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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Isles Notes For 9/26

Per Katie Strang, “Frans Nielsen has agreed to terms with Rauma Lukko of the Sm-liiga in Finland, source confirms. Headed there by week's end.”

According to Matias Strozyk, “Frans Nielsen told Danish TV he'll sign in FIN or Herning. Insurance costs estimated at $35K/mth. Should sign w/Lukko today, per Yle.”

In 82 games last year, Nielsen had 17 and 30 for 47 pts for the Islanders and a top two way forward.  He is well known to Isles fans as one of the NHL's most dangerous shootout snipers.  

Per Arthur Staple, “Bridgeport camp begins on Friday at IceWorks with a new yet familiar face: Steve Valiquette, fmr Isles and NYR G, will be new BPT G coach.”

“Expect announcement … that Isles BK preseason game will be cancelled, along with the remainder of the NHL preseason sked.”

UPDATE 9/27:  The NHL has officially canceled the remainder of the preseason schedule through Oct. 8th, including 2 Isles home games. Details:

Per Nhlhistorygirl, “On (9/25) in 1987, Isles Denis Potvin announced his retirement.”

During a 1980 Bruins - Isles playoff brawl, ref Dave Newell got paper, wrote down players, & went to the dressing room to work out PIMs.”

Per Randi Marshall, “Edmonton Oilers touring Seattle arena. Isles aren't only team with expiring lease/options. But Oilers story shows there's still time..”

Per Darren Dreger, “Won't make Insider Trading tonight, but, Leafs source confirms Dwayne Roloson was approached about a goalie coach job within organization.  Rolly likely would have handled AHL, while Rick St Croix deals with NHL. Roloson declined. Still wants to play.”

NHL Notes:

Per Chris Botta, “Preseason games have only been cancelled through Sept. 30. Next meeting is on Sept. 28. NHL might want to tell fans about refunds soon..”

Per Bob McKenzie, “NHL-NHLPA expected to resume CBA talks on Friday.”

“NHL Officials' Association has asked its members to NOT take officiating jobs that have been offered in other leagues and/or Europe.  NHLOA rationale: 1. Don't take jobs from other non-NHLOA officials 2. Don't risk injury and perhaps not be ready to work if lockout ends.  BTW, for those asking, NHL refs and linesmen are not being paid during the lockout. No games, no pay.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Isles Notes For 9/19

Islanders first round selection, 4th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Griffin Reinhart has been named Captain of the 2012 Champion, Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.

Katie Strang reports The NHL has canceled all preseason games through Sept. 30, the league announced Wednesday.  It should only be a matter of time until the Islanders-Devils ex game in Brooklyn Oct. 2 will be officially cancelled and refunded per Chris Botta.  Details will be available in a few days.

Isles Notes:

Per BD Gallof, “As a tidbit to the quote that Nassau would lose 60 million per year without Isles due to lockout - might be more.  2006 Nassau Legislature report, loss of Isles would be at least 67 million if they left LI. 6 years, raised amounts, prob 70mill+ rev loss.  By the way, that's the report that says Isles lose 12 to 27 million per year while SMG made tidy profit of 600k to 2.5 million yearly."

“Lockout concern - Isles - season loss would be 1 year burned: UFA: Streit, Visnovsky, Nabakov, Boulton, Boyes RFA: Hamonic, Bailey+.” 

Chris Botta reports, “Nassau comptroller George Maragos to Newsday - "It won't be the end of the world if the county does not have a hockey team.”

Per Nick Hirshon, “Islanders attendance was up 19.3% last season, says Crain's. Bigger increase than Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Jets, Giants, New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.”

Dominik of Light House Hockey mentions that Isles LW, Jesse Joensuu has joined the Finnish league's Ässät.

Per @reporterchris, “Mark Streit headed to Bern for lockout. Told this weekend that deal should be finalized early this week.”

Per Dmitry Chesnokov, “Lubomir Visnovsky has signed with HC Slovan, 1 month contract, first match against Avangard on Sat.”

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 1940, Isles first captain Ed Westfall was born in Belleville, ON.  When Isles Ed Westfall became a broadcaster, his bluntness upset former teammate Billy Smith so much that Smith wouldn't talk to him.

NHL Notes:

Per Larry Brooks, “League has approved allowing locked-out players to rent ice at team-owned facilities. Main locker room, weight room, kitchen etc, off limits.  Players responsible for insurance, signing waivers that typically apply to any group renting ice at team-owned facility.

Per CapGeek, “Further to the @TSNBobMcKenzie list, teams are paying players $130.9975M in signing bonuses for 2012-13, not including non-NHL ELCs.  The top five NHL lockout spenders via signing bonuses? 1. BUF $20.75M, 2 MIN $20.1M, 3. NAS $13.3375M, 4. TBL $10.59M, 5. CHI $10.2575M.  6. NYR $9.5525M, 7. VAN $9.38M, 8. CLB $5.7475M, 9. MTL $5.44M, 10. TOR $3.0875M.  So the Sabres are effectively paying close to a third of their 2012-13 NHL payroll whether there's hockey or not.” 

Per Darren Dreger, “Hockey Canada informed the NHLPA over the wknd they would not be able to assist in a Canada - Russia summit series during the NHL lockout.  Hockey Canada needed to make the decision quickly to allow Canadian stars to decide on Euro playing options.  NHLPA will still consider all contingency options and may produce a similar event themselves.”

The IIHF, withholding transfer cards that allow NHL players to take part in any IIHF event.  The KHL and Europen leagues are considered under IIHF regulations.  Dmitry Chesnokov of PuckDaddy posted an update from IIHF’s Szymon Szemberg:

Whenever a club has signed a player to personal contract, the club that has recruited the player must start the international transfer card (ITC) procedure. Most likely, a professional club either has a card in the club office or acquires one from its national federation.

An ITC needs three signatures -- outgoing federation, ingoing federation and the player -- to be approved by the IIHF; and when it has the three signatures, the IIHF immediately approves the transfer, informing the relevant parties that the player is cleared to play.

The IIHF never stalls or delays any transfers. As soon as it has the three approvals, the player is good to go..”

Other Notes:

Per Darren Dreger, “OHL...first to intro suspensions and team fines for players who fight more than 10 times per season. WHL, QMJHL aren't on board yet.”

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NHL Lockout and Matt Martin Re-Signs.

Per the Associated Press, “BREAKING: NHL locks out players as labor pact expires; second work stoppage since 2004.”  It is the NHL’s third stoppage under Gary Bettman and the fourth the Sport has endured.  Kevin McGran points out, “NHL puts ‘message to our fans’ on website, praising the just-expired CBA – the one they refuse to play under any more."

Finally, just before the NHL Lockout was imposed, the New York Islanders signed LW, Matt Martin to a 4-year deal worth $1M per season.  Martin has played 153 gp for the Islanders with 12 and 18 for 50 pts and 294 pims in three NHL seasons.  Martin was most recently recognized for breaking the NHL season record in hits last year with 374. 

Matt Martin has become an important leader for New York and brings a physical presence with offensive ability.

Matt Martin was selected by the New York Islanders in the 5th round, 148th overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Isles Notes:

Per Christian Arnold, "Sean Backman, Colin McDonald, Matt Watkins, Nathan McIver and Ty Wishart cleared waivers and were all assigned to Bridgeport by the Isles."

AHL Notes:

Per AHL, “AHL fans (old and new): AHL training camps open Sept. 28, the puck drops on Oct. 12.”

NHL Notes:

Per Katie Strang, My understanding of (yesterday's) ruling: PA was denied request for immediate injunction against lockout. Board will, however, hear the case further some time relatively soon. Premature to say any side won/lost since their will be further adjudication Alberta Labour Relations Board confirmed what Aaron Ward first reported earlier: hearing will take place September 21st. NHLPA Gen. Counsel Don Zavelo: "Should the NHL carry out its threat to lock out the players in Quebec, it will do so at its own risk."

Per @Capgeek, “With an NHL lockout hours away, teams have now spent $168.375M re-signing 12 players over the past two days.  Teams have also spent more than $1.5 billion signing 177 players since July 1, 2012, the first day of free agency.  Since last Saturday, $219.55M on 18 players. You can add $162.4M to all previous numbers to account for Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Quick re-signings -- both added to CapGeek pre-July 1.”

Per @kmacdonald13, “Doan gets 20mil the day before the lockout from team currently owned by #NHL Apparently Gary can't control his GM either.”

Per Darren Dreger, “As has been reported, Hockey Can and NHLPA discussing a Can-Rus series involving locked out NHL players. Part of 40th anniversary of 72.”

Per Matt Cockell, “Games lost due to labor strike/lockout since 1992 by sport NFL: 0, NBA: 504, MLB: 938, NHL: 1,698.”

Per @Kevin_mcgran, “hearing layoffs are coming to NHL offices starting Monday.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Isles Send 19 To Bridgeport!

With the Lockout looming at tomorrows deadline, most teams were busy on the waiver wire, sending 
eligible players to their minor league affiliates.  The New York Islanders were no different.

With an already deep roster, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers just got a lot more difficult to play to say the least with the Isles sending 19 players on two-way contracts down to Bridgeport.  Do yourself a favor and go see a game in Bridgeport this season.  You will get to see the young stars and the future talent of the Isles organization develop at the Webster Bank Arena.

Per, “The New York Islanders announced today that 19 players have been assigned to the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The club also assigned two players to their respective junior teams.

The Islanders’ two junior assignments include Griffin Reinhart, who returns to the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, and Ryan Strome, who rejoins the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Sound Tigers will begin training camp on Sept. 28 and play their season opener on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Connecticut Whale. Their home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13 against the Providence Bruins at Webster Bank Arena.

... Five other players, Sean BackmanTy WishartMatt WatkinsNathan McIver and Colin McDonald, were placed on waivers at Friday’s noon deadline; due to their age and professional experience, those players need to clear waivers before they can be assigned to the Sound Tigers.

Isles Notes:

Per Randi Marshall, “Spoke to Ed Blumenfeld, Syosset developer vying for Isles arena site master developer candidacy. Blumenfeld says he wants to keep Isles.  Blumenfeld also says he didn't make a specific vision proposal - that his proposal was more about the qualifications he brings Isles.  Blumenfeld said if eventual plan includes minor league ballpark, the Mets (his former partners on old RFP effort) are interested.  Blumenfeld says he's brought in former NHL exec and sports management expert to work with him -and hopes to work on plan with Isles.  No timetable from county on when decision will be made - but several sources say they expect it will be soon.   

Per  @Schultz88, Frans Nielsen and John Tavares Could Play in Europe During Lockout

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 1966, Mick Vukota was born in Saskatoon, SK; Isles career penalty minutes leader (1,879 PIM).”

“On this date in 1972, Isles opened their inaugural training camp in Peterborough, ON.”

NHL Notes:

Per Darren Dreger, Bettman says NHL's proposal does not include a "take it or leave it" directive.  Bettman says league proposal includes player salary reduction, roughly 9%, 7%, 4% years 1-3 which would be covered in escrow.  Owners voted unanymously to support a lockout...if necessary. 

Per Craig Button, NHL increased revenue 50% in 7 yrs after lockout. $2.2 Billion to $3.3. Players increased salaries 76%. Seemingly everybody benefitting?  Taking players average salary of $1.8 million before lockout & a $2.55 million average today, that is still an increase of 41.67%.  Using commonly accepted numbers. Avg. NHL Players' salary before lockout = $1.8 Million. 1st year CBA = $1.45. Now $2.55. Increase of 75.86%. 

Per Katie Strang, A reminder that the Quebec Labour Relations Board held emergency hearing on NHLPA's lockout challenge.  According to document obtained by ESPNNY, 21 players listed as complainants in filing to Alberta Labour Relations Board.  Here is complete list: Jarome Iginla, Ryan Smyth, Mike Cammalleri, Ryan Whitney, Mikka Kiprusoff, Blake Comeau, Dennis Wideman, Chris Butler, Matt Stajan, Derek Smith, Tim Jackman, Sam Gagner, Nick Schultz, Shawn Horcoff, Eric Belanger, Corey Potter, Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund, Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Jones, Henrik Karlsson.  Alberta Labour Relations Board expected to hold hearing on the matter next week.”

Per Darren Dreger, “According to the NHL, the injunction the PA was seeking in Que was denied, however the Board is open to possibility of a future hearing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Visnovsky An Islander ... Again!

Per Darren Dreger, “Vishnovsky trade from Ducks to Islanders deemed valid. There was issue raised with no-move clause, etc when trade was agreed on.”

Back in July on Draft Day, Garth Snow made a trade with the Anahiem Ducks to acquire #2 Defensemen, Lubomir Visnosky.  The trade addressed a big need for the team and afforded them a bona fide top pair defensemen for the Islanders blue-line.

Just as the fans could smile and move on from at least one huge need being scratched off the Isles wish-list, it was revealed that Visnovsky claimed he had a valid NTC in his contact and could not legally be traded to the Islanders. “Not that there's anything wrong with that.” 

If the NHLPA agreed and the Visnovsky trade was voided, the Islanders would have wasted their ability to make other trades on draft day that could have helped the team if the Lubo deal fell through.

He was given a date of September 4th for a hearing with the NHLPA to test his claim.  To make things more interesting, he crashed in a sports car race somewhere in SVK a short time later, wrecking his car.  Thankfully, he was not injured.

Today, it was reported that the Arbitraitor ruled against Visnovsky's claim and that the trade was valid, thus, making Lubomir Visnovsky an Islander.  That is good news for the Islanders and their fans. 

Per BD Gallof, “Just spoke to Visnosky's agent, Neil Sheehy. 'Visnosky happy to be with the NY Islanders. It has nothing to do with NY Islanders.'  Per agent: 'CBA issue between NHL and NHLPA. Needed language to be clear. Arbitrator ruling made the language clear.'  Sheehy: 'Visnosky is a true professional. Now that it's cleared, he knows he's with Islanders.'  Sheehy: 'We feel Visnosky's addition to Isles will make their powerplay best in the league.” 

At least it should be good news.  Right?

Isles Notes:

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 2006, Rick DiPietro signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the Isles.”

New York Islanders Partner with SportsYapper.

NHL Notes:

Per Pierre LeBrun, “Don Fehr meeting media now. Confirms NHLPA made a new proposal today.  Fehr also confirms league made a counter-proposal. Won't characterize if this means progress or not.  Bettman says they told NHLPA some elements offered today in league counter-proposal will be off the table come expiry of CBA Sat night. 

Per Katie Strang, “NHLPA expect(ed) upwards of 275 players attending meetings today/tomorrow. Would be biggest turnout since ratification in 05.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said PA's proposal was "not really much different" than last. He said league's had "significant movement.  When asked to quantify "significant movement" Bettman said league budged $250-300 million in addition to past "concessions".  Of course what PA would contend is you can't make a concession w/ something you don't already have. PA hasn't agreed to less than 57%. 

Per Darren Dreger, “NHL players aren't interested in any offer that includes taking less than the $1.87 bil share made last year.”

Per Pierre LeBrun, “Fehr, in his second newser of the day, confirms league's newest offer starts at 49 percent for players' share and fazes to 47 percent.  Still not an offer that interests players whatsoever given drop from current 57 percent.”

Per Katie Strang, NHLPA has filed official challenge on behalf of MTL Canadiens players before Quebec Labour Relations Board to declare lockout illegal.  There will be an emergency hearing on the matter before the QLRB Friday morning.  he QLRB does not recognize NHLPA as a certified union, which would make a lockout illegal, the PA will argue. 

Aaron Portzline reports, “NHL/NHLPA agreed to create a "waiver window - from now until midnight Saturday - so minor-league vets can be cleared and sent to minors.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

August - September Isles Notes

Nothing new to report, so here are some Isles Notes:

Islanders tough guy and RFA, Matt Martin is STILL without a contract for this season.

Per Randi Marshall, “Nassau County rules committee today approved $200,000 expenditure for law firm to help with Coliseum site negotiations.  The firm has an office in White Plains and worked with the town of Ramapo after voters there rejected bond for minor league ballpark.  Ballpark in Ramapo was built in 2011 - a year after referendum was rejected. So, Nassau dep cty exec Rob Walker says he hopes firm can help Nassau too. Firm is Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West."

On September 5th, Boulton, Carkner, Grabner, Kabanov, MacDonald, Nelson, Niederreiter, Nielsen, Reasoner, Sundstrom skated at Iceworks.

On September 4th, Lubomir Visnovsky got his hearing with the NHLPA on whether or not he was eligible to be traded by the Ducks.  Kevin Hartmann points out, “From what it sounds like,Visnovsky's NTC never took effect because he was traded to LA 1 daybefore it kicked in.”

Newsday reports that Barclays' executives are still “very” interested in possible relocation of the New York Islanders.  Per B.D. Gallof, “Something you might not know about Barclay's arena in Brooklyn: has TWO home team dressing rooms.

Per the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, team agrees to terms with forward Max MacKay on one-year, AHL contract for 2012-13 season. reports, “Tomas Marcinko New York Islanders 4th round pick in 2006 signs tryout contract with MODO of Elitserien (Sweden) .”

“Tony Romano signs tryout agreement with Vienna Capitals of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga (Austria) .”

Per Dmitry Chesnokov, “Slovakian KHL club Slovan will offer "lockout" contracts to Hossa, Chara and Visnovsky after yesterday's KHL rule change, per Slovak media.”

Per Matias Strozyk, Former Islander, Miro “Satan signs with Slovan for the full 2012-2013 season. Slovan also looking to add Visnovsky, Chara, Hossa if there's a lockout. “

@NHLhistorygirl mentioned, “Billy Smith hated certain warmup shots. Once he went out and started whacking a teammate with a stick in full view of the fans & other team.”

“Butch Goring wore the same helmet from the time he was 12 years old until he retired 24 years later.

And some random NHL Notes:

NHL national television schedule revealed.

Per Katie Strang, “Reached via email Daly said: ‘We sat around all weekend waiting for the Union. (But we heard) Nothing. Obviously, (they have) a different agenda. Unfortunate. There will be a hearing in Edmonton at 9 a.m. local time tomorrow morning to hear NHLPA's application to challenge potential lockout.  Daly deemed NHLPA's labour filings ‘all inconsequential other than to impede and delay bargaining process.’  Important to point out that while both sides, in some form or other, questioned other's willingness to negotiate/availability, there has been an open line of communication, especially between Steve Fehr and Daly, throughout these negotiations.  However, neither side willing to budge right now on certain core concepts, hence the frustration that has surfaced today.”

Per Aaron Ward, “Canadiens player, they expect ruling by Quebec Labor Board this week on teams ability to lockout.If court rules in their favor,and players return to work/train,"we're most interested in how the organization responds".That would determine players next legal moves.

Katie Strang adds, “Interesting pt. by Gorges: part of intention is that a positive ruling in their favor could put pressure on other team's owners.  In other words, Habs would be practicing/training/working out while other teams are idle.  Gorges: ‘This is an opportunity for us to show that we want to play.’  NHLPA using Canadian provincial labour law to challenge lockout. Nothing filed (yet) within U.S. at NLRB, I'm told by 2 sources.”

On September 7th, Per Katie Strang, "NHLPA contingent has arrived for informal meeting at NHL offices.  Should stress this is an informal meeting to gauge where things currently stand since talks recessed last Friday.  Fehr said the intent of today's meeting was to 'try and bridge the gap' but wouldn't predict when more formal discussions would resume."  

September 7th marked the one year remembrance of the Lokomotive team plane crash.  The KHL will never schedule any games on this day in respect for the loss of life.

Per Paul Bissonnette, “Fun Fact: Only 4 NHL owners have taken part in CBA negotiations.”

Per Chris Botta, on Sept. 5th, Bill Daly: "It is obviously becoming increasingly unlikely that NHL training camps will start on time." 

NHL and NHLPA met on August 31st and per Katie Strang, “Critical point of PA's counter-proposal was the 4th option year. Players don't want absolute salary reduction, provided other options.  Owners were not amenable to any of the alternatives proposed, Fehr said. Thus, talks have stalled.  Bettman disputed that owners elected to recess. Said that was an "unfair and inaccurate characterization.  Bettman, said PA offered a "esponse" not a proposal and they were unwilling to budge. Said league was "stonewalled.  Bettman said he was "disappointed" by today and threw out the assertion that the union isn't in any rush to get deal done. "

Larry Brooks points out, “7 of last 9 one-way NHL contracts signed are longer than league's own proposed 5-year term limit. Clubs not on board with the Board/Gary.”

Jimmy Murphy mentions, “Just spoke to three NHL players and growing feeling that NHL has 'Black Friday' game between BOS/NYR 11/23 "circled" as first game.”

Per Chris Botta, “The AHL has a deal in place with Sportsnet in Canada for additional game broadcasts if there is an NHL lockout. AHL has spoken with NBC Sports Net and regional sports networks about broadcasting games in event of an NHL lockout.

Per Dmitry Chesnokov, "KHL’s changes: any team can sign up to 3 NHL players regardless of their nationality for the duration of the lockout (via @plysenkov).  The three NHL players a KHL team signs during the lockout will NOT count towards the cap.  Slight correction: Russia-based KHL clubs can sign 1 non-Russian NHLer. Non-Russian KHL clubs can sign as many as they want.”  Reminder that KHL will play two games in Brooklyn on January 19 and 20 (scheduled). Tickets will likely go on sale in October."