Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Islanders Sign Martin Biron!


The Isles sign former Islander-killer, Martin Biron

Martin Biron signed by the New York Islanders

From beating the ever-loving crap out of the Islanders on Buffalo and Philly to going with: "If you beat them that much, join them."

Here's a signing I definitely did not see coming. What this means is Rick DiPietro WILL NOT be ready for the season. It seems the Islanders will attempt to imitate the Bruins of 2008-09 by platooning their goalies. With 3 true NHL starters in the organization, it will certainly be an interesting season for former goalie and current Head Coach, Scott Gordon. How he manages the rotation and whether or not DiPietro should prove to be very telling over the next few months.

We've been hearing since the beginning of this year that "The Rick" would be ready to start skating in the first few weeks of next month. With the signing of Biron, that simply doesn't seem to be a possibility anymore. Could there be a major setback in his rehabilitation? It would seem so. Unfortunate. after so much postulating that Rick would be ready for training camp in Saskatoon.


Goalie Signs One-Year Contract

UNIONDALE, NY, July 22, 2009 – The New York Islanders today announced that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with goaltender, Martin Biron.

Biron appeared in 55 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season, posting a 29-19-5 record and a 2.76 goals against average. The Lac St. Charles, QC native led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording a 9-8 record and a 2.97 goals against average.

“Adding Marty gives us three bona-fide number one goalies,” said Garth Snow, General Manager, New York Islanders. “We learned about the importance of stability in our line-up from last year and he now allows us to have another quality starter.”

Biron has played a total of 433 games in the NHL and comes to the Islanders with a career record of 199-162-25-20-25 (W-L-T-OT-SO), a goals against average of 2.59 and a save percentage of .912. The 6’3, 180 pound net-minder began his career with the Buffalo Sabres where he played parts of seven seasons with both the Sabres and the team’s American Hockey League affiliate at the time, the Rochester Americans. He currently ranks second on Buffalo’s All-Time List in shutouts (18) and third in game played (300) and wins (134).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Confirmed: NHL Grants fans the Matchup of the Season for the Home Opener


Personally, I can't remember the last time the Isles had their Season Opener the same night as their Home Opener. It seems like it's been a really long time since they weren't on the road to kick things off in October. Nevertheless, on Oct. 3, 2009 the matchup that will generate the most hype around the Islanders since the 2002 Playoff series against the Maple Leafs is officially confirmed: John Tavares v. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Bill Guerin and the rest of the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. I really can't even think of a better contest to start the season. It's going to be insane with a packed house in the "Old Barn". I really can't wait for the season to start. How long do I have to wait again?

I can't imagine why the NHL would start JT's career against this guy. Do you?

Also, in more NHL related news, the Winter Classic was officially unveiled between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on January 1st. That had to be the worst kept secret in all of pro sports. I think the NHL League Office needs to start taking some notes from Garth Snow about how to keep a lid on things.

Catch the rest of the New York Islanders 2009-10 Regular Season Schedule here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tavares is Now Officially a New York Islander!


"Who's laughin' now, Burkie?"

Just got the Press Release from Isles PR. It's official. John Tavares is now officially a New York Islander!



2009 First Overall Pick Signs First Professional Contract

UNIONDALE, NY, July 15, 2009 – The New York Islanders announced today the signing of John Tavares to a three-year entry level contract. Tavares was selected by the Islanders first overall in the 2009 National Hockey League Draft.

Tavares, a native of Oakville, ON, played in 247 career Ontario Hockey League games over four seasons, compiling 215 goals and 218 assists for 433 points. His 215 tallies surpassed Peter Lee’s former OHL record of 214 goals, which Lee held for 33 years. In 2007, Tavares was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year, after breaking the OHL record for goals in a season with 72, a milestone previously held by Wayne Gretzky. Tavares played in 38 career OHL playoff games, recording 20 goals and 36 assists for a total of 56 points.

“It’s an exciting time for the Islanders organization as we develop our young talent into a contender,” said Garth Snow, General Manager, New York Islanders. “John provides another important piece to help us achieve our ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”

Last season, the 19-year-old center, led the OHL in goals (58) and points (104). Tavares recorded 50 points (32 goals and 18 assists) in 24 games after he was traded to the London Knights about halfway through the 2008-09 season and tied for the league lead in power-play goals with 14. Tavares also finished ninth in OHL playoff scoring with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points.

“I’m excited to officially become a part of the New York Islanders organization and begin my professional career this upcoming season,” said Tavares. “I look forward to joining the Islanders and be part of a team that’s ultimate goal is to bring the Stanley Cup back to Long Island.”

Tavares won back-to-back gold medals with Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships. He was named the 2009 tournament MVP and World Junior Top Forward. Tavares tallied eight goals and seven assists for 15 points at the 2009 Tournament to complete his all-time tournament scoring marks at 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points. His career World Junior goal total of 12, ties him with fellow Canadians Eric Lindros and Jeff Carter for most goals in a career at the World Junior Championships.

Tavares is the fourth number one overall pick selected by the Islanders. In 2000, the Islanders selected goaltender Rick DiPietro first overall. Denis Potvin was picked first overall at the 1973 NHL Entry Draft and in 1972 the Islanders selected forward Billy Harris.

I'll be back later tonight with my impressions on the Day 3 scrimmage. To go with that coverage I have quite a few pictures and an interview with a player I think you'll see on the Bridgeport roster in the fall: Victor Bartley.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Bout of Randomness


Update 12:40 PM: IMPORTANT ADVISORY: The Islanders announced on Friday that due to capacity limitations and the overwhelming level of interest, a limited number of wristbands will be issued to fans for admission into the Prospect Mini-Camp open practice at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset on July 12th. Wristbands will be issued starting at 9am and fans are encouraged to arrive early as admission will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans must have a wristband in order to gain access to the rink to watch the open practice. Additional parking is available at the Syosset Long Island Railroad station just east of the practice facility.

I've been meaning to get this post out for a couple days so I figured it was time to just throw down some of the random happenings in Islanders Country.

In case you missed it, the Lighthouse Project has moved into the Public Comments phase. The Town of Hempstead has setup an email address for people to send comments on the project: You can also send any comments or concerns via snail mail to: Lighthouse Project Public Comment, One Washington Street, Hempstead, NY 11550

Remember, we have to keep up the pressure on the Town, County and State so our best interests are served during the approval process of the Lighthouse Project. Get involved through The Official Website of the Lighthouse Project and Let There Be Light(house).


The Islanders formally introduced John Tavares on Wednesday. Big whoop! I got to see him drafted in Montreal! Being there to watch and hear Garth Snow confidently announce, "The New York Islanders are proud to select...John Tavares" is definitely up there on my list of the best Islander moments (a close second to the Shawn Bates penalty shot goal in Game 4 of the '02 1st Round Playoff Series against the Leafs).


Now that the formalities are over, it's time to get down to business. As I'm writing this, the prospects are taking the ice for the first day of Prospect Camp. Things should get massively crazy on Sunday 7/12, when the practice session at Iceworks in Syosset, NY is open to the public starting at 10:45AM. I'll be there along with my fellow Blog Boxers, the Media and hopefully a whole bunch of jazzed up Isles fans who will get a chance to peer into the future of this team.

Names like Ness, Hamonic, Romano, Koskinen, Nilsson, de Haan, Cizikas, Rahkshani, DiBenedetto, Martin, Trivino and so many others that have a chance to make their mark on the Orange and Blue for this season and many to follow will be there. All will be on display before they part their separate ways to either head to the NHL/AHL or back to their respective college and junior teams. It should be a lot of fun. Be on the look out for some good quotes coming out on Sunday.


I've been hearing along the grapevine that the Isles are looking into signing Alex Tanguay who could turn into their year's Mark Streit. I think having a top 6 forward who's currently 29 and has a ton of experience would benefit this team a lot. Here's to hoping that "Rolie the Goalie" isn't the only NHL-caliber player the Isles sign this summer.

That's all I've got for you for now. If anything major happens between now and Sunday, I'll be sure to get it posted as soon as possible.

Cheers, folks!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Small Step for the Lighthouse, but No Giant Leap...Yet


Today was a landmark day for the future of the Lighthouse Project. In a unanimous vote, the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement was deemed ready for the Public Comments period. Mind you (and my friend Nick over at Let There Be Light(house) will be sure to correct me if I mess this up. LOL!), this is only the first small step to getting a shovel in the ground.

In this Public Comments period, any concerned citizens, politicians, surrounding towns, businesses and the like will be able to weigh in on their issues with the project and final tweaks will be made to the EIS. Here is the post that just went up on (the official site of the Lighthouse Project):

Lighthouse DGEIS deemed complete by Town of Hempstead Board

Jul 7, 2009

Today, the Town of Hempstead Town Board voted unanimously on a resolution to deem the Draft Generic Environmental Studies for the Lighthouse at Long Island project complete.

The original application for a Planned Development District was submitted on November 17, 2007, with the final scope of studies finalized on February 24, 2009. The Lighthouse Development Group submitted the first round of studies on April 28, 2009.

This resolution now opens an official public comment period, and a public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse at Hofstra University. The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. The public comment period will be open until August 17, 2009.

The public hearing will be the time for anyone and everyone to let their voice be heard on the project.

It's imperative that we as supporters of the Lighthouse Project keep up the pressure on our local politicians in not only the Town of Hempstead but also in Nassau County and New York State. This project will not just effect the Uniondale/Garden City/Hempstead area; This Project will effect all Long Islanders. Revel in this small victory for now, but it'll be time to get back to work tomorrow when the Public Comment period officially opens.

As you can see in the release, there is a meeting on August 4th at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse at Hofstra at 9:30AM. I know I'll be there and you should plan to be there too. If we show up in numbers it will personify the support that this project has throughout our respective communities.

It's One Small Step...but we're not there yet.

Note: I joked before on my Twitter feed about the zoning applications being approved EARLY and Nick almost had a heart attack. Just wanted to publicly apologize and state yet again that this process is far from over. Keep yourself up-to-date on all the Lighthouse Project news at both the Official Site and Let There Be Light(house).

Cheers, folks!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hockey's Future is Calling


It's amazing who you can meet an event like the NHL Entry Draft. In my travels, I bumped into the face and radio voice of, Dustin Nielson. After some very interesting conversation, I passed him a business card and really didn't think much of it.

Fast forward to last night when I received an e-mail from Dustin about doing a short spot on for tonight's show. You can't imagine how stoked I was to be able to contribute to such a comprehensive hockey research website. Make sure to head over to their site and give it a listen.

I'll make sure to post the link once it's up so you guys can listen to it here just in case you miss it tonight.

UPDATE (9:43 PM 7/3/09):
Listen to the broadcast on the left hand side of the page. Also, make sure to check out the post that accompanies it.

Thoughts on Some Minor Moves


If you expected the Islanders to make a big splash in the Free Agent market this year, you weren't paying attention to the plan that's in place. The idea is to build from within, through the Draft, with young players that grow as professionals through the Islanders system.

With a #1-A goalie acquired in the form of Dwayne Roloson on July 1st, the Islanders didn't believe that there would be any other requirements for the upcoming NHL season. However, there were some needs to be addressed for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Here's the Press Release:



Team Signs Munroe, Reich And Westgarth For Next Season

UNIONDALE, NY, July 2, 2009 – The New York Islanders announced today that they have agreed to terms with three players. Goaltender Scott Munroe, left wing Jeremy Reich and defenseman Brett Westgarth all have signed one-year, two-way contracts.

Munroe, an undrafted goalie from Moose Jaw, SASK, has been a part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization for the past four seasons. He received his first call-up to the National Hockey League last year with the Flyers. The 27-year-old net-minder posted a career year last season with a record of 31-19-0-4, a save percentage of .926 and four shutouts. Munroe led the Phantoms to the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of the past two seasons. During the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, Munroe made 65 saves in a five overtime contest against the Albany River Rats to earn the victory in the longest game in American Hockey League history.

Reich has played in a total of 99 NHL games scoring two goals and four assists while compiling 161 penalty minutes. The Craik, SASK native has been a part of the Boston Bruins organization for the past three years and played under Islanders head coach Scott Gordon his first two seasons with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. Last season, the 6’1, 196 pound left wing, served as the team captain of Providence, setting single-season career high numbers of 21 goals and 13 assists for 34 points in 76 games. Reich was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round (39th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Westgarth played the last three seasons in the AHL. Last year, the 6’2, 215 pound defenseman played for the Worcester Sharks, AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, scoring nine points (2 goals and 7 assists) while totaling 137 penalty minutes. Westgarth, a native of Amhertsburg, ON, is a Princeton University graduate who skated for the Tigers from 2002-2007 where he compiled four goals and 20 assists for 24 points.

I find it interesting that Garth felt he needed to go out and get another AHL caliber goaltender in Scott Munroe. Despite the fact that Munroe has proven to be very effective, the Islanders now have to two goalies who will be looking to prove themselves at the AHL level (Nate Lawson and Mikko Koskinen). It does make sense if you're taking into consideration that Rick DiPietro isn't exactly the healthiest athlete around and his "backup" is approaching 40. So it stands to reason that you'd want a capable "backup for the backup" if Roloson or DiPietro ever happen to go down.

The signing of Jeremy Reich seems more like competition for Joel Rechlicz than anything else. He's a Scott Gordon fave from Providence and should prove effective at the AHL level. Scoring 21 goals and compiling 161 penalty minutes is not slouchy by any means for an "enforcer-type". He could prove useful as a callup from the "Bridge" or as a full-timer if the competition for the enforcer role heats up in training camp. I guess we won't know until September.

As far as Westgarth goes, you can never have enough size and mobility on your blueline. He's a good depth signing but shouldn't see much if any time at all with the Islanders this year.

That's my take and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Islanders Sign...Dwayne Roloson?


Ok, someone explain this one to me. I'm in total disbelief over this signing. A total of $5 million over 2 years. IMHO, 1 year two many and about a $1 million per year too much. At least he's been to a Stanley Cup Final right?

Makes you wonder how Craig Anderson got $1.8 million per year and Ty Conklin got $1.3 million.

Overpaid much?

I'll be back as soon as I hear anything else.


Ok, so I'll admit it. The more I read about this signing the more Rolie is growing on me. I think the initial shock has worn off. This should be a decent value signing over the next two seasons just in case DiPietro still can't figure out how to stay off his knee for more than a few hours.

Knowing the Oilers offered him 1 year at $3 million helps a lot, too.

Here's the Official Press Release, fresh from the mint:


Net-Minder Brings Veteran Leadership To Young Team


UNIONDALE, NY, July 1, 2009 – The New York Islanders have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

Roloson appeared in 63 games for the Edmonton Oilers last season, finishing with a 28-24-9 record and a 2.77 goals-against average. He back-stopped the Oilers to the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals against the Carolina Hurricanes, posting a 12-5 record during the team’s run.

Roloson, a 39-year-old goaltender, was selected to represent the Minnesota Wild at the 2004 NHL All-Star Game and at the end of the season had the NHL’s best save percentage of.933.

“We are thrilled to add Dwayne to our lineup,” said Garth Snow, New York Islanders General Manager. “He is a proven winner having led the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006 and we look forward to him bringing his veteran leadership to the Islanders.”

The Simcoe, ON native, was an unsigned free agent and has appeared in 462 career NHL games, playing for the Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild and Oilers. He has 167 career wins and 23 shutouts.

Playing for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell from 1990-1994, Roloson finished his college career with a record of 51-44-9 and registered consecutive 20-win seasons during both his junior and senior year. In his final season with the River Hawks, Roloson was named the Hockey East Player of the Year and was selected to NCAA East First-All-American Team and the Hockey East First All-Star Team. He finished the year with a 2.76 GAA.