One of the arguments that's cropped up since Bruce Ratner won the RFP on the Coliseum has been whether or not this paves the way for the Islanders to stay in Nassau County somehow, someway.

Ratner and Wang are business partners in Brooklyn, Mangano brought in Ratner to advise him on the Coliseum and ultimately chose him to re-imagine it. Surely, there's got to be a way for all three to parlay this into the Islanders staying, right?

Well, not so fast. On Twitter, Chris Botta says the chances of that happening were long gone adding that Ratner didn't lure the Islanders to Brooklyn only to let them go back to the suburbs away from the urban transportation hubs. Newsday's Randi Marshall even talked to Ratner himself, who said that the Islanders will not move back to Nassau citing the remodeled venue as too small.

But there are still folks who believe the Islanders now have a path back. One of them is Tom Van Riper from Forbes, a place that should know a thing or two about business. Van Riper wrote on Friday that now that Ratner's got the Coliseum, surely there's a way to make the Islanders stick. That piece was given further credence -- without additional substance mind you -- by being reblogged at Puck Daddy.

So, can the Islanders stay at the Coliseum now that Ratner's won the bid and seems to have a good relationship with both the County Executive Ed Mangano (up for reelection this year) and Islanders owner Charles Wang?

To believe that, we would have to overlook a few key points and also the basic logic of sports business in 2013.

First off, a few obvious points that we would have to suspend belief on:

  1. The Ratner Plan for the Coliseum offers the AHL's Sound Tigers as a full-time tenant and six Islander games per year at the remodeled arena. Obviously, Ratner hoped that offering at least a small part of the Islanders would help his cause. So, if that was his plan, why wouldn't he just promise to bring back 82-games of Islanders? Surely it'd be an easy choice for Mangano to go with the plan that featured a full 82-game slate of the Islanders, a professional sports team, over the MSG plan, which did not. So why didn't Ratner offer up the Islanders on a silver platter initially?
  2. The Islanders have an "ironclad" 25-year lease with the Barclays Center according to Charles Wang, Islanders owner, at the press conference announcing the move to Brooklyn.
  3. Bruce Ratner plans to spend $229 million on refurbishing the area, $89 million of which will go directly to the Coliseum (more on this in a moment). The rest will be spent on the surrounding area, for non-arena forms of entertainment. By comparison, Ratner's company is funding a $4.9 billion project in Brooklyn with an estimated $1 billion spent on the arena itself. Ratner obviously sees the Islanders as a money maker, so wouldn't he want them making money for him in the $1 billion arena that is his crown jewl instead of the one costing a fraction of that price?
So, with all of those caveats ignored to enrich our Islanders Return Home fantasy, lets give the Forbes article a shot.

[sny-box]Forest City Ratner, the real estate developer run by Brooklyn Nets’ part-owner Bruce Ratner that built Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, has been selected by Nassau County as the winning bidder to redevelop Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders’ current home.

Forest City, proposing a $229 million scaled down Coliseum plan of 13,000 seats, won out over MSG Corp., which proposed a 14,500-seater. Both plans called for additional redevelopment around the arena site.  Under the agreement, the county will get 8% of gross revenue plus just over 12% of the parking, against a guarantee of $195 million over 34 years.

It’s enough to make you wonder if a deal is bound to be struck at some point to keep the Islanders at home.

...

Now Forest City has wound up as the winner. So, after Nassau County residents voted against publicly funding a new arena, a developer is coming along to do it privately. It begs the question – why do the Islanders need to move at all? Couldn’t the proposal be expanded just a bit to meet NHL standards?[/sny-box]

Well, here's the thing with expanding the proposal "just a bit". The County spent countless hours negotiating the terms of the deal with both developers before a choice was made. The Request for Proposal was just that; a request for a proposal. It wasn't a "request for something we'll fudge around later." It's now going to have to be approved by NIFA, which oversees Nassau's finances on behalf of New York State, and the Town of Hempstead, which killed the Lighthouse Project in the last decade after that project was given approval from then-County Executive Tom Suozzi. Those are two difficult tasks and you wouldn't want some half-baked or unfinished proposal put in front of them.

Sure, there's probably some wiggle room to make changes, but the County chose to go with a 13,000 seat arena without any luxury boxes. With how damned long it takes things to get done in Nassau -- this Coliseum development is nearly two decades old -- do we really want to screw with the timeline?

Oh, and about those luxury boxes. They are important to arena revenue, so much so that the Barclays Center was built with 130 of them with the most expensive selling for as much as $550,000 per year. So, we have to make another leap in faith that adding luxury boxes is just something that can be jammed in after the political approval process has been completed and that playing in an arena of 13,000, around 2,000 less than Barclays will hold for hockey makes sense (and Barclays is slated to be the smallest NHL arena as it is).

[sny-box]Still, with Ratner now securing a major chunk of the cost needed for an NHL arena, experts say it’s certainly feasible that a deal could be worked out in which Islanders’ owner Charles Wang , or the Nassau taxpayers (or both), kick in the rest.[/sny-box]

OK, so Forbes just suggested that the NHL owner that has, by all indications, given up on Nassau County after years of trying to get an arena built would want to chip in the rest of the cost to bring the Coliseum up to NHL standards. That's the same owner whose team sports a league low for player payroll. Or that -- get a load of this one -- the taxpayers in the county with the 4th highest property taxes as a percentage of income (link from Forbes.com!) who already voted down a $400 million bond to fund a new arena would happily foot the bill on whatever they are asked to pay. And -- deep breath -- the county's finances are now being strictly overseen by NIFA, a watchdog program from New York State, because Nassau County is terrible at math.

Now, if we assume that Wang or the County pick up those extra costs -- another leap! -- Ratner's "major chunk" doesn't even have 50% of the cost covered.

Only $89 million of the $229 million Ratner is putting up will go towards re-doing the arena. The rest will be for other entertainment in the surrounding area (convention center! movie theater!). Keep in mind that with the referendum, it was a $400 million bond ($350 million for Coliseum, $50 million for minor league ball park) to completely rebuild the Coliseum. So, that leaves $261 million to get the arena to NHL standards from Wang or the taxpayers. Even if we assumed all of the $229 million Ratner is putting up was going to the arena, even though it's not, it's still not enough money as there's $121 million that someone needs to come up with to fund a new arena. And I'm being a bit generous here. Those numbers are assuming the cost of a new Coliseum is the same as the $350 million that the referendum was hoping to build the Coliseum for. By comparison, it took $375 million to build Newark's Prudential Center a few years ago. It all seems like wishful thinking.

Now, here's the golden part. It would probably cost more to fund the arena than anythign I've just described, according to an expert cited in the Forbes article.

[sny-box]Any Wang offer would probably need to reflect the cost efficiencies that Ratner would lose by separating the teams and losing the 40 nights (plus preseason and playoffs) the Islanders would bring to the Barclays Center.[/sny-box]

So, those previous estimates were low as some of Ratner's extra costs for removing the event dates that the Islanders provide to the Barclays Center would need to be made up for. Wow. Talk about not bringing supporting evidence to your article.

[sny-box]But [the expert Forbes went to] points out that the revenue side is typically better for a club playing as a solo act in its building, starting with sponsors that pay more for signage in that setting. And a suburban location means lots of cars and parking fees that benefit your bottom line, not subway and railroad fares that benefit the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s.[/sny-box]

While sponsors may pay more for a "solo act" they're undoubtedly going to be paying more for signage at the Barclays Center, located in a major metropolitan area with about 8 million people and ranked fourth in the world, rather than whatever the new Coliseum ends up being. And parking fees, while you wouldn't get those in Brooklyn, don't make up a significant portion of arena revenue. At least not significant enough to warrant moving the team, or cancelling a lease, or adding $150 million of funding to the Coliseum or whatever.

Say we've got 8,000 cars in the lot (generous, maybe) at $15 a pop and the county gets a 10% cut. That's $108,000 per game or $4.428 million per year. A lot of money, but not a game changer. And we're also assuming the Islanders didn't negotiate some nice terms in the Barclays lease to cover this loss of revenue.

[sny-box]Then there’s the question of whether an upgrade to 15,000-plus capacity is even necessary to keep the Islanders in place. Sports arenas and stadiums have been shrinking in recent years – less supply, higher prices, and more urgency for buying tickets puts the modern emphasis on revenue per seat more than overall attendance. And those last 2,000 to 3,000 seats are the most expensive to build. “Higher up from the floor you need more concrete and other material,” says Rascher. “And they yield the least revenue.”[/sny-box]

I've been saying since forever that the Islanders would be able to charge more in a smaller arena in Brooklyn thanks to supply and demand, so I can't disagree with the above. So yes, the same theory would apply to a smaller Coliseum.

[sny-box]With the club now showing strong signs of improvement, a rebirth in Nassau County would seem to carry the largest potential upside. Ratner has even said he plans to host a handful of Islander games there following the move. He’s already taken the first step.[/sny-box]

After everything I've laid out, I find it hard to believe that there's "larger potential upside" to Nassau County than Brooklyn. With 100+ suites and the ability to charge New York City prices for those suites as well as signage, sponsorships and tickets there's more money to be made in Brooklyn. The question is, as it always has been, is can they fill the arena at more expensive ticket prices? Hell, before we even talk about upside and ticket prices, who the hell is paying the extra money it'll cost to remake the Coliseum up to NHL standards, like the Forbes article so dreams? No viable candidates were provided. That's kind of the important part. Then there's the political wrangling to change the proposal, throwing the lease out the window and basically ignoring that New York City has more money to spend than Nassau County, hands down (8 million people have more money than > 2 million).

Ratner is planning six Islander games at the Coliseum to appeal to a fanbase he knows he has to attract to Brooklyn. That doesn't mean that the Coliseum, or a revamped version of it, are feasible.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum

New York Islanders players watch from the bench. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders players watch from the bench. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)

The Worcester Railers will be the New York Islanders' new ECHL affiliate, the organization announced Friday.

The Railers, who will play at the DCU Center, join the Bridgeport Sound Tigers as the Islanders' primary minor league affiliates.

"The proximity of having our ECHL team within driving distance from Bridgeport and the Islanders is a definite benefit," Islanders GM Garth Snow said in a press release.

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Mar 24, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates up ice with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period 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 center John Tavares (91) skates up ice with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Islanders won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

This summer stands to be one full of franchise-defining issues for the Islanders. In a series of roundtables, SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano will discuss these topics. The guys have taken on Garth Snow's potential fate, and the chances of building a new arena at Belmont Park. In the final installment, it's the chances of signing captain John Tavares to an extension…

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

The Islanders have begun to prep their pitch for an extension to John Tavares. So Andy, what do you think is the linchpin to getting this thing done this summer?

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Brace Hemmelgarn)
(Brace Hemmelgarn)

The Islanders are preparing their extension pitch for team captain John Tavaresreports Elliotte Friedman

Tavares, 26, is eligible to sign a contract extension with the Isles on July 1.

He is about to enter the sixth and final season of the $33 million deal he signed prior to the 2012-13 season. 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

As playoff hockey roars on into the second round, the Islanders faithful are back in that somewhat familiar position of waiting around for the NHL Draft. And with the lottery set to take place this Saturday night, the Isles know to a virtual certainty the ping pong balls hold no surprises for them.

The Islanders have the worst chance of moving up and grabbing the number one pick in the draft -- a 0.9 percent chance, to be exact. So while the Avalanche (18 percent), Canucks (12.1 percent), and Golden Knights and Coyotes (10.3 percent) wait around with bated breath for the right to draft Nolan Patrick, the Islanders know that they'll likely be picking 15th, saddled with the distinction of being the first team on the outside of the postseason looking in.

That doesn't mean much, though. In fact, the Isles' sprint to the finish that fell just short of the playoffs meant far more than any delusions of NHL lottery grandeur...

Tags: John Tavares, Brian Erni
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The Islanders have re-signed D Dennis Seidenberg to a one-year deal, the team announced Monday.

Seidenberg, 35, had five goals and 17 assists in 73 games played for the Isles this past season after signing a one-year deal during the offseason.

He had spent the last seven seasons with the Bruins, accumulating 23 goals and 94 assists in 401 games. He had two years remaining on his contract with Boston but the team bought out the rest of his deal in July. 

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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Islanders plan to submit a bid to build a new arena at Belmont Racetrack, NHL commissioner said Friday, according to Newsday.

Bettmann said the Islanders are reviewing their options, while noting the land near Citi Field could be another potential spot for a new arena.

He added that the recently renovated Nassau Coliseum is not a long-term option.

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Brian Compton and Mike Carver are ready to wrap the season, and are joined by Islanders forward Anders Lee for a chat about all things Isles. Later, Brian and Mike do a deep dive into the official announcement that Doug Weight is the head coach, what needs to happen in the offseason, and the dirty pool which is more arena talk!

Click below to listen...

 

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

This summer stands to be one full of franchise-defining issues for the Islanders. In a series of roundtables, SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano will discuss these topics. Last week, the guys took on Garth Snow's fate and the possibility of a new team president. This week, it's the latest in talk of a new arena…

 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

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New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) guards his net against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)
New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube (30) guards his net against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)

Jean-Francois Berube is not expected to return to the Islanders next season as he plans on testing free agency, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Berube started seven games for New York this past season, going 3-2-2 with an .889 save percentage and 3.42 GAA.

The Islanders already have goalies Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss under contract next season.

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports Images)

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow is likely not in danger of being fired, according to Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet.

"He is safer than many of us expected," Friedman said during Hockey Night in Canada. 

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Mar 14, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight talks to forward Andrew Ladd (16) during the time out against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 14, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight talks to forward Andrew Ladd (16) during the time out against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The New York Islanders defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Andy Graziano, SNY.tv: The NHL will conclude Game 2 of all first-round playoff series tonight as the Islanders begin their summer vacations after missing out on the tournament by one single point. A point that will lead to a summer that could be the most defining in franchise history.

One last time for 2016-17, I present my thoughts via the scratchpad. After writing plenty of wrap-up material this week, including my retrospective and what's next, in addition to friend and colleague Brian Erni and I discussing the future of Garth Snow, now it's my turn to sit back on the couch and appreciate the greatest game on its biggest stage.

You, the reader, are essential to the success of SNY's Islanders Point Blank. We thank you for staying with us throughout the season - visiting, reading and commenting. This job is thankless and unforgiving. At times, downright exhausting. But to know you're reaching a large contingent of passionate Islanders fans, feeding their hunger for information, makes it all worth it, whether you agree with us or not. 

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

This summer stands to be one full of franchise-defining issues for the Islanders. In a series of roundtables, SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano will discuss these topics. First up: Garth Snow's fate and the possibility of a new team president...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Alright, Andy. We now know Doug Weight will be back, as he'll be the main man behind the bench, but what about Garth Snow? Are the Islanders going to bring in a team president, and if so, will Snow stay on in some capacity?

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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

This spring will be the latest in a series that has tested the mettle of the Islanders from top down -- ownership, general manager, head coach and even players are not excluded from the exercise. The spring of 2017 could, however, prove to be the most challenging and defining of all.

We are officially at the end of year-one of the Jon Ledecky/Scott Malkin era of ownership, Garth Snow remains at the helm of hockey operations and Doug Weight, he of 40 games of NHL head coaching experience, was seemingly the only option in a summer that saw at least four others looking for work who had pedigree, and some even Stanley Cups, on their resume.

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 (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
(Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Latest Update (April 12)

8:00PM: The operators of Barclays Center are attempting to get the Islanders to return to Nassau Coliseum, according to a Newsday report

The offer to move the Islanders back to their former home would include adding seats to the building. 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders named Doug Weight head coach this morning, removing the interim tag from his name and assigning him the task of making it to the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2017-18 with a club that missed out by a single point this season.

GM Garth Snow, who looks to have retained his job for the upcoming season, joined Weight on a conference call announcing the move. And Snow addressed the three-headed goaltending drama that might have sunk the Islanders chances at competing for the ultimate prize a third straight season.

First,n Weight began by saying he thought long and hard about this decision over the past two days. And after discussing the matter with family and friends, came to a quick decision after being told he was the man, first and foremost, that management wanted to be the new bench boss.

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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

The Islanders have taken the interim tag off Doug Weight, naming him head coach on Wednesday.

"Doug has earned this opportunity from the tremendous work he has put in over the past five seasons in our front office and especially from the time he took over as interim Head Coach earlier this season," President and General Manager Garth Snow said in a release. "His leadership and experiences from both playing and behind the bench are valuable intangibles that not every coach can translate into a winning formula. He's gained the trust and respect from our entire team, making him the best choice to become Head Coach."

Weight guided the Isles to a 24-12-4 record after taking over this season for the fired Jack Capuano.

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Mar 14, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his game winning overtime goal with his teammates against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)
Mar 14, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders forward John Tavares (91) celebrates his game winning overtime goal with his teammates against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports (James Guillory)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders finished the 2016-17 season on a six-game winning streak, which included wins over four teams that did not advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the end, it wasn't enough to continue their modest two-season playoff streak.

An ugly first quarter, marked by questionable defensive coverage, poor transition play, a powerless play and questionable management decisions will have them watching 16 teams compete for the ultimate prize from their living rooms. The fact that their 94 points are just two shy of the NHL record for most while missing the postseason (2014-15 Bruins had 96, 2006-07 Avalanche and 2010-11 Stars had 95) is no consolation, especially to the captain.

"Overall, as a team, it's disappointing, not making the playoffs," John Tavares said. "There are so many games to look back on, the opportunities we let slip away, and that's definitely frustrating. In a sense, it's a step back. What did we have, 94 points? So, three wins off last year. But, it's such a fine line. We need to step back, reflect and prepare to get where we need to be."

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 (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
(Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The Islanders cleaned out their lockers and had their exit interviews on Monday.

Eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, the Isles wrapped up the 2016-17 campaign with a 4-2 win over the Senators on Sunday.

They finished 41-29-12 (94 points), one point behind the Maple Leafs, who snagged the second and final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Tags: Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Chimera, John Tavares, Nikolay Kulemin, Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin celebrates his goal with teammates against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck)
New York Islanders left wing Nikolay Kulemin celebrates his goal with teammates against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at MTS Centre. (Bruce Fedyck)

The Islanders missed the playoffs by one point, but could their 2016-2017 failure lead to bigger things in the future?

"That's the margin for error these days," Josh Bailey said. "There's so much parity now, all it takes is that one point. You sometimes don't think of it at the time necessarily, but those are the ones that get you in or keep you out."

"We're going home and we're packing up," Anders Lee, who scored his 34th goal of the season in Sunday's season finale, added. "Our season is over without a chance to continue. It's a bitter feeling."

Though the disappointment stings, interim coach Doug Weight said he believes that this near-miss doesn't change the positive path the organization is on.

Tags: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Doug Weight is still unsure whether he wants a career in coaching, but it sure looks like he's the perfect fit for this Islanders club.

The Isles went 24-12-4 during Weight's interim tenure, and the former NHL All-Star seemed to have earned the respect of the locker room over that stretch.

"His communication and his leadership were followed. The guys want to play for him," Anders Lee said of the coach. "Dougie came in and really changed the mindset of the team. He's got a bright future in coaching. If he wants to do it, he'll be successful."

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd
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New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss defends the goal against Ottawa Senators center Christopher DiDomenico in the first period at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss defends the goal against Ottawa Senators center Christopher DiDomenico in the first period at Barclays Center. (Nicole Sweet/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Islanders beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Sunday at Barclays Center in their season finale. >> Read more


First period:

  • 3:23 NYI Andrew Ladd; Assists: Alan Quine, Johnny Boychuk

Second period:

  • 8:17 NYI Anders Lee; Assists: Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson
  • 13:52 NYI Brock Nelson; Assists: Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield
  • 18:54 OTT Bobby Ryan; Assist: Ryan Dzingel

Third period:

  • 2:34 OTT Jean-Gabriel Pageau; Assists: Alexandre Burrows, Chris Neil
  • 18:52 NYI Jason Chimera (ENG); Assists: Nelson, Leddy
Tags: Alain Quine, Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Jason Chimera, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Ottawa Senators
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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)

The Islanders briefly maintained their playoff chances with a win over the Devils on Saturday, but were later eliminated when the Maple Leafs defeated the Penguins and clinched the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 

The Islanders will miss the postseason for the first time since the 2013-14 season.

The Islanders will wrap up their season on Sunday when they will host the Ottawa Senators at The Barclays Center.

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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

Anders Lee scored two goals and Jaroslav Halak saved 37 shots as the Islanders beat the Devils on Saturday at the Prudential Center. >> Read more


First period

No goals

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New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) and New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) battle for the puck during the second period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) and New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) battle for the puck during the second period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders and Devils play each other for the final time this season at 6 p.m. at the Prudential Center. 

According to STATS: 

  • The Islanders beat the Hurricanes, 3-0, at PNC Arena on Thursday night, keeping their slim postseason hopes alive in the process. New York has won four straight games -- its longest win streak of the 2016-17 campaign.
  • New Jersey lost, 7-4, to Pittsburgh at Prudential Center on Thursday night, dropping to 1-5-2 in the last eight games overall. The seven goals scored by the Pens were the most allowed by the Devils in any game this season.
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New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)
New York Islanders left wing Andrew Ladd (16) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. (Rick Osentoski)

In what has been a common second half occurrence, Andrew Ladd found the back of the net again on Thursday to help the Islanders walk out of Carolina with two huge points.

With the Islanders already leading 2-0 and New York on the power play to start the second period, Ladd took a pass from Josh Bailey, ripped a wrister, and beat Eddie Lack for his 22nd goal of the season.

"We tried to stick with it, especially losing the personnel that we've lost," Ladd told reporters after the game. "We had guys step in and I think we've simplified our game a little bit."

Tags: Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Josh Bailey
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New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd (16) celebrates his second period goal with teammates forward Anders Lee (27) and forward Josh Bailey (12) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

The Islanders need wins in their final two games and some help to reach their third straight postseason.

To qualify for the final Wild Card spot, the Islanders need all four points in their final two games, and need the Maple Leafs to get no more than one point over the course of their last two. The Islanders visit New Jersey on Saturday and host the Senators on Sunday. Toronto will host the Penguins on Saturday and the Blue Jackets on Sunday.

"I think it's a credit to the guys in the locker room," Anders Lee said of the Isles' run to the final spot. "We are a resilient group and we've fought out of a lot of stuff this year and we're not going to go down easy."

Tags: Anders Lee
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Apr 6, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; New York Islanders defensemen Nick Leddy (2) and New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrate after the victory 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 defensemen Nick Leddy (2) and New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) celebrate after the victory 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)

Jaroslav Halak had 29 saves to lead the Islanders in a 3-0 shutout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at PNC Arena. >> Read more


First Period

1:27 NYI Brock Nelson

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Brian Compton and Mike Carver discuss John Tavares' hamstring injury, Jaroslav Halak's resurgence, and the team's knack for coming up small in certain games. Later, the TV voice of the Isles, Brendan Burke, calls into the show to give his take on Josh Ho-Sang, the goaltending drama, and the future of Doug Weight.

Click below to listen!

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, John Tavares
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Islanders prospect Devon Toews of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers has been named to the 2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team, it was announced Thursday.

Toews, a defenseman who has played in 71 games this season, leads all AHL rookies with 37 assists. 

He was selected by the Islanders in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Tags: Nick Leddy
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 (AP)
(AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Matt Moulson wants hospitalized Buffalo Sabres teammate Kyle Okposo to know he has the team's support.

"You're family here," Moulson said after the Sabres closed their home schedule with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. "And no matter what type of injury or what you have, you always feel for them and their family and giving them support."

Okposo has spent the past three days in a Buffalo hospital undergoing a battery of tests to determine an undisclosed illness that has sidelined him for more than a week.

Tags: Kyle Okposo
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New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire)
New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire)

Jaroslav Halak has been red hot since rejoining the Islanders for the stretch run.

Halak made 22 of 23 saves in the Isles' overtime win, his fourth victory since March 24.

"Obviously, I'm happy that I'm playing right now," Halak told reporters after the game.

Halak even got on the score sheet, as he assisted on Thomas Hickey's game winner.  

Tags: Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss
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New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) after scoring a goal during the third period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel)
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) after scoring a goal during the third period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Brock Nelson broke out of a cold streak and scored a clutch third period goal in the Islanders' 2-1 overtime victory in Nashville.

A minute-and-a-half into the third period, with New York trailing 1-0, Nelson ripped a wrist shot past Pekka Rinne for his18th goal of the season.

For Nelson, the goal was his first since March 24, a stretch of five games without a goal, and just his second in his last 11 games.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome
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Apr 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 3-0.  (Christopher Hanewinckel (USA Today))
Apr 1, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators won 3-0. (Christopher Hanewinckel (USA Today))

Recap

Thomas Hickey scored 1:25 into overtime, and the New York Islanders beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 Tuesday night to preserve their thin playoff hopes for at least another game.

Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders, and goalie Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves as they won their third straight in chasing the Eastern Conference's second wild card.

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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)

Anders Lee scored twice in the third period to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at KeyBank Center. >> Read more


First period:

  • 9:31 NYI Cal Clutterbuck; Assist: Nick Leddy

Second period:

  • 10:08 BUF Evander Kane; Assist: C.J. Smith
  • 11:04 NYI Joshua Ho-Sang; Assist: Dennis Seidenberg

Third period:

  • 5:17 BUF Zemgus Girgensons; Assists: Matt Moulson, William Carrier
  • 9:19 NYI Anders Lee
  • 14:33 NYI Lee
Tags: Anders Lee, Cal Clutterbuck, Nick Leddy, Buffalo Sabres
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New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)
New York Islanders head coach Doug Weight on his bench against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV: 

Barring a miraculous event of biblical proportions, this will be the final week of the New York Islanders 2016-17 season.

They currently trail the Boston Bruins by six points with a game in hand but only five games remaining. Since it's now impossible to catch the Bs in regulation wins (40-34), that deficit is seven points. That would mean picking up 70% of remaining possible points with the Bruins picking up zero points in their final four games.

I don't need to tell you that's very….very….very unlikely. 

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The Islanders' Thomas Hickey, left, and center John Tavares show their frustration during Thursday's home loss to Winnipeg. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
The Islanders' Thomas Hickey, left, and center John Tavares show their frustration during Thursday's home loss to Winnipeg. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

In what has been a difficult season and with time running out, the New York Islanders will have to get around a roadblock at the worst possible time in a last-ditch effort to secure a playoff spot.

With leading scorer and captain John Tavares out for the foreseeable future, the Islanders open a four-game road trip Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres.

While still mathematically in the mix, the Islanders' chances of a third straight playoff appearance are slim. New York (36-29-12) and Carolina trail Boston by six points for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Islanders and Hurricanes each have five games remaining and the Bruins have four.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders said Saturday captain John Tavares is "week-to-week" with a lower-body injury sustained late in the Islanders' 2-1 victory over the Devils Friday.

That likely means he is out for the remainder of the regular season as the Islanders try to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Islanders are four points behind the Bruins for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with five games to play.

Tavares, who has 66 points this season, had to be helped off the ice with 3:14 remaining iafter getting tangled up with the back of the net and a Devils player. Tavares was clutching the back of his left leg in the hamstring area.

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Recap

Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier scored to help the New York Islanders preserve their slim playoff chances with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots as the Islanders pulled four points behind Boston for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. New York won at home for the first time since beating the Devils here on Feb. 19, going 0-4-1 at Barclays Center in between.

Tags: Anders Lee
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 (John E. Sokolowski (USA Today))
(John E. Sokolowski (USA Today))

Reports have started to indicate that John Tavares wants to have his mind made up about what to do about his next contract this summer. Have the Islanders given him enough reason to stay? SNY's Brian Erni and Andy Graziano discuss...

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Alright, Andy. Lots of John Tavares murmuring of late, with the Canadian media luminaries (like Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger) alluding to the idea that JT wants to have his mind made up on a course of action by June. Where do you think things stand at this very moment?

Tags: John Tavares, Andy Graziano, Brian Erni
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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic did not return to the game against the Flyers after suffering an upper-body injury in the first period. The 26-year-old dropped the gloves and fought Philadelphia's Dale Weise in the opening period.

Hamonic was seen following the Islanders' loss with a cast on his left hand.

The 26-year-old has tallied three goals and 11 assists in 48 games this season.

Tags: Travis Hamonic
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