November 13, 2007

Isles Lose close one to Flyers

The Islanders were coming off of a 4 game winning streak, and the Flyers were unbeaten at home. Obviously, something had to give. Unfortunately, the Isles winning streak ultimately ended.

The Islanders lost to the Flyers 3-2 in a very tough game. Rick DiPietro played so-so in my opinion, but I felt the first 2 goals were not his fault. The first was off a give away in front of the net by Ruslan Fedotenko, while the 2nd was a breakaway where Bruno Gervais fell and lost his balance, leaving Scottie Upshall alone for the breakaway. The Isles had come back 2 times down by one goal off of goals by Mike Sillinger and Chris Simon.

Overall, I felt the Islanders had come out strong. However, the powerplay did not look very good at all. Marc-Andre Bergeron has been good filling in for Bryan Berard, but he had a bad game last night. It was his turnover that lead to the shorthanded goal by Mike Richards half way through the 3rd period.

The Islanders play the Penguins Thursday night in Pittsburgh. That should be an interesting one as the Isles look to rebound. It will be tough, but I think if they come out with a good effort and tighten up the defense a bit more then they should be OK.

November 11, 2007

Islanders end Successful Week

The Islanders finished the week by going 2-0 with wins against the Rangers and the Devils. The team is playing really good hockey right now and all is well in Islander country.

The win against the Rangers was the 2nd time in a row that the team rallied from behind. Against the Rangers, they came back from 1 goal down 2 times before Miro Satan scored the game winner.

Against the Devils, the Islanders came out hard and played what I thought was an excellent game. A great effort in front of the net helped Josef Vasicek score to make it 1-0 Isles. The team came out a bit slow in the 3rd period, but got some life back when they had a 5 on 3, which Satan converted on for his 3rd straight GWG. In both games, Rick DiPietro played very well and stood tall. He looks like he is getting stronger with each game and I think this will be the year where he finally makes jaws drop all season.

Also, the Islanders re-acquired defenseman Freddy Meyer yesterday by picking him up off re-entry waivers. The Coyotes were trying to call him up but the Islanders reclaimed him at half his salary. Freddy is now down in Bridgeport.

All in all, it was a great week for the Isles as their homestand came to an end. They now go on a 4 game road trip, all against the other 4 teams in the Atlantic division. The Atlantic is the toughest, and the Isles were not supposed to compete with them. But as things stand right now, the team has 18 points in 13 games and is 5-1 against the division. Good stuff.

NYI FYI ON AIR TONIGHT AT 10 PM: Sean and I will be on air tonight at 10 PM on As always, we'll be taking calls and IM's through AIM. For those unable to listen live, we'll have a podcast of the show up at Hope to hear from many fans tonight!

November 9, 2007

The Fans are Returning In Record Numbers

Islanders fans, give yourselves a pat on the back!

Thank you for supporting this team, and showing them how much they mean to us.

The Sports Business Journal reports that the New York Islanders have had a 34% increase in attendance this season. That is the HIGHEST IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE!

Here is the article from

Keep it up! Let's rally this team from start to finish, and show them that we are with them. You know why? Because We're All Islanders!


PS- Sorry for my lack of posting. Things have been crazy. As all of you know, NYI FYI is a smash on WCWP, so a lot of my time has gone towards that and the podcasts. Thanks for your support.

November 4, 2007

Isles Come From Behind to win for Arbour

Down 2-0 going into the 3rd, it seemed unthinkable to me that the team would lose on Al Arbour night. However, it did seem possible against one of the most talented teams in the Eastern Conference. But just like the slogan said in the old days when Arbour used to coach, the outcome was never in doubt.

The Islanders fought back hard, and ultimately Miro Satan scored the winner with two and a half minutes to go in the 3rd. The Islanders had scored 3 unanswered goals against the Penguins in the 3rd to win the game. It was a vintage Al Arbour game as well- a strong come from behind effort, and handing a loss to the Penguins as they were very familiar with back in Al's prime days.

The ceremony after was outstanding. being in the stands, I can easily say it was the greatest thing I have ever witnessed in the NVMC yet. As a 20 year old fan, I haven't been able to witness very much yet. But this was one of the best times I ever had at a sporting event. It is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

I know many fans were hoping for a 740 banner to be raised, but the isles raised a 1500 one instead. Rumor has it there are plans to raise a 740 banner later in the year, maybe on an upcoming alumni night.

Other than all the festivities for Arbour is the fact that the team went down 2-0 to one of the powerhouses in the east and still managed to fight back to win. The team did an excellent job containing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Satan played the hero part, getting the tying and winning goals. The GTG was on a vintage Miro wrister off of a very nice pass from Josef Vasicek, something that he hadn't found in the first month of the season. The second and GWG was a second effort off of a rebound by Marc-Andre Fleury and Miro was there to bang it home.

The crowd was very loud, the atmosphere intense. It felt like a playoff game in there. The players wanted it for Al, as did the fans. A great job all around for the Isles.

Enough can't be said about Ted Nolan in all of this. It was ultimately his decision, and he ran it by Garth Snow and Charles Wang. After approval, they invited Arbour to come back and coach for one game. It really shows how much Nolan respects the Isles for giving him his second chance in the NHL, and also speaks volumes to how much he respects the Islanders roots. Nolan had a very tough job ahead of him at the beginning of last season, and that was to begin a culture change on Long Island. After seeing Ted as coach for 1 season and 1 month, I can honestly say I have seen more amazing things that I have seen in any of the previous seasons as an Islander fan. Things like this get recognition around the league, as can be seen from the many positive articles being published about the team today. Great job all around, especially by Ted Nolan. He is a keeper.

Here is a video of some of the main points of last nights game:

Oh, and by the way, the Islanders are second in the division with a record of 7-4-0. Not to shabby for a team the was predicted by "experts" to be at the bottom of the league, don't ya think?

On a more serious note, Rick DiPietro took a Crosby stick to the eye in the 2nd period and did not return. His eye is OK though, and he will get looked at again on Monday. Right now his status for Tuesdays game against the Rangers is unknown. We'll keep you updated as always.

NYI FYI ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Sean and I will be on the air tonight at 10 PM on We'll be taking calls and IM's and are asking fans who listen to call in or IM to share their favorite Arbour Memories from over the years. We have a nice show planned tonight, and the 2-0 week makes it much easier. After the show we will be putting up the podcast which will be available at the link on the side of this page titled "NYI FYI Podcasts." Enjoy!


November 3, 2007

Isles beat Lightning 4-0; Al Arbour Night Tonight!

On Thursday, the Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Bill Guerin, Josef Vasicek, Ruslan Fedotenko and Trent Hunter all scored for the Isles. Rick DiPietro came up huge and bailed the team out on a couple of occasions to get the shut out.

The team played a much better game then they did the previous Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes. They came out a bit slow in the first period, but by the end of the period they began to play like we all know they can. That carried over into the 2nd and 3rd periods.

Team defense overall was very good. Chris Campoli had 4 blocked shots. he has really come around this year and looks like he has improved on his rookie form of 2 years ago. Very excited to see him develop even more over the next few years.

All 4 Islander goals were scored at even strength, which is good to see being that the team had struggled with 5 on 5 play so far this year. The absence of Bryan Berard has been noticeable, especially on the power play. But he has been skating in practice and could return on another week or two.

Tonight is a very special night in Islanders country as Al Arbour returns to coach the team for 1 game. Radar will be coaching in his 1500th game for the team when the puck drops at 7 PM against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. I am going to the game and cannot wait! Hopefully the team helps Arbour get his 740th win as a coach. With big events like this, the team has played well over the last few seasons. Being that this is a big event, I would expect your typical blue collar Islander effort. The Penguins are a very tough team to beat, but the team could very well pull it off. We shall see.

Absent tonight from the lineup is Sean Bergenheim. Ted Nolan said Bergie is sore, and now reports say it's his shoulder that is giving him some problems. Right now it looks like it's a day-to-day thing, but at least for tonight, Bergie is out and Ben Walter is in. The team called him up from Bridgeport this morning and it looks like he will make his Islander debut tonight. Good luck to him on that, I'll try and take notice of him while at the game.

Sean will also be at the game. We could be more excited for this one. Should be a packed house and a playoff atmosphere!


October 28, 2007

Isles Lose to 'Canes 8-3

Many people wondered how the Islanders would respond to a 6 day layoff. The only activity the team had over the past week was practice. The lack of game activity definitely showed last night with the loss to the hurricanes.

Ruslan Fedotenko, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Mike Sillinger scored the goals for the Isles, however Sillinger's goal came with 5 seconds left. The team definitely showed the signs of rust, and that's really what it comes down to.

Most of the goals given up were very soft, however not one person is to blame for this. While Rick DiPietro didn't have his head in the game, he didn't have much help from the defense. The forwards had trouble holding the puck and did not play with as much fire as they have shown in the past.

With their next game on Thursday, it doesn't appear the team will get days off this time around. As a matter of fact, I expect Nolan to work the team very hard and I expect them to be prepared for Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team is better than what the game last night showed. We know it, the fans know it, and the team knows it.

ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Sean and I will be on the air once again tonight at 10 PM on As always, we will be taking calls and instant messages via AIM. For those unable to listen, we will be putting up the podcast version and we hope to have that up quicker than we have in the past.

October 25, 2007

Islander Tidbits

On Monday, the Islanders received word about the status of defenseman Bryan Berard. He will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a groin injury. He hurt the groin in the second period of Saturday's game against the Devils. Fortunately for the Islanders, Berard will only miss a handful of games with the way the schedule is set up. The team plays 5 games in the next 3 weeks. So it is possible Berard will only miss the 5 games and not much more.

As do many fans, I enjoy looking at power rankings that come out from the major sports media each week. The Isles shot up the lists of many power rankings. Here are a few of note: - TSN 12th - CBS 12th - Fox Sports 9th - ESPN 14th

The team took a big jump in all of these from the last week. It is definitely a nice thing to see. Some weird things going on with ESPN's though in my opinion.

Right now, it appears that the team is going with the same lines as last week. The idea of don't fix what isn't broken. Still no word on Shawn Bates and his status for Saturdays game. We'll keep you updated on that front.

Check back for other news and notes as well.

October 21, 2007

Guerin gets Winner to Beat Devils 4-3 in OT

Bill Guerin scored with 3.7 seconds left in overtime to give the Islanders and 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. It was a game that probably should have never gone to overtime though, as the Isles blew their second consecutive 2 goal lead. However, the Isles still found a way to win it and finished the week winning both their games.

Early in the game, turnovers looked like they were going to kill the Isles. Their second turnover in the first minute of the game led to a Zach Parise goal. As much as the Devils have struggled this year, you can not turn over the puck continuously to guys like Pairse, Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta and Dainius Zubrus.

The Isles came out much stronger in the 2nd period, scoring 3 goals. The first was scored right after a power play ended. Josef Vasicek took a blocked shot attempt by Miroslav Satan and moved to the front of the net and beat Kevin Weekes to tie the game. Shortly after that, Satan got one himself has he moved around Paul Martin and then a sprawling Weekes and slipped the puck passed him for the 2-1 lead. With about 8 minutes to go on the period, The Isles were on the power play. A nice pass from Ruslan Fedotenko to Bruno Gervais produced a one-timer shot from Gervais, that hit the crossbar and landed somewhere in the crease. The puck bounced out to Mike Comrie who quickly shot it passed Weekes for the 3-1 advantage. The team went into the 2nd intermission with a 2 goal lead, the worst in hockey.

The Islanders came out a bit sloppy again in the 3rd, and the Devils seemed to control more of the play. A fluke goal was scored by Jay Pandolfo when he shot the puck and it deflected off of Andy Sutton's leg and sailed over DiPietro. The Isles then failed to convert on a 4 minute power play and once it concluded, Brian Gionta tipped a Paul Martin shot in to tie the game at 3.

In Overtime, after some great end to end action that saw a flurry of saves and even Chris Campoli spoil a breakaway by Sergei Brylin, it was the heroics of the captain, Bill Guerin, who had a loose puck bounce his way and he hammered it home for the win on the power play.

Obviously, even though they scored 2 power play goals the team seemed to have trouble with some of the set ups and what not. That is most likely due to the loss of Bryan Berard, who left the game early on with what is being described now as a groin injury. With a week off, I really hope Berard can take the time to get healthy enough and get some practices in. It also appears Shawn Bates could be back for the game next Saturday as well, so it should be interesting to see who will sit in favor of him.

So a successful week in islanders hockey, and now we must wait until next Saturday until we see the Isles again.

WE'RE ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Sean and I will be on the air again tonight, at 10 PM on We're on webradio, not on the FM station. Just as last week, we will have a phone line and an AIM screen name running so you can send us your thoughts and questions. We'd love to hear from any fan as we love discussing hockey in general, but especially the Islanders. Hope to hear from some of you tonight. For those who can;t listen, we will put the podcast form up. We'll let you know when it is there.

October 19, 2007

Guerin's Hat Trick helps Isles beat Capitals 5-2

Through 6 games, all Bill Guerin had to show offensively was 6 assists. Even though he played well in those 6 games, a sniper like him always like to put pucks in the net. He would have been happy with one.

Guerin not only scored his first goal as an Islander in the game, but he also had his second and third. The monkey on his back had been lifted. Two of his goals came on the powerplay, something the Isles had trouble with over the last 2 games.

However, it was Bryan Berard's power play goal for the team that would end up being the game winner. Berard one-timed a pass from Chris Campoli at the point with 10 minutes left in the 3rd period to put the Islanders up for good. Berard now has 2 goals and 2 assists in 4 games with the team. Campoli had 4 assists and was noticeable all game. He was strong at both ends of the ice and has impressed many through each game this season.

Sean Bergenheim also scored for the Isles, his first goal since March of 2006. It was nice to see Bergie get the first one after coming back from Europe this year. He has really done wonders on the 2nd line playing with Josef Vasicek and Miroslav Satan.

Alex Ovechkin and Tomas Fleischmann scored for the Capitals. Their goals came about 5 minutes apart after a goal by Ruslan Fedotenko was disallowed. It appears that the goal should have been allowed, but the NHL said they didn't have enough evidence and the call on the ice stands. After that, Washington seemed to get momentum and quickly got on the board with Ovechkins goal.

Even after all that, the Isles were able to get it together and get a powerplay, the one that Berard converted on for his game winner. Despite all the scoring, Rick DiPietro was once again spectacular, making 27 saves on 29 shots. The Isles were out shot, and many times it looked as though Rick didn't have time to relax as he always had to be on his toes.

A game like this could be just what the doctor ordered for the team. Bill Guerin finally scoring should make things easier for him. It would be nice to see Satan and Mike Sillinger step up their game a little bit, and hopefully they can start that next game. Sillinger has been a 60 point scorer the last few years and the Isles would really like to see him do it again this year. Both he and Satan have yet to score a goal this year.

The next game is Saturday night against the Devils at the Coliseum. The Devils have had some early season problems and Marty Brodeur has looked shaky at best. Hopefully the Isles can pull one out and have a very successful week.

October 18, 2007

New Podcast Posted and Some More Line Shuffling

Looking to spark some more offense out of the team, head coach Ted Nolan decided to switch up some of the lines at Wednesdays practice. Bill Guerin was moved to the line with Andy Hilbert and Mike Sillinger, while Trent Hunter was moved to the line with Mike Comrie and Ruslan Fedotenko on it. The Islanders first line did a great job the first couple of games, however they have cooled off since then. Time will tell if the new lines will work, but it does come as a bit of a surprise this early in the season, especially since the Fedotenko-Comrie-Guerin line looked great in preseason and the beginning of the regular season together. Hunter and Sillinger have been relatively quiet in terms of offence, so Nolan hopes the changes benefit both of them as well as the others.

Also spotted at practice was Shawn Bates. He is very close to returning, but has been cleared to play. On the teams website, Nolan said he will put Bates through rigorous practices over the next week and if he hold up well there he will return. Hopefully Bates can come in and chip in the way he once was able to before his groin issues.

Marc-Andre Bergeron appears to be the odd man out once again going into Thursday's game with Washington. Nolan said that he has to work his way back into the lineup, and Bergeron understands that. I know he is a small guy and I don't expect him to constantly hit people off the puck, but as a defenseman he should be able to poke check the puck off an opposing players stick or at the very least be able to control the puck very well on offence. Both of those aspects have been tough for Bergeron, but I do feel that he could turn it around. We'll see though.

As Sean and I said, it is interesting to think what could happen if Bergeron is unable to make the lineup again. With the recent appearance of Jeff Tambellini, one that didn't last very long, you have to wonder if there is something going on with Jeff. I know the Isles respect him and feel he is one of their top prospects, but he has been unable to stick even after Jon Sim went down with injury. If a deal came up where both Tambellini and Bergeron could be packaged, I would imagine Snow would look into it. It's no secret the team needs help offensively, not to mention a really good top pairing defenseman, but I think they can get by on what they have right now as far as defense goes. If Bergeron has a hard time making the lineup, I think this might be something worth watching more closely as time goes on because if the team continues to score goals, something could go down. Snow has already proven that he's not afraid to pull the trigger to fix his team, and that wouldn't be any different this early in the season.

Our podcast from this past Sunday is up at It was our first live show and it went very well. We tried to do as much analyzing of the games that were in the past week and picked apart some specific things we noticed. Unfortunately, no one called in but hopefully as time goes by people will. For now, enjoy it and don't forget that we will have recaps of the games this week right here.


October 14, 2007

Islanders lose to Flyers 3-1

One of the goals the Islanders had going into Saturday night's game in Philadelphia was to play much better. While they did accomplish that throughout most of the game, they still came up short.

A bad second period by the team cost them 2 goals. After a great start to the first period, which saw the Isles with the puck for most of the time, the team failed to put the puck in the net and went to the dressing room tied at zero.

About 7 minutes into the 2nd period, the Flyers' Jeff carter scored on the powerplay to take a 1-0 lead. The puck snuck past Rick DiPietro, and some players did not even realize that it went in. Two minutes later, Sami Kapanen scored his first of the year after a failed clearing attempt by the Isles. The puck was under Radek Matinek, who failed to see it between his feet. A Flyer chipped the puck back to Kapanen, who was all alone on the left side of the net and put the puck past the sprawling DiPietro. It was a save that he could have made, but was tough for him to get over quickly enough to save the defensive break down.

Josef Vasicek scored the only goal for the Isles in the 3rd. Though they pushed hard to tie the game, the Isles could not. Jason Smith scored an empty net goal with 5 seconds left to put the icing on the cake.

Sean Bergenhim played really well in his debut on the 2nd line. He will have 4 days now to work out the kinks with Miro Satan and Vasicek. meanwhile, the Isles first line seems to have hit a wall. Mike Comire has been brutal defensively, and Bill Guerin is having a hard time finding the net, as is Satan and center Mike Sillinger. All of them will have to step it up if they expect to have any sort of success this season.

While it is not time to panic yet, a 3-3-0 start is a bit disappointing after starting off 2-0-0 and 3-1-0. But at any rate, 6 games in and plenty of time to figure things out.

DiPietro had a string game, and a lot of the teams success will depend on how well he plays. As good as he is, 1 goal per game wont cut it.

The teams next game is Thursday against Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals in Washington. This past Monday the teams played and Washington was victorious, winning the game 2-1 even though the Isles had the 31-12 edge in shots. Should be interesting to see if the team can rebound from their little slump.

FIRST LIVE SHOW ON TONIGHT: Tonight at 10 PM Sean and I will be on the air live. We will take calls and also have an AIM screen name set up to take comments or answer questions. The website for the show is Under the Webradio column, select either the Quicktime Player or the Windows Media Player. For those who can't listen to the live show, we will put the podcast up at the site in out links section for the NYI FYI Podcasts. We look forward to hearing from all of you tonight!

October 13, 2007

Leafs Crush Isles 8-1, Isles Reshuffle Lineup

On Thursday the Islanders lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1. It was such a disappointment of a game from the Isles as they seemed to be just going through the motions. The defense as a whole was terrible in front of backup goalie Wade Dubielewicz.

Ruslan Fedotenko scored the only goal for the team as he deflected Bruno Gervais' shot from the point on the powerplay in the first period. The Isles went into the first intermission only down 2-1, and it seemed that they could still try and battle back. But that's when it started to go sour.

About 7 minutes into the 2nd, Thomas Kaberle scored for the Leafs and then the goals started to come. For a period and a half, the Isles were hanging in there and could have easily scored to change the momentum but failed.

One thing that killed the isles, aside from their terrible defense was penalty trouble, especially from Jeff Tambellini, who took 3 very lazy and unnecessary penalties. On the subject of special teams, the Isles power play wasn't anything exciting either. They tried to be too fancy and the men at the point, especially Marc-Andre Bergeron had a hard time controlling the puck, which lead to some shorthanded odd man rushes for Toronto, one of which they scored on.

With a tough loss like this all you can do is hang your head high and play better next time out. As I said, for a period and a half things were OK, but the Isles were unable to take control or change the momentum when they had the opportunities.

That next shot comes Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Isles lineup will look a bit different. On Friday, the team sent down forward Jeff Tambellini, who failed to stick after getting his shot when Jon Sim went down with injury. Sean Bergenheim, who has looked good in the limited amount of ice time he has seen, now moves up to the second line to play with Miro Satan and Josef Vasicek. Chris Simon also returns for the game, and Shawn Bates is very close to returning. On defense, the Isles are scrapping the idea of going with 7 defensemen and going back to 6, which means one of Bergeron, Gervais, Bryan Berard and Chris Campoli will not be playing. Based on play, Bergeron might be the odd man out. But there has been no inclination from coach Ted Nolan as to who will be sitting.

The game is a bigger one than it might seem for so early in the year, but it is huge. You always want to win games against your division, and a win would out the isles at 4-2, 4 points better than anyone else. With the lack of games between now and the end of the month, it is important to stay up around the top of the division now so that you are not constantly playing catch up with the others. 3-3-0 is not terrible, but seeing as how bad the 2 losses have been so far, (the one against Washington should have been one, the one against Toronto might have been a loss either way), 4-2-0 would sort of make up for all of that. The return of Simon should rally the troops well, not to mention the return of Rick DiPietro to the nets. We'll see what happens.

October 11, 2007

Islanders defeat Rangers 2-1

Bryan Berard was excited to be back on the team he started his career on. He was thankful that Ted Nolan and Garth Snow gave him the opportunity to get a spot on the team in training camp. Well, the Islanders are thankful to have him.

Berard's slapshot on the powerplay midway through the 2nd period ended up being the game winner. Assisting on Berard's goal were Bill Guerin and Marc-Andre Bergeron, who had a goal of his own earlier in the game. It seemed like a perfect set-up for Berard's first game back on the Island. What better way to get into it other than the first Isles-Rangers game of the year? And to score the game winning goal to boot.

Bergeron's goal came in the first period on a rare 3 on 3 with 3 seconds to go in the period. The puck was between Mike Sillinger's skates, and Bergeron skated in from the blue line and wristed a shot passed a surprised Lundqvist.

Rick DiPietro had an excellent game. DiPietro stopped 36 of 37 shots and was a huge reason the Islanders won tonight. Overall, the whole team played really well, but Rick kept the team in the game, especially in the 3rd period. Some kinks still need to be worked on defensively, but the team was much better tonight. Many times they kept the Ranger shots to the outside and looked good on their penalty kills.

Aside from the goal he scored, Berard looked very good defensively. The signing could turn out to be a very good one as the Islander powerplay looked like it improved dramatically overnight. Berard was very active and seemed to be communicating with many of the other players on the PP with him too.

All in all, a very good night indeed. Not the best game both teams could play, but whats important is the final score and the Islanders end up with the 2 points. at 3-1-0 now, the Islanders are still 4 points better than others in the division. Though its still early, its always good to build a lead while other teams are struggling. The ability to do that means that you are just a step ahead of the others and have already gelled. Hopefully, that is the case here and the Isles can keep up their winning ways. They will try and go for 4 wins Thursday night in Toronto at 7:30 PM. The game should be an interesting one.

SURGERY FOR SIM? According to Newsday's Islander beat writer Greg Logan, Jon Sim's season might be over. Logan indicates that he will have surgery after getting another opinion on Thursday, and the surgery could very well end the year for Sim. He injured his knee on a failed check attempt in the home opener against Buffalo, and it looks to be a torn ACL. Hopefully things aren't as worse as they seem and we will see Sim again real soon. Most of us were looking forward to watching him this season.

October 9, 2007

Islanders Sign Defenseman Bryan Berard

The Islanders announced today the signing of defenseman Bryan Berard to a 1 year contract worth $725K. The signing comes as no surprise as Berard impressed coach Ted Nolan after he was invitee to training camp. Berard came into camp with the goal of earning a spot on the Isles roster, and it was successful. he was a notable force on the power play in the action he saw in the preseason.

Over the weekend, the Isles had put defenseman Freddy Meyer on waivers. He was claimed by the Coyotes yesterday afternoon. The purpose of that move appeared to make room for the signing of Berard, which seemed imminent even though he wasn't one of the 8 defensemen to make the team out of camp. Meyer and Aaron Johnson grabbed the 2 extra spots. With Meyer out now, Berard has the spot.

Berard practiced today along side Johnson, who can't be sent down without clearing waivers. The Islanders seem to be holding on to him for now, as they just signed him this past summer. It seems as though Nolan plans on using both Berard and Johnson soon, and Bruno Gervais might be a casualty of that. It seems likely that Berard will be in the lineup Wednesday night when the Islanders take on the Rangers at the Coliseum.

INFO ABOUT THE PODCAST: There appears to be some spotty problems occurring with the podcast. For some people recently, the entire podcast is not downloading. Sean and I are working on fixing the problem, but it appears to be a problem with the host. It seems that if you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes, the entire thing downloads. Or, try to download the podcast again tonight or tomorrow sometime. Again, we are trying to figure out whats going on, and if we have to switch hosts we will update you and update the link as well.

Islanders Lose to Capitals

The Islanders lost 2-1 to the Washington Capitals on Monday at a sold out Nassau Coliseum. It was the second straight sellout at the NVMC. Richard Park scored the only goal for the Isles, while old friend Viktor Kozlov and Brooks Laich scored for the Caps.

One thing that killed the Isles today was their power play, as it had no power. Many chances to score were ruined. The power play seemed a bit hesitant and slow. The first 2 games the power play was OK, the first game being the best. That is something that has to work in order for the team to continue to be successful.

What caused the Isles to lose the game was a failed clearing attempt by Mike Comrie. Comrie tried to clear a puck up the middle, where it was intercepted by Michael Nylander. Nylander passed it to defenseman Brian Pothier, who got the shot on net where Rick DiPietro left a huge rebound that was buried by Laich. The Isles weren't able to get a marker of their own for the rest of the period.

The Isles played a good game today, but it definitely feels like the team should be 3-0 right now. They out shot Washington 31-12, but netminder Olaf Kolzig did the only thing he knows to do against the Isles-play solid and win. The team must say "oh well" and look towards Wednesdays game against the Rangers. That will be a tough one and I feel is a must win, as it wouldn't be very good to go 0-2 after starting 2-0.

LINK TO PODCASTS ADDED: We have added a link on the side to our website for the podcasts. The first show is up from Sunday, where we talk about the first 2 games in Buffalo and analyze the 4 games the Isles have this week. One game has past, but games still remain against the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers. Listen to the show to get our rundown and how we think things will shake out.

FREDDY MEYER CLAIMED BY 'YOTES: Defenseman Freddy Meyer was claimed off waivers by the Coyotes today before the noon deadline. Meyer played in 35 games for the Isles, all last season and was 0-3-3 with an even +/- rating. This paves the way for a possible signing of defenseman Bryan Berard, who had a good camp with the Isles on a training camp tryout. He would definitely help the power play as well.

JASON BLAKE ILL: Jason Blake announced today that he has been diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, which according to Blake is a disease that is easy to treat. He is taking a pill that is working well, and does not expect to miss any time. Still, we are hoping for the best and hopes that Jason comes out strong here and does not get worse. Get well Jason, you have many fans here on the Island and we appreciated all you did for the team in your tenure here. Here's to a speedy recovery for Jason.

October 7, 2007

Park Re-signed, Tamby Recalled, New radio Show Begins Tonight!

Lots of news in Islander Country today. First, forward Richard Park was re-signed to a 2 year contract. He is now under contract through 2009-2010. The deal will pay him $1.5 million over the 2 years. A very good deal in my opinion. Park has done well as the Islanders 4th line center for most of last season and so far this season. Always good to get your own players in the fold early on.

Another big story today was that forward Jeff Tambellini was recalled from Bridgeport. He is going to play for the injured Jon Sim, who will miss some times with a sprained knee. Many islander fans will be happy to see Tamby back up with the team, and I know I am one of them. I am looking forward to tomorrows game and seeing how he does. Hopefully Jon Sim has a speedy recovery.

Last, but certainly not least, is the debut of our new radio show is TONIGHT! Our show will be on at 10 PM, on When the pop up shows, click on Windows Media Player under the Webradio column and enjoy! Unfortunately, due to some programming issues at the radio station, this show was pre-recorded and is missing some news such as the Park signing and the Tambellini call up. That is just for this week though, as we will be on live every Sunday starting October 14th. Starting then we will also have a telephone line available where you can call in and talk Isles hockey with us. Also, we will be uploading a podcast version of the show on That should be up and running by tomorrow.

So, make sure you tune in or listen to the podcast, and hopefully we'll here from most of you when we start going live next Sunday!

Home Opener: Islanders 3, Buffalo 2

The Islanders returned to the ice on Saturday night in front of a packed Nassau Coliseum. This time, it was the Isles home opener and the Sabres hoped to spoil it, much like the Isles had done the previous night up in Buffalo.

Unfortunately for the Sabres, Isles new first line center Mike Comrie continued where he left off on Friday night. Comrie scored 2 goals for the Isles, including the game winner. He had also scored the game winner in the season opener. The rest of the line kept up the pace as well, as Ruslan Fedotenko and Bill Guerin each had 2 assists. Comrie has impressed many so far, scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in just 2 games. The entire first line has combined for 16 points in 2 games.

I was at the game, and I must say the atmosphere was great. The fans were really into it, and very loud. The game felt like it had a playoff atmosphere. The team was not as disciplined as it was Friday, but they were able to work through it, only giving up 1 power play goal to Jaroslav Spacek in the 1st period. Team defense was a lot better in this one, and Bergeron and Sutton played much better together. Witt and Martinek were themselves, and Campoli-Gervais were doing a good job of creating opportunities. Rick DiPietro was solid in net, and seemed to be very alert on most plays. Still some room for improvement in areas, but hopefully Dunham will sit down with him regarding those in the near future.

For the Islanders, it is the first time they won their first 2 games of the season since the start of the magical 2001-2002 season. It will be very interesting to see if they can keep up the momentum heading into Monday afternoon's matinee against the Washington Capitals, where Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov make their return to the place they called home last season.

In the 3rd period, Jon Sim sprained his knee on a failed hit attempt, and left the game and did not return. His status for Monday is unknown.

Some random things of note: Freddy Meyer was put on waivers by the team before the game. Meyer has until noon on Monday to clear. If he does, he will be sent to Bridgeport. Bryan Berard was in attendance for the game, and according to Steve Mears he is still practicing with the team even though he is not on his try-out anymore. Have to wonder if some things will start to fall. I say it will and this is something to keep our eyes on.

October 6, 2007

Islanders win Season Opener 6-4

All the waiting finally came to an end on Friday night with the drop of the puck in Buffalo. Although the Sabres scored the first goal 2:56 into the game, coming from Jaroslav Spacek with 4 seconds left in the first power play of the game, the Islanders never gave up in what became a seesaw battle.

Josef Vasicek scored the Islander's first goal of the year at 9:16 of the first to tie the game at 1. Buffalo answered shortly after that, with Derek Roy scoring on a nice one-time pass from Maxim Afinogenov and 12:04. The Islanders scored the next 2 goals, both power play goals, 34 seconds apart. The first goal came from Ruslan Fedotenko, off a nice pass from new captain Bill Guerin. The second goal was scored by Chris Campoli off a nice pass from Fedotenko right to the front of the net, where Campoli snuck in and parked right in front of Sabres' net minder Ryan Miller. Drew Stafford scored the last goal of the period, off of a bad clearing attempt by the Islanders and a poor defensive play by Marc-Andre Bergeron in front of Rick DiPietro. The first period ended with the game tied at 3.

Things settled down in the 2nd period as only 3 goals were scored; 2 by the Isles and one by the Sabres. Comrie scored 7:35 into the period on a great touch pass from Fedotenko, who found Comrie in front of a wide open with Miller too far to the left in the crease. Thomas Vanek scored on an unconventional breakaway shot, a slapper from 15 feet out. The wind up seemed to catch DiPietro off guard, and the game was tied at 4. Comrie scored once again, at 16:04 of the period on a nice breakaway pass to himself. On a loose puck, Comrie chipped the puck forward and raced past Sabres' defenseman Toni Lydman and shot the puck off of the crossbar and past Miller. The Islanders would score once more in the game, on a power play in the 3rd period. Trent Hunter got the goal on a scramble in front of the net and chipped the puck past miller and it trickled into the net.

Although it was just one game, it is always nice to win the season opener. For the Islanders, that is a very rare occurrence. It was only the 2nd time in the past 14 years the team won to open a season. The last time came on October 5th, 2001, a season that became one of the greatest seasons in Islander history. One of the big story lines of the game was the new and much improved first line. Here's how they fared:

Mike Comrie: 2 goals, 2 assists
Bill Guerin: 0 goals, 3 assists
Ruslan Fedotenko: 1 goal, 2 assists

That is a combined 3 goals and 7 assists from the top line. Even if it was the first game of the year, one must keep in mind that these 3 did the same things in preseason, when they were playing the same way they played last night. In the three preseason games the trio played in, the team went 3-0.

The power play also looked much improved and had a much different feel to it as well. The coaches did a good job of revamping that. The team went 3 for 4 on the power play, and the team only took 3 penalties themselves, which was very rare for them to do last season. The play a much more disclipined game it seems.

The defense still needs some work, but for the 2nd half of the 2nd period and all of the 3rd the Isles seemed more comfortable and were able to shutdown the Sabres. The paring of Radek Martinek and Brendan Witt looked very solid. Earlier in the day, the Isles re-signed Martinek to a 3 year contract, and I can see why. When healthy Martinek is very solid out there, and was the best Isles defenseman last night.

The Isles outshout the Sabres in the 3rd 11-5, and 34-26 for the game, also a rarity last season. The team appears much more faster than last years and much more resilient. They play as a cohesive unit, and most of that stems from new captain Bill Guerin. It's the little things that count and Bill Guerin did so many of the little things right that it made me happy to watch. If this franchise is going to gain some respect back, Bill Guerin will have a huge part in that matter. Not only with his play on the ice, but his rep with the refs, his voice on the bench, in the lockeroom and his service around the community.

Some will argue that the Sabres aren't good anymore after losing Chris Drury to the Rangers and Danny Briere to the Flyers, but they really aren't paying attention to the NHL. Despite those losses, the Sabres still have a very high powered offense. Vanek scored 43 goals last year and had 84 points. Derek Roy had 63 points in 75 games, while Afinogenov had 61 points in just 56 games. The 3 made up the Sabres 3rd line last year. That is a first line on every other team in the league, and is a first line for the Sabres this season with the departure of Drury and Briere. The Sabres still have Jason Pomminville, Jochen Hecht, Tim Connolly, Ales Kotalik and Paul Gaustad among others. Many of these players are young and still up and coming and some will even put up big numbers this season with increased roles. Not to mention the defense is still in tact from last year, and they still have Ryan Miller in net.

It is very encouraging to see a team go into an opponents building and win a hard fought game. Its even more difficult to do it at your opponents home opener, when they are raising their presidents trophy banner from being the best team in the NHL last season. It is a feat the Isles should be proud of. However, with the Isles home opener tonight against the Sabres, I would imagine they are looking to return the favor. The Isles need to tighten up defensively and try to keep things simple. Their offense has proved to be much faster than last years, and they will get their opportunities on that front. Draw some penalties, get a goal or 2 on the power play and play good defensively and things will be fine. Just don't get too confident over last night as Buffalo will certainly be making adjustments going into tonight's game.

I will be there in section 338, cheering on the Islanders. Sean will be there, but I'm not sure where yet. Here's to a 2-0 start for 07-08!


September 29, 2007

Islanders Lose to Rangers 5-2

After all of the anticipation for the 2nd and final meeting of the preseason between the Islanders and Rangers, things didn't go quite as expected.

No, there were still fights. But some key players were missing from both sides. The Rangers had their entire lineup in with the exception of Jaromir Jagr and super pest Sean Avery. Earlier in the week, Avery had hinted at the idea of taking a run at some of the Islanders after what happened at the Coliseum last Monday. Even Andy Sutton spoke out on Avery, saying he should just focus on playing hockey. But it seemed everyone who was involved in the scrums last week from the Islander's side did not dress for the game. No Simon. No Sutton. No DiPietro.

Many of the players for the Islanders in the game will be starting the year in Bridgeport. With 3 games in 3 days, it seems the Isles didn't want to take a chance on having players get injured in a meaningless preseason game, especially with guys threatening to run others.

Brendan Shanahan scored twice, once on starter Joey MacDonald, the other on Mike Morrison. Also scoring for the Rangers were Scott Gomez and Martin Straka. Petr Prucha iced the game with an empty netter. The Isles tallies came from Sean Bergenheim and Trent Hunter.

In all honesty, there wasn't any Islander who really stood out in the game. Bergenheim showed some good speed and scored a nice 5-hole goal on Lundqvist. Darryl Bootland had a pair of fights, and will become a fan favorite down in Bridgeport, maybe even on the Island for a few stints. As for the defense, the only regulars who played were Bruno Gervais, Chris Campoli and Marc-Andre Bergeron. All 3 were OK, but they are definitely still learning. It is going to be interesting to see who gets that last spot on defense.

The Islanders play the Devils tonight at 7 PM at the home of the Sound Tigers, the Arena at Harbor Yards. The game will be shown on Islanders TV through NHL center ice. I would imagine most of the regulars will be playing tonight as the game is the 2nd to last preseason game. The Isles will play their final game tomorrow against the Bruins.

On a sad note, coach Ted Nolan lost his brother recently and did not make the trip to the Garden for last nights game. He will also miss tonight's game. His status has not been revealed for tomorrow yet. Our prayers go out to you, Ted.

September 27, 2007

It's Been a While

Sorry for not updating the site in a while, but things have been going crazy lately. Until Sean finds some time, most of the posts you are going to see will be from me. Anyways, let's just touch on a few things:

ISLES TRAINING CAMP: Now, I'm sure most of you followed the Isles through training camp. Camp was again held up in Moncton, and the citizens up there were very thankful to see the Isles again. They had a welcoming parade for the team and the mayor even treated them to dinner. Going up to camp is a perfect way for the team to bond with each other, and what better place than Ted Nolans old stomping grounds to do so. It's nice to see the Isles have picked up some fans there along the way too.

Mike Comrie has been very impressive so far in camp. In every scrimmage and preseason game he has played in, Comrie has wowed everyone. In 2 separate scrimmages he scored hat tricks, and this past Monday against the Rangers at Coliseum, Comrie had 2 goals and 2 assists, one of the goals coming in OT to win the game. The combination of Guerin-Comrie-Fedotenko seems to be shaping up very nicely. I had my doubts and while those aren't the biggest of names, it is certainly a first line and I have a feeling will be very good come October 5.

Another player who has impressed me is Josef Vasicek. I voiced my opinion against signing him and thus far have been proved wrong. He uses his size well, keeps his legs moving and has the ability to be a god playmaker. He is also very capable of scoring a goal here and there. he keeps up what he has shown in camp, and many fans will be saying "Viktor who?" by seasons end.

As for the defense, it does appear that Bryan Berard will be making the squad, which leaves 4 others for the last spot. Things are still up for grabs and it appears Bruno Gervais is slightly in the lead. Campoli has a one way, 3 year deal and will be tough for the Isles to pass through waivers. The other fighting for spots are Freddy Meyer and Aaron Johnson.

The Isles have played 6 preseason games so far, and have a record of 2-2-2. They take on the Rangers again tomorrow night at the Garden. Based on the last game, tempers will most likely flare and Sean Avery has hinted that he might make a run at some of the Isles, including goalie Rick DiPietro. If Avery expects to do anything, he better expect to drop the gloves as well because he won't get away easily with it. How he will do in any fight is still a mystery, as he usually just likes to talk tough. We shall see though.

DUNHAM OFFICIAL: On the first day of camp, Mike Dunham was officially introduced as the new goaltending coach. Good move because both DiPietro and Dubie talked to him many times last year in pressure situations such as the shootouts, so they really respect Dunham's word. If he is that much of a calming influence, then there should be no issues.

NEW RADIO SHOW COMING: As I said back when we started this site, Sean and I will both be doing an Isles radio show. It is scheduled to start on October 7th at 10 PM. I will have more info about it after I finish going through the training for it, but we're really excited to get it going.

That's all we have to say for now. Be sure to check out tomorrow's game on MSG at 7 PM. It should be an interesting one. Tonight at 7, FSN will have the Islanders Preview show that they have each year, which usually gives a good recap of the new additions and how things look so far in the preseason.

We'll post a recap of tomorrow nights game right here, so be sure to start checking back again now that we have come out of hiding!


EDIT: I noticed I left out the Bruins-Isles trade that went down just before training camp. The Isles Shipped Petteri Nokelainen to the Bruins for prospect Ben Walter and a 5th round draft pick in 2009. While many feel that Petteri would have been the perfect mold of a Ted Nolan type player, the committee felt otherwise. Walter had 67 points in 73 games for the Providence Bruins last season, and is just 2 years older than Petteri. It will take another year or two before we can really tell if this an upgrade, downgrade or a lateral move. Either way, the Isles acquired someone with a good skill set that we hope can translate into a good NHL career here on Long Island.

September 6, 2007

Dunham in as Islanders Goaltending Coach?

According to Corey Witt's new Islanders blog, former Islander backup goalie Mike Dunham might be named the new goaltending coach for the team. Dunham recently retired from the Isles and still lives on long Island, according to Witt.

I'm not sure what happened to Gilles Lefebvre, but last season DiPietro seemed to play very well under him. I think this will be another move that needs some time to get used to, but in reality it probably is no big deal. The fact of the matter is though that it will be the 3rd goaltending coach in as many seasons for the team. I just hope Rick doesn't fall somewhere down the line each season working with a new coach. Something tells me though that Dunham might be here for much longer than one season.

This is not official yet, but it is expected to be announced in the near future.

August 28, 2007

Isles invite an old Friend to Camp

After 7 seasons, Bryan Berard is back with the Islanders-maybe.

On Monday, Berard's agent confirmed what was already reported in Edmonton newspapers, saying his client accepted an invite to come to Isles training camp. Berard has been having hard luck finding a job, mostly because of his back injuries. Last season, he had 2 surgeries to repair the back and only played in 11 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This is a good move in my opinion. In a way, it feels good to see someone who was involved in one of Milbury's worst trades as GM come back, even if it is only on a try out basis. If he's healthy, Berard could make the Islander power play that much, well, powerful. Throughout his entire career, he has put up great offensive numbers.

Some have wondered if Berard's eye injury is what created some of the problems for him defensively. But ever since he recovered from that eye injury, even with 20-400 vision in his right eye, Berard has been able to put up some good offensive numbers. I think his bad +/- rating is more attributed to being on bad teams than anything.

Of course it is not a given that Berard will make the Isles blueline, one which already includes regulars Brendan Witt, newcomer Andy Sutton, Radek Martinek, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais. Other defensemen in the system who are NHL capable are Aaron Johnson, Freddy Meyer and Matt Spiller. Now add Berard to that, and it could make for a very interesting camp. Add a healthy Berard to that, and he could make this team. Many people are high on both Campoli and Gervais, and even though they both played in 51 games last season one could be sent down for more seasoning. The other could either make the team, be sent down to Bridgeport, or be traded for some help up front. Unless the Isles were getting a good offensive player who is under contract for more than 1 year, I hold on to them. Also keep in mind that Campoli now has a 1 way deal and would have to pass through waivers to get sent down. Gervais is still on his 2-way deal, so he would be a more likely candidate to be sent down.

Even with Bergeron on the team, I would see no issue if he were to make it. He would be a perfect QB on the PP, and could dish the puck to Bergeron for the 100+MPH slapshot. Or, Berard could shoot the puck himself, and really keep the opposing teams guessing. After Bergeron arrived last year, even though he put up a point per game with the team, Tom Poti would pass to him more often than not and after a while it became redundant. The Isles have plenty of defensively responsible defenseman where they could pair Bergeron with one and Berard with another for 5 on 5 play.

Training camp starts in only 17 days!

August 17, 2007

Islanders Unveil new look Jerseys

Yesterday the Islanders unveiled their new look for 2007-2008, introducing the new RBK Edge jerseys that all 30 teams will be using this year. The jerseys are supposed to be more form fitting, which helps cut down on the ability to grab other skaters jerseys and take penalties. Also, the jerseys are supposed to keep the players cooler over a 60 minute game as the fabric is also made to whisk away the sweat.

The way the jerseys are made is by using 5 different kinds of fabrics that are all attached together. Most of the jerseys than have been released so far have the thin piping at the top, as you can see from the picture here. Some teams did not make the piping a different color, but many did, just like the Isles have done.

More of what the Isles have done to the jerseys is obviously change the color scheme. The colors are still navy blue, orange and white, but the look of the jersey is different. The sleeves on both the home and away jerseys are orange with a blue stripe in the middle. On the body of the jersey, there is a number in the top right corner of the jersey. This idea was used by the sabres last year, and some teams might catch on to that. It appears the Isles are the second team to do that thought. Also on the front of the jersey is the classic Islander's logo, but a bit larger than it used to be. On the neck is the official NHL logo that will be on all jerseys this season. The Isles also chose to go with a bit of an old school look by adding in the ties. On the home jersey, they are orange and on the away jersey, blue. On the back of the jersey, the numbers are a lot larger and look like the ones that were on the Isles jerseys from the dynasty days. On the blue home jerseys, the numbers are white with an orange border on them; the numbers on the sleeves are white as well but with a blue border around them. On the white away jerseys, the numbers will be blue with an orange lining and the sleeves will have the same blue numbers with white lining.

The opinions yesterday were mixed among fans, but after a day of looking at them and letting it sink in some have warmed up to them. Personally, I thought they were pretty neat looking when I saw them yesterday morning and can't wait to see the whole uniform on the ice this September in the pre-season. I think by that point fans will really be able to make a judgement on them. Here are some more pictures of the jerseys being modeled by Brendan Witt and Rick DiPietro:

August 15, 2007

Center Hole Filled as Isles sign Vasicek

On Wednesday the Islanders announced the signed 26 year old center Josef Vasicek to a 1 year, $750,000 contract. There have been rumors since Friday that the Isle's had Vasicek high on their list, even higher than Jason Allison. Vasicek is very happy to be coming to the Island and playing along side his friend Radek Martinek. The 2 are from the same town in the Czech Republic and work out with each other every summer. There has been a glaring need for depth at center and Vasicek definitely helps fill that need. In 63 games last season, Vasicek had 6 goals and 22 points with Carolina and Nashville.

With the signing, it appears the team is done adding players. While I have no problem with the contract for Vasicek by any means, I really feel that Allison would have been the much better option. It remains unclear right now weather Vasicek or Sillinger will center the second line come October. I really hope that Vasicek is just here to replace Bates as Josef is an ideal third or fourth line center, but that does not seem likely. I'd still like to make a run at Forsberg if the opportunity arises. If not, well then I'd still like to go after Allison. Either way, we'll have to see if there are any more moves in store for the team. They honestly need another defenseman and a playmaking first or second line center, but the chances of them adding either one of those, if anything at all are slim.

August 11, 2007

Isles Think Big on D, add Andy Sutton

On Friday, the Islanders announced the signing of defenseman Andy Sutton to a 3 year deal worth a total of $9 million. Sutton is an 8 year NHL veteran who has always been known for his shot blocking and his size. At 6 foot 6, 245 pounds, there aren't going to be too many people willing to step foot near DiPietro with him and Witt on the ice. Sutton is a definite upgrade over Sean Hill, who left for the Minnesota Wild last month. The fact the Isles were able to sign Sutton for only $3 million per year is a very good deal. On the eve of free-agency, Sutton claimed he was looking for a 4 year deal at $4 million per. As teams passed on that idea, Sutton found himself still available. Although he was easily the best defenseman left on the market, he needed to lower his salary demands and the Isles bit. And it is a good thing too.

The Isles were believed to be very interested in defenseman Danny Markov, however recent sources suggest his asking price might have been far too high. Red Wings GM Ken Holland stated that he wanted Markov back, but not at the $4-5 million per year he is seeking. My guess is Markov only wanted a 1 year deal for that money. The Isles made the better decision in signing Sutton for 3 years at a lesser price per year than Markov.

Last season, injuries limited Sutton to just 55 games, where he had 2 goals and 16 points and had a +6 rating. Even with all those games missed, Sutton still managed to finish 19th overall in the NHL in blocked shots with 162. In 76 games in 05-06, Sutton had 8 goals and 17 assists and finished 4th in the league with 195 blocked shots. This is definitely a shot in the arm for the club, and takes a lot of the burden off of Brendan Witt knowing that there is another stay at home type on the blueline. Sutton might even see some power play time if the Isles don't add a defenseman to replace Tom Poti, as he has always put up decent offensive numbers for a stay at home defenseman.

The Isles are expecting to add another center very soon, but who that center is remains a mystery. The most likely options appear to be Josef Vasicek or Jason Allison, both who are free agents. Vasicek is a very good 2 way forward, but hasn't really realized his scoring potential yet. Allison has only played in 1 of the 4 seasons, missing time for injuries, the lockout and a messy divorce. Still, in 05-06 Allison put up 60 points in 66 games for the Maple Leafs after missing the previous 2 seasons. Even with all the missed time, I think Allison might be a good option. But, the best, and very unlikely option out there is superstar Peter Forsberg. Throughout his entire career, Forsberg has been the ultimate playmaker and has the hardware to prove it with 2 Olympic gold medals and 2 Stanley Cups. Last season he put up 55 points in 57 games and in 05-06 put up 75 points in just 60 games. While battling through injuries and for the most part playing on just one leg, he was still able to put up spectacular numbers the last 2 seasons. This shows just how much of a franchise center he really is. At 34 years old, he still has a lot left in the tank, and if he proves he's healthy by training camp (which may or may not be the case) then I can see Snow making a pitch for him with all the cap space left over. As I said, this is a bit of a fantasy if anything, so I'd rather look at the trade market before I turn to Allison or Vasicek.

Stay tuned over the next week or so as Snow will most likely be adding a center very soon.

August 3, 2007

Hunter gets $1.55 Million

Trent Hunter was awarded $1.55 million on a one year deal today by the arbitrator that heard his case, and the Islanders have accepted the award. Hunter was looking for something around $1.9 million. It is unclear what the Isles felt he was worth or what they offered him on a long term contract. Either way, Trent will be here for next season at a very fair price for a player who scored 35 points in each of the last 2 seasons. Trent had 20 goals last year, and many hope he is starting to return to the scorer that he was in 03-04 when he seemed to be developing into a 25-25-50 man. I'm very happy to have Trent on the team next season at that price.

It is unclear whether the Isles are in danger of losing Hunter to unrestricted free agency next season, but the Isles will worry about that when the time comes. Trent wishes to remain an Islander, so we'll see if something can possibly be worked out in the middle of the season.

August 1, 2007

Hunter Award Coming Friday

Today, the Isles and Trent Hunter went to arbitration to determine his salary for next season. The Isles had hoped to sign Hunter long term before the hearing, but both sides were unable to agree. Both sides were fine going to the arbitrator, however, and the decision is expected to be out sometime Friday. Most of the time, arbitrators rule based on stats and not intangibles, so Hunter will most likely get a good salary in terms of his production. Last year, Hunter had 20 goals and 35 pts. Earlier today, Rangers forward Sean Avery was awarded $1.9 by an arbitrator. Avery had 48 points in 84 games for the Rangers and the Kings last year. Some see the Avery award as a comparable figure, and based on the stats Hunter should get below $1.9-probably around $1.2-1.3 million.

Recently, Hunter and his agent have talked through the media about the thought of possibly testing the market after next season. If that is the case, then the Isles might want to look at shopping him for some defensive help. I like Hunter very much and still have hopes of seeing him here for many years, but if he is unwilling to show a commitment to the Isles (though there is no evidence of this) then it would be in the best interest of the club to trade him. As the months and the season goes by, we should be able to get a better read on what Hunter's feelings are. Right now he seems intent on testing the market next July. That doesn't mean he can't come back, but 29 other teams will be bidding on him, making the chances not too good. He could also be traded at the deadline if the Isles can figure out his intentions by that time. But as of right now, i expect to see what comes Friday. Hopefully we don't have another case of Mike York on our hands here.

There have been no recent rumors for the Isles in terms of adding players. They sound like they are going to still be adding, the real question is when. The latest rumors came about a week ago, when some websites claimed that Snow called LA about Mike Cammalleri and were close to signing defenseman Danny Markov. But since all that news came out, all has been quiet here in Islander country. With arbitration awards being handed out now, and seeing the Edmonton Oilers make some really outrageous offers to RFA's, one has to wonder which route Snow plans on going. My guess is he'll wait till we get closer to training camp, and see which players are the odd men out on other rosters. A move can come at any time.

Earlier today, Mike Sillinger was on XM radio and said that the Isles are not done yet, and specifically spoke about the defense. That is good news because the current defensive corps, overall just isn't very good. Sillinger would not say if the move would come by trade or FA signing, but Snow does have some things he is working on.

One last note: recently there have been many talks about the Isles new jersey and what it looks like. The word right now is they are waiting until September to release the new designs, but some pictures have been leaked and there are a few different versions of what it will look like. In the near future, we will create a post with links to some of the photos and give you a general idea of what is going on with that.

July 23, 2007

Isles re-sign Chris Simon, and Various Other Tidbits

Today the Islanders announced they have re-signed winger Chris Simon to a 1 year contract worth $475,000 with incentives that make the deal worth $800,000. The cap hit will only be for the 475K. At first, I didn't really want Simon back but at this deal you can't go wrong, even though he will miss the first 5 games of the season because of the suspension from the Hollweg incident. He had 10 goals and 17 assists in 67 games last season, along with a +17 rating. He appears more valuable than I thought he was to the team last year. This now gives the Isles 13 forwards, and it seems like they might try and work out a deal or 2 to add some skill. There are no rumors about that right now, but there were in the past and Snow might revisit some trade talk he has had with teams in the last few months.

As for the defense, the Isles are looking to add one of the free agents, most likely Danny Markov. Markov would be a perfect fit here in Ted Nolan's system and would become a fan favorite because of the style he plays. He wanted a multi-year deal, but since he hasn't recieved an offer like that rumors began circulating on Friday that Markov was close to a 1 year deal with the team. There has been no more news on this today, but it seems the Isles search for a defensman is indeed heating up and could be announced shortly, most likely with Markov.

In my opinion, I still feel that the team should add 2 defenseman and trade for a 1st or 2nd line forward, wither a LW or a center. The Isles still need an offensive defenseman, and the only options on the free agent market for that are David Tanabe or Bryan Berard. So if the Isles really want to get a defenseman who can contribute offensively, they may have to make a trade for one. It seems they are set on only signing 1 defenseman, but who knows what is really up with the team. Simon was listed on the NHLPA website as signed for 475K since Saturday, and the team only announced this today. Everything is tight lipped there, and we'll see in the coming weeks how the defense shapes up and maybe see if there is a change on offense. Still lots of time remaining to improve the team, and it seems Snow will use up as much of it as he can.

July 20, 2007


The New York Islanders have announced the return of head coach Al Arbour.

Well, sort of.

Al Arbour will sign a one day contract on November 2nd, and will be behind the bench for the Isles on November 3rd against the Pittsburg Penguins. It will be on this night that Arbour will have coached his 1,500th NHL game with the Islanders. Ted Nolan made the discovery recently that Arbour had coached 1,499 games with the Islanders, and thought it would be fitting to have the Hall Of Fame coach step behind the bench one more time, in order to get his 1,5ooth game with the team.

Nolan will be with Arbour behind the bench that night. This will certainly be a special day in Islanders Country. I for one plan to be in attendance. It gives the younger Islander fans the opportunity to step into the past, if only for a few hours, and experience a piece of New York Islanders history.

Arbour wants a win. If he gets it, I guess that banner at the Coliseum will need to be updated. Personally, I believe that they should have a banner made up just in case he gets the win. At the end of the game, bring the team out, thank Al for coming out and congratulate him over the P.A. system and unravel the new banner over the old one. I think it would be a nice touch.


July 16, 2007

Isles re-sign Campoli

The Islanders today announced that they re-signed 23 year old defenseman Chris Campoli to a 3 year contract worth $600,000 per year. As of right now, it seems that Campoli is in the Islanders plans and will not be dealt. Right now, I think it's fine to have Camps around and that price. The Isles need to definitely acquire 1 new defenseman either by trade or signing. In a perfect world, they would try to get 2 of them but that will most likely not happen. The only way that could happen is if the Isles get rid of Radek Martinek. As good as Martinek has been defensively in his time on the Island, it might be best to explore dealing the oft-injured defenseman. The Islanders can sign a banger in Danny Markov or Ossi Vaananen to replace him, and possibly acquire someone like Derek Morris to round out the defense. That would put this years defense way ahead of what the Isles started last year with. As I posted yesterday, everyone in the organization has been preaching patience and has said that Garth is working very hard. So it should be a relief to most of the fans who have been saying that the team is done adding. If we learned one thing from Garth last year, it's that you can't always believe what you hear. I remember after the Isles traded Zhitnik last year, Snow specifically said no other deals were on the horizon. Meanwhile, just 4 days later Mike York was shipped to the Flyers (same team Zhitnik was shipped to). Snow said nothing was brewing around trade deadline day, and the Isles ended up with Richard Zednik and Ryan Smyth when all was said and done. We also learned that you can trust Garth when he says he is doing something too. A few days before bringing in Marc-Andre Bergeron, Snow said to Greg Logan of Newsday that fans should expect a depth defenseman to be coming in the next few days, or something to that effect. OK, so maybe Snow lied on that one if you consider a depth defenseman as a 7th or 8th type. Bergeron helped spark the power play and put up some awesome numbers for the Isles last season. They will look to Bergeron for his offensive output once again in the upcoming season.

Right now, the best power play quaterback on the team is Campoli, and in 05-06 he proved that he was developing into a nice offensive defenseman. He had some injuries last year and had to work his way back into the lineup, but all signs point to him being in the top 6 in 07-08.

As of now, there are no new rumors to report. But there is certainly going to be news in Islander Country, it's just a matter of when. Be sure to check back here for updates and opinions when news breaks.


July 15, 2007

Taking His Time

With free agency 2 weeks old, the frenzy appears to have concluded. The last big signing was Sheldon Souray to the Oilers for 5 years, $27 million. The Islanders were not willing to go more than 3 years with Souray, and he wanted to cash in on the career year he had with Montreal last season. At any rate, there are still some decent defenseman out there on the market. It is unclear right now what direction Snow plans to go with the defense.

Danny Markov, Ossi Vaananen, Andy Sutton and Bryan Berard all are available and have been linked in rumors with the Isles. One Isles target, Vitaly Vishnevski, was snatched up by the rival Devils and signed on for 3 years. Markov plays a very intense style which might be cause for concern if the Isles plan on keeping the oft injured Radek Martinek around. Markov can move the puck well for a defensive defenseman, and could still be on Snows radar. Right now, Markov is looking for a 3 year deal worth more than the $2.5 million he made last season in Detroit. Ossi Vaananen is a very hard hitting defenseman who was the odd man out in Colorado after the season ended. He could be a very nice addition for the Isles and the price might not be very high this late into free agency. Sutton has a huge frame, and was hoping to get a huge pay day as well. That seems to have subsided and he could be had for a reasonable price. I'm very interested in him for his defensive skills that would greatly help the team and Brendan Witt out. Berard could be a potential replacement for Tom Poti if he can prove he's healthy. If he is able to, then I would not mind taking the chance on him. In 05-06, he out up some very good offensive numbers (12-20-32) in a limited amount of games (44) for the Blue Jackets. His -29 was not something to be proud of, but the Blue Jackets aren't something to be proud of defensively overall either.

Trade options could be Vancouver's Mathias Ohlund, the Coyotes' Derek Morris and Ed Jovanovski or Toronto's Pavel Kubina. All of them would help the Isles out in some way or another. Ohlund would probable be the best option as he is a very good 2 way defenseman and a definite 1st pairing defenseman. Pavel Kubina would look very good on Brendan Witt's side and would do well on the power play. Jovanovski is a stretch and would need to prove he can stay healthy and he would be quite and addition for the team. He plays an aggressive style and is a good quaterback on the PP. Morris is a decent offensive blueliner who never really blossomed in the NHL yet, but might in Ted Nolan's system.

Right now, the Isles appear to be set on forwards except for the fact that they might have a couple too many. This leads many to believe that Snow does intend to trade some to upgrade the defense or maybe even add some offense to the club. The team still needs a 2nd line center capable of 50-60 points and a scoring left winger would be perfect too, however I doubt that the Isles will fill every need by training camp. What seems likely though is that Snow fixes the defense and adds a center, but the wingers we have now are the ones we start with.

Right now, the team looks like most teams usually look like in the middle of the summer- a work in progress. It is most definitely not a time to panic yet. I think Snow has a good grasp on what he is doing. The players he has added so far are very good, and I think might surprise some fans. Snow has added some very good depth to the club as well, adding goalie Joey MacDonald, defensemen Aaron Johnson and Matt Spiller, and winger Tim Jackman. The depth defensemen who were signed are ones to be happy about, as they are much needed upgrades over Drew Fata or Allan Rourke. Things are going in the right direction, and Snow and Nolan are trying to build their team. I'm willing to give them the time to do that. I'm not worried right now. If we look the same in September, then I will be worried.


July 9, 2007

Guerin Is Captain Coliseum

Bill Guerin has just been announced as the new Captain for the New York Islanders. After hearing him speak today as I watched the Press Conference live, there is no doubt in my mind that this man was the absolute correct choice to be our Captain. The man has leadership, skills, and class. He acknowledged that they will play as a team, they will do it together. He said that they all wanted to be Islanders.

*Comrie and Guerin will each be bringing 50 children suffering from cancer to every Islanders home game this season. A true move of class.

Guerin said he will not take the Captaincy lightly, and was surprised to receive it. After watching this PC, I am once again feeling confident.

We're All Islanders.


July 8, 2007

Whats up with the Defense?

The answer to that question is not know right now, but it seems that it could be solved pretty quickly. It's just a little past 8 PM, and there is no noise coming out of the Isles camp. There have been rumors floating around about who the Isles are targeting, and there are many names out there that make it difficult to peg who the front runner is for the Isle's vacant defense position.

Garth Snow seems to have an increased interest in top free agent defenseman Sheldon Souray. It was originally rumored that Snow lost interest because of the price, but Greg Logan reports that Snow is now interested because Souray's asking price has gone down due to the fact that he is still on the market a week after it opened. Souray might not be the fleetest of foot, but he would definitely help the Islander's blueline out a great deal after they lost both Tom Poti and Sean Hill to Washington and Minnesota, respectively. In my opinion, I would welcome Souray and his shot to the Island if his price has decreased. I would be very interested in seeing how Ted Nolan would work with him and if he could turn Souray from an average defender into a very good defender with a booming shot from the point. Souray could add that star power that Long Island is lacking, and along with Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin, Ruslan Fedotenko and Jon Sim could help the Islanders become a true Ted Nolan team.

Other names tied to the Islanders are Danny Markov, Andy Sutton, Vitaly Vishnevski, Ossi Vaananen, Bryan Berard and David Tanabe. Markov plays a very intense style and could be one of the front runners to come to LI. His intense style does lead to some injuries, and last season he only played 66 games. He is very good defensively and would help the islanders out. Markov made $2.5 million last season, and he is looking for a raise over that amount. I think thats why no one has picked him up yet. Vishnevski and Vaananen are both very young, defensive defenseman. They are both very good options for Snow to choose from. Last season, Snow tried to acquire Vishnevski from Anaheim when they decided his arbitration award was much more than they could afford. He spent time with Atlanta and Nashville last year, and is known for his hard hitting. Vaananen is in the same mold as Vishnevski, and for the same reasons would also make for a good addition. Tanabe could make up for what the Islanders lost in Poti, although Tanabe has traveled around a lot in his young career. He could be an option is the islanders are looking for some sort of power play QB, but he is not that strong in his own zone. If I'm Snow, I stay as far away from Bryan Berard as I possibly can.

Free agency options haven't been the only thing discussed by the isles brass. There have been many discussions on going the trade route if they feel so inclined to do so. There were trade rumors surrounding the Coyotes' Ed Jovanovski, but those died down. It has not been ruled out though, especially with the recent additions of Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie. Another option could be Toronto's Bryan McCabe.

Right now, the Islander's defensive situation is very cloudy. But rumors always seem to include most of the players mentioned above. If I had my choice, I would probably go the free agent route and sign not 1, but 2 defensemen: Sheldon Souray and one of Vishnevski or Vaananen. The I would try and package one or more of Martinek/Campoli/Meyer along with an extra forward to see if we could get some help at center, because the options in the free agent market are lacking at the position. I have a feeling that the Islanders will sign one of Sheldon Souray or Danny Markov. My choice: Souray.

Regardless of who they decide to sign, many people are wondering when are they going to be signed. The Isles have a press conference scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 12:30PM. You would think that they would want the latest addition to be included in that as well, but as I said earlier it's already after 8 and there is no news. The quiet before the storm? Maybe. maybe its possible that someone is already signed, and it is being kept very quiet because they want to surprise everyone tomorrow. That would mean someone like Souray was signed or that McCabe/Jovo was acquired. If someone like Markov/Vishnevski/Vaananen was signed, I think something would have been leaked by now. I suppose anything is possible between now and the presser tomorrow, but it seems like we are still in murky waters when trying to figure out what the defense will look like next year.

July 6, 2007

Where there is smoke...

There certainly seems to be a fire burning. Rumors are circling the web today, saying that the Isles will add another piece to their puzzle. Supposedly, it will be a defenseman. Keep in mind that Sheldon Souray, a long shot for sure, is still out there. Vishnevski, Vannanen, and Danny Markov are all still available. My money says that one of them inks here today. The information is limited indeed, but keep in mind that Snow has been active over the last new dyas, and my gut tells me he will continue to rebuild this team.

Keep it here for updates as they come in.

July 5, 2007


Shortly after signing 4 time all-star Bill Guerin, the Islanders announced the signing of center Mike Comrie to a 1 year, $3.375 million contract. Most would have liked to see more years on the deal, but no one is going to complain about adding the 30-30 man. If you recall, I had wanted Comrie to be the Isles second line center this season, but as of right now he is pencilled in as the 1st line center. Comrie said he wanted a 1-year deal to prove to the NHL that he really is a top line center rather than a second. Hopefully Comrie likes the Island, and if he plays well, I hope Garth signs him to an extension. At 26, the fans would really welcome him here for another 3 or 4 years.

Talk of Comrie landing on the Island came up during negotiations with Guerin earlier in the day. Guerin and Comrie contacted one another, and both discussed the idea of playing for the Islanders together. Guerin wanted to make sure the Isles would bring in some other players, and Comrie confirmed that they have talked an were close to a deal. Considering how unfortunate the last few days have been for Islander fans, this is much needed. It is unclear as to whether the Isles are done adding forwards or not, but there are still guys out there if they feel inclined to pick any of them up. They may even try and trade for another center, with the Coyotes' Steve Reinprecht being rumored on the block.

It has been said that Snow will add another player by the weekend, a defenseman. The most likely option looks like it's Danny Markov, who had a nice season with the Red Wings last year. The other options are Ossi Vaananen and Vitaly Vishnevski. Markov would be a huge upgrade over Sean Hill, on the defensive side, but wouldn't be expected to put up huge offensive numbers. Greg Loagn said in his blog on Newsday's website not to rule Sheldon Souray out either, but to me that seems like a long shot.

Rumors are still lingering that the Islanders could land Ed Jovanovski from Phoenix (hence the long shot of landing Souray). Reports from the beginning of the week said the Islanders and Coyotes had worked out a deal, but it was waiting approval from Jovanovski by waiving his no trade clause. At the time, he was lukewarm about the idea of coming to what appeared to be a rebuilding team like the Islanders and stated that he had just started building a house in Arizona. However, with his ex-teammate Comrie now with the Isles, along with the well decorated veteran in Bill Guerin, 'Jovocop' might be singing a different tune by this time next week, maybe signing that tune in Islander orange and blue.