sleep 5In the movie about the chubby and dour middle-aged social reject without money who became the owner of a major league sports team, the lead will be played by Paul Giamatti. HBO will produce and The Iceman Coneth will win a slew of Emmys.

 

Everyone around the Islanders has their story about the time they first thought something wasn’t kosher about John Spano, the “Dallas” “businessman” who was “friends with Mario Lemieux” and faked out enough people to take over the New York Islanders in 1996.

 

Notice the lack of quotation marks around taking over the team. The question comes up all the time about this fascinating lunatic: “How did he think he could get away with it”? The answer: he did get away with it.

 

In the few months he was around the franchise, Spano made real business decisions that affected real people. On the hockey side, his “ownership” was established enough that he could order Mike Milbury to step down as coach so he could focus on his role as general manager. Now, before you declare that was a reasonable decision by a savvy executive, understand Spano’s true motivation – he just wanted more time to hang around with Milbury.

 

While everyone had their “ah-HA!” moment when they realized Spano couldn’t be what he said he was, the genius of this psychopath was knowing people like me wouldn’t be reckless enough to risk our careers by saying something about it. Our image of con men is usually charismatic characters, like Newman and Redford in The Sting, or any number of politicians. Spano used his awkward and shy persona – or maybe it was an act, who the hell knows? – to his advantage. You’d run into him getting coffee in the office, say hi. He’d always look down at your shoes and mutter something. You’d come away from the encounter wondering what this mad genius must be thinking, and whether it’s time to start sending out that resume.

 

It worked like a charm, and on businesspeople with major reputations. Some lost their jobs over it.

 

Here’s my Spano story. It’s February 15, 1997 and the Islanders are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise. The team sucks that season, but this is a memorable night. The all-time Islanders team is announced, Boss and Trots and Denis and Smitty are in the barn, the new owner – our savior! – is walking around and to top it off Lappy Lapointe breaks a zip-zip tie with an overtime goal for the victory over John Vanbiesbrouck and the Florida Panthers.

 

After the game, the atmosphere in the locker room hallway is glorious mayhem. The Islanders legends are hugging it out in the hallway with Ziggy, Smoke, a Calder contender named Bryan Berard, Caber, Bert and the rest of the boys. It’s been a depressing season, but for one night everyone is reminded why the hockey life is beautiful. In the middle of the celebration stands a solitary man who doesn’t approach anyone, so no one approaches him.

 

He is focused, clearly on a vital mission. It’s John Spano, the “mega-millionaire” owner of the Islanders. He is standing in the hallway, completely oblivious, his back to the celebration. He is holding a puck, not from the game but the kind you can buy on the Coliseum concourse for 5 bucks. In his other hand is a Sharpie, as black as the suits he always wore.

 

“John, is there something we can do for you? I asked.

 

“Nah, I’m good. Just told a friend I’d get something signed for his kid by Vanbiesbrouck.”

 

Hmm. Picture this: owner of major professional sports team, after a big win, alone in the hallway because he wants to make sure the goaltender of the visiting team signs his puck. This is Fred Wilpon waiting outside the Dodgers locker room until Manny signs his bat. This is Jerry Jones hanging outside the Giants Stadium lot to meet Eli.

 

This is not how the owner of a sports team operates. They have people for that. People like I used to be.

 

sleep 5Spano didn’t budge. With so much joy around him and his new toy, he instead chose to wait for The Beezer to do his interviews, shower, dress and make his way down the hall. VBK signed Johnny’s puck and the owner of the New York Islanders left the arena, all by himself.

 

This is what it took for me and my two best colleague-pals to give each other the look that’s something not quite right in the Country.

 

No, it wasn’t the night Spano invited the team for what we figured would be an elegant evening at the Garden City Hotel celebrating his takeover. Our wives got all dressed up and we nervously anticipated a classy night of wine and conversation with the new boss in a plush penthouse suite. When we arrived we were escorted to the meat market/dance club where nobody could hear themselves think over the pulsating “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C + C Music Factory. I recall paying for my own drinks and don’t recall ever seeing Spano. It was one crazy friggin’ evening.

 

No, it wasn’t the road trip when the Islanders had a game in Dallas and the team was invited to dinner the night before at the “Spano home” (really, to paraphrase Talking Heads – why should we believe it was his beautiful wife or it was his beautiful house?). I asked Ziggy Palffy how amazing the mansion was. “It’s okay,” said Ziggy, “but Kaspar’s house in Northport is better.”

 

From time to time a segment of Islanders fans will actually bemoan what could have been with Spano. They acknowledge that he was, you know, bonkers and felonious, but they also feel that he was a true fan who could have done some great things.

 

What a sad, sad notion. Consider this: besides the minor detail of him not having any money, John Spano lied about everything. Just because he could drop names like Trottier and Lemieux like the guy in Rain Man, how can we be certain he actually liked hockey?

 

Comments on this story here. Talk about the current Islanders, the draft and everything else in next thread. Guidelines.

Tags: News

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

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...

Tags: Jaroslav Halak
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Mar 2, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) skates in his first career NHL game during the second period against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Mar 2, 2017; Dallas, TX, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Ho-Sang (66) skates in his first career NHL game during the second period against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

Islanders RW Josh Ho-Sang feels the media is trying to draw C John Tavares to Toronto, but he doesn't think his teammate is paying much attention to the noise. 

Tavares, who has one year remaining on his contract, has yet to receive an extension on his deal despite the Islanders saying he is the face of the franchise. Because of this, the 26-year-old has drawn speculation as to where he might land if he hits the open market.

The Maple Leafs are one of those teams, but Ho-Sang can't see Tavares even thinking about going to Toronto. Instead, he believes the media wants him up there. 

Tags: Josh Ho-Sang
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 (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.

Read More

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.

Read More

 (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
Read More

 (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. 

Read More

 (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
Read More

 (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.

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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.