A funny thing happens when a Canadian kid drafted in the fifth round doesn't get offered a contract by a (until this past season) cellar-dweller team in New York; a few folks in the Canadian media decide go to bat for him. This is what has happened in the case of Brenden Kichton -- who the Islanders selected in the 5th round in 2011 and who re-entered the draft this past June -- and it's bizarre.

Over the past week or so, the media has been telling Kichton's story and there's nothing wrong with that. It's the summer, and he's a fairly unique story. Kichton's home-town paper had a level-headed article on his "unique situation." The Winnipeg Sun, which has a reason to slant things towards the hometown Jets who selected Kichton this past June in the seventh round, called it "confusing" but didn't take the gloves off.

But the most bizarre take is Yahoo's Kelly Friesen not-so-impartially explaining that not signing Kichton is just another bad decision by the Islanders:

[sny-box]It’s not that surprising to see the Islanders make a puzzling move. Their GM did, after all, offer all of his draft picks in 2012 to move up two spots to the second pick... Snow rushed Nino Niederreiter...He later traded Niederreiter, who he drafted over Carolina Hurricanes star Jeff Skinner, to the Minnesota Wild for 25-year-old Cal Clutterbuck, who scored 10 points this year, and a third-round pick.[/sny-box]

Usually, you're not supposed take up your subject's cause when attempting to write objectively but I guess that was thrown out the window in this case. Friesen doubled down on his Kichton hype on Twitter, responding to a comment about Kichton being passed up until the seventh round by saying it was "kind of like Henrik Lundqvist and Henrik Zetterberg." If only we all had such clear foresight.

And then Slam! Sports got in on the act the other day:

[sny-box]Kichton was given a low-ball offer by the organization that year and didn’t receive another this June[/sny-box]

Let's clear up how this all seems to have gone down.

For Kichton the player, to have sour feelings about things not working out with the Islanders is completely understandable. I don't think anyone in his position would be thrilled to not get a contract offer, or a "low-ball offer", from the Isles and have to re-enter the draft.

But that "low-ball" offer that has been written about is sort of how this whole entry draft system works.

For non-collegiate and un-signed players, their draft rights lapse after a year. So basically, a team could lose a player only one year after drafting that player if the team chooses not to tender them what is called a "bonafide offer" by June 1st of the following year. But the vast majority of the time, players are given those offers. And the vast majority of the time, the players do not accept those offers. This is usually just a paper transaction and is largely insignificant, which is why we perceive teams as having the rights to players for two years after they are drafted. In reality, teams only have rights to these players for one year, and that extends to two years if the team makes that bona fide offer to the player after the first year.

Here's a great definition of what a bona fide offer is. And Here's Winging It in Motown to explain (emphasis mine):

[sny-box]Once a player is drafted, his team essentially has until next June to keep exclusive rights to him. Here's where all of the age-based considerations/exceptions come into play. In reality, nobody of note becomes draft re-eligible after one year.

To do so, a player has to be drafted, not hit a number of extremely-common situations players his age go through, and not be tendered a Bona Fide Offer (they have to at least offer him the league minimum on the entry-level deal he's entitled to based on his age.)[/sny-box]

That "league minimum... entry-level deal" sounds an awful lot like a low-ball offer, which is likely why most players don't accept these bona fide offers. That sounds exactly like what Kichton got. Back to Friesen's article:

[sny-box]Islanders GM Garth Snow didn’t even make the 6-foot, 195-pound Kichton an offer [in 2013] after he turned down the Islanders’ first offer in the summer of 2012.[/sny-box]

And what offer was Kichton likely to receive one year after being drafted? That's right, a bona fide offer that is a minimum-level offer and basically a paper transaction. We don't know for sure, but that sure sounds like it fits the bill.

This year on May 31, the Islanders tendered bona fide offers to their non-collegiate and un-signed draftees from the 2012 draft class: Ville Pokka, Loic Leduc, Jesse Graham and Adam Pelech. The players likely only had a 30-day window in which to sign those deals, and more than a month later, none of them jumped at the chance and signed. Most likely, that's because they know that if the Islanders do intend to sign them, they'll get a better deal a year later when the Islanders face the possibility of permanently losing their rights (as happened with Kichton and Mitchell Theoret this year). For example, former 5th rounder John Persson is making around 20% more than the NHL and AHL league minimums, and that scales up the higher up the player goes on the draft board and how badly the NHL club wants the player.

Based on the Yahoo article, it seems as though Kichton got a bona fide offer in the summer of 2012 to retain his rights, which is by it's very nature a "low-ball offer." Kitchton didn't take that offer, as most players don't, and then watched as the Islanders drafted seven defenders in June 2012. The Islanders then, apparently, chose not to offer Kichton another contract given the mass of bodies they have on defense and, possibly, what they saw in scouting him. As it stands, they have 14 defenders signed for next season plus a whole heap of un-signed defenders from the 2012 and 2013 draft classes.

As for Kichton's huge points totals, he put up more than a point per game this season in Spokane but that was as an over-age player in the WHL. Kichton was a 21-year old playing against kids who were mostly 17, 18 and 19. All the top-tier talent that is worth their weight in NHL-level skill, and other players who are AHL eligible after signing ELCs, bolt the league well before 21 (for example, Tavares left after his 18-year old season and Casey Cizikas left after his 19-year old season).

It's understandable that Kichton, who put up some huge numbers in the WHL, would be upset that those numbers didn't earn him an NHL contract. For the Islanders, it was likely a numbers game, in terms of how many defenders they have in their system and that their opinion of Kichton clearly wasn't very high. For those reasons, they didn't offer him more than that league minimum ELC in 2012.

And with that, we lay to rest the Curious Case of Brenden Kichton for good.

Tags: Brenden Kichton, Islanders, Prospects

Jan 16, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a glove save against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jan 16, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a glove save against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Damon Severson scored consecutive goals less than two minutes apart in the second period as the Devils snapped the Islanders three-game winning streak, 4-1, on Tuesday night at Barclays Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:39 NYI Anders Lee
  • 15:20 NJD Kyle Palmieri (PP); Assists: Sami Vatanen, Marcus Johansson

Second period:

  • 12:58 NJD Damon Severson; Assists: Brian Gibbons, Stefan Noesen
  • 14:24 NJD Severson; Assists: Ben Lovejoy, Jesper Bratt
  • 18:20 NJD Taylor Hall

Third period:

  • NONE
Tags: Anders Lee
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Jan 15, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)
Jan 15, 2018; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Islanders players celebrate their win against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports (Jean-Yves Ahern)

NEW YORK -- A win over the New Jersey Devils nine days ago helped snap an extended funk by the New York Islanders. The Devils will look to return the favor Tuesday night, when they again visit the Islanders in a matchup of Metropolitan Division rivals at Barclays Center.

The Islanders earned their third straight win Monday, when they edged the host Montreal Canadiens, 5-4, in overtime Monday. John Tavares' goal 1:51 into the extra session ensured a yeoman-like effort by backup goalie Thomas Greiss (a career-high 52 saves) would not go for naught for New York. >> Read more

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 (Jean-Yves Ahern)
(Jean-Yves Ahern)

John Tavares may have notched the game-winner in overtime, but the Islanders wouldn't have made it that far if it wasn't for stellar goaltending from Thomas Greiss Monday night. 

The Islanders held the lead all game long, but if there wasn't a scoreboard, one would think the Canadiens were dominating with the amount of time the puck came Greiss' way. New York was largely outshot, 56-24, but Greiss totaled 52 saves to allow his team to steal a win on the road in Montreal. 

"We don't get anywhere close to a win without him," Adam Pelech told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "For sure we wanted to win this one for what he did the whole game."

Tags: John Tavares, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders center John Tavares celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Bell Centre. (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Bell Centre. (Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports)

John Tavares scored two goals, including the game-winner 1:51 into overtime after New York blew a 4-2 lead, as the Islanders beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Monday at Bell Centre. >> Box score

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal, Montreal Canadiens, Thomas Greiss, Thomas Hickey
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Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers stick checks New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal in the first period action at Bell MTS Place. (James Carey Lauder/USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers stick checks New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal in the first period action at Bell MTS Place. (James Carey Lauder/USA TODAY Sports)

The battered New York Islanders will need rookie Mathew Barzal to stay hot as they try for three wins in a row when they play the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night at Bell Centre.

Tags: Mathew Barzal, Montreal Canadiens
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New York Islanders center John Tavares skates before a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares skates before a game against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)

Atop of the Islanders' large to-do list is to make sure star C John Tavares wants to return in 2018, and it appears the All-Star would like to. 

"I hope to stay in Long Island," Tavares told Newsday's Arthur Staple. "There's a lot of positive things going forward with the organization and the team here. I haven't thought about being anywhere else but with the Islanders."

Tavares will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, as his six-yaer, $33 million deal he signed back in 2012. The Islanders have until July 1 of this year to sign Tavares before he officially hits the market. 

Tags: John Tavares
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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:00:49
Fresh off of wins over the Devils and the Rangers, the Islanders discuss what they need to do to maintain success in the Metro Division.

New York Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier (72) skates with the puck in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier (72) skates with the puck in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The New York Islanders returned from their league-mandated bye week and captured their second consecutive win, this one in convincing fashion, trouncing the rival New York Rangers, 7-2 at Madison Square Garden.

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 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

Islanders C Casey Cizikas may have to sit out awhile after suffering an "upper-body injury" against the Rangers on Saturday. 

Cizikas went down hard in the second period, and immediately left the game never to return. After the game, head coach Doug Weight couldn't believe another one of his players could be out of the equation for a significant amount of time. 

"It's getting worse, that's all I can tell you," Weight told The Post's Brett Cyrgalis. "It's upper body and it's not great. You've got to get some good looks at it, but he won't be playing the next little while, at least."

Tags: Casey Cizikas
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Dec 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal in overtime to win the game 3-2 during the overtime period go the game between the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Dec 27, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his goal in overtime to win the game 3-2 during the overtime period go the game between the New York Islanders and the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

The Islanders resumed their 2017-18 season with a bang, beating the Rangers 7-2. Mathew Barzal enjoyed a five point afternoon, with two goals and three assists and Anthony Beauvillier scored twice and added an assist. 

First period

  • 6:06 NYI Anthony Beauvillier; Assists: Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle
  • 14:25 NYR Kevin Hayes (PPG); Assist: Rick Nash
  • 16:25 NYI Shane Prince; Assist: Scott Mayfield

Second period

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Mathew Barzal
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New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (Aaron Doster)
New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (Aaron Doster)

NEW YORK -- A pair of local rivals will resume their frantic race for an Eastern Conference playoff berth Saturday afternoon, when the New York Rangers host the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

Both the Rangers and Islanders are coming off their five-day "bye week" and will be playing for the first time since Sunday, when the visiting Rangers fell to the Vegas Golden Knights, 2-1, while the host Islanders edged the New Jersey Devils, 5-4, in the shootout.

The results further tightened an already cramped race for the Eastern Conference wild card spots. The Rangers (22-15-5) have sole possession of the first wild card in the East, one point ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.

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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:00:51
Islanders coach Doug Weight breaks down what his team needs to do in order to defeat the Rangers on Saturday.

 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

The Islanders first-round draft pick back in 2014, Michael Dal Colle, is set to make his NHL debut against the Rangers on Saturday. 

Dal Colle could see some significant time in his debut, according to head coach Doug Weight. His call-up was due to injuries involving Josh Bailey and Andrew Ladd, and Dal Colle may be asked to fill their void. 

"He could get north of 13, 14, or 15 (minutes), or he could get six," Weight told Newsday's Jordan Lauterbach. "He can dictate that, I'm sure he's going to work. But, I expect him to play."

Tags: Michael dal Colle
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New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang controls the puck against New York Rangers left wing Andrew Desjardins during the first period at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Islanders forward Joshua Ho-Sang admitted he is going through some growing pains after he was a healthy scratch from AHL Bridgeport's lineup on Wednesday.

"When you start the year in the NHL and then get scratched in the AHL in the same year, it's kind of … it's kind of mentally tough," Ho-Sang told the New York Post's Greg Joyce.

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New York Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier (72) skates with the puck in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier (72) skates with the puck in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have emergency recalled Anthony Beauvillier and Michael Dal Colle from Bridgeport. Sebastian Aho has also been recalled from the organization's AHL affiliate, the team announced

On Sunday, Beauvillier and Aho were loaned to Bridgeport during the Islanders break in schedule. Dal Colle is yet to make his NHL debut. 

Beauvillier, 20, has played 32 games with the Islanders this season. He's accumulated 8 points, with 5 goals and 3 assists and is a minus-9. In 66 games with the Islanders last season, he had 24 points with 9 goals and 15 assists and was a plus-1. Beauvillier was a first round pick of the Isles in 2015...

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Michael dal Colle
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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky is "confident" that his club will play some games at Nassau Coliseum while their new arena is being built at Belmont Park.

However, in the same breath, Ledecky also tossed cold water on the notion that the Isles would play at their former home on a full-time basis during the construction of their new home. The Islanders called the Coliseum home from 1972-2015 before moving to Brooklyn.

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Jan 4, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)
Jan 4, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) celebrates his goal with right wing Josh Bailey (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports (Eric Hartline)

John Tavares and Josh Bailey have been named to the NHL All-Star Game's Metropolitan Division team, the Islanders announced Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Tavares will make be playing in his fourth consecutive All-Star game and fifth overall. Tavares leads the Islanders with 22 goals and 51 points in 43 games. New York's captain is tied for fifth in the NHL in goals and is sixth in points. A free agent at the conclusion of the season, Tavares is on pace to eclipse his personal bests of 38 and 86 points, both established during the 2014-15 campaign. 

Tags: John Tavares, Josh Bailey
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New York Islanders center John Tavares (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports)

John Tavares should not, and almost certainly will not, be dealt by the Islanders prior to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 26.

The question of whether Tavares should be traded - instead of the Islanders potentially losing him in July as an unrestricted free agent for nothing in return - continues to be raised in league circles and by columnists.

To be clear, the view here is that Tavares should not be traded. The return is unlikely to match the damage done by giving up on trying to re-sign him.

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, along with others, visited the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum Tuesday to see if it could be a temporary home for the Islanders, per Newsday's Jim Baumbach. 

The Islanders received word that they will likely get the official lease to the Belmont Park property in Spring 2019 after an "environmental review process" that will start in March, and would likely take "12 to 16 months." With the team's current lease at Barclays Center up after the 2018 season, they will need to find a one-year home as the arena would be ready until the 2020-21 season, barring any setbacks. 

The Coliseum was never in play as the team's permanent residence, but one year while the new arena is built wouldn't hurt. This is why Bettman, along with Isles' co-owner Jon Ledecky, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, and Long Island Association CEO Kevin Law, toured the Coliseum to see exactly what was renovated. 

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Dec 5, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 5, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Islanders C Brock Nelson's name has been floated as a possible trade option by Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet, who says "there will be interest" in the 26-year-old.

 

Tags: Brock Nelson
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders are likely to receive an official lease from Empire State Development for the Belmont property in Spring 2019 following an environmental review process, per Newsday's Jim Baumbach.

The environmental review could take about "12 to 16 months" as it starts this March. In the meantime, the Islanders and Barclays Center are currently discussing interim arena plans considering the arena won't be ready until the 2020-21 season at the earliest. They are set to play at Barclays Center next season, after which their home is up in the air. 

The NHL has noted they are open to a Nassau Coliseum reunion for the Islanders if need be. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told The Post it would be up to the Islanders if that move back to the Coliseum happens. 

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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:00:28
John Tavares breaks down the Islanders' 5-4 win over the Devils and discusses the importance of ending the team's five-game losing streak.

The Devils and Islanders engaged in a back-and-forth contest through three periods, but after a scoreless overtime, Brock Nelson made the game-winner in a shootout to help the Islanders defeat the Devils, 5-4. >> Box score

Tags: Brock Nelson
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New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan skates with the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan skates with the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

NEW YORK -- The only thing the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils need more than the NHL's version of a "bye week" is a win heading into their time off.

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Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight looks on from behind the players bench against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The New York Islanders limp into the final game before the league-mandated five-day bye with questions being asked of them by head coach Doug Weight and the entire fanbase about their heart, grit, and battle level. 

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New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey scores a goal past San Jose Sharks goalie Aaron Dell during the second period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey scores a goal past San Jose Sharks goalie Aaron Dell during the second period at Barclays Center. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders lost to the Penguins 4-0 on Friday night and the game may prove to be more costly than it just being the team's fifth straight loss.

Josh Bailey, who's tied for the team lead in points (50) with John Tavares, left in the first period with a lower-body injury. He did not return to the game and is likely to be out for the team's next game against the Devils on Sunday.

"I don't have a substantial report," Doug Weight said after the game, via Kyle Schnitzer of NY Post. "Obviously, he didn't return so it's not great. … I think he looks like I wouldn't expect to see him, but maybe it's a good time for a break."

Tags: Andrew Ladd, Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock
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New York Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier (72) skates with the puck in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Anthony Beauvillier (72) skates with the puck in overtime against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have recalled forward Anthony Beauvillier, the organization announced.

Beauvillier, 20, has played in 31 games with the Islanders this season. He's accumulated 7 points, with 4 goals and 3 assists and is a minus-8. In 66 games with the Islanders last season, he had 24 points with 9 goals and 15 assists. He was a plus-1.

The forward scored two goals with the Islanders' AHL affiliate, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, on Friday. He was drafted 28th overall by the Islanders in 2015.

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier
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Nov 25, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save on a shot from New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)
Nov 25, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save on a shot from New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) in the first period at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports (Marc DesRosiers)

By losing to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins 4-0 Friday night, the Islanders losing streak has grown to five games. 

The Islanders have conceded no fewer than four goals in any of the five games, leaking 21 goals in total. Their normally steller offense has largely failed to pick up the pieces, scoring more than two goals in just one of the five losses.

In a word, the players are frustrated with themselves. Anders Lee gave voice to that after Friday night's loss.

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

The Islanders dropped their fifth straight game as the Penguins shut them out at Barclays Center, 4-0, Friday night. << Box Score

No offense came in the first period, but the Penguins changed that early in the second when Daniel Sprong got one passed Jaroslav Halak just 41 seconds into the period. 

After Ryan Pulock was called for tripping at 2:09, Evgeni Malkin capitalized on the power play. Sidney Crosby would notch his third point of a four-point night on a goal at 15:50 in the period to break it wide open. 

Tags: Jaroslav Halak
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Nov 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save in front of Philadelphia Flyers left wing Michael Raffl (12) during first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Nov 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss (1) makes a save in front of Philadelphia Flyers left wing Michael Raffl (12) during first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Islanders G Thomas Greiss ended Jaroslav Halak's six-game start streak in net Thursday night against the Flyers, but it wasn't a game to remember. 

Greiss had another game where he allowed at least five goals, which is now the fifth time in the last six starts it has happened. 

"In speaking with Thomas, he's frustrated," head coach Doug Weight told Newsday's Brian Heyman. "That's for sure. He looked to be aggressive...He's got to keep fighting. He battled in the third period. I thought he continued to compete and let us get back into the game in that last 15 minutes."

Tags: Thomas Greiss
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Jan 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- A pair of struggling Metropolitan Division teams looking to avoid losses on back-to-back nights will square off Friday when the New York Islanders host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Barclays Center.

Both teams fell further behind in the jam-packed Eastern Conference playoff picture Thursday, when the Penguins were blanked by the host Carolina Hurricanes 4-0 and the visiting Islanders suffered their fourth straight loss when they could not complete a three-goal comeback in a 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

The results Thursday should lend some urgency to Friday's game for both teams. The Islanders (20-17-4) fell out of a tie for the second wild card spot by virtue of their loss and the Hurricanes' win while the Penguins (20-19-3), the reigning Stanley Cup champions, are three points behind Carolina and one point ahead of the last-place Flyers in the Metropolitan. << Read more

 

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New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (Aaron Doster)
New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight (Aaron Doster)

All along, it appeared to just about everyone that the Islanders' problems were goaltending and team defense. But after the words of head coach Doug Weight at practice Wednesday and then after the 6-4 loss in Philadelphia on Thursday, you have to wonder if something else is wrong with the team.

On Wednesday, Weight questioned the psyche of his team.

"We have some young players, but it's time for our group to lose the frailty BS," he said.

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Mar 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) and goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrate a shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) and goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrate a shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Islanders fall to the Flyers 6-4 after a disastrous second period that saw the team hemorrhage four goals. 

Cal Clutterbuck scored a pair and John Tavares added a powerplay goal, but it wasn't enough to overcome six goals against. << Box score

First period

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, John Tavares
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Dec 23, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his first hat trick during the third period between the New York Islanders and the Winnipeg Jets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Dec 23, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) celebrates his first hat trick during the third period between the New York Islanders and the Winnipeg Jets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

PHILADELPHIA -- After suffering identical 5-1 home losses on Tuesday night, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders should be playing with some added intensity when they meet Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (16-15-8) allowed four second-period goals by the Pittsburgh Penguins in their lopsided defeat, their fourth loss in five games.

"It was a good chance to kind of make a statement and get back in the standings," Flyers center Sean Couturier told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We lost that chance, but at the same time, there are 40-some games left (43, to be exact). Lots of hockey left."

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New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (42) during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have agreed to a five-year contract extension with D Scott Mayfield, the team announced Thursday.

The deal is worth an average of $1.45 million annually, according to Newsday.

Mayfield, 25, has two goals and eight assists in 29 games with the Isles this season, and leads the team with 35 penalty minutes.

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GEICO SportsNite: Isles approach 00:00:54
Islanders head coach Doug Weight and John Tavares are looking forward to their next stretch of games against Metro Division opponents.

 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Kieffer BellowsOtto Koivula and Robin Salo were already high on the Islanders' prospect list. The trio has done nothing to change that perception with their performances in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship taking place in Buffalo, NY.

While Koivula and Salo's Finnish team was eliminated in the quarterfinals against the Czech Republic, Bellows will take his tourney-leading six goals for Team USA into Thursday's semifinals matchup with Sweden on Thursday. The Isles' 2016 first-round pick scored twice -- including the go-ahead tally in the third period -- in USA's 4-2 win over Russia on Tuesday.

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Jan 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Tanner Fritz (56) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at Barclays Center. Fritz is making his NHL debut. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Tanner Fritz (56) during the first period against the Boston Bruins at Barclays Center. Fritz is making his NHL debut. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Islanders head coach Doug Weight is hoping winger Tanner Fritz, who was called up from Bridgeport Monday, can spark his struggling third line.

Fritz, who leads the Sound Tigers with 35 points in 29 games this season, didn't expect to see his NHL debut at this point in his career. However, Weight made it known that Fritz was suiting up against the Bruins Tuesday night, and he officially checked that milestone off his list. 

"A couple years ago I don't think I would've seen myself in this position but I kept working hard, working at my game, trying to get better each day," Fritz told Newsday's Arthur Staple.  "I'm thankful I've gotten a couple good opportunities and I've taken advantage of those."

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

It was close, but then it got ugly after the Bruins poured in three, third-period goals to stomp the Islanders at home Tuesday night. 

After a 5-8-2 record last month, head coach Doug Weight wanted his team to turn the page and look toward brighter things in the new year. However, he saw more darkness overcome his squad, and it is beginning to take a toll on everyone. 

"Adversity is hitting us between the eyes right now as a group, as a staff, as players. We've gotta find a way," Weight told The Post's Greg Joyce. "If you're going to use words like flat or a little sluggish at times in the second and third [periods], getting overpowered, it's concerning. But it's not going away. We got three really big games and we gotta figure it out. We gotta go to work [Wednesday] and get back our mojo, our fierceness that we seemed to have let drift."

Tags: John Tavares
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Jan 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 2, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) plays the puck against Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Boston Bruins turned a tight game into an easy victory on Tuesday night when they scored four unanswered goals to defeat the Islanders, 5-1, at Barclays Center. >> Box score

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General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers (Brad Penner)
General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers (Brad Penner)

NEW YORK -- The Boston Bruins hope to begin 2018 by picking up where they left off in 2017. The New York Islanders, meanwhile, need a fresh start more than perhaps any playoff contender.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Islanders F Josh Bailey was named the NHL's second star of th month of December, the league announced Tuesday. 

Bailey tallied seven goals and 15 assists for a total 22 points during the Islanders' 15 games in December. He has at least one point in 13 of his last 15 games. He also had seven mutli-point games, which included his first career hat trick. 

The 28-year-old is currently tied for first in the league with 38 assists, and is second overall with 50 points on the season. He had a career-high in points last season with 56, but he is more than likely to surpass that total this year. 

Bailey will look to pick up where he left off against the Bruins tonight at Barclays Center to kick off the new year.

Tags: Josh Bailey
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Dec 1, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) and New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 1, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center Anders Lee (27) celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators with New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) and New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) during the second period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The best piece of wisdom I've ever heard about the art of trading hockey players was shared about 15 years ago by a visiting assistant general manager in the Coliseum press box.

"One thing about trades," he said between shovels of popcorn, "nobody knows the players in these deals better than the team trading them."

A few years later, on Feb. 27, 2007, I recalled this insight when Garth Snow called me down to his office. At the time, which was less than an hour before the NHL trade deadline, I was drafting a statement to explain why the Islanders decided not to make a major deal. You know, "We weren't going to mortgage the future for a rental," and, "The other teams really were pushing for our great prospects." That sort of thing. Richard Zednik and Marc-Andre Bergeron, acquired earlier, would have to suffice.

 

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Chris Botta
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Dec 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
		
		  (Dennis Schneidler)
Dec 13, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the Islanders when they play the Bruins at home tonight at 7 p.m., head coach Doug Weight said.

The recently recalled Tanner Fritz will also be in the lineup for the Isles. This season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, he has notched 10 goals and 25 assists in 29 games. His 35 points is ranked fifth in the AHL.

Alan Quine will be out of Weight's lineup on Tuesday, while the defensive lines will remain the same. 

The Islanders are 4-5-1 in their last ten games, and looking to start the new year off right. Three out of their four games this week will be at home. 

Tags: Alain Quine, Jaroslav Halak
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Feb 25, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Steve Bernier (16) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. New York Islanders won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Feb 25, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Steve Bernier (16) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. New York Islanders won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders Anthony Beauviller and Steve Bernier have been sent down to AHL Bridgeport, the team announced on Monday. 

Beauviller, 20, tallied four goals and three assists in 31 games in his sophomore season with the Islanders. He played in 66 games last season, where he totaled 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists).

The 32-year-old Bernier was recalled from Bridgeport on Dec. 15, and has played in just four games with the Islanders this season. With the Sound Tigers, he notched 10 goals and four assists in 21 games. 

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Steve Bernier
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

Doug Weight's final game of 2017 ended with an early exit, as he cursed off the referees during the Islanders' matchup against the Avalanche on the road Sunday night. 

After an interference call was made on Adam Pelech, Gabriel Landeskog notched a power-play goal, which marked the third goal of the second period. Landeskog would capitalize on another power play just under two minutes later, and Weight snapped. 

Assistant coach Luke Richardson, who filled in after Weight's ejection, explained that Weight's fury was to try and light a fire under an Islanders team that was getting dominated. 

Tags: John Tavares
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Avalanche right wing Nail Yakupov celebrates after a goal scored by defenseman Patrik Nemeth as Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Ryan Pulock react in the first period. (AP)
Avalanche right wing Nail Yakupov celebrates after a goal scored by defenseman Patrik Nemeth as Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Ryan Pulock react in the first period. (AP)

Josh Bailey scored for the second time in three games, but it was not nearly enough to overcome a barrage of goals from the Colorado Avalanche in a 6-1 Islanders loss on Sunday night at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche rode four second period goals, including two power play goals by Gabriel Landeskog, to an easy victory. >> Box score

First period: 

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 (James Carey Lauder)
(James Carey Lauder)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV TwitterAs the new year is right around the corner and calendars turn from 2017 to 2018, I want to, first and foremost, take this opportunity to thank you, the reader! Thank you for reading, interacting and following me and the entire crew here at SNY this past year. We truly appreciate the support and we look forward to continuing our coverage as the Islanders battle in the hotly contested Metropolitan division.

With that said, I received many questions via Facebook yesterday and will take the opportunity over the next two scratchpads to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Without further ado, here we go….

Tags: Brock Nelson, John Tavares, Josh Ho-Sang, Ryan Pulock, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee with the puck as Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee with the puck as Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel pursues during the first period at KeyBank Center. (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

Sometimes in the National Hockey League, an opposing goaltender will turn in a masterclass performance and there's next to nothing that any set of forwards can do about it. 

That's exactly what happened to the Islanders against the Jets on Friday night. Not even the NHL's highest-scoring team could unlock Connor Hellebuyck as the goalie saved 44 of 46 shots faced... 

Tags: Anders Lee
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New York Islanders center Anders Lee celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with left wing Josh Bailey, defenseman Calvin de Haan and defenseman Adam Pelech (50) in the first period at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Anders Lee celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with left wing Josh Bailey, defenseman Calvin de Haan and defenseman Adam Pelech (50) in the first period at BB&T Center. (Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders lose to the Jets 4-2. New York pushed 46 shots at Connor Hellebuyck's net but could only squeeze two goals as Winnipeg's goaltender saved 44 shots.  << Box score

First period

  • 2:32 WPG Shawn Matthias; Assist: Adam Lowry
  • 16:57 WPG Blake Wheeler; Assists: Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor

Second period

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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