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.


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