Tag:New York Islanders
Posted on: August 4, 2011 10:32 am
 

Daily Skate: Marchand talks heat; Queens option

By Brian Stubits

LET'S MAKE A DEAL: Now that everybody is starting to come down from their Stanley Cup highs in Boston, the Bruins and Brad Marchand are getting down to business. The rookie was solid last season but really broke out in the postseason and now he's a restricted free agent, but thus far next to no work has been done on getting him a new contract. But according to ESPN Boston, the sides are beginning to talk and are taking steps toward reaching each other's goal: keeping Marchand in a B's sweater for a lot longer.

ALL HAIL THE QUEENS: When discussing the future of the Islanders, I discussed a lot of future homes for the team if it leaves Nassau County. I neglected to mention the borough of Queens because once upon a time the deal seemed to be in partnership with Jeff Wilpon, the Mets owner who has seen wealth diminish since being caught in the Bernie Madoff scandal. But it's clearly still an option, and a very viable one at that. Whenever/if Charles Wang decides to move on from Nassau, he would be wise to approach Queens about a new home right next to Citi Field and the U.S. Tennis Center. The borough would certainly be receptive (Via Islanders Point Blank).

NUGENT-HOPKINS' DREAM SEASON: Goal No. 1 for the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is to make the Oilers roster. If he does, he would love it if the team would loan him to Canada's National Junior squad around Christmas time. After not making the roster for the national team in 2010, RNH tells the Edmonton Journal that he'd love to get a shot to represent his country.

KRONWALL'S TASK: The Red Wings took to rebuilding their defensive corps this offseason, partly because of retirement. The team lost Brian Rafalski to the world or relaxation and now will have to find a way to offset his loss. That could be the job of Niklas Kronwall to step in and play major minutes. The Detroit Free Press looks at his role in Detroit for next season. All I know is that more minutes means more chances for opponents to be Kronwalled.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:24 am
 

Daily Skate: Latvia picks Nolan; Zherdev to KHL

By Brian Stubits

NOT KEEN ON KEENAN: Last week we told you that former NHL coach Mike Keenan was one of two finalists for head coach of Team Latvia. Turns out he was No. 2. Latvia announced Wednesday that it is hiring another Canadian and former NHL coach, tabbing ex-Sabres and Islanders boss Ted Nolan to lead the team.

NIKKI SKIPS: Earlier this week, colleague Adam Gretz addressed the issue of where would Nikolay Zherdev play next season, speculating it could be Winnipeg or possibly a jump to the KHL. Turns out it's the latter. The former Flyers forward will play next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the KHL, joining Alexei Kovalev on the team.

TOUGH WEEK: It hasn't been a kind few days to the Islanders. The future of the franchise was made cloudy with the resounding no vote on a new arena for the team. So when the team announced very early Wednesday morning they had re-signed forward Jon Sim, it shouldn't be bad, right? Not until the Isles tweet this a short while later: "Jon Sim has not been resigned. A glitch in Bridgeport's email sent a press release from last summer. We apologize for any confusion." Oops.

PERRON STILL OUT: From the department of news you never want to see, Blues forward David Perron isn't going to start training camp with his teammates as he is still dealing with concussion symptoms. He is expected to play at some point next season, Andy Strickland says the two sides just agreed Perron needs more time.

NUMBERS GAME: It's a very awkward situation with the Jets as far as the history of the franchise ... is the team playing under Thrashers history or Jets, who are now the Coyotes? Evander Kane already asked Bobby Hull about wearing his retired No. 9 Jets jersey and Bryan Little has run into the same issue with Dale Hawerchuk's No. 10. But instead of asking to wear it (Hawerchuk said it was no big deal) Little is just going to change numbers himself. (Via Puck Daddy)

BUFFALO ADDS TO STAFF: The Sabres added a coach to Lindy Ruff's bench, announcing the hire of Kevyn Adams as an assistant coach. He joined the staff in 2009 in a player development role.

PITTSBURGH SIGNS TOP PICK: The Penguins took care of some house cleaning by getting their top pick in this year's draft in the fold, signing defenseman Joseph Morrow to a three-year entry-level contract.

Avalanche OF CONFIDENCE: Erik Johnson is expecting a big season in Colorado (Via Denver Post). The defenseman is changing up his workout, trying to prepare for a great year. And he's talking the talk about it too, sending a message to Capitals fans. "It's not going to be a [high] pick [to the Caps in exchange for Semyon Varlamov]. It's going to end up being a great trade for us. People are saying we got the short end of the trade and they're happy because they think we're going to finish at the bottom of the league -- and we're not going to do that this year."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:28 pm
 

Islanders, Blake Comeau avoid arbitration

IslandersBlakeComeauAvoidArbitration

By: Adam Gretz

On the same day Shea Weber and the Nashville Predators went through the arbitration process, another player was able to avoid it. The New York Islanders and forward Blake Comeau came to an agreement on a one-year deal on Tuesday night that is worth $2.5 million according to Newsday's Katie Strang.

Comeau was scheduled for arbitration on Aug. 4, which would have been the final hearing for this offseason. Once Weber's contract situation gets settled, every player that was scheduled for arbitration will be taken care of, with Weber's being the only one to actually go through the hearing.

The 25-year-old winger is coming off what was the best season of his brief career, scoring 24 goals in 77 games. He was one of five Islanders players to hit the 20-goal plateau last season, joining Michael Grabner, Matt Moulson, John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau. Along with that, he was also one of New York's top penalty killing options last season logging just over two minutes of shorthanded ice-time per game, and even managed to add a shorthanded goal.

With Comeau signed the Islanders currently have 23 players under contract for the upcoming season, taking up just over $45.9 million in cap space. They still have two remaining restricted free agents in Josh Bailey and Jesse Joenssu.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

By Brian Stubits

The morning after the Islanders' arena hopes were shot down by the voters of Long Island, life goes on. And it hasn't taken long for the possibilities for the future of the franchise to take shape.

If the team isn't able to secure a home in Uniondale for 2016 and beyond, the team will find a new home and the first place that comes to mind is Brooklyn. I discussed that option a bit yesterday, noting the viability of moving the team just a little ways west.

But that might not be as sure shot as it appeared on first glance. Yes, there will be a fancy new arena that will host the Nets, and yes it will have ice rink capabilities. However, the problem lies in the amount of seats it could fit for hockey. The capacity of the arena for basketball is listed at 18,000, but to make the arena work for hockey, it would have to be cut to 14,000-15,000. That would make it the smallest arena in the NHL, smaller than Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

It would be a very tough sell, but not an impossible one. If it came down to the only viable option to remain in the New York area, you'd have to think Gary Bettman would be able to swallow the pill a little easier. He doesn't want to uproot teams -- see Phoenix -- and especially wouldn't be exicted about taking a team from a market like New York. That's if the Nets and Barclays Center would consent to the Isles sharing the joint.

"We will continue to work closely with the Islanders to explore whatever options still may be available in light of what obviously is not a positive department," Bettman said in a statement to Islanders Point Blank. "Our goal is for the team to remain on Long Island and we still hope that objective can be realized."

On the ownership side, it sure shounds like you can cross Russian tycoon and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov out of the mix. He has made it known that he isn't interested in buying any other sports teams right now. Now that isn't a big hurdle, Wang could hold onto the team himself or find some other owner from the area. In New York, that's not a terribly tough task.

At this point, Wang and the Islanders aren't talking about the future home of the team, just its future on the ice. But behind the scenes, they have to be thinking about their next move. If they are going to stay in the area, which still seems the most likely to happen, they need to start the process now. Arenas don't just go up over night.

As for the land where the arena currently sits? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is moving on to Plan B, asking for proposals for people interested in the land. That doesn't include or exclude the arena sticking around.

"We're looking for a vision on what we have and what will become available in 2015," Mangano was quoted as saying by Newsday.

While it is still way too early to say what will happen to the Islanders and the land, it's certainly cloudier today than it was this time a week ago.

Photo: otrbasketball.com

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:11 am
 

Islanders arena vote fails: What now?

By Brian Stubits

'Tis a sad, sad day not only on Long Island, but in the NHL. With the vote on a new arena for the Islanders being shot down by the people of Nassau County, it seems to be a lock that the team will be looking for greener pastures after 2015 when the lease with Nassau Coliseum runs out.

"I have to tell you I'm disappointed and to put it bluntly, I'm heartbroken," owner Charles Wang said after the votes came in.

We aren't here to rub salt in the wound for the Islanders fans. Losing a franchise is in no way a fun experience and no reason to delight. It can feel like losing a family pet to the die-hard fans. We aren't at that stage yet, and it's still very possible the Isles won't venture too far. The possibilities of playing somewhere else on Long Island certainly exist, let alone staying in Nassau County. But it's also a possibility they desert the Island.

If the team were to move, the first question that would have to be answered is who, exactly, would own the team? Once upon a time, Wang admitted regret to buying the franchise, saying he wouldn't do it again. This could be his chance to sell if he so chooses.

At this point, though, Wang is staying mum about the future of the team, instead saying he wants to focus on next season. That doesn't do much to calm the worries of fearful fans.

Whether he sells or not, though, the team almost certainly won't be playing in Nassau Coliseum after 2015. That much Wang has made pretty clear. But who knows? At this point, there's a long way to go. His tough-line stance certainly could have been a ploy to increase the sense of urgency on the matter. I doubt it, but then again I doubt that the Islanders are content to sit around for four more years, listening to relocation chatter, either.

If they do move -- still a pretty big if -- here's a look at the potential homes.

Brooklyn: Yes, the team might not actually leave the tri-state area. Early this year, it was reported that Nelson Peltz had interest in buying the team and moving it to Brooklyn, to share the not-yet open arena that will serve as the new home of the NBA's Nets. Whether or not Wang sells the team to Peltz (how about Nets owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov?) or keeps it for himself, the borough could be a potential landing spot that keeps everything mostly in tact. It becomes a little bit further of a commute for the majority of the fan base that lives on Long Island, but it beats seeing the team move more than an hour away. Aside from a passing vote tonight or another county on Long Island stepping up to build an arena, this would be the next best solution.

Quebec City: Ever since losing the Nordiques to Colorado in 1996, the fans in Quebec have been dying to see the NHL return, much the same as the fans in Winnipeg. Just check out the wonderful simplicity of makeit8.ca. Of the out-of-state options, Quebec seems to be in the best shape considering it has a potential owner in Pierre Karl Peladeau, the chairman of media giant Quebecor. The kicker is that, while Quebec City doesn't have an arena right now to hot a team, it plans to by2015, which would work perfectly with a potential Islanders move.

Kansas City: Sure, there is an arena available (the still new Sprint Center doesn't have a primary tenant), but who would own the team if Wang looks to sell? That's the golden question. The fear is growing in Kansas City that it built a new arena on the belief it could land either an NHL or NBA franchise but won't get either. It could soon become a reality.

Houston: There isn't tremendous appeal to Houston other than it being a massive market. But it's a city that continues to get mentioned on the back end of the lists for relocation, mainly because of the market size and that it has an arena. But the hurdles (non-traditional hockey market, no prospective owner) are tough to clear under the assumption that the team would be sold.

Seattle: It doesn't have a clear owner (although a group expressed interest to the league) and it doesn't have a suitable arena. After watching the NBA's SuperSonics fly the coop because of a refusal to publicly build an arena, you wouldn't think there would enough support before a team is even in town to build a new arena. At this moment in time, a very long shot.

Milwaukee: I'll just continue to ask why this city never gets more consideration. It's a good state for hockey and a team could share the Bradley Center with the NBA's Bucks. The Kohl family could probably afford it no problem.

Hamilton: We have to throw it on the list because, quite frankly, the number of markets is drying up fast for the NHL to move in to. You have to wonder if Gary Bettman and the Maple Leafs would be OK with another team in southern Ontario when faced with a possible alternative of contraction. No commissioner wants to have that on their resume. But we know there is an owner who would want it (Jim Balsillie) and who has shown a willingness to build a new arena.

Long Island: Pick the county, any county. The leg work would have to begin now, but it would in the end be great to see the team stay (mostly) put.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 1, 2011 4:37 pm
 

Nabokov says he will report to Islanders camp

By Brian Stubits

While the attention of Islanders fans is on a certain referendum vote today (or maybe not, considering the "abysmal" turnout), some other news came down surrounding the franchise on the ice. Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will join the Isles for training camp.

He told Newsday writer Katie Strang that he plans on reporting to the team, something he didn't do after the team claimed him off of waivers in January.

"I want to set the record straight," Nabokov told Newsday. "A lot of people speculated that I didn't want to go to the organization, but that's totally not true.

"What made me make that decision is that I hadn't skated for a month-and-a-half when they claimed me. They were out of the playoffs, but battling to get in and, as a goalie, I know the goalie position is important when fighting for position. I didn't feel that I could help them to get to the playoffs. I needed three to four weeks to get ready and the season would've been over."

Well, that sort of clears that mess up, but it's safe to say it could have been handled a little better. Surely he must see why people assumed he was skipping out on the Islanders because they are the Islanders, and I'm not sure people won't continue to believe that.

Nabokov, who thought he was headed for Detroit after leaving the KHL, said the Red Wings were willing to wait for him considering they were preparing for the playoffs.

Either way, Nabokov says he will be around to compete for the job on Long Island. He will battle with Rick DiPietro and Al Montoya for the starting position. But considering DiPietro's history of injuries, the third goalie in the equation figures to be an important part.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Devils will buyout Trent Hunter, Colin White

HunterBy: Adam Gretz

It appears as if Trent Hunter's stay with the New Jersey Devils will be a short one.

Less than a week after he was acquired in a trade with the New York Islanders in exchange for Brian Rolston, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports that Hunter has been placed on waivers with the intention of being bought out if he clears. Along with Hunter, the Devils also waived long-time defenseman Colin White with the intention of buying him out as well.

By finding a taker for Rolston's contract -- a task that seemed like it would have been impossible -- and swapping him for Hunter the Devils saved a little over $3 million against the salary cap for this season. Hunter is under contract through the end of next season and carried a cap hit of $2 million, while Gulliti reports the buyout will be for $2.6 million and spread over four years (which means it will count about $666,667 per season against the cap). When combined with White's buyout ($1 million per season) the Devils will have saved an additional $3 million in cap space for this season.

When the Rolston trade was finalized last week it was pretty obvious it was a cap-related move for both teams (the Islanders needed to add salary to reach the floor, the Devils needed to cut salary) and was quickly followed by a one-year contract for restricted free agent -- and arbitration eligible -- left winger Zach Parise.

White, 33, was signed through next season and had spent his entire career with the Devils, scoring 20 goals in 743 career games while also earning two Stanley Cup rings. He averaged over 18 minutes of ice-time per game last season (third among Devils defensemen, trailing only Henrik Tallinder and Andy Greene) in 69 games.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 1, 2011 8:43 am
 

Daily Skate: Islanders big day

By: Adam Gretz

IT'S VOTE DAY FOR THE Islanders It's August 1 and that means it's a huge day for the future of the New York Islanders franchise. Today is the day Nassau County residents will vote on whether or not to pass a referendum that would fund a new arena for the storied franchise. Their two closest rivals, the Rangers and Devils, have already spoken out in favor of the deal, and the Islanders PR blitz has been on for quite a while. Chris Botta at Islanders Point Blank reviews the all of the pluses and minuses of everything that's gone on, and offers a prediction on what will happen when the polls close at 9 PM.

TAMPA BAY'S 'BE THE TICKET' PROMOTION The Tampa Bay Lightning are running a Facebook promotion that will give their fans an opportunity to have their face on a ticket stub for a game during the 2010-11 season. The folks at Raw Charge have some thoughts on the promotion, and if you're a Lightning fan that wants to have the opportunity to have your mug on a ticket stub, here's where to go.

MORE ON WEBER'S ARBITRATION So far this summer every potential arbitration case has been avoided due to the team and player coming to an agreement. In the case of Shea Weber, that doesn't appear as if it's going to happen, so both sides are preparing for Tuesday's hearing. Is Weber, the Predators' All-Star level defenseman, only looking for a one-year deal instead of two? That's what Dirk Hoag at On The Forecheck looks at after a since-deleted Tweet from TSN's Ryan Rishaug suggested Weber was only looking for a one-year deal.

WINNIPEG: THE HOCKEY SONG And now for something completely random, and perhaps even a little ridiciulous, here's a gentlemen that goes by the name of Sugar Free Leonard welcoming the return of the Winnipeg Jets through song. We give him credit for putting himself out there. Video via Puck Daddy:


For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @agretz on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com