All eyes tonight will be on John Tavares as he suits up for his first NHL preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers up in Canada. Tavares, who missed Monday's game due to a bout with the flue is now feeling well enough to get ice time in what will be his first time wearing the Islanders orange and blue in a real game situation. Tavares has had a succesful and impresive camp so far, from being taken under Doug Weights wing to impressing many with his skill and maturity. A side note for tonights game, TSN is reporting that Dwayne Roloson is expected to start against his former club, although he isnt listed in the lineup given to Newsday's Katie Strang.
It didnt take long for the injury bug to rear it's ugly head as Frans Nielsen is returning to New York to have his knee examined. The unknown injury occured at an uknown time, on an uknown date (you remember how upfront the Isles are about injurys).
Finally, here is the lineup for tonights game. Note the players that many of us wanna see including johnny boy, Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Joel "THE WRECKER" Rechlicz, Calvin de Haan, and Big Foot aka Mikko Koskinen. Hockeybuzz's Dee Karl should have an esier time recognizing the players tonight. And Here is the lineup accroding to Newsday:
Forwards: Doug Weight, John Tavares, Sean Bergenheim, Joel Rechlicz, Casey Cizikas, Justin DiBenedetto, Nate Thompson, Tyler Haskins, Robin Figren, Richard Park, Jon Sim, Jesse Joensuu.
Defensemen: Andy Sutton, Dustin Kohn, Calvin de Haan, Bruno Gervais, Freddy Meyer, Travis Hamonic
Goalies: Nathan Lawson, Mikko Koskinen
It's finally here Isles fans, The Islanders will take the ice for the first time in over 5 months and start the 2009-2010 season. we've been waiting for this since the dismal 08-09 season ended on Easter day with an embarrassingloss to the Bruins. This year starts with the same expectations as last year, finishing in the basement for another season. Fans and pundents are already salavating over the thought of picking Taylor Hall in the 2010 draft. I would hope the season doesn't come down to that AGAIN!
But there is one optomist on the team, Richard Park. Park spoke to Islanders Point Blank's Chris Botta and told Botta and the rest of Islanders Country "I’ll give you this: when April comes around, I expect us to be in position to compete in the playoffs." Park, who is a well respected vet has an extremely optimistic outlook for this season and should be taken very seriously. Its nice to see someone not counting the isles out before they even hit the ice.
What else.........oh ya everyone at training camp is impressed by John Tavares's hand shake. The young star has made a splash at training camp and has been taken under the wing of of Veteran and captain candidate Doug Weight. Reports from Katie Strang, the only New York reporter covering the Islanders and video from the Islanders website provide footage of Weight showing Tavares the ropes and giving him tips throughout camp.
Although Johnny boy is not gunna be playing, along with several other big name players, but hey it's Islanders hockey and right now i couldnt have asked for a better birthday present than the return of Islanders hockey. So break out the Jerseys and get ready for a late night cause it's almost hockey time.no comments
So Dany Heatley finally got his wish on Saturday, September 12th. Heatley and a 5th round pick head to San Jose while Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and a 2nd round pick are moving to Ottawa.
But after all the speculation and rumors and demands, I look at this trade and my first thoughts are: "So what?"
This is a trade that will help Ottawa, yes; they got rid of the unhappy Heatley, and receive a 2nd round pick to nab a young prospect. But Cheechoo has not been too great an offensive force since winning the Rocket Richard trophy in 2006, and Michalek doesn't combine with Cheechoo greatly enough to equal a tandem sizeable to fill the gap left by Heatley. It was obvious that there were little options out there for Ottawa to get full return for what they'd lose in Heatley, and while they receive a decent duo in return, it's likely not enough to change this team for the better and get them back in the playoffs.
And look at San Jose, they lose Cheechoo and Michalek, and just a few weeks ago also traded away Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to Vancouver. Yes they get Heatley, but they're remodeling this team a little late.
Don't get me wrong, the combo of Heatley getting passes from Joe Thornton is a scary though. Thornton is a great set up man and now has an excellent finisher in Heatley. And yes, Heatley has had a successful playoff run with the Senators when they went to the Finals in 2007. But one man's experience and goal scoring ability isn't going to be enough to turn an entire team's postseason failure around just like that. While I wouldn't be surprised if the "professional" prognosticators start picking the Sharks to represent the Western Conference in this year's Stanley Cup Finals, I personally do not see it happening.
Ottawa has gotten rid of an unhappy Heatley, which will help locker room morale, but what they received in return was not enough to fill his void, they're not any closer to the playoffs without him then they were with him. And San Jose gives up two players for one, granted a very good one, but depth has taken a small blow. San Jose is marginally improved at best, and for a team that hasn't gotten past the second round of the playoffs since the lookout, they needed more than just a marginal improvement to be considered a true threat.
The Heatley trade demand, nixed Edmonton trade, and now the San Jose deal have dominated the offseason trade news while a Phil Kessel trade has been under the radar. But in the end, a rumored deal to send Kessel to Toronto may end up making a bigger impact on those teams than the Heatley trade will on the Sharks and Sens, despite making much more noise since June.no comments
If you were hoping to see John Tavares in an Islanders Jersey Mondaynight in Terrace, BC Monday he wont playing. According to Newsday and Islanders Point Blank the number one draft pick wont be playing in Monday nights game and the team never intendedfor him to play in the first place. Definitely a disappointment for all the fans in Terrace and the fans who will be tuning in on NHL Network, CBC, and MSG Plus.
The Kraft Hockeyville Game will Air on timed Delay Monday on MSG Plus at 10:30 for all the fans on the Island who dont get NHL network, who will also be airing the game live.
Speaking of the Kraft Hockeyville Game, for any fans looking for all around coverage of this exciting event check out Greatest Hockey Legends.com for coverage all weekend on the event. Along with the great coverage the site features great articles about past and present stars and stories from around the NHL and this weekend they have some great stuff on our beloved New York Islanders.
That's right in less than 5 days we will finally get to see John Tavares skate for the first in full Islanders attirein a real game situation. The superstar hopeful will most likely take the ice Monday night in terrace, British Columbia along with the rest of the Islander squad marking the end of a long off season that started way back in April and seemed to last an eternity after the Islanders drafted John Tavares. Last week players started coming back to the island and skating at Ice Works in preparation for the start of training camp and most, presumable all are extremely excited to be back to work and for the start of this season. This team of young guns full of potential are all aiming high, especially recently signed rookie Matt Martin who had a break out season with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL last season. Martin told both beat writer Katie Strang and NYI Point Blank's Chris Botta that hes is aiming to play in the NHL this season for the Islanders. Martin told Katie Strang "I want to aim as high as I can. The team is rebuilding, so if you are really impressive in camp, anything can happen. I don't want to be unrealistic and say I think I should be a full-time NHL'er, but I think if I have a really good camp I could get some games up there and show them what I can do." If Martin shows he has what it takes I have no doubt the Islanders wouldn't hesitate to call him up.
On the Tavares side of things, John arrived on the Island last Saturday to much less publicized event and starting to learn his way around Long Island only getting stopped once to take pictures. "It'll be nice to just be myself, learn my way around the team, and just focus on hockey" Tavares told Newsday beat writer Katie Strang. Tavares will no doubt enjoy being in the shadows alittle bit here on the Islanders and be able to fully focus on hockey with out all the media pressure like he faced back in Canada.
The start of this season has been anticipated by every Islander fan world wide since drafting John Tavares, the biggest name to wear an isles uniform in a very long time. This young team has allot of potential and has shown in the past that they can stay competitive. This season will most likely not be a playoff run and once again end at regular seasons end but will most likely not be a last place finish this year. So fans start breaking out those jerseys and GET READY FOR SOME HOCKEY CAUSE ITS A COMIN!no comments
September 10th the Phoenix Coyotes summer bidding war will finally come to an end when the sales auction takes place and the team is given to its new owner.
Can we just give a team to Balsillie already? The NHL obviously is against him owning a team, and that's why the Penguins are still in Pittsburgh and the Predators are still in Nashville. But what's the problem, can't we just get this over with?
Phoenix has accomplished next to nothing since moving to the desert, and they aren't likely to break out with a deep playoff run any time soon. The Coyotes were 28th in attendance last year, and even if the team winds up staying in Glendale, does anyone really think their attendance will get better after this wild summer?
Five of the six Canadian based franchises finished in the top eight in attendance last year, so it's quite obvious that Canadians love their hockey and would be willing to support another team. Granted, you can point to the Phoenix franchise itself, which once resided in Winnepeg before moving south, out of Canada, as a failed Canadian market. But Hamilton fans likely would show up in great numbers, supporting and keeping a team in their city.
I think it is quite plainly conflict of interest for a league to own one of its own operating teams. Granted, Gary Bettman wouldn't become GM of the team and make roster decisions, but it hardly seems fair, or logical, for a league to own its own club.
To the credit of the NHL, they have said they'd only own it a year while searching for a capable owner who would keep the team in Phoenix. However, Balsillie and his legal group are trying to claim that the NHL will look for new owners that may relocate the team to a city the NHL is more interested in, perhaps Kansas City or Las Vegas; non-Canadian markets.
With the start of the preseason only a few weeks away, and the regular season less than a month away, it seems unlikely that the Coyotes would start the season in any city outside of Glendale. Balsillie did say he wouldn't object to moving the franchise in the middle of the season, however, that's absurd, and something more likely to be seen in a AAA league.
The few diehard fans that are in Phoenix should be allowed to have one last full season to enjoy, but the logical move is then for the team to be moved to a better market, like Hamilton. More fans, more tickets sold, more revenues, you get the picture. I get that coming out of the lockout the league said they were dedicated to their 30 markets, and that five years later a team relocates, but common sense has to come in to play at some point.
Let Balsillie have the team, let them move. I know there's going to be a fight between the league and the Toronto Maple Leafs if Balsillie is allowed to move the team to Hamilton, but that's another road to cross when the time comes.
Let the Coyotes play in Phoenix this year, then in the 2010 offseason, relocate them to Hamilton. Divisonal solution? Keep Hamilton in the West, but take them out of the Pacific and put them in the Northwest, so they're with the other three Canadian teams. Then move the Avalanche from the Northwest to the Pacific, and there you go.
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