Tag:New York Islanders
Posted on: July 29, 2011 9:01 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 9:10 pm
 

Devils also support Islanders arena vote

By: Adam Gretz

On Thursday the New York Rangers organization urged their fans to support the New York Islanders and vote yes to the Nassau County referendum on Monday that would help finance a new arena for their long-time rivals.

The third team that occupies the New York/New Jersey market -- the Devils -- released a similar statement on Friday and urged Nassau County residents to approve the referendum.

The statement, which is posted below, was made by general manager Lou Lamoriello and also appeared on the Devils website:
"The New York Islanders are a proud organization with a championship history. Monday’s referendum vote on a new Nassau Coliseum is vital to ensuring that tradition lives on.

Since opening Prudential Center in 2007, we have seen first-hand the tremendous impact that a new facility can have for our fans and the surrounding community. A world-class facility is fundamental to success in the modern sports landscape, and a necessity for both the fans and the players.

Owner Charles Wang and General Manager Garth Snow have assembled a core of talented young players whose future depends on a new home on Long Island. We look forward to continuing our Atlantic Division rivalry for years to come.

The Devils support the Islanders in their quest for a new arena, and urge Nassau County residents to vote yes this Monday."
Along with what I can only imagine is a large portion of their own fan base the Islanders have the support of their two closest NHL neighbors, which is certainly good news. The isssue remains whether or not they have the support of the Nassau County voters that aren't hockey fans ... or at least the support of enough to approve the referendum.

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

Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:27 am
 

Daily Skate: Modano sounds done; new cities?

By Brian Stubits

MODANO DONE? There is still no word from Mike Modano on if he has played his final game in the NHL, but the smart bet is that he has. In an interview with a Dallas radio station, he largely affirmed that believe, but wouldn't go as far as to confirm it. "I don't know. I think that was the swan song," Modano said. So are you officially retiring? "Not yet," Defending Big D has all the details on the radio interview and says that it's hard to come away from it believing anything but Modano's career is finished.

LOCATIONS FOR RELOCATION: The Atlanta Thrashers just became the Winnipeg Jets. Soon the New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes could be on the move as well, if things don't go their ways. There really are no Plan Bs in either city, so it's a boom or bust scenario. But Kevin McGran at the Toronto Star points out that serious problem in the relocation aspect ... relocate where? Quebec City is the first city on the list, but it doesn't have an arena. At least it does have potential owners who could build an arena by 2015 (when the Isles lease runs out). But others? Kansas City has an arena with no prospective owner. Same goes for Houston. Seattle doesn't have a suitable arena and no apparent serious owners. I'm still wondering why Milwaukee is never in this conversation. Perhaps it would be time to consider Hamilton, Ontario.

LOONEY TIMES: Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty made a brief return to professional sports on Thursday, joining the Dodgers' Class A affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons, as a player for a day (Detroit Free Press). Unfortunately, McCarty didn't actually play in the game, he just signed autographs throughout as part of a Red Wings legends series. What I want to know is if he would have jumped in the fray if there had been a basebrawl. That would have been a time to have McCarty on your side, now wouldn't it?

KICKIN' KICKS: Paul Bissonnette is, thanks to Twitter, one of hockey's best-known personalities at this point. The Coyotes fourth-liner just got some awesome new shoes that seem to fit his personality ... and his team. The Biz tweeted out a picture of his custom Coyotes high tops that, as you might have guessed, are red. Take a look. I think he should have custom-made skates to match.

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

Posted on: July 28, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 6:42 pm
 

Rangers urge fans to support Islanders arena vote

IslandersArenaVote

By: Adam Gretz

The future of the New York Islanders could be on the line on Monday, as a referendum to fund a new arena to replace the archaic Nassau Coliseum will be put to the vote. The Islanders PR blitz has been in full force for a while now -- as highlighted here on Tuesday -- and now their biggest rival, the New York Rangers, is joining the campaign and urging their fans to help out.

The Rangers released a statement on Thursday stating their support for the Aug. 1 referendum, while also urging their fans to vote yes to help keep the 40-year-old rivalry going strong.

Said Rangers general manager Glen Sather in the statement: "The rivalry that has existed between the Rangers and Islanders for almost 40 years is one of the best in hockey and in all of sports. The intense passion and emotion involved in these games is something we cherish and would like to see continue for generations to come. We urge Rangers fans, Islanders fans and all hockey fans in Nassau County to vote yes for the referendum on Monday, August 1"

It's easy to see why the Rangers would support the vote, as the Islanders are their biggest natural rival, and it's not like they're going to put out a statement that is anything but supportive.

While this situation doesn't happen all that often in sports, it's not uncommon for rival teams and fans to show support for one another when the future of one of the franchises is in question. I remember back in 1995, for example, when the Browns were on the verge of being yanked out of Cleveland and Steelers fans, their biggest and fiercest rival, staged a Save The Browns rally before their last regular season meeting in Pittsburgh. Kind of a sports version of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:33 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 11:26 pm
 

Islanders acquire Brian Rolston

RolstonBy: Adam Gretz

It didn't matter how many of their own players they re-signed, at some point the New York Islanders were going to have to bring in a player from outside the organization in an effort to reach the salary cap floor. And that's exactly what they did on Thursday when it was announced that they had acquired Brian Rolston from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Trent Hunter, a swap that gets the Islanders $3 million closer to the $48.3 million floor.

Following the trade the Islanders now have to spend at least $5.9 million and still have a number of restricted free agents to sign, including Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey. Rolston also becomes the highest paid player on the team.

Rolston, 38, has one year remaining on a contract that pays him an average salary of just over $5 million per season. In 65 games this past season he scored 14 goals to go with 20 assists, while he hasn't recorded more than 37 points in a single season since signing a four-year, $20 million deal with the Devils prior to the 2008-09 season. It was a contract that had become somewhat of an albatross for the Devils, and finding a taker for it helps clear additional cap space to finally reach a deal with restricted free agent Zach Parise.

Hunter has two years remaining on his contract and carries a cap hit of $2 million per season. He's appeared in just 133 games over the past three seasons, scoring 26 goals over that period, including one goal in just 17 games last season.

In the end, the focal point of this deal for both clubs is money. The Devils needed to shed some salary, the Islanders needed to take on some, and with a picked over crop of free agents, a trade like this seemed like it was inevitable at some point.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: July 26, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 1:52 pm
 

What's at stake: Islanders arena vote on Aug. 1

By Brian Stubits

Not since the 1980s have the Islanders seen a day as important as Monday. That's when the people of Long Island will take to the polls to address the issue of a new arena for the Isles.

Owner Charles Wang has been trying for a long time to secure a new place for his team to play, but this is it. He has said this is his final effort, and if the answer is no the team will pack up and move out. Nassau Coliseum just won't cut it anymore for the franchise after serving as its home for 40 seasons.

With only a few days before the vote, now is the time for the media blitz to bring attention to the effort. That's what Wang and the organization are doing for the next few days, campaigning for yes votes. The team website is having a contest for the best fan video, the above video being an example. Even the Blue Oyster Cult is pitching in.

So what exactly are the people of Long Island voting on? From the team's release:

  The plan, which includes a new arena to be constructed at the Nassau Coliseum site as well as a minor league ballpark, will generate 4,500 jobs and $403 million in profit for tax relief for Nassau County residents.

  The construction of a new sports arena, which, in part, hosts hockey season from October to April annually and a minor league ballpark stadium that hosts baseball season from April to October. This approach generates jobs and revenue year round. It is the seed of growing a sports-entertainment destination center in Nassau County.

  The new arena will also host a wide array of first-rate family shows and musical acts, including the circus and large-scale exhibitions. Other various improvements made to the surrounding area may involve the properties at Museum Row and the former Navy property near Nassau Community College.

  New revenue streams created by the new sports and entertainment complex to the tune of $1.2 billion will fill the county coffers and benefit tax payers. Islanders owner Charles Wang, in a unique partnership with the County will completely pay off the new arena, and there will be $403 million in profit for Nassau County.

It all sounds pretty good, but of course there will be taxes that will also contribute to the building. The emotional reaction of raising taxes is the biggest obstacle for the team to fight. Never mind the fact that losing the primary tenant of the arena will cause collateral damage to the area and arena, which will likely require taxes to help with the keep up and lost income.

But like any vote, it has its detractors. Local democrat majorty leader Jay Jacobs has been the biggest foe to the plan, trying to quash it. And in a rare example of when they can agree on money, Tea Party republicans are on the same side as Jacobs in opposition.

From Chris Botta at NYI Point Blank: "A Newsday poll declares that Nassau residents want the Islanders to stay, but 51 percent are against using tax dollars to fund the project. An additional 12 percent of residents are undecided."

With all that said, it's a very scary time for Islanders fans. Right now they are doing all they can to get the vote out, as even displaced fans are doing their part.

As somebody who saw his favorite NBA team relocate, it's never fun to see teams uprooted, let alone ones that have four championships to their credit. Here's hoping the Yes effort prevails.

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

Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:34 am
 

Daily Skate: Yashin still looking, Boogaards talk

By Brian Stubits

STILL LOOKING: So far, the NHL interest in Alexei Yashin has come from one source, his former team in the Islanders. But that doesn't mean the 37-year-old is packing up for a return to Long Island yet. Yashin continues to consider all of his options -- which include multiple teams from the KHL. "There's not any rush to make a decision," Yashin told Newsday. So imagine this: The Isles could be rejected by somebody they once dumped (and are still paying) to go play in a league other than the NHL? Ouch.

BOOGAARD STATEMENT: As if grieving over the loss of Derek wasn't enough, the Boogaard family is now struggling with the charges brought against Derek's younger brother Aaron, who has been accused of providing Derek with the prescription drugs that contributed to Derek's death. Older brother Ryan released a statement for the family, expressing their disappointment in the authorities for the charges and maintaining everything will be set straight when Aaron has his day in court.

PROUD NEW PAPA: The Coyotes' Keith Yandle and his wife Krystin welcomed their first child on Monday, baby Mila according to teammate Paul Bissonnette. It's always nice to have this happen in the middle of the offseason so Yandle doesn't have to miss any time ... both with his team and his family.

LITTLE BITZ OF A MOVE: The Vancouver Canucks made a small acquisition on Monday, signing right winger Byron Bitz to a contract. Bitz, 27, comes over from the Florida Panthers after sitting out all of last season due to a sports hernia. He played seven games with the Panthers in 2009-10 after he was traded from Boston in a deal that shipped Dennis Seidenberg northward. How'd that one work out, Boston? In 87 career games in the NHL, Bitz has nine goals and nine assists. He is a big body that fits on a third or fourth line, but he will be hard-pressed to make the NHL squad.

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

Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Daily Skate: Jets donate to Air Force; Sir Chara

By Brian Stubits

CO-PILOTS: When the Winnipeg Jets released their long-awaited new logo, it was met with plenty of mixed reactions with a lot of people pointing out how similar the design is to the Canadian Air Force's design. Turns out, that was part of the plan. The CBC shared that the Jets and the Air Force struck a partnership in which the Jets will donate $1 million over 10 years to Air Force family charities.

JUST CALL HIM SIR: Zdeno Chara got not one, but two days with the Stanley Cup when his turn came. Spending the weekend back in his home country of Slovakia, Chara was very busy signing autographs, snapping photos, arm wrestling (where he lies down) and even being knighted. What I want to know is if they could find armor big enough for him to fit in. After visiting the Czech Republic (Thomas Kaberle and David Krejci) Slovakia and Finland (with Tuukka Rask), the Cup comes back to North America for some visits in Ontario.

OH, OVIE: Alex Ovechkin didn't exactly get knighted in his recent trip back to Russia, he was awarded in another way. The Russian Machine Never Breaks has photos of Ovechkin being feted at halftime of a soccer match where he was bestowed with the traditional Dagestani burka and papakha, which is a wool hat. Just take a look at the pictures. Ovechkin looks more like Cher from the 70s than anything else. Nonetheless, it's an honor for the Capitals star.

GETTING OUT THE VOTE: As we have shared, August 1 will be a monumental day in New York Islanders history as that's when the proposal for a new arena goes to the public for vote. If the vote passes, the team will stick on Long Island, if it fails then the relocation talk will get real. Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank shares what some displaced Islanders fans are doing to contribute to the effort, starting chain emails encouraging people to go out and vote yes.

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

Posted on: July 23, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: July 23, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Daily Skate: Gorges avoids arbitration

By Adam Gretz

GORGES RE-SIGNS WITH MONTREAL: One-by-one players that were scheduled for arbitration hearings are finding ways to come to an agreement with their team before having to go through the arbitration process. The latest player to come to an agreement was Josh Gorges, who signed a one-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the deal is worth $2.5 million. Gorges was limited to just 36 games last season because of injury, and scored one goal to go with six assists. Offense isn't a large part of his game, as he's one of Montreal's top shutdown defensemen. He was scheduled for an arbitration hearing on July 28.

BOOGAARD CHARGED: Aaron Boogaard, the brother of former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard, was charged on Friday for the unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. He's also facing charges for interferring with the scene of his brother's death by allegedly flushing a drug stash down the toilet before police could arrive to the scene.

KANE'S NUMBER DEBATE: There's a debate raging in Winnipeg as to whether Evander Kane should continue to wear Bobby Hull's No. 9. Hull, of course, was a tremendous player for the original Winnipeg franchise during its WHA days, where the number was retired. That team currently plays its games in Phoenix, while the current Jets franchise carries the history of the Atlanta Thrashers, which did not retire the number. Arctic Ice Hockey is asking Jets fans to vote on whether Kane should change numbers, while the young forward plans on asking Hull for permission to continue to wear the number he's worn for most of his young career.

NABOKOV TO RETURN? James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail reported on Friday that Evgeni Nabokov is planning on making a return to the NHL for the 2011-12 season. The question, however, is with which team? The easiest guess right now might be the New York Islanders. The goaltender signed a deal in Russia before last season and then decided to make a return to the NHL in January. He signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings but had to pass through waivers before he could officially join the team. The Islanders, in need of goaltending help because of a rash of injuries at the position, claimed Nabokov, who then refused to report to the team. He never played a game for the Islanders. Nabokov suiting up for New York would certainly be weird given last year's events, but it's still not as weird as the possibility of Alexei Yashin returning.

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