Earlier today, the Islanders' Oklahoman defender Matt Donovan took a few minutes to discuss a wide range of topics. Donovan, 22, is one of a group of young defense prospects that made his NHL debut last year for the Islanders and is hoping to turn that into a regular gig at the Coliseum this fall. He is also active on Twitter @squatchdonovan and was honored in Oklahoma City earlier this summer on Matt Donovan Day.

In April, you played your first few NHL games; how did that feel?

Matt Donovan: It was unbelievable. As a kid coming from Oklahoma you don't see that at all -- I was the first born and raised kid from Oklahoma to make it to the NHL -- and that was a pretty cool feeling. As any kid knows growing up playing hockey anywhere it's your dream to play in the NHL and I finally made that dream a reality. It was very cool to play in the NHL a couple games and hopefully many more to come.

Growing up in Oklahoma, what's the hockey environment like there? Are there a lot of rinks or are you guys playing more roller hockey? What was that like growing up?

With the recession it's tough, you don't see a lot of kids playing the past couple years. But now it's starting to build up a little more and more kids are starting to play so it's pretty good. There are a couple rinks here in the Oklahoma City area. It's definitely growing... Hopefully more people start realizing now how good hockey actually is and that will hopefully get them more involved in hockey around here.

How did you originally get into hockey?

Well, my dad's from Boston and he moved down here during college. Right before I was born he got into the rink business and started running the rinks here. There was a rink near my house when I was growing up... so he was running that rink when I was born. That's how I got into it, I was a rink rat my whole life pretty much. We moved to Edmond when I was eight or nine and he ran a rink here in Edmond and now he's still running a rink but it's a different rink on the south side of Oklahoma City. My whole life, he's been around the rinks and that's definitely been a huge help in my career, having him at the rink and that lets me be able to get on the ice whenever I want and that's kinda how I grew up. I was on the ice whenever I could be and I was always at the rink either on roller blades off the ice or on the ice with skates.

This summer, you had Matt Donovan Day in Oklahoma City. How did that come about?

Mayor Cornett caught wind that there was the first born and raised Oklahoman to make it to the NHL and I think he wanted to recognize me in being that first born and raised kid to make it to the NHL. Sometimes they recognize guys who make it to the NFL or NBA coming from Oklahoma. I went to the City Council meeting in Oklahoma City and he honored me and had Matt Donovan Day, so it was a pretty good experience.

You went to the City Council, did you do anything else special on that day?

No, not really. Just the city council meeting. I had a bunch of family and friends there that came to support me. It was pretty cool the way they honored me in front of the whole city council meeting. That was pretty much it. I spent the day with my family, we had a great day, but I skated and worked out just like a normal day.

You're one of the more active players on Twitter, what do you enjoy about being on Twitter?

I have a lot of friends on Twitter so I think just messing with friends and saying some stuff that might get some attention from fans is pretty cool. Getting responses from fans saying how much they like you or how much they look up to you is very cool. It's kind of a good way to keep in touch with people and mess around a little bit too.

One of the other things I noticed was 'squatch', your nickname.

[Laughs] Squatch Donovan, yeah that's kind of a joke too. My roommates and I had a big on-going joke about how I was debating with them that I thought sasquatch was real and they didn't think it was real. I took it to the next level, changing my Twitter name to 'squatchdonovan' and my bio says 'semi-professional sasquatch tracker.'

To go back to hockey... In your first couple of NHL games, what did you notice as the biggest difference in the style of play as compared to the AHL?

I think it's a little faster, the guys are a little bigger and a little stronger. The play just happens a little faster and your puck decisions have to be quicker. I think those are the big differences. Obviously there's a ton of good players in the AHL and I think the NHL is just that little step above and everything has to be a little quicker and faster.

Off the ice, did you notice any big differences?

Off the ice, I think it's the same. All the guys are great, all the staff is great. The big difference is that you fly everywhere and you're not driving in a bus but you're getting treated like top-level guys in the NHL. In the AHL, you're kinda on a bus and fending for yourself.

Looking towards next season, there are a lot of young players and young defenders on the team. What do you think are your chances of being on the opening night roster?

Well, I hope they're pretty good. Like you said there are a lot of young guys competing for spots on the team. Hopefully I'm one of those guys that is competing. I'm going to come into camp and battle and try my hardest to beat those guys out of that spot. Hopefully I can beat those guys out of that spot and be the one that makes that roster spot.

What do you think your best on-ice attribute is that can help you grab of those spots?

I think definitely vision on the ice and my offensive skills. I've always been an offensive defenseman so I think getting points and playing on the power play are some of my biggest attributes. Definetly trying to get better and better at playing more defensive and playing better defensively. I think I'm taking the right steps in that direction of getting better in those areas, but I definitely think that my offensive ability and vision on the ice are my best attributes.

As you're training this summer, is there anything specific that you're trying to work on?

Just getting faster and stronger... I'm definitely trying to get stronger and a little bit quicker and hopefully that will translate onto the ice.

Last question. This time last summer we would have been talking about your AHL debut and now we're talking about your NHL debut. Do you feel like things have been moving fast for you the last couple years?

Definitely. Things happen very quickly and this is no exception. Going from college to AHL to NHL, it's been a quick transition. Hopefully I'm making that transition well and the coaches and staff of the Islanders see that. I'm continuing to get better and better and hopefully some day soon -- coming out of training camp hopefully -- I'm able to show them that I've made the steps to become a full-time NHL player.

Tags: Exclusive, exclusive, Interviews, interviews, matt donovan, Editorial Aside, Prospects

 (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni and I continue our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 New York Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September 2017. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward and oh, yeah, that pesky John Tavares extension.

Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.

Tags: Nikolay Kulemin, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders' future at Barclays Center is unclear, but it looks like the arena may have scored some points in creating a better experience for hockey fans, according to J.D. Power.

The J.D. Power Fan Experience Study measured customer satisfaction of the major pro sports teams in four major markets across seven factors (in order of importance): seating area and game experience; security and ushers; leaving the game; arriving at the game; food and beverage; ticket purchase; and souvenirs and merchandise. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale.

Andy Graziano: SNY.TV: 

For all the griping, some right and some wrong, it seems as if Barclays Center actually held up their end of the bargain in 2016-17, improving the fan experience as they said they would, according to... the fans themselves.

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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Barclays Center owner Mikhail Prokhorov would like the Islanders to play a large portion of their games at the renovated Nassau Coliseum for the 2018-19 season, reports Josh Kosman of the New York Post

According to the report, Prokhorov has about $165 million invested in the Coliseum as both Barclays Center and the Islanders continue to work on a new lease. Either side can opt out of the current lease in January. 

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV: 

The story that just won't go away continues to dominate the headlines for the New York Islanders this summer. And there's no reason it shouldn't, as there is some belief it is directly tied to the fact captain John Tavares remains unsigned with unrestricted free agency looming next summer.

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Islanders captain John Tavares is not in a rush to sign an extension with the team, he told Newsday's Art Staple on Wednesday.

"For me, there's really no rush," Tavares said. "I'm trying to determine things, let the process run its course, keep the lines of communication open, keep it all internal and it's been good so far … In terms of signing a new contract, there's a lot that goes into it. To really dive into all the details, get into all the conversations I've had with Garth [Snow], the team and Doug [Weight], I don't think it's productive to the situation and the negotiating. I prefer to keep it all internal, that's the best way to keep it all open, honest and healthy."

Tavares recently said he's had "great open communication" with the team regarding a potential contrtact extension.

Tags: John Tavares
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Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Shane Prince (11) controls the puck in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Nov 25, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; New York Islanders center Shane Prince (11) controls the puck in the first period of the game against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. The San Jose Sharks defeated the New York Islanders with a score of 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Islanders announced that F Shane Prince had ankle surgery and will be out 4-6 months.

As the press release mentions, Prince was battling a high ankle sprain at the end of last season. After rehabbing on his own, he felt more discomfort and alerted the Islanders' medical staff.

They tried to further rehab the injury, but they found it in Prince's best interest to have surgery. He received the surgery, and is doing well. 

Tags: Shane Prince
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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)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.
 

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September.

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New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PPG PAINTS Arena. (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point. 

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Pulock, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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New York Islanders forward Josh Ho-Sang (66) celebrates his first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders forward Josh Ho-Sang (66) celebrates his first period goal against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV: 

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. 

Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.

66|Josh Ho-Sang|C/RW 

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Feb 12, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Stephen Gionta (24) skates against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 12, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Stephen Gionta (24) skates against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Islanders announced they signed F Stephen Gionta to a one-year, two-way contract.

Newsday's Arthur Staple reports the contract is worth $650,000 for his time in the NHL, and $225,000 for AHL time. 

The 33-year-old played in 26 games have the Islanders last season where he notched one goal and five assists. He also played seven games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders AHL affiliate, talling one goal and two assists. 

Tags: Stephen Gionta
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New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders left wing Brock Nelson (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point. 

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Brian Erni
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Jan 19, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) reacts after scoring a short handed goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Jan 19, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) reacts after scoring a short handed goal against the Dallas Stars during the third period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan told NHL.com's Jon Lane that he believes John Tavares will remain with the Islanders after his current contract expires. 

"He's not a guy to beat around the bush with those kinds of things," de Haan said of Tavares. "He's straightforward about things like that and there's no reason why he should lie about things like that. At the end of the day it's going to be his decision but I don't see him leaving, personally. It's good he's mentioned it a few times over the course of the summer." 

Tags: Calvin De Haan, John Tavares
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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I continue our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

 

Tags: Thomas Greiss, Andy Graziano
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 (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have signed D Calvin de Haan to a one-year, $3.3 million contract just before his arbitration hearing, per NHL Network's Mike Kelly. 

de Haan was one of 30 NHL players to file for arbitration by the July 5 deadline. The two sides have been in contract talks since he completed his three-year, $5.9 million deal. 

"Calvin is a home-grown product of the organizatino and has developed into one of our top defenseman during his time with the organization," Islanders president and GM Garth Snow said in the Islanders press release. "He plays important minutes for our club and we're excited to have him back for one more year."

Tags: Calvin De Haan
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 (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders captain John Tavares said he's had "great open communication" with the team regarding a potential contrtact extension.

"It's obviously a great place to play, I've enjoyed my time being an Islander and I want that experience to continue," Tavares told TSN. "For me, I just want to get ready for the upcoming season and work on being the best player I can be for the Islanders."

Tavares is reportedly still not ready to commit to the Islanders, Art Staple of Newsday reported last month.

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

New York state officials have released a request for proposals (RFP) to develop the 43 vacant acres at Belmont Park in Elmont.

The Islanders, who can opt out of the remaining 23 years on their lease with Barclays Center in January, are expected to be a bidder.

Newsday's Jim Baumbach reported in February that the team is working with Oak View Group, a sports arena development company backed by Madison Square Garden, on their proposal. Now, Robert Brodsky reports the group already has rendering of a potential arena in anticipation of the team's bid.

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Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

The Islanders have not had an arbitration case that actually went to the independent decision maker in some time. I'm not sure many can even remember the last time it happened.

The one that sticks out in my head, and maybe the only one, is Mike Milbury and Tommy Salo in 1997. The Lubomir Visnovsky case does not qualify, as that decided the status of the defenseman's contract clause, rather than salary.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Andy Graziano
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 (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I continue our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September 2017. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward and oh, yeah, that pesky John Tavares extension.

Tags: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey
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 (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)
(Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have signed Connor Jones to a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced Thursday.

Jones, 26, made his NHL debut with the Islanders last April 2.

The Islanders had made Jones a qualifying offer on June 26 in order to retain negotiating rights.

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

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

The Islanders have agreed with Adam Pelech on a four-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Pelech's new deal is worth $1.6 million per year, reports Art Staple of Newsday.

"Adam has proven at a very young age that he's capable of playing an important defensive role on our team," Islanders President and GM Garth Snow said in a press release. "He will be an important piece of our defensive core moving forward and I'm excited to watch him continue to develop at the NHL level."

The Islanders had extended a qualifying offer to Pelech on June 26 in order to retain negotiating rights.

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 (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

While forward John Tavares is willing to wait on signing a contract extension with the New York Islanders, people around the league believe the franchise is right to be patient with him, according to the New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis.

Tavares, 26, has one year and a $5.5 million cap hit and has been eligible to sign a contract extension since July 1, however the former No. 1 pick has not yet signed a long-term deal.

People around the league, according to Cyrgalis, believe the Islanders are right not to panic in this situation. Tavares reportedly prefers to stay with the Islanders, however several other teams could pursue him if he tests the open market. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2018. 

Tavares recorded 28 goals and 38 assists in 77 games for the Islanders last season. He underwent surgery on his hand in April and is expected to be fully ready for the 2017-18 season.

Tags: John Tavares
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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)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I continue our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 New York Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September 2017. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward and oh, yeah, that pesky John Tavares extension.

Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.

Tags: Andrew Ladd, John Tavares
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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders announced they promoted Greg Cronin to associate coach. 

Cronin had served as an assistant coach with the Isles for the past three seasons. He also served as an assistant coach from 1998-2003 before taking over as head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders affiliate, from 2003-2005.

Before his reunion with the Islanders in 2014, Cronin was an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs. He helped lead the Leafs to the playoffsf during the 2013-14 season. 

Cronin also has international experience, serving as an assistant coach for Team USA at the World Hockey Championsihops in 2011 and 2012. 

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

Islanders captain John Tavares is reportedly still not ready to commit to the Islanders, Art Staple of Newsday reported earlier this month.

To that end, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet notes:

"I've said a million times that I believe John Tavares's first choice is to stay with the Islanders. But, if he does decide to leave, why do I have visions of him taking less money to play in Tampa Bay?"

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Brian Erni
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 (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV:

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

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New York Islanders goalie Christopher Gibson against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders goalie Christopher Gibson against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period during a preseason hockey game at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

Goalie Christopher Gibson and the New York Islanders agreed to a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced Friday.

Gibson, 24, played four games with the Islanders in the 2015-16 season, going 1-1-1 with 11 goals allowed, an .882 save percentage and a 3.40 goals against average.

Last season, he played seven games for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, giving up 16 goals and recording a .912 save percentage and a 2.52 goals against average.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Nassau and Suffolk legislatures will host a bicounty news conference Friday to urge the Islanders to return to Nassau Coliseum, according to Newsday's Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach. 

Nassau legislature wrote to Islanders' owners Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin saying "give the idea of returning the team to its true home every consideration possible." Nassau Events Center put $165 million into the Coliseum to increase its capacity to host an NHL team. 

"We have been assured by NEC that they are very willing to make necessary modifications to accommodate an NHL team," the Nassau letter read. 

There has been opposition to the Islanders potential return as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said "we do not view Nassau Coliseum as a suitable option for the Islanders." Experts say that the Coliseum would also need to add luxury suites, and increase the size of the locker room to go along with adding seats. 

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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I continue our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September 2017. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward and oh, yeah, that pesky John Tavares extension.

Tags: Josh Bailey, Andy Graziano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

The Islanders are hiring another former teammate of head coach Doug Weight in Kelly Buchberger, the team announced Tuesday.

Buchberger served as head of player personnel for the Oilers last season. He was also an assistant coach for the team for six years. 

This is the second ex-teammate Weight has brought in from his days with the Oilers. Luke Richardson, who has been head coach of AHL Binghamton for the past four years, was also hired.

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Islanders have announced they agreed to a two-way contract with G Krister Gudlevskis. 

The deal is one year, worth $650K/$200K depending on which league he is playing in. The Islanders acquired Gudlevskis in a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning who received F Carter Verhaeghe.

Drafted by the Lightning in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Gudlevskis has played in three NHL games, earning a 1-0-1 recorded with a .959 save percentage. He was also selected to the AHL All-Star Game during the 2015-16 season.

Gudlevskis went 15-10-7-4 (W-L-OTL-SOL) last season with the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning's AHL affiliate. He posted a 2.65 goals-against average and .897 save percentage for the year. 

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders have hired Fred Brathwaite as their goalie coach, the team announced Monday.

Brathwaite replaces Mike Dunham. who had been part of the organization for 11 years.

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

Brathwaite, 44, played in the NHL from 1993 to 2004, with stints with the Oilers, Flames, Blues, and Blue Jackets.

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

Islanders captain John Tavares could've signed an extension with the Islanders at noon on Saturday when free agency began, but he is not yet ready to commit, reports Art Staple of Newsday.

The eight-year, $106 million deal Connor McDavid is reportedly close to signing with the Oilers is one of the factors delaying a resolution between the Islanders and Tavares.

"With all the leverage in any negotiations with the Islanders, given how clearly the team has made it that they want Tavares locked up, an eight-year deal worth between $10-11 million per year always seemed like the end result." writes Staple. 

Tags: John Tavares
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 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Nick Leddy, Brian Erni
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 (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
(Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan filed for arbitration on Wednesday, the NHLPA announced. 

Newsday's Arthur Staple reports the Islanders and de Haan are having discussions about a new deal. 

Tags: Calvin De Haan
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New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) takes the puck from Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Casey Cizikas (53) takes the puck from Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV:

Brian Erni and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 New York Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September 2017. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward and oh, yeah, that pesky John Tavares extension.

Tags: Casey Cizikas
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Brian Compton and Mike Carver bid farewell in the final Point Blank Podcast. The guys look back at a wild week in Islanders Country, discussing the Jordan Eberle-Ryan Strome deal, the rumors surrounding Matt Duchene, Travis Hamonic's trade to Calgary, and the expansion draft deal to protect the team's forwards.

Click below to listen

 

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 (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Goaltender Ilya Sorokin has signed a three-year extension to remain with CSKA Moscow in the KHL, reports Russian hockey reporter Tomas Vorcak

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV: 

A relatively low-risk gamble by Garth Snow doesn't appear to be working out as originally planned, as Sorokin, in what seems to be a money grab, decides to extend his KHL contract by three years.

Already signed for 2018 anyway, and with no current NHL-KHL transfer agreement in place, it seems that it will be some time, if ever, Islanders fans can see if the hype was real with what was assumed to be the goaltender of the future. Trade value, at this point, is lowered as well.

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Seth Helgeson (25) awaits start of the play against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena.The Vancouver Canucks won 2-0. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Seth Helgeson (25) awaits start of the play against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena.The Vancouver Canucks won 2-0. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have agreed to terms with defensemen Seth Helgeson and Kane Lafranchise on one-year, two way deals. 

Helgeson, 26, will make $650,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the AHL, with $275,000 being guaranteed, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. He had one goal and a plus-two rating with the Devils last season. He has four points and 50 penalty minutes in 50 career NHL games. 

A fourth-round pick by the Devils in 2009, Helgeson has 38 career points in 218 AHL games.

Lafranchise tallied five goals and 16 assists with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers last season. In 171 AHL games, he has recorded 59 points. 

Tags: Seth Helgeson

Kristers Gudlevskis (50) works out prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Kristers Gudlevskis (50) works out prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders have acquired goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis from the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Carter Verhaeghe. 

Tags: Tampa Bay Lightning
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Washington Capitals forward Justin Williams (14) carries the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski)
Washington Capitals forward Justin Williams (14) carries the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski)

Forward Justin Williams has signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced.

The Islanders had reached out to Williams, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

Andy Graziano and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Isles practice 00:00:44
The New York Islanders held a scrimmage and skills competition at their mini-camp on Thursday.

New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)
New York Islanders left wing Jason Chimera (25) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.

We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.

Tags: Jason Chimera, Andy Graziano
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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

The Islanders and Avalanche have not been close to a deal for C Matt Duchene, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. 

Staple believes that the deal would have been completed if the offer had been closer. Islanders GM Garth Snow had an offer with D Travis Hamonic, the team's 2018 first-round pick, and a prospect on the table. However, Snow would not include 20-year-old center Mathew Barzal in the deal. 

At the June 23 NHL Draft, Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said he didn't like any of the deals offered for Duchene.

Tags: Travis Hamonic
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GEICO SportsNite: Isles camp 00:00:44
Josh Ho-Sang talks to the media about his desire to show the Isles that he can make an impact, and Doug Weight calls him a special player.

 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

One of the most fluid and insanely unpredictable weeks in recent NHL memory is now over with the conclusion of the 2017 NHL entry draft. Prior to that, we had the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, awkwardly held in the middle of an awards gala, and some good old fashioned wheeling-and-dealing.

General managers have now returned home to celebrate their victories, or size up their losses, with five days before unrestricted free agency, which begins this Saturday, July 1.

Tags: John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan Strome, Travis Hamonic, Andy Graziano
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Islanders have extended one-year qualifying offers to restricted free agents Calvin de HaanAdam PelechChristopher Gibson, and Connor Jones, the team announced Monday.

By extending qualifying offers to the above players, the Islanders retain negotiating rights.

De Haan, 26, had five goals and 20 assists in 82 games last season while earning $2.5 million.

Pelech, 22, had three goals and seven assists in 44 games last season while earning $832,500 during what was his second season in the league.

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Christopher Gibson
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