Tuesday, December 10, 2013

So Now It's Ryan Strome's Turn

The Islanders have recalled Ryan Strome from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. It’s been posted by many that he will join the team in Phoenix tomorrow. Many believe he might get his chance to start against the Coyotes. Continue Reading

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Islanders Have Hiller In Sights?

From the Boston Globe:

Surplus in Anaheim net
 On Thursday, Anaheim activated Viktor Fasth from his AHL conditioning stint. At the same time, the Ducks assigned Frederik Andersen to Norfolk. During his brief NHL audition, Andersen proved his AHL apprenticeship doesn’t have to be much longer. The 24-year-old went 6-1-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .943 save percentage while sharing the net with Jonas Hiller. Andersen won his first six career starts, the first goalie to turn the trick since Toronto’s Damian Rhodes posted six straight W’s between March 22, 1991, and Dec. 2, 1993. Andersen’s promotion, Fasth’s good health, and the career trajectory of puckstopping prospect John Gibson point to Anaheim acquiring assets for Hiller, who will reach UFA status at the end of the season. Possible landing spots for Hiller include the Islanders and Nashville.
My take: Take it for what it is, it could be the Isles and Nashville going for Hiller, however.....

USA TODAY: With Pekka Rinne sidelined indefinitely due to complications in his surgically repaired hip,  Kevin Allen believes the Nashville Predators need to shop for a new goaltender or risk falling out of playoff contention by the end of this month. He suggests they contact the Anaheim Ducks, who are deep in goalies this season.

It's already on record that the GM of the Preds will wait until Rinne's results come in from his MRI later this month to make a decision. So if the Isles truly want Hiller, it may not be until at the end of this month and the Isles also need to see the results from Evgeni Nabakov before making any kind of decision. Stick tap to Islandermania for the Boston Globe piece and Spector's Hockey for the USA Today article.

ICYMI Enthusiasm & Expectations

Let me start off by saying that these are my opinions and mine alone and do not reflect anyone at Isles Talk. That being said, with all due respect to my fellow & hopeful Islanders fans, please get off your very high pedestals and wishful thinking and come back down to reality to what are the New York Islanders.  Last year’s run at the playoffs is now a distant memory and unfortunately many had expected the Islanders to repeat what they did or move further along in the playoffs. It still may happen, but it’s time to break out the old cliche from last year that this team will once again “Drive you to drink.” Continue reading

Friday, November 01, 2013

Will MacDonald Get Traded This Year?

Photo courtesy of Bleacherreport.com
I'm sure by now many Islanders fans read Elliot Friedmans 30 thoughts and what he said about the Islanders. What intrigues me however was his number 5 thought:

 5. By the way, a few teams are watching one of Snow's guys very closely: defenceman Andrew MacDonald. He's unrestricted after the season, and a greatly improved player.
My take: He's a tradable asset. He hasn't received a contract yet, neither did Matt Moulson. Could he fetch a first rounder? Not likely, but with prospects like Reinhart, Pulock, Mayfield progressing, he certainly wouldn't get a long term deal from the Islanders. Therefore I wouldn't be surprised if there was another "shake-up" for the Islanders, this time for the defense. Time and the standings will tell.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Islanders Looking For Defensive Help

From the Fourth Period.com

The Islanders will monitor Vanek's situation, and how he performs with center John Tavares, and likely offer him a large contract after the season concludes, but in the meantime, Snow appears to be focused on improving other areas of his team.
According to two league sources, the Isles are exploring the possibility of bolstering their blueline.With veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky on the shelf after suffering a concussion, the Islanders could up their efforts to find a temporary replacement on the backend, but one source told TFP the Isles aren't looking for a short-term fix.

The Islanders have roughly $11.5 million in available salary cap space.
My take: Snow is always looking for ways to improve this Islanders team. However, considering that the Islanders have given up less than three goals in only two contests, one would have to think that a move will be made sooner rather than later. With 2014's first round pick now gone from the Vanek trade, it could be a current player or a prospect that gets moved in any deal for a defenseman. Stay tuned.

Islanders Recap: Rangers 3 Islanders 2

This is starting to become a broken record at Isles Talk. The Islanders had a lead heading into the third period and lost both the lead and the game to their cross-town rivals the New York Rangers tonight at the Coliseum. Watching from the TV you can hear the excitement from both teams fans and it truly sounded nice to have a packed barn again. Having said that, it was the end result that keep Isles fans from celebrating louder. Continue reading

The Bridge Report: The Good, Bad & Ugly

I wanted to let the Moulson-Vanek trade settle down a bit before I bring to you a new weekly segment here at Isles Talk. The title basically gives it a way but every week, Isles Talk will be doing a quick recap and assessment of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Since the Sound Tigers were formed over 10 years ago, I can honestly say that I have never seen this many drafted Islanders prospects on one team, ever. That’s a good sign. Their record (1-4-1, last in the Division & Conference) is a reflection of their youth but it’s a long season. Since this is the first write up of the year, let’s take a look at the players you should be concerned about. Continue reading

Islanders Defense Is A Concern

The Islanders had an opportunity to improve their record, move up in the standings, and take some momentum into Tuesdays match up against the New York Rangers. After beating the Pittsburgh Penguins the night before, the Islanders returned home to face the lowly Philadelphia Flyers and lost. The term “consistently inconsistent” is in fact the theme that this team is currently going through.  Many fans are looking for some kind of change made. Some want Ryan Strome up, Brock Nelson playing everyday, Eric Boulton to be off the team, some have even said a coaching change is needed. Two problems I see with those suggestions. First, the Islanders are scoring goals and two, Capuano is not going anywhere, especially when the assistant coaches and General Manager are on the same page. So let’s take a look at the defense, a group that did not change much from last year. Continue reading

Friday, October 18, 2013

Complete Win For The Islanders

I told you it was going to be a fun game to watch! I knew I was watching on a rerun last night so I purposely did not look at any of the scores until the game was finished. Other than Phoenix, this was probably the best
complete game the Islanders have had when the score was close. There wasn’t much to dissect in terms of what the Isles did wrong because there was definitely more  good to watch. Here are some pluses and minus from my thoughts of the 3-2 Islanders win over the Oilers. Continue reading

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Rivalry Renewed Tonight

This was a game I was hoping to make tonight because there is a lot of history between these two teams. Back in the early 1980′s it was either the Islanders or the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Championships, one dynasty against a future dynasty. Both franchises would leave their marks in NHL history. For the Islanders you had Bossy, Trottier, Gillies, Potvin & Smith and for the Oilers it was Gretzky, Messier Kurri, Coffey & Fuhr. Now 30 years later, the NHL and it’s fans will be witnessing a possible rebirth of this once great rivalry.  The Islanders have Tavares, Grabner, Okposo and Hamonic while the Oilers counter with Hall, Neugent-Hopkins, Eberle & Schultz. Continue reading

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

From Around The Isles Blogosphere

Photo Courtesy of NHL.com
Check out Dee Karl's piece from Hockey buzz here:

My Take: What Capuano was saying and what the players were more like a two-part story last night. Yes, as Capuano said, the Isles came to play than the other two previous games, but the players knew they let one slip away again. Bottom line: Need to finish games.

Buffalo Earns First Win Over Isles

Once again the Islanders had a 3-2 lead in the final minutes of the third period and lost the lead. To their defense, that last goal was lucky. Foligno turned around and put the puck on net and this time good things happen when you put the puck on net. Buffalo makes it 3-3 and end up beating the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why Brock Nelson Should Be Sent Down

With the news that Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck has been taken off the IR, and 2012 first round pick Griffin Reinhart sent back to juniors, coaches and management now have a difficult decision to make once Clutterbuck is ready to return to the ice. As of this writing, no one knows if Clutterbuck is skating well enough to play and if he is, no one is sure who will be starting against the defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks. For the first time in a long time, depth is a good problem to have if you’re the New York Islanders. But if you’re the Islanders, you make the toughest choice and send Brock Nelson down to Bridgeport. Continue reading

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Islanders Must Learn From Their Mistakes

I know it’s early to the season, but I’m seeing a pattern that I saw last year, noticed it in one preseason game and in the first two games of this year. The Islanders cannot hold a lead. In the past, they’ve been so accustomed to being the underdog: coming back and winning hockey games that gave most fans heart attack each and every game. Fans would brush off the first goal by the opponent because they knew that it would wake up their team and the Islanders came back to get a victory.  That cannot happen anymore. Continue reading

Isles Stumble To The Jackets

A couple of positives is that Nabokov has been solid and the defense continue to get on the score sheet. This time it was Visnovsky getting in on the offense. Tavares now has two points in two games, so I wouldn't worry folks, he'll be scoring soon enough. Okposo has been close as well. When the top players do start scoring, the flood gates will be open.

The one thing that bothers me is that I'm still not seeing a killer instinct to finish off a team when the Islanders have a lead. To me, that's learning on how to win hockey games. Columbus should not be that close to the Islanders crease with half a period to go in the game. The Islanders must focus on clearing the crease and getting the puck out of the zone over the next few days before Phoenix arrives on Tuesday. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Isles Beat The Devils 4-3

Granted, this was not a pretty game but two points is two points and when you're not playing the Devils until around Christmas, this was a big win for the Isles.

Michael Grabner came out flying and he's showing to the rest of the NHL that John Tavares is not the only goal scorer on this team. From NHL.com

"[Our top line is] getting a lot of attention, and Johnnie is one of the best players in the game," Grabner said. "If they don't have an offensive night like they're supposed to, other guys have to step up. It's not always easy to score every game. I'm not going to score two goals every game. Sometimes your stuff doesn't work, so other guys have to step up. Fortunately our line could do that and I'm confident [the first line will] have a good game [Saturday]."
 Matt Donovan got his first point as an Islander. The defense needs to continue to be a factor on the offensive side and this was a good start.

In net, Nabokov looked like he was shaking some mental rust the first period, but by the end of the game, he was near perfect and shut down the Devils during the shootout.

The Islanders need to stop with dumb penalties, like the one Brock Nelson hooking penalty that eventually led to the Devils tying the game up at 3.

Next up, tonight against the Blue Jackets who are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames last night.  Same lineup for the Isles.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Will Reinhart Go Beyond Nine?

My take: As I had said here on IslesTalk, Reinhart is the wild card of the bunch. Donovan and Nelson have looked good so far that they may have already earned their spots, but Reinhart, as expected by most will probably get a nine game look. He's earned, there's no questioning that. However will the Islanders just send him down to juniors again (Like they should) or could they keep him as a 7th defenseman and groom him like the Devils Adam Larsson has been groomed. It's only now after a few years that Larsson is being called upon to step up. With the Islanders top 4 in place for the net two years, it's possible Reinhart good be groomed with no pressure this year in the NHL. Thoughts?

Don't forget to follow me @Netminder39

Pulock Signed

From New York Islanders.com

The New York Islanders announced today that Ryan Pulock has agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract.

Pulock, a native of Dauphin, Manitoba, scored 45 points (14 goals, 31 assists) in 61 games last season with the Brandon Wheat Kings during his third Western Hockey League campaign. The 6’1, 213-pound defenseman served as team captain as an 18-year-old last season with the Wheat Kings.

In 2011-12, Pulock was named to the WHL East First All-Star Team after posting 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) in 71 games with Brandon.

He represented Canada at the 2012 Under-18 World Junior Championships, scoring two points (one goal, one assist) in six games to help the club earn a bronze medal.
The Islanders selected Pulock with the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

My take: I'm excited to see how well he develops this year as I believe he could a top 4 defenseman for the Islanders in the future. A few fans love the idea of having Reinhart and Pulock together in a couple of years. For now, it's a good signing and it continues Garth Snows trend of signing his first round picks now before the season starts. Good luck to Ryan.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

And Then There Were Five

So with a few preseason games in the books, the New York Islanders have a few more days to tinker with the system and experiment with players at different spots. The learning of the powerplay and penalty killing is crucial this time of year for everyone. But for me, I’m more concerned about which young player remains on the big club. As of this writing, there are five remaining: Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Griffin Reinhart, Johan Sundstrom and Matt Donovan. Let’s take a look at what there chances at making the big club.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Perception Before Prediction

I would like everyone to first watch what Dan Rosen of NHL.com had to say about the Islanders because he is spot on. I know a lot of fans are really excited about this upcoming year after what the Islanders did previously, making the playoffs for the first time in years and having an epic battle against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round before bowing out. It left a great positive feeling for the fans and now the fans want more. This is where I'm going to caution everyone: When you start doing your yearly predictions, please, please throw out last year! You heard me, toss it out! Why? Because you're perception may be wrong.

Allow me to explain: the definition of perception is this: "Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment." Translation: You're expecting what you saw last year. You're perceiving the Islanders to be better than an 8th place team because of what they did to Pitt. You're perceiving this team to go deeper in the playoffs because other teams really did not "improve" theirs as much. You get my point. Here are a few arguments why you need to get knocked off the high pedestal:

First, this is an 82 game schedule not 48. This season is longer, tougher and more stressful especially this being an Olympic year. It will take more than a good month and a half of winning hockey to make it to the playoffs.

Second, competition gets better with the addition of the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets. Until I see a full implosion from the Red Wings, they're in the playoffs. Why? Cause they've earned that right. As for the Blue Jackets, they're better then the Jets and that bothers me.

Third, anyone who is good at math (like me) who comes out and says that the Islanders were on pace for 94 points last year and says they should be between 95-100 this year should never go to Vegas and play those odds. There is no mention of the Islanders battling in the 28 Western Conference games this year and doing well, that's all perception because of how well they did in the East the year before. To add to that, during a normal 82 game schedule after 48 games are played maybe three teams can be considered "eliminated" from playoff contention.  

My advice to my fellow Islanders fans is this. Perceive this team as a "Bubble Team," a non top 6 team, just for this year. Do the Islanders have the players and talent to make a legit run this year? Yes, of course! BUT enjoy you're teams training camp, see what moves they and other teams make because there will be a lot of moves before the season starts, then you can make a better prediction as to where your team is headed. Enjoy training camp!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Season Preview: Forwards

Isles Talk has all the latest including my new article on the Islanders forwards for this upcoming year. Please take a look and give your feedback.

To be honest, I'm not sure where to place the Islanders in my preseason standings just yet. I know fans have a great perception of the team, but with perceptions come greater expectations. I'll be coming out with an article about what fans should do when trying to predict where the Isles will end up. Should be tomorrow or Sunday.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ryan Whitney A Fit On Long Island?

My take: I wanted Whitney for the playoffs. Don't know where you can put him with most of the roster filled out. Still interesting enough to ponder and a one year deal would be par for the Islanders course. If the Islanders wanted to go 8 defenseman, then sure, take a shot. Thoughts?

Kevin Poulin: The Unknown Goaltender

Kevin Poulin: The Unknown Goaltender


Why fans are looking for another "Known" backup goalie.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Isles Have Interest In Tim Thomas

From the Boston Globe:

If an NHL club comes calling at this point, it might only be to extend Thomas a training camp invitation, no money guaranteed, with a shot at winning a backup job. Many, if not most, European jobs are locked up by Aug. 1 at the latest. The Islanders and Flyers have been rumored to have interest in Thomas.

My Take: This is indeed going to be a huge camp for the New York Islanders goaltenders. I'll go on record now, it's Kevin Poulin's to lose the backup job and not to beat anyone else out. Anders Nilsson hasn't really played due to an illness & Thomas hasn't played, period. I like the idea of at least bringing in Thomas on a tryout, to increase the competition, but if Poulin does as well as Thomas then there should be no debating that Poulin should get the nod. I would expect him to get 20+ games in this season. 

Coming up tomorrow, my new write up will be on Kevin Poulin and why I believe he should be the back up for the Islanders this season. Don't forget to follow me @Netminder39!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Please Check Out HOCK.ly

Yours truly was invited to an Islanders roundtable questionnaire along with some other fine bloggers/writers who know their stuff about the Islanders. The Magazine was created by B.D. Gallof, one of the first credential bloggers for the New York Islanders Blog Box and his work has been seen on CBS New York & WFAN. It's a great vision of his and I'm honored to be apart of it.  Please give it a read here. If you're not already, please give B.D. a follow at @BDGallof.

How Desirable is Nassau/Brooklyn For Free Agents?

Justin Bourne from The Score just wrote a spot on article by ranking the 30 different venues and the best fit for a free agent. He had ranked the Isles in 22nd, here's his comment:

Kills me to have them so low, but I’m trying to put aside biases. Trying. But Long Island is great, Brooklyn is cool, you’re in a brand new barn (minus points for the horseshoe effect), you’re right close to the city, your location is about as good as it gets for travel, there’s some good young talent on the team… but you just know that the team won’t spend to make you Cup competitive, as close as you may be. Even if Isles fans think their current team is good enough to win a Cup at some point, they just don’t spend enough year-to-year to guarantee consistent success.
As of this writing I would agree with his assessment, but as we have seen this summer, Charles Wang has been spending more and Garth Snow is developing a core with a lot of future potential. For now, I believe if the Islanders can make the playoffs this year, they should be able to do it for the next 5-7 years consistently. A Cup may require a little more spending, but if the Islanders are that close at any point during the seasons where a Cup is possible, wouldn't be surprised if Garth added a player or two. For now the organization is on a "spend as needed" basis because this young team is still on the rise and have not reached it's zenith just yet.

Bailey Added To Isles Core

From New York Islanders.com

The Islanders locked up another home-grown core player to a long-term deal Monday.

“Obviously I’m very excited,” Bailey said. “I have to thank the organization – Charles Wang and Garth Snow, as well as the whole coaching staff – for believing in me and committing to me for another five years. It’s a really special, incredible feeling.”

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow extended a verbal vote of confidence to the forward the Islanders selected ninth overall in the 2008 NHL Draft.

“Josh has become an important member of the young core of the players we have in our dressing room,” Snow said. “We’re excited to come to terms with him on a deal that will ensure he is a member of this team as we solidify ourselves as consistent playoff contenders.”

My take: This core of players should excite Islanders fans for years to come. Fans have finally seen the maturation process of this organization and the fact that both fans and the organization wanted him signed, means that this was a good pick after all in 2008. Personally I was going for Colin Wilson, but for those who wanted Nikita Filatov, don't quit your day jobs ;-)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Final Thoughts For 2013 Isles

Now that the draft and free agency period is, for the most part, finished with the Islanders, it's time to briefly look back at the 2013 New York Islanders. Despite it being a short season, it was a good experience, not just for the players, but the fans as well.  It was a step in the right direction, but what most Islanders fans need to realize is that nothing is a guarantee next year. Especially after the performance the Islanders gave in the playoffs. No more back-up goalies to start against the Isles.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Thoughts From Isles Free Agency: Earn Your Keep

Letting free agency soak in a little gives me a little more perspective on the type of general manager Garth Snow is. He always has had a plan and he has stuck to it. What I realized after some of these signings was that not only is Garth going to let his young prospects marinate in the minors, he's going to make them earn their spots. Don't get me wrong, I like the moves made so far as I will discuss each one, but at some time these kids are going to have to show they belong in the NHL. Maybe winning a playoff round or two in the AHL may help with that. Either way this organization is full of talent and ready to roll. Let's go over the signings starting with goaltending:

Friday, July 05, 2013

Hamonic Now Part Of The Core

Good long term deal, not 15 but 7. Many are thinking he's already a number two defensman. Would like to see Josh Bailey signed next.

Free Agency Continues for Isles

Yeah this is a big gamble. This is the low-risk/high reward most fans were expecting. I'll have more on this later, but I'm not sure. For now, If he stays healthy this was a great smart move by Snow. There is enough depth in this organization that if he does get injured, the Islanders should not miss a beat. What this is doing is keeping the prospects in Bridgeport and develop, which is still the plan.

Islanders Sign Regin

I think the Islanders may have found their third line RW, but he can also play C. More on this later, but it looks like Cal Clutterbuck is the new RW for John Tavares,

Nabby To Return

That's a good start to the day. Nabby despite a poor playoffs, helps this club especially with the lack of options in this free agent pool.  More to come.

Free Agency Begins Today

So today is the day where fans of the NHL act like its a holiday like Christmas, expecting their teams to get a few presents, or free agents to hopefully improve their team. If its a good signing, fans are already getting excited for the season to start, but if the signings go sour for fans, its boycotting time.

For the Islanders, there are two pressing needs: a starting goaltender and a right winger for John Tavares. Easier said than done. This unrestricted free agency pool is not looking very good. I'm sure the Isles have been working the phones, but if Garth cannot get the right deal, we won't over spend money on players.

For the goalie its really how long is Anders Nilsson away from making it to the NHL? If he's a year away, then this UFA goalie may only get a one or two year deal. Same goes for the right winger as Isles fans wait for Ryan Strome to develope. So I wouldn't expect a 3-4 year deal from Snow. That may take out a few players.

Then there are always trading possibilities. A draft pick or a lower level prospect to a team in cap trouble to fill the holes for the Isles could also work. You just never know what can happen.

I'll end with this, free agency begins at noon today, but it doesn't end until the beginning of the hockey season. Unless Snow says he's done for the summer, there will always be time to get what's needed to improve on the team. Fans just need to sit back and put their trust in him and believe he knows what he's doing. Happy hunting.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

DiPietro Officially Bought Out

Best of luck to Rick. I hope he finds a job somewhere soon. A backup role in the NHL but a AHL or Europe deal may be the best for him right now. At 31 still has time for a comeback.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Looking Back & Moving Forward

So for the first time I went to Long Island to experience the Islanders Draft Party and I have to say it was fun to go to. While I was talking to a few fans, my colleague from Isles Talk  Gary Harding and I noticed two guys in Islanders Polo's and they were hockey players signing autographs. We had no clue who they were. Then Chris King made the announcement that they were in fact newly signed players, one of them was Parker Milner, a goalie from Boston College. "Wait a minute!" was the first sentence in my head. I had known about Kenny Reiter resigning in Bridgeport, but now I thought to myself there's a lot of goalies in Bridgeport this year. I knew something was going to happen.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Isles Not Interested In Luongo

My take: there's two possibilities here: 1. Nabokov is still close to signing 2. The Islanders may have their eyes on someone else for the short term. But at least now, as of this post, the Isles will not be pursuing Luongo. Could that change on draft day, maybe, but not likely. The longer Nabokov goes unsigned, the less likely he is to return. But if the Islanders stick to their plan, then the Poulin/Nilsson combination will be the future of the organization and there may only need to be a short term goaltender for this coming year. If Nilsson has a season worthy of being brought up, then the Isles will not need a starting goalie for more than a year. I also believe that is why DiPietro may not be bought out until next year. DP could at least be a backup to Poulin this year if something happens to the starter. If it's clear Nilsson is ready, DP will be bought out next year.  

Update 5:30pm

Well, there goes possibility number one. I'm going to say this now: The draft on Sunday will be interesting. Given that Snow has made trades before draft day, look for something to start by Saturday. If a trade does not work out...we'll worry about that on Monday.... 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Scuderi Appears A Non Option For Isles

My Take: I've said this before folks, Brian Strait is their number 4 and he should be. I've seen him play too many times up here in Pennsylvania and many Penguins fans believed he was an NHL defenseman when he was there for the baby Penguins. The talent pool was just too much in Pitt and the Isles made a great move. This is where fans are really gonna have to start trusting Garth Snow some more. Could the Isles use a little more size on defense, agreed. Do they need to do that now, or in July? No. Give Strait a chance over the full season and you'll see why players like Scuderi are not needed on the Island.

First It's Luongo, Then Bernier, Now Back To Luongo

From Joe Yerdon:

 Where does Roberto Luongo go now?

 New York Islanders: Rick DiPietro isn’t the answer and Evgeni Nabokov is an elder statesman who looked weak in the playoffs. He’s also a free agent this summer. The Isles also have a disgruntled prospect who reportedly wants out in Nino Niederreiter who would make a great trade chip. The two teams have been linked before, so why not send Lu back to the Island?
My take: Folks, this has more to do with bad contracts than it does the players. In order for a trade to work, DiPietro would have to be involved. Vancouver would have to buy out one of these contracts. On the plus side, I think Luongo would be an upgrade over Nabokov and could get a few more years out of him while the obvious downside is his contract. Forget the money, it's just too long. Anything more than 5 is just too much. The Islanders have to see what they have in Poulin and Nilsson this year, which is why I will say again, I don't think the Islanders HAVE to buy out DP this summer. Signing Nabokov to a one year deal allows the Islanders the flexibility they need to make proper moves either heading into the season or at the trade deadline. If Niederreiter gets his shot at the NHL and makes the club out of camp this year then there is no disgruntled prospect who wants out. He just wants to play in the NHL.  He's had a good junior career, made the AHL All-Star team and now is just looking for a chance to prove his worth to the Islanders or anybody else.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bernier Saga Continues

From Tim Panaccio:

 The Leafs, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild and the New Jersey Devils reportedly are in the bidding, but sources say Toronto might be offering more than others are willing to pay.
Stick Tap to Spectors Hockey for the link.

My take: This is one of two scenarios: 1. The Kings are just mentioning the Leafs to help drive up the price for Bernier 2. The Leafs are this crazy. It's too soon yet, but in another week this should get resolved. The Flyers may no longer be in the running for Bernier as well and they will keep their starter Bryzgalof at least for more season. If scenario 2 is the case, then you should count the Islanders out as well. The Kings need some cap relief and it appears the Kings are looking for an established forward already in the NHL. I've been saying this on twitter, if either the Islanders or Devils are mentioned in a rumor such as this, the percentage of a trade happening drops significantly. The Islanders will not bet the farm on a career NHL backup with a future. We're used to seeing Toronto make crazy trades, let them continue that trend.   

Update: 4:16pm Bank on this folks!!

Update: 5:50pm because people like drama


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ullstrom to KHL

From Ullstrom himself via twitter:

As I stated on Isles Talk this was not a surprising move. Colin McDonald can be a third line winger before Kirill Petrov comes in two years. Ullstrom was a good AHLer but just couldn't get a starting spot with the big club and putting him down on the fourth line would have been a step back. The KHL is the middle child of the other Leagues so Ullstrom should improve on his game. The question is at his age, would the Islanders retain his rights? Possibly. Good luck to David.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Petrov New York Bound

From RSports:

The New York Islanders have given Kirill Petrov the incentive of a guaranteed place in the roster to ensure he switches to the NHL when his contract in Russia expires a year from now, his agent says.
The article goes on to say, that Petrov still has one year remaining on his KHL contract with Ak Bars Kazan and may not come over until he finishes his contract. Petrov had 25 points in 65 games last season, so in my opinion, he can stay one more year. He's not a top six forward on this Islanders team, so I have no issues of him finishing up his contract first, then getting a third line role when he arrives. Even if he does make the team, this was a great draft pick by Snow as Petrov was considered a first round pick, but because he was non-committal to crossing the pond, he dropped into the Islanders lap in the third round of 2008. Another possible big move for the Islanders.

Stick raise goes to @Islandermania for the link.

Don't forget to follow me at @Netminder39  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Isles Chances At Bernier

Photo courtesy of ilovegoalies.blogspot.com
Islanders fans, including myself have agreed that the goaltending situation is to be the biggest mystery this coming offseason. There's no secret that many Isles fans would love to get their hands on Jonathan Bernier, the Los Angeles Kings backup goaltender who could be a starter for any team in the NHL right now. But the Islanders would are not the only ones that want Bernier. According to Pierre LeBrun, ESPN and TSN analyst had this to say about Bernier's trade status:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Streit To Philly for 4th Rounder, Harper

Streit was not going to resign with the Islanders, so this was a great move by Snow. Again, building a team through the draft has been a key to the Islanders present and future success, so getting a pick like a fourth rounder in net years draft was a great move. From what I've read so far, Harper is a restricted free agent who is more like a B prospect, whether the Islanders qualify his rights remain to be seen, but in my opinion, getting something for a departing player was a great move.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Striet, Boyes Not To Return; Nabokov May Still Sign

From Arthur Staple of Newsday

Well if you read my article from May 28th, then you wouldn't have been surprised by this announcement. If you read the Newsday article it states that Striet is looking beyond 5.5 million dollars, which he may get from another team, but it's not within the Islanders budget. So now that offseason free agent is taken care of, who replaces him?

Again, not surprised by Matt Donovan's name being mentioned here. Last year, it was stated that one of three: Calvin de Haan, Aaron Ness or Matt Donovan may make the big club if the season were to start in September. After one year, only Donovan has shown that he is ready for full time duties on Long Island. Again it's a luxury of drafting well and not having to go out and spend six million dollars on one player when you may have some else who could do a better all-round job for a lot less.

Just to add a small piece, if Staple thinks Nabokov comes back, I would count on that to likely happen. look for a one year deal with a nice raise. 

Staple also is suggesting Brad Boyes will probably not return, but I would not count on Nino Niederreitter automatically penciled in as the first line winger. There is plenty of competition come camp time, but he is probably the most NHL-ready player the Islanders have at right wing. I still say that draft day should be an interesting one anyways. Twenty-five more days to go.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rumor Roundup: Islanders Believed To Have Interest In Luongo

Just when I thought this was going to be a quiet, warm day. Well, it still is, but is this certainly news worthy when it's coming from Bob McKenzie.  As stated by Bob as well, Rick DiPietro would have to be involved in the deal. Two almost identical contracts, but Loungo has more years. What's the difference? Luongo can help the Islanders now. The Rangers are in a little bit of a mess, Washington's goaltender Brandon Holtby doesn't come close to Luongo, Brodeur is close to retiring and the Islanders just wrecked any kind of confidence out of Marc-Andre Fleury. Will this trade go down? Any other team else steps in? We'll find out.

Islanders Won't Sign Kichton

I had this discussion a few times with several fans and to be honest, not really surprised by this move. I'm not taking anything away from Kichton's accomplishments, it's just that the Islanders roster is pretty full and signing him fills up Bridgeport with eight defenseman. It was discussed that Islanders general manger Garth Snow move a player like Aaron Ness to make room, but to be frank, if you read other Islanders blogs as to where they (accurately) rank Ness, he cannot be traded now because of a lack of value. I hope Kichton makes it to the NHL someday and fulfills his dreams. Comments?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Streit May Be Next "Parenteau" Casualty

(Photo via Zimbio.com)
As the playoffs continue for some fans and the offseason begins for others like myself, I always try to look at the Islanders & Bridgeport Sound Tigers as one organization, not just the Islanders team it self. It's been a long time since I've seen this organization this deep in prospects and promising rising stars and it's good to see. Having said that, while the Islanders have taken leaps and bounds in their performance this year, I do not expect the Islanders payroll to increase by the same nature. The Islanders have player personnel questions that need to be answered during this time of year, but depending on the future spending cap budget of the Islanders, some of those questions are possibly already answered.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

DiPietro On A List Of Potential Buyouts

From Le Journal De Montreal: A good list of potential buyouts around the NHL include some interesting players. The ten mentioned are as follows: Tomas Kaberle (Montreal), Mike Komisarek (Toronto), Ilya Bryzgalov (Philadelphia),  Keith Ballard (Vancouver),  Brad Richards (New York Rangers), Daniel Brière (Philadelphia), Anton Volchenkov (New Jersey), Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders), Dany Heatley (Minnesota), Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay).

My take: I don't see Lecavalier nor Volchenkov being bought out. It's been reported that Briere will be bought out. The others will remain to be seen. This just makes a point that this offseason will be different in that these free agents are now being added to a group that before the end of this season, was not looking good at all. It's not a major improvement, but you should see a trend of teams making moves to get under the new cap ceiling. That's where the Isles come into play. As of this writing, Capgeek.com has the Islanders payroll at just under 36 million for net year. Even on a budget, the Islanders can absorb a decent contract and still be near the budget they want to be at and resign their free agents as well.  As for DiPietro, he should be on this list, but for some reason (call it a gut feeling) I don't think the Isles will buy him out this year. Management may want to see what they have in Poulin and a healthy Nilsson next year and make a decision on Mikko Koskinen, who is playing very well over in Europe. The Islanders have the option of buyouts either in this summer or next, so there is no pressure for them (except from the peer pressure of the fans) to make a move like that just yet.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rumor Roundup: Should The Isles Go After Richards?

From Craig Custance via Spectors Hockey:

Craig Custance, meanwhile, listed the Blackhawks, Blues, Capitals, Kings and Islanders as potential destinations for NY Rangers center Brad Richards if he’s bought out this summer, citing the lack of quality depth in this summer’s UFA market for centers could make him an attractive option.

Personally, I think if/when the Rangers lose anytime soon, I think management will decide whether to buy out Richards or fire John Tortorella. If  Richards is bought out, it will certainly be interesting if the Isles were to pursue him, considering the Islanders may stay within their budget and also with the emergence of Brock Nelson, there may not be a need to overpay for Richards as some teams may.

Is Mark Streit returning?

According to TSN: Although Mark Streit has not signed a contract extension, everything indicates that the Islanders will retain the services of their captain.

We'll see what happens, but looking at the free agents available, the Islanders should keep Striet. I'm sure the length of contract years is probably a sticking point. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rumor Roundup: Emery To Isles A Good Fit?

Craig Custance via Spectors Hockey

Custance also wondered if Ray Emery might replace Corey Crawford in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in their series against the Detroit Red Wings, and how it could bolster Emery’s free agent value this summer. He suggests Emery could be a good fit with the NY Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Minnesota Wild (if they lose Mike Smith and Niklas Backstrom to free agency) or the Buffalo Sabres (if they trade Ryan Miller).

As I had suspected, the goaltending issue will be the biggest factor in this offseason for the Islanders. Chicago certainly has an edge first to resign Emery, but if they do not and depending on how Emery's hip can handle a full season, he could be an interesting piece for the Islanders. It would also show how many games they want to give Kevin Poulin for next season, because if Emery does go down, Poulin may have to carry a significant load. Nevertheless, Emery will be a free agent to watch.

Isles Talk "Season Review & Beyond"

Before the great staff here at Isles Talk in the coming days dissect the individual players that made the 2012-2013 New York Islanders, I wanted to first take a short look back at the organization as a whole and reminisce for a brief moment while at the same time look forward towards the future of this franchise and it’s minor league affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Now I know this is late, but there’s a method to my madness in bringing out such a late piece. Nevertheless it’s necessary to explain the overall picture of what may need to be done to this great organization. Armchair GM’s…..get ready! Continue reading

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Trilogy Part 3: Playoff Prediction? I Don't Know!!

Would anyone expect anything else from me here this year. You shouldn’t. But, before I move on and before you read anymore of my piece, you need to read my colleague Toby Smith’s playoff write up here on Isles Talk. One of the best playoff previews I’ve read by far this year. So go ahead I’ll wait………. back? thank God. Okay here we go.  As I’ve stated before, this is a team that was built to make the playoffs, and the Islanders have done just that. But how far will they go? I will say this, the longer Sidney Crosby is out of the Pens lineup, there’s always a better chance. Continue reading

Trilogy Part 2: More Like '75 Not '93

Garth Snow had a plan to rebuild the New York Islanders organization. The method was simple, build through the draft and sprinkle in a few free agents. Fans approved of it because they knew it was time for one after the 2008 season. Five years later, after drafting well and getting a few steals along the way, the New York Islanders are back in the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Most fans in there 30′s or later remember the last time these two teams met, a miraculous series win for the New York Islanders. So it’s only fitting that 1993 would be brought up again, especially 20 years later. But when I see this current team, I don’t see 1993 all over again. I see something even more special coming….. Continue reading

Trilogy Part 1:Season Review

For those who read my “predictions” article at the start of this season, I basically said that I had no clue where the Islanders were going to finish. I didn’t get much of a response from Islanders fans from Long Island, but my NHL fans (Rangers, Devils, Flyers, Penguins) here in Pa said mine was either a cop-out or “The best politically correct piece of work” they have ever read from me. So in this this article, I’m here to defend myself. Continue reading

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Isles Talk: Playoffs Begin Now For Isles

It’s starting to feel like 2007 all over again, only this time there’s no Ryan Smyth trade to talk about. The Islanders are now in a position where the playoffs look reachable and we can thank the Devils once again for there generous inability to win with games in hand. Many fans believed every game for the last 5 games were all playoff games and that that every point was crucial. Well, the second half was true, every game from the season opener to the finale are always crucial points, but to say the Islanders were in a playoff race about a week or two ago? Not so fast. Continue reading

Friday, April 05, 2013

Add Mayfield To Bridgeport

All I have to say is...WOW!!! Isles fans, you've been waiting for this and now it's here. Your draft picks are in Bridgeport and they'll be there to develop where they belong. I can say with confidence that the Islanders probably have one of the deepest if not the deepest prospect pool in Bridgeport today. They are the envy of the League. For now, don't play the armchair GM and think of trade scenarios for the draft just yet. Because if you are, Mike Milbury will be proud of you right now. What should Isles fans do? Pack the Coliseum and go to Bridgeport games because for the time being, Isles fans now have two great teams to watch.

Strait Skating Again

Like Joensuu, this is like picking up a free agent and just adding more quality than depth. There's a reason why Strait got a new contract extension from the Isles at the beginning of the season. He's that good. I've seen him many times as a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin (little more than an hours drive for me) and I can tell you this folks, every Penguins fan, from the minors to the big club were very heated and sad the the Isles plucked him off of waivers, but at the same time were very excited for him because he is an NHL ready defenseman. The quicker he comes back, the more dangerous the Islanders are.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Isles Talk: Isles Keep Chemistry

So the trade deadline has come and gone and the Islanders have decided to stand pat and not make any major trades. They were buyers, signing prospect Anders Lee to a deal and he has already paid dividends by scoring his first goal, on his first shot, against the Winnipeg Jets last night in a 5-2 victory. I’m sure today though that Mark Streit, the Islanders captain was the focus of today’s meetings whenever Garth Snow was making or receiving phone calls. He was not traded and by doing so allows the team to quickly move forward and keep their focus on their next challenge, the Washington Capitals. For a bonus, the Islanders also have Jessie Joensuu back once the Islanders no longer needed the minimum 23 man roster, so Joensuu will add another dynamic and depth to this team.   Continue reading

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time Is Now For Joensuu

And so, with Micheal Grabner out for at least a week, it's time to see what the Islanders have in Jesse Joensuu, the Islanders second round pick from 2006 and Bridgeport Sound Tigers alum. Personally, I'm excited for this because from here on out, he should get a long look and if he produces, it's like gaining a free agent mid season. Am I expecting much from Joensuu? Not really. However, he is definitely third line material who can score in bunches. A low risk high reward type of player who has had to take a longer road to get where he is today. He knows his role, he knows what's needed of him, the question is this: Can he stay on the Islanders on a regular basis?  At this point in his career it will be easy to tell whether he's ready or not.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Mid Season Assessment

Now that the Isles have played in 24 games this year, it’s time for a mid season assessment. Before I continue, I don’t do grades for a mid season. In the end you either passed (playoffs) or failed (no playoffs). The point of this mid season assessment is to see where the Isles have come from the previous season and what is needed for a passing grade. Let’s begin.
Continue reading

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Isles Talk: No Need To Hit The Panic Button......Yet

After a great start to the season, the Islanders have slipped into a three game losing streak and are now below the NHL .500 mark. With ten games already played in a 48 game season, is it time for Islanders fans to panic and start looking forward to the lottery? Hardly. Continue reading

Friday, January 18, 2013

Isles Talk: Islanders 2013 Preview: Only The Players Know

As we begin this long awaited 2013 season tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils, it’s that time of year where everyone from the fans who just like to blog (that would be me) to every media center related to hockey begin/began their bold predictions for this year, where teams end up in the standings to convince the fans whether or not to buy tickets to their favorite team after Opening Day. It’s sad but true. Let’s begin shall we? Continue-->

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Benefits Of Hickey & Finley As Islanders

As reported everywhere else by now, the New York Islanders have claimed Thomas Hickey and Joe Finley from the waiver wire. Hickey was a 2007 first round pick of the LA Kings and Finley was a first round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2005. Both have been playing in the AHL and have not seen real NHL time yet.

To start off, this will certainly add depth to a depleted defense. It appears the Islanders may role with eight defenceman for this short season. When it comes to the Islanders, you can never have enough goaltenders and defenseman. If both stay healthy there could be untapped potential that fans will get to see like they did with Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner but for the defense this time. Granted, they may start out at the third pairing on defense, but Hickey could be more than that and it needs to be proven this year. Finley looks like a good defensive defenseman but if he can improve on his skating to match his mean streak, the Islanders may have found the crease clearing big man they've been searching for. If things do turn out well for both players and get contract extensions, then Garth Snow will have addressed losing two previous picks from those years. If you remember the name Ryan O'Marra, he was the 2005 first round pick of the Islanders that got traded along with Robert Nilsson and the 2007 first round pick in the Ryan Smyth trade. Finley makes up for O'Marra while Hickey makes up for no pick in 2007 hence speeding up the rebuild on this Islanders team. The biggest importance from seeing these two excel will be the continued development of the current players in Bridgeport, who as of now will be making a strong case for back-to-back divisional titles. Their development will only the improve the Islanders in the long run. But for now, The Islanders of today may have gotten better. How much? Let the season begin.......  

Watch for my next blog on "Isles Talk" on Friday as I give my season preview of the Islanders for the 2013 season. Don't forget to follow me at @Netmnder39

Friday, January 11, 2013

Isles Talk: Five Isles With Something To Prove

Before we all start doing our predictions of this short yet long awaited NHL season and before we start calling up the kids up from Bridgeport, there are five players that need to show they belong with the Islanders, or for some, they belong in the NHL.....continue

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