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The Wait Is Over, Islanders Hockey Is Back

Many NHL fans were clamoring for both Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman to be locked in a room without the option of leaving until a new CBA deal was agreed upon. That is basically what took place last night.

Several months later, a 16-hour negotiating process that ended around 5 AM Sunday morning resulted in a new CBA that is in the process of being ironed out on paper. The deal is a 10-year agreement with an opt-out clause that is available at eight years (Photo credit: shot7photos/Flickr).

Filling The Void During The NHL Lockout

For many of you, the NHL lockout has left a major void in our lives. The NHL Network plays old games here and there, but we already know the outcome. It's just not the same. We yearn for fresh ice, new plays and flashy highlights that keep our love for the game as strong as it's ever been. (Photo Credit: IslesPunkFan/Flickr)

But the NHL lockout is testing us.

Some fans can turn to football. It's an aggressive sport, like hockey, and one that is loved by the majority of Americans.

But I'm not the biggest football fan. I'll turn a game on here or there, but do I really want to replace dropping the gloves and thrilling OT wins with this?

Isle Be Seein' Ya, Isles Heading To Brooklyn In 2015

The long wait is over. The New York Islanders will finally have their new arena once the lease expires in 2015. It was announced today the team owner Charles Wang has signed a 25-year lease with Barclays Center Owner Bruce Ratner that will kick into effect for the 2015-2016 season. (Photo Credit: stayclassynet/Flickr)

Per the Isles official press release:

NEW YORK ISLANDERS TO MOVE TO BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN

First NHL Team to Play Home Games in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY (October 24, 2012) -- New York Islanders Owner Charles B. Wang, Barclays Center Majority Owner and Developer Bruce Ratner, and Onexim Sports and Entertainment announced today that the Islanders will move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 25-year agreement begins for the 2015-16 season.

Matt Martin Signs Four Year Deal As CBA Expires

It's official. The NHL has officially locked out its players for the 2012-2013 season until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed upon between the owners and the NHLPA. Despite the players openly stating they were willing to continue negotiations under the current agreement to avoid a work stoppage, Commissioner Gary Bettman refused the idea, having been long prepared to lockout his players heading into last night's deadline. (Photo Credit: clydeorama/Flickr)

Many fans already plan on boycotting merchandise until a solution is found since there is no telling of how long this lockout will last. There is hope that a season can still start on time, but both sides are still far apart on resolving the matter, indicating that there might not be hockey in October after all.

The only good news for Islanders fans is that GM Garth Snow locked up one of his core members for the next four years. Matt Martin signed a new contract with the Isles just before the past CBA expired.

Kari Lehtonen Signs 5 Year Extension

According to the Dallas Stars' official Twitter account, goaltender Kari Lehtonen has signed a five year extension worth $29.5 million. This extension will take Lehtonen up to the 2017-18 season with a cap hit of $5.9 million per season.

The native of Helsinki, Finland, signed a three year extension upon arrival from Dallas, and one year remains. Under the current CBA, players must wait until there is at least one year remaining on a contract to sign an extension. The current CBA expires at midnight tomorrow.

With the Stars, Lehtonen has posted a 72-50-15 record along with a 2.56 goals against average and a .915 save percentage over 140 games. GM Joe Nieuwendyk believes th...

Preparing For An NHL Lockout On The Island

There was likely a reason that Islanders RFA's Rhett Rakhshani, Mark Katic and Justin DiBenedetto opted for Europe before being tendered their qualifying offers by GM Garth Snow. A potential lockout is looming that could delay or even cancel the 2012-2013 season and these young prospects still need to play in order to continue their development.

There is only 24 days left for the NHLPA and the owners to reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement or the season will be locked out, likely forcing a later start date than October 11th.

Hockey fans can look back to the 2004-2005 season that was entirely scrapped from a lockout due to disagreements on a new CBA between the NHLPA and the owners.

Nabokov To Remain An Islander?

Per Arthur Staple of Newsday via Twitter: "Evgeni Nabokov's agent, Don Meehan, tells Newsday that contract talks with #Isles will likely start soon."

And the Twitter feeds went wild. Nabokov, who is currently sitting due to the flu, could possibly return in an Islanders sweater for the 2013 season. Who would have thought that this would be the case a year after Nabokov was claimed off of waivers by GM Garth Snow and then failed to report?

Nabby has a 14-14-0 record with a 2.24 GAA and a .925 save percentage. His stats are pretty solid for a goalie that has been playing on a team with a fragile defense and an offense that started off terribly and currently sits as the fourth worst team in scoring in the league. With the Islanders six points out of the playoffs, his ability to steal games, much like his 45 save shutout performance against the Philadelphia Flyers, has allowed Nabokov to become the main piece between the pipes for a late season playoff push. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)

Social Media Ban Or Protecting the Media That Pays Your Bills?

The National Hockey League and its so-called partner the National Hockey League Player’s Association have come to an agreement on social media.  Officially, both sides have decided to limit or even shut down the use of social media on game days. 

“In addition to suggested guidelines and tips around use of decorum and protection of sensitive information, the key mandate is around game days and blacking out certain windows of time.”

In truth, this is a ban on the use of twitter.  What NHL player uses their Facebook page or foursquare for anything anymore?  Players may not tweet or use social media from two hours before the puck drop until af...

NHL owners open their wallets and put good sense on hold

The collective bargaining agreement between NHL owners and the players association expires at the end of next season, and it already appears certain that absurdity is in the offing.

That much was made clear by events this weekend. It was touted as "free agent frenzy", which it decidedly wasn't, just as the NHL entry draft a week earlier was about as exciting as watching the Sedin twins throw themselves to the ice in faked agony every time they feel a breeze from a passing player. There was no frenzy, just more evidence (in large amounts) that the people who own hockey teams don't deserve to be protected from themselves, so blatant and repetitive are their acts of s...

Salary Cap Inflates Prices

Ever wonder why there has been so many ridiculously huge salary cap hits being handed out all over the place?

I guess we only have the NHL to blame.

With the salary cap going up from last year about $5 million, teams have found that they can spend more than is needed. Even looking at the signings that have happened already, there have been some major overspending. Here are some contracts handed out that I thought were a bit much:

Over Spending on Free Agents (cap hit in millions)PLAYERTEAMCAP HIT YEARSWisniewski5.56Ehrhoff4.010Cole4.54Jovanovski4.14Ericsson3.253Souray1.651Hejda3.254Leino4.56Fleischmann4.54Kopecky3.04Montador2.754Laich4.56Pardy2.02Belanger1.753Fiddler1....