On draft day, the New York Islanders were the first ones to make an impact as almost immediately following the drafting of Nail Yakupov as the first overall pick, it was announced that the Islanders had traded their 2013 second round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.
The following day, an article started making the rounds in which Visnovsky, in an interview with a European newspaper, stated "I get offers from Russia and I think about them.” Fans were, as to be expected, shocked at these comments and everyone wondered if this was going to be a sort of Evgeni Nabokov repeat, where the player is, in Visnovsky’s case, traded for but doesn’t report to the team.
However, earlier today Arthur Staple of Newsday took it upon himself to personally call the Slovakian defenseman and find out the full story. Visnovsky stated that the famed interview had actually taken place before the trade itself, and he’d been asked about whether he’d play in the KHL or Slovakia in case of yet another lockout. He confirmed to all fans that he would be present at training camp, and stated that “this is my first choice, to play for the Islanders.”
The 35 year old, 36 in August, has a cap hit of $5.6 million, but only a $3 million salary in the last year of his contract. Visnovsky will give a definite boost to the Islanders power play, take some of the pressure off of Islander captain Mark Streit, and also helps the Islanders fill one of the defensive holes as it seems obvious that Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina, and Steve Staios (now a front office employee of the Toronto Maple Leafs) will not be back next season.
The Islanders will likely fill the other two spots left on the blue line with one free agent signing, and the promotion of one of Matt Donovan, Aaron Ness, and/or Calvin de Haan with Donovan and Ness the likeliest candidates. After said promotion and signing the Islanders defense should look something like this:
A major improvement from last year’s:
Eaton Staios/Jurcinano comments
The Islanders made their second signing of the summer today as they signed forward Blair Riley to a one year, two-way deal.
The Ferris State graduate spent the 2011-12 season up and down from the AHL and the ECHL, and impressed the Islander organization with his grit. In the 55 games he’s played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Riley had seven goals and four assists for a total of eleven points on the season, with a -3 +/- and 77 PIMS.
While the signing isn’t exactly the biggest signing of the market, it’s good to remember that a team isn’t solely made up of superstars and depth signings are also necessary to a good team.
When interviewed about his first professional contract by the Connecticut Post, Riley had this to say:
“I got an opportunity there to show what I could do at the American League level, an opportunity to take a step forward… I’m very comfortable going to camp, knowing a bunch of the guys, and with the staff. They know what to expect from me.”no comments
Kirill Kabanov had a big night for the Shawinigan Cataractes, contributing a goal and an assist in his teams 6-1 routing of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
The Isles prospect contributed his third assist of the tournament on Shawinigan’s first goal of the night feeding Brandon Gormley, who put It into the net. Kabanov scored the Cataractes’ fourth goal of the night 2:56 into the second period. He was able to score on a fluke shot that missed the net, hitting the glass behind it, a and bounced off Oil King goaltender Laurent Brossoit and went into the net.
"It's sometimes disappointing, but a goal is a goal," Kabanov told Buzzing the Net about the goal. Adding later that he had never scored like that, but thought “it was kind of funny.”
The goal was Kabanov’s first of the tournament and now has 4 points in the four games Shawinigan has played in the tournament.
The Cataractes play Saint John tomorrow night at 7pm.
John Tavares (and Team Canada) may be eliminated from the IIHF World Championships; he is still very much alive in the EA Sports NHL 13 Cover Vote.
Voting begins today, as the Islander all-star goes head to head with Detroit Red wings forward Pavel Datsyuk. Tavares knocked out Jordan Eberle in the first round of the cover vote.
"I'm flattered that I am moving onto the next round of the EA Sports NHL13 Cover Vote,” Tavares told the Islanders’ team website. “I've always said that we have amazing fans on Long Island that support this team. I appreciate the hours of voting they've put in for me and look forward to seeing what they can do as I'm up next against one of the NHL's great players, Pavel Datsyuk. Don't count Islander fans out, they'll always end up surprising you.”
Tavares has received endorsements from several other NHL players like P.K. Subban, Patrick Sharp, Steven Stamkos, and his fellow Islander teammates.
Rival Henrik Lundqvist is also in the second round of the competition going up against Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators.
Voting goes from today until Wednesday, May 23. Click here to vote for John Tavares and get him to the semi-finals.
On Tuesday the Islanders announced the details for their annual draft party at the Nassau Coliseum, but with the Rangers and Devils in the midst of an Eastern Conference Finals series some Islander fans weren’t too happy to be thinking about the draft as their division rivals battled for a chance to compete for the cup.
The Team did respond and I thought it was worth posting:
We understand our fans’ frustration and are disappointed in the team’s performance on the ice. The New York Islanders thrive on the support of the fans, which is why we’ll continue to hold events like the Draft Party. As an organization, we will not stop having these events because they give Islanders fans the opportunity to show your support, share your passion with friends and family and enjoy a fun experience with your favorite team.
Thanks to reader sportsfan1970 for the heads up.
Yesterday the Islanders announced the official details for this years draft party, Here they are via the Isles press release:
The New York Islanders announced today that passes for the 2012 Draft Party are now available to the general public by clicking the ticketmaster link above or by visiting the Nassau Coliseum Box. The Draft Party is scheduled for Friday, June 22 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Passes to this fan fest are free, but each individual can only reserve up to eight. Doors for the Draft Party open at 5:30 p.m. and the live stream of the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh begins at 7 p.m.
Fans will not only get to watch the Draft live and see exclusive interviews with the Islanders fourth overall selection, but they will also have the chance to meet some of their favorite players at the Draft Party. John Tavares will hand out his autographed jersey to preferred season ticket holders, while Matt Moulson, Matt Martin, Nino Niederreiter, Kevin Poulin, Ryan Strome, Casey Cizikas and Calvin de Haan will also be in attendance. Fans will also have the opportunity to interact with select Islanders alumni.
The Draft Party will once again play host to the Islanders annual year-end blowout merchandise sale, located in the lower lobby. The Islanders Team Store, located next to the Nassau Coliseum Box Office, will feature additional sales and specials.
Interactive activities on the Nassau Coliseum floor will include exclusive locker room tours, street hockey contests, I.C.E. Tour inflatable games and video game stations. The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center will once again provide an interactive exhibit at the event, while the popular Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit will also return to the Draft Party, featuring historic jerseys, sticks and skates used by NHL legends.
The Coliseum scoreboard, which normally hangs well above center ice, will be lowered for up-close, oversized interviews of the Islanders players and alumni in attendance. The big screen will also feature exclusive, live coverage from IslandersTV at the Draft, with interviews with members of the hockey operations staff and behind-the-scenes footage.
Prior to and during the 2012 Draft Party, The American Red Cross will host a blood drive. Fans can donate blood in the Coliseum’s exhibition hall anytime between noon and 8 p.m. on draft day.no comments
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