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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

Islanders 2014-15 Season Mantra

Try not. Do...or do not.


Friday, June 27, 2008

League-High Five Isles Receive Camp Invite

Josh Bailey, Mark Katic, Travis Hamonic, Jared Spurgeon and Corey Trivino are the league-high five lucky prospective Isles among the top 45 junior-aged Canadian players being selected from for the 2009 World Championships.Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Los Angeles are second, each sending three players.

link- http://islanders.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=367040

Shawn Bates Has Left the Island...

Center Shawn Bates has been bought out by the Islanders, according to Greg Logan of Newsday. The buyout has come pretty expectedly, seeing as injuries have plagued the forward for the past few years, keeping him from playing full seasons with the club. Moreover, although he may be healthy now, with the roster full of centers as it is, Bates no longer fits into the scheme of things- not to mention his departure makes way for the all-new youth movement Garth Snow is planning for the Isles.

link- http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/blog/2008/06/buyout_for_shawn_bates.html

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Orr Files Grievance Against DiPietro

Former Bruins star Bobby Orr has filed a grievance with the NHL Players' Association against Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, the Star has learned. Orr alleges his player agency spearheaded negotiations with the Islanders in 2006 on behalf of the goalie, but was fired shortly before he signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract extension. A source says DiPietro will argue that when he signed with the Islanders, he had not signed a SPAC (standard player agent contract) with Orr.

link- http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/nhlnews/story.html?id=b68e39e7-21d6-4c60-8d9f-6ed1e8379a1c&add_feed_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.faceoff.com%2Ftopstories.atom
(at end of article)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

NHL Draft 2008: Part 3

Fourth Round

96th Overall, Matt Donovan, Cedar Rapids

Red Line rank: #179 - Matt Donovan D, 5-11/185, Shoots L, DOB- 09 MAY 90, Team- Cedar Rapids


02/15/2008 - Good all-around defenseman .. backwards skating form is still solid, as he does not rely on crossovers and maintains a wide base and power position .. smooth skater with good speed and good all-compass mobility .. has the lateral mobility and overall agility to stick with opponents in the corners and along the boards .. has quick feet when necessary, although he wants to improve further in this area .. able to make a nifty standing shot block where he brings his feet together and gets his stick very low but stays on his feet.. tends to make simple, reliable passing plays .. passes are crisp and accurate .. poised with the puck, as he skates it with confidence and does not panic when fore checked .. has the agility when skating the puck to evade checkers with cutbacks .. demonstrates good two-way awareness in breaking up plays and in knowing when to pinch .. pinches responsibly and can finish when he does .. has a hard pointshot .. leading the USHL in plus/minus at this juncture of the season .. NHL teams will be making a mistake if they do not consider Donovan because of his 6-foot-0, 185-pound frame.

102nd overall, David Ullstrom

Red Line rank: #219 - David Ullstrom LW, 6-4/210, Shoots L, DOB- 22 APR 89, Team- HV 71 Jrs.

ISS rank: # 91
Position: Left wing
Born: 4.22.89
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 198
ISS Ranking #91
ISS Nov. Ranking N/A

Report Card
Skating: Very Good
Shot/Scoring: Excellent
Puckhandling: Very Good
Hockey Sense: Average
Scouting Report:Classic late-bloomer! Ullstrom went undrafted in the 07 NHL Draft, however he will get serious consideration at the 08 Draft after a spectacular season in the Swedish junior league. A good skater looks effortless when skating up the ice. Battles hard - gets involved physically and is more than willing to stand up for himself and for his teammates. His defensive game is sufficient, he will need to continue to develop this area of his game.Year Team GP G A PTS PIM07/08 HV71 40 27 27 54 86---------
McKeen's rank: #101 C, 6-2, 191.

Fifth Round

126th overall, Kevin Poulin, Victoriaville

Red Line rank: #78 - Kevin Poulin G, 6-2/208, Catches L, DOB- 27 JUN 90, Team- Victoriaville. "Great tools - what the hell happened? Mentally soft."
"Maddeningly inconsistent; a world beater one night, and an absolute dreck on other occasions. Has all the tools to be a good one. Big and technically sound. Excellent reflexes and goes post-to-post in a flash; gets great push off either foot. Tall enough to cover top corners while on his knees in the butterfly. Has the potential to steal games when he's hot. Squares up to shooters well and, with his size, doesn't leave them much to shoot at. But has shown a propensity to lose his angles this season. Anticipates plays around the crease very well. Maintains focus and finds puck through traffic. Shakey with the glove hand - has a tendency not to catch cleanly. Lacks mental toughness when things are not going his way. Ended season on a down note with a horrific playoff performance.
Projection: Career back-up who teases in stretches.
Style compares to: Mathieu Garon"
McKeen's rank: # 70

"Poulin was one of a handful of prospects from the QMJHL that never quite lived up to the hype this season. 'It's all mixed reactions with him', - said one scout. 'Some scouts like him, some don't all that much. He got some physical skills without question, but is he strong enough mentally? He hasn't proven that he can be consistent, and that gets back to the mental part of the game."Team Canada's coaches were not overly impres

sed with his conditioning or his lackadasical attitude at last summer's U18 tournament in the Czech Republic. This year he was inconsistent with a poor Victoriaville team, outstanding for a couple of games and then pulled in the first period the next.'Last night he had no problem with his mental flaws, everything was good', said one scout at midseason, when he had Poulin ranked as a first round prospect.'He was very technical, all movements are very measured. He's very strong, you don't move him. Maybe not so much a complete butterfly, he's a hybrid. His athleticism and leg strength are good. Two good games in a row he's been solid.'By the end of the year the same scout no longer had Poulin ranked in his top 60 due to question marks about his conditioning, mental approach and consistency."

148th overall, Matthew Martin, OHL SARNIA

Posts from Isles insiders on this pick: link- http://islanders.nhl.com//news/draft2008blog.htm

Sixth Round

156th overall, Jared Spurgeon, WHL SPOKANE
2007-08 Regular Season Spokane Chiefs Games: 69 Goals:12 Assists:31 Points:43 +/- :36 PIM:1

McKeen's: 05/14/2008 - Not a notable draft prospect to begin the season, Spurgeon eventually attracted the attention of scouts this season with his stellar-defensive play and great poise and maturity .. the 5-foot-9, 170-pound rearguard played in 69 games posting 12 goals, 31 assists and a durable plus- 36 rating .. Spurgeon skates very well with a wide stride that he can kick up into another gear if need be .. he has worked hard on his shot over the year and it has paid off in spades, as he is more accurate than he ever was, has greater control and better velocity from the point .. he is not overly physical but plays very good positional hockey and always seems to get the puck out of harms way in his own zone ..displays strong outlet passes, as he does not rush and always takes a look .. he played both the pk and pp this season logging good minutes and getting valuable experience .. he knows his role and plays it to a tee, as he does not try to overcompensate in average areas of his game and puts team defense first .. he will probably be a mid-round pick at the draft.

175th overall, Justin DiBenedetto, OHL SARNIA

2007-08 Regular Season Sarnia Sting games 58 goals 39 assist 54 points 93 +/- 12 PIM 61

Posts on this pick: link- http://islanders.nhl.com//news/draft2008blog.htm

once again big thank you to IM for the info.

NHL Draft 2008, Continued

Third Round

66th Overall: David Toews, HIGH-MN SHAT.ST.MARY'S (Yes, he's Jonathan's brother)

Red Line rank: #102 - David Toews LW, 5-10/175, Shoots L, DOB- 07 JUN 90, Team- Shattuck St. Mary's.

"Little bro' has skill, but is small and injury prone."
"Younger brother of Jonathan forged his own niche at Shattuck by cracking the 100-point barrier, but still comes up a bit shy skill wise in the comparison. Has grown a lot on and off the ice and has the drive and desire to follow in big brother's footsteps. Has plus vision and playmaking ability, and a knack for finding openings in the tightest places to get hard accurate passes or shots off. Works well in the corners and can dart quickly off the boards and make plays on net. Durability is an issue as he's small and ended the season injured. Also lacks explosive first step you'd like to see in a smaller player.
Projection: Small, injury prone scorer.
Style compares to: Kyle Welllwood"


ISS rank: 27
Position: Left wing
Born: 6.7.90
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 175
ISS Ranking #27
ISS Nov. Ranking #19

Report Card
Size/Strength: Good
Skating: Excellent
Shot/Scoring: Very Good
Puckhandling: Very Good
Hockey Sense: Excellent
Leadership: Excellent
Poise: Very Good
Defense: Good
1. Incredible hockey sense,always around the puck
2. Constant offensive threat
Areas For Improvement
1. Size and strength
2. Core strength
Skill:He has a great scoring touch and good imagination. A very good stick handler in a crowd and can shoot the puck with accuracy.

Scouting Report:Toews possesses a very good shot, and at times will elect to pass when he should be taking the shot. Despite not have a large frame, he does a nice job battling along the boards and using his body to protect the puck. He works extremely hard every shift on the ice and carries himself with a great deal of class. His size is a slight issue but he works so hard that he makes up for it with tenacity and effort on every shift. His low centre of gravity actually assists him because he is difficult to move off the puck and has the skills to get it to a teammate in a great location. He has improved his defensive abilities and does whatever it takes to help his team win.
NHL Potential: Great leadership traits that should translate very well at the next level
Style compares to: Dany Heatley
Year Team GP G A PTS PIM07/08 Shattuck-SM 51 44 56 100 20
--------------McKeen's rank: # 65
"The younger, smaller and less heralded of the Toews brothers, David is a savvy and skilled center with a knack for generating offense below the hash-marks.'
He creates most of his offense in tight around the net where he's particularly effective pulling the puck off the wall to attack the net before threading the needle with a deft pass through traffic or picking the corners in tight with his compact release,' - describes McKeen's scout Max Giese. 'He doesn't possess the commanding power game his brother does, but his ablility to protect the puck and manufacture offence in heavy traffic is his most standout quality.'Toews is not a dynamic skater, as he lacks a secondary gear, but that prevent him from arriving in the right place at the right time in most situations thanks to above-average intelligence. Scouts were concerned about his lack of consistency this season. He was mediocre at the Nike Bauer tournament last November, and hot and cold in high school hockey for Shattuck St. Mary's, yet in February at the 4 Nations Cup he played outstanding. Toews did not consistently play hard away from the puck. Combine that with his lack of size and breakaway speed, and many scouts weren't ranking him highly."

72nd overall, Jyri Niemi, WHL
05/04/2008 - The Finnish import has caught the interest of many scouts with his stellar two-way play .. the 6-foot-3, 190-pound defenseman played just 49 games due to injuries but scored 14 goals and had 34 points .. also had 57 penalty minutes and a minus–1 rating .. is blessed with great skating ability and has great poise and patience with the puck, as his hockey sense for a young player is over the top .. has one of the shots from the point in the WHL and he can let go some blasts with good accuracy .. he has really worked on his cycle down low defensively and protects the puck well .. is willing to battle hard and usually the knock against European players is that they do not play physical and are soft .. Niemi, however, is not afraid to go in the dirty areas to make a play .. delivers good outlet passes from his own end, as he pays attention to wear his teammates are and will be .. really improved as the season progressed and has a great chance of being a late first to an early-second-round selection.

Position: Left defence
Born: 6.15.90
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 192
ISS Ranking #65
ISS Nov. Ranking #47

Report Card
Skating Very Good
Shot/Scoring Excellent
Puckhandling Good
Hockey Sense Very Good
Scouting Report:Niemi is an offensively gifted d-man who has a cannon for a shot. He put up good numbers for Saskatoon and moves the puck well. He is a powerplay specialist but is improving in 5on 5 play as well. Players are starting to shy away from getting into the path of his slap shot that hasbecome even more accurate. Needs to add some toughness to his play and consistency in the d-zone.His passing ability is improving as well.Year Team GP G A PTS PIM07/08 Saskatoon 49 14 20 34 57

73rd overall, Kirill Petrov, Russian Super League (?)

Red Line rank: #8 - Krill Petrov RW, 6-3/218 Shoots L, DOB- 13 April 90.

"Can be invisible for 57 minutes, then win the game."
"A tremendously skilled, but typically Russian power winger with boom-or-bust written all over him. Has a great overall package of size/strength, soft hands, great release on his shot and terrific goal scorer's touch around the net. Type of player who can be (and frequently is) invisible for 57 minutes in a game, then just takes over and dominates, becoming a man among boys. Can really go with the puck if given even a sliver of open ice. Thick, wide and extremely powerfull, almost impossible to knock off stride. Has the puck for as long as he wants it. Skill set is excellent, can dangle in traffic, dart through small openings and get quick shots away off either foot. An electrifiying talent - if someone is constantly lighting a fire under him. Very low intensity and drive. Surprisingly strong defensively.
Projection: Likely star in the Russian Super League.
Style compares to: Alexander Frolov

ISS Rank #17

Report Card
Size/Strength-Very Good
Skating-Very Good
Hockey Sense--Very Good
Poise-Very Good
1. Creativity
2. Perimeter Offense
3. Forecheck
Areas For Improvement
1. Defensive Awareness
2. In-Tight Scoring
Skill:Petrov's size allows him to protect the puck very well with his body.

Scouting Report:Petrov is a power forward that can set the tone of the game with a big hit or a big goal.His aggressive style and forecheck are difficult for any players to defend against.He knows how to create space down low and consistently punishes players. He is intimidating, talented, smart and a respected player who works very hard. he has a heavy shot and loves to hover around the slot for a onetimer.He reads faceoffs very well, especially in the offensive zone. He will never give up on a loose puck and is very hard to knock off the puck once he gets it.
NHL Potential:Excellent secondary scoring option
Style compares to :Ryan Getzlaf

NHL Draft 2008: The Aftermath...

The Islanders, originally with the fifth overall pick in the first round, traded down twice- first with Toronto, then with Columbus- to obtain the ninth overall pick, as well as a slew of picks in the second and third rounds. It wasn't a popular move with the fans- or me, either- but time and scouting reports may show differently. Here's who they picked:

First round, ninth overall: Josh Bailey, OHL Windsor Spitfires

Red Line rank: #15 - Josh Bailey C, 6-0/192, Shoots L, DOB- 02 OCT 89.
"Rarely flashy, but always effective."
"Heart-and-soul type player every good team needs. Has excellent leadership intangibiles and was a big key in the massive turnaround by the Spits this season. We've always liked his work ethic, leadership and sound defensive game, but he elevated his offensive game in a big way this year. Terrific playmaking centre with the ability to get his wingers the puck in good scoring positions - has a knack for holding onto it that extra split second to his mates time. Good vision and can saucer touch passes through traffic off either wing. Plays with poise and smarts in all three zones. Strong in puck pursuit on the forecheck, but would boost his stock if he'd add a physical element to his game and finish off more checks."

Projection: Playmaking two-way, 2nd line centre.

Style compares to: Jamie Langenbrunner"

ISS rank: 10

Report Card
Size/Strength: Good
Skating: Very Good
Shot/Scoring: Good
Puckhandling: Excellent
Hockey Sense: Excellent
Leadership: Excellent
Poise: Excellent
Defense: Good
1. Work Ethic
2. Playmaking
3. Two way game

Areas For Improvement
1. Competitiveness
2. Skating Skill:A highly skilled forward who works hard a both ends of the rink.

Scouting Report:Bailey broke into the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and was traded to the Spitfires mid way through the 06-07 season. Bailey, who leads Windsor in scoring this past season with 96 pts, is a hard working forward with very good puck skills and playmaking ability. With Spitfires, Josh takes a regular shift and is used during power play and penalty killing situations. Since breaking into the OHL, Josh has shown improvement in skating and overall speed. Heading into the 08-09 many observers feel the Spitfires will be the team to beat in the OHL and Bailey will play a key role in Windsor’s drive towards an OHL Championship.

NHL Potential: Top 6- Hard working player who can contribute offensively without sacrificing defence.
Style compares to: Andrew Brunette

Second Round: 36th overall, Corey Trivino, Stouffville OPJHL

Red Line rank: #40 - Corey Trivino C, 6-1/175, Shoots L, DOB- 12 JAN 90.
"Draft wildcard has goal scoring ability teams covet."
"Finds ways to produce points no matter who he's paired with; exhibited great chemistry with more talented linemates at U-18s than he gets to see in Tier II play. Shows good overall wheels with very quick feet and lateral moves. Excellent sniper's toolset; has quick, soft hands for receiving passes and really buries his chances around the net, showing calmness and patience. Has an array of shots he can unload quickly with accuracy. Naturally instinctive at offensive end - gets to open space in scoring territory and thinks the game well. Content to let his linemates do the dirty work and spends a lot of time lurking dangerously around the slot waiting to pounce. Slight build and doesn't initiate contact, but isn't afraid to take hits to make plays. Really needs to work on defensive zone commitment and his play without the puck.
Projection: Speedy 2nd line sniper.
Style compares to: Patrick Sharp"
ISS rank: #26
Report Card
Size/Strength: Good
Skating: Very Good
Shot/Scoring: Very Good
Puckhandling: Excellent
Hockey Sense: Very Good
Leadership: Very Good
Poise: Very Good
Defense: Very Good
Strengths1. Good skater – quick & agile
2. Solid playmaking ability
3. Competes hard
Areas For Improvement
1. Size and strength
2. Core strength

Skill:Utilizes good vision, passing and playmaking skills to set up linemates for good scoring chances.
Scouting Report:Corey Trivino is one of the offensive leaders for Stouffville of the OPJHL. Corey is a leader in both ends of the ice. He has a great combination of skill and explosive speed. A dynamic playmaker , he continually sets his teammates up for scoring opportunities. He sees the ice extremely well and has great offensive imagination . A strong athlete that has competed at the provincials for Rugby and Soccer. Read the play well and jumps into holes effectively and supports the puck well during transition. After a solid playoff where he recorded 22 pts in 15 games, Trivino played for Canada at the U18 World Championships where he tallied 7 pts in 7 games.
NHL Potential: With his scoring touch, he will be a top-two-line player with his skill.
Style compares to: Chris Higgins

40th overall, Aaron Ness, soon to be U of Minnesota

Red Line rank: #23 - Aaron Ness D, 5-10/165, Shoots L, DOB- 18 MAY 90.
"Provides litmus test on 5-10/165-pound "D" in NHL."
"Has small frame and won't get much bigger, but offsets that by using subtle little head/shoulder feints that throw off forecheckers. Excellent athleticism, quickness, and reactions. Has loose hips and opens up well at the point for 1-timers. Slick and skilled with the puck and has great offensive instincts. Makes very quick decisions before the puck even hits his blade - decisive 1-touch passes are crisp and accurate. Shows excellent timing moving in from the point on the PP. Makes great decisions in puck distribution - looks defenders off before wiring crisp cross-ice passes. Terrific skater with acceleration is capable of making dynamic solo rushes. Disciplined player, but will always look for openings to jump up and create odd-man rushes. Lack of bulk will always be an issue defensively as he's easily overpowered down low.
Projection: Top 4 blue-liner who runs the PP.
Style compares to: Phil Housley
ISS rank: #29
Report Card
Size/Strength: Below Ave
Skating: Excellent
Shot/Scoring: Very Good
Puckhandling: Excellent
Hockey Sense: Excellent
Leadership: Very Good
Poise: Excellent
Defense: Good
1. Play Making
2. Passing
3. Speed
Areas For Improvement
1. Hangs on to the puck a bit long
2. Overall size and strength
Skill:A highly skilled defenseman who moves the puck up the ice effectively.

Scouting Report:There is a lot of interest in this skilled puck moving d-men and rightfully so. Ness, a smaller sized defenseman, plays with a fair amount of grit and is more than willing to engage in physical battles when it is required. Ness, who has sound passing and playing skills, displays a tremendous amount of confidence & poise with the puck. Winner of the prestigious 2008 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award, Ness is scheduled to attend the University of Minnesota in September 2008 and was also a member of Team USA a the 2008 U18 World Championships, where he registered 6 pts in 7 games.
NHL Potential: Puck moving defenseman who will be able to generate offense from the backend.
Style compares to: Brian Rafalski

53rd Overall, Travis Hamonic, Moose Jaw, WHL

Red Line rank: #155 - Travis Harmonic D, 6-0/195, Shoots R, DOB- 16 AUG 90, Team- Moose Jaw.
"Tweener has just average size and skills."

ISS rank: #86
Position: Right defence
Born: 8.16.90
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 192
ISS Ranking #86
ISS Nov. Ranking N/A
Report Card
Skating: Good
Shot/Scoring: Average
Puckhandling: Good
Hockey Sense: Very Good
Scouting Report:He is a puck moving d-man with good mobility. He is intimidating, talented, smart and a respected player who works very hard. Hamonic’s ice time went down with the addition of Wishart at the trade deadline. Was solid yet unspecaticular throughout the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championships in Kazan, Russia. Would like to see him jump up in the rush more.Year Team GP G A PTS PIM07/08 Moose Jaw 61 5 17 22 101

------------McKeen's rank: #64

"Harmonic was one of a trio of Canadian players who used the U18 championship as a springboard to top-60 consideration when before the tournament he would have been fortunate to be in most team's top 90. While there are bigger, faster and more offensively skilled blueliners available in this draft, not many are as competitive as the Moose Jaw defenceman. 'He plays on the Warriors, and he is a warrior' - said one scout. 'He breaks his jaw earlier in the season, and comes back to play the rest of the game. You have to love his mentality - he's this year's Kevin Marshall - not overly skilled but will block a shot with his teeth if need be.'Harmonic's stock before the draft was not exactly on the rise. 'Teams weren't going out of their way to see Moose Jaw after he was out' - said one scout who likes Harmonic in the second round. 'There weren't any high-end draft eligiable prospects, and after he came back he was out of people's minds.'He was quickly back in the minds of scouts after his gutsy effort at the U-18's. He ended up being on of Canada's more reliable defenders, and some teams now have him ranked in their top 60."

(Thanks to Islander Mania for the info.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Where Are the Isles?


Check out this NHL commercial. It's got great clips put together of some of hockey's greats lifting the Cup in celebration, ending with the one and only Wayne Gretzky. Pretty neat, eh?

However, from the first time I watched this promo I always wondered: Four Stanley Cups in four years, and the guys who made this clip couldn't find a single shot of Denis Potvin hoisting the Cup in triumph? Would it have been too much to ask for some representation? I think not.

I hope in the future the NHL can find it in their hearts to at least show some respect for our dynasty, even if they don't want one like it again.

Red Wings Win Fourth Cup, But Pens Have Nothing to Hang Heads About

Game 6: Detroit wins, 3-2; wins series, 4-2

Until the last second, the Penguins thought they had a chance.

Down 3-2, with Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood down on the ice, and the puck within his reach, winger Marian Hossa tried his hardest to take one final shot, one last gasping breath to keep his team alive and in the race for the Stanley Cup. But, as the clock ran down to 00:00, the puck bounced just across the goal line and dribbled out of the crease.

Never over it.

For the Pens, this series has been all about comebacks, as they came into this series with a prior playoff record of 12-2, but matched up against the Red Wings like the proverbial David taking on a formidable Goliath. Formidable, yes. But this is a Detroit team that has proven to be beatable, and almost gave up the Western Conference Finals to Dallas, as a matter of fact. But the youthful, exuberant Pens, talented though they may be, were perhaps missing one key ingredient that kept them from being the Stanley Cup champions on Wednesday night.

The Wings probably have what every other team aspires to acquire- the seemingly perfect blend of talent, work ethic, and experience that has made them so successful in years past and in this one as well. I assumed too much that age would be a hinderance for this team, and I was wrong- the Wings actually had age on their side, as the play of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, Brian Rafalski, and even younger players Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, overwhelmed the Penguins and made them look every bit as young as they were. Keep in mind, perhaps most of these players on the Pens have never seen a Cup Finals firsthand. And their captain, Sidney Crosby, is all of 20 years old and, while dynamic indeed, has much growing to do still to fill a leader's shoes.

However, the two games Pittsburgh did manage to win, particularly the exhilarating Game 5 in which Detroit came oh-so-close to winning it all in their own building, but saw it slip away in three overtimes, are a testament to just how much this team has already grown in three years. The Eastern Conference quarterfinals may have been a break for them, seeing as the Senators were crippled by injuries to their key players, but the next two playoff rounds- especially the Eastern Conference Finals against the rough-and-tumble Flyers- showed that they had the mettle and resilience to make it to the Stanley Cup. Those series wins showed how good they can be, and how good they are going to become.

Their fans know it. It was evident in the way they continued to warmly cheer on their team, even after the last seconds had ticked away, and as the Red Wings celebrated giddily on the ice of Mellon Arena. They cheered for Fluery and Crosby, and know that they have much to look forward to once October comes around once more.

But for now, the summer is coming upon us. And it is a time for celebration again in Hockeytown. Congratulations to the Detroit Red Wings for a great season and winning the Cup. Next year... who knows? It may well be Pittsburgh, or finally Ottawa, or San Jose or Vancouver, or a dark horse team whom no one expects to succeed- maybe the Isles could even come close. That's the beauty of the future... it's unknown. And anyone has a chance.

Until next time,


Monday, June 2, 2008

Isles to Let Go of Dubielewicz

Isles GM Garth Snow will likely let go of backup goaltender (and soon-to-be UFA) Wade Dubielewicz, claiming to be making roster space for the youth movement the Isles plan to implement. In addition, Snow has not made any offers to Ruslan Fedotenko, Miroslav Satan, or Josef Vasicek.

link- http://http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/ny-spisles0601,0,2651649.story