Islanders C John Tavares' highly-anticipated interview period begins on Tuesday, and many organizations are lining up to talk to the top free agent on the market.
Along with the Isles, the Stars, Maple Leafs, Sharks, and Lightning are meeting with the 27-year-old center between today and Wednesday, per TSN's Darren Dreger. There will also be phone conversations with 2-3 teams, including the Bruins, that could potentially lead to in-person meetings.
The Islanders have made all the right moves to entice their captain to return next season. Co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin lived up to their promise of changing the team's hockey operations by bringing in Hall of Fame GM Lou Lamoriello to run their operations. Stanley Cup-winning head coach Barry Trotz was also brought over to lead the Islanders next season.
The orchestration of the free agency period of John Tavares continues.
As almost everyone has suspected for more than six months, the Islanders were informed today by Pat Brisson that Tavares will participate in meetings with five other teams before the official opening of the unrestricted free agent market on July 1.
The Islanders remain very much in the mix - the slight favorite going into this race, in fact, according to the majority of people around the league I've spoken with over the last two days...
As day two of the NHL Draft goes on, the Islanders continue to add to their team.
In the fourth round, the Islanders select C Jacob Pivonka (No. 103 overall).
Pivonka, 18, played 59 games for the USA U-18 national team, scoring 20 points (8 G, 12 A). He's committed to Notre Dame for 2018/19.
The Islanders have selected G Jakub Skarek in the third-round with the No. 72 pick.
Skarek, 18, is from the Czech Republic and played for HC Dukla Jihlava in his homeland. He played in 21 games and gave up 2.41 goals against per game with a .913 save percentage.
The Islanders have selected Russian F Ruslan Iskhakov with the No. 43 pick of the NHL Draft.
Iskhakov, 17, scored 30 points (6 G, 24 A) in the MHL, the Russian U-20 league. He stands at 5'8" and weighs just 150 lbs.
The Islanders continue to add to their defense through the draft, as they have selected D Bode Wilde with their second-round (No. 41 overall) selection.
Lou Lamoriello drafted a defenseman in the first-round, taking D Noah Dobson with their No. 12 overall pick.
Wilde, 18, had 16 points (13 G, 3 A) with the USA under-18 team in 25 games this season. He stands at 6'2" and weighs 198 lbs. He is known to be a two-way defenseman.
WIlde recently de-committed from Michigan ahead of the draft.
The Islanders went for some defensive help with their No. 12 overall pick, as they selected D Noah Dobson.
Dobson played Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, where he totaled 69 points (17 goals, 52 assists) over 67 games.
At 6-foot-3, 176 pounds, the 18-year-old Dobson was ranked the No. 5 prospect by HockeyProspect.com. He is known to be an above-average skater that is great on both ends of the ice.
With the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Islanders selected RW Oliver Wahlstrom.
Wahlstrom, 18, played for the USA National Development Team for the second straight season last year. He collected 83 points (40 goals, 43 assists) last season. He also joined Team USA in the World Junior Championship, where he tallied seven goals and two assists over seven games.
Wahlstrom couldn't be anymore excited to get his NHL career going with the Islanders.
Islanders captain John Tavares is expected to decide on whether or not he will enter the interview period on Saturday, per TSN's Darren Dreger.
The interview period, which allows teams to pitch the free-agent Tavares before contract talks can begin, starts on Sunday.
Islanders co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have set everything up on a hockey operations standpoint to entice Tavares to re-sign with the team that drafted him first overall back in 2009. They hired Lou Lamoriello as their new team president, and 2018 Stanley-Cup winning coach Barry Trotz joins the Isles as well.
Tags: John Tavares
Capitals G Philipp Grubauer won't be making the trip to Long Islander with Isles new head coach Barry Trotz next season.
The Capitals made a trade on Friday, sending Grubauer and D Brooks Orpik to the Avalanche for the 47th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
With the Islanders needing goalie help next season, Grubauer was linked to New York now that Trotz is in place as head coach. The 26-year-old was a backup for the Stanley-Cup winning Caps, and he recorded a 15-10-3 record over 35 games. He also owns a 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage.
The Islanders' courtship of John Tavares is now over. It's up to him to decide whether he wants to stay or leave.
While it's possible the current roster will be upgraded by the end of NHL Draft weekend in Dallas, it won't be done for the sake of winning over Tavares.
The inevitable acquisition of a No. 1 goaltender, the possible bold trade to add another star like Erik Karlsson or subtler moves to shore up the defense -- that's simply Lou Lamoriello's job: to make the Islanders better for the near future.
As for Tavares, he's already seen everything he needs to see - commitment, a complete culture change, the extermination of the losing mindset that infested the organization for more than a decade.
Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
Not even the Islanders confirming Stanley Cup winning Barry Trotz as the team's new head coach could distract media and fans alike from focusing on impending free agent John Tavares.
Trotz was announced as new Islanders head coach on Thursday and, if he didn't already know, he quickly found out that all roads lead to Tavares at the moment.
"I think the Tavares situation is in good hands," Trotz said on a conference call on Thursday. "The great thing is that Lou is in constant contact with John and they've had great dialogue. Obviously I've reached out to him and had a great conversation."...
Tags: John Tavares
The first box on Lou Lamoriello's massive to-do list has been checked, and in an extraordinary way.
Barry Trotz, who led the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup earlier this month, has agreed to become the head coach of the Islanders. According to the game's top insiders like Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger, the deal is for five years at around the $4 million-plus annually it was expected would be the minimum Trotz would require.
Adults -- experienced, accomplished, highly-qualified adults -- are in charge of the New York Islanders.
The Islanders have added another eight games to be played at Nassau Coliseum, bringing their total 2018-19 games at the venue to 20. The other 21 home games will be at the Barclay's Center.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the addition was due to 'high demand' for the initial 12 games. The Islanders will move into a new stadium at Belmont Park, likely during the 2021-22 season.
"Until the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art arena at Belmont Park, the Islanders will reunite with their fans at Nassau Coliseum and build momentum for a long-awaited homecoming," Cuomo said in a statement.
The Islanders have named Barry Trotz their head coach, the team announced on Thursday.
"Barry brings to the New York Islanders franchise a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience and success," Islanders President and GM Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "He is and has been one of the top coaches in the National Hockey League. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him."
Trotz resigned from the Capitals on Monday, and the Islanders had been in contact, with Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello eager to fill their vacant head coach position in the near-term...
It may have been anticipated, but Islanders C Mathew Barzal was announced the 2018 Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie last season.
Barzal blew out the competition for the award, which was announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Wednesday night. He received 160 first-place votes with the Canucks' Brock Boeser the closest in that category with two votes.
The reason Barzal was the favorite for the Calder Trophy was due to his production in his rookie season. He totaled 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) over a full 82-game season.
Tags: Mathew Barzal
The Islanders' 2018-19 home opener is all set.
New York will host the Predators on Oct. 6 at Barclays Center.
The Islanders announced their preseason schedule last week, which you can view HERE.
Islanders electric rookie C Mathew Barzal has been the favorite to win the Calder Trophy, and it may finally become a reality on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
The 21-year-old is among three finalsts for the award that includes Canucks RW Brock Boeser and Coyotes C Clayton Keller. Barzal, though, blew away both candidates in scoring this season with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) over a full 82-game season.
If Barzal wins the award, he will be the fifth Islander to do so. Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, and Bryan Berard held the Calder Trophy at the end of their rookie seasons.
Tags: Mathew Barzal
Two months ago, did you envision reading this sentence on June 19?
New Islanders Boss of Hockey Lou Lamoriello is speaking with Stanley Cup-winning head coach Barry Trotz today about becoming the Islanders' next coach.
Feels good to be back in the major leagues, right?
The Islanders need a new head coach, and Barry Trotz -- who just led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup -- has resigned.
"Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals," the team said in a statement. "We are obviously disappointed by Barry's decision, but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington. Barry is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise."
The Capitals tried to work out a new extension with Trotz, whose automatic two-year extension for winning the Cup was below market value, explained Elliotte Friedman of TSN. Trotz's extension would have been worth $1.8 million per season, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.
There has been some cautious rejoicing in Islanders Country over the last 24 hours, in the wake of reports about John Tavares from the very reliable Darren Dreger and Pierre Lebrun, and why not?
Prior to Lou Lamoriello mercifully ridding the Islanders organization of the dark clouds brought by the Garth Snow administration, there was little chance Tavares was staying with the Islanders. Now, there is hope.
Dreger and Lebrun have reported that Tavares and agent Pat Brisson have been focused entirely on discussions with the Islanders, and there is a possibility the franchise player could re-sign with the club before the listening period with other teams begins in the last week of June...
Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
The Islanders open the preseason at the Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 16 when they play the Philadelphia Flyers at 1 p.m.
New York will have four home preseason games -- two at Barclays Center (Sept. 18 vs. Philadelphia, Sept. 20 vs. New Jersey Devils) and one at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut (Sept. 22 vs. New York Rangers).
John Tavares is focusing on negotiating a contract extension with the Islanders and has been in daily contact for the last two weeks, according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Tavares is set to become a free agent on July 1.
The news, if true, would be a monumental step in the right direction for Lou Lamoriello, the team's new President of Hockey Operations. Before his hiring, Tavares' future with the team seemed ominous...
In anticipation of the arrival of a new Islanders head coach, the organization has started parting ways with coaches from the Doug Weight regime.
Point Blank has learned that among those let go was Greg Cronin, who served as an associate coach under Weight, as an assistant under Jack Capuano, and as head coach in Bridgeport (2003-2005). Cronin, who was a close ally of ousted GM Garth Snow, has been around the Islanders on and off since 1998.
"As everyone expected, it's a blood-letting," said a source close to the team. "The only small surprise is that it's already happening...before the new head coach comes in."
While Lou Lamoriello continues to shape the Islanders' hockey operations, adding the highly-respected Steve Pellegrini on Tuesday as another assistant GM, word around team headquarters is that the incumbent members of the scouting staff will remain in place for the NHL Draft next weekend in Dallas.
This is as it should be. After all, they have been scouting the hockey world for the last year. To dismiss their reports and opinions would be foolish. The scouts at the table next Friday and Saturday will learn more about their futures with the Islanders by the end of June, if not by the end of draft weekend.
But this being our Islanders with their dysfunctional history, there was actually one draft where the scene at the draft table was anything but normal.
The Islanders have added another face to their revitalized front office as Steve Pellegrini was named assistant GM, the team announced Tuesday.
Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello reunites with Pellegrini, who has been working for the Devils as their vice president of hockey operations since 2006. He will work alongside Lamoriello's son, Chris, who holds the same role in the organization.
"Steve brings over 20 years of knowledge and experience to our hockey operations," Lamoriello said.
Lou Lamoriello is moving quickly in his search for the next Islanders head coach. According to a source, the new boss wants to have a head coach in place by the middle of next week - prior to the NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22 and 23.
Although Lamoriello is not operating under a hard deadline, his reasoning is obvious:
Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
Islanders RW Jordan Eberle couldn't help himself. He wanted to continue playing with his linemates.
Eberle traveled to Denmark to join Team Canada in the IIHF World Championship, and playing on the same line with Islanders LW Anthony Beauvillier and C Mathew Barzal again was the main reason why. Eberle had his best season in three years with that line, posting 59 points (25 goals, 34 assists) over 81 games.
"Ebs went all the way to Europe just to play with us two goofs again," Beauvillier told NHL.com's Cory Wright. "We were kidding around, but he's probably a little sick of us now."
Scott Stevens is a leading candidate to become an important figure in the revitalization of the Islanders under Lou Lamoriello, a source with knowledge of the situation has told Islanders Point Blank.
Stevens' projected role is uncertain at the moment.
The Hall of Fame defenseman appears best-suited for the position of associate coach, under an experienced NHL head coach such as Dave Tippett. However, it cannot be ruled out that Stevens will become head coach.
Lou Lamoriello was in charge of the Islanders for less than a week, and he was already beginning to instill the culture that has made him a legendary figure in the NHL.
According to multiple sources, change is afoot in the Islanders' offices at Northwell Health Ice Center at Eisenhower Park. Lamoriello and whomever ends up in the hockey department, along with a few others, will have the place to themselves. Several of the team's departments -- think along the lines of accounting, marketing, the folks who shoot off the t-shirt guns -- will be relocating elsewhere in Nassau County.
In other words, Garth Snow didn't stand a chance, and Doug Weight - coming off a brutal and at times embarrassing season - was a victim of Snow's malpractice. Lamoriello is performing a complete makeover of the Islanders, and he's going to do it his way.
The Islanders have fired GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight, the team announced Tuesday.
New president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello announced that Snow and Weight were relieved of their duties, and that he will assume the role as the team's GM. He will also be leading the search to find a new head coach.
"The New York Islanders would like to thank both Garth and Doug for their dedication to the franchise," Lamoriello said. "Both started their tenures with the franchise as players and grew as tremendous leaders to the positions they held."
The hiring of Lou Lamoriello to run the hockey operations of the Islanders gives the club and its fans legitimate hope that John Tavares will re-sign. Before co-owner Scott Malkin made the smart move to go rogue, tell nary a soul about it, and lure Lamoriello, Tavares was virtually out the door.
But on the other hand, while the euphoria in the wake of hiring the Hall of Fame franchise builder was justifiable, it's a mistake to make any assumptions.
This hopelessly naïve leap some observers have made that Lamoriello committed to the Islanders because he is convinced Tavares is staying? Nonsense.
While 2018 will be the summer of John Tavares around the NHL, particularly for the Islanders, there's another intriguing name being discussed for the team: Ilya Kovalchuk.
Kovalchuk had reportedly identified the Islanders as a fit, according to TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger...
Islanders President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello has been in "near daily" contact with John Tavares' agent, reports Frank Seravalli of TSN.
Tavares, who is set to become a free agent on July 1, seemed to approve of the Islanders' decision to hire Lamoriello last month, according to Andrew Gross of Newsday.
The Hockey Hall-of-Famer recently heaped praise on Tavares, calling him "one of the elite players," but wouldn't elaborate upon his future with the team.
Tags: John Tavares
The Islanders said they were going to make a change to their hockery operations, and they certainly made a large splash in that area by hiring Hockey Hall of Fame member Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations.
Well, Lamoriello's championship pedigree joining the Islanders has reportely impressed captain John Tavares, per Newsday's Andrew Gross. He states that what Lamoriello and Tavares want for the Islanders has a "convergence there."
Lamoriello said that he doesn't view the Isles as a rebuiling team, but instead, a few pieces away from being a true contender.
Tags: John Tavares
Sal Licata and Jon Hein discuss the Islanders' decision to hire Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations Tuesday.
The mission for Lou Lamoriello is simple: Return the Islanders to the Stanley Cup-winning powerhouse they once were.
Fulfilling that objective is going to take some time. But it was the challenge, the inevitable journey that enticed Lamoriello to leave his post with the Maple Leafs as a senior advisor, and join the Islanders as their new president of hockey operations.
"First of all, I was impressed with the conversation I had with [co-owner] Scott Malkin and his vision, his commitment, and his support to the Islanders," Lamoriello said in his first conference call with the media since the hiring. "I also look at it as a challenge to bring the Islanders back to where they were."
There could be a time when we look back and wonder why Islanders ownership declined to perform a complete executive search, why they chose not to interview the many promising candidates available to run the club's hockey operations.
But in the end, when your franchise is rotting at its core - so much so that your franchise player is not even engaging in any discussions of substance with you - what's really needed is a master surgeon. In getting Lou Lamoriello, owner Scott Malkin found the perfect person for the job.
With the arrival of Lamoriello as Islanders President of Hockey Operations, the excuse-making is over.
The Islanders announced Tuesday that former Maple Leafs/Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has indeed joined their staff as president of hockey operations.
It was rumored by The Athletic's Arthur Staple Monday that Lamoriello was set to join the Islanders in some capacity "in a matter of days." Well, it was less than a day since that report came out that New York decided to release the news themselves.
"We are grateful to Larry Tanenbaum and the Toronto Maple Leafs for their courtesy in allowing this move," Malkin said. "We are committed to giving Lou every resource and the full support of the entire organization as we pursue our program to compete at the highest level."
It appears the Islanders have made a move to clean up their hockey operations after all.
Former Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello is reportedly set to run the Isles' hockey operations "in a matter of days," per The Athletic's Arthur Staple. Lamoriello has been rumored to join the Islanders in some capacity next season. However, that capacity was unknown given Garth Snow's GM and president of hockey operations role.
With Lamoriello about to join them for real, Snow's position within the organization is currently unknown. But Staple's sources say that Lamoriello will be "fully in charge."
In the history of the franchise, there have been 36 instances of which that an Islanders' player has received a vote for the Hart Trophy. How many can you name?
Test your knowledge by playing the quiz below...
The Islanders have reportedly begun discussion with former Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello on a position within their organization, per SportsNet's John Shannon.
The Leafs officially promoted Kyle Dubas to GM over the weekend, and according to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, Lamoriello "has no intention of staying on to perform" his advisory role he is supposed to transition to with Toronto.
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said that all aspects of the team's hockey operations was to be evaluated, and adding someone to their front office was in the cards.
The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."
The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome."
The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorts added that every professional sports league had been involved, with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...
Islanders co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin said they will "be evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations" last month, and since that brief statement that didn't involve press questions, no change has yet to be made.
Garth Snow still sits in his chair with his president and general manager titles on his desk, but that could very well change if the Islanders decide to pursue Lou Lamoriello, who isn't returning as the Maple Leafs' GM next season.
It was part of a contract with the Leafs that had Lamoriello in the GM role for three seasons before transitioning over to an advisory role. However, according to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, Lamoriello "has no intention of staying on to perform" in that role, per his sources.
Rookie year is in the books for Islanders C Mathew Barzal, and it was certainly a success. Barzal led all rookies in points (85) last season, making him the frontrunner for the Calder Trophy.
Unfortunately, though, the Islanders didn't make the playoffs, which means Barzal shipped back to his home of Coquitlam, British Columbia to get his offseason training regimen under way. HIs training, at first, is more of a recovery as he and Sportcore Performance owner Rob Williams focus on making sure every little muscle is in tact before starting the real workouts.
"Nothing too heavy, a lot of core work," Barzal told New York Hockey Journal's Leo Scaglione Jr. "I'm making sure everything is moving right and working well. Your groins and little muscles take a beating all year, so I strengthen my legs again and get them back to feeling good and strong."
Tags: Mathew Barzal
Former Islanders GM Bill Torrey passed away at his home in Florida on Wednesday night at the age of 83.
Torrey was the GM of the Islanders from 1972 to 1992, overseeing their four straight Stanley Cup championships, and was inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995,
"Bill was the first employee, general manager and architect of one of the greatest dynasties in NHL history - the New York Islanders, winners of four straight Stanley Cups," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press release.
Construction on the new Islanders arena at Belmont Park is still slated to begin as early as next spring, according to a timeline presented at a board meeting on Monday.
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan released a statement Monday saying Lou Lamoriello will not return as GM for next season.
With Islanders co-owners John Ledecky and Scott Malkin looking to hire a top hockey executive to their front office, Lamoriello has been among the possible candidates.
However, Shanahan pointed out in his press release that it was always the plan to have Lamoriello on as GM for three seasons before converting to Senior Advisor for the next four years.
Anders Lee will represent Team USA at the 2018 Men's World Championship. The tournament will be held in Denmark from May 4-20.
Lee set career-highs in points (62), goals (40) and assists (22) in 2017/18 for the Islanders.
USA is in Group B with Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Korea, Latvia and Norway. Their first game is against Canada on May 4 at 10:15 a.m.
Lee represented the USA as they the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is the team captain.