Posted on: August 2, 2011 1:09 pm

Say It Ain't So

The people have spoken. Well, 100,000 of the almost 900,000 people who live in Nassau County have spoken. With a 56% nay vote on the referendum to borrow money for a new arena, the New York Islanders look to be as good as gone. The prospect of this team, with all of it's rich history and tradition, moving away from New York is devastating for me. The idea of not seeing the retired numbers of Potvin, Smith, Nystrom, Bossy, Trottier and Gilles hanging from the rafters as well as all the banners that they won is sickening. The idea that one of the most storied rivalries in the Islanders-Rangers may be gone is hard to fathom.

The building itself is old and delapidated and doesn't have the same charm that Shea Stadium did (I'm pretty sure most Islander fans wouldn't say, "It may be a dump, but it's our dump"). The fact that the NHL hasn't stepped in and required Nassau County (the owners of the arena) to make improvements is laughable. The main reason a new arena, in one from or another, is not being build is because of the bureaucrats in Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead. I understand that the residents of the area are already taxed to the hilt and don't want to pay for it, but there has to be a middle ground that the politicians and Charles Wang can reach to get something done.

Speaking of Charles Wang he claims to have lost $250 million since purchasing the team 11 years ago. Some of it has been from his own stupidity (see contracts for Alexei Yashin and Rick DiPietro) and some of it went to trying to develop the Lighthouse Project only to fail because of the political atmosphere on Long Island. However, his heart is in the right place. He loves Long Island and wants to keep the team there. It's time for him to consider the option of privately building a new arena on the 63 acres on which the present arena is presently standing.

How is it that the Devils can get a brand new arena in Newark and the Nets are getting a brand new arena in Brooklyn? Who paid for those? How much of it was public and how much of it was private?

This team is on the brink of something great. The core of young players are primed to make this team a perennial winner. Without a new arena it's all for nothing.

Posted on: December 27, 2010 4:34 pm

Gary Betman and the NHL are morons.

It's official. The powers that run the NHL, Gary Bettman & Co. have no clue what they are doing. Last night my beloved New York Islanders were forced to play a home game while the winds and snow howled outside. Newsday reported on its website that the NHL turned down the requests of the Islanders and Nassau County to postpone the game. What were they thinking? That their wouldn't be a better day to reschedule a game? That this one game was going to have incredible playoff implications? The NHL would rather put the fans' lives in danger by making them drive on the Meadowbrook parkway in a freakin' blizzard. Tthe paid attendance for last night's game was a paltry 3,136 and most of them were Canadiens fans.

The NFL on the other hand didn't need a slide rule to postpone the Sunday night matchup of the Eagles and Vikings in Philadelphia. That game was being played outdoors, but that's besides the point. The NFL knew that not too many fans would make the trek out to Lincoln Financial Field and they like to have their Stadiums full for primetime games.

I realize that the Islanders are considered a joke of a franchise - horrible on the ice, an arena that's falling apart and no end in sight. But for the NHL to actually think that playing last night was a good idea is ridiculous. The Lighthouse Project? That's just a dream. A new arena of any kind? Only if it's in Kansas City.
Category: NHL
Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:33 pm

The Joke of NY Hockey

From top to bottom, my favorite hockey team is an absolute joke. The New York Islanders, once a proud franchise that posted 4 consecutive Stanley Cup Championships in the 80s have become a complete laughing stock.

We have all read the well-documented missteps of the team's owner, Charles Wang. The guy has completely lost focus on the team in favor of the Lighthouse Project - an amazing idea that will never come to fruition.

For Garth Snow to go from the crease, to retirement and then directly to the front office as the team's GM is laughable. Although I like where the team is headed with this youth movement, there are no legitiment scorers on this team. And the one's they have (Tavares) need a lot of help.

Now we come to the most recent embarrassment. The team's TV play-by-play man is Howie Rose. A man who will forever be linked to the 1994 NY Rangers Stanley Cup. He made the infamous call when the Rangers advanced to the Cup Finals with ".....Matteau, Matteau, Matteau!!! The Rangers have one hill to climb! And it's Mount Vancouver!" when Stephane Matteau scored the game winner against the Devils in overtime. Three nights ago during a TV timeout, Mr Rose thought they had gone to commercial break when he let loose with some very stupid comments about the team in reference to their current 13-game winless streak. Comments like" it spring training yet?" or "...let me know how this game ends....not that I really care." are not going to endear him to Islander fans. Then to come on in between periods with some lame apology and blaming it on a techinical problem is complete BS. Howie just go away.

I've been saying for many years, that I wish they'd bring back Jiggs McDonald. The guy has an amazing voice and does fluid play-by-play. I believe Rose only calls games for the Isles in the hopes of "furthering his career". NY Hockey fans know that he's truly a Rangers fan at heart. He should be removed from the broadcast booth and replaced with someone who'd have pride in the job.

It's just another reason why my beloved Isles are the Joke of NY Hockey.
Category: NHL
Posted on: April 11, 2010 11:04 pm

Hockey in New York

The NHL season is over in New York (good luck to the New Jersey Devils in the playoffs - tough break getting the Flyers in the first round). With an excruciating loss in the shoot out today, the Rangers are going to be booking tee times next week with my beloved Islanders. Of course my opinion is biased, but I think the future looks brighter on Long Island than it does in Manhattan.

To start off with, both teams scored the same amount of goals this season - 222. I believe it is a major problem when one player accounts for almost 19% of the teams total amount of goals scored. Marian Gaborik scored 42 goals this year totalling 86 points. There were 2 players who scored 20 and one that scored 19. On the contrary the Islanders spread the scoring around with a very young team. Matt Moulson had a break out year with 30 goals and rookie phenom John Tavares had 24 goals and 30 assists (one point shy for leading rookie point scoring this season). Players like Blake Comeau (17 goals), Josh Bailey (16) and the Islanders next Captain Kyle Okposo (19) are the core for the next 10 years.

The obvious difference between the wins and losses of these 2 teams starts and ends with the goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist is an exceptional goalie. He is the only reason the Rangers had even the smallest of chances of getting into, as Steven Somers from WFAN in New York would say, serious spring hockey. The Islanders are going nowhere fast when it comes to the crease. Rick DiPietro is as good as anyone...when he's healthy. The problem is, he's never healthy. Friends of mine for years have been making fun of the 15-year contract the Islanders gave him. He's turing into the next Dan Cloutier. The Rangers definitely have a leg up (or two or three or four) in the goaltending department. If I could find a team that would take him, I'd trade DiPietro for a bag of pucks.

Defensively, it's a wash. I'd go to war with the group of Streit, Meyer, MacDonald and Gervais against Staal, Callahan and Del Zoto. Signing Wade Redden, who's been an absolute bust and booed out of MSG, was a terrible deal for the Rangers.

Speaking of signings, let's talk about the general managers. Glen Sather has been in charge for 10 years now and really has nothing to show for it. Yes he has gone out on July 1, the first date to sign free agents and made some big splashes, but he's only gotten the team to the second round of the playoffs. The big acquisitions of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez 3 years ago hasn't worked out. Gomez only lasted 2 years and now plays with Montreal. Drury is the team captain, but he's production has been in a steady decline over the past three years and he was a minus 10 this year - not great stats for the team leader. On the flip side, Garth Snow, has done a decent job making the team younger. Stockpiling draft picks to bring in hungry young players.

When you take into account that the Islanders had an NHL-low 61 points last year, this season was a dramatic improvement. Seventy-nine points, 34 wins and a lot of hope for the future with the current players. The biggest problem is that just when the Islanders will start to become relevant again, they won't be on Long Island anymore. They may not even be in New York anymore. But it won't matter to me. No matter where they go, I'll still root for them.

Category: NHL
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