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Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The New York Islanders Prospect camp has been underway for 2 days now at Iceworks in Syosset and there are still 4 more days to look forward to. Aside from being a great place to hang out with fellow Islanders fans, the camp is a great chance to see the progress that the Islanders' young guns have made and to see the future of the franchise. So far, we've only seen drills as scrimmages don't start until Saturday, but there is still plenty to report.
Kyle Okposo, the Islanders' 2006 1st round pick, has looked great through the first two days. Kyle's skating ability was surprisingly impressive for such a big guy. He is clearly a strong guy and has a great wrist shot. While Okposo has decided to play at the University of Minnesota for his upcoming season, he could be lighting it up for the Isles in the near future.
As expected, Jeff Tambellini also impressed me. Tambs looked more polished than any of the other prospects, most likely due to the advantage of having a lot more pro experience. He showed his sniping ability by hitting the top corners on just about every shot. His skating was superb. After seeing him perform at this camp, I'd be shocked if he didn't make the big club in the upcoming NHL season.
Max Gratchev, the Islanders' 2007 4th round pick, was very impressive at the camp, particularly on Day 2. He shot the puck very well and hustled through every drill. His skating ability was very good as well, especially his ability to quickly turn and change direction.
As a group, the 4 goaltenders that attended looked extremely unimpressive. On Day 1, it was a rarity to see anybody stop anything. Day 2 was a bit better, but still nobody stood out as a reliable option if DP or Dubie should go down to injury.
Finally, HNLI favorite James Marcou attended as an undrafted and unsigned prospect. While he looked very jittery on Day 1, Marcou found his groove on Day 2. Despite his size, Marcou is very skilled and pulled off plenty of nice moves. And I wasn't the only one who noticed. Isles' prospect Jeff Tambellini agreed that Marcou stood out.
When asked which of the younger players stood out in his mind, Jeff Tambellini responded by saying James Marcou, the 5-7 camp invite from Kings Park. "He's more like 5-5, but he has incredible hands," said Tambellini. "He was making some impressive moves around guys out there."
Remember that the Islanders' prospects camp is still going on. Just come down to Islanders' IceWorks in Syosset to see the future of the New York Islanders.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
One of the sad substories of the 2007 NHL Draft was the fact that local boy James Marcou went undrafted. We have talked on several occasions about maybe seeing Marcou in Orange and Blue. But it looks like despite passing over Marcou in the draft, the Islanders are going to give this hometown kid a shot. Today the Islanders announced the forwards that will be attending the Islanders Prospects Camp this week at IceWorks. On the list is Marcou, the undrafted and unsigned forward.
I'm sure that our good buddy Steve from Setauket will be thrilled to hear this and I for one am very excited to see James Marcou make an appearance at the Prospects Camp. Here's what the Islanders Prospects Camp Primer had to say about Marcou.
James Marcou (C/W)
Born: Feb 19, 1988 -- Kings Park, NY
A local boy from Kings Park, Long Island, Marcou comes to Syosset as an unsigned, undrafted invitee. Marcou's point totals with Waterloo of the USHL jumped from 32 in 2005-06 to 71 the following season. During the 2006-07 season, Marcou led Waterloo in assists with 47 and in points with 71.
Everyone here at HNLI is really pulling for James Marcou and hoping that he can really impress the Isles at the Prospects Camp.
To check out James Marcou and the rest of the Islanders' Prospects, head down to IceWorks in Syosset this week:
Wed. June 27: On ice from 10:30 am-1 pm
Thu. June 28: On ice from 10:00 am-12:20 pm
Fri. June 29: On ice from 11:15 am from 1:45 pm
Sat. June 30: Scrimmage from 11:15 am to 1:15 pm
Sun. July 1: Scrimmage from 11:30 am to 1 pm
Mon. July 2: Scrimmage from 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Monday, June 25, 2007
As Steve and I mentioned on Sunday's episode of Hockey Night on Long Island, a picture is currently circulating the internet showing what is supposedly the new Islanders jersey for the 2007-2008 season. Remember that there has been no official announcement from the team about the jersey and that this could very well be a prototype. Knowing that, check out the photo below and let your opinion be heard in the first HNLI poll.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Hockey Night on Long Island hit the primetime airwaves on Sunday night to recap the NHL Entry Draft. It turned out to be a very enjoyable episode with help from our very special guest Tom Mascioli of islesinfo.com. Tom, Steve, and I discussed everything from the fall of Cherepanov and Espositio, to the Islanders' picks, to Ryan Smyth and Jason Blake. And of course....there would be no episode of Hockey Night on Long Island without some comic relief, which came when I attempted to pronounce "James van Riemsdyk". I can imagine I'm going to hear about that mistake for a long time. In addition, we had plenty of great callers and some interesting ones.
Anyway, if you missed the Draft Recap Special, be sure to check out show.hockeynightonlongisland.com and download it under the Archived Segments tab or CLICK HERE TO LAUNCH IT!
Hey everyone. Be sure to tune in to Hockey Night on Long Island on Sunday night in primetime for the Islanders NHL Draft Recap special. Steve and I will recap the events of Friday and Saturday in Columbus. We will be joined by Special Guest Tom Mascioli of islesinfo.com, who will share his thoughts on the NYI Draft Class of 2007. Of course we will take your calls and IMs and look ahead to the looming free agency period.
Be sure to tune in Sunday at 7:30 PM EST at show.hockeynightonlongisland.com.
Friday, June 22, 2007
As I watched the NHL Draft tonight, and hoped that maybe the Islanders would do something to at least earn a mention on the telecast, I realized a common theme tonight....All of the teams around us keep getting better.
The Top Five
But before I get to that, I might as well recap the first few picks. It began with Pat Kane from the London Knights going first overall to the Chicago Blackhawks. The American was followed by his fellow countryman James van Riemsdyk, a strong power forward who went to the Flyers. This left the door open for Wayne Gretzky's Coyotes to select Kyle Turris, a highly skilled forward. It was the fourth pick, however, that shocked the league. The Kings, who were attempting to trade down in the draft selected Thomas Hickey. This pick was seen as absolutely bizarre as Hickey was ranked at #17 by International Scouting Services and as low as #29 by McKeen's Hockey. Washington rounded out the top five with Karl Alzner, a solid and strong defenseman out of the WHL.
Cherry and Espo: Missed Chances for the Isles?
Two guys who we didn't see in the top five, or the top ten for that matter, were Alexei Cherepanov and Angelo Esposito. The freefalls began with Cherepanov of Russia, who was ranked in the top five by most scouting services and is regarded by some as the most talented player in the draft. The big hazard that came with Cherepanov, however, was the lack of a transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russian Federation. Nobody, however, expected him to drop as far as he did. Like the Brady Quinn of the NHL, "Cherry" fell all the way to the 17th spot where the New York Rangers scooped him up. As and Islander fan this was a heartbreaker. The Rangers nabbed a great prospect that could be a big part of their future. Between van Riemsdyk and Cheraponov, there were already two extremely impressive prospects entering the Atlantic Division. It didn't end there, however, still available was Angelo Espositio, who last year was considered a consensus #1 overall pick. However, Espo will find himself playing with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who scooped up Espositio with the 20th pick.
What a depressing night to have to sit back and watch. Seeing Esposito and Cherepanov there at #15, which the Isles had traded, was sickening. Also, when it was time for a trade to be announced for the 18th spot, I was nearly positive it would be the Isles after Esposito. I had the feeling that the Isles might trade the rights for Smyth to Calgary if the Isles thought they might not be able to resign him. On the Isles Website, Chris Botta had this to say about the possibility of trading Ryan Smyth rights:
Seems Garth made it clear to one of the Big Market GMs yesterday that he wasn't even considering moving Ryan Smyth's rights to him or anyone else in a trade, a la Hartnell/Timonen to Philadelphia. Now normally I wouldn't be able to share this info, but guess what? Turns out Garth reiterated his stance to every reporter in Columbus yesterday. He even said it to Greg Logan over the phone. Logan has it in today's Newsday.
If the Islanders can't resign Smyth, it's going to be even more heartbreaking now that we could've had either Esposito or Cherpanov with a first rounder.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, things might get interesting for the Islanders. Botta had this to say:
I know absolutely nothing. Seriously. But if the draft starts at 10:00 am tomorrow, I would suggest you don't wait until 11:00 to see how the Islanders did with their first pick in the third round. I repeat: I know nothing. I'm not even at the draft table, Corey is. Simply a hunch.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Let Operation "Time Crisis" begin:
7:35 PM: (by Alex): One of the biggest problems that the Islanders had this season was filling the seats on weeknights. Changing the puck-drop time, however, is not the way to better attendance. By pushing the start time up 30 minutes, the Islanders are making it nearly impossible for their working fans to get to the game on time. I would not be at all surprised if the Islanders lose season ticket holders over this change. People aren't going to want to go to the game if they know they won't be able to show up until the end of the first period. In addition, the move from 7:35 to 7:05 takes away the pre-game experience. The diehards that go to the games can always be found hanging around the Coliseum at Doolin's and watching warmups before the game. As impossible as it will be for fans to even make the game's start, it will be even worse for the pre-game experience. While you may get a few more young fans at the game, the hockey season still runs right through the school year and very few parents are going to schlep their kids out to the Coliseum during the week. They may bring in a few more young fans, but that's not worth neglecting the diehard fans.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Being the nice guy that he is, Shawn P. Roarke will be joining us for the June 30th episode.
Now, we all know what June 30th means....THE DAY BEFORE FREE AGENCY! That's right....Shawn will help us kick off the free agency period here at Hockey Night on Long Island with an in depth preview of the HUGE free agency period that awaits.
-Will Blake and Smyth be back?
-Can the Isles sign Chris Drury?
-Where will Scott Gomez wind up?
*My thoughts on Bergie coming back to the Island: This is great. I think it was very unexpected for the deal to occur this week considering the other things that the Islanders should do such as prepare for the Draft on Friday and Saturday and sign Smyth and Blake. But still, Bergenheim is a young, important player in the Islanders system and it is nice to have him back. He should definitely be an asset for the team next season.
*Website Updates: I have been working very hard on improving the website and make it more efficient. I'm sorry if you were having trouble accessing the website this afternoon but it was undergoing maintenance. Also, the Blogtalkradio button at the top of the page should be fully functional on all browers now. The "talk show" site can now be easily accessed at: www.show.hockeynightonlongisland.com. This should be easier to remember for all.
*Islanders.nhl.com: Late last week, the Islanders released their new website. It is expected that the NHL is going to make the team website layouts uniform like MLB. After navigating the site, it looks to be an improvement from the previous website. The most notable change in the site was in the color scheme where royal blue is being used as a replacement to the navy blue that was used. This could lead us Islanders fans the hint that the Islanders are sending a message on what the team colors will be for next year, especially since there will be changes in the layout of the jerseys.
*Upcoming Schedule: We will be having our much-awaited "Draft Recap Special" on Sunday at 7:30 PM EST (Please note the special time change). Tom Mascioli of islesinfo.com will have all of the info on all of the players that the Islanders draft. Who knows, maybe they will trade up picks??
Remember to tune into the NHL Draft and then tune into HNLI on Sunday. Have a good week!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Last summer, the one-way vs. two-way contract controversy was a big sticking point in the stalemate between the Islanders' management and agent Mark Gandler. After a superb year in Sweden in '06-'07, it is clear via the one-way deal that Bergenheim is in the immediate plans of the organization.All I can say right now is Hallelujah. I had heard that we might have another negotiation issue between Snow and Bergie might occur again this year. I am very glad to see that this all worked out and look forward to seeing how Bergenheim has progressed in his development. Bergenheim is a Ted Nolan type player and should fit in very well with this Islanders squad.
I will leave you with a very promising Bergie quote from the New York Islanders report: "I'm very happy and proud to be an Islander again," Bergenheim said this morning from Finland. "My friends back home know that I consider Long Island my second home. I followed the team a lot last season when I was in Europe and I love our style of play. A lot of people have told me my play should fit in with this year’s team, but Ted Nolan doesn’t know me yet. My goal is to show him I’m a Ted Nolan-type player. I can't wait to get back to Long Island."
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Not only will we have a very special guest host, but we also have a very special interviewee. We will be joined by Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Writer at NHL.com. We will talk to Shawn about the upcoming NHL Draft, the NHL Awards, Free Agency, and the state of the New York Islanders. And of course, Shawn will gladly take questions and comments from both callers and instant messagers.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a can't miss episode!
Remember, to tune in to our show as well as download previous episodes, just go to our talk show page here!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
As I'm sure you all know, not one New York Islander is up for an award this time around. While I agree that no Islanders players proved themselves elite enough for consideration, I believe that coach Ted Nolan truly has a case for a Jack Adams nod. He is certainly more deserving than Buffalo Sabres nominee Lindy Ruff. Ruff, who won the award in 2006, coached an absolutely STACKED team. Meanwhile, Ted Nolan took a team that was projected to finish dead last and took them all the way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If that isn't deserving of a nod, I'm not sure what is. I'm not saying that he should win, because Therrien of Pittsburgh and Vigneault of Vancouver are both deserving, but Nolan is certainly more deserving than Ruff and should be the third nominee. Or at least make him a fourth like they conveniently did for Henrik Lundqvist, the undeserving Vezina nominee!
Also, our e-mail has changed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every day this blog is improving and it has been great putting this blog together with Alex. Have a good weekend watching Mets-Yankees. Remember: HNLI on Saturday at 3 PM EST.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
According to TSN, Jason Blake is "all but gone from Long Island". According to the article, negotiations appear to be at a standstill between Blake's agent and the Islanders.
Of course in Jason Blake the Islanders might lose 40 goals, 65 points, a fan favorite, and a real energy player. At the same time, however, Blake isn't worth what he's asking for. At the age of 34, it would be unreasonable for the Islanders to offer Blake the 5 year contract that he is seeking. To one of my favorite Islanders ever I say..."there's the door". If Blakey expects a 5 year contract, he should look for it elsewhere.
If he decides that he'll settle for 2 or 3 years, however, I'd love to see Jason in Orange and Blue for a few more years.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Find the Sports Docket at: www.blogtalkradio.com/ksn
Remember that to listen to any of our episodes live, just click on the talk show page on the right navigation bar!
6/16, Saturday 3PM EST.
Episode #17: Alex and Steve will be joined by NHL.com Senior Writer, Shawn P. Roarke. The guys will preview the upcoming NHL Draft, discuss free agency, take questions from callers and Instant messagers, and much more. This is a can't miss episode with one of the best hockey writers in the business.
6/24, Sunday 7:30PM EST.
Episode #18: DRAFT RECAP SPECIAL! Hosts Alex and Steve will recap the 2007 NHL Draft in primetime on Sunday evening. Special guest Tom Mascioli of islesinfo.com will join in the banter and give us the scoop on all of the prospects that the Isles select in the draft. In addition, callers can jump in via phone, IM, or e-mail.
For episode #16 of Hockey Night on Long Island, Alex and I were joined by Gary Harding of viewfromsection317.com. Gary was extremely opinionated and insightful on every topic that we discussed. There was plenty of banter between the three of us and a few callers even chimed in. We talked about everything from the Yashin Buyout, to Free Agency, to Kyle Okposo, to Sean Bergenheim, and so much more. If you missed yesterday's episode, I urge you go to our "Talk Show Page" and download it or simply listen to it on the media player on right column.
We thank Gary for his appearance on the show and look forward to having him back on the show in the future.
Unfortunately, unlike in previous years, there are not many Long Island products eligible for the 2007 Draft. There is one possibility: C James Marcou of Waterloo in the USHL. The problem with Marcou? He's small. VERY small. At 5'8" and 150 lbs. there are not many teams in the NHL who are going to take a stab at a player that small. I don't care how much one believes the NHL has turned into a game of speed and skill, no one can last in the NHL, let alone pro at 150 pounds. NHL Central Scouting had Marcou, a former NY Bobcat from Kings Park, rated in their preliminary rankings back last November 2006 as a 'B' list prospect. By the mid-term rankings, he was nowhere to be found. The same goes for the final rankings last month. Marcou put up decent numbers in the USHL finishing tied for fourth in the league in scoring with 24 goals, 71 points in 58 games played. He will attend UMass-Amherst next fall.
To read Tom's full draft preview, go to his website here: http://islesinfo.com/DraftCentral.html#draft07
And speaking of Tom Mascioli, remember that he will be joining us on June 24th at 7:30PM EST for our NHL Draft recap. He'll fill us in on all of the players that the Isles select (maybe Marcou).
Steve from Setauket, I hope you appreciate this quick James Marcou update.
We have had plenty of engaging Islanders guests from a few great bloggers, to NHL.com writers, to Greg Logan of Newsday, and many more!
In addition, we always love to hear from our callers through a phone call or an instant message.
To check out our latest episodes, see our schedule, and listen live, click on the Listen Live button on the right navigation bar. Until the next show, enjoy our ramblings here.