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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Islanders & #Isles Twitter Rally To Beat Bruins & MSG

Islanders vs. Bruins:


Tonight, your New York Islanders will face the Boston Bruins.  The game was scheduled to air on NHL Network, but was blacked out.  Andy Graziano of Isles Insight tweeted, "Hearing from well placed sources MSG would not allow/grant NHL network access to air Isles game in local market." 
 
 
I have been putting up with Isles games getting bumped while the Rangers game was broadcast on both @MSGNetworks & a national broadcast the same night for years.  I, like most Isles fans are sick of it.  So sick of it, Isles twitter exploded and generated so much drama, NHL network put the game on air before the start of the 3rd period.  Did Dolan & MSG buckle?  See what #Isles Twitter can do when we work together?


But on to my partially blindfolded review of the pre-season game.


***


Forwards:  Conacher-Tavares-Okposo; Bailey-Strome-Kulemin; Lee-Nielsen-Skille; Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck.

Defense:  Hickey-Donovan; Czuczman-Mayfield; Reinhart-Brennan.

Kevin Poulin gets the start in goal with David Leggio on the bench.


***


Bruins score first early into the 1st period, 1-0 Bruins.


I am told that JT & KO, Martin line, Czuczman, Reinhart & Poulin are playing well.  Poulin was said to be keeping the Isles in the game.  9 saves in the 1st period.


Per Arthur Staple, "Isles being badly outplayed in first 6 minutes of 2nd, Capuano juggles lines: 89-91-15, 12-51-21 on now."


Brennan make it  1-1 midway through the 2nd period.  Nielsen and Tavares assist on the goal.


Kyle Okposo makes it 2-1 Isles. Assists from Hickey & Strome.


Conacher takes a feed from Tavares and Clutterbuck, makes it 3-1 Islanders.


Isles outshot 13-6 in period, but playing better, scoring 3 goals on six shots. Conacher making Capuano look good for his first line tryout.  Poulin not getting rattled and looking pretty good so far with 22 saves after 2 periods.


Bruins get a SHG, close the score within 1, 3-2 Isles.


Bruins tie the game off another sloppy play, 3-3.  2 goals in :43 for Boston early in the 3rd period.  Poulin looking a little more rattled and unable to regain his composure as he did earlier in the game.  Donovan and Bailey also having a tough night for the Isles.


Isles avoid a too-many men penalty as Cal Clutterbuck steals puck on the change, skates in and roofs it blocker side, 4-3 Islanders.


Poulin makes a few good saves late to hold off the Bruins attack.  He deserves credit for that.


Empty net for Boston.


Mayfield scores an ENG from the Isles zone.  5-3 Isles with a minute remaining.


Islanders win their 4th of the preseason, 5-3 the final.



 
 

Isles Notes:

 

Per Arthur Staple, "Capuano said Cizikas' back tightened up in 3rd. Sat out as precaution."


Per Dan Rosen, "Isles sale was not on original agenda but a motion was made to vote on it after an update was given. Seconded and vote was unanimous."


Islanders are short D with Visnovsky (back), de Haan (upper body) and Carkner (upper body) sidelined.  Isles have recalled Andrey Pedan & Adam Pelech from the @TheSoundTigers and have signed Ross Johnston to an ATO.

Per Arthur Staple, Zolnierczyk & Grabner (upper body) were also not practicing today. They are day to day.

 

Sound Tigers Notes:


Brett Gallant has cleared waivers and has been assigned to @TheSoundTigers.

 

NHL Notes:

 
Per @capgeek, "Opening day playing rosters must be set by Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. ET. Those rosters must be cap compliant."


Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Isles Training Camp: Growing Pains


Today, your New York Islanders hit the ice for some practice and conditioning.  Another line up was announced for each group and judging by the lines, it seems a little closer to what we may see for the opening day roster in October.


Camp Forwards - 1st group: Conacher-Tavares-Okposo, Grabovski-Nelson-Kulemin, Lee-Nielsen-McDonald, Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck.

 
Camp Defense - 1st group:  Hickey-Visnovsky, Donovan-Hamonic, Strait-Pulock.

 
In Goal - 1st group:  Halak & Johnson.


***
 

Camp Forwards - 2nd group:  Bailey-Strome-Skille, Dal Colle-Quine-Ho-Sang, Halmo-Sundstrom-Boulton, Persson-Mouillierat.

 
Camp Defense - 2nd group:  Reinhart-Pokka, Ness-Brennan, Czuczman-Mayfield.


In Goal - 2nd group: Poulin & Leggio.

 
***


I realize that camp is where you want to juggle lines and see how different players react to each other, but there are a few questions I have about today's groups.


I appreciate Conacher's hustle and energy, but in no way could I see him on the first line with Tavares & Okposo.  While Nelson is the real deal, is he better on the top line and who would run with Grabovski & Kulemin?  Will Strome be put back in Bridgeport?  He has to make the Islanders, right?


On defense, despite the promising talent pool, there is still a need for a real veteran defenseman.  But I realize that market is thin and the price is very high.  Does that give Reinhart and Pulock a better shot and cracking the line up?  Is TJ Brennan an Islander or Sound Tiger?  How about Czuczman or Donovan?
 
 
 


Per islanders.nhl.com, "The New York Islanders announced today that they’ve trimmed their training camp roster by 15 players.

Forward Sebastian Collberg and defensemen Loic Leduc, Andrey Pedan, Adam Pelech and Jesse Graham have been assigned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

Forwards Justin Courtnall, Colton Gillies, Chris Langkow , C.J. Stretch and Scooter Vaughan, along with defenseman Mark Nemec and goalie Shane Owen have been released from professional tryout contracts.

Forward Ross Johnston and goalie Philippe Trudeau have been released from amateur tryout contracts.

Forward Lukas Sutter has been transferred to Sound Tigers training camp.
 
The Islanders training camp roster now stands at 44 players (26 forwards, 14 defensemen, four goalies)."


The Islanders exposed F, Bret Gallant to waivers with intentions of sending him to Bridgeport.  He can be claimed by another team until noon tomorrow.



Bridgeport will benefit from the better depth on the Island and hopefully Coach Thompson will be able to raise the bar and accomplish more with a group of guys who want to be noticed and take advantage of their next opportunity.


In other news, the Islanders signed Michael Dal Colle to a 3Yr/ $925 000 2-way ELC.  Dal Colle was the Isles 1st round, 5th overall pick on the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.  Dal Colle will most likely start his Islanders career in Bridgeport with the Sound Tigers.

On Twitter, Dal Colle said, "Very excited to have officially signed my 1st NHL contract with the @NYIslanders."

 

 
 
Isles Notes:


Per Arthur Staple, "Capuano says he sees Grabovski as a center, doesn't want to move Nelson to wing. "We have a real logjam there."

"Three Isles sat out practice today with injuries, all day-to-day: Harry Zolnierczyk, Matt Carkner, Calvin de Haan."

"Visnovsky (back spasms) left Coliseum with a smile on his face but walking gingerly. Didn't seem too concerned."
 
Islanders Captain, John Tavares had his jersey retired by the Oshawa Generals, where he played from 2005-2009.

Former Islander & Sound Tiger, Jon Landry has been waived by the Washington Capitals.

Recently retired Brideport Sound Tiger, Drew Fata has been named GM for new CIH league, Batchewana Attack. 



Sound Tigers Notes:


BST's Announce AHL Roster as camp opened today.

"The Sound Tigers open their season on Saturday, Oct. 11 when they host the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:00 p.m. They take the ice again on Sunday, Oct. 12 against the IceCaps at 3:00 p.m. Tickets for both games can be found here."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Isles Win In Brooklyn


Islanders vs. Devils:


Forwards:  Lee-Tavares-Okposo, Grabovski-Nelson-Kulemin, Grabner-Sundstrom-Bailey, Boulton-Mouillierat-McDonald.

Defensemen:  Strait-Pulock, Czuczman-Hamonic, Brennan-Donovan.

Johnson is in net with Halak on the bench.


 
 
Pulock scores a PPG for the Islanders from Tavares and Okposo, 1-0.  Its the first Islanders goal scored in the Barclays Center.

A few minutes later, Colin McDonald makes it 2-0 Isles off a giveaway by Devils Goaltender, Kinkaid.

Devils score mid way through the 2nd on PP, 2-1 Isles.

Devils score another PP goal, tie the score at 2-2. 5th PP goal in last 2 games.

Game remains tied at the end of regulation. 

Isles and Devils will go to O.T. 

Isles with a lot of good pressure and scoring chances, but the game goes to a shootout.


Tavares is stopped as MSG comes out of break late, missing the entire play.  Well done MSG.

Devils score.

Okposo scores for the Islanders!

Devils mishandle puck.

Nelson scores!
 
Johnson makes the stop.  Isles with a 3-2 shootout win!  This is the first Isles win at the Barclays center.

McDonald is named second star, Pulock named first star.
 




Tavares still looking to find his stride, but looked closer to it in the O.T. period.  Strait got beat a lot tonight, was a weak spot on Isles defense.  They blew another 2 goal lead & special teams continue to threaten the ability of this team to stay in games.


Grabovski had another complete game and Johnson looked calm in the Isles net, really good later in the game and especially in the shootout.  Bailey had some jump and I was impressed with Pulock throughout the night.  Nelson, McDonald & Lee played big for New York.  The Isles played hard and were able to fight back and apply pressure to Devils, especially at end of game and in O.T. 

 
I like a lot of what this team shows me.  Love the competition, but at the same time, love the way they play together.  If they can just zero in on special teams and get a bounce or two, look out.  Good things to come.


 

Isles Notes: 


Per Arthur Staple, Barclays Center "has added a couple hundred ice-level seats for hockey. Premium seating. Eliminated the glass-side table look from last year."

Attendance was 11,823 per Staple.


Per Andy Graziano, "Jack Capuano said Isles heavy in evaluation process. Over course of next few days to a week, roster will become more clear, and concluded, "I actually hope we take some penalties tonight to work on the PK."


Former Islanders Forward, Michael Haley was put on waivers today by the San Jose Sharks.


Former Islander Goaltender, Rick DiPietro accepted a regular position with ESPN radio.


The Islanders will resume game action on Tuesday, 9/30 in Boston vs. the Bruins @ 7pm, on Thursday, 10/2 in N.J. vs. the Devils @ 7pm and Friday, 10/3 at home vs. the Bruins @7:30pm to finish out the Pre-Season.  The Isles regular season starts with a home-at-home series vs. the Hurricanes on Friday, 10/10 in Carolina and Saturday, 10/11 at the NVMC for the teams final home game in Uniondale, N.Y. Both are 7pm starts.


I'll try & get to many Isles games this Ssn & sit w groups that support my Blog. I'll be at home opener w @NYIslesHardcore. #Tx4theSupport.
 
 
 
Islanders NHL cross-check premier jersey - storm.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Islanders Fall Behind To Canes


Islanders vs. Hurricanes:

 
Forwards:  Grabovski-Tavares-Okposo, Lee-Nelson-Strome, Conacher-Nielsen-Skille, Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck.


Defense:  Hickey-Visnovsky, Reinhart-Pokka, Ness-Brennan.

Halak & Poulin in net.

 

Hurricanes score first with a PPG to make it 1-0 Canes in the first.

Hurricanes score another PPG, 2-0 in the 2nd.

Hurricanes score a 5 on 3 goal to make it 3-0.

Casey Cizikas scores a short-handed goal for the Isles for a 3-1 game in the 3rd period.

Hurricanes go up 4-1.

Strome tips in a Reinhart shot or theIsles to make it 4-2.

Islanders lose to Hurricanes 4-2.

 

The Lee-Nelson-Strome line came out flying in the first period and Grabovski continues to look strong.  Lee belongs on this team.  Skille made a good impression again tonight with his skating and sticking up for Brennan for the Bellmore mugging.  Hickey is quietly become a pillar of the developing Isles defense.  Loved the grit the team showed tonight, especially the Martin, Cizikas, Clutterbuck line.


It is still early, but the Isles need to be much better on special teams.  Tavares, Okposo & Halak seem to be struggling to find their top gear.  The Isles had their chances, but they couldn’t put it all together and mount another comeback.  I  think they'll be fine.


They will get another chance on Friday in Brooklyn against the Devils.

 


 
 
Isles Notes:


Per Arthur Staple, "Isles back to practice tomorrow with 3 groups before FRI game in BK vs. NJD. Cuts will come over the weekend, w/ AHL camp starting Monday."


Kyle Burroughs, Victor Crus Rydberg & Connor Graham have been assigned to their respective junior clubs.  

 
Per @NHLFREEAGENTS, "Former New York Islanders (F) Justin Johnson signed by the Alaska Aces of the ECHL to a one-year contract."


 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Islanders Sweep Sens In Split Squad Games


Islanders vs. Senators


Game 1: 


Forwards:  Dal Colle-Strome-Ho-Sang, Lee-Nelson-Collberg, Zolnierczyk-Cizikas-Skille, Boulton-Mouillerat-McDonald.

Defense:  de Haan-Hamonic, Reinhart-Pulock, Czuczman-Mayfield.

Johnson & Leggio in net.

1-0 Isles, Nelson from Strome & Lee.

Ottawa ties it at 1-1.

2-1 Isles, Collberg from Czuczman.

Johnson done for game (6 saves).  Leggio in net.

Ottawa ties it at 2-2.

2-1 Isles, Skille unassisted.

Isles win 3-2.


Isles win 1st split squad game by the score of 3-2. Nelson, Collberg & Skille score for New York while Leggio (13 saves) comes up big to finish off the game.

Nelson, Chiasson, Skille are named the 3 stars of the game. 

It was great to see Collberg, Skille & Leggio make some noise today.

A lot of "Lets go Islanders," chants in the stands.





Game 2:


Forwards:  Bailey-Tavares-Okposo; Kulemin-Grabovski-Conacher; Grabner-Nielsen-Clutterbuck; Persson-Sundstrom-Gallant.

Defense:  Strait-Brennan; Hickey-Visnovsky; Donovan-Carkner.

Halak & Poulin in net.


Ottawa takes a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Isles goal, Grabovski from Conacher & Kulemin makes it 2-1.

Halak is done for the game going 7 of 9.  Poulin in net.

Isles goal, Bailey ties it 2-2 from Grabovski in second period.


Score tied at end of regulation.  Game is going to O.T.

A shootout will determine the winner of the game.

Nielsen is stopped.

Poulin makes the save.

Grabovski hits iron.

Poulin helped by iron.

Conacher is stopped.

Poulin makes the save.

Bailey scores.

Ottawa scores.

Clutterbuck scores.

Poulin makes the save, Isles win 3-2 in the shootout.

The Islanders sweep the Senators in two split squad pre-season games.

Grabovski, Lazar & Clutterbuck are named the 3 stars of the game.

I Liked the way Bailey, Clutterbuck, Grabovski, Hickey and Poulin (Went 11/11) played tonight.



Hey, its only pre-season, but its better than 0-2!

Carolina on Wednesday, Devils on Friday.
Isles Notes:
Bryan Trottier has been named this year's @NHLAlumni Man of the Year.
Clark Gillies: "Bryan Trottier was the most complete hockey player I have ever seen."
NHL Notes:
NHL waivers begin on Saturday.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 Isles Training Camp: Split Squads vs. Senators


Your New York Islanders have 3 pre-season games coming up this week.  On Monday, they have two split squad games against the Ottawa Senators, on Wednesday they face the Carolina Hurricanes and Friday is the Barclays Center rematch against the New Jersey Devils.
 
Arthur Staple let us know the lines for tomorrow's games.  We all know that these are just early trials to see what chemistry guys might have and how different players react to their roles.  Don't grab the pitch forks and torches just yet if you don't approve.
 
 
The lineups for split-squad games vs. Sens in St. John's, Nfld., to follow. Games at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. eastern time.
 
 
G1 Isles lines: Dal Colle-Strome-Ho-Sang, Lee-Nelson-Collberg, Zolnierczyk-Cizikas-Skille, Boulton-Mouillerat-McDonald.
 
G1 Isles D/G: Reinhart-Pulock, Czuczman-Mayfield, de Haan-Hamonic. Johnson and Leggio in goal.
 
G2 Isles lines: Bailey-Tavares-Okposo, Kulemin-Grabovski-Conacher, Grabner-Nielsen-Clutterbuck, Persson-Sundstrom-Gallant. 
 
G2 Isles D/G: Strait-Brennan, Hickey-Visnovsky, Donovan-Carkner. Halak and Poulin in goal.
 
 

 
I've highlighted the lines, pairings and net minders I am most interested in for each game.  The Dal Colle, Strome & Ho-Sang line just sounds like it will be fun to watch (or hear about.)  Lee, Nelson and Collberg is another interesting experiment as well.  It will be interesting to see what these guys can do together, but more interesting to see them in NHL action for the first time or after a promising finish to last season.  Bailey with Tavares & Okposo will give Bailey another chance to show what he can do. I know its getting old, but maybe he can have a year like Okposo did last season.
 
 
Reinhart & Pulock may be the future of the Islanders blue line.  I am really interested to see how ready these guys might be.  Czuczman & Mayfield is interesting as well.  Czuczman was awesome at the end of last season and I have watched Mayfield in Bridgeport and really like his game. Hickey & Visnovsky will give us an insight as to how well Viz has recovered and will give us another look at Hickey and his development.  Hopefully, Donovan will show something as well.
 

We all cant wait to see Halak & Johnson to see what we can expect this season.  We also realize that its only the first game of preseason and the team hasn't really gelled yet, but its still exciting to think about.  Quietly, seeing where Poulin's and especially Leggio's game will be is interesting as well.
 
 
Player Quotes:
 
 
Per Michael Willhoft, John Tavares: "I wanted to keep working on my shooting. Goal scoring is something I can be more consistent at."
 
 
Per Dan Savarino, “We’re not going to be the best team in the league the 1st day of the season, but we’re going to work hard .. our potential is pretty high."

 
Per Mark Weiner, D-man TJ Brennan: "I'm a very competitive person. I think the most important thing is to have healthy competition."
 
 
Per Dan Savarino, Brennan on coming to LI: "I’m here to try and win and help out as much as I can and it seems Isles felt the same way."

 
 
 
Isles Notes:
 
 
Per Arhtur Staple, "Discussed team defense with John Tavares today. He used the phrase "battle level." Try not to panic."
 
Per Newsday, "Plans for Nassau Coliseum redevelopment in works.


Jaro Halak's new Masks:








Friday, September 19, 2014

2014 Isles Training Camp: The Start Of Something Big



Today was the first real day that your 2014 Islanders took to the ice, executed drills, went through game scenarios and got some experience playing as a team.  There were a lot of new faces, a few prospects and some players trying out to be part of the organization as I mentioned yesterday.  Per B.D. Gallof, "This will be hottest camp competition ... And meaningful one since Isles training camps of the old days."  I agree completely.
 
 
The full camp roster is here.


Islanders.nhl.com mentioned, "The 62 players (36 forwards, 20 defensemen and six goalies) were split into three groups (A, B and C) each with four lines, three defensive pairings and two goalies. The team invited 11 more players to this year’s camp than last years, increasing the level of competition."


Group A: Dal Colle-Strome-Okposo; Kulemin-Grabovski-Skille; Persson-Quine-McDonald; Boulton-Halmo-Langkow.


Group A - Defense: Hamonic, Nemec, Ness, Pelech, Pulock, Reinhart, Visnovsky. The Group A goaltenders are Halak & Trudeau.


Group B: Grabner-Nielsen-Conacher; Nelson-Cizikas-Bailey; Gallant-Sutter-Stretch; Johnston-Courtnall-Crus Rydberg.


Group B - Defense: Carkner-Donovan-Graham-Hickey-Pedan-Pokka. Goaltenders are Johnson & Leggio.


Group C: Lee-Tavares-Ho-Sang; Martin-Sundstrom-Clutterbuck; Collberg-Mouillierat-Zolnierczyk; Gillies-Graham-Vaughan.


Group C - Defense:  Brennan, Burroughs, Czuczman, de Haan, Leduc, Mayfield, Strait. In goal are Shane Owen & Kevin Poulin.
 

While the three groups are a little weird from a team perspective, management is probably toying with combinations and trying to focus on different groups or components separately.  As time goes on and the pre season games get closer, we are likely to see a more accurate team come together as immature prospects and bubble players are moved to Bridgeport, released or maybe even traded or waived.  The competition will be there and there are a lot of driven vets and hungry prospects who want to leave it all on the ice to make this team.  As fans, we can just enjoy the ride.


Reactions from some of my colleagues who were at camp:


Per Tony Stabile:  Classic quote from Grabovski this morning on Isles history "I don't know much, but I know they have more Cups than Washington."


Per Rich Dias-Rodrigues, "Lubo: four months of recuperation. Ten doctors to help figure out issues. Using same helmet but looking to upgrade mouth guard."

John Tavares said of @66jhosang: "Crafty, really quick, too. Really impressed by his quickness. You can see why such a talented kid."


Per Daniel Friedman:  Reinhart, on whether a roster spot is now more there for the taking: "I think so. Hopefully I'll take advantage of the opportunity."


Per Mark Weiner:  D-man Matt Donovan "I'm trying to beat those other guys. I'm going to do everything I can to make this team."


Per Andy Graziano, "Andrey Pedan covers a tremendous amount of ground in no time. Incredible."

"Obs from group 2.....Conacher flying, Grabner looked composed, Nelson confident. Donovan looked clearly more relaxed and natural."


Per Matt Saidman, "Collberg has serious speed and solid hands. I hope they dress him in a preseason game so I can see him in game action."


***


A few observations from reading the reports from the day have me optimistic, but then again, its easy to gloss over reality and get swept up in the hope and promise of what the team may bring.  However, I do feel this season will be different.  The team is as deep as its been for quite some time. 


With a much improved forward pool that includes decent depth and a new look youth movement, the offense looks poised to take another step forward.  I look forward to bigger things from Nelson, Strome & Lee while Grabovski and Kulemin are exciting additions.  Knowing Dal Colle, Ho Sang and even the infamous Collberg have been getting some quality game conditions with the staff watching on has to make you smile as well.
 

The defense seems light, but could be a bit of a surprise with the bottom six coming from some likely and unlikely places.  While Hamonic, de Haan, Hickey & a healthy Visnovsky are a great foundation with guys like a more confident Donovan and more experienced Czuczman a threat to make the team.  Reinhart, Pulock, Pokka, Mayfield and Pedan are eager to make the jump and will make it interesting to say the least.  A trade may come for a defensemen, but the question would be when?


In goal, fans have the biggest hope for improvement.  Halak and Johnson seem to offer a stability not experienced since Osgood and Snow were in the net.  Halak seems as motivated as he has ever been and is on the New York stage for the first time is his career, while the promise of Johnson as a back up means the drop off should be far less than in recent years.  Poulin will get a chance to be the man on deck with the BST and Leggio will make him work to keep the job.  The goaltender prospect pool has been restocked as well and will hopefully reveal a few bright spots for the organization.
 

Training camp has just begun, but there is finally a lot of buzz surrounding your New York Islanders and what they could accomplish with a much deeper team this season.  Lets hope the coaching staff will give them the support they need all season long and the injury bug gets lost on its way to Long Island.  Some wins at home and a few less losing streaks would help as well.


 
 
 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Isles Training Camp: A lot To Prove


Today, your New York Islanders opened their 2014 Training Camp with a Media Day. 
 
 
The team took physicals, talked to local media, took headshots, filmed segments for MSG television and signed memorabilia.  Per islanders.nhl.com, "Sixty-two skaters were invited to this year’s camp (36 forwards, 20 defensemen and six goalies), marking one of the busiest camps in recent memory."


Making the squad this season will be tough for anyone who isn't prepared to work hard.  With expectations raised quite a bit by the players, ownership and media alike.  Captain John Tavares told The Telegram, “Losing is not what we’re here for, and we’ve been through it way too much. I know — and I think I speak for everyone else — that it’s time to be that team we’re hoping to be and wanting to be. Anything less is unacceptable.”


The coaching staff will scrutinize everyone in attendance and have invited a few players to add even more depth to the organization. Justin Courtnall, Colton Gillies, Chris Langkow , CJ Stretch and Scooter Vaughan will attend training camp and be evaluated with the outside possibility of making the team or even a spot on the BST.  All were signed to professional try-out contracts.


Of faces new or familiar, one of the more interesting invites is LW Colton Gillies.  Eric Hornick mentions Colton is related to Isles legend, Clark GIllies.  As a 2007 1st-round pick of the Wild,  the 6'4" 210# Gillies had 23 points in 65 games with AHL Rochester last season.  He has 18 points in 154 NHL games.


Per Arthur Staple, "Isles camp opens tomorrow with 3 groups of 21 players apiece. Lines and D pairs, I'm told, are not all that meaningful. You've been warned."


Players were vocal on their expectations for the upcoming season:

Per Brett Cygallis, Kyle Okposo: "It's not on Garth or Cappy, it's on us players. The time for the rebuild is over."


Travis Hamonic: "I’m tired of going home and watching the playoffs on TV, man. I’m just real sick of it."


Per Rob Del Muro, "Matt Martin: This is the loudest arena I have ever played in, we r ready to do damage" Martin added: "There's no excuses anymore it's time 2make the playoffs it's time 2succeed the time is now."
 
 

There is an added dimension for the organization this season.  It will be the final time the New York Islanders will play before their home fans in the storied NVMC.  The desire to leave the old barn in a big way has to be on everyone's mind. 

 
 
Tavares told the islanders.nhl.com,
"We have a lot to prove. Two years ago was great, but it’s been a while since that now and we had a disappointing year. So a lot of us should really be motivated on what went wrong and correcting those things. It’s a fresh start, a new year and I think we’re looking forward to that. Certainly the new guys; we’ve added some great players and some guys who are in the primes of their careers and will make an impact for us. We’re excited about that and it’ll make a big difference for us. Every year is a big year, but knowing how many of us have been around here now, it’s a crucial time for us."





Islanders.nhl.com gave the following projected line up.


FORWARDS

Brock Nelson - John TavaresKyle Okposo

Ryan Strome - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - Michael Grabner

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

DEFENSEMEN

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic

Griffin Reinhart - Lubomir Visnovsky

Thomas Hickey – T.J. Brennan

Brian Strait - Matt Carkner

GOALIES

Jaroslav Halak

Chad Johnson

SUMMER MOVES

ADDITIONS: G Jaroslav Halak (trade, Capitals), G Chad Johnson (free agent, Bruins), D T.J. Brennan (free agent, Maple Leafs), LW Cory Conacher (free agent, Sabres), C Mikhail Grabovski (free agent, Capitals), RW Nikolai Kulemin (free agent, Maple Leafs)

SUBTRACTIONS: G Evgeni Nabokov, G (free agent, Lightning), D Radek Martinek (free agent)

PROMOTION CANDIDATES: C Anders Lee, LW Cory Conacher, D Kevin Czuczman


 

Isles Notes:
 

Per NYI, Frans Nielsen became an Isles fan watching '02 series vs. Toronto on TV, 3 months before being drafted by NYI.  "I remember Eric Cairns & Steve Webb crushing everybody. Those were the first NHL games I saw on TV in Denmark." - Isles Frans Nielsen.

Former Islander, Trevor Gillies has been invited to the Calgary Flames training camp.