December 22, 2010

Off Day? Hah!

9:52 - The Isles proved me wrong as they have called up Josh Bailey.

I will say that I am not overly impressed with this, and I truly did get the impression that he would be down for a while.

Fans of the BST were still concerned recently that Bailey would go stretches where he looked invisible because of some fore-checking and defensive deficiencies, but would suddenly appear as he put up some of those points. Hopefully it is fixed, because this is it now. After his next NHL game he has to go through waivers to be sent down again.

8:08 AM - No one told me that the off days were going to have this much going on. I suppose when you're record isn't great, that's to be expected.

Tuesday was a rather interesting one to say the least if you're an Islanders fan. Of course, we'll hit some of the juicy stuff later. First we'll have to start off with some unfortunate news.

The Islanders once again practiced with two goaltenders - Dwayne Roloson and Nathan Lawson. Rick DiPietro did not practice. Jack Capuano stated that it was still just your typical maintenance stuff.

Of course, that "maintenance" word might have even deeper meaning now that DiPietro was officially placed on IR with the swelling in his right knee. For those of you who listened to our last podcast, when Sean and I gave our take on the Roloson situation I downplayed DiPietro's injury. Meanwhile, Sean maintained that he'd "believe it when he sees it" when it comes to any injury of his being minor.

As of right now, I'll only slightly nod my head in his direction but not completely tip the cap yet. Matt Martin was suspended for two games as punishment for his elbow to the head of Vernon Fiddler. The Islanders were already at the max roster limit, which we pointed out during the show on Sunday. They have to call up another forward to take the spot of Martin - unless of course you want to see Bruno Gervais play wing again. Even though we're under the holiday roster freeze, there can be call-ups for emergency. This would qualify.

I'm seeing some people say they want Josh Bailey to be called up. If the Islanders were smart in this situation, and I think they will be, Bailey will not and should not be up. I love what he is doing. The points he is putting up with the Sound Tigers is phenomenal. However, the total package is still not 100% there yet - fore-checking, defensive play, etc. Hasn't the kid been rushed enough in his very short NHL career thus far? Not only that, but he was constantly shifted from one position to another, and seemingly was not given ample time to adjust to that let alone to the NHL game. Josh is going to be down in Bridgeport for the next little while it sounds like. At least that's what my take was after listening to Garth Snow on "The GM Show" a couple of weeks back.

All in all, I have a wait and see approach on the extent on DiPietro's injury. Perhaps it's truly wishful thinking, but I still firmly believe that the Islanders called up Lawson to get a look at what he can do when they inevitably ship off Roloson. DiPietro probably is banged up, but my feeling is a) the Islanders are using it to see what others can do for more than just one game and b) to create a roster spot.

Meanwhile, Mike Mottau was also placed on IR and will be out the rest of the year with a torn labrum in his hip. Mottau had been out since taking a puck off of his eye in Atlanta. Some may be wondering "how the heck does that happen?" Apparently the injury is something he had suffered prior to the year, and most likely re-aggravated it while rehabbing recently. He had started skating with the team.

The news of Mottau's injury is a bit of a blow, but it obviously gives some more thought to the idea that Travis Hamonic will stay up for most of the year. The shame in this is that the Islanders were slowly having better defensive efforts coming on the heels of getting Andrew MacDonald and Milan Jurcina back. I was looking forward to Mottau coming back. Now, we can only hope that the surgery takes care of the issue and it doesn't linger next season. We know all too well how persistent those hip injuries can be.

The biggest story of the day, however, was the rumor of a potential buyer for the team. On Monday night, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun made a mention in his chat that former Isles goalie and current Hockey Night in Canada analyst Glenn Healy told him that Nelson Peltz has expressed interest in purchasing the Islanders. Of course, it didn't take the news too long to spread, and by Tuesday morning the story gained more steam.

Furthermore, Chris Botta in his Fanhouse piece on AOL was able to confirm from multiple sources that Peltz has been kicking the tires for the past year or so, and it appears he will continue to do so.

Before anyone gets too ahead of themselves, let me bring out a key point here. This does NOT mean that Charles Wang has the team up for sale. It could be and we just don't know it, seeing as how tight lipped things can get with the organization, but do not read into it any more than that. I saw some folks on Twitter getting all excited, with some talking as if it were a done deal.

I'm sure Peltz isn't the only one who kicked tires, but he may be the only one who has been persistent enough in making it known that he wants the team.

The connections with Peltz, however certainly are very eerie.

First off, he is currently on the Board of Directors at Wendy's/Arby's Group. The Islanders have a relationship with Wendy's as many fans know by now. Peltz is also the former owner of Snapple Inc., which had it's headquarters on Long Island in Valley Stream for a number of years before relocating to Plano, Texas.

Peltz, who hails from Brooklyn, lives in Bedford, NY. When not there, he is most likely at his other homes in Paris or Palm Beach, Florida.

According to the recent list of wealthy folks from Forbes, Peltz is now worth $1.1 billion which ranks 880th.

Of course, as Botta's source says in the article, Peltz will only buy the Islanders on his terms, which makes sense. Any potential buyer who has interest in keeping the team right where it is doesn't want to deal with all of the politicking that has gone on. Keep in mind though, Peltz has been more than generous over the years to George W.Bush's and the campaigns of Republicans in general. It's possible the TOH Republicans would be willing to do him a favor they weren't willing to do for Wang if they can settle their own debt problems.

Some are wondering if he would move them to his hometown over in Brooklyn if he bought them. I'm not too sure he would do that. I think the preference of the league is to get something worked out in Uniondale. In fact, those who listened to deputy commish Bill Daily on the commissioner's show on XM last Thursday heard him say that they were working with the town to find a solution, and he was pretty adamant about it. Is part of that solution the sale of the team to someone who is willing to accept the proposal the town presented?

Obviously, the selling of teams takes an extremely long time and if anything comes of this, it won't be for a bit. But, the idea of tire kicking for the past year is very vague and who knows what's gone on. I believe the source Botta uses when he says it's nothing for people to get all excited about right now. Time will tell, and it's certainly something we'll be keeping our eyes on.

De Haan Gets an 'A' - Isles prospect Calvin de Haan was named an alternate captain for Canada's World Junior team. He is the captain of his OHL team, the Oshawa Generals. The Islanders are doing Calvin right when it comes to his development, and all of these feathers in his cap are going to help him greatly in the same way they would have helped Bailey out if they didn't rush him. With both de Haan and Cizikas on the roster, and Nino Niederreiter on Switzerland's team, we'll be sure to focus on the WJC a little bit. Congrats to all these prospects.

Up Next - The Islanders take on the Lightning at the coliseum, have gone 1-1 against them so far this season. The usual Islander killers of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone will all be in the line-up.

We don't know for sure who will be in net for the Isles yet. Something tells me it will be Roloson though. We shall see. We will also see who the team ends up calling up to replace the suspended Martin. Be sure to check back for updates.


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