sleep 5Around the three-hour mark of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play August: Osage County, the matriarch of the dysfunctional family decides to cut through all the BS. "It's time for some truth-tellin'," she says.

 

Same here at Point Blank. I've always tried to have an open dialogue with our readers, but I feel like it's been a while. The time is now because it's been a few weeks since the end of the season and the rhetoric in the Comments space and in the emails has intensified to the point where I want to address some issues.

 

This is going to be long, long-winded, blunt, defensive and maybe at times offensive to a few of you. Just putting it all out there, folks. I will cover a whole range of topics, so pull up a chair and bear with me. Thanks.

 

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sleep 5Sponsors: You may see some ads on the site over the next few days. Our hope is to prove the value of the blog to potential sponsors. I would be indebted if you would please click on these ads from every computer you have access to, patronize the sponsors and spread the word. It could go a long way in keeping us running longer.

 

Support Drive: There's a likelihood that if the blog continues into next hockey season, I will run a support drive in the form of a deal on tickets to one or two Islanders games during the season. Consider it (hopefully) one giant Point Blank group sales night. Perhaps it's an opportunity for many of you to meet up at a game. I understand some readers may be season ticketholders and many are not from New York, but I certainly would appreciate the support of anyone in position to get involved.

 

PB Night III: If we're back for another season, it's a lock that the next Point Blank Night will be at R.C. Dugan's on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. Thank you, Jay, for your dedication to the cause.

 

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"Conflicts": I realize some of you missed this when I wrote about it in the early days of the blog, or did not see when I spoke about it with C.J. Papa on the Islanders telecast. So that there's no misunderstanding, let me make a few things perfectly clear.

 

The idea for Point Blank came from Islanders President Chris Dey about a month or so after I left the organization last May 5. The team and the sport was in need of more coverage. Fans hungered for non-stop reporting on the Islanders and Dey wanted to deliver it to them. I was available! It was Dey who understood that it would only work if the blog was run independently of the team. For the record, Dey has stood by his end of the bargain, and I applaud him and am thankful to him for it.

 

The New York Islanders are the primary sponsor of Point Blank. Newsday refers to PB as the "team-sponsored blog" - as opposed to the Rangers-sponsored newspaper - and I've never hid from that.

 

Some facts: the Islanders have never asked me to write a story or not write a story. The first time Islanders management sees a post is the same as you: when it's published on the site. I've never been asked to take down a reader Comment about members of the organization, and there have been plenty of vicious ones.

 

sleep 5In 2009, more than three-quarters of sports journalism is touched by some conflict of interest. Leagues are in bed with networks. Writers from major magazines and newspapers serve as paid talking heads on league-owned networks. Two of New York's top sports radio voices receive checks from the companies that own major league sports teams. Sportswriters have publishing deals with the coaches and athletes they are supposed to cover.

 

Long Island's newspaper is owned by the company that owns the Knicks, Rangers, Madison Square Garden and MSG Network. Neil Best, one of the finest media columnists in the U.S. and a man of impeccable honor, covers one of the major holdings of his boss. So do the Newsday writers on the Knicks and Rangers. Wally Matthews blistered Charles Wang last summer, has plenty of tough opinions on the Steinbrenners and at times has been vicious toward Jeff Wilpon. As for the Dolans, Wally doesn't seem to have much to say.

 

I stand by the facts I've written, and the opinions that have come from the heart and the mind.

 

Town of Hempstead: Before I ever wrote my first critical word of Kate Murray's handling of the Lighthouse Project, I called Town spokesman Mike Deery three times and left him three voicemails. I attempted to start a professional relationship, but the Town did not have the time nor the interest for this blogger and resident. I don't expect them to ever want to deal with me now. Should the Town of Hempstead ever make its first right move - like maybe Murray showing up at a meeting - I'll be the first to praise it.

 

For now, that Islanders Fan First website and mailer fiasco - the project they aborted after three days - remains the Town's signature moment. To those of you who believe I just get my kicks bashing the Republican side of this issue, you don't know anything about me or my other projects. By writing the facts, and writing what I feel, in this brutal economy I'm potentially costing myself income from some of the PR consultant jobs I've been up for. That's about as far as I can take it.

 

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My Background: Other than knowing I worked for the team for a while, understandably most of you don't know my background and how it relates to the blog. So here's a bit about my career in the game.

 

sleep 5In my senior year in college, I worked full-time for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1986-87 season, the year they went to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Along the way, the Flyers defeated the Rangers, Islanders (right after the Easter Epic) and Montreal before Wayne Gretzky took over in the final period of the deciding game in the Final. I did not get a Cup ring, but I made countless friends and contacts with the Flyers and around the league, most of them still in the business.

 

Six months later, I was hired by the Islanders to edit a monthly newspaper, Islander News. Among those on my first Islanders team: Trottier, Bossy, Denis Potvin, LaFontaine, Brent Sutter, Morrow, Flatley, Billy Smith and Kelly Hrudey. Along the way, I managed the team's publications, sold group tickets and even served as radio color commentator for a year and a half after Bob Nystrom left the job (yup, it was a major step down in the booth, but I tried). I went into PR fulltime in the mid-90s, was named VP in 1999 and stayed in that position for 9 years.

 

sleep 5So many of the players and coaches on those early Islanders teams are spread out around the league as scouts, coaches and broadcasters and remain good friends and invaluable contacts. On the 1992-93 team alone, former players are now near the top of directories with NHL teams and the Players Association. My favorite time was working for Al Arbour and the '92-93 team, the second was the mini-revival in 2001-02 under Peter Laviolette and watching the Coliseum come alive again.

 

For more than a decade, I managed a press box that hosted scouts from every team in the league and elsewhere. Most of those relationships are still in place today. Naturally, I'm still in contact with many of my former colleagues in the Islanders front office.

 

So when I rank prospects, I may not always be bang-on, but understand I'm not throwing paper darts into the wind. When I write that the majority of scouts I've spoken with say Drew Doughty will have a better NHL career than Victor Hedman, it could ultimately be wrong, but I'm not listening to the voices inside my head. I'm a reporter who listens to dozens of men who do this for a living. Turns out the amateur scouts on the Point Blank speed dial knew almost all season Matt Duchene was 2 or 3, even when The Hockey News had him at 6.

 

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Blog Stats: With each month, the Page Views and Visits for Point Blank grew in leaps and bounds, peaking (of course) in March with Gueringate. The drama got so big, the numbers on Sunday - when everyone thought Bill was going to be traded - actually were better than the day of the Trade Deadline.

 

The really good news is that the stats in April barely dropped off. Lottery day was a good one, but it was so gratifying to see all the new readers we picked up in March seem to be sticking around.

 

When you consider the Islanders did not play an important game for the purposes of playoff contention since the holidays, the numbers have been remarkable. The credit goes to you for your dedication to this team and for spreading the word about the blog.

 

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Comments: One of the reasons why the Page Views of Point Blank have grown beyond my expectations is because of your efforts in the Comments space. I spoke with a top guy at NHL Security the other day who told me he is as interested in reading all the Comments as my blog entries. I wasn't offended. That's the way it should be on a good blog.

 

If many of you believe I'm a nut about moderating the Comments space, I take the hit but also have no regrets. We have all seen how the blogs of many talented writers have been almost destroyed by the nonsense that goes on in the Comments. I refuse to let that happen. For everyone I've ticked off, I still believe the Comment Guidelines are a vital reason why the site tends to get at least 100 legitimate, passionate, insightful Comments (and often a lot more) after each story. I want as many readers as possible to feel like they can share their opinions.

 

On criticism of my work, I have no problem when a reader disagrees with me, tears me apart or even plays the ever-popular shill card. (The son of a friend of mine posted from his college dorm a while ago that I was still Garth's boy). I love that stuff.

 

To be candid, the only ones I find personally annoying are the ones that say something like, "I don't care about this subject" or "Don't you have anything better to write about"? One of my favorites was when I broke the news the Islanders had signed third round pick Mark Katic and a regular reader of an Islanders blog said he didn't care and it was just "fodder."

 

If you are the kind of person who actually takes the time to post on an Islanders blog that you don't care about stories on Mike Bossy, Kirill Petrov, Denis Potvin, the Lighthouse - after all, it only determines the team's future - prospects and small anecdotes from behind-the-scenes, I encourage you to go somewhere else for your daily Islanders reading.

 

Now that we've been at this seven months and I have regularly asked readers to review the Comment Guidelines, I'm done with warnings. If you go off-topic, write not a comment but a full-blown blog entry, post more than 3 per thread, are profane, call your fellow readers "idiots" and "morons" and the ever-popular "___ clowns" or give me other reasons to be cautious, your Comment posts are going to moderation. If you'd like to address this issue, please send me an email so we can work it out one-on-one.

 

Effective today, while some readers may have their Comments go to moderation, no one is on permanent block any longer.

 

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sleep 5The Year in Review: After working for the team for so long, I was more comfortable transitioning to the media side than I expected. It probably helped that there was a new head coach and some key players (including Doug Weight) that I had never worked with.

 

Scott Gordon and I didn't have much to do with each other for about two months mid-season. He didn't like some stuff I wrote. I didn't like the way he handled it, so I passed on many of his media scrums because he wasn't saying much. In the final 4-6 weeks of the season, the working relationship improved. I stubbornly believe Scott has a few things he needs to work on. He stubbornly thinks I'm wrong and everything is okay. Scott works his tail off, is extremely bright and is a very talented coach. Time will tell how it works out.

 

Garth Snow was irritated with me for a few weeks, primarily because I wrote my 8-year old twins did a better job of staying on the same page as the Islanders were on the Rick DiPietro injury stuff. The Islanders stood by their version of the story. Over time, we moved on. As I wrote when I was in timeout, I do not need complete access to write the blog. When you shut out the media, it usually hurts the team more - especially when that team does not boast bountiful coverage. Felt the same way when I was the PR director.

 

I especially want to mention youngsters Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo for their professionalism during a difficult season. Think about Bailey. He knew about the immediate fan and press reaction when the team went from 5 to 7 to 9 and drafted him. I wrote that he should go to juniors, and then to the World Junior Championships. Yet through it all, he answered the questions and handled himself like a 15-year pro. My experience tells me that's a good sign.

 

All of the veterans were very good with the press, most notably for me Weight, Brendan Witt and Richard Park. The team's PR staff - Seth Sylvan, Corey Witt and young Josh Bernstein - are good men and made me feel comfortable in my new gig. I thank them for that.

 

Other than a few hours one Sunday early on when we battled over the "team-sponsored" thing, Greg Logan and I got along really well. He is a friend, and I have learned a lot from him. The days when Dan Martin of the Post and Peter Botte of the Daily News attend practice are always good days.

 

I also want to thank the MSG Network crew for putting me on the pre-game show and Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe for mentioning Point Blank more than a few times. Same to Steve Mears and Chris King for their support on the radio side and their assistance. Thank you to Lisa and the moderators at Islandermania for always linking to my stories. That's a huge help, and especially was early on when the blog was trying to get off the ground. Thank you to Roseanne and the crew at Gabrielle's for their amazing generosity as our unofficial watering hole.

 

In the world outside the Islanders, thank you to Don La Greca for guiding this novice on ESPN Radio. Thank you to Hofstra University for the opportunity to see if I can teach. Thank you to Stan Bratskeir for his PR guru-ness.

 

Thank you to Kevin Schultz of Barry Melrose Rocks for getting behind the Gran Torino when I had to step away. Thank you to B.D. Gallof for his help in the early days and best of luck with his new venture. Whatever happened in between, I wish him well in doing his best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

 

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Future: As of this date, there's a commitment to write this blog until the NHL Draft in late June. After that, I do not have any guarantees. It is my sincere wish to run Point Blank for at least another year and hopefully a lot more beyond that. I hope to know in the next few weeks if I'll be around past June. For now, please click the heck out of any sponsor ads you may see.

 

One thing is certain: the only way I will ever do this blog is if I'm provided the opportunity to cover the Islanders 24/7/365. From time to time readers suggest that if I move into another full-time career that I pop in and write once or twice a week. This franchise has been my life's work and a bit of an obsession now for 21 years. When I worked for the Islanders, I thought about my responsibilities every hour for two decades. It's impossible for me to picture doing this blog half-way. In fact, I'm sure I will never do it that way.

 

One more time, thank you to all of the Point Blank readers for checking out the site, sharing your insight, passing along your knowledge and keeping me in line. Here's hoping we can keep this going for a long time.

 

 

Since I went long, the 100-word limit is waived for this Comments section - as long as you stay on topic!

 

I need to take a personal day, maybe two, so I will miss the U.S.-Russia game on Friday morning. Unless there is any breaking Islanders news, I'll be off the laptop. I'm sure Greg and the Times blog, among other sites, will be on the Worlds.

 

Please feel free to submit any questions you may have related to this post and I will address as many as I can as soon as I return. Thanks...CB

Tags: News

 (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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New York Islanders center John Tavares (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (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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General view of the opening face-off between the New York Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
General view of the opening face-off between the New York Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

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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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (Aaron Doster)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. (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.

Read More

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.

Read More

 (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. 

Read More

 (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.

Read More

 (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.

Read More

 (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
Read More

 (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
Read More

 (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
Read More

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
Read More

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.

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

 (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.

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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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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)

The New York Islanders selected Robin Salo (second round), Benjamin Mirageas (third round), Sebastian Aho (fifth round), Arnaud Durandeau (sixth round) and Logan Cockerill (seventh round) in the 2017 NHL draft.

Salo, 18, is a Finnish defenseman who put up one goal and 15 assists in 65 games with Sport Vaasa of the Finnish Liiga last season.

Mirageas is an 18-year-old American defenseman bound for Providence College. He helped the Chicago Steel win the USHL championship while posting 10 assists in 14 games.

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GEICO SportsNite: Islanders 00:00:19
The Islanders traded defenseman Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames on Saturday for first- and second-round picks in the 2018 NHL draft.

The Islanders have traded Travis Hamonic to Calgary for multiple draft picks.

The Islanders receive:

  • 2018 First Round Pick
  • 2018 Second Round Pick
  • 2nd Round Pick in 2019 or 2020

The Flames receive:

  • Hamonic
  • 4th round pick in 2019 or 2020

On the conditions of some of the picks, Bob McKenzie tweets, "If CGY sends NYI a 2nd in 2019, the 4th the Flames get back is also in 2019. If CGY sends 2nd in 2020, the 4th rder they get back is 2020."

Tags: Travis Hamonic
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New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano coaches against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)
New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano coaches against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner)

The Florida Panthers have named former Islanders head coach Jack Capuano an associate coach on head coach Bob Boughner's staff, the team announced Friday.

"I am extremely excited to join the Florida Panthers organization," said Capuano. "I want to thank Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu for putting their trust in me and Dale for giving me an opportunity to work with Bob, one of the great young minds in the game. My familiarity with the Panthers has grown a lot throughout the past few years and I'm eager to work with such a young, talented group of players."

Capuano served as head coach of the Islanders from 2010-2017, earning a 227-192-64 record. The Islanders made three playoff appearances under Capuano.

"I am thrilled to welcome Jack to our coaching staff," said Boughner "He is a knowledgeable and experienced voice to have behind our bench that will work well with our young players."

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter

Brian Erni and I begin our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a 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 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: Thomas Hickey, Andy Graziano
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 (Perry Nelson)
(Perry Nelson)

The Islanders have acquired RW Jordan Eberle from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for C Ryan Strome, the Isles announced Thursday.

"I'm super excited to be a part of the Islanders organization," Eberle said, according to James Duthie of TSN. "Also grateful for the chance the Oilers gave me coming into the NHL."

Eberle, who said he's relieved the trade is done, called John Tavares a "generational player" and said he was looking forward to playing with him.

Tags: Ryan Strome
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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

The Islanders traded forward Mikhail Grabovski, defenseman Jake Bischoff, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick to have the Las Vegas Golden Knights select goaltender J-F Berube

Grabovski, who had 44 points in his first two seasons in New York, has not suited up in a game for the Islanders since March 2016 after he suffered a concussion. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. 

Bischoff, a seventh-round pick in 2012, had three points in six games with the AHL's Sound Tigers last season after finishing his time at the University of Minnesota. 

Tags: Mikhail Grabovski
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General view of the opening face-off between the New York Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
General view of the opening face-off between the New York Islanders and the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin are looking to sell a 15 percent stake in the team, according to the NY Post's Josh Kosman.

They have not had any luck in selling the stake, with the team valued at $500 million, as potential buyers are skeptical. The pitch is telling potential buyers they are looking to diversify.

As of now, the Islanders may need to find a new home following the 2018-19 season, as they have a mutual out-clause with Barclays Center, and the venue doesn't want to keep the team as tenants.

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New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic (3) takes a slap shot against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)
New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic (3) takes a slap shot against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. (James Guillory)

Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is the 2017 recipient of the NHL's Foundation Player Award, which is presented to a player "who applies the core values of (ice) hockey-commitment, perseverance and teamwork-to enrich the lives of people in his community"

Tags: Travis Hamonic
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 (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)
(Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Islanders are reportedly likely to lose forward Mikhail Grabovski to the Las Vegas Golden Knights as part of expansion draft trades, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple.

The Islanders only put three forwards -- John TavaresAnders Lee and Andrew Ladd -- on the protected list, as Jason ChimeraCasey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck were among the 25 players they made available.

New York will reportedly send its first-round pick to Vegas in order to prevent the Golden Knights from taking one of their forwards. There will be a third component to the deal, according to Staple, however it is not yet known what it would be.

Tags: Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin
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 (Nicole Sweet)
(Nicole Sweet)

Yesterday, the NHL created a little drama when they announced, at 9:58 a.m., that protected lists for each team for the upcoming Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, set for 10 a.m., would be pushed back 30 minutes to 10:30 a.m.

The head scratching move, for which no reason was ever officially given, started the wave of social media activity that would not slow for all of Father's Day.

There was plenty of venom spewed towards Islanders general manager, Garth Snow, when the lists were finally made available to the public as New York was the only team in the entire league to protect five defenseman and only three forwards, two of whom were automatic, captain John Tavares and winger Andrew Ladd.

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New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) looks on during the second period in game one of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)
New York Islanders center Brock Nelson (29) looks on during the second period in game one of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. (Kim Klement)

The Islanders will give up a first round pick in order to keep the Las Vegas Golden Knights from taking one of New York's forwards in the NHL expansion draft, according to a report from Darren Dreger of TSN.

Forwards Jason ChimeraCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome are among the 25 players the Islanders have made available for the Golden Knights, who must pick one player from each team and take a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies in the expansion draft.

John TavaresAnders Lee, and Andrew Ladd were the only three forwards the Islanders decided to protect in the expansion draft.

Tags: Brock Nelson, Cal Clutterbuck, Casey Cizikas, Jason Chimera, Ryan Strome
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GEICO SportsNite: NHL expansion 00:01:28
The New York Rangers and Islanders have revealed their protected players and those who will be eligible for the upcoming expansion draft.

John TavaresAnders Lee and Andrew Ladd are the only three forwards the New York Islanders will protect in the NHL expansion draft.

Forwards Jason ChimeraCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck and Brock Nelson are among the 25 players the Islanders have made available for the Las Vegas Golden Knights, who must pick one player from each team and take a minimum of 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies in the expansion draft.

The Islanders will also protect goalie Thomas Greiss and defensemen Johnny BoychukTravis HamonicNick LeddyAdam Pelech and Ryan Pulock.

Las Vegas will submit its draft selections by 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

Tags: Anders Lee, Andrew Ladd, John Tavares
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 (AP)
(AP)

The Islanders are near the top of the list of teams interested in trading for Edmonton's RW Jordan Eberleaccording to a report from NHL insider Darren Dreger

There are six or seven teams that have interest in acquiring Eberle, according to Dreger, with the Islanders and the Avalanche seeming to be the frontrunners.

"What's the return? Does Edmonton get a winger back, like a third line player and a smaller deal so they can absorb the cap relief in moving Eberle's contract out?" asked Dreger on TSN1260. "Or can they be patient and finally (Islanders GM) Garth Snow goes, 'OK, I need that player just to keep John Tavares happy and keep him in the mix here long-term, so I'm willing to give up on Travis Hamonic.' I think there's a bit of gamesmanship that is happening in this process."

Tags: John Tavares, Travis Hamonic
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A general view of the ice surface prior to the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Andy Marlin)
A general view of the ice surface prior to the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. (Andy Marlin)

The Islanders will begin their 2017-2018 preseason schedule with a game at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, against the Philadelphia Flyers, the team announced Thursday morning.

The game will take place on Sunday, September 17 at 1pm.

The preseason opener will mark the first time the Islanders have played in its former home since the end of the 2014-2015 season.

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 (Sergei Belski)
(Sergei Belski)

With the Stanley Cup Final in the rear view mirror, all of the soon-to-be 31 NHL teams are prepping for an Expansion and Entry Draft frenzy, and Darren Dreger thinks the Islanders are a team to watch.

Dreger said on Tuesday on Montreal's TSN 690 that the Islanders are one of the most intriguing clubs leading up to the two drafts, and GM Garth Snow does have a preference on what defense man he'd like to hold onto. 

Brian Erni, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive Posts

This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. De Haan had a splendid year last year, and Hamonic had a down one, so it's better to sell high on Calvin than low on Travis. Plus, Hamonic is an alternate captain and one of the most vocal leaders in the dressing room. I'm sure the Isles would love to hang onto both if they could. I just don't see how they will...

Tags: Calvin De Haan, Travis Hamonic
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 (Scott Rovak)
(Scott Rovak)

The Islanders do not have interest in signing F Ilya Kovalchukreports Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Kovalchuk wants to return to the NHL next season, and the Devils have given him and his agent permission to seek a deal with other teams, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

New Jersey still holds the forward's rights as Kovalchuk left the NHL in the middle of his contract with the Devils.

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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. (Sergei Belski)
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. (Sergei Belski)

The Islanders have signed F Steve Bernier to a two-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contract, the team announced Friday.

Bernier, 32, had 16 goals and 10 assists in 33 games with Bridgerport of the AHL last season.

In 633 career games with the Islanders, Devils, Panthers, Canucks, Sabres, and Sharks, Bernier has 105 goals and 125 assists. 

Tags: Steve Bernier
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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Newly hired Islanders assistant coach Scott Gomez knows his first foray into coaching won't be easy and that he has a lot to learn.

Gomez recently spoke to Yahoo's Sean Leahy and told the Puck Daddy writer that it's his responsibility to learn every position on the ice so that he can be a complete coach.

"You've got to know every position or what the hell's the point?" said Gomez, whose deal with the Islanders is for two years. "What happens if I have to answer a defensive question? Believe it or not I've had coaches, you ask them a question, 'Oh, I don't know.' 'What do you mean I don't know? You're the coach.' 'Oh, I'm the offensive coach.' That never made sense to me."

Gomez also said that that part of his philosophy is to treat every player the same, whether he's the captain or a fourth liner.

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