February 2008

Monthly Archive

The Deal That Wasn’t

Posted by on 27 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: News, Rumors, Trades

Howdy ya’ll! You know it’s funny sometimes, I was just talking with Tom Liodice on AIM on how tonight was going to be a night off from posting – yet here I am feverishly typing away. I will make this one quick though because it’s got my brain working overtime (while trying to relax).

There was a bunch of discussion yesterday after the deadline about a deal that almost happened. Speculation ran rampant on who this player was. Garth Snow spoke of this deal in an interview on the Islanders Website. When asked the following question – The biggest story for some is that you didn’t make what would be classified as big moves. Did you come close? Garth answered:

Yes. To be honest, there was one pretty big deal that was close but just didn’t get done on either side. Things happen and don’t happen for a reason. It’s always something we can look into again down the road.

Greg Logan had tried to squeeze Snow for whatever he could on this non-move, what he did manage to get was interesting and he posted it in today’s story in Newsday:

Snow said he considered trading for an impact player who was not part of any other deal yesterday but decided against it because it would have required him to break up this team for the playoff run. The GM added that he never asked Satan to waive his no-trade clause.

For anyone wondering how the relationship between blogger and mainstream media is – I can tell you that it is good. Greg Logan has been one of the most welcoming voices around and he isn’t afraid to share or give his opinion to us. Just last night we happened to be speaking of this very subject. I pressed Greg for anything he had and he seemed to believe that the team involved was in the Western Conference. I spent the better part of today thinking about WHO this player could be because of the statement from Garth that it could happen again “down the road”.

Jonathan CheechooThinking back to yesterday’s moves – we dealt primarily with Western Conference teams – Anaheim, San Jose and a mid-western team in Minnesota. I don’t really see Anaheim dealing any impact players as they are pretty much a lock for the post season but they could move Doug Weight. Would they move Getzlav though? Minnesota I don’t know all that much about – but I sincerely doubt that they move Gaborik or Demitra. Do the Wild have any other impact players? This brings us to the Sharks – right off the bat everyone would say names like Roenick, Marleau and Grier. One name that jumps off the page at me is Jonathan Cheechoo.

Cheechoo is a player who has been holding his own for some time; he plays hard, hits hard and is a gritty player. One would say that he is a “Ted Nolan” type player – coincidentally he is the quintessential Nolan type player. Cheechoo was influenced by Ted Nolan growing up and Ted Nolan has helped Cheechoo throughout his career. Cheechoo and Nolan are both members of different First Nations’ tribes – Nolan has been a calming voice, father figure and role model for numerous players throughout the years, including the recently traded Chris Simon.

We may never find out who this deal was originally for, or we may find out if it ever does wind up happening it could go either way. Something that does gives this “almost move” merit is the fact that Garth had been working the phones and obviously dealt with San Jose during the day. Did discussions with the Sharks continue down to the zero hour of the deadline? The only thing that doesn’t change is Cheechoo’s connection and respect for Ted Nolan and this could lead to Jonathan finding himself in an Islanders sweater someday soon.

I think it’s time for another poll!!!

Let’s Vote!

Do you think "The Trade That Wasn't" was for Jonathan Cheechoo?

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Isles – Pens LIVE BLOG!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Gameday, Live Blog

We are getting set for the opening face off here. This is my very first live blog from the Blog Box and I must say I am pretty excited! Pretty good crowd for a mid-week game, maybe 9k, I would say maybe 10k now that the first period is almost over.

First Period

7:08 PM Big Joe (Vasicek) set to take the draw, clean win and we are under way!
7:09 PM Fedotenko in front forces Conklin to make the stop.
7:11 PM Pens take the first penalty for a change, Staal 2 minutes for holding. ISLANDERS POWER PLAY.
7:12 PM And like that, Fedotenko called for hooking to even things up.
7:13 PM AND JUST LIKE THAT Isles man up again – Pens Ruutu 2 minutes hooking (Way to make a debut Ruutu). Islanders 4-on-3′
7:14 PM 4-on-4 for for 38 seconds
7:16 PM A rare….even strength shift for both teams.
7:19 PM Islanders are out shooting and out hustling the Penguins pretty good here – Pittsburgh is yet to register a shot on goal just yet (as much as I don’t want to say that).

7:22 PM Tambellini with a shot of Conklin’s cage.
7:23 PM Comeau with a nice shot getting it on net, Hilbert controlled the rebound and rimmed it around. Guerin accepts a pass and takes a nice shot that Conklin had to hold on to.

7:26 PM Hunter with a great back check breaks up an offensive zone rush for Pittsburgh.
7:27 PM Malkin frees up in front and gets to a rebound, makes his teams second count shot and it’s 1-0 Penguins
7:29 PM Davison makes his appearance from the locker room, with 7:06 PM. I don’t envy him – showing up late (due to flights) and not knowing many people on the team – yet trying to be your teams difference maker. Best of luck.

7:32 PM Pittsburgh takes ANOTHER penalty, Gonchar 2 minutes for holding. The Islanders NEED to get on the board here.’
7:33 PM NOW THEY REALLY NEED TO SCORE, 2 MINUTES DELAY OF GAME PENS, 5-on-3 Islanders just over a minute and a half.

7:35 PM Decent puck movement by the Islanders, but they need bodies in front. Half minute remains for the 2 man advantage.
7:36 PM Nothing really going for the Islanders, Gonchar sprang into the Isles zone and Satan made a nice play to break things up. Vasicek the other way – Conklin with the save.

7:40 PM Off the face off Park called for 2 minutes holding the stick.
7:41 PM Another shorthanded odd man rush, Hunter takes the shot and Conklin juggles it. Play comes back the other way and the Islanders are penalized again; 2 minutes hooking on Gervais.

7:43 PM 2-0 Penguins, despite being outshot 21-3. Pens still on the power play as the last tally came shorthanded.
7:45 PM One minute left in the first period, thank goodness.

No matter when the Islanders outshoot their opponents by a wide margin, I cant ever really help but to be worried because the lack of scoring always comes back to haunt them. This period, without all the penalties and power play goals – would’ve seen the Islanders fairing a bit better than 2-0 on the scoreboard. Tom and I knew that the Pens would come out fired up after all their teams wheeling and dealing today, but we also thought the Islanders would put out a decent effort given their GM kept the team relatively intact. Hopefully Ted Nolan talks to the guys and gets them settled down for the second period.

Second Period

8:04 PM Second period begins.
8:05 PM Penguins penalty, 2 minutes high sticking on Staal (maybe he ran the stairs too hard today)
8:07 PM Conklin gloves down a point shot by Berard (I think). 30 seconds remaining in the Islanders man advantage.
8:08 PM Islanders 0-5 on the power play tonight, cannot win hockey games (or come from behind when you cant score even strength or men up).

8:11 PM Delayed penalty on Pittsburgh. 2 Minutes hooking Laraque – do or die time boys.
8:14 PM Another power play by the wayside – as the Islander blow a 2-on-0 break.
8:15 PM The boo birds are out in force tonight after an icing (the first of the game we think here in the box) by the Islanders.
8:19 PM Nielsen sharp angle, shoots – he SCORES!!!!! 2-1 Pittsburgh.
8:24 PM Davison with some booming shots from the point – Tom, Ken and I comment on him being a replacement in a sense because it hit the glass (high and wide) pretty hard.

8:27 PM Laraque 2 minutes high sticking, yet another chance for the Islanders on the power play.
8:30 PM Islanders called for icing – come up empty on the power play due to some sloppy passing, including a give away in their own zone.

8:34 PM Pittsburgh penalty on Letang, 2 minutes for slashing.
8:35 PM One minute remaining in the second period – power play carry over if they cannot convert here.

The Islanders will begin the third period on the power play with 34 seconds remaining. I don’t think I have ever said this before – but the team needs TO BE MORE SELFISH. The Penguins had a bunch of turnovers in prime goal scoring territory, but the Islanders either made entirely too many passes or held onto the puck too long. They need to SHOOT when they are in the position to do so. The team is now 0-8 on the power play – and given they are trailing in a game where they are out shooting their opponents, this needs to change. Score one at even strength and one on the man advanatage then continue to play their game and they could take this one. We shall see which team comes out in third.

Third Period

8:57 PM Late getting back to the blog box – appeared the goal crossed the line, but it was ruled otherwise.
8:59 PM Conklin slows down a shot from the point, offensive zone draw won by Pittsburgh.
9:02 PM The trail referee just called holding on Martinek, who was doing an outstanding job keeping his man wide.
9:08 PM I am having a hard time juggling blogging, and taking pictures – kudos to Tom and Dee for doing this almost every game.
9:13 PM Offensive zone draw here, the Islanders need to keep the great pressure on the Pens.
9:15 PM Pens scored on a delayed Islanders penalty; looks like Staal and it’s 3-1 Penguins. Crowd is now starting to head towards the exits.

9:18 PM DiPietro hears jeers from the crowd for making a catch, Davison just levels a Penguin along the penalty box boards.
9:19 PM Islanders will eventually register their 50th shot on goal, despite being down by two goals.
9:21 PM Islanders getting called for a tripping penalty here, Fedotenko heads to the box. Maybe the Islanders can find some magic while down two men?
9:24 PM Well….that plan didn’t work. Pittsburgh just scored on the power play for the second time tonight.
9:24 PM Comrie with the fight! Jon Sim giving Comrie a pat on the back as he heads to the locker room.
9:29 PM Malkin off for tripping, Isles score a late power play goal. Fedotenko banging home the rebound alone in front.
9:30 PM Well the Islanders tried, out shot their opponents 52-20 and came up two goals short. Off to the press conference!

Tambellini Recalled, Davison on the Way!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Gameday, News, Trades

I intended to post this right after the Garth Snow press conference, but my website obviously had other ideas for me. While we were waiting for Garth to come in and address the media, we saw one of the equipment managers bring in Davison’s jersey – which sent us all into a flurry asking if he would be playing in tonights game.

Rob Davison will be wearing number 3, but only if his flight makes it here from Columbus on time. This is all per Chris Botta – so we consider this fact.

Here is a picture of Garth Snow from the press conference:

Garth Snow

Tambellini is also on his way up from the Bridgeport Sound tigers – and like I said earlier, he will likely find his way into the lineup permanently. There are some who feel that Tambellini will suffer the wrath of an angry Ted Nolan now that Chris Simon has been traded. Ted was clearly unhappy that Simon was moved, but I felt that this was more of a positive than a negative. The Islanders showcased Simon earlier in the week – and only managed two penalties (not exactly spectacular).

It is unclear if Pittsburgh will have enough time to make the necessary callups or if their new players will make the game in time. Should be an interesting game to watch though.

The Islanders proved that they were more builders than sellers.

You can also catch a video that Jim Baumbach had taken of Tom, BD and myself on Newsday’s site, check it out!

Site Downtime!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Site Announcements

Just wanted to apologize for the downtime, but it’s a positive in a way – as there were so many hits. Sort of brought an awkward smile to my face during the press conference when I found out.

Marc-Andre Bergeron to Ducks

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: News, Trades

Marc-Andre BergeronThe Islanders have now shipped out Marc-Andre Bergeron to the Ducks for a 3rd round pick.

My reaction, well…..I know for a fact that there will be a reaction in defensive gaffes for the Islanders. Berard should see steady ice time and power play time – when he has been given consistent time, he has been a powerhouse and I think he will excel with the chance. Brendan Witt is also set to return for the game this Saturday – which is a pretty big development in and of itself.

Per the Islanders website:

“We appreciate all the good things that Chris and Marc-Andre have done for the organization, but these trades allow us to play our younger kids especially Jeff Tambellini,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “Jeff is going to have an opportunity to play here and for us to reunite the ‘Kid Line’.”

Tambellini has played in 16 games with the Islanders this season and has scored one goal while splitting his time with Bridgeport. In 46 games with the Sound Tigers this season, Tambellini leads the AHL with 29 goals and is fifth in the league in scoring with 58 points. He was acquired by the Islanders at the trade deadline in March of 2006 along with Denis Grebeshkov for Mark Parrish and Brent Sopel. In 64 career NHL games, Tambellini has scored four goals with ten assists for 14 points.

Bergeron, who was in his second season with the Islanders, has scored nine goals with nine assists for 18 points in 46 games. He was acquired by the Islanders last season with a third round draft selection for Grebeshkov. In 69 games with the Islanders over the two seasons, Bergeron scored 15 goals with 24 assists for 39 points.

Here is the take of TSN:

The Anaheim Ducks added some blueline depth on Tuesday, acquiring Marc-Andre Bergeron from the New York Islanders for a third round draft pick.

Bergeron, who has nine goals and 18 points in 46 games this season, has spent part of the last two seasons with the Islanders after being acquired in a trade from the Edmonton Oilers.

In 258 games over four-plus seasons, he has 48 goals and 127 points.

Au Revoir Marc-Andre, thanks for the memories!

Simon to Wild

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: News, Trades

Chris Simon has been traded to the Minnesota Wild for a 6th round draft pick.

Chris SimonMy reaction, as I just told Jim Baumbach – I am happy that the distraction and negative image that Simon has brought this organization is no longer our worry. Simon was not offered a contract extension and this now opens up a spot for Tambellini to play out the season with the Islanders.

Per the Islanders Website:

Simon, who was also in second season with the Islanders, played in 28 games this season scoring a goal with two assists for three points. He was signed by the Islanders as a free agent in July 2006. In 95 games with the Islanders over the two seasons, Simon scored 11 goals with 19 assists for 30 points.

Per TSN:

The Minnesota Wild added lots of toughness on Tuesday, acquiring Chris Simon from the New York Islanders for a sixth-round draft pick.

Simon has been limited to 28 games this season after serving a 30-game ban for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu in December at Nassau Coliseum.

He joins a rugged core of Wild forwards that also includes Todd Fedoruk and Derek Boogaard.

Rumor Du’Jour

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Rumors

Just got done talking to an Islanders insider here at the Blog Box. We grilled them on some potential moves and when we got on the subject of Montreal his style of answering changed. When I asked him who could be coming our way and I brought up the Long Island boys – there was a clear period of thought and non-answering. Take it for what it’s worth, but that’s how rumors start. There could also be some potential interest in Hossa, although I don’t feel we have enough assets to make the move.

By Long Island boys I am talking about Chris Higgins and Mike Komisarek.

Just to let everyone in on a little joke today, I am wearing a Ryan Smyth t-shirt that my father got me as a joke for Christmas (He’s a Rangers fan). I figured I couldn’t bring the Islanders any bad luck and it would help warn off evil spirits.

More if and when it happens.

Hossa to Penguins! Yikes

Islanders Acquire D-man From Sharks!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Trades

Rob Davison Chris Botta just walked onto the ice and yelled up to us here in the blog box that Defenseman Rob Davison of the San Jose Sharks is now a member of the NY Islanders – for the mere price of a 7th round draft pick.

More to follow.

Per the NHLPA website:

Rob Davison started the 2005-06 National Hockey League season with the San Jose Sharks. Before spending the 2004-05 NHL lockout in Great Britain with the Cardiff Devils, Rob played in 75 NHL games with the Sharks over two years. After playing in 55 regular-season games in 2003-04, he played in five playoff games (two assists) in the Western Conference final against the Flames. He finished second on the Sharks with 92 penalty minutes. In 2002-03, he played in his first 15 NHL games and scored his first NHL goal.

At the minor-pro level, Rob has played for the Cleveland Barons and Kentucky Thoroughblades. Before turning pro, he played three seasons of major-junior hockey with the Ontario League’s North Bay Centennials. In his sophomore 1998-99 season, he was named the East’s Best Body Checker in the OHL coaches poll. After his rookie season, he was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fourth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Before playing for the Centennials, Rob played junior-B hockey for the St. Michael’s Buzzers.

More Per the Islanders Website:

The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Rob Davison from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a seventh round draft pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

The 27-year old Davison, currently in his fifth NHL season, has played 15 games for the Sharks this season. In 176 career NHL games, the 6-3, 220-pound native of St. Catharines, ON has recorded two goals with 12 assists for 14 points. He is regarded as a tough and very reliable stay-at-home defenseman and high character player.

Davison was originally drafted by San Jose in the fourth round (98th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and has spent his entire professional career within the San Jose organization.

Live From The Coliseum!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Trades

Just wanted to report that we have not heard ANYTHING as of yet. We watched the Islanders skate (Fedotenko WAS on the ice) as were several other players.

We went downstairs after a brief interview with Jim Baumbach of Newsday and took in the Mike Comrie press conference. We then sat in on the Ted Nolan press conference and listened to his thoughts on Comrie’s extension and tonights game against Pittsburgh. Comrie looks completely relieved compared to his interview on Islanders TV yesterday, he genuinely seems elated that he is still an Islander.

Just wanted to add that I am here with Tom Liodice from The Tiger Track, BD Gallof of Hockeybuzz and Jim Baumbach of Newsday.

Currently the Penguins are on the ice and I snapped a few pictures. As soon as we hear something, you guys will be the first to know.

Lots of moves around the league however.

Ken Dick of Okposo Net is now here, you should see how much Baumbach is busting his chops – it’s great!

Comrie Signs 1 Year Extension!

Posted by on 26 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Rumors, Signings

Mike ComrieGood morning trade deadline junkies!!! Nothing like taking the day off from work to fill everyone in with the latest trade and signing news ALL DAY!

Updated 8:09 AM

According to TSN, Mike Comrie has signed a 1 year contract extension!

Sources say the Islanders and centre Mike Comrie have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal to keep the Edmonton, Alberta native in Long Island

Here is your latest Islanders news!

According to Darren Dreger on TSN, the Islanders and forward Mike Comrie are close to signing a one year contract extension.

As the NHL trade deadline rapidly approaches the New York Islanders may have potentially removed one of their trade targets from the market.

Sources say the Islanders and centre Mike Comrie are close to a one-year deal to keep the Edmonton native in Long Island.

In 63 games this season, Comrie leads the Islanders with 27 assists and 45 points. In 449 career games, the 27-year old has 141 goals and 166 assists for 307 points.

This past off-season he signed a one-year contract with the Isles after helping the Ottawa Senators reach the Stanley Cup finals

So between Newsday’s Greg Logan and now Darren Dreger (Who has more connections than Penn Station) this is two sources that have claimed Comrie is close to resigning. Should Comrie sign I expect a slight raise over this years contract as it’s only one year. That would tell me the team is satisfied with his play, but they feel he could be doing better – (read; not first line play).

Here we go folks! T-minus 7 hours 27 Minutes!

And So It Begins!

Posted by on 25 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: News, Rumors

While there hasn’t exactly been a flurry of activity in or around the Islanders organization (or the league for that matter) there have been a number of notable moves and signings today. Let’s break down the latest:

The Detroit Red Wings have signed Darren McCarty to a one year deal; he had worked his way up through the ranks and will now eventually get to the big club. It is definitely the feel good story of the year. Check out TSN for all the details.

The Colorado Avalanche announced today that they have signed Peter Forsberg to a one year contract, marking his on again/off again return to the NHL. This could potentially impact all of the teams who where trying to persuade Foppa to their clubs, what will they do now and will this drive value up for the forwards left?

After a stunning come from behind victory over the Buffalo Sabres, the Philadelphia Flyers announced a trade for Tampa Bays Vaclav Prospal. In return the Lightning receive defensive prospect Alexandre Picard and a second or third round draft pick in 2009.

On the heels of this announcement, the Lightning announced that they have come to terms with defenseman Dan Boyle on a 6 year $40 million dollar contract that will pay him $6.66 million per year.

With the latter three moves/signings I posted, it could very well throw kinks into the plans of rival GM’s. There are only so many names on the lists of players teams are interested in or even available, so this drives the value of those players up – what would’ve originally been worth a mid level prospect, pick can now be worth both or an elite prospect or high pick. What does this mean for the Islanders? It could mean one of two things. The Islanders are now in a tough position having only lost one game over the last 7, and being 2 points out of a playoff spot. They could sell off pending unrestricted free agents for higher than average yield, or they could try to sign one or two of them and get whatever they can for the rest.

Greg Logan reported in yesterday’s Newsday that forwards Miroslav Satan, Josef Vasicek, Ruslan Fedotenko and Mike Comrie could find themselves on a different team come tomorrow’s trade deadline. Satan is the only player of the four who has a no trade clause – and Logan reports (at the time of print) Satan had not been approached about waiving it. It was also purported that Comrie and Vasicek had been offered contract extensions – but negotiations were ongoing.

However, when I checked the site for an update (as I type this) it appears new developments have broken. Per Logan:

According to an NHL source, the Islanders now have made an offer to right wing Miroslav Satan in addition to their previous offers to centers Mike Comrie and Josef Vasicek. Forward Ruslan Fedotenko’s agent is engaged in discussions with Isles general manager Garth Snow and has made it clear his client wants to stay, but it’s doubtful that will lead to a contract before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. deadline. Forward Chris Simon also is headed to free agency without an offer.

Continuing on in Logan’s article – it appears that everyone involved in contract discussions appears happy where they are and in Comrie’s case worried about leaving the Islanders enough flexibility cap-wise to add more talent:

Snow is willing to give Comrie a long-term contract for the equivalent of second-line money. Comrie would prefer a shorter term that gives both sides flexibility. His priorities revolve more around the role he plays and making sure there is enough talent for the team to succeed.

Details about Satan’s contract details were not discussed – as Miro left practice without speaking to the media. I would imagine that he would want to see a modest raise over his current $4,500,000 contract. He could see upwards of $5 million on the open market come July 1st, so with other UFA’s to get under contract – is Satan worth that kind of money? If he really does like the Islanders as much as he says, is he willing to take less money in order to stay? He has been an absolute warrior for the team this season (playing hurt) and it would be tough to see him walk.

Will tomorrow be the last time we see some of these players in an Islanders uniform? Will we see a trade with Toronto go down that will land us defensive help in Bryan McCabe? Nobody really knows for sure – but one way or another tomorrow is a big day for the Islanders.

Live From The Rock!

Posted by on 23 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: Gameday

There is nothing like a new arena, I hope those rumors of the Lighthouse project being approved are true, Long Island needs something like this!

Sightlines are ok, were pretty high in section 119 and its pretty steep. Good news is the Isles shoot at us twice, we are behind Brodeur as you can see below.

More after warmups!

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