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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Exciting Saturday on HNLI

Be sure to tune in to Hockey Night on Long Island this Saturday at 3:30 PM EST for another exciting hour choc' full of hockey talk. Joining hosts Alex and Steve this Saturday is Dominik of the Lighthouse Hockey Blog to talk everything New York Islanders. On this weekend's agenda is a very special John Tavares sweepstakes update, the latest on the trade status of the Islanders' veterans, the goaltending situation, and much more. Also joining the show will be Donny from the Litter Box Cats Panther's blog to discuss that evening's affair between the Isles and Florida. Be sure to jump into the action by giving HNLI a call, IM, or stopping by the HNLI chatroom. Don't miss an awesome hour of Isles talk this Saturday!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Long Island Miracle Man

This editorial by HNLI host Alex Silverman will appear in The Hawkeye, a high school newspaper in Plainview, NY.

John Tavares has been on the radar of the hockey world since middle school. After absolutely dominating every youth league he had ever played in, Tavares was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) at the age of fourteen. The OHL, which is among the top junior hockey leagues in North America, granted Tavares “exceptional player” status and allowed him to become the youngest player to ever be drafted into the OHL and was chosen first overall in 2005. Since making the leap to juniors, Tavares has won OHL MVPS, broken OHL records held by Wayne Gretzky, and led Team Canada to the World Junior Championship. Now at the young age of eighteen, NHL teams are chomping at the bit to grab a player who can single-handedly change the direction of a franchise.

Enter the New York Islanders. Just past the midway point of the 2008-2009 NHL season, the Isles sit alone in the cellar of the league standings. While the team is in the midst of a “youth movement”, not one Islander was selected for the NHL’s YoungStars game. The ever-dwindling fan base is failing to fill the seats on a nightly basis and losing faith in a team that seems to never have things go its way. The Lighthouse Project, which is pegged by Owner Charles Wang to revitalize the Coliseum, the area, the fans, and the team as a whole, has seemingly come to a standstill. Recently, in the most newsworthy occurrence of the team’s season, rumors have arisen that the team is set to bail on Long Island and head to a brand new arena in Kansas City. Needless to say, the Islanders have become the laughing stock of the league. Seemingly at an all-time low, the brightest hope for the team’s future rests upon the shoulders of John Tavares.

For years, the Islanders have lacked a superstar presence. The team that since the 1980s boasted goal scorers from Mike Bossy to Ziggy Palffy is anemic when it comes to scoring goals and can only be ignited by the presence of a dynamic offensive weapon. Playing in a building like the Nassau Coliseum and sporting a reputation for being an absolute joke over the last decade, the Isles are a far cry from attracting any big time free agent scorers to come to town. Now, with a superstar like Tavares up for grabs, the Islanders have one chance to add an explosive offensive powerhouse to their lineup.

Tavares’ impact on the team, however, would extend far beyond his offensive prowess. He is the type of player who can truly redefine a franchise and the Islanders need nothing more than a new image right now. With the addition of Tavares, the Islanders would gain the league wide exposure that the Washington Capitals did with the addition of Alexander Ovechkin and that the Pittsburgh Penguins did with the addition of Sidney Crosby. Simply put, Tavares is the only thing that can put the Islanders back on the proverbial map. It is a guy like Tavares who can raise the Islanders to the level where they will be considered for NBC’s national broadcasts, the NHL’s Winter Classic, and the league’s overall marketing.

Aside from bringing recognition back to the Isles, John Tavares would certainly put fans in the seats and might even garner enough attention to get the Lighthouse Project rolling again. As much as Islander fans are pushing for the revitalization of the Nassau Mausoleum, it is tough to expect mass support for a new arena for a team that has been reduced to a mockery. With someone like Tavares to bring respectability back to the Isles, it is only a matter of time before efforts to get the Lighthouse Project underway get serious once more. Without Tavares, the Islanders might be one step closer to absolute irrelevance in the hockey world or even Kansas City.

Every franchise in sports goes through its share of ups and downs. It’s fair to say, however, that the Islanders have been in a near freefall for over a decade. Now, with a light at the end of the tunnel of despair, the future of the Islanders rests on how a few ping-pong balls bounce at the draft lottery in April. Should the balls bounce their way, the Islanders will be lead into the future by a bonafide superstar. With last place a near-certainty, only time will tell whether or not John Tavares will be wearing orange and blue come draft day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An All-Star HNLI

Saturday's episode of Hockey Night on Long Island was a great way to kick off All-Star weekend. Joined by Paul Kukla of kuklaskorner.com, hosts Alex and Steve discussed the hot topics from All-Star weekend including Islanders' representative Mark Streit, the NHL's crackdown on All-Star no-shows and much more. Then in the second half of the hour, the dynamic duo shifted the focus back to Long Island. In addition to a short mid-season report card, the guys discussed the goaltending situation both on Long Island and in Bridgeport, Kurtis McLean's first NHL goal, and of course John Tavares. If you missed any part of Saturday's HNLI, be sure to check out the archives on the show page or subscribe to the podcast version in the iTunes music store by searching "Hockey Night on Long Island".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All-Star Special/Mid-Year Report...SATURDAY

With the All-Star festivities set to get underway this weekend, Saturday's episode of Hockey Night on Long Island is set to be an exciting one. First, hosts Alex and Steve will be joined by Paul Kukla of kuklaskorner.com to discuss everything All-Stars. In addition to the Islanders' representative, Mark Streit, the guys will preview the entire weekend and talk about the latest buzz coming out of Montreal. For the second half of the episode, hosts Alex and Steve will finally break down the first half of the season in the "Mid-Year Report". The duo will look back on the ups and downs of this year so far and try and find a silver lining in what has been a rough year for the Isles. Of course, there will be the usual John Tavares update as well. HNLI will be taking your calls, IMs, and hosting the HNLI chatroom like always so feel free to jump into the action this Saturday at 3:30 PM EST.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HNLI Saturday Sure to Be Interesting...

This Saturday's episode of Hockey Night on Long Island is sure to be a banter-filled one with all of the chaos in Islander country this week. While host Alex will unfortunately be on a one week hiatus, Steve will be joined by Ken Rosenblatt of the Islanders Outsider to discuss all of the latest news including the recent injury to Joey MacDonald, the signing of Wade Dubielewicz, the start of the Islanders home stand, the exhibition game in Kansas City and much more. Just a hunch that there will also be a few words about John Tavares. Also joining the Isles guys later in the show will be Devils' blogger John Fischer of the In Lou We Trust blog. The trio will preview the evening's contest between the Atlantic division rivals and certainly will touch on the Devils' recent acquisition of Brendan Shannahan. As always, listeners are encouraged to call in, "Click To Talk", IM us and partcipate in the HNLI Chat Room during the show. Be sure to tune in for what should be an awesome hour of hockey talk this Saturday at 3:30 PM EST.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

From Tambellini to Tavares

Saturday's episode of Hockey Night on Long Island was one that went off in some very interesting directions that nobody expected. Hosts Alex and Steve, along with special guest Tom Mascioli, discussed everything from John Tavares being traded to Jeff Tambellini scoring his first goal of the season, to the NHL All-Star rosters and everything in between. Additionally, the trio was joined by Adam Sherlip of The Hockey Volunteer to discuss his mission to spread hockey to children around the world and his prior involvement wit the Islanders' Project Hope. Also, the guys went deep into bonus coverage to make their picks for the NFL divisional playoff matchups and discuss the Brendan Shannahan news. So, if you missed Saturday's episode of HNLI or want to hear it again, be sure to check out the archives on the show page or subscribe via iTunes by searching "Hockey Night on Long Island" in the iTunes Music Store.

Oh and check out this gorgeous goal by Tavares.....future Islander?

Friday, January 9, 2009

HNLI Midseason Recap Episode Tomorrow at 3:30 PM EST

Be sure to tune into Hockey Night on Long Island tomorrow, 1/10, at 3:30 PM EST. Hosts Alex and Steve will be joined by special guest Tom Mascioli (Islesinfo.com) to talk about the 2008-2009 New York Islanders season at the halfway point. In addition, they will talk about the Islanders representative at the 2009 NHL All Star Game in Montreal, Mark Streit. Also, Alex and Steve will be joined by Adam Sherlip, aka The Hockey Volunteer, to talk about his project on spreading hockey and his upcoming trip. As always, listeners are encouraged to call in, "Click to Talk", IM us and participate in the HNLI Chat Room during the show. To listen, visit www.show.hockeynightonlongisland.com

Saturday, January 3, 2009

HNLI Kicks off '09 With a Bang

Hockey Night on Long Island's first episode of the New Year was an hour of pure fun and pure hockey talk. Hosts Alex and Steve were joined by "Blogger of the Year" Patrick Hickey Jr. of thedriveforfive.com for an hour of hockey talk that had plenty of banter and its share of laughs. Also joining the gang was Jon of sharkspage.com to preview tonight's matchup against the San Jose Sharks. The banter between the pair of guests got a tad heated and extremely funny and is certainly worth a listen. Hosts Alex and Steve also strayed into bonus coverage a bit with some last minute ramblings on the Isles, the World Junior Championships, and even the NFL playoffs. So, whether you caught it the first time or missed it, be sure to check out the archives on the show page or subscribe on iTunes by searching "Hockey Night on Long Island" in the iTunes store.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Top Blogger of '08 Joins HNLI Saturday

The "Yes Islanders!" Best Islanders Blog of 2008 contest concluded once and for all that the best Isles blogger of 2008 was none other than Patrick Hickey, Jr. of thedriveforfive.com. The two-time guest of HNLI runs an outstanding blog and everyone at HNLI would like to congratulate him on being recognized. To further acknowledge his great achievement, he will have the honor of joining HNLI as the first special guest of the New Year. Be sure to tune in on Saturday January 3, 2009 for the first HNLI episode of the calendar year. Along with the guest of honor, hosts Alex and Steve will discuss the latest in Islander country including the current west coast road trip, the Rick DiPietro fiasco, and much more. We will also sound off on the Winter Classic and discuss the future for an Isles outdoor game. Like always, the guys will take your calls and IMs, so be sure to give your two cents. The chatroom will be open for all the banter throughout the show. So be sure to catch the calendar year premiere of Hockey Night on Long Island this Saturday at 3:30 PM EST.
HNLI Host Alex on Newsday's Back Cover with John Tavares! HNLI Alex w/ John Tavares