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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New York Islanders Off-Season: Islanders Add Buchberger & Brathwaite to Staff, Sign G Prospect, Gudlevskis.

Today, Our New York Islanders officially announced Kelley Buchberger will be an Assistant Coach on Doug Weight's staff.

The former NHL Captain and 18 year veteran, most recently filled the role of assistant Coach (6 seasons) and VP Player Development (2 seasons) with the Edmonton Oilers, along with a 1 year stint as Head Coach for the AHL Springfield affiliate. Buchberger won two Stanley Cups as a player with the Oilers in 1987 and 1990.

"Kelly adds years and years of NHL coaching and management experience to our staff," Weight said. "He is a tireless worker who commands respect behind the bench and in the locker room. I'm thrilled to welcome him to the organization."

Rumors of the Buchberger addition have been on the radar for a while. Arthur Staple had mentioned it in mid-May, “Buchberger was seen watching Mathew Barzal with Weight during the WHL playoffs. Barzal was a beast as Seattle defeated Regina. 17th.”  Along with Richardson and Gomez, Buchberger joins Greg Cronin as a part of the new-look coaching staff for the Islanders.

Yesterday, the Islanders also named Freddy Brathwaite as the team’s Goaltending Coach. Braithwaite will succeed Mike Dunham, who held the post for the last 11 seasons. “Want to thank #Islanders for the last 11 years. Time to spend more time with #family at home. It's been a blast #great memories! #goodluck.”

Staple mentioned, “Brathwaite was teammates with Doug Weight/Buchberger/Richardson in EDM in 1990s.” Brathwaite has worked with Team Canada’s goaltenders for the last few seasons. Brathewaite was a journeyman goalie in the NHL, playing 254 games for 4 teams (EDM, CGY, STL, CBJ) along with SYR & CHI of the AHL.

"Fred's experiences at just about every level of hockey make him a tremendous addition to our hockey club," Weight said. "Not only has he had a solid NHL career, but he's also worked with some of the top net-minder's coming out of Hockey Canada. He's ready for this next step and we look forward to him working with our organization's goalies."

Per Isles Release, “Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk of the Russian Superleague (now the Kontenential Hockey League) and Adler Mannheim of the DEL. Brathwaite won Goaltender of the Year Honors in the RSL in 2005-06 and won Player of the Year in 2008-09 in the DEL with Adler. Before turning professional, Brathwaite won a Memorial Cup in 1990 with the Oshawa Generals.”

And on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers news front, the Islanders agreed to terms with Latvian goaltender, Kristers Gudlevskis on a one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) deal. Gudlevskis came to the organization from the TBL for forward Carter Verhaeghe via trade on July 1st.

Gudlevskis will add depth to the BST and fill a void left after the departure of Stephon Williams, who was not tenured a qualifying offer to remain with the Sound Tigers. Gudlevskis played for AHL Syracuse going 15-10-7-4 last season with a 2.65 gaa and an .897 Sv% in 37 games.

Per Isles Release, “On the International stage, Gudlevskis represented Latvia at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, the 2012 and 2011 World Junior Championships and the 2010 Under-18 World Championships. He won a gold medal in 2011 (Division 1) and was named a Top Three Player on the Team in 2012 and 2013.”

Isles Notes:

Randi Marshal breaks down the Nassau County Isles hype.

Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach fan the Isles-Coli rumor flames.

Sound Tigers Notes:

The #SoundTigers have re-signed forward Josh Holmstrom to an #AHL deal.

The #SoundTigers will host @RocketLaval for the first time ever in their home opener on Sat, Oct 21.

Per Jeremy Rutherford, “The @TheAHL reports it "has made a commitment to an expansion applicant, which will see the AHL expand to 31 teams for the '18-19 season."

NHL Notes:

Sabres name Former Isles Assitant GM, Hockey Canada's Ryan Jankowski Director of Amateur Scouting.

Per Jon Rosen, “The Kings announce that they've hired Pierre Turgeon as an assistant coach under John Stevens. The staff is now complete.”

Per @Efawcett7,  “Connor McDavid, now the highest paid player in the NHL at $12.5 mil per, would have the 76th highest salary in the NBA this upcoming season.”

Hockey Notes:

Per IIHF, “Slovak legend Miroslav Satan is back in his country, this time to help the national team as GM.”

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