July 2009

Monthly Archive

Jack Hillen Signed to Two Year Contract

Posted by on 29 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: News, Off Season, Signings

Moving right along today in an afternoon filled with jubilant Islanders news, RFA Defensive prospect Jack Hillen has been signed to a two year contract after refusing to sign his qualifying offer early last week. Chris Botta reports it is as a one-way contract.

In his first year pro last season, Jack Hillen showed a great amount of poise and patience in his position. He has an effortless skating stride and had come a long way from his brief stint with the team the end of the season prior to last. He is one of those players that Snow obviously saw something in and took a chance on, I am excited he has been locked up and cannot wait to see him continue to grow with the team. With Hillen locked up, the team can focus on Blake Comeau, another player whom opted to not sign their qualifying deal.

Here is the official release:

The New York Islanders today announced that they have signed defenseman, Jack Hillen to a two-year contract.

Hillen was originally signed by the Islanders on April 1, 2008, at the completion of his senior year at Colorado College. He played in two games at the end of the Islanders’ 2007-08 season and recorded an assist, his first National Hockey League point. Last season, Hillen played in 40 games for the Islanders, registering a goal and five assists for six points. The tally was his first in the NHL and it came on March 5 against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.

“We are happy to have Jack signed,” said Garth Snow, General Manager, New York Islanders. “He proved to be a reliable defenseman and should continue to be a productive player for our team.”

The Minnetonka, MN native had an illustrious career at Colorado College, winning the Defenseman of the Year Award and being named First Team All WCHA. In 151 games played for the Colorado College Tigers, Hillen totaled 19 goals and 57 assists for 76 points.

Lighthouse “Just Build It” Rally on August 4th

Posted by on 29 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Lighthouse Project, News

Just Build It

If you weren’t planning on attending the Public Comment session at Hofstra University the morning of August 4th to support the Lighthouse Project, you may want to change your mind now. Not only will there be free “Just Build It” t-shirts for the first 2000 attendees, but I am hearing rumblings about special Islanders guests who will walk the distance from the Coliseum to Adams Playhouse amongst the fans.

Here is the press release that came across my inbox earlier today from the Lighthouse Development Group:

Starting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, August 4, 2009, at the Nassau Coliseum, leaders from the surrounding communities, labor, as well as fans and supporters of the project will rally and march to the Lighthouse project public hearing at the Adams Playhouse on the campus of Hofstra University.

The rally will be held in Lot 8 of the Nassau Coliseum and feature special guest speakers which will include Islanders owner Charles Wang, Islanders Alumni players and local elected officials. Islanders forwards Josh Bailey and Joel Rechlicz will be on site meeting and greeting fans and supporting the Lighthouse project.

At 8:45 the rally will conclude and everyone will march from Lot 8 to the Adams Playhouse for the 9:30 a.m. start of the public hearing.

“Just Build It!” T-shirts will be available for the first 2,000 people in attendance. Parking at the Coliseum will be free of charge.

If you have a website and you would like to promote the public hearing and the rally, please click the following link to downloadable buttons for your site. http://www.lighthouseli.com/media/download#logos

For further questions, please visit www.lighthouseli.com or the Official Blog of the Lighthouse Development Group, The Light Post at lighthouseliblog.blogspot.com. You can follow the Lighthouse project on Twitter at @Lighthouse_LI or join the “I support the Lighthouse at Long Island” on Facebook.

I know I plan on attending, you should all think about showing up in support of the Lighthouse Project too – the more the merrier. You never know, you could be part of something historic!

Govenor Patterson Press Conference on Lighthouse Project TODAY

Posted by on 27 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Lighthouse Project, News

In other Lighthouse Project news, New York State Governor David A. Patterson will hold a press conference at Nassau Coliseum TODAY at 11am giving his full support and backing of the Lighthouse Project. A little over a month ago, Patterson assigned his top people to the project so the State could help out in any way possible.

At 11 a.m. on Monday, July 27, New York State Governor David A. Paterson will hold a press conference at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to address the significance of the Lighthouse Project. Principals Charles B. Wang and Scott Rechler, Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray will join the Governor at the event.

The Governor’s press conference is the first time he is publicly sharing his stance on the project. It comes at a critical time for the Lighthouse, as a public hearing on the project is going to be held on August 4.

The conference will be held outside the box office at the Coliseum.

If you can make it out to the Coliseum today to show support for the Lighthouse Project and the New York Islanders, please do! Unfortunately I am working up in Huntington this morning and cannot get down to Uniondale.

For more information head on over to The Light Post a blog run by Katrina Doell – the Lighthouse Development Groups PR woman.

Kate Murray Talks Lighthouse Project on YouTube!

Posted by on 27 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Lighthouse Project, News

As we draw closer and closer to the very important August 4th public hearing on the Lighthouse Project, the project continues to make headlines in the local papers. Opening Newsday this morning, Eden Laikin has an article on Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. Apparently, the town has it’s own YouTube channel and recently uploaded a two part video showing Kate Murray talking about the review process and for the most part almost gives her support for the project.

The video, produced in a talk-show format with Murray being interviewed by her spokesman, Michael Deery, has been uploaded to YouTube.

It provides a brief overview of the Lighthouse proposal and outlines the town’s state-mandated environmental review. It also invites Long Islanders to attend an Aug. 4 public hearing on concerns about how the project may impact the area and the environment.

You can watch both parts on YouTube or in the embedded clips below:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

If anything, this video proves that the Town of Hempstead is conitnuously working dillgently on the review process, even though they have kept quiet on it more than anyone would have hoped. Over the last few months, little, albeit positive signs have been emerging – giving supporters of the Lighthouse Project and Islanders fans hope that a shovel can make it into the ground before Charles Wang is forced to explore “other options” after his self imposed October 3rd deadline. Only time (unfortunately) will tell, but I have a good feeling about the momentum that has been underway and I am excited for August 4th, I will be there – will YOU?

For more information head on over to The Light Post a blog run by Katrina Doell – the Lighthouse Development Groups PR woman.

Wang to Appear on WFAN 4PM Today

Posted by on 23 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: General, Lighthouse Project

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that Islanders owner Charles Wang will be appearing on WFAN with Mike Francesca today at 4PM to talk about The Lighthouse Project!

You can stream the show online via The Fan website (click on Listen Live) and I know for a fact you can listen on your iPhone by downloading the Flycast application and adding WFAN to your favorites (this is how I will likely be listening from work).

If your old fashioned, you can listen by tuning your radio to 660AM.

For more information head on over to The Light Post a blog run by Katrina Doell – the Lighthouse Development Groups PR woman.

Martin Biron Signed to One Year Deal

Posted by on 22 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Free Agency, News, Signings

Breaking news folks, the Islanders have signed free agent goaltender Martin Biron to a one year contract worth $1.4 million dollars. This is all according to the New York Post.

There was speculation that on-the-mend all star netminder Rick DiPietro was going to be allowed plenty of time to heal, it’s pretty much a given now with Roloson and now Biron that he can take his sweet time returning.

I can hear it now though, an entire hockey fan base just either laughed or sighed about the true status of DiPietro. After all the gaffes last season with Ricky’s knees and hips, is this just a play-it-safe move or insurance JUST IN CASE he cannot make it back another season? In either case, Biron made $3.5 million dollars last season, so for Garth Snow to go out and sign TWO well known goaltenders for under $5 million, I would say he got himself a few steals.

Now that goaltending has been addressed, it’s time to move on to two other areas – Scoring and Toughness.

Just to calm the initial fears of some of the “oh the sky is falling Islanders fans” – Please read the following quote from the NY Post story:

“If DiPietro is healthy enough to become part of the Islanders’ early-season rotation, Snow will have a comparably cheap asset (Biron) to move for players or draft picks. If DiPietro needs more time, however, the Islanders will be able to sleep well at night.”

I now ask you this question; Would you rather have TWO, count them TWO – fully capable goaltenders whom can keep the Islanders at least entertaining, should DiPietro not make it back at some point? Do you want DiPietro to rush back into action, again? Do you want this team to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again?

Come on, this move is a necessary evil regardless of what it means. Why cant we all just relax and enjoy the summer and take each and every day of DiPietro’s recovery and rehabilitation, one small step at a time?

Updated 6:24pm with Team Release:

The New York Islanders today announced that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with goaltender, Martin Biron.

Biron appeared in 55 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season, posting a 29-19-5 record and a 2.76 goals against average. The Lac St. Charles, QC native led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording a 9-8 record and a 2.97 goals against average.

“Adding Marty gives us three bona-fide number one goalies,” said Garth Snow, General Manager, New York Islanders. “We learned about the importance of stability in our line-up from last year and he now allows us to have another quality starter.”

Biron has played a total of 433 games in the NHL and comes to the Islanders with a career record of 199-162-25-20-25 (W-L-T-OT-SO), a goals against average of 2.59 and a save percentage of .912. The 6’3, 180 pound net-minder began his career with the Buffalo Sabres where he played parts of seven seasons with both the Sabres and the team’s American Hockey League affiliate at the time, the Rochester Americans. He currently ranks second on Buffalo’s All-Time List in shutouts (18) and third in game played (300) and wins (134).

Salary Cap Robbery?

Posted by on 16 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: News, Signings

Late the other night word began to trickle out about two Islanders forwards opting to forgo signing their qualifying offers from the club. At first, the only player listed was defenseman Jack Hillen, but after a few hours we learned through Chris Botta that forward Blake Comeau has also been added to that list. The GOOD news is that even though these players are holding out, they are still restricted free agents and cannot be poached at will. That said, the dreaded offer sheet can be tendered by rival clubs, but the compensation those clubs would have to give in return could be worth it in the end.

Let’s step back and analyize what is traspiring here.

Each player is represented by an agent, this is rather obvious to anyone following professional sports of any type. From what we can tell based on reports, both players want to play for the Islanders, either their agents or the players themselves feel as if their value has not been met. This is going to be a BOLD statement, but this bloggers opinion is that the agents involved are holding the Islanders and their low salary cap hostage. The Islanders have a league low salary cap, which means they have the most room. NHLSCAP shows the Islanders to have over $21 million in cap space as of this post. Naturally, these player agents are going to react to contracts handed out around the league due to fair market value, but with teams handing out lucrative deals without much regard for the salary cap – what we are seeing is all too common of a trend. I’m not going to devalue either Hillen or Comeau, but they both still have a lot to prove at the NHL level.

Last night Botta had an interesting look into the decisions behind players not accepting their qualifying offers from each players actual agent. It’s a good read, but it still doesn’t change my opinion of the equivalent of salary cap robbery. Again, a bold serious statement – but it’s just what I feel is going on.

In another example of this practice, several Islanders prospects have yet to sign their rookie deals. Chris Botta (once again) points out a few details on forward Matt Martin who was drafted in 2008. Apparently, because Martin was drafted later (5th round) and has blossomed into a formidable player, his agent is seeking a higher payday for his player. What the Islanders have offered remains to be seen, but why the sudden dispute over a contract? Granted this situation differs from the current one involving Comeau and Hillen, but it just makes you scratch your head.

I understand this is a business, I understand that players make their living playing a sport – I just don’t understand the overvaluing of players by their agents. It reeks of greed and comes off as arrogant and unappreciative.

In the end, while the Islanders DO have plenty of cap space I don’t feel that it is fair for an agent to target the biggest payday possible for players who have yet to completely prove themselves. Garth Snow has done a superb job of managing his assets, he has lined himself up perfectly for acquiring a player through trade or free agency on the coming years should he keep it up. Stay the course Garth, stick to your plan and give out FAIR contracts – no reason to overpay – much.

NHL Schedules Released

Posted by on 15 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: General, News

The NHL literally seconds ago released the full league schedule. Start making those road trip plans, I know I am!

More in a few!

Full NHL 2009/2010 Schedule

And a small update, your New York Islanders Schedule

UNIONDALE, NY, July 15, 2009 – The New York Islanders announced today the release of their 2009-10 regular season schedule. On Saturday, October 3, at 7 p.m., the Islanders will open their season at home against the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Islanders will host their biggest rival, the New York Rangers on Wednesday, October 28, Thursday, December 17 and Tuesday, March 30.

Newly signed Chris Pronger and the Philadelphia Flyers, along with Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins come to Long Island during Thanksgiving Week, Wednesday, November 25 and Friday, November 27, respectively. Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and the Stanley Cup finalist Detroit Red Wings will skate into the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday, January 12. NHL MVP Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals play on Long Island twice, October 24, 2009 and January 26, 2010. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Victor Hedman, the second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft will come to town twice, December 21, 2009 and February 13, 2010.

Single-game tickets are scheduled to go on sale at the Nassau Coliseum box office and Ticketmaster on Saturday, August 15th. For more information on ticket packages such as flex plans, half and full season tickets and group tickets, contact the Islanders’ ticket office at 1-800-882-ISLES (47537) or newyorkislanders.com.

Tavares Signs Rookie Deal!

Posted by on 15 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: News, Off Season, Signings

Just got word that 2009 First Overall draft pick John Tavares has been signed to his rookie deal – marking the start of what we hope is a long successful career in the NHL and with the New York Islanders. Monetary terms were not disclosed, but the deal is three years in length and said to be paying him in the mid $800k range with bonuses that could bring him into the mid $3 million range. It’s your typical max rookie deal – much like Steve Stamkos recieved from Tampa last year.

This is a big day for both JT and the Islanders organization as a whole. Tavares is a KEY PIECE to Garth Snow’s grand master plan – now that his contract is behind him Tavares can concentrate on doing whatever he needs to make sure his transition into the NHL goes smooth.

Congratulations John, you are bow OFFICIALLY part of Long Island and the New York Islanders – we cannot express OUR excitement enough.

UNIONDALE, NY, July 15, 2009 – The New York Islanders announced today the signing of John Tavares to a three-year entry level contract. Tavares was selected by the Islanders first overall in the 2009 National Hockey League Draft.

Tavares, a native of Oakville, ON, played in 247 career Ontario Hockey League games over four seasons, compiling 215 goals and 218 assists for 433 points. His 215 tallies surpassed Peter Lee’s former OHL record of 214 goals, which Lee held for 33 years. In 2007, Tavares was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, after breaking the OHL record for goals in a season with 72, a milestone previously held by Wayne Gretzky. Tavares played in 38 career OHL playoff games, recording 20 goals and 36 assists for a total of 56 points.

“It’s an exciting time for the Islanders organization as we develop our young talent into a contender,” said Garth Snow, General Manager, New York Islanders. “John provides another important piece to help us achieve our ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”

Last season, the 19-year-old center, led the OHL in goals (58) and points (104). Tavares recorded 50 points (32 goals and 18 assists) in 24 games after he was traded to the London Knights about halfway through the 2008-09 season and tied for the league lead in power-play goals with 14. Tavares also finished ninth in OHL playoff scoring with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points.

“I’m excited to officially become a part of the New York Islanders organization and begin my professional career this upcoming season,” said Tavares. “I look forward to joining the Islanders and be part of a team that’s ultimate goal is to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.”

Tavares won back-to-back gold medals with Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships. He was named the 2009 tournament MVP and World Junior Top Forward. Tavares tallied eight goals and seven assists for 15 points at the 2009 Tournament to complete his all-time tournament scoring marks at 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points. His career World Junior goal total of 12, ties him with fellow Canadians Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter for most goals in a career at the World Junior Championships.

Tavares is the fourth number one overall pick selected by the Islanders. In 2000, the Islanders selected goaltender Rick DiPietro first overall. Denis Potvin was picked first overall at the 1973 NHL Entry Draft and in 1972 the Islanders selected forward Billy Harris.

AHL Depth Charges

Posted by on 09 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: News, Signings, Sound Tigers

You know how we do things here at Islesblogger – we like to play with our titles to poke-fun point out the obvious. This case is no different, referencing the lack of free agent signings by our New York Islanders. The blockbuster depth signings that this team has made over the last few days has certainly bolstered one area – the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.

Here is a list whom they picked up over the last few days:

Center Greg Moore, left wing Matt Moulson, right wing Greg Mauldin and defenseman Mark Flood, Goaltender Scott Munroe, left wing Jeremy Reich and defenseman Brett Westgarth. All seven players were signed to one year two way contracts.

Some background on each player, as found on the Islanders Website followed by my own brief opinion or thoughts:

Greg Moore

Greg MooreMoore played within the New York Rangers’ organization the past four years, skating in a total of six games for the big club during the 2007-08 season. While playing for the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, the 6’1, 210 pound center compiled 58 goals and 74 assists for 132 points in 224 games during his four seasons. The native of Lisbon, Maine, was selected to represent the Wolf Pack in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic game for PlanetUSA. Moore is a graduate of the University of Maine where he played four years, accumulating 66 goals and 41 assists for 107 points with the Black Bears. In his senior year, Moore led Maine in scoring with 45 points (28 goals and 17 assists). He was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 2003 National Hockey League Entry Draft where he was selected 143rd overall in the fifth round.

Islesblogger’s take

Key words, product of Maine – we know how Garth Snow loves to take from familiar areas, but there could a diamond in the rough there with Moore. Firstly, Moore has SIZE – 6’1″ and 210 lbs makes the current crop of centermen with the Islanders look a bit small. Skill wise, Moore seems to have put up decent numbers in College and in the Minors – so it’s a bit of a crap shoot to expect him to do anything more then get his cup of coffee with the Islanders should dare I say it, injuries arise.

Matt Moulson

Matt Moulson Moulson has totaled six goals and four assists for 10 points in 29 games with the Los Angeles Kings during the last three seasons. A native of North York, ON, Moulson played the majority of his time in the Kings’ organization with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, where he tallied 74 goals and 86 assists for 160 points in 188 games. Prior to his professional career, Moulson attended Cornell University, where he graduated in 2006 after accumulating 138 points (71 goals and 67 assists). Moulson led Cornell in scoring his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was originally a draft choice of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft where he was chosen in the ninth round, 263rd overall.

Islesblogger’s take

I get nervous when I read how players had scoring prowess in college and juniors – I really do. Here we have a player who lead his college team in scoring and then came to the AHL and put up just under a point a game. Taken in the ninth round in 2003, Moulson is an older player who has very little NHL experience, but could be a potential surprise – much like Tambellini (any coincidence with the Kings? Hmmmmm). Worth a shot checking him out for a season, another decent depth player for Bridgeport.

Greg Mauldin

Greg Mauldin Mauldin has spent the past two seasons with the Binghamton Senators, AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators. In 151 games with Binghamton, Mauldin scored 39 goals and 45 assists for 84 points. The 5’11, 197 pound left-wing was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 199th overall in the seventh round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He was born in Holliston, Mass., where he went on to play college hockey at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. Mauldin played three years for the Minutemen, scoring 94 points (48 goals and 46 assists) in 98 games. At the completion of his junior year, Mauldin skated in six games for the Blue Jackets. He played the following two years for the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, recording 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points in 122 games. Mauldin was traded to the Houston Aeros at the end of the 2005-06 season, playing in 11 regular season games and scoring 4 points (1 goal and three assists).

Islesblogger’s take

Key words again – Holliston, Massachusetts – Garth sure does like those Mass natives. This is a player whom is hard to judge just by reading into his stats. Obviously the team sees something there by way of scouting, he doesn’t exactly scream out goalscoring machine – but could play well in a role player situation. However, being listed at 5’11″ and 197lbs sort of limits what type of role he can actually fit in and play. More Bridgeport depth.

Mark Flood

Mark Flood Flood, a native of Charlottetown, PEI, has played for the Albany River Rats, AHL affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes, the past three seasons, racking up 63 points (19 goals and 44 assists). The 6’1, 195 pound defensemen began his pro career with Syracuse in the 2005-06 season. He spent the next two seasons with the Crunch, scoring two goals and two assists in 17 games. Flood also saw time with the Dayton Bombers of the ECHL during the 2005-06 season where he played in 50 games and totaled 25 points (11 goals and 14 assists). Prior to his pro career, Flood skated four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Peterborough Petes scoring a total of 25 goals and 94 assists for 119 points in 253 games. Flood was selected in round six of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, 188th overall.

Islesblogger’s take

Your typical puck moving defenseman, Flood is listed at 6’1″ and 195lbs – he is said to possess a heavy right handed shot and can pot you a few goals on the power play. As you can see above, Flood has yet to really be given his big break in the NHL. With our New York Islanders and a constant revolving cast of misfits players, we know it will only be a matter of time until his services are called upon. With the way Garth snow and the scouts have picked defensemen the last few years – this one seems like it could have a low risk – high reward type of impact in my eyes.

Scott Munroe

Scott Munroe Munroe, an undrafted goalie from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, has been a part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization for the past four seasons. He received his first call-up to the National Hockey League last year with the Flyers. The 27-year-old net-minder posted a career year last season with a record of 31-19-0-4, a save percentage of .926 and four shutouts. Munroe led the Phantoms to the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of the past two seasons. During the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, Munroe made 65 saves in a five overtime contest against the Albany River Rats to earn the victory in the longest game in American Hockey League history.

Islesblogger’s take

Another goalie? The Islanders have been doing their best to restock a much needed position in the organization. With the status of Rick DiPietro being up in the air (as if it ever changes around here), the Islanders selected two goaltenders at the 2009 entry draft last week and have now signed the Phantom’s Calder Cup specialist. Look for Munroe to maybe get a spot call on backup duty here and there, but mainly vie for a position down in Bridgeport now that Peter Mannino, Yann Danis and Joey MacDonald have not been brought back this season.

Jeremy Reich

Jermey Reich Reich has played in a total of 99 NHL games scoring two goals and four assists while compiling 161 penalty minutes. The Craik, Saskatchewan, native has been a part of the Boston Bruins organization for the past three years and played under Islanders head coach Scott Gordon his first two seasons with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. Last season, the 6’1, 196 pound left wing, served as the team captain of Providence, setting single-season career high numbers of 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points in 76 games. Reich was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round (39th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Islesblogger’s take

You all asked for muscle, you got it – just not in the form you were expecting. Reich is another mid-sized enforcer poached from a familiar territory – the Providence Bruins. Scott Gordon must have been chomping at the bit to get this player, as you can see from his picture and some stats above the boy LOVES to scrap. He appears to be a leader and has quite a few NHL games under his belt at 99. I would look to him to play the role played by Nate Thompson and Joel Rechlicz last season and get the nod when there is a known need for enforcement. With a familiarity of the player by the head coach of the parent club – I wouldn’t be surprised if Gordon almost doesn’t give him a spot right out of camp.

Brett Westgarth

Brett Westgarth Westgarth played the last three seasons in the AHL. Last year, the 6’2, 215 pound defenseman played for the Worcester Sharks, AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, scoring nine points (2 goals and 7 assists) while totaling 137 penalty minutes. Westgarth, a native of Amhertsburg, ON, is a Princeton University graduate who skated for the Tigers from 2002-2007 where he compiled four goals and 20 assists for 24 points.

Islesblogger’s take

Finally, more of what we DO NOT HAVE, a relatively decent size defensive prospect who could potentially take the role of a shutdown man (ala Brendan Witt). Obviously Westgarth isn’t known for his puck moving ability and with 137 penalty minutes – clearly plays his game a bit differently. Kudos to the scouting staff for finally figuring out that every defenseman we pick doesn’t have to have a strong offensive game. Of all the moves, I think taking a chance on a defenseman you think fits a DIFFERENT type of need in the position is a step in the right direction. If it doesn’t work out, he is on a one year deal – you walk away.

In closing, the Islanders have picked up a bevy of prospects for really nothing – which is a bit risky only in you never really know what you will get when you roll the dice. Picking up free agent players like this is really no different then drafting in a sense – it takes good scouting and research to find that “diamond in the rough” player who will be serviceable not only for your farm team, but eventually your NHL club.

For now, those whom were expecting the Islanders to land some marquee free agents or a player along the lines of Mark Streit last year, you will have to wait a few more days – or take solace in knowing our current number one goaltender is Dwayne Roloson. At least he finished last season with a winning record, that’s a plus right there folks.

Lighthouse Project in the News!

Posted by on 06 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Lighthouse Project

If there is something that I have not really given enough attention to, it is the all important and deserving Lighthouse Project. It’s not for any specific reason really, it is something I REALLY want to happen for both Long Island and the New York Islanders, I just haven’t blogged about much of anything really which you all already know.

I opened up Newsday today as I do every morning and read every story as I sipped my scolding hot 7-11 coffee and found a story on the Lighthouse Project. It is something that has been a regular fixture in the local section of the paper as of late, as the momentum for the project has been steadily increasing over the last few months. I will be honest about one thing, no – make it two things; I REALLY hate politics, I mean with the fire of a thousand burning suns type of hate and I really don’t know enough about the process to make educated comments regularly. It’s not that I haven’t been afforded opportunities to either – Katrina Doell of the Lighthouse Development Group has invited myself and other bloggers to countless public and private meetings and rallies – they are usually while I am at work and for the most part cannot sneak out (trust me, I would if I could in order to educate myself).

In case you do not know, the Town of Hempstead is opening up the enviornmental review to “local government officials, representatives from involved agencies such as the state departments of Transportation, Health and Environment; the Uniondale school district; and residents near the site” for a 45-day public comment period. Whatever enviornmental concerns there are with any of the groups listed, they will work through them together and move another step closer towards allowing Charles Wang and Scott Rechler to break ground or in any case onto the next step in the process.

Here is the Newsday story:

The public will soon be able to weigh in on the environmental impact of the Lighthouse project, which proposes a community around an upgraded Nassau Coliseum.

Lighthouse principals Charles Wang and Scott Rechler have proposed a $3.7-billion development to include 2,300 living units and 1.5 million square feet of office space, shops and restaurants.

On Aug. 4, the Hempstead Town Board is expected to hear concerns from local government officials, representatives from involved agencies such as the state departments of Transportation, Health and Environment; the Uniondale school district; and residents near the site.

Hempstead officials said its consultants will use input from the public hearing to make sure all issues are addressed in a final environmental impact statement.

Some weighed in with concerns early on in the process.

Nassau County’s public works officials said in a May memo they would need proof the project has sufficient facilities to store drainage runoff, a proper destination for storm water overflow and an erosion control plan.

County health officials said in a 2008 letter they were concerned about water and sewer availability; the design of the sewage disposal system; any potential contamination on or surrounding the site; whether a licensed inspector will check for asbestos before any demolition; and hard-wired carbon monoxide alarms and a ventilation system in the underground parking garage.

An attorney for Garden City has cautioned that if the environmental review is “short-circuited” and doesn’t adequately address the adjacent village’s concerns, including water and air quality, they would sue the town and developers.

Hempstead Village officials have said the Lighthouse draft environmental report ignores their community’s downtown redevelopment, and that a lawsuit is possible.

Uniondale school officials have said they believe the developers’ estimate of an additional 330 school-aged children is low.

Today, the Hempstead Town Board is expected to declare the Lighthouse developers’ draft statement on environmental impact ready for public review, opening a minimum 45-day public comment period.

The August 4th meeting will take place at Hempstead Town Hall and is two sessions: 9:30am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. If you can make it, I urge you to show up in support of the project – but remain respectful in doing so (naturally).

Update 12:00pm

Just got word from the Lighthouse Group that there is also a meeting this week and a clarification of the Newsday article:

At the regularly scheduled Town of Hempstead Town Board meeting at 10:30 a.m. on July 7, the Town Board will take a step toward final zoning approvals with a vote on the completeness of the Draft Generic Environmental Studies. These studies were conducted in cooperation with the Town of Hempstead. The meeting will be held at Town Hall, located at One Washington Street, Hempstead, NY.

Please note, a story which appeared in the July 6, 2009 edition of Newsday incorrectly stated that this meeting was being held on July 6.

The same Newsday story also indicated that the Town will be holding public hearings related to the project on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. More information to follow from the Town of Hempstead on the time and location of this important meeting. The public hearing is the most important time for supporters of the project to turn out and let their voices be heard. Please put this date on your calendar!

We look forward to seeing you at these important events.

For more information check out Katrina Doell’s blog The Light Post or The Official Lighthouse Project website.

Islanders Sign Dwayne Roloson!

Posted by on 01 Jul 2009 | Tagged as: Free Agency, General, Roster Moves, Signings

All that talk of help for DiPietro turned out to be true. The Islanders signed goaltender Dwayne Roloson to a two year $5million dollar contract to open up their free agency spending.

This move addresses a need, but is two years for a 40 year old goalie the smartest?

Per Greg Logan’s blog.

The Islanders have reached agreement with Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson on a two-year deal believed to be worth $5 million. Signing a veteran starting goaltender solves their top priority, which was to have a 1A-caliber backup for starter Rick DiPietro in the event his injury problems continue.

Roloson turns 40 on Oct. 12, but he was the Oilers’ MVP last season with a 28-24-9 record, 2.77 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. He also recorded a spectacular .930 save percentage for Canada at the World Championships, a gold-medal effort.