This is from earlier in the week, but it's still worth a look. It's Jesse Graham, the Isles sixth round pick from 2012, making a huge play for the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL. I'll just let the video do the talking, instead of spoiling it for you beforehand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbi1IQpd2kwThe opposing team throws the puck down ice and it looks to be in the empty net, but Graham is able to swoop in at the last second and grab it off the goal line, literally.As play goes back up the other way, Saginaw is able to beat the Greyhounds while they're changing as Kristoff Kontos puts the puck in the net. Unfortunately for Saginaw, that only cut the lead to 6-5 as they were down two at the time.Over at Yahoo, Neate Seager provides some details on how Graham is fairing this season in Saginaw:[sny-box]Graham has been an intriguing player over his run in the OHL, as a defenceman who's a relatively stripling at a listed 5-foot-11 and 172 pounds. The Toronto native isn't a purely offence-first D-man even though one might be inclined to view him as such because of his modest stature. His 41 points over 53 games between the Niagara IceDogs, where he began the year as captain, and Saginaw, puts him a mere eighth in the OHL defenceman scoring race. The Toronto native also unsigned by an Islanders organization that used its entire '12 draft on defenders (three of whom played in this season's world junior), which could make it more challenging to earn a contract. Yet he's always been a very guileful player who stepped into the OHL at age 16 and immediately handled a big role with Niagara, where he and current Boston Bruins defenceman Dougie Hamilton were partners for much of their 2½ seasons together.[/sny-box]Graham is currently unsigned by the Islanders, and the team will have until June 1st of this year to figure out what to do with him. The Isles have two other defenders from the 2012 who will come due this year as well in Loic Leduc (3rd round) and Adam Pelech (2nd).
Tags: Prospects, Videos, Kevin Schultz

 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

The Islanders went for some defensive help with their No. 12 overall pick, as they selected D Noah Dobson. 

Dobson played Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, where he totaled 69 points (17 goals, 52 assists) over 67 games. 

At 6-foot-3, 176 pounds, the 18-year-old Dobson was ranked the No. 5 prospect by HockeyProspect.com. He is known to be an above-average skater that is great on both ends of the ice. 

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

With the 11th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Islanders selected RW Oliver Wahlstrom.

Wahlstrom, 18, played for the USA National Development Team for the second straight season last year. He collected 83 points (40 goals, 43 assists) last season. He also joined Team USA in the World Junior Championship, where he tallied seven goals and two assists over seven games. 

Wahlstrom couldn't be anymore excited to get his NHL career going with the Islanders. 

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

Islanders captain John Tavares is expected to decide on whether or not he will enter the interview period on Saturday, per TSN's Darren Dreger. 

The interview period, which allows teams to pitch the free-agent Tavares before contract talks can begin, starts on Sunday. 

Islanders co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have set everything up on a hockey operations standpoint to entice Tavares to re-sign with the team that drafted him first overall back in 2009. They hired Lou Lamoriello as their new team president, and 2018 Stanley-Cup winning coach Barry Trotz joins the Isles as well. 

Tags: John Tavares
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May 19, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) warms up in game five of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
May 19, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) warms up in game five of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Capitals G Philipp Grubauer won't be making the trip to Long Islander with Isles new head coach Barry Trotz next season. 

The Capitals made a trade on Friday, sending Grubauer and D Brooks Orpik to the Avalanche for the 47th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

With the Islanders needing goalie help next season, Grubauer was linked to New York now that Trotz is in place as head coach. The 26-year-old was a backup for the Stanley-Cup winning Caps, and he recorded a 15-10-3 record over 35 games. He also owns a 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage. 

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The Islanders' courtship of John Tavares is now over. It's up to him to decide whether he wants to stay or leave.

While it's possible the current roster will be upgraded by the end of NHL Draft weekend in Dallas, it won't be done for the sake of winning over Tavares.

The inevitable acquisition of a No. 1 goaltender, the possible bold trade to add another star like Erik Karlsson or subtler moves to shore up the defense -- that's simply Lou Lamoriello's job: to make the Islanders better for the near future.

As for Tavares, he's already seen everything he needs to see - commitment, a complete culture change, the extermination of the losing mindset that infested the organization for more than a decade.

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders' John Tavares during warm-ups prior to the start of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)  (Tom Mihalek/AP)
New York Islanders' John Tavares during warm-ups prior to the start of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) (Tom Mihalek/AP)

Not even the Islanders confirming Stanley Cup winning Barry Trotz as the team's new head coach could distract media and fans alike from focusing on impending free agent John Tavares. 

Trotz was announced as new Islanders head coach on Thursday and, if he didn't already know, he quickly found out that all roads lead to Tavares at the moment.

"I think the Tavares situation is in good hands," Trotz said on a conference call on Thursday. "The great thing is that Lou is in constant contact with John and they've had great dialogue. Obviously I've reached out to him and had a great conversation."...

Tags: John Tavares
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May 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Berry Trotz talks with media after game seven of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
May 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Berry Trotz talks with media after game seven of the Eastern Conference Final in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The first box on Lou Lamoriello's massive to-do list has been checked, and in an extraordinary way.

Barry Trotz, who led the Washington Capitals to the Stanley Cup earlier this month, has agreed to become the head coach of the Islanders. According to the game's top insiders like Elliotte Friedman and Darren Dreger, the deal is for five years at around the $4 million-plus annually it was expected would be the minimum Trotz would require.

Adults -- experienced, accomplished, highly-qualified adults -- are in charge of the New York Islanders.

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

The Islanders have added another eight games to be played at Nassau Coliseum, bringing their total 2018-19 games at the venue to 20. The other 21 home games will be at the Barclay's Center.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the addition was due to 'high demand' for the initial 12 games. The Islanders will move into a new stadium at Belmont Park, likely during the 2021-22 season. 

"Until the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art arena at Belmont Park, the Islanders will reunite with their fans at Nassau Coliseum and build momentum for a long-awaited homecoming," Cuomo said in a statement.

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Feb 15, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Feb 15, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Islanders have named Barry Trotz their head coach, the team announced on Thursday. 

"Barry brings to the New York Islanders franchise a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience and success," Islanders President and GM Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "He is and has been one of the top coaches in the National Hockey League. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him."

Trotz resigned from the Capitals on Monday, and the Islanders had been in contact, with Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello eager to fill their vacant head coach position in the near-term...

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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) controls the puck during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) controls the puck during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

It may have been anticipated, but Islanders C Mathew Barzal was announced the 2018 Calder Trophy winner as the NHL's top rookie last season. 

Barzal blew out the competition for the award, which was announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Wednesday night. He received 160 first-place votes with the Canucks' Brock Boeser the closest in that category with two votes. 

The reason Barzal was the favorite for the Calder Trophy was due to his production in his rookie season. He totaled 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) over a full 82-game season. 

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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General view of Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
General view of Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The Islanders' 2018-19 home opener is all set.

New York will host the Predators on Oct. 6 at Barclays Center. 

The Islanders announced their preseason schedule last week, which you can view HERE.

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Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mathew Barzal (13) Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Islanders electric rookie C Mathew Barzal has been the favorite to win the Calder Trophy, and it may finally become a reality on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

The 21-year-old is among three finalsts for the award that includes Canucks RW Brock Boeser and Coyotes C Clayton Keller. Barzal, though, blew away both candidates in scoring this season with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) over a full 82-game season. 

If Barzal wins the award, he will be the fifth Islander to do so. Denis Potvin, Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, and Bryan Berard held the Calder Trophy at the end of their rookie seasons. 

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Two months ago, did you envision reading this sentence on June 19?

New Islanders Boss of Hockey Lou Lamoriello is speaking with Stanley Cup-winning head coach Barry Trotz today about becoming the Islanders' next coach.

Feels good to be back in the major leagues, right?

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Feb 15, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Feb 15, 2018; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Islanders need a new head coach, and Barry Trotz -- who just led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup -- has resigned. 

"Barry Trotz informed the organization today of his decision to resign as head coach of the Washington Capitals," the team said in a statement. "We are obviously disappointed by Barry's decision, but would like to thank Barry for all his efforts the past four years and for helping bring the Stanley Cup to Washington. Barry is a man of high character and integrity and we are grateful for his leadership and for all that he has done for our franchise." 

The Capitals tried to work out a new extension with Trotz, whose automatic two-year extension for winning the Cup was below market value, explained Elliotte Friedman of TSN. Trotz's extension would have been worth $1.8 million per season, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN

 

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

There has been some cautious rejoicing in Islanders Country over the last 24 hours, in the wake of reports about John Tavares from the very reliable Darren Dreger and Pierre Lebrun, and why not?

Prior to Lou Lamoriello mercifully ridding the Islanders organization of the dark clouds brought by the Garth Snow administration, there was little chance Tavares was staying with the Islanders. Now, there is hope.

NEWS

Dreger and Lebrun have reported that Tavares and agent Pat Brisson have been focused entirely on discussions with the Islanders, and there is a possibility the franchise player could re-sign with the club before the listening period with other teams begins in the last week of June...

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal skates the puck by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal skates the puck by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin during the first period at Barclays Center. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Islanders open the preseason at the Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 16 when they play the Philadelphia Flyers at 1 p.m.

New York will have four home preseason games -- two at Barclays Center (Sept. 18 vs. Philadelphia, Sept. 20 vs. New Jersey Devils) and one at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut (Sept. 22 vs. New York Rangers).

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New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)
New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya/AP)

John Tavares is focusing on negotiating a contract extension with the Islanders and has been in daily contact for the last two weeks, according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Tavares is set to become a free agent on July 1.

The news, if true, would be a monumental step in the right direction for Lou Lamoriello, the team's new President of Hockey Operations. Before his hiring, Tavares' future with the team seemed ominous...

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

In anticipation of the arrival of a new Islanders head coach, the organization has started parting ways with coaches from the Doug Weight regime.

Point Blank has learned that among those let go was Greg Cronin, who served as an associate coach under Weight, as an assistant under Jack Capuano, and as head coach in Bridgeport (2003-2005). Cronin, who was a close ally of ousted GM Garth Snow, has been around the Islanders on and off since 1998.

"As everyone expected, it's a blood-letting," said a source close to the team. "The only small surprise is that it's already happening...before the new head coach comes in."

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 (Christopher Katsarov)
(Christopher Katsarov)

While Lou Lamoriello continues to shape the Islanders' hockey operations, adding the highly-respected Steve Pellegrini on Tuesday as another assistant GM, word around team headquarters is that the incumbent members of the scouting staff will remain in place for the NHL Draft next weekend in Dallas.

This is as it should be. After all, they have been scouting the hockey world for the last year. To dismiss their reports and opinions would be foolish. The scouts at the table next Friday and Saturday will learn more about their futures with the Islanders by the end of June, if not by the end of draft weekend.

But this being our Islanders with their dysfunctional history, there was actually one draft where the scene at the draft table was anything but normal.

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

The Islanders have added another face to their revitalized front office as Steve Pellegrini was named assistant GM, the team announced Tuesday. 

Islanders president and GM Lou Lamoriello reunites with Pellegrini, who has been working for the Devils as their vice president of hockey operations since 2006. He will work alongside Lamoriello's son, Chris, who holds the same role in the organization.

"Steve brings over 20 years of knowledge and experience to our hockey operations," Lamoriello said. 

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Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Lou Lamoriello is moving quickly in his search for the next Islanders head coach. According to a source, the new boss wants to have a head coach in place by the middle of next week - prior to the NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22 and 23.

Although Lamoriello is not operating under a hard deadline, his reasoning is obvious:

Tags: John Tavares, Chris Botta
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Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Stewart)
Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Stewart)

Islanders RW Jordan Eberle couldn't help himself. He wanted to continue playing with his linemates. 

Eberle traveled to Denmark to join Team Canada in the IIHF World Championship, and playing on the same line with Islanders LW Anthony Beauvillier and C Mathew Barzal again was the main reason why. Eberle had his best season in three years with that line, posting 59 points (25 goals, 34 assists) over 81 games. 

"Ebs went all the way to Europe just to play with us two goofs again," Beauvillier told NHL.com's Cory Wright. "We were kidding around, but he's probably a little sick of us now."

Tags: Anthony Beauvillier, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey, Scott Thompson
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Oct 2, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild assistant coach Scott Stevens during a preseason hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Oct 2, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild assistant coach Scott Stevens during a preseason hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Hurricanes 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Scott Stevens is a leading candidate to become an important figure in the revitalization of the Islanders under Lou Lamoriello, a source with knowledge of the situation has told Islanders Point Blank.

Stevens' projected role is uncertain at the moment.

The Hall of Fame defenseman appears best-suited for the position of associate coach, under an experienced NHL head coach such as Dave Tippett. However, it cannot be ruled out that Stevens will become head coach.

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Islanders make changes 00:00:20
The Islanders fired GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight. Lou Lamoriello will become GM and begin the search for the next head coach.

Lou Lamoriello was in charge of the Islanders for less than a week, and he was already beginning to instill the culture that has made him a legendary figure in the NHL.

According to multiple sources, change is afoot in the Islanders' offices at Northwell Health Ice Center at Eisenhower Park. Lamoriello and whomever ends up in the hockey department, along with a few others, will have the place to themselves. Several of the team's departments -- think along the lines of accounting, marketing, the folks who shoot off the t-shirt guns -- will be relocating elsewhere in Nassau County.

In other words, Garth Snow didn't stand a chance, and Doug Weight - coming off a brutal and at times embarrassing season - was a victim of Snow's malpractice. Lamoriello is performing a complete makeover of the Islanders, and he's going to do it his way.

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The Islanders have fired GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight, the team announced Tuesday.

New president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello announced that Snow and Weight were relieved of their duties, and that he will assume the role as the team's GM. He will also be leading the search to find a new head coach. 

"The New York Islanders would like to thank both Garth and Doug for their dedication to the franchise," Lamoriello said. "Both started their tenures with the franchise as players and grew as tremendous leaders to the positions they held."  

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 (Christopher Katsarov)
(Christopher Katsarov)

The hiring of Lou Lamoriello to run the hockey operations of the Islanders gives the club and its fans legitimate hope that John Tavares will re-sign. Before co-owner Scott Malkin made the smart move to go rogue, tell nary a soul about it, and lure Lamoriello, Tavares was virtually out the door.

But on the other hand, while the euphoria in the wake of hiring the Hall of Fame franchise builder was justifiable, it's a mistake to make any assumptions.

This hopelessly naïve leap some observers have made that Lamoriello committed to the Islanders because he is convinced Tavares is staying? Nonsense.

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Russian athlete Ilya Kovalchuk (71) celebrates with Sergei Andronov (11) after scoring a goal during the second period of the preliminary round of the men's hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum/AP)
Russian athlete Ilya Kovalchuk (71) celebrates with Sergei Andronov (11) after scoring a goal during the second period of the preliminary round of the men's hockey game at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) (Matt Slocum/AP)

While 2018 will be the summer of John Tavares around the NHL, particularly for the Islanders, there's another intriguing name being discussed for the team: Ilya Kovalchuk. 

Kovalchuk had reportedly identified the Islanders as a fit, according to TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger...

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Feb 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Josh Anderson (77) pursue a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 13, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) and Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Josh Anderson (77) pursue a loose puck during the first period at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Islanders President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello has been in "near daily" contact with John Tavares' agent, reports Frank Seravalli of TSN

Tavares, who is set to become a free agent on July 1, seemed to approve of the Islanders' decision to hire Lamoriello last month, according to Andrew Gross of Newsday.

The Hockey Hall-of-Famer recently heaped praise on Tavares, calling him "one of the elite players," but wouldn't elaborate upon his future with the team.

Tags: John Tavares
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Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

The Islanders said they were going to make a change to their hockery operations, and they certainly made a large splash in that area by hiring Hockey Hall of Fame member Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations. 

Well, Lamoriello's championship pedigree joining the Islanders has reportely impressed captain John Tavares, per Newsday's Andrew Gross. He states that what Lamoriello and Tavares want for the Islanders has a "convergence there."

Lamoriello said that he doesn't view the Isles as a rebuiling team, but instead, a few pieces away from being a true contender.

Tags: John Tavares
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Lamoriello hired by Islanders 00:00:42
Sal Licata and Jon Hein discuss the Islanders' decision to hire Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations Tuesday.

Sal Licata and Jon Hein discuss the Islanders' decision to hire Lou Lamoriello as their president of hockey operations Tuesday. 


Lamoriello hired by Islanders 00:00:55
New Islanders president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello discusses his role with the team and what impresses him about John Tavares.

The mission for Lou Lamoriello is simple: Return the Islanders to the Stanley Cup-winning powerhouse they once were.

Fulfilling that objective is going to take some time. But it was the challenge, the inevitable journey that enticed Lamoriello to leave his post with the Maple Leafs as a senior advisor, and join the Islanders as their new president of hockey operations.

"First of all, I was impressed with the conversation I had with [co-owner] Scott Malkin and his vision, his commitment, and his support to the Islanders," Lamoriello said in his first conference call with the media since the hiring. "I also look at it as a challenge to bring the Islanders back to where they were."

 

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Feb 9, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Former New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello speaks during the number retirement ceremony for former New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Feb 9, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Former New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello speaks during the number retirement ceremony for former New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

There could be a time when we look back and wonder why Islanders ownership declined to perform a complete executive search, why they chose not to interview the many promising candidates available to run the club's hockey operations.

But in the end, when your franchise is rotting at its core - so much so that your franchise player is not even engaging in any discussions of substance with you - what's really needed is a master surgeon. In getting Lou Lamoriello, owner Scott Malkin found the perfect person for the job.

With the arrival of Lamoriello as Islanders President of Hockey Operations, the excuse-making is over.

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The Islanders announced Tuesday that former Maple Leafs/Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has indeed joined their staff as president of hockey operations.

It was rumored by The Athletic's Arthur Staple Monday that Lamoriello was set to join the Islanders in some capacity "in a matter of days." Well, it was less than a day since that report came out that New York decided to release the news themselves.

"We are grateful to Larry Tanenbaum and the Toronto Maple Leafs for their courtesy in allowing this move," Malkin said. "We are committed to giving Lou every resource and the full support of the entire organization as we pursue our program to compete at the highest level."

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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)

It appears the Islanders have made a move to clean up their hockey operations after all.

Former Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello is reportedly set to run the Isles' hockey operations "in a matter of days," per The Athletic's Arthur Staple. Lamoriello has been rumored to join the Islanders in some capacity next season. However, that capacity was unknown given Garth Snow's GM and president of hockey operations role. 

With Lamoriello about to join them for real, Snow's position within the organization is currently unknown. But Staple's sources say that Lamoriello will be "fully in charge."

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Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

In the history of the franchise, there have been 36 instances of which that an Islanders' player has received a vote for the Hart Trophy. How many can you name? 

Test your knowledge by playing the quiz below...

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

The Islanders have reportedly begun discussion with former Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello on a position within their organization, per SportsNet's John Shannon.

The Leafs officially promoted Kyle Dubas to GM over the weekend, and according to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, Lamoriello "has no intention of staying on to perform" his advisory role he is supposed to transition to with Toronto. 

Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said that all aspects of the team's hockey operations was to be evaluated, and adding someone to their front office was in the cards.

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorts added that every professional sports league had been involved, with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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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)

Islanders co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin said they will "be evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations" last month, and since that brief statement that didn't involve press questions, no change has yet to be made. 

Garth Snow still sits in his chair with his president and general manager titles on his desk, but that could very well change if the Islanders decide to pursue Lou Lamoriello, who isn't returning as the Maple Leafs' GM next season

It was part of a contract with the Leafs that had Lamoriello in the GM role for three seasons before transitioning over to an advisory role. However, according to The Athletic's Arthur Staple, Lamoriello "has no intention of staying on to perform" in that role, per his sources. 

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Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Mar 3, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) moves the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) during the first period at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Rookie year is in the books for Islanders C Mathew Barzal, and it was certainly a success. Barzal led all rookies in points (85) last season, making him the frontrunner for the Calder Trophy. 

Unfortunately, though, the Islanders didn't make the playoffs, which means Barzal shipped back to his home of Coquitlam, British Columbia to get his offseason training regimen under way. HIs training, at first, is more of a recovery as he and Sportcore Performance owner Rob Williams focus on making sure every little muscle is in tact before starting the real workouts. 

"Nothing too heavy, a lot of core work," Barzal told New York Hockey Journal's Leo Scaglione Jr. "I'm making sure everything is moving right and working well. Your groins and little muscles take a beating all year, so I strengthen my legs again and get them back to feeling good and strong."

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

Former Islanders GM Bill Torrey passed away at his home in Florida on Wednesday night at the age of 83.

Torrey was the GM of the Islanders from 1972 to 1992, overseeing their four straight Stanley Cup championships, and was inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995,

"Bill was the first employee, general manager and architect of one of the greatest dynasties in NHL history - the New York Islanders, winners of four straight Stanley Cups," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a press release.

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Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) skates with the puck during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)
Apr 7, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) skates with the puck during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports (Raj Mehta)

Construction on the new Islanders arena at Belmont Park is still slated to begin as early as next spring, according to a timeline presented at a board meeting on Monday.

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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)

Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan released a statement Monday saying Lou Lamoriello will not return as GM for next season. 

With Islanders co-owners John Ledecky and Scott Malkin looking to hire a top hockey executive to their front office, Lamoriello has been among the possible candidates. 

However, Shanahan pointed out in his press release that it was always the plan to have Lamoriello on as GM for three seasons before converting to Senior Advisor for the next four years. 

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Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)
Mar 11, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports (Sergei Belski)

Anders Lee will represent Team USA at the 2018 Men's World Championship. The tournament will be held in Denmark from May 4-20.

Lee set career-highs in points (62), goals (40) and assists (22) in 2017/18 for the Islanders. 

USA is in Group B with Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Korea, Latvia and Norway. Their first game is against Canada on May 4 at 10:15 a.m.

Lee represented the USA as they the bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship. Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is the team captain. 

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 (Charles LeClaire)
(Charles LeClaire)

It remains difficult to comprehend the process and timing of the so-called evaluation period that Islanders ownership claims to be in, and how they failed to reach any conclusions by the end of two sad seasons.

The only thing for certain is that it has now been more than two weeks since Jon Ledecky's public promise of action to the club's fans.

"The season has just ended," Ledecky said in reading a prepared statement on April 9, although the season had really ended months earlier. "As an organization, we will be evaluating all aspects of our hockey operations - and then we will make decisions based on what is best for the future of our club. I am not here today to talk specifically about any individuals - including the players, coaches and the general manager. We believe it is essential to our success to have a thoughtful evaluation process, to look at the past, and more importantly, to assess the future of our team on and off the ice."

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New York Islanders center Matthew Barzal shoots the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Islanders center Matthew Barzal shoots the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. (Marc DesRosiers/USA TODAY Sports)

Islanders forward Mathew Barzal is among three finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy that honors the NHL's top rookie.

The 20-year-old Barzal is considered the favorite for the award after scoring 22 goals, 63 assists and 85 points in 82 games for New York this season.

Tags: Mathew Barzal
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General view of the National Anthem as a flag is unfurled before the game between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)
General view of the National Anthem as a flag is unfurled before the game between the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils at Barclays Center. (Anthony Gruppuso)

Co-owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are in the process of identifying a top executive to join the Islanders' hockey operations department, two NHL sources confirmed on Tuesday to SNY's Point Blank.

Since current Islanders President/GM/Alternate Governor Garth Snow has not been relieved of his duties more than a week since the end of another disastrous season, it is believed that the new hire would become Islanders general manager while Snow would remain President (or given a new title).

The process includes asking other NHL teams for permission to speak to some of their executives. Among those expected to be on Malkin and Ledecky's list of highly-regarded hockey people to interview are Julian BriseBois (Lightning), Paul Fenton (Predators), and Tom Fitzgerald (Devils), who are assistant general managers with their respective clubs.

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Nov 18, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates after New York Islanders left wing Anders Ladd (27) scored a goal in the first period in the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Nov 18, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) celebrates after New York Islanders left wing Anders Ladd (27) scored a goal in the first period in the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

Islanders RW Josh Bailey has been added to Team Canada's roster for the IIHF World Championship in Denmark, marking World Championship of his career.

Bailey is replacing Blues rookie D Vince Dunn, who is suffering from an upper-body injury.

The 28-year-old forward had a career year with the Isles this season, posting a career-high 71 points on 18 goals and 53 assists over 76 games.

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 (Kelvin Kuo)
(Kelvin Kuo)

Former Islanders second-round pick G Mikko Koskinen may be seeing a reunion with his only NHL team as he is reportedly leaving his KHL club SKA, per Sport-Express' Igor Eronko.

Though multiple sources have said Koskinen is expected to sign somewhere in the NHL next season, The Athletic's Arthur Staple says the Islanders haven't spoken on him yet. Eronko believes Koskinen signing with the Isles isn't a likely scenario.

After the team drafted him back in 2009, Koskinen played just four games with the Islanders during the 2010-11 season. But that was all the action he saw with the NHL club before shipping off to Finland to play in the SM-liga, or Finnish pro league.

Tags: Christopher Gibson, Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss
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Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 17, 2017; Uniondale, NY, USA; General view of the ice before a game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers at NYCB Live at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Islanders GM Garth Snow expressed optimism on Monday in the future of the Islanders despite the team missing the playoffs for the last two seasons.

Snow, who along with head coach Doug Weight has expressed the belief that he'll be back next season, said the Islanders are close to a championship. And noted how far the team has come since he took over.

"For me, 2006, when I took over this position, it was a situation where it was an all-out rebuild where we had to bring in talent through the draft," Snow told reporters. "Now we're in a situation where we feel we can compete for a Stanley Cup."

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