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David Toews Leaves NCAA for WHL

Posted by on 20 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Ex-Isles, General, Off Season, Prospects, Signings

Islanders prospect David Toews, the younger brother of Jonathan Toews – has left the NCAA (University of North Dakota) and joined the Wheat Kings of the WHL for the upcoming season marking the start of his professional hockey career.

Per the Calgary Sun:

Right-winger David Toews has decided to leave the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux after two seasons to join the Wheaties for his 20-year-old season. The Wheat Kings drafted Toews in the sixth round of the 2005 bantam draft.

Toews, who had nine goals and 26 points in 51 games at UND, was a third-round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2008 NHL draft.

In Other News

In other off season player news, several former Islanders have signed on with other clubs as free agents.

Defenseman Freddy Meyer has signed with the Atlanta Thrashers next season in a two-way deal for $500,000.

Meyer spent the last three seasons with the Islanders. He had four goals and 11 assists in a career-high 64 games in 2009-10 and 19 goals, 52 assists and 147 penalty minutes in 266 career NHL games.

Meyer has been a solid player for the Islanders over the last three seasons, although he was lost on waivers for a brief period to the Phoenix Coyotes – he was reclaimed shortly thereafter due to his solid play. He often logged important minutes and earned special teams play, his departure is a due to a vastly improved defensive unit this season with the addition of Eaton, Jurcina and Wisniewski.

Also, Sean Bergenheim was signed to a one year deal by the Tampa Bay Lightning this week. Originally selected 22nd overall by the Islanders, the fan favorite Begenheim had 40 goals and 40 assists over 246 career games with the Islanders.

Bergy, as fans and teammates affectionately called him, just couldn’t put it together at a consistent level. He’s a great skater with offensive ability who plays an exciting energetic
style, he was also great at being a pest – so the Lightning certainly added a nice piece.

But wait, there’s more!

The Islanders also added two players this week – one a former Islander who spent the previous season in the Minnesota Wild’s system.

Andy Hilbert has signed with the Islanders on a one year two-way contract as has forward Rob Hisey.

Per the Islanders release:

Hilbert returns to the Islanders after playing within the Minnesota Wild organization last season. The Howell, MI native skated in four games for the Wild. He spent the majority of the season with Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, totaling 25 points (nine goals and 16 assists) in 33 games. Prior to his stint with the Wild, Hilbert was a member of the Islanders for three seasons, accumulating 27 goals and 44 assists for 71 points in 218 games. Hilbert was originally drafted by the Boston Bruins in the second round (37th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Over the course of the four seasons that Hilbert spent in the Bruins organization, he split each season between Boston and their AHL affiliate the Providence Bruins.

Hisey played his first season of professional hockey in North America last year in both the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and the Central Hockey League with the Tulsa Oilers. A native of Oakville, ON, Hisey skated in 37 games for the Falcons last season, scoring 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. With Tulsa, Hisey tallied 41 points (19 goals and 22 assists) in 24 games. Hisey played the previous four seasons in Finland, Germany, Austria and Sweden.

I like the Hilbert signing in that he was always solid defensively and shorthanded – he will replace Richard Park in all likelihood if and when he gets regular playing time with the the Islanders.

Rob Hisey I don’t know much about at this point, but from what I have heard he has some offensive potential and possesses Rob Schremp like hands around the net. Garth Snow likely sees this as another player worthy of a look and will likely play with the Sound Tigers this season.

I’d just like to take a second to wish Meyer and Bergenheim luck this up coming season and thank them for the job they did during their time here on Long Island. Best of luck gents.

Congratulations Bill Guerin

Posted by on 13 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Ex-Isles, General

You know, sometimes when the going gets tough – the tough have to get going. That’s pretty much what’s been going on here in the last month or so. I have been experiencing a hell of a time in my personal life, I won’t go into details but it’s been a trying time. I have lacked the drive, creativity and patience to actually sit down and figure out what to write about – but I think I am ready to come back.

Last night I had the pleasure of watching 3/4 of Game Seven at the residence of one Steve Carlson of Slap Shot fame. While sitting around during the pregame, Dee Karl aka 7thWoman took everyone’s prediction of the outcome. Naturally, Doug Davidson and myself picked Pittsburgh to win in overtime (double overtime for me) but at least we still picked right. I like Detroit mind you, Chris Osgood helped turn the Islanders around in the late 90’s – but enough is enough up there in Motor City. Not to forget, the Penguins are chocked full of ex-Islanders (and a Long Islander to boot) that I was hoping would get the chance to hoist the cup. Most notably, our most recent captain – Bill Guerin.

Dom over at Lighthouse Hockey tends to think along the same lines as I do (more often than not actually). This time, Dom states he felt this may have been Guerin’s last shot at winning Lord Stanley’s Cup – and I agree. Looking past all the hooplah during the March trade deadline that had Billy G going in all sorts of directions (and then none at all for a time) – the trade worked out pretty good for the old war horse.

Check out the video for just how great Guerin felt in this (possible last) moment of glory in his great career:

On behalf of all of the New York Islanders fans, I would like to congratulate Bill Guerin and all of the other former New York Islanders players in their Championship win last night. It was definately a great hockey year, right down to the bitter end.

Mark Parrish Tryout?

Posted by on 22 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: Ex-Isles, News, Roster Moves, Sound Tigers

Mark ParrishNews has hit the wire that former Islanders forward Mark Parrish has been signed to a tryout contract with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Parrish will play 25 games with Bridgeport and could then be tendered offers from rival clubs – but it is a safe bet that he could land a spot with the New York Islanders.

Earlier this summer the Minnesota Wild bought out the remaining three-years of his contract (estimated worth around $9-million). I had mixed feelings when the buyout occurred, but apparently his offensive ability trailed off the last several years and no longer fit in with the Wild’s plans. Glad to see Parry is getting a chance to get his foot back in the door – although I wish he never left.

Should he be brought up to the Islanders at some point (after 25 games?) – he will retake his old office in front of opposing goaltenders and help on the power play. What about the youth movement? Well, Parrish isn’t exactly a senior citizen at 31-years old, but Mark Parrish isn’t the same player he was. However, if the Islanders can pick him up without losing a single prospect, player or pick – AND have a chance at dictating his salary, why wouldn’t you do it?

The Islanders lack goal scoring, plain and simple. They also need that front of the net presence that Parrish was known for in his time here. He won’t score 30 or 40 goals, but anything he pitches in is that much extra compared to what was there.

This is a low risk move and hard to fault.

It also adds a known player to your back pocket, once the trade deadline comes – he can be offered a contract when some of the veterans are moved.

York’s Woes Continue

Posted by on 01 Oct 2008 | Tagged as: Ex-Isles, General, Off Season

Forward Mike York has seen the ups and downs during his career, no arguing that point. His time with the Islanders was split between good and bad, his time with the Rangers – also less than memorable.

During his worst struggles, the Islanders sent him packing to Philly where he still couldn’t find his game. He then spent a year in Phoenix, signed a deal with Russia in July of this summer after no NHL interest and finally balked on that contract to sign with Columbus.

Word from Eric Smith on Hockeybuzz has Columbus placing York on waivers. Hopefully, this does not mark the beginning of the end for York – as he only 30 years old.

For more on Mike York’s career, check out the page on Wikipedia.