Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Well hello there Isles fans, it’s been quite sometime since I updated my little blog here. I feel like I have said this before, but life changes – it could be a subtle change or a big one that cause you to either forget about your passion or just not have time to work on it. My life has changed a lot in the last year and change! Well, there is that – and that pesky 113 day NHL Lockout.
As we move forward here, I am really excited to churn out my take on everything New York Islanders. I’ve been given such a great opportunity that not many folks have received, so let’s make the best of this!
Let’s start out with the lockout.
We knew it was coming, each side had their reasons and I really don’t want to go into the semantics of the whole thing. It was horrible to endure as a fan, and that’s as far as I can take that. I refused to write about any of it, although I did read about it and listen to NHL on Sirius/XM daily – go figure.
I don’t see the need to go back 8 months to recap who we’ve drafted back in June, or who we traded for or signed. You all know that by now. I will provide my take on the most recent transactions though.
The Lubomir Visnovsky debacle rages on. Arthur Staple said earlier that the player had “some personal issues to deal with” and would eventually report to camp. This comes after weeks (if not month’s really) of the player trying to find his way out of his contract by any means. What kind of element will he add to the tight-knit locker room? Hard to say – but clearly Nabokov changed his tune once he was here.
The Islanders announced the signing of long time Islander (and short-time Blue Jacket) Radek Martinek to a one year deal. You can never have too many defenseman I say, and clearly Garth Snow feels the same way.
Speaking of defensemen – the Islanders also recently waived d-man Ty Wishart (who has since cleared and returned to Bridgeport) and claimed two players in Joe Finley (Buffalo Sabres) and Thomas Hickey (LA Kings), most likely for depth. The Islanders had a really nice article on Jon Landry that is worth a read. If you think the trials and tribulations of a hockey player are all golden like that of John Tavares – think again. Landry has traveled down a really long road, and it’s nice to see a young man stick to what he loves throughout it all!
The Islanders have also opened up a ton to fans – regarding scrimmages, practice and even concessions. For all the latest visit NewYorkIslanders.com for the latest!
On Saturday January 19th, the Islanders have their season opener against the New Jersey Devils. Also that night, a new website will go live, exclusive for Islanders fans! A site called IslandersPowerPlayDeals goes live exclusively for Islanders fans, offering preferred pricing on Long Island’s best local travel, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centers and various other retailers. You can learn more details on the Islanders official announcement.
So we find ourselves at the craziest day in the NHL, well next to July when UFA’s are available to be signed.
This year, I’m home – celebrating what will likely be an uneventful day for the New York Islanders. Last year however, I was working – stuck in the Bronx and forced to stream TSN via their Tradecentre app. This year I have a new solution, and despite being home I thought it would be easy – but I don’t have the NHL Network.
So, my solution for 2012:
I purchased a $10 dollar application called AirParrot for Mac OSX. This enables mirroring your desktop to your Apple TV. I located a link, (which I really don’t want to post in fear it would hurt the stream quality) that is showing the TSN feed. Is it perfect? No, but at least I can watch.
Now, I realize that NHL.com has the stream, but they won’t be live streaming until Noon EST. This should hold me over for a few hours.
We all know that the Islanders play as of late has been wildly inconsistent, due in part to a few key injuries and a rampant flu bug running through then locker room.
The Islanders find themselves 8 points back of the 8th and final playoff spot.
Then Islanders have a whole list of pending UFA’s:
Brian Rolston (Placed on waivers 2/25/12)
If you look over the list above, two players in particular would garner the most interest – Parenteau and Nabokov. Parenteau is second on the Islanders in points, with 15 goals and 43 assists for a total of 58 points. Garth Snow has come out on record, a few times, saying he really doesn’t want to deal PA and would like to sign him to an extension. PA’s agent has also come out on record as saying PA would rather focus on the contract after the season is over – so does Snow risk losing PA for nothing or does he listen to offers today? It’s clear that Parenteau has excelled off of Tavares’ wing, but regardless the Islanders have still struggled offensively outside of that first line anyway. It’s quite a conundrum and would leave a big hole to fill should he get moved.
Moving to Evgeni Nabokov; he’s got a no trade clause and would have to approve any move but again, Garth Snow and Nabokov’s agent have been on record the last few weeks as saying an extension is being worked on and that there are no trades being discussed. That said, we all know that things could change in an instant – especially with the goalie market being somewhat saturated. I really like what Nabokov has brought this season and turned around his little situation in not reporting after being claimed off waivers last year. He’s helped hide the Islanders defensive issues and helped them claw back to where they are currently.
The rest of the players available all have one thing in common, experience. They could help teams add depth for a stretch run, or in the playoffs – but they have all been relatively HORRID for the Islanders. Outside of Mark Eaton and maybe Montoya, I wouldn’t be sad to see anyone go.
The dilemma here for Garth Snow, he’s neither a buyer or a seller. If he sells off any available assets, the season is officially over and any SLIM chance of making the playoffs is essentially dashed. If he moves no personnel, and brings no help in – we can expect the same type of play the rest of the season and essentially come up short for the playoffs, as expected.
Should Garth Snow have a shopping list today, he needs primary and secondary scoring, AND needs first, second and third pair defensive help. For once, the goaltending situation isn’t as big of an issue as it has been in the past – but that’s IF Nabokov is retained and Montoya regains his form from earlier this season.
I guess only time will tell – and we have over five hours left until the 3 PM eastern trade deadline.
My gut says that we won’t see many trades for the Islanders today, if any at all.
Just like how many guessed that Nabokov would be claimed by the Islanders, we were also correct in guessing he’d fail to report and ultimately wind up suspended by the team.
Our comrade Evgeni decided he didn’t like his “raw deal”, so he can now sit comfortably on his duff in his lavish California home pondering what his next move could be – until at least July, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The option to “toll” his contract still exists for Garth Snow and the Islanders, so he may eventually wind up on Long Island even of he’d prefer not to.
The catch with tolling a contract, it would have to get through both the NHL and the Players Union (NHLPA) first. If it does, dear Evgeni would be on the hook for the majority of NEXT season instead of the remainder of THIS season.
You wanted to play the game, check – your move Evgeni.
Speaking of games, an interesting theory to rise out of this debacle – what if Garth Snow played this situation the exact way he wanted? For arguments sake, let’s say that he heard rumblings that Nabokov was on the verge of signing and knew he’d have to clear waivers. By filing a claim, we know it prevented other teams (even KEY teams in the Western Conference playoff race) from acquiring the goaltender. But what if he flat out knew he’d refuse to report. Is Garth Snow savvy enough to parlay a holdout for a bargain basement price into a contract for 2011/12? What’s more, what if he was savvy enough to get 4 months of good hockey out of Nabokov next season and then flip that sweet contract to a contender for a cap clearing player or players and picks?
These are certainly things that make me go hmm.
In a move that was speculated widely over the last few days, free agent netminder Evgeni Nabokov has been claimed by the New York Islanders.
Nabokov, who recently signed a one year deal with the Detroit Red Wings had to clear waivers before he could report due to playing in Europe. The Islanders suddenly found themselves in need of a goaltender due to the injury to Nathan Lawson last night in Buffalo. The extent of his injury is undetermined at this time.
Nabokov’s contract is a one year deal, prorated for the rest of the season at a cool $570,000 dollars. The contract also has a no movement clause, and he cannot report to the AHL as he is ineligible because he played in Europe. What’s more, the goaltender cannot be traded without passing through waivers once again, and ANY move would need his consent.
Nabokov played in the Russian KHL for SKA St. Petersburg, before being released from his contract.
In 22 games this season with St. Petersburg, Nabokov posted an 8-8-5 record with a 3.02 goals against average (GAA) and a .888 save percentage (sv%). The Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan native was drafted in the ninth round, 219th overall, of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. In nine NHL seasons with San Jose, Nabokov appeared in 563 games, posting a 293-178-29-37 (W-L-T-OT) record with a 2.39 GAA and a .912 sv%. He also played in 80 NHL playoff games with San Jose, posting a 40-38 record with a 2.29 GAA and a .913 sv%.
Now, Evgeni has very few options should he decide not to report. He can play a decent amount of games for the Islanders, or he can sit home and sulk the rest of the season.
Good for Garth Snow for staking a claim and upgrading his goaltending, he shot himself in the foot earlier this season by trading away pending UFA Dwayne Roloson and forcing Lawson and Poulin to step it in a little too early.
I guess time will tell how this plays out, but my guess is he’ll report.
Just heard via Twitter that the New York Islanders have claimed 23-year old forward Michael Grabner off waivers from the Florida Panthers.
The Islanders have also placed Andy Hilbert on waivers.
Grabner, who was drafted 14th overall in 2006 by the Vancouver Canucks, played 20 games in 09-10 for the Canucks and finished with 5 goals and 6 assists for 11 points.
Grabber was traded during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, along with Steve Bernier and the Canucks first round choice in the draft, the twenty-fifth selection to the Florida Panthers for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich.
This should be a pretty good pickup by Snow, being we gave up nothing to get him. Hopefully he will be another one of those great steals we have come to expect!
No, you read that correctly – I said Joel Rechlicz cupcakes….but I am only half joking here.
Yesterday, the New York Islanders placed forward Joel Rechlicz, a player those of us in the Blog Box have grown to know (and in some cases love) the last year, on waivers. Unfortunately, he has found himself the odd man out of the enforcer situation, a position the Islanders appeared they felt they didn’t need the way Rechlicz and Trevor Gillies bounced back and forth between Bridgeport and Long Island.
Gillies, who was signed to a one year extension back in April and Zenon Konopka who signed as a free agent on July 2nd make getting a call for enforcer duty next to impossible for Rechlicz. Great young player, but a victim of circumstance none-the-less. It was announced today that he has cleared waivers,
so he will most likely remain in Bridgeport next season and help out the new crop of talent debuting there this season.
The Islanders have announced today, 07/16/10 that Rechlicz’s contract has been terminated and he is now a unrestricted free agent.
Ok, so earlier you may or may not remember reading something about cupcakes. Maybe that’s the only reason why you’re still reading – I don’t know. However, there is now an official Islanders cupcake vendor. Yes, cupcake enthusiasts rejoice!
Per the Islanders Press Release:
The New York Islanders announced today the addition of a new corporate partner in the unique sponsorship category of cupcakes. The Islanders have signed an agreement to designate Cupcake Gourmet, Inc. as the official cupcake supplier of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the New York Islanders Hockey Club.
“To be the official cupcake supplier of the Islanders and Nassau Coliseum is huge to me,” Amy Brady, Owner of Cupcake Gourmet, Inc. said. “I fell in love with the team when I moved to Long Island 15 years ago and to be a part of their world feels great.”
Justin Johnson, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships & Marketing for the Islanders said: “We are thrilled to launch this partnership with Amy and Cupcake Gourmet as we continually enhance the everyday menu board for our fans.”
The Huntington, N.Y.-based Cupcake Gourmet company will sell cupcakes designed with the Islanders’ logo and traditional orange, white and blue colors during all 2010-11 home games. The cupcakes will become available at all entertainment events at the Coliseum, beginning August 18 with The Wiggles: Wiggly Circus.
You can read some more over on the Islanders website, however I must disappoint as you won’t be eating a cupcake with Joel Rechlicz’s image on it anytime soon….
I cannot say that I saw this coming, at all.
Brendan Witt who has been tough as nails for the New York Islanders the last few years (including a run in with a Chevy Tahoe in Philly this season) has found himself activated from the IR and right onto the waiver wire.
Newsday’s Katie Strang has some great stuff on her blog today regarding this development.
In 42 games this season, Witt has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5 PTS and is a -18. Witt’s play this season has fallen off to what we have seen in recent years – likely attributed to the knee that has bothered him for the last few weeks (he also played through the injury for an unknown amount of time).
Witt has one year and $3-Million left on his contract and was apparently shopped around by Garth Snow for some time. Should Witt clear waivers, he will join Martin Biron in Bridgeport who was recently sent down for conditioning. When and if Witt is recalled, he will be exposed to re-entry waivers where a team could pick him back up at half the price of his contract.
According to Chris Botta of Islanderspointblank, the Islanders could eventually wind up trading Witt at his bargain basement cost of half price.
Something that bothers me a little, is what Snow explained to Katie Strang today:
Snow said the move is less of a knock on Witt’s play and more of an indication of how far along some of the Islanders young defenseman have come and the organization’s confidence in their play
As I said in the Nick Boynton post earlier this week, while the play of MacDonald has been outstanding, giving Dustin Kohn MORE time now isn’t the best option for this club. The team needs help and they need EXPERIENCED HELP.
What do I know though.
Odds are that we will see some moves made with our Islanders before the Olympic break, stay tuned.
It’s not everyday that a serviceable 6’1″ 218 LB 31-year old defenseman is waived by his team, it’s even rarer of an occasion where your struggling and injured team can benefit by picking him up and NOT MOVE A PLAYER IN RETURN.
Such is the case that Islanders GM Garth Snow will find himself in should he opt to claim Nick Boynton off of waivers before 12 o’clock tomorrow afternoon.
Why should Snow put in a claim?
Let’s see, the team has now lost five straight and is still on the playoff bubble stalled at 54 points. The Islanders defensive corps is battered and bruised, having to resort to calling up two stop gaps in Dustin Kohn and Andrew MacDonald (MacDonald is playing over 21 minutes a game and has been impressive, but I digress). Jack Hillen was felled to a broken jaw thanks to Alex Ovechkin’s slapshot last week and will be out 6-8 weeks. Veteran tough guy d-man Brendan Witt has a leg injury and will be out for another 2-3 weeks at best. Lastly on the injury front, Radek Martinek (aka Glass Man) was lost to a knee injury earlier this season and will be out indefinitely.
Looking further into the depth of the Islanders d-corps depth chart:
Bruno Gervais, is just not cutting it and seems to finding himself in the red in the plus/minus column more often than not. His recent pairing with Mark Streit has allowed him better play, thankfully.
Freddy Meyer (FMIV) bounces in and out of the lineup and has been decent, but he is not a top four d-man.
You’re current top four – Andy Sutton, Mark Streit, Bruno Gervais and Andrew MacDonald. The Islanders need defensive help and they need it now.
Boynton is set to make $700,000 for the rest of this season and is a pending UFA, so it’s not really a high risk move by any means. Should Boynton clear waivers, he will be sent down to the Ducks AHL affiliate and if summoned back to the NHL will be exposed to re-entry waivers and only costing a team $350,000 at that point.
To me, shaking up your team and giving them depth by adding a waiver wire claim seems like a good move. Pundits can claim that Boynton has played for three teams in two seasons, he has had his struggles in Anaheim and doesn’t fit the Islanders system. However, the failed experiment this weekend in Philly with Trevor Gillies should point out the need for toughness in the lineup – which Boynton can bring. Looking over his fight card this season (3 fights in his limited playing time) he has fought some tough opponents.
I say give him a shot Garth, but that’s just my opinion – if he doesn’t work out, no harm no foul and you have given up NOTHING.
What do you all think? Discuss in the comments section.
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.
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!