Labor Day weekend has traditionally been known as the final weekend of summer. It’s fitting that a long summer of parties ends with a 3-day weekend full of the same. Fire up the BBQ and grille some hot dogs and hamburgers one last time – they just don’t taste the same during the winter. Labor Day weekend also means that hockey is right around the corner.
As you are reading this, teams around the league are making final arrangements and roster adjustments for their annual pre-season training camps. These camps will help the coaching staff determine a final roster – and whip the team into playing shape. For our Islanders, this year’s camp starts on September 14 and runs through the 23rd, and will be held in Moncton, British Columbia.
A quick recap of the important camp notes; Sean Bergenheim will rejoin the Islanders, having resigned at the start of the summer. Wade Dubielewicz has his first one-way NHL contract and will back-up DiPietro. Kyle Okposo – WILL NOT be coming to camp, having decided to play one more year of collegiate hockey. Chris Campoli and Bruno Gervais look to both play a full season with the big club. As I posted previously, Bryan Berard and Gordie Dwyer have been extended tryout invitations. Jeff Tambellini and Frans Nielsen will be among forwards battling for a roster spot. Chris Simon has been resigned, as has Trent Hunter. Let’s not forget all the new faces making their first Isles Camp appearances; Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie, Jon Sim, Ruslan Fedotenko, Josef Vasicek, and Andy Sutton.
All in all, it looks like it will be a very intense, competitive camp which should make for some interesting pre-season games. I know I am amped up about things to come – bring on the cool weather and loud nights at the old barn. I can’t wait to see what happens with our roster – as it still may change before camp even starts.
Enjoy the holiday weekend, and be safe.
While this is a bit of old news, on July 14th the New York Islanders website went mobile. The mobile site is a stripped down version of the main site where mobile phone users can visit via their cellular devices, such as Pocket PC’s, Blackberry’s and other Smartphone’s.
As a Windows Mobile user myself (Cingular 8525), I constantly check the Isles site and many other hockey sites for updates throughout the day. I also rely on my device for email, as well as updating Islesblogger on the go.
I wanted to make this post for the other mobile users out there. If there was ever a time when you couldn’t get to a radio or a computer to listen to a radio station – you can now listen to almost any feed in the US and Canada through Tuned.mobi. I am talking any of the sports channels – from The FAN (WFAN) to FAN590 in Toronto. I suggest checking it out when you have the chance.
One other area where a mobile device comes in handy is if you also happen to be a Slingbox owner. Last December I purchased a Slingbox because work sent me to the Caribbean for 10 days (to work on some A/C equipment on a resort island). Being my first year with season tickets – I did not want to miss any games (even though I set the DVR). With my Slingbox, I got to watch all the games right on my laptop. Once I purchased my phone, I also purchased the Mobile Sling player. Since then, if I wasn’t near a TV – I was able to watch right on my phone. Slingbox is the perfect investment for any sport fan in my opinion.
If by chance you have a different tip to follow on your mobile device – email me the tip, and I will make an update. You can simply click on the Mobile Updates category to the right to see all the posts related to mobile.
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Word on the street is that tough guy Gordie Dwyer has been invited to Isles camp. It is likely however that this invite is to fill a roster spot down in Bridgeport rather than the big club. Mind you this is just a rumor right now.
This was worthy to note because the following bruisers are currently on the Bridgeport roster: Jackman, Bootland, and Pitton. I think it’s safe to say that the Isles organization does not want any of their prospects pushed around. This should enable the kids to learn the Ted Nolan grit system early on if anything. I think I may just have to follow Bridgeport a little closer this year.
While browsing the forums at NYIslanderscountry I found this Youtube video linked. Apparently it was posted on another message board – figured I would share.
I thought the commercial was great – I can certainly see myself enjoying these commercials more then the ones last season. The whole “And I am an Islander” thing has way more appeal when Christie says it, that's for sure!
Fresh on the heels of my PR post from last night – we can build upon what I had spoken about with this latest news. Long Island’s own Christie Brinkley, a regular at Isles games throughout last season – is featured in a brand new Islanders television commercial.
The commercial will begin to air locally Friday morning and will be on an array of different channels. If you watch Extra on NBC regularly, you can catch a sneak peak at 7pm Eastern or head to the Islanders website – you can view it on iTV on Friday morning as well.
Christie Brinkley has had a very good relationship with the Islanders organization as of late, she has blogged for the Isles website, made in-game appearances and now commercials. You know the old saying – Sex Sells? I am pretty sure that’s the idea here, and as a guy – well I don’t really have a problem with that. I love seeing people who I don’t associate with hockey doing things for the sport – because once again, this increases awareness of the sport and the Islanders.
One extra little tidbit, Brinkley is set to drop the ceremonial first puck the first home game of the season. That should add to an already exciting night in which we are all anticipating. Should you want to read a bit more about Christie Brinkley, check the entry on Wikipedia.
I am about to jump head first into an area I never really paid very close attention to – Customer Relations, or PR – whatever you really want to call it.
Now that I am going into my second year as a season ticket holder, I guess I started to notice the things that the organization (and those around the league for that matter) do to keep the fans happy. The Islanders have really been buttering up the fans as of late, which should help to bring in old and new fans alike.
In the past few months alone, let’s look at some of the great things that have come out of the Isles organization.
First and foremost – the NYI Blog Box, A one of a kind opportunity for fans with blogs (much like this one) to be featured on the Islanders website, get a press pass and interview people in the organization.
Isles inspire and the other charities that have started up, whose goals are to help local children and even the youth hockey programs in our area.
Kids Opening Day, with prizes, free DP jerseys and an on ice shootout.
I think it is a great thing to get this involved in the community, because it can only increase awareness about the team.
Now, if only they can get on the Philly thing with those cards featuring free credits for food…….we'd be set.
It may be minor to some, and major to others – but I finally got around to getting my navbar up and running tonight (Look UP ^^). You may notice some teasers up there for a bit of development to come…
If you guys find anything that I may have broken in the process, please let me know! At least I can start concentrating on content again!
This may come as a complete surprise to some, but the NHL has gone ahead with their plans of eliminating the Goal Judge, who sits directly behind the net at each end of the ice. Historically, the man in the box would signal a goal by illuminating the Red Light after the puck crosses the goal line. As any Islander fan would know from last season, there were some times that a goal was waved off on the ice after the goal judge signaled a goal. The referee has the power to whistle a play dead (sometimes without review), or review the play on video replay in tricky situations.
The idea to remove the goal judges from behind the net is the result of a new initiative by the NHL to add several additional camera angles, including a high definition overhead shot of the nets. The goal judges will not be eliminated completely, but will be relocated to other areas of the arena – the exact position will vary from club to club. Some purists claim that this will hinder judgments on hard to determine calls. In my opinion, I feel that the goal judge’s job was obsolete – as technology has allowed the league to monitor goals via closed circuit and live television feeds. Just look at “The War Room” in Toronto – just about every angle is covered at every game any given night. Should they add the high definition feeds, I don’t think there will be much of a problem.
For me – as long as the light gets lit when a goal is scored, I could care less if the goal judge is in an aisle, the press box or at home watching on TV.
One detail that is confusing, the league left it up to the individual organizations to do away with the boxes or keep them. I have not really found any information regarding our Islanders though – so time will tell. If I hear from the Isles PR, I will keep you up to date.
This won't be my post for the day – no worries.
Sorry I was unable to make an update yesterday, I had a family party, and I will make another post shortly.
Anyways, just some minor site updates.
Comments were broken on Saturday for maybe an hour – I fixed them as soon as I noticed.
Added a page with Links to sites I visit. Thanks to those who have linked back to me, if you don't see your link up there send me an email and I will gladly update it.
Added an About Us page, nothing too fancy – just a quick explanation of who I am and what the site is about. It is a work in progress and I will update it soon.
Changed a minor detail that some may not notice. It now posts me as the author on the Byline of the blog, instead of administrator.
In the next update, I hope to add some functionality with a navbar. I just need some free time to work on the code.
I know, by now this is old news – but I fell asleep yesterday before I could give my take on this latest development.
For about a week there were some rumors circulating around the net that someone from a past Isles team (and a fan favorite) would be invited to camp. Speculation was running rampant about who it may be on several message boards, the front runners of discussion being Jonsson, Hogue, Berard and Turgeon. It would eventually come to light exactly who this player was, and it turned out to be none other than Bryan Berard.
Bryan Berard is a former Islander, having played for the team from 96-98 and part of 1999 before being traded to Toronto. Berard received the Calder trophy as the leagues top rookie as an Islander in the 1996 season. In 2000, Berard suffered a severe eye injury and he missed the entire season before returning with Toronto. Other team he has also played for; the Rangers, Bruins and Blue Jackets. Berard is coming off a back injury that forced him to miss all but 11 games of the 06/07 season with the Blue Jackets.
Injuries aside, Berard is an excellent puck moving defenseman, he is the QB type defenseman that the team has been looking for on the power play – but his breakdowns in the defensive zone have most questioning whether he is right for our team. Players often have a downside to whatever upside they bring – it is just a matter of whether the strengths and weaknesses balance out. Berard, when healthy is just as dangerous as any other offensive defenseman in the league. Prior to last season, his point totals were 38, 47 and 32 – not too shabby if you ask me. If he plays a complete season for the Islanders – I expect anywhere around 25-35 points, but it’s hard to predict points on a player who missed most of the previous season.
By extending Berard an invitation to camp, there is absolutely no risk to the Islanders. If he comes to camp completely healed form his injuries and outplays someone for a roster spot, he deserves to be offered a contract. It is simple logic to me – and mind you I am very high on both Campoli and Gervais. Should Berard have a strong camp (much like Richard Park last season) then it will certainly make our defensive situation interesting. We could wind up with one or two tradable players, which could help us down the road. The only other downside, one of Gervais or Meyer will most likely spend the year down in Bridgeport – as a majority of our defensive spots are filled with some veteran defenders.
Only time will tell what happens, but camp looks to be as exciting as ever – with players giving it their all, something Nolan absolutely loves to see.
To read some more on Berard, check out his platyer bio: http://nhlpa.com/WebStats/PlayerBiography.asp?ID=362
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It seems that no matter where you look when reading about hockey, you hear the term "On Paper" thrown around all the time. This has always been a pet peeve of mine, ever since the season Milbury claimed we had a "Contender on paper" and failed to prove that true. I am sure the same can be said for many teams however.
Every mainstream blog has a bunch of readers who claim their team is stronger on paper – and in many cases it may be true, even in raw talent. The only thing everyone fails to take into account – CHEMISTRY.
If a team does not have chemistry, what good does the fact that they look good on paper prove? Nothing in my book, and im sure most of you share that feeling. In no way am I saying that our Division isn't even tougher then it was last season – because it is. I just don't agree with the notion that a team that looks good on paper, will perform up to that standard. If a team cannot gel, without something short of a miracle – it may never.
I just don’t buy into the whole fantasy of how good things appear on paper. I have faith in Ted Nolan, he has a fan in me and I am sure he can get the most out of this year’s roster. I don't expect miracles, I don't expect the best record in the NHL – I do however expect hard work and entertaining hockey.
Now, if you excuse me – I am going to read about how good the weather forecast appears for this weekend, on paper.
While this isn’t exactly Islanders news, I figured it was worthy enough to note for several reasons. Here we have two former Islanders, one came at a time the franchise was at one of its low points and another came at the start of a spat of successful seasons. Without really beating a dead horse with lots of details, here is my take on why Garth made the correct move in not pursuing these players.
Trevor Linden is 37 years old, and had his fair share of success in the NHL – most recently with The Canucks. While his time with the Isles wasn’t the highlight of his career, it would have been nice to see him return and help the franchise restore the respect and credibility the franchise one enjoyed. On the other hand, there needs to be a balanced roster – and for that reason I do not feel that Linden would have been the best addition to our current roster.
Michael Peca, all fond memories aside – while younger than Linden, is a player who up until yesterday was looking for a home in the league. Although his age would normally be a non-factor – his health is what makes teams question if the risk would outweigh the reward, or if he would be the piece that would make your team a true Cup contender. Again, while our roster COULD have benefited with Mike’s presence – I do not think he is the type of player we need moving forward with our current roster.Looking ahead, I hope should a move be made (through signing or trade) – it is for a younger forward (either a left side wing or center) and a defenseman that you can build a team around.