An independent blog on the New York Islanders, the NHL and AHL by a guy from New York.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Orange and Blue All Over

Today was the Islanders Blue vs. Orange Scrimmage, 2012 Prospects Game at the Iceworks practice facility.  250 fans and standing room only media got to witness the event along with thousands of fans on Islanders TV streamed live from the teams website.  Last years contest was a back and forth scoring exhibition.  What would this years game be like?

The squads looked like this:

Eric Cairns coaching the Blue Team.

Isles Blue Forwards for Scrimmage: Kabanov-Strome-Riley Tiefenworth-Nelson-Clark Goldenkov-Sundstrom-Giftopoulos McGuire-Lardner.

Isles Blue D-Pairs for Scrimmage: Pokka-Kichton Bischoff-Graham Leduc-Cantin Yevenko Goalies: Vazzano, Gillam.

Trent Klatt coaching the Orange Team.

Isles Orange Forwards for Scrimmage: Mackay-Cizikas-Niederreiter Halmo-Terao-Persson Theoret-Calof-Holmstrom Berkle-Periera.

Isles Orange D-Pairs for Scrimmage: Reinhart-Mayfield Pedan-Somerby Escobedo-Schneider MacGregor Goalies: Reiter, Boyle.

Periera scores. Orange 1 Blue 0.

Mayfield takes the1st penalty and Strome misses on the penalty shot.

Orange takes 2-0 lead on Calof goal at 7:37 of second.

Per Dee Karl, Note: “6'7" Oleg Yevenko can fly and he has a shot that scared 1/2 the arena.”

Halmo scores for Orange giving them a 3-0 lead with the empty net.

Final: Orange 3 Blue 0. Shootout is next for ‪Isles prospects.

Final after Shootout: Orange 6 Blue 0. Persson, Halmo and Reinhart score in so for ‪Isles.

Nino’s take on the game, "It's always difficult to play summer hockey, but at the end of the day we won 6-0 & it was a fun game."

This years scrimmage was a defensive shut down where 6 of the 7, 2012 draft picks participated with defensemen chosen over the last few years.  With some gifted goal scorers in the Isles system, the newly revamped and galvanized Defensive group really played well.

Alex Vazzano looked good in net for Orange vs. some very good Blue shooters.  The defensive prospects looked comfortable and played well in the game, especially for team Orange.  I heard Halmo's name a lot as well.

Kirill Kabanov had some good chances for Team Blue and looked much improved from last season.

Each Scrimmage I watch gives me more and more respect for Garth Snow and his team.  They have really done well with their top picks, mid picks and "gambles" over the last few seasons.  Lets just hope for a little luck this Sunday (July 1st Free Agency Starts) and into the summer camp with free agents or trade acquisitions to help the team take the final step into a winning culture.

Isles Notes:

Per Arthur Staple, “Isles will begin interviews for BPT coaching job tomorrow. Talking to former Peoria coach Jared Bednar; like B. Thompson, won ECHL.”

“Isles are out of the Justin Schultz sweepstakes. Also zero truth to rumors of Mark Streit going to EDM in a trade.”

TSN reported Schultz’s list includes the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Ottawa Senators.  Bob McKenzie thinks you can add the Minnesota Wild to the list of possible suitors.

NHL Notes:

Per Chris Johnston, “NHL officially announces summer cap of $70.2 million with a $54.2 million floor. In effect until new CBA is signed.”

AHL Notes:

Per Chris Arnold, “The AHL Board of Governors has approved the usage of video review for next season. I didn't realize they didn't already use it.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Isles Notes For 6/27

Islanders officially named Brent Thompson an assistant coach of the team today.

Matt Bertani has been named Isles video coach after four seasons w/ the Sound Tigers.

The Blue and White scrimmage goes down tomorrow at Ice Works.

Per Arthur Staple, "Isles hoping to sign D Brenden Kichton, 2011 5th-rounder who impressed at last year's camp. 40-117-157 last two seasons w/ Spokane (WHL)."

Per Katie Strang, "Former Isles assistant Dean Chynoweth has taken job as head coach of AHL's Lake Erie Monsters. Sounds excited about new opportunity."

NHL Notes:

Per Darren Dreger, "July 5-6th also scheduled for CBA negotiations in NYC. As has been widely reported, round 1 is Fri also in New York."  John Tavares and Rick DiPietro are reported to be part of the NHLPA group involved in negotioations.

Per Bob McKenzie, "26 NHL teams have expressed interest in UFA dman Justin Schultz, a shortlist of 5, give or take a team or two, likely" soon.

The DeLoreans' time machine setting in "Back to the future," set for today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Isles Notes For 6/26

The Islanders mini camp stated yesterday with prospect meetings, Blue and White team alignment and some physical testing.  The teams hit the ice today and showed a little of what they can do to the coaching staff.  The mini camp roster looks like this.

Anders Lee is not at Mini-Camp because he is taking classes at Notre Dame over the summer.

Per Sound Tigers, 13 of the 47 players at the 2012 Isles Prospect Camp played for the Sound Tigers last season. 

Per Tom Mascioli, “Isles rookie camp invitee Johnny McGuire considered one of the toughest fighters in the OHL last season with the Erie Otters. 163 PIM's, 48 GP.  McGuire not very big at 6'1", 190 lbs., took on players much bigger in Jarred Tinordi, Tom Wilson, Jamie Oleksiak to name a few.  McGuire, who plays right wing, is the nephew of Jeff Beukeboom. He only put up 2-1-3 in 48 GP last season. Small enforcer type.”

The Islanders released their Preseason Schedule today.  Games will be played vs, Oilers, Devils and Senators.  The Isles will play at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn on October 2nd.

Per P.A.’s agent, @walsha, PA Parenteau will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Per Arthur Staple, Isles will make an offer to UFA D Justin Schultz, who will start whittling down his choices tomorrow. Many clubs interested, obviously.

Ben Kuzuma of Post Media explains, “Judging by the clamour to court the former Anaheim second-round 2008 draft pick — he became a UFA on Monday thanks to a loophole in the expiring NHL collective bargaining agreement that cites his extra year of BCHL play before jumping to the NCAA and then snubbing the Ducks at the June 1 signing deadline — there’s widespread belief that at age 21, the West Kelowna, B.C., product has a level of maturity to excel at the pro game.

And with Schultz limited to a two-year, entry-level contract at $925,000 US annually, suitors are salivating. It makes his reported demand for NHL ice time seem moot if he’s that good after amassing 16 goals and 44 points in 37 games with the NCAA Badgers last season.”

Per NHL Network analyst Craig Button on -- on Justin Schultz, "Overall, he's a player who is capable of controlling the pace and tempo of play when he has the puck. He's a player who wants to make a difference in the game. I think he has a chance to be a top-end defenseman."

"His foundation of skating is excellent.  He has speed, quickness and agility and is able to use his abilities to beat pressure defensively and to move into advantageous positions and be a threat offensively. He can speed up the game or slow it down and is very elusive. He has great awareness and poise with the puck and is able to make plays on the move or when stationary. He doesn't panic under pressure and is always aware and can adapt to changing circumstances instantly. He has a calming influence when he has the puck and while he can quickly strike, he doesn't force plays. He's an excellent passer and he has that panoramic vision that allows him to 'spread the ice,' so to speak, and to be able to attack opponents with multiple options. That makes it extremely difficult to shut him down. He has a very good shot, and along with his passing, it keeps goalies and defenders on their heels. He is unique in that he seems to play the game just ahead of the pressure and not in a hurried manner, but with tremendous confidence and an assuredness that is intimidating.

NHL Notes:

Per @adater, Phoenix GM Don Maloney says Shane Doan will test free agent market. Potential teams will get good leader and officiating conspiracy buff.

Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Mats Sundin and Pavel Bure have been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Qualifying and More Isles Drama

The Islanders have tendered qualifying offers to Sean BackmanJustin DiBenedetto,  Mark Katic,  Mikko Koskinen,  Tomas MarcinkoMatt Martin,  Rhett Rakhshani, and Ty Wishart.

Matt Martin has made himself a piece of the Islanders rebuild from his hardwork and spirited play.  Martin led the NHL in single-season hits last season at 357.

Remember DiBenedetto, Katic and Rakhshani have all signed in Europe, so this is a contract move by the Isles to maintain their rights in North America.  Koskinen is on loan, playing for the Espoo Blues in the Finnish SM-liiga.  Backman, Marcinko and Wishart should be in Bridgeport this season for depth.

Qualifying offers were not made to Tyler McNeely, Tony Romano, Yuri Alexandrov, and Yannick Reindeau.

Per Eric Hornick, “RT @Islesinfo Kelly Chase reported: NHL Network NHL Tonight Isles offered "most of their picks" for 2nd pick to get Murray; CBJ declined.”

It was also reported that the Islanders offered “All” of their 2012 draft picks for the second overall selection.  The rumor was leaked by Blue Jackets beat reporter, Aaron Portzline.

The rumor has sparked responses from several hockey media personnel and outlets, that have ranged from mockery to acceptance that the Islanders would offer so much for Murray at #2.  I think you would have to give a lot to move down to the second pick, but seriously? From what I have seen of Snow's approach, I don't think this big of a price would be paid, even if this many of the Organization's assets are available for a big move to get a promising prospect. Why not use them with prospects already in system to tempt a deal for a star player in the NHL now?

New York Islanders official response to rumor.  "We do not comment on things of this nature. We're extremely happy with all of our selections and look forward to their continued development as a part of our organization's future."

Isles Notes:

Per Chris Botta, “Source confirms Isles asked Ducks last week about Bobby Ryan, who'd be perfect rebuild next-step. Nothing close yet.”

Prospect camp opened today and the Blue and White scrimmage is on Thursday of this week.  I will write about the camp as information becomes available.

NHL Notes:

Per Pat Leonard, “NHLPA meetings now underway in Chicago. Don Fehr to speak later ... Also tomorrow NHL will announce this year's Hall of Fame class.”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Visnovsky's Isles Future Uncertain?

Kevin Schultz of IPB reports, NYIFC found “(Lubomir) Visnovsky was at home in Slovakia and there’s now a chance that he may stay in Slovakia to play or even head to the KHL in Russia …. In the interview, Visnovsky says that he is weighing offers from both the KHL and from a team in his home country of Slovakia. He has not come to a decision as to where he will play in 2012-13 yet, but it appears that he is seriously considering the other offers.”


6/24 10:20a.m.

Per Arthur Staple, “Just got off the phone w/ Isles D Lubomir Visnovsky. Ready to come to camp and play. "This is my first choice, to play for the Islanders."

“Visnovsky says Slovak website interview was from before the trade. Was asked if he'd stay in Slovakia or go to KHL if there was a lockout.

Per Kevin Schultz, “Visnovsky interview was obviously post-trade. It's dated 6/23, 2:45pm and specifically asks three questions about the Islanders.

“Although I obviously can't read Slovak and thus am open to misinterpret, it's very clearly dated.”

Why So Defensive?

The New York Islanders 2012 Draft Party was a blast.

As always, the Islanders made players available at different stations for autographs and photos.  I got to play fan boy when I got my jersey signed by Calvin de Hann, Aaron Ness, Jon Landry, Casey Cizikas, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Johan Sundstrom, David Ullsttrom, Andrey Pedan, Mike Halmo, Nino Niederreiter and Matt Donovan.  There were tons of giveaways and games along with a huge merchandise sale as well.

I enjoyed seeing several familiar faces and got to meet a few more people who are as passionate about the Islanders as I am.  It was another great event by the Organization.

On to the Draft ….

The New York Islanders had picks 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185 in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

New York Islanders selected D Griffin Reinhart with the 4th pick overall in the first round.  B.D. Gallof said, “Reinhart, according to ISS, has two way ability, good attitude, always trying to refine game, has hard shot.  Was told he has incredible hockey sense. Ability to see thru plays, make sound decisions & has offensive punch.” 

Reinhart is regarded as a large, solid, positional defensemen with good size and strength giving him the edge in one-on-one situations.  His ability to jump into the developing play gives him an added offensive potential, rare in a strong defensive-minded player of his size.

His weaknesses include; lack of physicality, endurance and skating.  With time at the pro level, he will have to get stronger and add endurance.  With these additions, his weaknesses should be addressed and overcome to help him develop into a top pair defensemen.

This was a good pick by the Islanders and looking at the Islanders defensive situation with Streit, Hamonic and MacDonald, Reinhart will have a shot to make the team with defensive assets like de Haan, Donovan, Ness and Pedan pushing for a roster spot as well.  Additional assets on defense are Mayfield, Kichton and Russo, which will be pushing for a spot in the near future.

Anthony Stabile has pointed out to me that Griffin is only 18 so he is only eligible to play in Juniors or the NHL. So its likely he'll be back in Edmonton.  This is an important aspect to consider when looking at his development, so I would agree.

2nd round selection, Per Arthur Staple: D Ville Pokka of Karpat in Finland. 5-11, 187-lb, RH shot, considered good two-way D prospect. 

He is a good skater and has an ability to join the developing play.  He’s also a good shooter and strong passer with good vision and the ability to move through traffic with ease.  Pokka needs to bulk up to reach his top four defensive potential.

3rd round selection: D Adam Pelech, Erie (OHL). 6-2, 210-lb, LH shot.  Good size.

Pelech is described as simple and effective in his approach to the game.  He is known to be a shutdown, positional d-man with good reach to neutralize opponents.

4th round selection: D Loic Leduc of Cape Breton (QMJHL).  6-6, 194-lb. RH shot.

A big defensemen with large wingspan.

5th round selection: D Doyle Somerby of Mass. HS. (to Boston U.) 6-4, 230-lb.

Scout’s take on, “He’s got great size, as a forward turned D-man, so he’s a pretty good puck mover. He’s more of a stay-at-home defenseman, but a big, rangy kid. Good smooth stride for a kid his size and good speed in flight.” 

6th round selection: D Jesse Graham of Niagara (OHL). 5-11, 170, Offense skills.

Good two-way defender with good hands and hockey sense.  Strong at skating the puck away from dangerous situations.

7th round selection: D Jake Bischoff of Grand Rapids (MN) HS.

Good overall game, strong balance and strong stick skills.

The New York Islanders finished the draft by selecting seven defensemen in seven rounds of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  Per the New York Islanders, The Isles “picked 7 defensemen from 6 different leagues; 4 Canadians, 2 Americans, 1 Fin. 3 of them stand 5'11" while the rest go from 6'2"-6'5."  I did say it was a deep defensive draft and more than just the Islanders went that way as well.

Prior to the Islanders 4th pick, Commissioner Gary Bettman had a trade to announce for the New York Islanders.

Before the Draft, Islanders General Manager, Garth Snow spoke to some season ticket holders and promised he would do his best to acquire a veteran defensemen via trade to start the season.  He felt acquiring one via free agency would be a tough sell, as it has been for the Islanders over the past few seasons. Snow felt this would be the best way for his team to head into the July 1st Free Agent period.

With that, Garth Snow and the New York Islanders acquired D Lubomir Visnovsky from the Ducks for a 2013 2nd-round pick.  Per Arthur Staple, Visnosky turns 36 in August, has one year left at a $5.6m cap hit ($3m actual salary). Was 6-21-27 in 68 GP for Anaheim coming off an injury-plagued season.

Visnovsky is a reliable, experienced defensemen with an offensive flair.  In 2010-11 prior to his injury, he had a career best season going 18 and 50 for 68 pts in 81 games with a +18 rating.  Over his 12 year NHL career, Visnovsky has 117 and 333 for 450 pts.

Visnovsky was Selected by Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round, #118 overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.  He has played for the L.A. Kings, Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks.  In 2001, Visnovsky was voted to the NHL all-rookie team.  Visnovsky played for Slovokia in World Championships winning a Silver Medal in 2000, Gold in 2002 and Bronze in 2003.

Isles Notes:

Per Arthur Staple, GM Garth Snow said he has no plans to chat with Allan Walsh, PA Parenteau's agent, while at draft. PAP likely headed elsewhere in FA.

Per Christian Arnold, Isles announced tix on sale for prospect scrimmage on Thursday, June 28. Will be @ Ice Works instead of the Coliseum this year.  Apparently the Colisieum was booked for the dates the team wanted to run the scrimmage next week.

Per Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Since 2006, nearly 50% of all Isles draft picks have played at least one game for the Sound Tigers.

@HennyTweets is reporting that Isles defender Steve Staios has joined the Maple Leafs org as a scout.

Malcolm Subban and Brendan Gaunce are first members of OHL Bulls to be first round NHLDraft picks since Branislav Mezei in 1999 (Isles selection at #10 overall in 1999 NHL Entry Draft.)

NHL Notes:

NHL announces 2013 draft to be held in New Jersey and the 2014 draft to be held in Philadelphia.

The New York Rangers take C Cristoval "Boo" Nieves from The Kent School (CT) and Baldwinsville, NY.  Someone I profiled in my draft preview as an interesting late first, second round pick.

Per Bob McKenzie, “I would expect first official face-to-face NHL-NHLPA meeting/CBA bargaining session to happen by end of week, prior to July 1.”

Friday, June 22, 2012

Draft Day!

I will be at the NVMC campus sometime around 2:30pm and make the rounds.

It will be great to see everyone and eventually, Ill get to the Colisieum for the main event.

I will have a write up on the event and the moves made by the Islanders done sometime this weekend.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DiBenedetto And Katic Leave Islanders Organization

With Rhett Rakhshani signing in Sweden yesterday, Arthur Staple had more news for Isles fans today.  He reported “Justin DiBenedetto is headed to Austria next season. Mark Katic reportedly signed to play in Germany.”

That’s a top BP forward and two Defensemen that have left the organization in two days time.  Just when it seemed there were opportunities to make the Islanders roster, 3 components of last years Sound Tigers team have left to play in Europe.  

Could it be the collective bargaining agreement?  Was the writing on the wall?  Or was Chris Botta correct when he said, “defections of Isles Katic, Rakhshani, DiBenedetto no mystery. Fringe players, know they'll be paid more in Europe than NYI/Bport ?”

Or is something rotten in Bridgeport?

Isles Notes:

Per Renaud P Lavoie, “according to sources out of Long Island, it appears PA Parenteau is headed to free agency on July 1.”

NHL Notes:

National Hockey League Awards.


 Evgeni Malkin - PIT


 Henrik Lundqvist - NYR


 Brian Campbell - FLA

Congratulations to Matt Moulson for just being nominated.  He is the clear-cut winner in my book.  Stay classy.


 Shane Doan - PHX


 Mike Fisher - NSH


 Daniel Alfredsson - OTT


 Max Pacioretty - MTL


 Patrice Bergeron - BOS


 Claude Giroux - PHL


 Doug Armstrong - STL


 Gabriel Landeskog - COL


 Evgeni Malkin - PIT


 Steven Stamkos -TBL


 Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott - STL


 Erik Karlsson - OTT


Winner: Evgeni Malkin - PIT


 Ken Hitchcock - STL

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rhett Rakshani Signs In Sweden

Per Uffe Bodin, Former NYI, RW Rhett Rakshani signs a one-year deal with HV71 of the Swedish Elite League.  Rakshani had 62 and 49 points in the last two AHL seasons with Bridgeport.

Arthur Staple adds, The Isles will still qualify Rakhshani, retaining his N. American rights. Did the same with Joensuu.

Isles Notes:

Per the New York Islanders, This Day In 1997, Bryan Berard becomes the 4th Islander to win Calder Trophy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

KoC 2012 NHL Entry Draft Preview

ISS 2012 NHL Entry Draft Rankings as of June 1st, 2012

NAIL YAKAPOV, LW – Dynamic player, great hands and dangerous shot
FILIP FORSBERG, RW – Strong, fast and powerful skater, great shot and chippy
RYAN MURRAY, D – Top D prospect in ’12, smart and complete player
MIKHAIL GRIGORENKO, RW – Good stick, strong on the puck
JACOB TROUBA, D – Driven, good vision, calm and assertive
GRIFFIN REINHART, D – Solid positional D,
MORGAN RIELLY, D – Great skater, intelligent positional play
MATT DUMBA, D – Hockey sense, good skater, physical and strategic player
TEUVO TERAVAINEN, LW –  Calm and cool, Great anticipation
CODY CECI, D - “Workhorse” with efficiency and skill


On Friday, June 22nd at 5:30PM, I will be at the Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum to experience the 2012 NHL Entry Draft from an Islanders fan perspective.  I have gone to the last few gatherings and have enjoyed the experience of the event.  From all the fan fare to seeing friends and fellow writers, the Draft Party is something all fans should experience at least once.

The Islanders hold the 4th overall pick.  This Draft is one that is said to drop off after the first few picks, but boasts a lot of strong Defensive prospects that usually develop slower than offensive talent.  The true value of a pick will take a couple of years to start showing, so it is always interesting to see who the team will choose from the players available.

After reading the official rankings, prospect bios and expert opinions, I have thought about what I might expect to see from New York.  We know the Isles have another big camp ahead of them and prospects like Cizikas, DiBo, Strome, Nelson, Rakhshani, Ullstrom, Sundstrom, Theoret and Kabanov will be trying to make a splash.  The addition of Joensuu is expected to take up a Forward spot as well.  Will the Islanders take the best player available, regardless of position?  Probably.

On Defense last season, players like Donovan and Ness got noticed.  Guys like Kichton and Mayfield will be improving as well.  Defense is something the Islanders really need to get better at and solid team depth is so important.

You can only guess at what the teams in front of you are going to do.  You will also need to know your own depth chart and based on the players available, decide if you can trade back to get more picks if the guy you want will still be there.  Is there a big trade for a quality player who is ready to contribute now to be had for your pick?

When I look at the top ten picks of the Draft this year, I see some talented Forwards and several very good Defensive prospects.  A realistic scenario could be a player like Forsberg, Grigorenko or Teravainen available in the 4-12 slot to make an immediate impact or to add depth to your Forward core.  You have to take Murray if he is still there, right?  If he isn’t, I would love Defensive players like Trouba, Reinhart, Riley, and Dumba.

My wish list would be Forsberg or Grigorenko at Forward or any of the defensemen I have mentioned above, especially Murray or Trouba.  These guys have the elite scoring touch or composure on defense, so vital in quality prospects.

Later picks in the round would be guys like Galchenyuk or Ceci.  They have a lot of potential and skill the Islanders have been able to gather in later placed picks.  Another diamond in the rough towards the end of the first round is F, Christoval Nieves.  Ranked 31st among North American Skaters, Nieves has really good hands, agility, acceleration and speed.  He has good vision and hockey sense and an ability to maneuver puck in a crowd.

Whatever the outcome, I hope the Islanders make the right choice.

Isles Notes:

Per Christian Arnold, Isles prospect, Robbie Russo was on the list of invitees to the USA Hockey National Junior Development Camp.

Per B.D. Gallof, Isles prospect, Ryan Strome was selected to represent Canada on the Canada-Russian Challenge Tournament in August.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Islanders Sign Jesse Joensuu

Per Arthur Staple, The New York Islanders sign F Jesse Joensuu to 1-year, one-way deal, bringing him back into the organization after a season in Sweden where Joensuu, 24, was 13-16-29 in 50 games for HV-71.  His new contract has Euro Out Clause, which would allow him to return to play for HV-71 in the Swedish Elite League if he failed to make the Islanders roster this season.

Jesse Joensuu made the news recently over the summer with his performance in the IIHFWC’s helping his native Finland eliminate team USA from the tournament with two goals in the game, including the GWG with 8 seconds remaining.

The move is an interesting one with the fate of P.A. Parenteau’s time with the Isles in limbo.  Parenteau is a free agent this summer and may be asking for more money than the Islanders are willing to offer ruling out a hometown discount.  There is no doubt Parenteau has been awesome during his tenure on the Island, but with the prices paid for the future core of the Isles already signed, it isn’t known if what they would or could offer would be acceptable to him.  The plans for attracting other free agents may also not include Parenteau in the future for N.Y.

Joensuu was selected 60th overall in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.  On March 2, 2009, Joensuu made his NHL debut, and scored his first NHL goal, as member of the Islanders in a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.  Most recently, Joensuu played 35 AHL games for Bridgeport during the 2010-11 campaign with 8 and 16 for 24 points. With 42 NHL games that season, he scored 6 and 3 for 9 points with the Islanders.

Isles Notes:

I don’t know how, but I missed this last week.  Trevor Gillies will be playing in the KHL next season with Vityaz Chekhov.  Best of luck Trevor.

As far as Michael Haley and the Isles, It is well known Haley felt slighted with the opportunity he had to play for the Islanders last season, and he may want a change of scenery.  We will have to wait and see.

I have mentioned many times of what I thought about the play of Gillies and Haley and what they brought to the line up.

It was rumored that both players would be replaced after the signings of Mike Halmo and Blair Riley by the Islanders organization this spring.  Both players have been brought on to add toughness to the organization.

Per New York Islanders, On June 14th In 1977 – Isles select Mike Bossy in 1st round of the NHL Entry Draft. John Tonelli is selected in the 2nd round.

Per AHL, the Last team to win (Norfolk/TBL this season) the Calder Cup in last year of NHL affiliation: Springfield, 1990 (NYI). Indians partnered with Hartford and won again in 1991.

NHL Notes:

Per Chris Botta, Source tells @SBJSBD that KHL is planning to have franchises in Milan and Paris in next 2-3 years.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Isles Notes For 6/13

Per Arthur Staple, On June 12th, the Islanders have announced they are parting ways with goaltending consultant Sudarshan "Sudsie" Maharaj. Good teacher helped development of young G prospects.  This leaves Mike Dunham as the Islanders Goaltending Coach.

Maharaj has been involved with the Islanders organization in some capacity since the 2003-04 season.  Several Isles Goaltenders have sung his praises as having a major impact on their career as an NHL goaltender.  His expertise has been utilized by York University, the National Goaltending Development Program for Hockey Canada and two divisional championships in Sweden.

Per BD Gallof, on Sudarshan "Sudsie" Maharaj,  "The move is not cost-related. Its simple organizational change for upcoming season with possible changing of the guard."  It also might be indicative of the changes necessary in goaltending philosophy for the Islanders moving forward.

Dennis MacInnis, director of scouting for ISS Hockey "GM Snow deservers credit for 'rebuilding' and adding depth in 2/3 short years."

Per Arthur Staple, “The Islanders had 3 prospects visit LI: Ds Ryan Murray and Mathew Dumba and Milkhail Grigorenko. Four more interviews scheduled in Pitt prior to draft.”

I’ll have my draft preview by next week.

Per @Jsundstrom12, “Well, couldn't be better then this. So happy & excited to be a part of NY Isles Thank you all, feels pretty awesome.”

Per the New York Islanders, On June 12th in 1978, Mike Bossy becomes the 3rd Islander in 5 years to win the Calder Trophy.

Per Dominik of LHHockey, “Reports have ex-Islander, Rob Schremp to Dinamo Riga, and BST, Mark Katic pursued by Berlin in the DEL.”

NHL Notes:

Per Tom Gulitti, Zach Parise said he wants to come back with the Devils and says "no way" he signs with Rangers.

Katie Strang adds, Parise said he's "excited" about possibility of being FA, "but with that being said, hopefully we can get things worked out here."

Per NHL, The LA Kings went 11-1 when scoring the first goal of the game and 9-0 when leading after two periods.

Per Chris Botta, LA posted a 13.6 household rating and 25 share for Kings-Devs Game 6 on NBC. Ducks-Devs in 2003 did a 10.0/18.

NBC Sports Group had 237 hours of NHL playoff games this year, most on record since 1994 (226 hours shown in 2001).

Per USA Hockey, Did you know? Since 2006, over 50 American born players have helped win the Stanley Cup - nearly 25% of all Americans playing in the NHL!

Per Cap Geek, Top-five 2012-13 NHL cap payrolls: 1. Bruins, $64.9m; 2. Penguins, $61.5m; 3. Blackhawks, $61.4m; 4. Flyers, $61.2m; 5. Sabres.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

KoC's 2012 Stanley Cup Finals Wrap Up

“What will happen in the Cup Finals?

The LA Kings will be crowned Stanley Cup Champions in 6 games vs the Devils.

I think the Kings are too well balanced and too strong in net to lose in 7 games vs New Jersey. No disrespect to Brodeur, but unless the Devils play way over their heads or JQ has a meltdown, its all Kings. LA is in control of their game, well rested and they know how to bring it. I cant see an embattled New Jersey team going the distance and able to match intensity over another series after an emotional win vs their division rivals.

Whatever the result, it should be awesome!”

That was my prediction for the Stanley Cup finals between the LA Kings and New Jersey Devils.

So what happened?

The LA Kings have been crowned Stanley Cup Champions in 6 games vs the Devils.

They earned their spot in the NHL playoff race at game #81.  They are the first 8th seed in history to win the cup.

How did they beat the New Jersey Devils?

After the Kings took a commanding 3-0 series lead, the Devils fought back to win the next two games.  With a 3-2 series lead, the LA Kings were home with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.  And they did just that.

In game 6, both teams came out ready to play, but it was NJ who had uncharacteristic lapse in discipline.  Steve Bernier crushed Rob Scuderi into the boards from behind drawing blood, giving LA a 5 min PP that would result in 3 goals against his NJ Devils.  After adding a 4th goal, the game stood at 4-0 until the Devils got on the board at the end of the second period.

The game went back and forth until the Kings would score two goals within a :15 second span to what would be the final score of 6-1.  Credit the Devils for their resilient, hard nosed play throughout the playoffs and dogged persistence in the finals.  The officiating has been horrible this season, but give credit where it is due.  The Kings made the most of their opportunities.

Corey Masisasak of wrote, “The Devils had avoided elimination four times in this postseason, including twice in this series, but their inability to solve Quick, more than anything, was their undoing. He allowed only eight goals in the six games.”

Jonathan Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player with a record of 16-4, .946Sv% and 1.41gaa.  That is a dominant performance.

The Kings ended the season Stanley Cup Champions because they added key components and depth in the roster.  How long will Islander fans have to wait?

NHL Notes:

Per USA Hockey, The Conn Smythe trophy has now been awarded to an American goaltender in each of the past two seasons (Quick and Thomas). 

Dustin Brown is 2nd American-born captain to win the Stanley Cup.

This marks the first time in NHL history that both the captain of the Stanley Cup Champions and the Conn Smythe winner have been American.

Liam Mc Hugh remarks, The Kings are 27-9-3 since acquiring Jeff Carter.

Per Eric Hornick, for the Kings, Tonight is the 202nd playoff game in team history; they've played 3,506 reg. season games.

Dmitry Chesnokov, “Of the 12 teams who finished bottom two of their divisions the season after the lockout, BOS, LA, CHI and PIT have since won the Cup.”

The AHL reminds us, “Thinking of the Bailey and Bavis families tonight. LA Kings scouts and AHL alums lost their lives on 9/11.”

AHL Notes:

Per the AHL, Norfolk has swept the Toronto Marlies to win the Calder Cup.  Norfolk outscored their opponents 34-7 over the last 10 games and never trailed in a game during the conference finals or Calder Cup Finals.  They finished the regular season on a 28-game win streak, finishes the playoffs on a 10-game win streak. 43-3 in their last 46 overall.

Brian Compton added, “Including playoffs, the Admirals played 94 games. They won 70 of them.”