Archived Posts from this Category

Nielsen Inked to 4 Year Extension!

Posted by on 07 Feb 2012 | Tagged as: Gameday, Signings

There’s been lots of contract extension talk regarding some of the pending UFA’s on the Islanders the last few weeks. Most notably, Frans Nielsen and PA Parenteau.

You can take the Great Dane off your list, as Garth Snow has inked Nielsen to a four year $11-Million dollar contract extension earlier tonight.

No official news per the team, but it was just talked about on MSG during the Islanders telecast and TSN’s Bob McKenzie had several tweets on this:

Nielsen has been a key defensive forward for the New York Islanders, and he also has that deadly go-to move during the shootout.

I’ll have more shortly.

Steve Staios Agrees to One Year Deal

Posted by on 30 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: News, Preseason, Signings, Tryouts

The New York Islanders have signed Steve Staios to a one year contract today.

I think this is a great signing, and as I said the other day, Staios has looked great during camp and preseason. I felt he earned his contract after coming to the Islanders on a PTO.

With Milan Jurcina’s health in question – Staios being signed is that much more important depth wise.

Per the Islanders release:

The New York Islanders have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with defenseman Steve Staios.

Staios, who originally was attending the Islanders Training Camp on a tryout basis, has played in each of the Islanders three preseason games this month and is set to dress against the New Jersey Devils tonight at 7 p.m. at the Prudential Center.

The Hamilton, ON native has played in 936 career National Hockey League games, scoring 56 goals and 156 assists for 212 points. He has also accumulated 1,269 penalty minutes over the course of his 15-year NHL career.

Staios, originally drafted in the second round (27th overall) of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, played the last two seasons with the Calgary Flames. In 57 games, he totaled four goals and nine assists for 13 points.

He played in 573 games over the course of eight seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. Staios recorded 35 goals and 111 assists with the Oilers. The 6’1, 200 pound defenseman also played two seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers, three with the Vancouver Canucks and two with the Boston Bruins.

Internationally, Staios has represented Team Canada at the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 World Championships. He tallied two goals and four assists for six points in 33 games.

Mark Streit’s Got a Little Captain

Posted by on 21 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: Hot Headlines, News, Signings

It’s been a great month for Islanders fans. It really has.

All things considered, this time of year is usually a tad depressing. The summer weather gradually shifts to cooler temperatures, the wardrobe tends to get heavier and more cumbersome, leaves begin to change colors and then fall to the ground. That being said, the cooler temps mean hockey season is right around the corner.

The Islanders started their training camp last weekend. Several Islanders reported to camp with contracts bearing that still-wet ink look. In case you’ve not heard by now, 2009 First Overall draft pick – John Tavares signed a six-year $33 Million Dollar contract extension. This put to rest many of the rumors (we will call them rumours as they originated to our north…) that Tavares would bolt as-soon-as he reached free agency. Next on Garth Snow’s to-do list was a new contract for Josh Bailey, whom did not sign his qualifying offer earlier this summer. Bailey agreed to terms on a 11th hour deal, a two year contract worth $2.1 Million Dollars.

This means that a majority of the teams core young guys: Okposo, Grabner, Moulson, and now Tavares are locked up for the next five years, at reasonable prices too. Next on the list, as we have all speculated – Frans Nielsen. I expect him to earn a raise as his contract has been a bargain for the last several years.

Today, the Islanders held a press conference – confirming what many of us have speculated on for the last while. Mark Streit was named the franchise’s 13th Captain in team history, and the first Swiss born player in the NHL to be named captain.

From the Islanders Press Release:

The New York Islanders announced today the appointment of defenseman Mark Streit as the 13th captain in the organization’s 40-year history.

Streit, 33, enters his fourth season with the Islanders in 2011-12. He missed the entire 2010-11 campaign with a shoulder injury, but in his first two seasons with the club, Streit led all Islanders in ice-time. He also led the team in scoring during the 2008-09 season, while ranking third in that category in 2009-10.

The Bern, SUI, native becomes the first team captain in National Hockey League history from Switzerland.

“It’s truly an honor to be named the captain of such a historic franchise with a rich history,” Streit said. “To follow in the foot-steps of so many legendary leaders that represented the Islanders is a role I am excited to fill. It is a privilege to be considered one of the leaders of this team and I’m committed to taking this team to the next level.”

The Islanders’ 12th captain, Doug Weight, relinquished the position after two years of service when he retired on May 26, 2011. Streit has served as an assistant captain at various points throughout his three-year Islanders career.

“Throughout his three seasons with the Islanders, Mark has been a steadying presence in our dressing room,” said General Manager Garth Snow. “He is constantly pushing himself to be the very best and demands the same from his teammates. Mark is a leader both on and off the ice and we are pleased to name him the 13th team captain in Islanders history.”

The Montreal Canadiens selected Streit in the ninth round (262nd overall) of the 2004 National Hockey League Entry Draft. In 361 career NHL games, he’s scored 52 goals and 162 assists for 214 points. Streit has also played in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording one goal and three assists.

In international play, Streit has served as captain for Team Switzerland at numerous World Championships and Winter Olympic games. In total, he’s played in 74 World Championship games, 15 Winter Olympic games and 11 World Junior Championship games.

Mark Streit has been one of the most surprising players on this young Islanders squad. Signed as a free agent after spending time in the Montreal Canadiens organization, Streit dominated on the Island. Watching his steady progression has been a great experience. His presence on the back end can be compared, at least in my eyes – to that of Kenny Jonnson. Big hits, timely goals and extremely sound positionally.

It absolutely killed the Islanders when Streit fell to injury last year in training camp, he’s that big of a player for them. Hopefully he’s put the injury behind him and really shines this season.

Okposo Signed to Five Year Deal

Posted by on 25 May 2011 | Tagged as: General, Hot Headlines, Off Season, Signings

There is nothing like fantastic news after the first blazing hot day of the summer.

It’s been a slow few weeks in Islanders country, although – not in terms of talks with Nassau County on that whole new Arena business. The Islanders however, have announced today that they have agreed to terms with Kyle Okposo on a five-year contract.

Per the Islanders press release:

The New York Islanders announced today that forward Kyle Okposo has agreed to terms on a five-year contract.

“I’m very excited to commit to the Islanders for the next five years, especially with the news of the new Coliseum,” Okposo said. “This team really showed its potential in the second half of the season last year and I’m excited to be a part of getting the franchise back to the playoffs.”

Okposo, 23, scored five goals with 15 assists in 38 games for the Islanders last season. The St. Paul, MN, native missed the first 44 games of 2010-11 due to a shoulder injury, which he suffered during training camp.
“Kyle has been a critical part of our young core over the past few seasons,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “He is a high character guy that brings size and a scoring touch to our lineup.”

The Islanders selected Okposo in the first round, seventh overall, of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He has served as an assistant captain since 2009-10. In 192 career NHL games, all with the Islanders, Okposo has scored 116 points (44 goals, 72 assists).

The 6’0”, 210-pound forward has also played in 35 American Hockey League games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and he’s represented the United States at two World Championships and two World Junior Championships.

Before beginning his professional career, Okposo spent one season in the United States Hockey League with the Des Moines Buccaneers, followed by two collegiate years at the University of Minnesota.

Now that Okposo is in the fold for the next while, Garth can look to some of the other players who are also restricted free agents and deserve some longevity as well.

Kyle didn’t really show us what he could do to the fullest potential this past season – due to his shoulder injury in camp and I was personally disappointed. He is one of those players who may not always wind up on the score sheet, but is ALWAYS in position defensively and makes those important offensive plays as well. He’s not afraid to hit and has shown he has that razzle dazzle with the puck on his stick.

The Islanders certainly solidified themselves for the long term with this contract, as they did with Michael Grabner’s contract a few weeks back.

Islanders Sign Shane Sims to ATO

Posted by on 09 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Gameday, General, Signings

With the Islanders final game today in Philadelphia, the team needed to find another player for defensive help on an emergency basis. Trying as hard as I could yesterday, I had joked with Islanders GM Garth Snow that I was ready, willing and able to be signed to an ATO (this would fulfill the Twitter wishes from yesterday). Unfortunately, Garth said he’d seen me skate (Untrue! Blast that GM!) and today, signed Shane Sims over myself.

Some particulars on Sims, per the Islanders release:

The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Shane Sims has signed an NHL regular season amateur tryout agreement. The club is under emergency conditions, with injuries to Jack Hillen and Milan Jurcina.

Sims, 22, led all Ohio State University defenseman in scoring this season with 19 points and ranked second overall on the team with 16 assists. The East Amherst, NY, native also led the Buckeyes with a plus-9 rating during his senior campaign.

The Islanders selected Sims in the fifth round (126th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In 152 career NCAA games with Ohio State, Sims recorded 16 goals and 55 assists for 71 points. Before his collegiate career, the 6-1, 195-pound blueliner played two seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL, earning all-rookie honors in 2006 and being named a USHL All-Star in 2007.

I suppose I’ll use the off season to bulk up and work with my power skating coach. Consider yourself lucky Sims.

Islanders Sign Jamie Doornbosch to ATO

Posted by on 08 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: Gameday, News, Signings

Well, we knew something along these lines would have HAD to have played out, once we learned that Matt Campanale couldn’t play more than one game (a game in which he played just over 8 minutes and didn’t look completely out of place…).

Today, the Islanders have found another defensive stop-gap measure in Jamie Doornbosch.

Doornbosch, a 21-year old defenseman for the OHL Kitchener Rangers, will make his NHL debut tonight at Nassau Coliseum in the much anticipated rematch of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Per the Islanders release today:

The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Jamie Doornbosch has signed an NHL regular season amateur tryout agreement. The club is under emergency conditions, with injuries to Jack Hillen and Milan Jurcina.

Doornbosch, 21, scored 19 goals and 29 assists in 68 games in his overage season with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. The Richmond Hill, ON, native also added one goal and one assist in seven playoff games with Kitchener. Doornbosch finished second amongst Rangers defensemen and scoring and ranked second on the team with 12 power play goals.

In 264 career OHL games with Kitchener and the Peterborough Petes, Doornbosch recorded 41 goals and 106 assists for 147 points. The 6’ 2”, 190-pound blueliner was acquired by the Rangers in a 2010 trade with the Peterborough Petes, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2006 OHL Priority Selection Draft.

What will the team do for this seasons closer in Philadelphia you ask?

My friends on Twitter seem to think that Garth Snow Should sign me to an ATO contract, as it would make for some great story lines.

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From the Press Box to the Players Box: Blogger Turns Pro!

Yep, that would be something!

Islanders Sign Matt Campanale to ATO

Posted by on 06 Apr 2011 | Tagged as: General, Signings

Due to a rash of defensive injuries, the Islanders have announced the signing of Matt Campanale to an amateur tryout contract today.

Talk about a whirlwind of change for for this former collegiate player, he made his debut for the Sound Tigers on the 2nd and is now likely going to finish the the season out in the NHL. Nope Eric Hornick clears up the ATO mumbo jumbo, straight from the pages of the CBA over here – apparently the contract is only valid for one game.

Per the Islanders release:

The New York Islanders announced today that defenseman Matt Campanale has signed an NHL regular season amateur tryout agreement. The club is under emergency conditions to Jack Hillen and Milan Jurcina. Campanale will make his NHL debut tonight, when the Islanders face the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m.

Campanale, 23, led all University of New Hampshire skaters this season with a plus-25 rating, while playing in all 39 games of his senior campaign. The Chester Springs, PA, native made his professional debut with the Islanders’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, on April 2 and has posted a plus-two rating in two AHL games this season.

In 106 career NCAA games, Campanale recorded three goals and 21 assists with a plus-30 rating. The 5’ 11”, 200-pound blueliner played for the Green Mountain Glades of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) before his collegiate career. In his final EJHL season (2006-07), Campanale led all Glades defensemen in scoring with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists) and was selected an EJHL First-Team All-Star.

Isles-Rangers, Montoya Extended, Donovan Signed

Posted by on 31 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Call Ups, Gameday, General, Hot Headlines, Signings

It’s been a slow few weeks here at Islesblogger, but not because there hasn’t been anything going on in Islanders Country lately. No, instead – this blogger was in Sunny South Florida, escaping the crazy fall weather here in NY that has featured, rain, rain with snow, snow with lightning and of course – the accompanying cold.

While in Florida, I missed a few games – First in our ugly loss to the Atlanta Thrashers and then in our loss against a team we cannot ever seem to beat in the Philadelphia Flyers. My sincerest appologies there – but, I did catch two baseball games down in Ft Myers, Twins-Orioles and Twins-Yankees. First time ever watching spring training live, it was fun!

Tonight, the Islanders are looking to exact revenge on many levels against their cross town rival New York Rangers. Al Montoya gets the start again against his formal club, looking to make up for being pulled in their last meeting two weeks ago. The Islanders could potentially steal two VERY important points against the Rangers, who have fallen to eight place in the East after their 1-0 loss to the Sabres last night.

The Isles have been mathematically eliminated for a few games now, so they have nothing to lose – figuratively of course. Unless you count pride that is….

The Islanders also played last night, in a 3-2 loss to New Jersey at the Prudential center – a game in which they struggled for long stretches, came close – but couldn’t find the will to win.

Michael Grabner will miss his second straight game as he is expecting the birth of his son. Al Montoya will be sporting his best – a one year, one way extension with the New York Islanders.

In other news, Islanders defensive prospect and 2008 Draft Choice Matt Donovan has been signed to his rookie deal. He joins the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on an ATO, like Ness was also done a few weeks ago. The Sound Tigers find themselves in need of defensive help lately, with Gervais and Jurcina both hurt – Reese and Katic are up with the big club.

In other news, perhaps you missed my interview with the Islanders website, which was also featured on the NHL website – or so says a few emails and texts I received!

Oh yea – injuries! We lost Andrew MacDonald for the rest of this season with a hip injury, Mark Streit was not cleared to play and wont play in the upcoming worlds, Bruno Gervais and Milan Jurcina are banged up (as I said earlier), and Doug Weight if you couldn’t guess is done for the year and may retire.

While there may not be too many exciting things left in what’s left of the Islanders season – at least this awesome rivalry will keep us entertained.

Be sure to follow along as I tweet live during the game on Twitter and check back later on for in-game and post game analysis.

Aaron Ness Signs Entry Deal With Islanders!

Posted by on 16 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Draft, Hot Headlines, News, Prospects, Signings, Sound Tigers

Reports were running rampant over the last several days about Islanders defensive draft prospect and Minnesota Golden Gopher Aaron Ness being close to signing his pro contract with the Islanders. His agent, in response to these reports – claimed the rumors as “irresponsible journalism” directed at both blogs and the mainstream media reports alike, in clear denial.

But the rumors just did not stop.

Aaron Ness on Draft Day 2008

Earlier today, Newsday’s Katie Strang said via Twitter that there was something up with the Islanders and Ness once again.

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We all knew how a previous situation played out with the Golden Gophers and Kyle Okposo being lured to the Islanders – this was aired out in the media all over the place, with Garth Snow and Gopher’s head coach Don Lucia verbally sparring. After Ness was drafted and committed to Minnesota – Islanders fans raised an eye brow, and ear marked that page out of curiosity.

Aaron Ness skates for Minnesota Golden Gophers

Flash forward to today – and the rumors and speculation turned out to be correct. The Islanders announced around Noon today, that they had agreed to terms with Ness on his entry level contract and would be reporting to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders AHL affiliate.

Per the press release and Islanders website:

The New York Islanders announced Wednesday that they have signed defenseman Aaron Ness to a three-year, entry-level contract. Ness will report to the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and play out the remainder of the 2010-11 season on an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO). The entry-level contract will commence in the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Ness, the Islanders second-round selection (40th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, signs after completing three seasons of collegiate hockey at the University of Minnesota. The 5’10”, 177-pound defenseman appeared in 35 games this season with the Golden Gophers, recording 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) and 41 penalty minutes. The 20-year-old blue-liner concludes his collegiate career with 111 games played and 43 points (six goals, 37 assists).

So, Bridgeport will get to see how Ness could help their defensive and offensive woes – the Islanders get to take a look at another one of their defensive prospects, all the while not even burning the first year of his contract in the process. Lastly, Ness will now be under the watchful eye of the Islanders and Bridgeport coaching staff which will help in his development.

Seems like a win, win, and WIN situation to me.


Islanders Sign PA Parenteau to Extension

Posted by on 17 Feb 2011 | Tagged as: General, News, Signings

News straight out of the Islanders morning skate, Islanders forward PA Parenteau has been signed to a one year contract extension. Terms are not yet available.

Parenteau has had a pretty good season so far on the top line for the Isles, many were attributing his success to being on Tavares’ line – but like many players the Islanders have taken a chance on – he has really grown during his time with the team.

Per the Islanders website:

Parenteau, 27, is currently tied for second place on the Islanders in points with 35 (14 goals, 21 assists) through 56 games this season. Prior to signing with the Islanders as a free agent on July 2, 2010, the Hull, QC native had only played in 27 career National Hockey League games.

“I’m really excited to stay on Long Island,” said Parenteau. “The Islanders organization has given me the chance to prove that I belong in the NHL and I look forward to being a part of the success that is building in our dressing room for the near future.”

Originally selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the ninth round, 264th overall, of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Parenteau completed a four-year junior hockey career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2003.  He played his first professional season in 2003-04 with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League (AHL). Prior to joining the Islanders, the eight-year veteran had played in five NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks and in 22 with the New York Rangers. Parenteau’s AHL resume includes stints with Cincinnati, the Portland Pirates, the Norfolk Admirals and the Hartford Wolf Pack.  Parenteau scored 166 goals and 237 assists for 403 points in 450 career AHL games.

Snow Shines Bright in Moulson Extension

Posted by on 29 Jan 2011 | Tagged as: News, Signings

The last week and a half has been rough for Islanders fans. We went from a high profile waiver claim holding out and being suspended, to fans around the league blasting the organization for the claim, to a few losses to end the week prior to the All Star break.

Let’s not forget to mention the NHL snubbing the Islanders by not choosing a player to participate in the actual game on Sunday in Raleigh. Instead, and rightfully so; Michael Grabner will represent the team in the skills competition tonight.

There was a bright spot this week though, and it wasn’t even the result of snow blindness – pending unrestricted free agent Matt Moulson has been signed to a three year contract extension.

Moulson had been quoted in Newsday last week saying that he wasn’t interested in playing anywhere else, despite the murmurs that he could potentially be dealt in a trade either before or on the deadline. It’s not often as Islanders fans that we hear players wanting to play for the organization, let alone basically begging to stay.

In his post extension interviews with Katie Strang of Newsday, Moulson was elated. He talked about his excitement of the chance to stay with what he termed “the best group of guys he has ever played with” and wants to be part of the organizations turn around and ultimately wants to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Over the last two seasons I have witnessed a player blossom from someone trying to find his game, to a thirty goal scorer, and now into a young veteran who’s about to prove his success wasn’t a fluke. Moulson has confidence and most importantly a skill that many lack – the ability to drive to the net and score gritty goals. For his play, he has justly been rewarded with the three year extension worth just over $3 million a year.

One quick note worth mentioning, holdout Evgeni Nabokov and Matt Moulson share the same agent – Don Meehan. Clearly, Garth and Don continue to share a good professional relationship – a very important and necessary evil in professional sports.

The Islanders will have to visit extending several more pending UFA and RFA players in the coming months – one of which is a player I’d like to see locked up long term as well in our All Star, Michael Grabner.

Better times are ahead of us – patience is certainly something that Garth Snow will reward us for. You’ll see.

Streak Over, Weight Coaches Power Play, Colliton Signed, Earthquakes

Posted by on 30 Nov 2010 | Tagged as: General, Hot Headlines, Signings, Sound Tigers

This is a really late recap – I know Michael, shame on you uh..I mean yourself.

Let’s chalk it up to a turkey hangover. Perhaps even a hockey hangover, because I attended several NHL games and played in three myself the last six days (in case anyone wants to know I had 4 goals and 2 assists). I am available for that PTO at any given point Garth……

Well, where do we begin – I got your attention with quite a headline, hopefully a few laughs too because I am in a good mood.

By now mostly everyone knows that the Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils on Friday last week 2-0, effectively ending their FOURTEEN game skid and extending Capuano’s point streak to three games. His record in the NHL is now 1-2-2. While he has the Islanders playing much better, they still need to work on their special teams – it’s funny that you can watch a teams struggle at even strength, then with a man advantage and then back to even strength over the season.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Maybe that’s where the Captain, Doug Weight comes in. It seems he was coaching the power play today during practice. With the Islanders putting up a big fat 0-fer the last 31 chances, I guess you can say anything could help – but that’s not saying Capuano is incapable of handling this himself – in fact, this was HIS idea.

Just read the paragraph below taken from the story on the Islanders website:

“I actually talked to Dougie and I thought it would be a good idea (to have him give the players some pointers),” Capuano said. “I saw him at the rink because he was getting some therapy and I picked his brain a little bit. I wanted to get a few ideas from him so we can build off it as well.”

Since Weight hasn’t played in the last four games, he’s watched from the press box. Sometimes watching games from above gives players a better view of the game and different areas the team could improve upon because they can see the play develop.

“He’s been around a long time,” Capuano said. “(He talked to the players about) what he sees up top during the game, puck movement, player movement not being so stagnant, getting pucks to the net, having a better net-front presence. These are things that we talk about, but sometimes a different voice is good too.”

To me, THAT is a quality that makes a great coach – he recognizes the value in a veteran player like Weight and sought out some advice on what could be done to implement change. Reading some of the message boards, many fans disagree and just chalk this up to another loony move the organization likes to make. Obviously I disagree here, and I guarantee you that this happens in varying situations throughout the league – ESPECIALLY when it involves young teams.

Jeremy Colliton Signed

Getty Imagages

With some trade activity in the Eastern Conference today, the Islanders announced the signing of Center Jeremy Colliton, whom they selected 58th overall in the 2003 draft – to a two way deal. In spot duty for the Islanders, Colliton has one goal, two assists and sixteen penalty minutes in 42 games. Down in Bridgeport, with the Islanders AHL affiliate Sound Tigers, Colliton has scored 134 points (50 goals, 84 assists) in 250 career games.

Although there are numerous injuries to the Islanders, this signing is likely a depth move. It keeps Colliton down in Bridgeport and gives the Islanders another option at center should they want to try a different look. I shouldn’t have to remind anyone that the Islanders have quite a few centers already however.

Speaking of centers, Josh Bailey was injured this weekend down in Bridgeport where he is on loan to the Sound Tigers. Apparently, the injury bug follows the Islanders players to their farm team. It’s a shame too, because reports from CT were good, as Bailey had been working hard and racking up some assists. All that is reported thus far, is that it is a strained pectoral muscle – and nothing more.

But wait, there is more – Bruno Gervais suffered a fractured cheekbone in his fight with Colin White on Friday. Surprised? Maybe you didn’t see the fight….

Wait, did you feel that? Too bad the earthquake today didn’t happen when Gervais was felled in two punches.

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