islanders backup anyways. Best of luck to him.

Final thought: Okay, so I've been  reading a lot about the Islanders possibly moving to Queens and the Wilpons (New York Mets owners) are involved. Here is a small take on my part: The Islanders still have a lease with Nassau County until 2015. So for now, I'm taking this news as a strategy to get Kate Murray and Co. to get there act together and get ANYTHING done. I just read that Bud Selig, MLB commissioner, has no problem with the Wilpons getting involved with the Islanders. For now, it's just news worth reading, but it's just preliminary. Five years is a long time, however, if Charles Wang can get a great deal that could allow him to recoup close to 200+ million dollars in loses, then he should seriously consider talking with the Wilpons.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gillies Signs Extension

Per Katie Strang via Twitter:

Isles sign enforcer Trevor Gillies to a one-year contract extension .

Toughness is needed on this Islanders team, and this is the first good step in the right direction. Still more toughness is needed, however signing Gillies now was a good move for the Isles.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rakhshani & Kessel Named All-Americans

From Islanders Authorized: Islander prospects Rhett Rakhshani and Blake Kessel have been named All-Americans for the 2009-10 college hockey season. 

Rakhshani, who will play in Game 1 of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers opening round series of the Calder Cup Playoffs Wednesday against the Hershey Bears, was named a West First Team All-American.  The Huntington Beach, California native finished his fourth and final year at Denver University with 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points.  Kessel completed his sophomore year with the New Hampshire Wildcats, scoring 38 points (10 goals and 28 assists).  The Verona, Wisconsin native was named an East Second Team All-American.

Good news for Islanders fans and the organization. More news to come as the day moves along, but you can now add Kessel to the plethora of defensive prospects who are prospering in there respective clubs.

Islanders Year In Review

Now that the draft lottery has concluded, it is time to take a quick look back at the 2009-2010 New York Islanders. If there is one word to now describe the young Islanders it is promise. There were quite a few breakout years for a some players, and a big reality check for a few of the veterans. But before I move along, if you do not recall what I was hoping from this team in August, please read here first before continuing.

Now that you have a general idea, you should know that I was quite satisfied with the end performance of the Islanders over an 82 game span. We saw players like Matt Moulson, and Rob Schremp come from the AHL purgatory to blossom into quality NHL players, improving the club. We saw the development of Blake Comeau, Josh Bailey and Frans Neilsen this year with the hopes that they can be more consistent next year. Fans got to witness a real star in the making in John Tavares. The Islanders also got major contributions from their farm system of defenseman. One of which, Andrew MacDonald, got a nice contract extension. The Islanders received great goaltending from Dwayne Roloson, and a solid end of the year work from Marty Biron, allowing Rick Dipietro time to heal his injured knee and getting himself ready for the next season. Fans needed to see some kind of overall improvement from the organization and they got it.

As for the veterans, some were already filtered out as the season progressed, but players like Martinek, Weight, Witt, and Sim may have a difficult time getting their jobs back with the Islanders. It is a simple addition by subtraction with these players removed. Richard Park may get another deal, but if he doesn't he was probably the most dedicated veteran on the squad (Weight is a close second). 

With the fifth overall pick now belonging to the Islanders, much needed younger talent can be acquired and Snow and Co. could possibly get more than one first round pick (think 2008: Josh Bailey). The Islanders currently hold two third round picks, and two second round picks so expect the Islanders to be busy on draft day to be sure.

But what should fans do now? If they are truly looking at this year as a rebuild/development team this year, then they need to pay attention to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. There could be a number of players who want to prove to Scott Gordon, Garth Snow, and Charles Wang that they finally belong in the NHL. The Islanders future does depend on the Sound Tigers and if there was ever a time to see how progress has been made, now is the time to watch.

Final Thoughts: Watch playoff hockey for possible free agents, watch the Sound Tigers for the Islanders future call-ups. As we move along up until the draft, there will be more stories coming out and as fans enjoy their summer, they will be able to see a clearer picture of the Islanders future once the draft is complete and the free agents have been signed. Believe me when I tell you though, the future does look promising.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Islanders get the 5th overall pick at this years lottery. More to come tonight as I write about the season on a whole for the Isles.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coming up tomorrow, my end of the year review along with news and notes about current Islanders and the draft lottery.

Friday, April 09, 2010

With Columbus gaining a point, if the Islanders lose out, the worst they can finish is 5th overall, which means lottery. More to come this weekend. Stay tuned.
Per Katie Strang: Josh Bailey is out 4-6 weeks with facial fractures, an injury suffered as he was crushed into the boards by Alexei Ponikarovski.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Moulson, Okposo and Bailey score Islander goals in 7-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders final home game is Sunday at 5 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Blake Comeau is out for the rest of the season with a broken foot. Good season for Blake & fans should expect the same production from him next year.

What To Make Of The Islanders Playing Spoilers

With the Islanders playing on a mission to make other teams miserable, they may have scored enough points to eliminate themselves from the top three picks in this years draft. Taking into account that the Florida teams are "not playing well," and Toronto has all but secured second place in the draft for Boston, it would probably take three straight loses by the Islanders to finish in the top 4-5 for a lottery. Many fans are hoping that the Islanders lose the rest of the way to secure a top pick. That wish may not be granted.

I myself, due to the sudden rash of injuries the Islanders were sustaining and trade(s), after the Olympic break, believed that a top 3 pick was inevitable, but that all changed when players like Blake Comeau, Sean Bergenheim, and Martin Biron get hot and the young Islanders core refuse to quit on the season. But should fans be happy or sad about the recent winning ways and possibly losing that perennial top pick? This is where faith in there general manager comes into play.

Since sticking to his game plan, Garth Snow has improved the organization with some quality picks, and some great "where did he come from" free agent signings.  Let's face it, losing defenseman left and right this season, only to bring up players from Bridgeport and still continue to win is a huge plus and credit should go to everyone involved in the development of these player. Snow realizes what is needed, but we as fans need to be patient and see what the next three games brings to the Islanders. I think most fans will enjoy a top 4 pick, but If fans do have trust in Snow, then they should really cheer for there team to spoil Pittsburgh and New Jersey's chances of clinching the division.  The Islanders do need another top pick for this organization, no question. However, for the immediate future of this team, Snow must look towards the free agent market to improve on this club.

For now, enjoy the last three games and when the dust has settled and the season is over, then fans can begin the process of taking Snow's job away from him and proclaiming themselves as the greatest GM to ever live when the lottery begins on Tuesday, that is of course if the Islanders are in the lottery,


Friday, April 02, 2010

I have been reading than assistant GM Ryan Jankowski is at the Windsor-Plymouth series in the OHL to scout Hall, Seguin, and Fowler.
I have been reading than assistant GM Ryan Jankowski is at the Windsor-Plymouth series in the OHL to scout Hall, Seguin, and Fowler.

Islanders News & Notes

Here is a quick look at what has recently happened with your favorite teams along with my thoughts to each.

The Islanders finally beat the Flyers 6-4 last night. With the win, the Islanders improved to 74 points and also snapped a 15 game losing streak against Philly.

My Thoughts: This was a big moral win for the Islanders, not only did they take care of the monkey on their backs, they literally halted any progress the Flyers could make in gaining points for their playoff push. Blake Comeau scored 2 more goals bringing up his total to 16. Fans should hope for more from him next year as his confidence improves. Kudos to Andrew MacDonald for coming back early from injury and playing he amount of time that he has.

Bridgeport just got better when the Islanders signed 2006 fourth round pick Rhett Rakhshani to a two-year entry level deal on Wednesday.

The Islanders tried to sign Rakhshani last year but opted to play for the University of Denver. With this addition, the Sound Tigers should make a bigger push for the playoffs. If/when they do, they'll be adding Josh Bailey, Dylan Reese, and Andrew MacDonald to the playoff roster. I'll touch more on this later, but if you're really into the rebuild, you need to pay attention to Bridgeport.

The Islanders are still on pace for a top 3 pick in this years draft with almost all non-playoff teams winnnig last night.

The remaining 5 games for the Islanders will be against playoff teams, two against Pittsburgh, one against Ottawa, Montreal and New Jersey.  To be honest, if the Islanders get two more points, I would consider that a good way to end the season with 76 points. Most of these teams will not play the way  Philly did and they know what will happen if they do. All of those teams should bring their "A" game against the Isles especially when the playoffs are so close.

Rick DiPietro will miss the rest of the season to reduce the swelling in his knee.

Personally, he is my favorite player....for now, but I was against him playing as many games as he did, but he has time to heal and he should start as Rolosons backup for next season. But more on that when the season is over.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Myth Vs Fact for Islanders Fans

For the last few weeks I have not had the opportunity to blog, but I have been able to read many others and quite frankly a lot of material that is out there is just plain fiction, or for the purpose of this blog a myth. Here are four myths that have occurred in the month of March followed by the facts I will provide.

Myth #1: As of March 22nd, the Isles were still in the playoff race.

FACT: The Islanders have been out of the playoff race since my last blog on march 11th when Rob Schremp was out for the rest of the year. You could even go back before that when the Islanders lost MacDonald for most of the season and Captain Doug Weight chose to have season ending surgery on his shoulder. Folks when your Captain leaves, it's over.

Myth #2: The Islanders will tank the rest of the season.

FACT: Have you seen the injury list lately? Bruno Gervais is the latest casualty. Bridgeport is bone dry on defenseman and will have trouble making the playoffs themselves because of all the injuries. The Islanders will not have to tank, they'll play hard until the end, but with the injuries piling up, don't be surprised if the Islanders fall to last in the East. Remember my preseason prediction: If the Islanders aren't injured they won't be in last place. Well....let the lottery begin.

Myth #3: Islanders will not land Hall, Seguin, of Fowler.
FACT: The Islanders have been in the lottery running for the last 6 weeks (call it 8 if you want to count the Olympic break). Most would say that the Islanders were still in the playoff hunt by then. This is true, but so was everyone else, so at that time everyone was in it for the three future stars. Due to the injuries of this team, the Islanders may land any three players. In all honesty, it will depend on where they land when the lottery is over. If things go from bad to worse, look for the Islanders to pick no worse than third. Make no mistake, one of them will be an Islander.

Myth #4: Islanders will not compete for a playoff spot next year.

FACT: Garth Snow expects his team to make the playoffs next year and many fans/bloggers/media will not drink the "Kool-Aid" that Snow is giving out. Make no mistake fans, the Islanders will be MUCH better than this years squad simply with the method of addition by subtraction, a solid draft pick and around 31 million dollars to spend on the free agent market. Last year the Islanders made it to Nov/Dec before fans started talking about the draft. This year it's March to start talking about the big three. By this time next year fans will be talking playoffs back at the Coliseum.

My final thoughts:  For the remainder of this year I will see how many points the Islanders can pile up. I had set a goal of 80 points at the beginning of the year. They may not get there due to certain bad luck, but the closer they get, the more excited Islanders fans should be for next year knowing what they know now after reading this blog.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Schremp, Islanders Season Is Over

From Islanders Authorized:

The Islanders have just announced that center Rob Schremp will miss the remainder of the season after injuring his right knee in the first period of the team's game last night against the Philadelphia Flyers.  Schremp has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus and will need surgery. 

Paul Thoughts: Losing Schremp, MacDonald, and Sutton will not help the Islanders make the playoffs this year. I'm sorry, but the team currently does not have the the talent, nor size to gain the needed points to even make a case for the playoffs. I still believe the Islanders can finish the season with more than 70 points and that the ultimate goal should be 80 points. However, with the recent improvements of Carolina and Toronto, along with a very difficult looking schedule,  look for those teams to possibly move further ahead of the Islanders. For most fans, the Islanders will be picking between the 2nd-5th overall pick. For now what most fans should be watching is how the younger players finish this season. They must finish strong in order for them to be able to look towards their future.

Biron Expected Trade

From Dan Martin of the NY Post:

"There was a lot of stress leading up [to the deadline] and so much buildup," Biron said after practice yesterday at the Coliseum, where the Islanders will play host to seventh-place Boston today (2:00, MSG Plus, WHLI 1100 AM). "But nothing happened. I talked to [Snow] and Coach [Scott] Gordon and some guys and it's done and that's the way it is. We're all adults. You have conversations and express your displeasure . . . and now it's over. We're all professionals. Was it hard? It was hard. You move forward. You can't live in the past."- Martin Biron

To be honest, Biron should have been traded at the deadline, regardless of whether or not the Islanders are in the playoff hunt or not (they're not by the way....more later). Dwayne Roloson is more than capable of finishing the season by him self and the backup will only get 2-3 starts for the remainder of the season. Plus if DP does come back before the season ends, be sure or it, he will get the starts over Biron. Biron has been nothing but professional and I truly hope he finds a better situation next year on another team.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Three Goalie Problem On Long Island?

So Newsday comes out with a report that a few Islanders players were not happy they still have three goaltenders on that team. To quote:

Look at where we were at, we had a playoff spot. Then we went on a losing streak and now we're on the outside looking in.
Can someone please tell me how that quote has anything to do with having three goalies? So because there is an extra player on the bench or in the seats elsewhere, that's the reason for a losing streak? Cry me a river! Can someone in the organization please change that players diaper, give him a fresh bottle and put him back in the play pen.

Now this next quote has a little more merit:

You just can't have three goaltenders. It's not great for anyone.

That's usually true, most teams don't. However, to my knowledge, It was Roloson and DiPietro playing a span of fourteen games without Biron rotating.  So there were still only two goaltenders actually playing. Biron knew it was going to happen, but he was still getting paid and knew (at that time) he would probably be traded later. So let's really take a look at that fourteen game span shall we:

The first 7 games the Islanders went 5-2.  The following 7 games was the season killing losing streak. So what happened?  Both goalies started 7 games, DP giving up a total of 17 goals, Roloson gave up 22.  The offense scored a total of 24 goals the first 7 games, while giving up 17 goals as a team. However while on the seven game losing streak, the Islanders only scored NINE goals, while giving up 27!!!!

This is a TEAM problem. DP more than held his own and both goalies were stuck with a team that had a bad scoring slump and porous defense.  To think that there were players who thought that having three goalies on the same team in the same arena was a factor for a losing streak and ending any kind of playoff chances is absolutely gutless and clueless. When you have kids who are not even old enough to legally drink and over the hill players who cannot contribute offensively and defensively, it is a team problem and any of the goaltenders can only save a team so much so often.

Here is my problem with the three goalies. If you notice, DiPietro and Roloson both played the same amount of games. If Roloson has been called the MVP of the team this year, you do NOT play a goalie who has not played in over a year the same amount of games in that span as your team MVP. That is a management (Owner, GM, and Coach)  error. Period. Had Dipietro played maybe 3-4 games out of the 14, the Islanders would still lose as many games because the scoring is just not there, and the defense can't clear the crease or the puck.

Final thought on DP: For those who want management to buy out DP's contract. Don't bother. First and foremost, the seven games DP started, he only gave up 17 goals, do the math and it's a little over 2 goals a game. It was management (Owner, GM, and Coach) who allowed Dipietro to play those many games over their "MVP." He shouldn't have, but Dipietro did prove he can still play short term. What management should have done was treat him as a backup and then who knows, maybe a trade could have happened and the team could have moved on. I'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists.   For now fans and the team still only have two goalies, but if management wants to showcase DiPietro, there is no way of a buyout.


Prospect Watch: Blake Kessel


Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 210
Shoots: Right
Born: Apr 13, 1989  (Age 20)
Birthplace: Madison, WI, United States
Drafted: NYI / 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Round: 6th (166th overall) 
This has been a breakout season for Kessel. After a steady, but unspectacular freshman campaign last year, Kessel is starting to show the offensive flair that made him the highest scoring defenseman in the USHL two seasons ago. The 6’2, 205 lb blueliner has already doubled his offensive production from last year, and has emerged as an integral part of a young New Hampshire team. He currently has six goals and 22 assists through 24 games, making him the second highest scoring defenseman in the nation. Kessel's strong performance up to this point has helped the Wildcats take first place in their conference, and recently earned him the honor of being named a semi-finalist for the Walter Brown Award, given to the best American-born college hockey player from New England.
Paul's thoughts: Blake Kessel is a a late-bloomer, but turned into a solid Division I prospect while playing in the United States Hockey League. Blake has good size, while holding his own from the physical standpoint. He's also emerging as a very good puck-moving defenseman. I believe Kessel may need some seasoning in Bridgeport, but should be up in the NHL within the next two-three years.

Stats for 2010
2008-09 U. of New Hampshire NCAA 37 6 7 13

2009-10 U. of New Hampshire NCAA 31 7 25 32

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Trade Deadline Is Over. Now What For Isles?

With a very uneventful trade deadline behind us, what can Islanders fans look forward to? Answer: The future. The future is watching Tavares, Bailey, Okposo and a young defensive corp play the final 19 games and really decide if this team is worth the ticket prices for next year. Make no mistake, this team is certainly worth watching, but a really good indication will be how this young team can finish the 2009-10 season.

If the Islanders can finish anywhere in the seventies, this was a good year for a developing club. They will almost assuredly have a top 6 pick in this years draft, and should pick the best player available. For now, it's too early to think free agency, just concentrate on the final games of this season. So far this blogger is liking the future.

Hello Blake Comeau!!!! Where have you been?! The Islanders may end the season with 2-3 players who score 20+ goals (Moulson, Tavares, Okposo), but if the development continues and stay healthy, you can probably add another two (Comeau, Bailey) to that list for next year. This years offensive youth corp will make free agency needs a little easier in terms of how many top 6 forwards the Islanders need.

As for the defense, they're all up in the NHL, including Dylan Reese, who replaces Andrew MacDonald who's out with a broken foot for a couple of weeks. Hillen, MacDonald, and Kohn have developed very nicely and are contributing by playing solid defense, and have the wheels and stamina to log big minutes. If these young players can find a scoring touch in the next 19 games, the Islanders could be spoilers to a few teams. What the Islanders may need for next year is Andy Sutton minus about 10 years and can put in 7-10 goals a year.

Overall the current young Islanders are developing nicely before us. Few players are growing, while a nice crop will be coming in from juniors and the college ranks to fill in the voids in Bridgeport next year. For now, enjoy the rest of the hockey season while it's still here. I'll be having more blogs in the upcoming days concerning the future of the team in terms of players and the remaining 19 games.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

No major moves made by the Islanders today. More blogs to follow coming up tonight and tomorrow.

Islanders & Chicago Talking

From Hockey

Several sources, as well as a few people on twitter, say there is a potential deal in the works that would send Sean Bergenheim and Dwayne Roloson to Chicago for Christobal Huet and a first round pick.  That may not be the full deal, but it sounds like Chicago is getting creative looking for another goalie.  Stay tuned to all day tomorrow for the latest.

Paul's Thoughts: This would be a huge deal for the Islanders. It is not complete, but a first rounder would certainly benefit the Isles. Huet is a good goaltender who can still help the Isles win over the next two years. More to come.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Thoughts On The Sutton Trade

From various reports, The New York Islanders have traded Andy Sutton to the Ottawa Senators for a second round pick, previously owned by the San Jose Sharks.

Paul's Thoughts: This is a very low second round pick, but it is what it is. I was hoping for a prospect in this deal, but if this was the best Snow could get, then so be it. Snow is certainly stocking second and third round picks, perhaps eager to move up in the draft is a possible plan. What happens now is that Dustin Kohn is here for the remainder of the season. The final games played will certainly help with the development of the younger players, especially on the defense.

Rolosons name is spreading wildly through the trade rumors, along with a few other veterans. Stay tuned for the latest Islanders news.
Just heard about Sutton for a second rounder. My thoughts a little later on....

Monday, March 01, 2010

Islanders Make A Minor Deal In AHL


The New York Islanders, parent club of the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, have acquired defenseman Dylan Reese from the Columbus Blue Jackets, parent club of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, in exchange for center Greg Moore.

Reese will join the Sound Tigers on Tuesday as they take on the Hershey Bears. Moore has been assigned to Syracuse.

The trade is pending the completion of player physicals.

Reese, a graduate of Harvard University, has played in 51 games this season for the Crunch and scored four goals and 18 assists for 22 points. He has a plus-12 rating and 31 penalty minutes this season.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Reese played the last two seasons with the San Antonio Rampage, totaling 35 points (two goals and 33 assists) in 134 games. He was drafted by the New York Rangers in the seventh round (209th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

The 25-year-old Reese played in 10 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the 2006-07, accumulating four assists, after completing his final season at Harvard.

Paul's Thoughts: As most Islanders fans learned from last year, you can never have enough defenseman. Time will tell if Reese will become more than just a minor league player with a brain. I think the next 20 or so games is to get him acclimated to Gordons system, while the real test will come at training camp. Who knows, he could be a nice addition.
Per Katie Strang: Sutton trade looks likely.
Blogging from my phone and computer today. As of now from what I have been reading, the Islanders appear ready to shake up roster. Stay tuned.....

Friday, February 26, 2010

MacDonald Part of Islanders Future

According to multiple media outlets, defenseman Andrew MacDonald has signed a four-year contract extension.

So far the only long term defenseman on the Islanders are Streit and MacDonald. This is a very good signing for the Islanders as they are finding out who belongs with this team for the the long term. I would not be surprised if Jack Hillen was next to get a contract extension. As for MacDonald, he could very well be a 20 minute plus a game defenseman who plays a very disciplined game. For now I won't rank him in terms of depth because next year is not too far away and there will be more changes coming to this team before the March 3rd trade deadline.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Islanders Rumors

From Pierre Lebrun of ESPN

Everyone knows Martin Biron (who started Saturday afternoon) will likely be moved before March 3, but from what I'm hearing, the Islanders would also be willing to move Dwayne Roloson for the right price. Unlike Biron, Roloson is not an unrestricted free agent on July 1; he has another year on his deal at $3 million, although his cap number is $2.5 million. The obvious concern is he'll be 41 for the second year of the contract; but given the way he's played this season, you can't help but wonder how he couldn't help a team in these playoffs.

Another Islander likely on the move is towering defenseman Andy Sutton, who is UFA July 1. The Islanders received a lot of calls on him Friday and will almost surely move him by March 3. He's a solid pickup in the Hal Gill, shot-blocking, penalty-killing type of way.

Now I am starting to see more and more of this particular rumor. So for now, Roloson and Sutton are one and two on the list of players rumored, followed by Biron. I still say this list will grow, however given the decent returns of similar players already traded, look for the Islanders get at least 2 more picks in this years draft, and a player now to help the team.

Lightining In A Bottle 5-4 Isles Highlights/Post Game

Scott Gordons comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Problem With Islanders Rumored Players: Not Enough

Between now, and 3:00pm tomorrow, I'll be reading around to see if there are any players that are truly on the trade block before the Olympics. As of right now there are some players who are gaining interest, but more than likely may not be moved until the actual trade deadline of March 3rd. the following players have been mentioned in recent trade rumors:

Andy Sutton

Martin Biron

Dwayne Roloson

This is not in any particular order, but here is my problem. With all the other veterans that the Islanders have, it's just these three. Since I believe most/all will not be signed for next season, this should be a fire sale and all I'm reading is a short spark. There isn't even  mention of younger players not producing being mentioned in rumors. Depending on which goalie gets moved, the other will definitely be backup next year.

So for now, in my opinion, the fans may have to wait until March for some players to be moved because lets face it, there are other players that are in the rumor mill that other teams are looking at right now and it may take more time for the trades to go through. Plus Snow will have to get the "sweet" deal i order for him to pull the trigger. So for now, the next 20 hours should be interesting to say the least.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Reality Check For Islanders

Since I haven't posted a blog in some time, I wanted to dissect the team by talent, depth in the minors, etc. and then after they had finally won a game, I would then comment on there possible future. Unfortunately, the losing has grown into a 7 game losing streak that seems to be out of control. So this blog will be short, but will have a long, dramatic effect on its readers and followers.

Islanders fans here are your reality checks for the next 24 games:

Reality check #1: If the Islanders do not get at least 3 points in the next 4 games, they're out of the playoff race.

Reality check #2: If number one does happen the Islanders must win at least 17 games to make a legitimate playoff push.

With the massive overhaul of Toronto, Atlanta and improved roster of the Rangers, don't hold your collective breaths.

Reality check #3: If the Islanders play .500 hockey for the rest of the season, the Islanders will be receiving a top 5 pick in this years draft.

Reality check #4: With the fore-mentioned Maple Leafs improving and if the Hurricanes improve there overall health, the Islanders will be a top 3 pick.

Final Reality check: If the Islanders lose the next 4 games, Islanders fans will be welcoming Cam Fowler in late June.

The Blue Jackets will be in the race for the second overall pick along with the Islanders and Carolina. However, it will depend on who gets traded out of Columbus.

As this week moves along, I will dissect this blog further. In the mean time let me know of your thoughts.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Isles Should Believe

Phil Coffey of

In 1973, a pro team that played on Long Island rallied around the battle cry "You Gotta Believe!"
That was the late Tug McGraw and the New York Mets. Flash forward to 2010 and the team is the New York Islanders
Click the title for the full story. If there was ever a time to believe, it's now. The Islanders are going to be in the thick of this playoff race well into March, probably April. As long as this teams remains healthy, they will most certainly be competing.


BetCRIS Bonus Code

Friday, January 22, 2010

Why is Bruno Gervais Trade Bait?

Since the trade deadline is getting closer (could be closer to before the Olympics), Islanders fans are already rushing to get a few players off the team and make some moves. I have said this before many times, rumors are mostly for entertainment value, except for maybe say the final three weeks before the actual deadline. However there was one player a lot of people would like to see traded by the Islanders, Bruno Gervais.

Of course after researching yet again, I would like to point out a few reasons why Gervais should NOT be traded. Here we go. What I have found was that Scott Gordon does have a place for Bruno on the defense. It's just not as high as the fans expect him to be. When Gervais was first drafted, many thought that with time he could blossom into a top four role. After a few years, he's only noted as a puck moving defenseman and maybe a 5th or 6th defenseman. To most fans, that is a disappointment. But let's go over the numbers shall we?

I asked this question around to other knowledgeable fans: At what age should most defenseman reach there "Potential?" I received a great response Angelica Rodriguez (whom by the way, if you're not following her, you're missing out on great Islanders coverage Twitter: @islesrebelangel) saying:

"See, I don't think there should be a set age for anyone to reach potential. Everyone develops at a diff speed. There's also the organization and the farm system to consider. All of that, plus injuries, etc., can either harm or help development of any player. I think they just overplay him because we don't have reliable D outside of Streit and (most of the time) Sutton... though Hillen & Mac Donald are developing very nicely."

That ladies and gents is the essence of Bruno Gervais' struggles come from. Now let's see if numbers lie. In terms of coming up with a basline, I just looked at how many minutes a game Bruno was playing and decided to go with a median of 17 minutes per game. So what I wanted to know was how well Gervais played when it was games below 17 and in games above 17 minutes.

Statistically, when playing in less than 17 minutes a game Bruno has 1 goal and 4 points and has a +/- rating of a +1. When Bruno plays more than 17 minutes, he has 0 goals and 6 points with a +/- rating of a -7. So this is a good thing right? Hold on, there's more. When Gervais plays in less than 17 minutes a game, the Islanders are 9-9-1. When he plays more than 17 minutes a game,the Islanders are 12-7-1.

So what do you do with him? Well this goes back to what Angelica mentioned before, the progression of Hillen and MacDonald. Both players are taking over the minutes to offset injured players or players like Gervais who just might have been playing too much and both MacDonald and Hillen are looking like mainstays on the blue line. So where does Gervais fit. Simple. Gervais for now, is a number 5 defenseman who can play top 4 minutes when asked upon to do so.

Should Gervais be traded? No way. As long as the Islanders defense remains healthy, Gervais will continue to play around the 17 minute mark and improve defensively, giving the Islanders a tough three pair rotation. If Gervais can get on the score sheet more often, all the more reason to believe he is not trade bait and an intricate part of this team. He will only get better from here.

I would highly recommend going to Angelica's site NYIslesScene and also follow her on twitter as she is certainly one of the more knowledgeable Islanders fan/blogger you will find and I thank her for her contribution to this blog. Bonus Code

Quick Tribute To Mike Peca

Michael Peca, a 35-year-old forward who spent 13 seasons in the National Hockey League and helped Canada to 2002 Olympic gold, retired after as one of the top two-way forwards in the NHL.
"I'm not sad by any means," Peca said. "Several months ago, I came to the decision I wasn't going to play anymore. Today's really just a day that I made a public statement. For me, it was so every time I run into old friends, they quit asking me if I'm done or not. "Now they've got the answer," he said. "It's kind of like a mass e-mail."

Peca is a two-time winner of the Selke trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward. He was privileged to call himself an Olympic champion, however in his opinion, his greatest satisfaction came from the two great Cup runs in Buffalo in 1999 and Edmonton in 2006.

"Even though the Olympic gold medal was the one where I was fortunate enough to be successful, the Stanley Cup runs were actually more fruitful for me from the emotional standpoint," Peca said. "This is guys that have slugged it out for five, six months and now we've got to go another two months together to try and accomplish the greatest prize."

Peca had 176 goals and 465 points while he played 864 games with the Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres,New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets.

For me personally, I will always remember Peca as a Buffalo Sabre first and then an Islander. But 2002 was nothing short of magical and in that playoff series against Toronto, Peca really got the Islanders back in the spot light. Islanders fans will always have a reason to hate Darcy Tucker, as much as Sabres fans still probably dislike Brett Hull. In my opinion, there has not been an Islander, current or since, yet to replace Mike and I do hope that Peca at least makes it into Buffalo's Hall of Fame.

If there is a word to describe Mike Peca it would be leader. No, he did not guarantee a win. No, he did not score a hat trick to physically motivate his team, but he did lead by example. When Peca talked, other teammates listened and followed and when teams like Buffalo and Edmonton, teams then that were not supposed to be in the Stanley Cup Finals, you can look at each roster down the list and everyone will agree that Peca is a big reason why they made it.

No, Peca did not score often, but he did not have to. Being a solid two-way player is sometimes a lost art in the NHL, and Mike Peca was certainly one of the best. Bonus Code

Islanders Tame Panthers 2-1 in SO



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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thompson Claimed By Lightning

According to Newsday, Nate Thompson did indeed get claimed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Per Katie Strang:

Just saw Nate Thompson, rushing to get his gear and catch a flight. He got claimed by Tampa Bay. Best of luck to Thompson, who was a hard-worker, great teammate and an awesome person.
I agree, but I think because there were just too many spots on this team, and Thompson having a two-way contract, he was the first to go. He will certainly be missed on the face-offs. Good luck to him.


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Friday, January 15, 2010

Could Kovalchuk Be An Islander?

After yesterdays rumor that the Islanders would be in the running for Atlanta's sniper Ilya Kovalchuk,  I wanted to do some research to see if there really could be any validity to it. Turns out, as of today, my answer is false. I do not believe the Islanders will pursue Kovalchuk now. However, if certain things happen before now and March 3rd, the Islanders would be very close to being trading partners. Please allow me to explain.

According to yesterdays NY Post report, the Islanders have the cap space and prospects to make a trade for Kovalchuk, improving both the the on-ice product and improving the overall value of the team should Charles Wang want to sell the team. It was also stated that Kovalchuk would like to remain with the Thrashers for the rest of his career. While Newsday reported that the Islanders have a plan in store, it does not however, include Kovalchuk. Newsday also reported that according to their source, a deal like that is "slim to none."

So why is Kovalchuk available in the first place? When first doing research for this article, it was believed that he was asking for 12 years, 120 million dollars. That's 10 million per year. After doing some extra reading, the asking price right now seems to be at 11 million dollars. The problem here is that Atlanta ownership may not be able to afford such a high and lengthy contract. With attendance very low this year, ownership is still debating whether or not to resign their franchise player.

So assume for the moment that Garth Snow is just going to be quiet, deny rumors, and we're going to once again speculate that if the Islanders are in the hunt for Kovalchuk, what other teams would be battling for his services? From what I could read from it appears that Boston, LA, Chicago, Detroit, and Vancouver are all in the mix. Now let's bring in reality to get rid of some rumored teams. Chicago is on top in the Western Conference and just signed a guy by the name of Hossa during last summer, chemistry is good, so scratch off Chicago. Detroit will never go after a rental like Kovalchuk and when Detroit begins to get players back will be a force as a 7th or 8th seed. I'm sorry Vancouver fans, but every time a big player is mentioned in rumors your team is always mentioned, so for now I'm not sold on the Canucks.

This leaves us with the LA Kings, Boston Bruins and the Islanders. If you're Don Waddell who would you rather trade with right now? The Kings have players that Waddell would want, can still have Atlanta win now and resign all, if any, to new affordable contracts and still be able to build the team in the off-season. Or perhaps Waddell should look into the Boston Bruins. I'm sure getting a decent player and a prospect and say Toronto's first round pick could be enough to entice Waddell. Imagine Atlanta having Taylor Hall join the likes of Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian, Enstrom, Little, Peverley and even Antropov. I would not feel sorry for Atlanta then.

But that folks is the Islanders problem when trying to acquire someone like Kovalchuk. They don't/won't give up certain players, because they don't have enough of them yet, nor do they have a high draft pick this year. So why am I even including the Islanders in this mix for Kovulchuk? Two words: Ryan Smyth. In 2007 the Islanders traded there first round pick in 2007, Robert Nilsson and Ryan O'Marra for Ryan Smyth, a last second deadline deal that gave Garth Snow a big pat on the back and instantly gave the Islanders credibility. If deals with LA and Boston don't pan out, and the deadline is near, don't be surprised if the Islanders are patiently waiting for Atlanta to call. But make no mistake, the Olympic trade freeze is from February 12th-28th. If Kovalchuk is not traded and/or Atlanta is out of the playoff race, the Islanders should be in the race for him, and should not have to be giving up the farm.

My final thought is this, if Atlanta is still in the playoff hunt, Kovalchuk will not be traded.....period. The Islanders right now have been winning more often and have the depth to go deep into the playoff race. They will need to make a few moves, but they don't need to make a splash like Kovalchuk to get into the playoffs, because quite frankly, the teams in front of them (with the exception to Philly) really are playing lousy hockey. There are just too many holes to other teams right now, that if the Islanders make a balanced trade, they have a great shot getting in, without having to give much up. Bonus Code

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Isles Interested in Kovi?

From Larry Brooks of the NY Post:

The other team in town is big-game hunting. Islanders' GM Garth Snow has checked in with the Thrashers about the availability of marquee all-star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, leaving the message with Atlanta GM Don Waddell that the team intends to be in the mix if the impending unrestricted free agent is placed on the trade market, The Post has learned from a well-placed source.

Kovalchuk, who is believed seeking a 12-year contract in the neighborhood of $120 million, has stated his preference to finish his career in Atlanta, but the cash-poor Thrashers' ownership may be unable or unwilling to commit to a deal that, in essence, comes close to equaling the value of the franchise.

My take: I'm going to move further into this sooner because there is the Olympic break coming up soon, and there will be a trade freeze with very little room to make deals between February 28th and March 3rd. To know that the Islanders are players for Kovalchuk is huge for this organization and its fans and the Islanders must look into this scenario. More to come.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Islanders Will Be Making Moves

With the news of Brendan Witt going on the IR this afternoon, it means that for now the Islanders do not have to make any roster changes at this time. However, make no mistake, the Islanders will be making moves. That right, more than one player will be leaving the Islanders before the trade deadline. But when Witt does return from the IR, who will go? To be honest it doesn't matter. What matters is what the Islanders get in return.

With Rick DiPietro now playing as backup and Roloson starting until he is beaten out of the number one position, the obvious player to be traded is Martin Biron. I have written about it in the past, and from what I've been reading from different blogs, papers etc, is that his value is worth a third round draft pick, but that doesn't mean it has to be a pick, it could also be a player who has third round value as well. Here is my reasoning.

The Islanders currently sit tenth in the Eastern Conference, two points out of playoff contention and they're getting better. They do not have a few games in hand, but the teams ahead of them have there own problems so if there is a continuation of bad luck for teams like Philly, Ottawa, the Rangers and Montreal, the Islanders could squeak in there without making any moves at all. However, if any of these teams go on a legitimate run, say a 4 game winning streak, then in my opinion, the Islanders would not have enough talent to be able to keep up, hence making a trade for a "third round" player may be enough to keep pace till the end of the season. Or is it?

Trading Biron for a defenceman would be nice for most Islanders fans and I'm sure that would lead to one or possibly two being moved, so fans should expect that to happen. If Biron is traded for another forward with a little more size would also be a welcoming sight, but that also means possibly waiving or moving another player in the same or different deal. Either way, it is clear that one or more will be going.

Finally, say the Islanders don't have a chance at the playoffs. Let the fire sale of the veterans begin. For now, this is my hypothetical rumor mill if the Islanders are out of contention by trade deadline day. I hear Pittsburgh is having trouble with their powerplay, anyone want Doug Weight? I'm sure Bill Geurin would make a nice  pitch for is old buddy. How about the Devils? They usually go after some depth when they believe they could go deep in the playoffs. How about reuniting Richard Park to his old Minnesota Wild coach Lemaire. Maybe. Even Jon Sim has a Stanley Cup ring and experience (with no contract for next year....bigger plus) that might entice somebody.

Here is my final say on the possible moves the Islanders could make. For now, it is a good thing to have an abundance of players on your team because when injuries occur, there is someone ready to play and fill in. If the Islanders do or don't continue to make a push for the playoffs, the bottom line is this: by the time the deadline is over, the Islanders will be improved. The Islanders may be improved immediately or for the future, either way you look at it, multiple players could be gone, some will arrive and the Islanders will be a better team for it. Bonus Code

Isles Survive Phoenix

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Isles Fall To Dallas In DP's Return

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Biron Is The Odd Man Out

According to Dan Martin of the NY Post:

Since Roloson has been the team's best player this year and DiPietro needs ice time, that likely means that Biron is on the odd man out. GM Garth Snow could trade Biron, but his recent struggles would make it difficult to get anything of significance in return.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Islanders Must Win Next Two Games

***Update*** DiPietro will start against the Stars tonight. I do not like this move at all. More to come later.

The Islanders continue their trip on the road with games against Dallas and a final stop to Phoenix. After a glorious win by Roloson and the Isles, many are speculating that Rick DiPietro, finally recovered from injuries, may and should get a start in one of the next two games. I completely disagree. Allow me to explain.

I'm sure as most fans by now have seen or are looking at the standings and seeing that the Islanders are back to the NHL .500 mark. That is the good news. The better news is that the teams ahead of the Islanders are not doing as well or should be playing better then the Isles.

So where's the bad news? The Isles might start DiPietro. Don't get me wrong, no one is more thrilled to see DP come back then me. However, if the islanders truly want to make a run at the playoffs or become this years big spoilers (as I have predicted), then Roloson needs to play in as many games as possible, even if that means playing in the next two. I'll even take Biron over DiPietro right now because, let's face it, he hasn't played an NHL game in a little over a year. Let him earn his way back in practice to get a back up start, and go from there.

You can't tell me that DP will play better than Biron with the offense in front of him, the same offense that produces an 1.8 goals for average for Biron. There is no way in hell DP, coming back in his first game, will allow 1 goal or less. He couldn't do that even when he's healthy. If the Isles truly want to win, play Biron for now.

There will come a time when Biron will be traded and DP will get his starts, but the offense must start coming together now and score to really support the goaltending. Fans are starting to see some improvement in players that should have been scoring earlier in the season, but are only now starting to show signs of getting out of there slump/growing pains. I can't see the Islanders winning a lot of one goal games the rest of this season, not the way they give goals back in the third periods.

The other teams ahead of the Islanders do not have three goalies that could be starters elsewhere. The Islanders must win the next two games to really start getting into the minds of other teams because lets face it, the other teams are not performing as well as they should and the Islanders must take advantage of this opportunity. Playing DP on this road trip is not taking advantage of what the Islanders could have after this weekend, nervous team.

Isles Beat Avs 3-2

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