Follow me on Twitter live from the blog box tonight!
Here is the Twitter digest from the “Semi Live Blog” last night!
Corny title yes, but who can’t resist a pun when it’s so easy to throw out there?
Doug Weight, who missed a large chunk of the last oh – twenty something games with a knee injury returns tonight to face his home town club the Detroit Red Wings. What’s more, Chris Botta hints at a possible contract extension for Dougie before the season lets out for the summer. Weight isn’t the only player returning from injury tonight, goaltender Joey MacDonald is also suiting up for action and may be your starter.
Hopefully the team continues to make things interesting by playing their hearts out, they can win tonight and still be comfortable in the “Tank for Tavares” race.
Not much from me tonight, I am about to head out the door to watch the game at Hooters with my cousin – we are headed to the bowling alley to toss back some beers and toss some heavy objects at ten pins.
For whatever reason the gallery random image display broke AGAIN randomly, I disabled it for the time being. You can still get to the gallery by going to the actual page: http://www.islesblogger.com/gallery. I don’t have the time to fix it at the moment.
Hey there Isles fans, it’s been a hot minute but I’m still here – despite a short break during the Isles off week and road trip.
Just to recap, the Islanders have lost the last three of four – music to the ears of anyone subscribing to the “Tank for Tavares” way of thinking (of which I am also a supporter – read on). I have to admit, the way the Islanders are doing things couldn’t be any more exciting for a fan. They are going out and battling hard in the face of adversity, they are not just rolling over and showing their soft bellies for all to see. No, instead this team is going out, working hard and really giving teams in the playoff race a hard time – perhaps even catching them off guard in most cases.
With all the injuries and some roster moves, young players have had no choice but to step in and play important roles. With that we have seen rapid development of Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen, Sean Bergenheim, Mike Iggulden, Jesse Joensuu, Josh Bailey (coming off his first two goal game) and Jeff Tambellini, strong play of Yann Danis, Peter Mannino, Nate Thompson, Joel Rechlicz, contract awarding play from Tim Jackman and of course the continued great defensive play of Jack Hillen, Bruno Gervais (wow has he stepped it up), Thomas Pock, and Norris nominee Mark Streit.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing the blossoming of something special here. These Islanders are the future and the future looks really good. I am not saying what we have now will get us a Stanley Cup next season, but Garth Snow has built a solid foundation on which to improve on as each season passes. Should the Islanders draft well in June (the hockey gods are smiling on that thought right now), the Islanders will once again be a respectable franchise – one that will hopefully be model franchise for future rebuilders.
Yes, our future looks bright – with all the political nonsense going on between the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County, we just may never get the chance to see that respectability in our own backyard.
Like everything else in life there is always that one minute detail that seems to muck things up.
Marc-Andre Bergeron and the Wild of Minny come to town tonight, they should be a tired team after playing the Rangers last night – a game in which they lost 2-1.
Tim Jackman has been signed to one year extension. More to follow!
Edited with the Official Press Release and link to the story on the Islanders Website:
The New York Islanders have signed forward Tim Jackman to a one-year contract extension. Jackman, currently in his second season with the Islanders, has four goals and two assists for six points and 133 penalty minutes in 57 games this season. He has already established new career highs in games played, goals, points, penalty minutes and shots this season. The contract runs through the 2009-10 season.
“Tim earned this extension by showing his willingness to do whatever is necessary to help the Islanders succeed,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “We know Tim is excited about being an Islander next season and we’re just as excited to have him back.”
Jackman (6-4, 210 lbs.) has played in 125 career NHL games and has scored six goals with seven assists for 13 points and 237 penalty minutes. He has played in 93 games as an Islander and has scored five goals and five assists for 10 points during the course of his two seasons with the club. Jackman has also played in 12 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League this season and scored six goals with one assist for seven points and 35 penalty minutes.
Jackman, a native of Minot, ND, originally signed with the Islanders as a free agent on July 5, 2007 and signed his first extension with the team last June. He also spent time in the Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings organizations. He was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the second round (38th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Tim Jackman is the type of role player you want out there during tough situations. He can kill penalties, show good net presence and can even stick handle and skate fairly well. What Jackman is known best for is his fighting ability and ability to relish the role of enforcer. I don’t know how many times this season that I have been surprised at what Jackman walks into during a game, between scraps, dust ups in front of the crease or even a little shoving here and there – Tim Jackman emerges from the “pile”. The guy is a warrior too – at one point during this road trip he got into a fight and it was thought he may have broken his hand during the fight. He has also been cut I don’t know how many times this season – as evident by the scars on his cheek and on the bridge of his nose.
With guys like Jackman and Nate Thompson in the lineup – it offers a fair amount of protection for our up and comers on the team. There is the need to field players who will send the right message to the opposition – you mess with them, you deal with us.
I am happy to see that the man they call Jacko will be around another season. Congrats Tim, well deserved!
What a game!
Kyle Okposo just scored his fourth goal in four games for the second time this season to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime. It was Okposo’s 16th goal of the season.
No matter the outcome, I still have a problem with being conflicted with the Islanders play as of late. I have a constant eye on the standings I’ll admit – so with each solid game and each point earned in the standings (7 in last 4 games – eeeek) we creep further out of the league basement and make the Tank for Tavares almost a thing of the past. (Note: The Lightning have also won tonight, so the Isles maintain their four point
lead cushion in the standings for the bottom (ie: LAST PLACE)).
I always want to see the Islanders do well, especially when the drive is being led by the team’s future. Players like Jesse Joensuu, Mike Iggulden, Blake Comeau, Jack Hillen, Frans Nielsen, Jeff Tambellini, Sean Bergenheim, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey et. al. make this season really exciting because we are witnessing a glimpse of our future. We are able to see our team grow and learn with each other, sometimes with really exciting results.
Last week I was asking everyone if Okposo could reach the 20 goal plateau this season, his first full NHL season. Now, I am starting to wonder if I should be asking if he can reach the 30 goal mark – he is doing THAT good lately. I know, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – but it’s certainly a very bright spot in an otherwise tough season.
The Tavares Hunt will continue – it’s still a long, yet short road trip against a group of tough teams.
Just got word on Trent Hunter and it’s not good. Seems his ankle injury in the first is a fracture and he will miss the remainder of the season. The injury bug is still alive and well.
Hopefully, Joensuu gets an extended look, he is THAT good.
Out with the old – in with the, well – Sound Tigers?
Having traded veteran Bill Guerin yesterday during the trade deadline, coupled with the fact that Brendan Witt is still serving his suspension, Nate Thompson not ready, Trent Hunter not ready and Thomas Pock also not ready – the Islanders have recalled four players from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Forward Jesse Joensuu who scored in his first NHL game on Monday gets another go, while forward Joel Rechlicz gets his first call up of the season. Defensemen Joe Callahan who has been impressive while up with the big club and Andrew MacDonald another impressive young d-man also get the call. So while the Islanders did not make too many trades yesterday – it sure might feel that way with so many new faces in the locker room tonight.
Here is the official press release:
The New York Islanders have recalled forwards Jesse Joensuu and Joel Rechlicz and defensemen Joe Callahan and Andrew MacDonald from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.
Joensuu (YOH-ehn-soo) made his NHL debut on Monday night against Colorado and scored his first career NHL goal on his first shot. In 56 games with Bridgeport this season, he has recorded 17 goals and 14 assists to rank fifth on the team with 31 points. Joensuu was drafted by the Islanders in the second round (60th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Rechlicz (REHK-lihj) has split time between Bridgeport (AHL) and Utah (ECHL) this season. He has seven penalty minutes in three games with Bridgeport and one assist to go along with 110 penalty minutes in 45 games with Utah. Rechlicz was signed by the Islanders as a free agent on May 6, 2008.
Callahan has one assist and a +2 rating in 13 games with the Islanders this season. In 42 games with Bridgeport, he has scored three goals and added six assists for nine points. Callahan was signed by the Islanders as a free agent on July 8, 2008.
MacDonald made his NHL debut on February 28th against Buffalo and has a +2 rating in two games. In 52 games with Bridgeport this season, he has six goals and 13 assists to lead all Sound Tigers’ defensemen with 19 points. He also represented the Sound Tigers in the AHL All-Star game as a member of Team Canada this season. MacDonald was drafted by the Islanders in the sixth round (160th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
About to call into the conference call to hear everything that has or has not transpired today.
I am going to record the call with my fancy device that allows me to do so with my digital recorder. I will either transcribe it or post the clip in it’s entirety.
More in a few!
Update: Well there were technical difficulties in the call. I think I heard Garth Snow say three of four barely audible words. Guess I have to wait for the press release – nothing went the Islanders way today, clearly.
Update #2 Per the Islanders official press release:
The New York Islanders have traded Bill Guerin to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional 2009 fifth round draft selection. The team has also activated defenseman Thomas Pock and center Nate Thompson from the Injured Reserve while reassigning winger Jon Sim to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.
The conditions of the Guerin/Pittsburgh trade are as follows: If Pittsburgh reaches the playoffs, the draft pick is upgraded to a fourth round selection. If Pittsburgh advances past the first round and Guerin plays in 50 percent of those first round games, the draft pick gets further upgraded to a third round selection. The fifth round selection originally belonged to Tampa Bay.
“The entire Islanders organization has the utmost respect for Bill Guerin and we sincerely thank him for his time on Long Island and as the team’s captain,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow.
Guerin recorded 16 goals and 20 assists for 36 points in 61 games with the Islanders this season. Since signing with the team as a free agent on July 5, 2007, he played in 142 games and recorded 39 goals and 41 assists for 80 points. Guerin was the 11th captain in franchise history.
Pock has played in 41 games this season and has scored one goal with two assists for three points. He missed the Islanders’ last 13 games with a hand injury. Pock was claimed off waivers from the New York Rangers on September 29, 2008. In 100 career NHL games, Pock has scored eight goals with nine assists for 17 points and 51 penalty minutes.
Thompson has played in 28 games this season and has scored two goals. He missed the Islanders’ last 12 games with a shoulder injury. Thompson was claimed off waivers from Boston on October 8, 2008. In 32 career NHL games, Thompson has scored two goals and registered 42 penalty minutes.
Sim, who cleared waivers earlier today, has played in 49 games with the Islanders this season and scored nine goals and six assists for 15 points. In 51 career games with the Islanders he has scored nine goals with seven assists for 16 points and 44 penalty minutes. Sim was signed by the Islanders as a free agent on July 1, 2007.
All the build up and speculation and it’s hard to say that I am impressed with the deal Garth Snow has swung with Pittsburgh for Bill Guerin.
Islanders trade Bill Guerin for a conditional 5th round pick that can go as high as a third rounder.
If Pittsburgh makes the playoffs, it turns into a 4th rounder.
If Pittsburgh wins a round, it turns into a 3rd rounder.
Not really anything major, but I would have thought the return would have been at least a second rounder.
Bill Guerin was just on TSN when asked how it felt to be in limbo:
It was a pretty painful process. We thought we had a deal done with another team a couple of days ago.
Greg Logan has the whole exchange on his blog:
Asked about the wait to learn his fate since being scratched on Saturday night, Guerin said, “It was a pretty painful process. We thought we had a deal done with another team a couple days ago. Then, it just kind of made things a little awkward, so, I sat here in limbo for four days or so just kind of waiting for something to happen. I’ve been through trade deadlines before, and a lot of things wait until the last second to get things done.
“I’m excited about going to Pittsburgh. It’s a great opportunity for me to go to a talented team like that with their experience in the Finals last year. They’re in a dogfight right now for the playoffs, but they’re playing great and I’m really looking forward to it.”
On whether he expects to help the Pens with leadership: “I just go in and be myself. I’ve always been a vocal guy, not afraid to say anything. You just play it by ear. They get you for a specific reason. The best thing you can do is be yourself and support the leadership they have there.”
See ya on the flip side Billy.
Well, there is nothing really huge to report for the Islanders here this afternoon. I have been glued to my computer constantly refreshing the typical trade deadline sources that have been awesome in the past. I am lucky enough to have dual monitors so I can have an internet browser open on the left, and AIM, TSN’s streaming coverage in a small window and their live tracker next to that.
What we do know:
More, if and when it happens.
For the third season in a row, I have made my own holiday (and taken the day off from work) to celebrate one of the craziest days for the NHL – trade deadline day. Next to July 1st, which is the beginning of unrestricted free agency, we see plenty of player movement as teams dump players for picks and/or prospects or just players for players as other teams bulk up or re-tool heading into playoff season. It is truly an exciting day.
Last year, my first with Islesblogger and as a member of the Islanders Blog Box – I spent the entire day at Nassau Coliseum live blogging the events of the day. We were interviewed by Jim Baumbach of Newsday – whom live blogged our live blogging and even had a run in with several Pittsburgh players asking if we knew if any of them had been traded. However, because this year the Islanders do not have a game, it is impossible to be allowed access to the Blog Box for something similar. Obviously this is dissapointing – but I pledge to carry on from the comfort of my own home with access to the same Canadian television, the internet and hopefully better food then what will be available to the media and Islanders Point Blank who will be crammed into Room Six.
What’s even more exciting, is now that I have access to everything on SB Nation – I will be part of their deadline day special through Lighthouse Hockey! I will have a running post of any and all the large trades made by the Islanders and may do something similar for the division rivals. I will also have a few opinion peices in addition to updating everyone here on Islesblogger – it will be a lot of work, but Dom and I promise to bring to some great stuff
tomorrow later today.
It never fails, every time that I either purchase a jersey or actually make good on a promise to speak more in the locker room – a player is either traded or gets waived. Such is this case this time – only it involves two games worth of locker room quotes from soon to be ex-Isle(d) Jon Sim, instead of owning a players authentic jersey that I likely will not ever wear again.
As I wrote earlier today, veteran winger Jon Sim has found himself exposed to the waiver wire for the second time this season. This, despite the fact that he has been on somewhat of a tear as of late – Sim has seven points in the last six games (4g-3a-7pts).
Greg Logan writes:
Coming one day ahead of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline, the move is like an invitation to any team in need of a hard-working winger with some grit and scoring touch to add it without giving up anything but salary.
Despite 14 healthy scratches and ice time limited to just over 12 minutes a game, Sim has nine goals to rank eighth on the team. Some might read the move as symptomatic of an attempt to purge the locker room of unhappy veterans.
Talking to Jon Sim two times in the last week – I really did not see that Sim was unhappy having heard him say things like “Thinking positively”, “Positive energy”, “Fun to play here right now”, and “Being patient and professional”. More sensationalism? Perhaps, it really wouldn’t be as fun to read how Jon Sim seems to have turned his game around as of late, likes the Islanders and yet somehow finds himself on the outside looking in on an Islanders rebuild. Here is what Sim told me about his recent pickup in play when I asked him what he has done different with his game (pertaining to scoring 3 times in four games) after the home shutout of New Jersey last Saturday:
I think I’m just playing hard ya know? Playing the way that I can play and playing harder. Not trying to make the big plays, but looking to make the smart little plays instead.
Looking back to early last season, the first in his three year contract paying him $1-million in each year – it really shows that a knee injury can have an effect on a player far beyond the projected period of healing and rehabilitation suggested (prognosis not good on DiPietro – eh?). I asked Sim if at this point of the season, he felt that he was physically back at the top of his game like he was prior to the season ending knee injury early last season. Sim paused and then told me:
Yea, I thought I was pretty much all year. I have been working hard and trying to play hard. Obviously the year off wasn’t the best – but I have been trying to work hard and improve [my game] every day.
It was really beginning to show too, chalk it up to playing with fresh, young faces in the NHL the likes of Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, Franz Nielsen and last night Jesse Joensuu whom Sim assisted on his first NHL goal. As Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean blared in the background of the Islanders locker room (An ode to their Captain Billy, perhaps?) following another home win, this time over Ryan Smyth’s Colorado Avalanche, I got to speak with Sim again – but this time asked him about the chemistry he and new Islander forward Dean MacAmmond seem to have and if playing with a new teammate and veteran like Dean has helped with his inspired play. Sim smiled and laughed then told me:
Yea, I mean I was working hard when Dean-o came in, we kind of play off each other. He’s fun to play with – he works really hard and that’s a big thing.
I wanted to follow up with some positives on MacAmmond so I asked Sim if his game made it easier to be effective out on the ice. I mentioned that Dean is such a strong skater and gets into the zone relatively quickly and unimpeded that it was sure to do exactly that. With another laugh Sim told us that “Yea, he’s got young lets and a young face”. We all shared a laugh and Greg Logan said he thought MacAmmond looked like Matt Damon. After another round of laughter – Sim looked at us and said “He looks more like Mcauley Culkin!”
Really Jon, really? Hopefully Dean doesn’t read blogs – but I may have to mention this to him on Thursday, that is – if either of these players are still around.
Note: For those wondering the origins of this very strange photo of Jon Sim holding what appears to be Jon Sim chocolate lolipops…. please head over to Chocoversity. Apparently this company can print any image on chocolate and they recently hooked up with the NHL. For more images, check out their gallery – apparently Mike Sillinger was there too!