Tag:New York Islanders
Posted on: February 5, 2012 2:19 pm

Isles' Hamonic out 2 weeks after slapper to face

By Brian Stubits

Travis Hamonic is going to miss about two weeks for the Islanders after taking a slap shot to the face, always a scary proposition.

In the Isles' shootout loss to the Sabres on Saturday night, Hamonic was trying to hold the fort down in front of the crease when a shot from Jordan Leopold sailed high and caught Hamonic square in the face beneath the shield.

Seems odd to say, but luckily for Hamonic it was just a broken nose on the play. It could have been a lot worse. We've seen it this season a few times as the visor debate has been ratched up. Of course, even with the visor it didn't prevent a broken nose.

The Isles are already dealing with a beatup blue line. Milan Jurcina didn't play on Saturday against Buffalo because of a lacerated elbow.

This broken nose will end Hamonic's modest ironman streak. He has played in 113 straight games. This season he has averaged 22:17 of ice time per game and has a goal with 11 assists.

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

Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:25 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 3:29 pm

Islanders announce preseason game in Brooklyn

By Brian Stubits

There was talk a few weeks back about the Islanders playing a preseason game at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn before next season. The building is so new it isn't even open yet.

It's more than just talk now.

On Tuesday the Isles announced that they will play the first NHL game in Barclays Center, an Oct. 2 exhibition against the New Jersey Devils. If the speculation wasn't strong enough already about the arena in Brooklyn being a new home for the Islanders in a couple of years, it's sure to ratchet up now.

“We’re extremely excited to play the first NHL game in the new, state-of-the-art Barclays Center,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We already have some of the most passionate fans in the league supporting our young team, and we are looking forward to expanding our base into Brooklyn.”

The high amount of intrigue in a preseason game, of course, surrounds the viability of Barclays as an NHL arena and the possibility of it being a new home for the Isles considering their past failures to secure a new arena in Nassau County.

And it's actually led to some politicking from Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark.

"It will be good for the Islanders to see what playing in a state of the art venue feels like," Yormark said. He continued by saying "We'd love for Charles to consider Brooklyn." He's talking about as a home for the Islanders and Charles refers to Isles owner Charles Wang.

Not to be outdone, Nassau County politician Ed Mangano, who spearheaded the effort to get a new arena built in Uniondale, weighed in on the team's upcoming visit closer toward Manhattan.

“I hope their experience in Brooklyn reaffirms why they should be playing hockey in Nassau County," Mangano said.

No matter how well it might or might not go for the Islanders in the exhibition, the one big hurdle to clear with the Barclays Center is the hockey seating capacity of only 14,500, less than Winnipeg's NHL-lowest MTS Centre. But considering the Islanders are averaging 12,670 this season, I don't see much of a problem. Supply and demand economics would make the tickets more valuable if they start hitting capacity.

What do you think: Is this the start of the Islanders getting a new home? They would still be on the Island, that beats a lot of other locales.

More from Eye on Hockey

Bettman: Would be malpractice if Isles move
Report: Barclays Center, NHL execs meet
Brooklyn's viability as a home
Arena vote fails: What's next for Isles?

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

Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:00 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 5:03 pm

Players we would like to see in skills challenge

By: Adam Gretz

The video above features Mike Ribeiro of the Dallas Stars scoring an absolutely insane shootout goal against the Colorado Avalanche a couple of years ago. It's a pretty amazing goal, leaving then-Avs goalie Peter Budaj completely confused. Throughout his career, Ribeiro has made a habit out of scoring highlight reel goals during the regular season skills competition that is otherwise known as the shootout.

He seems like he would be the type of player that would excel in the All-Star skills competition, particularly any of the breakaway challenges. But because he's not an All-Star this year, we don't get an opportunity to see what he's fully capable of when the spotlight is on. The NBA brings in players that aren't on the All-Star rosters to take part in their skills competition, and I wouldn't mind seeing the NHL try something similar.

With that in mind, let's take a quick look at some of the players not in the All-Star game this season that could be favorites to win the various events, or at the very least, put up a solid showing.

Fastest Skater

1. Darren Helm, Detroit Red Wings
2. Andrew Cogliano, Anaheim Ducks
3. Mason Raymond, Vancouver Canucks

Cogliano has actually already won this event, taking it back in 2009 with a time of 14.31 seconds, but I would put Helm up against any other skater in the league in terms of pure speed. He doesn't score much, but everything he does on the ice, including his penalty killing, seems to be a complete blur.

Accuracy Shooting

1. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils
2. Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals
3. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres

Kind of a tough one to figure out, and it's not as easy as simply looking at a players shooting percentage because that doesn't necessarily mean a player with a high number is an "accurate" shooter, but Kovalchuk and Semin are obvious snipers that can pick their spots and hit the corners from anywhere in the offensive zone.

Hardest Shot

1. Sami Salo, Vancouver Canucks
2. Jason Garrison, Florida Panthers
3. Sheldon Souray, Dallas Stars

Jason Garrison has more goals than any other defenseman in the NHL this season with 13, and eight of them have come by way of his booming slap shot, more than any other player in the league. I don't know if he has what it takes to challenge Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber, but I imagine he could put up some impressive numbers, and the same could be said for Salo. At the Canucks team skills competition earlier this week he hit 102 MPH, which would have been harder than any other participant in last year's event with the exception of Chara and Weber.

Breakaway Challenge

1. Mike Riberio, Dallas Stars
2. Todd Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings
3. Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets

We already addressed what Riberio can bring to the table, but when the Red Wings are involved in a shootout they tend to be quality entertainment, not only because of the presence of Pavel Datsyuk, always a human highlight reel, but also because of Todd Bertuzzi, who has some pretty underrated skill. It's not uncommon to see him bust out the spin-o-rama move, but he has quite a few additional tricks up his sleeve as well. And don't underestimate the skill and hands that Rick Nash has for a big, power forward.

Any other players that didn't participate this season that you would like to see?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 24, 2012 6:16 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:08 pm

Video: rink in Slovakia collapses

By: Adam Gretz

The video posted above shows former NHL player Richard Zednik innocently skating in Slovakia with a group of youth hockey players on Sunday.

That is, until the roof started to collapse under the weight of heavy snow and ice, and came crashing down to the playing surface just minutes after everybody had safely exited.

The most amazing part of it all? Nobody was injured. Thankfully.

Starting at the 1:10 mark the camera takes a walk around the boards, giving you an idea as to just how serious the damage is and how fortunate everyone is to have been able to safely walk away.

Zednik spent 13 seasons in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers, scoring 200 goals in 745 career games. He last played in the NHL during the 2008-09 season as a member of the Panthers.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:54 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 12:15 am

Islanders overcome controversial 3rd period call

By: Adam Gretz

Over the past seven years the number of penalty shots we see in the NHL has been on the rise. We've already seen 41 this season, and that includes the one that went Buffalo's Thomas Vanek late in the third period of the Sabres' 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night. At the time of the shot the Islanders were holding a slim one-goal lead, and Vanek had an opportunity to score a potentially game-changing goal with a little over a minute to play in regulation.

The only reason he was given the shot was because of what appeared to be terrible call by the on-ice officials that awarded Buffalo a penalty shot after it was determined that Islanders defenseman Mark Streit intentionally dislodged the net. After watching the replay it looks as if Streit did nothing other than lose his balance and run into the net, causing it to become dislodged. If he did it on purpose, it was a darn fine acting job.

Fortunately for the Islanders, Vanek's shot hit the post and they were able to add another goal and hold on for the win.

Here's a look at the play so you can decide for yourself if Streit's actions were intentional, or if it was simply an accident that was followed by a brutal call that could have cost the Islanders the game.

The bigger issue here, for me, is that the NHL has become way too penalty shot happy in recent years. Here's a quick look at the number of shots that have been issued dating back to 1997:

2011-12 (half season): 41
2010-11: 78
2009-10: 55
2008-09: 64
2007-08: 59
2006-07: 70
2005-06: 103
2003-04: 57
2002-03: 39
2001-02: 46
2000-01: 32
1999-00: 40
1998-99: 27
1997-98: 34

That's quite a spike over the past seven years.

Now, one of the biggest factors in that increase has been the elimination of the red line and the two-line pass, which took place prior to the 2005-06 season. But it also seems that the NHL is more willing to hand one out than it used to be. Ten years ago if you had anything that even resembled a shot on goal, or an attempted shot, on a breakaway while being hauled down you didn't have a chance of being awaraded a shot. That no longer seems to be the case.

You also have calls like the one featured above.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 5:55 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Rick DiPietro could be done for season

By: Adam Gretz

Rick DiPietro is going to have yet another season cut short due to injury.

The Islanders goaltender will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a sports hernia, a procedure that is likely to end his season. He appeared in just eight games for New York this year.

Dating back to the start of the 2008-09 he's appeared in just 48 games for the Islanders. Obviously, this is nothing new for DiPietro in what has been a promising career that has been absolutely dismantled by injuries.

New York made an enourmous financial commitment to DiPietro prior to the 2006-07 season, giving him a 15-year contract worth $67.5 million. Since then it's been nothing but one set back after another, and as of now still he still has nine years and over $40 million remaining on his contract.

At this point the only way the Islanders would ever be able to get out of that commitment would be if DiPietro would at some point retire, and according to Arthur Staple of Newsday, that's something that DiPietro hasn't even thought about at this point.

The Islanders made DiPietro the top pick in the 2000 draft, the same day they shipped another former first-round goalie, Roberto Luongo, off to the Florida Panthers (along with Olli Jokinen) in exchange for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish, a sequence of events that, obviously, had a rather large impact on the franchise.

In 315 games DiPietro has a 130-133-36 record to go with a .903 save percentage.

Along with DiPietro, the Islanders have had a pretty incredible run of bad luck at the goalie position over the past two years. Due to injuries and an in-season trade they had to use six different goalies a year ago, and so far this season have already used five: DiPietro, Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya, Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:09 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 12:09 am

Report: Isles planning preseason game in Brooklyn

By Brian Stubits

Nobody knows where the New York Islanders will call home in a couple of seasons when their lease at the Nassau Coliseum is up. The people of Nassau County had the chance to make the voice hear on a new arena and they voted no, the latest in a long line of rebutted attempts by owner Charles Wang to get a new home for his team.

Since then, the future of the organization has been murkier than a swamp. That kind of uncertainty doesn't help Garth Snow build a franchise that can win in the long run (as if he needs any more obstacles).

However one of the possible options for a new home is further down Long Island toward Manhattan and the new Barclays Center going up in Brooklyn to host the NBA's Nets. That building isn't without its concerns too, such as a small seating capacity and potentially poor sight lines.

Well, the Islanders might find out pretty soon how viable the arena could be as a home. From CBS New York's WFAN:

Sources told WFAN.com on Thursday that the Islanders are in discussions to host a preseason game next season at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the future home of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets.

This is not the first time the Islanders have used another venue to push the reality that at the end of the 2014-15 season their lease with Nassau Coliseum ends. During the 2008-09 season when Kansas City was considered their hot relocation destination, the Islanders announced they’d be taking on the Los Angeles Kings in a preseason game the following season at the brand-new downtown Sprint Center.

If so, it'd be very interesting. If the game goes well, the front-runner (in my book) to land the Islanders could take a huge step toward being the Isles' new home. It would be a chance to answer some of the questions that loom about the arena hosting an NHL team permanantly. One of those however, that of small attendance, would remain. If the Isles made the Brooklyn arena home in a couple of years, it would be the smallest capacity in the NHL, below even Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

This could be the next step in relocating the Islanders only a few miles instead of a few hundred or even thousand miles. They can't afford to wait until the lease runs out, the uncertainty is too damaging both to the product on the ice as well as off of it. And as mentioned, the Islanders don't need any more road blocks.

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

Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:10 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 11:28 pm

Doan's buzzer-beater nets him 1st hat trick

By: Adam Gretz

Entering Saturday's game Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes had played 1,160 games in his NHL career. Always an underrated player, mainly due to the market he plays in and the fact he's been hidden on a team that hasn't had much postseason success, he has put together an excellent career, scoring over 300 goals during his 16 seasons in the NHL.

One thing he had never done before Saturday? Record a hat trick.

Well, he can now cross that off the list as he netted the first one of his career in a 5-1 rout of the New York Islanders. But it's not so much the fact that he scored three goals in one game for the first time in his career, it's how he ended up completing the trick -- he scored his third goal with just 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock.

Nice timing. And what a way to make it happen.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey 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