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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Isles Notes For 10/28

Per Arthur Staple, "Charles Wang says Islanders will make playoffs if NHL season is played."

On SiriusXM radio, Charles Wang was quoted as saying, "Yes, we're going to make the playoffs." He went on to say, "We should have even done it last year, but we didn't. And we're disappointed. We're going to make the playoffs and we're going to have a great run."

Wang credits the Isles move to Brooklyn to be the catalyst.  He thinks the problems in free agency would go away with the promise of play in the Barclays Center.  Now, I assume free agents could live anywhere in the area, especially at a posh place in Manhattan and play in a state of the art facility. 

While I agree with him there, I am not sure the success would flood into a lockout-shortened season this quickly should an agreement be reached between the NHL and NHLPA.

Keep the Faith.

Sound Tigers Notes:


Travis Hamonic is the final scratch on defense. Sound Tigers starters - DeFazio-Nelson-Persson, Ness-Landry. Kenny Reiter in goal.

Final score: Sharks 5, Sound Tigers 2. Hill and McDonald the BST goals. Kenny Reiter makes 41 saves in the loss.

BST vs. Springfield

Jason Clark expected to make his pro debut vs SPR; Marc Cantin and Sean Backman will likely make their 2012-13 debuts as well.

Jordan Hill, who signed a PTO this afternoon, is on the ice for warmups & wearing number 25. He'll likely be the last scratch on defense.

Sound Tigers starters - DeFazio-Nelson-Persson, Ness-Landry. Poulin in net.

Sound Tigers WIN! Casey Cizikas extends the shootout in the 6th rd, David Ullstrom wins it in the 7th - Sound Tigers beat the Falcons 3-2!

Per BST, 10/27 Player transaction: The Sound Tigers have signed defenseman Jordan Hill to a professional tryout contract (PTO).”

BST vs. Worcester

Tonight's projected lines - Niederreiter-Cizikas-McDonald, Ullstrom-Sundstrom-Persson, DeFazio-Nelson-Kabanov, Gallant-Watkins-Riley.

Seven defensemen taking warmups, Marc Cantin likely to be the final scratch - Nathan McIver will take de Haan's place in the lineup.

Kirill Kabanov skated off with athletic trainer David Stickney midway through the second period and did not return.  He underwent surgery on his left wrist and is expected to make a full recovery.

GAME RECAP: Worcester scores three times in second period, powers past Sound Tigers 5-1.

Per BST 0n 10/25, “Player News: Sound Tigers have recalled goaltender Kenny Reiter from the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.”

NHL Notes:

Per Pierre LeBrun, “NHL makes it official: all games in November cancelled. A total of 326 regular-season games now gone – 26.5 percent of the season.”

Per Dave Stubbs, “Should Nov games be cancelled as expected, Gary Bettman will have killed a total of 2,024 reg-season NHL games by lockout. & counting.”

Winter Classic was not included in the block of cancelled games.

Per Brian Costello, Coming off the NHL books next season: 114 pending UFAs making $1 million or more. They make a combined $314 million.

Other Notes:

Per Szymon Szemberg, “KHL informs that it has cancelled the two Dynamo Moscow vs SKA St. Pete games in Brooklyn, NY, Jan 20-21. Games will be played in Russia.  Reasons for KHL cancellation in NY: league wants first & foremost Russian fans to be able to see the top games+uncertainty caused by lockout.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hello Brooklyn!

Early reports leaked after the New York Islanders and Barclays Center press conference was announced, lent credibility that today would be the day the once mighty franchise would take a step back to prominence.  It was rumored that Charles Wang and his floundering Isles would finally get to escape the aging and dilapidated NVMC and sign a 25 year deal to play in the state-of-the-art Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York by the 2015 season.  Per Isles news release, "In support of the illustrious history of the team, New York Islanders name and logo will remain unchanged," at the “insistence of the NHL offices"  B.D. Gallof points out, “There is an 1986 amendment to the 1972 agreement that allows the Isles to relocate to Queens & Brooklyn (per NY Times circa 2010), and the Islanders move to Brooklyn does not require Board of Governors approval because they are moving within their territory, per Dan Rosen.

This was the greatest news a long-suffering fan base could hear.  Well, it could have been topped with the Islanders buying out of their existing lease to move out of Nassau County sooner.  Now I understand the being a little saddened at leaving the old barn, but it was a move wrought out of necessity.  The mega announcement coming only days after Nassau County’s Ed Mangano said he would have a press conference to announce the plans for the new Hub project and his plan to keep the Islanders at the NVMC site.  Mangano’s press conference was cancelled after yesterday’s tragic shooting, per Randi Marshall. 

Kate Murray and Nassau County politics blocked Management each time there looked to be hope and the fan base just grew more and more frustrated.  Since being voted down (for only a .26/week tax increase) again in the final push on last year's August 1st  Referendum, the Isles hopes for a new, competitive arena was just not happening.  Now, new business, more jobs and a boost to local economy will happen in Brooklyn in the form of 840 construction jobs and 2,000 event-day jobs, not in a near-bankrupt Nassau County.  The Islanders will be leaving in 2015.  Lets wait and see what the millions of dollars lost with their departure will do to the county and how it will affect local businesses that relied on the NVMC and the Isles season.  Islander broadcasting legend, Jiggs McDonald had this to say on his Facebook account, "What a dark day for Nassau County NY politicians & residents....NHL history is yours, again.  The first Stanley Cup winning franchise in the history of the NHL to move. Shame on you!!!!"

Let me start by sending my thanks to Charles Wang for staying the course and keeping the Islanders in N.Y.  For whatever you think about him or his hockey decisions, especially early on in his ownership of the Isles, Mr. Wang is THE ONLY reason why the Islanders will be remaining in New York, and just a short 30 miles from where they were born and still on Long Island.  Not Quebec, Kansas City, Seattle or anywhere else.  They will remain in New York where they belong and the greatest fan base in all of sports can continue cheering for them and be there to witness their rise to relevance and excellence once again.  I am sure that due to proximity, you will see more orange & blue jerseys in MSG for Isles-Ranger games.  When Charles Wang was asked if the Islanders could somehow get out of the lease with NVMC, he said, he will honor the lease, but anything can happen.  Wang went on to say he would still be involved with the development of Nassau’s hub.  He still owns the Marriot Hotel across the concourse from the Coliseum.

Guest speaker, Mayor Bloomberg had this to say, "It's a great day for our city. Who said the rivalry between Rangers and Islanders couldn't get any bigger? It just did."  He went on, “This is the perfect home for the storied New York franchise... we welcome them with open arms."  Mayor Bloomberg went on to present two MTA cards for Charles Wang and Garth Snow to get to The Canyon of Heroes for a future Stanley Cup Parade.

"We can finally say to Islanders fans: you don't have to worry about the future of your hockey team." - Gary Bettman

GM Garth Snow had this to say about the 14,500 seat arena, "Barclays Center gives us a state-of-the-art facility that the players will feel proud to call home."  It was also reported that the facility would add 500+ seats to retrofit the arena for NHL hockey.

Fellow Isles writer, Anthony Stabile makes a great point, that among the things Isles fans can now look forward to: All Star Game, NHL Draft and the ability to walk the concourse w/out someone bumping into you.

We are all Islanders. 

Enjoy the day fans.  You have all earned it.

Isles Notes:

Darren Rovell, “120 credentials were issued for the Islanders press conference today in Brooklyn, a team record for a press conference.”

Per Chris Botta, “All we could ever want for Isles: 1) stay in NY 2) first-class barn 3) no excuses, level playing field to compete. Accomplished.”

Chris Creamer mentions, “NY Islanders new arena deal puts them in Brooklyn until 2040-41 season - which is also 100th anniversary of the NHL's Brooklyn Americans.”

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 1988, Isles Mike Bossy retired.”

NHL Notes:

When asked about the lockout, NHL Commissioner had this to say, "The union has chosen not to engage on our looks like the 82-game season will not be a reality."

Monday, October 22, 2012

deHaan Out For Season

Per the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, “Injury Update: Sound Tigers D Calvin de Haan is out for the season with a dislocated left shoulder.”

Calvin deHaan was drafted by the Islanders in the first round of the 2009 NHL entry draft with the 12th overall selection.  In the 2011-12 season for Bridgeport, he had 2 and 16 for 18 pts in 56 games.  In the first 3 games this season, deHaan had two assists.

Top Islanders defensive prospect, Calvin deHaan dislocated his left shoulder in a 3-2 win against the Penguins on Saturday that will force him to miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season.  deHaan was said to be a threat to compete for a spot on the Islanders blue line this season.  Although highly skilled, deHaan’s development has been hindered by recurring shoulder injuries in three of the last four seasons.  Not a good indicator for deHaans promising NHL career.

When I spoke to Calvin deHaan at the draft party this summer, he was very excited for the upcoming season and was really looking forward to impress management.  He was emphatic about his desire to play for the Islanders.

Isles Notes:

Per Randi Marshall, “Mangano telling folks press conference in "coming days" on Isles and arena plan... But I've heard nothing so far. Checking further.”  Ed Mangano tweeted, “I will be holding a press conference in the coming days to announce my plans to generate jobs at the Hub and retain the Islanders.” 

The announcement should reveal who won the hub contract and what the plans for development are for the site.  Not sure keeping the Islanders in NVMC is on the table.

Per NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 1949, the originator of the playoff beard, Butch Goring was born in St. Boniface, MB.”

On this date in 1974, forward Miroslav Satan was born in Topolcany, SVK.

Forever #Isles fan favorite, Trevor Gillies made another friend in the KHL.

NHL Notes:

Pierre LeBrun reports, “Spoke with a team exec who says there's either a labor deal this week or there's no season. Not sure it's that clear-cut but who knows.”  No meetings have been scheduled as of yet.

Darren Dreger says Thursday is the drop dead date for the 2012-13 NHL season.

On October 19th Brian Costello mentioned, “NHL today cancels the first 135 games of season. That's 11.1% of the schedule or almost $400 million in anticipated revenue.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

More CBA Setbacks

The NHLPA presented three offers to NHL.  Pierre LeBrun had a few quotes from Gary Bettman, says none of them (NHLPA offers) "even began to approach 50-50." Not encouraged, Bettman calls it a "step backward.”  And finally, "We were done in an hour today because there was really nothing there." 

From what I have read, the NHL short review of the proposals did not go over well with the PA.  Going back to the details: 

1.  Fehr insists that depending on revenue growth, NHLPA's first proposal does go down to 50 percent eventually. 

2.  Fehr says No 2 proposal gets owners down to 50 percent with "only five percent growth.” 

3.  Fehr on No 3 proposal - players to go 50/50 as long as owners promise to honor all contracts that were signed by players. 

Fehr says NHL rejected all 3 NHLPA proposals that dealt solely with players' share of HRR and core economics, didn't deal with other systemic issues. Says NHL only was only willing to work off its Tuesday offer.  I assumed that was what the NHL wanted all along. 

Per, “In the third proposal, Fehr claimed the Union estimates the players would be losing approximately 13 percent of their salaries under the immediate 50-50 split the League proposed Tuesday, so the proposal the Union made was to segregate that 13 percent, have the owners pay it in full, and put a 50-50 split on the remaining 87 percent of contracts already signed and on future contracts.”

Player Agent, Allan Walsh feels that the players were presented with a $1.6B reduction in salaries and significantly less contract rights.  Per NHL Player, Paul Bissonette, “Players will take a 50/50 split. The players will agree to that if owners honor all existing contracts. It's simple.”

The NHL spoke about the latest proposal follow-ups.  Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "It is not a 50-50 deal. It is, most likely a 56- to 57-percent deal in Year One and never gets to 50 percent during the proposed five-year term of the agreement. 

With more analysis, Bob McKenzie explains, every NHL team would be eligible to receive revenue sharing but top 10 money making clubs would be responsible for contributing 50 per cent of $200M pool.  The numbers that would be adjusted would be based on actual hockey-related revenue calculations following the season.  In addition, because NHL players buried in minors (Redden etc) would count against cap, re-entry waivers would no longer exist. 

McKenzie adds, One of most interesting aspects of NHL proposal is aimed at punishing clubs more than players, with regard to existing back-diving deals.  An important note on back-diving contracts (BDC), If player traded, then later in deal retires, original club on hook for cap hit.

Per Ryan Kennedy, “Talked to an agent about NHL's 2-year entry-level deal logic. He said it will limit big 2nd deals for more players: less time for big stats.  Two recent examples would be Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson, both of whom made big offensive jumps in their third NHL seasons.”

Per Aaron Ward on NHLPA offers,big picture-

1) Set dollar values in Years 1-2-3 for player compensation. Years 4-5,value set at whatever is higher (50% of HRR or year 3 number) and 50/50 in effect.

2) Players hang on to current compensation BUT only take 24.7% of all growth.  At NHL estimated growth of 5%,over 5 years you get to 50/50.

3) Day 1 starts at 50/50, remove 12.28% only to SET cap,benefits,escrow (estimated 87%) number only.

Per Pierre LeBrun, NHL offer calls for 2012-13 salary cap of $59.9 million but teams can go over up to $70.2 million in Year 1 as part of transition.

Arthur Staple adds, “If the divide now centers around paying the full value of existing contracts, it's even more outrageous how some owners acted this summer.  And I wonder how Zach Parise and Ryan Suter feel looking at their new owner on the neg. comte fighting to not pay them what he promised.”

Darren Dreger mentioned, “NHL is expected to cancel games thru Nov 1 only. Still hoping to have resolution and reg. season back on track Nov 2.”  Katie Strang confirmed it a little later on Friday,” League makes it official: announces cancellation of regular-season games through November 1.”

Like several fans, I am so tired of this lockout.  I am fed up with the owners driving salaries up and up while they try and poach free agents from each other.  I see the ridiculous long range contracts whose only purpose is to front load and loop hole the very rules they agreed to set in place.  On the NHLPA side, I know the players took a hit on the last CBA, and they have to be smirking at the Owners position after a record breaking 3B earnings from last season in this horrific economic climate.  Per The Globe and Mail, "Revenues have risen from roughly $2.2-billion to $3.3-billion – or an average of about $160-million a season – over the length of the current CBA, pushing the average revenue-per-team figure to $110-million."

The last NHL proposal seemed pretty fair and if some more hard work is applied to negotiations, the league and NHLPA could resume play.  I for one, refuse to believe that Bettman would allow the flagship, Winter Classic to not happen.  Plus what is really going to happen if the players do not return?  I guess they would just replace a few guys like Sidney Crosby, EvgeniMalkin, Steven Stamkos, Zach Parise, John Tavares, Pekke Rinne and Jonathan Quick.

Make it happen.  Two lockouts in eight years is a joke for a sport that struggles to maintain its identity in the United States against leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA and Nascar. 

The excitement of the AHL aside, the fans want hockey and we want it now.

Isles Notes:

Eric Hornick points out some advantages for the Islanders in the possible new proposed CBA.

1. Isles would be eligible for revenue sharing.

2. Teams would not be eligible to stash players in minors and avoid salary cap hit.

3. Teams must pay the bottom of the salary cap range and not use bonuses, which were often not attained, to reach that point.

So that means a team, “no longer have an incentive to keep underachieving young players with large bonuses on the NHL roster.  It will be more practical to send players either to the AHL or (if age-appropriate) back to juniors.  no longer have an incentive to keep underachieving young players with large bonuses on the NHL roster.  It will be more practical to send players either to the AHL or (if age-appropriate) back to juniors.”

Among the players on in the Islanders system that it could affect are Niederreiter, Reinhart, Nelson, Halmo, Nilsson, Strome and de Haan.

Rick DiPietro continues to lose while playing in a second tier German league.  Per Eric Hornick on 10/17, “Rick DiPietro's German tm lost in OT tonight 5-4-Winnipeg native Kevin Saurette completed a hat trick by beating DP on an OT pen shot.  Kevin Saurette, who had 3 goals vs DiPietro today scored 2 goals in 27 career AHL games--never played in NHL--5th ssn in Germany.”

Sound Tigers Notes:

UPDATE:  Sound Tigers WIN! @KevinPoulin60 unofficially with 34 saves, BST now 3-0 after earning a 3-2 win over the Penguins.  de Haan left the game with an injury to his left arm.

BST plat the WBS at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Tonight's BST forward lines - Niederreiter-Cizikas-McDonald, Ullstrom-Sundstrom-Persson, DeFazio-Nelson-Kabanov, Halmo-Watkins-Riley.

Likely defensive pairings - Donovan-Hamonic, de Haan-Wishart, Ness-Landry.

Sound Tigers scratches - McIver, Cantin, Backman, MacKay, Gallant and Clark. WBS will dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards tonight.

Sound Tigers starters - Niederreiter-Cizikas-McDonald, de Haan-Wishart. Poulin in goal.

NHL Notes:

Adam Proteau makes a good point with, “Think of the outcry that greeted any NHLer who tried to renege on a contract he signed to get a better deal. That's what owners are doing.” 

Some teams, NYR & CBJ have moved forward with laying down ice in their home arenas per Murphy Siegel.

Per CapGeek, Top teams with two-way AHL salaries exceeding $105,000?

BOS $765k, 2. TOR $740k, 3. NYR $700k, 4. CGY $632.5k, 5. SJ $575k. 

The "Wade Redden rule" would put a small dent in some team's cap payrolls on two-way contracts exceeding $105,000.

Dee Karl said that Glen Healy mentioned that Don Fehr is making THREE times with the NHLPA than he did with Baseball.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NHL & NHLPA Making Progress?

The NHL made another proposal today for a new CBA and want to still fit in an 82 game season. 

The deal is said to offer a 50/50 split in revenue sharing.  @Jsportsnet reports, UFA at 28 yrs/8yrs of service, 3-yr ELC deals, 5-yr long-term contract limit.  Bob McKenzie adds, The NHL is proposing the 5-year limit on player contract length and a yearly salary variance that can't be more than 5 per cent.  The 5Y TCL and 5% variance restrictions are aimed at eliminating back-diving contracts, which are a primary NHL concern. 

McKenzie also explains that the league wanted to address the large follow-up contracts that top prospects aim for after playing through their ELC.  The three ways that situation would be dealt with are:

1.  Entry level would go from 3 to 2 yrs.

2.  Salary arbitration eligibility would go from 4th to 5th yr.

3.  UFA goes 7/27 (service/age) to 8/28.  If player comes out of entry level 1 yr earlier, is 1 yr further away from salary arbitration and UFA, less pressure on teams to give big contract. reported, “For an 82-game regular-season to begin Nov. 2, Commissioner Bettman said each team would have to play one additional game every five weeks. That would allow the completion of the Stanley Cup Final in late June.”  The regular season would also need to be extended beyond the original end date of April 13th.

The NHLPA has the burden of responding with a counter offer that will most likely be made in the next 24-48 hours according to Darren Dreger.  Bettman has said that gives both sides 9-10 days to finalize a deal and move forward.

Pierre LeBrun reports, The tentative plan is for both sides to speak by phone Wednesday - NHLPA seeking clarification on number of points - and then to meet Thursday.

Isles Notes:

Per Eric Hornick, “Rick DiPietro made his debut in Germany on Sunday, and came out on the losing end of a 4-1 score.”

Other Notes:

Mike Modano, Eddie Olczyk and Lou Lamoriello have been inducted the the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Isles Notes For 10/9

Per Matias Strozyk, “Matt D'Agostini's Riessersee confirmed that they're talking to another NHLer. Per Eishockey News, that player is Rick DiPietro.”

Update:  Rick DiPietro to SC Riessensee of Germany's 2nd league is now official. Already in Germany. Debuts on Sunday.

Per Katie Strang, “D-man Andrew MacDonald headed to Europe to play for HC Energie Karlovy Vary of Czech league.”

Per Eric Hornick, October 7th marked the 40th anniversary of the Islanders' first-ever game, a 3-2 loss on home ice to expansion cousin Atlanta before 12,221 at the Coliseum.

On October 6th, The Sound Tigers assigned goaltender Kenny Reiter to the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.

Per Sound Tigers today, “Same forward lines as yesterday for today's BST practice. Hamonic skated on his own before practice; 7 d-men rotating around.”

Sound Tigers on the ice for practice at IceWorks - Casey Cizikas skating with team, centering McDonald and DeFazio.

Fwd lines - DeFazio-Cizikas-McDonald, Persson-Ullstrom-Sundstrom, Niederreiter-Nelson-Kabanov, Halmo-Clark-Gallant, Riley-Watkins-Backman.

Preseason Game 2:

Sound Tigers starters - Persson, Ullstrom, McDonald, Hamonic, Donovan and Poulin.

Colin McDonald, Travis Hamonic, and David Ullstrom are wearing the alternate captain "A"s tonight.

Sound Tigers have one to scratch - So far, scratches are Nilsson, DeFazio, Riley, Cizikas, Wishart and de Haan.  Watkins the last scratch.

Final score from Saint Anselm College - Manchester 2, Sound Tigers 0. The Sound Tigers finish preseason play at 1-1.

NHL Notes:

Per Sam Carchidi, “NHL and NHLPA will meet Wed. in NY. Major economic issues not on agenda. For now.”

Per Joanne Ireland, “Alberta Labour Relations Board will release decision regarding Oilers and Flames Wednesday. Teams had challenged legality of NHL lockout.”

KHL Notes:

Per John Buccigross, This link from ESPN includes dates and times for all of the KHL games being broadcast on ESPN3. 

** I will be at New York Comic Con until Sunday for Knight Realms.  I will try and keep up on any breaking news, at least on twitter.  **

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Lockout Cuts Deeper

Per NHL, “NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through October 24. A total of 82 regular-season games were scheduled for Oct. 11 through Oct. 24.

The cancellation was necessary because of the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL.”

And there it is.  The beginning of the end?  Stay tuned ….

Chris Botta makes the best point thus far, “Interesting how there never seem to be any contract squabbles when an NHL star takes a job in Europe.”

Isles Notes:

Per Chris Johnston, “Michael Grabner is heading back to his hometown in Austria to play for Villacher SV. Five sponsors are footing the bill.”

On October 2nd, Per Chris Botta, “Source close to Pat LaFontaine told me tonight that Pat is not involved with anyone in any way in an Isles bid.

Eric Hornick, “Without Isles, no NVMC arena events until Nets gm Oct 24.13 event nights at Barclays in that span.”

Sound Tigers take on Providence Bruins tonight in Preseason, Game 1:

Projected forward lines - Niederreiter-Nelson-Kabanov, Halmo-Sundstrom-Backman, DeFazio-Watkins-Riley, Gallant-Clark-MacKay.

Projected defensive pairings - Ness-Landry, de Haan-Wishart, McIver-Cantin...Anders Nilsson will start in net, Kenny Reiter will back up.


"I thought he was the difference in the game." - Scott Pellerin on Anders Nilsson who made 34 saves in tonight's 3-1 W over Bruins.

Other News:

Per Dmitry Chesnokov, “Hockey on ESPN. The KHL has announced they reached an agreement with ESPN to broadcast its games in the US on ESPN3.  The upcoming ESPN KHL schedule is Dynamo - Lev - SKA (10/6), Slovan - Dynamo (10/7), CSKA - SKA (10/8), Lev - Dynamo (10/9).”

@KeithLHHockey points out, Isles fans can see Visnovsky on the 10/7 broadcast.

** Please take a moment to visit and learn about Ty and his family.  This is not a hockey related story, just a human one. **

Monday, October 1, 2012

Isles Notes For 10/1

Coach Jeff Jackson has named Center, Anders Lee the Captain of Notre Dame fighting Irish this season.  Lee served as the Alternate Captain in 2011-12 as a Sophomore, and will take the next step in his hockey career as the lone Captain for his squad.

Coach Jackson has praised Lee for his off the ice character and his abilities as a player to be relied upon by his teammates.  "Anders has the locker room's ear and his teammates like him and respect him. It's a good combination - not just being the voice in the locker room but also being the heart of the locker room as well …”

Selected by the New York Islanders in the 6th round, 152nd over all in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Lee went 17 and 17 for 34 pts in 40 games played last season for Notre Dame.

The 22 year old Edina Minnesota native will serve his first game as Captain on October 7th when his Irish face the USA Under-18 team.  Their regular season will open vs. Maine on Oct. 12th.

Arthur Staple reported that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers training camp was open to the public on Saturday, with a couple autograph sessions on tap for attending fans.  The stacked Isles ladened line up looked like this:

On Saturday

F’s - Persson-Ullstrom-McDonald, Niederreiter-Nelson-Kabanov, Halmo-Sundstrom-Backman, DeFazio-Watkins-Riley, Gallant-MacKay.

D - de Haan-Wishart, Donovan-Hamonic, Ness-Landry, McIver-Cantin. Poulin, Nilsson & Reiter on the ice as well.

Casey Cizikas (groin) is day-to-day and is not practicing.

Today, the Camp line up was similar:

F’s – Persson-Ullstrom-McDonald; Niederreiter-Nelson-Kabanov; Halmo-Sundstrom-Backman; DeFazio-Watkins-Riley and Gallant-Clark-MacKay is the final BST line at this morning's practice.

D - de Haan-Wishart, Donovan-Hamonic, Ness-Landry, McIver-Cantin. Poulin, Nilsson & Reiter also on ice. 

Casey Cizikas was not on the ice again today.

Per Larry Brooks, “Wang wants $300M for Islanders; price way too high for investors seeking to lure storied alumni into mix. Todays Post.

To paraphrase, B.D. Gallof contends that if anything, the supposed price tage of $300 million is a DEFINITIVE statement that Charles & co. are not giving team away.  This rumor involving the Isles, simply is not happening and fans should expect a million more of these rumors.  “I have no doubt bunch of LI’ ers are pushing notions of local heroes, European investors & more pie in sky as Nassau hopeful. Baseless.”

I think the LaFontaine story seems too perfect and Fairytale as a “solution” for the Isles problems to some fans. BD made good points. These types of rumors always resurface when there is no real Islanders news to be had.

We will have to wait and see to be sure.

Isles Notes:

Per Katie Strang on 9/27, “John Tavares will join Islanders teammate Mark Streit to play for Bern of the Swiss-A league.”

Arthur Staple reports on Tavares on his decision to play in SUI: "I wouldn't say it's b/c I don't think a CBA will get done. I feel like I need to play." 

Per Matias Strozyk on 9/27, “Lubomir Visnovsky has an elbow injury and is doubtful for Saturday's away game vs. Magnitogorsk. Has 2 pts in 3gp. Via “

Per, “South Carolina Stingrays signed forward Tyler McNeely to a one year contract .”

Per NHLhistorygirl, “1981—Isles traded Bob Lorimer & Dave Cameron to the Colorado Rockies for the Rockies' first round draft pick in 1983: Pat LaFontaine.”

NHL Notes:

The NHL and NHLPA met on 9/28 for their first formal session in weeks according to Katie Strang.  There were No core economic issues addressed. Don Fehr and Bettman had private meeting.  It has been mentioned by the league that the NHLPA to make the next move to facilitate talks on key economic issues of the lock out.  They would meet again the following day, but not discuss core elements.  Strang added that Legal issues, including grievances, on the agenda for the third straight day of talks on Sunday. HRR may resurface as well.  At the days conclusion, the two sides talked about player safety issues and CBA legal issues. Said it was productive.  The NHL has plans to review internally. 

The NHL, NHLPA to have conference call on pension issues tonight. Two sides will then meet tomorrow on HRR issues discussed Saturday.

Per Kevin Gibson, “92 lockedout NHLers are now officially signed in Europe. 29 of 30 NHL teams represented. VAN has no players officially signed, some rumoured.”

Per Elliotte Friedman, “NHL teams preparing for regular-season cancellations this week. Expectations games will be erased in two-week "blocks."