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

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

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.

Islanders Videos