PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: FAVORITES TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP
The Penguins traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, a defensive prospect and a first round pick (with which they drafted another defensive prospect). Shortly after, they shipped defenseman Zbynek Michalek back to the Phoenix Coyotes for a couple of prospects and a third round pick.
Then, during the free agency frenzy, the struck out on their main target former New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise and their assumed secondary targets defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Alexander Semin (the verdict is still out on Shane Doan, though the rumored four year, $30 million asking price and ...
Katie Strang dropped a rock in the Isles' pond last Thursday when she tweeted, "#Isles owner Charles Wang just left NHL offices although it doesn't appear he was there for labor talks."
The question that follows, of course, is this: What was he there for?
Tweets in response ranged from the hopeful (and perhaps purely emotional) -- "IS HE SELLING?" -- to the downright silly, such as speculation over Wang and commissioner Gary Bettman bonding over some reality TV. But outside of Strang's tweet, there's been very little suggesting as to the nature of Wang's trip, which isn't surprising coming from an organization like the Islanders.
Griffin Reinhart was selected by the Islanders with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The 6'4, 202-pound defenseman recently signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Isles that could kick into effect as soon as the 2013 season.
Many of you are already familiar with the way that this can play out. Reinhart will have nine games of eligibility before he could be sent back to his Junior team, the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. The 18-year old defenseman has already played three seasons for the Oil Kings and had his best last year, scoring 12 goals, 24 assists for 36 points in 58 games played. That totals a eleven point increase over the previous season.
Reinhart clearly has the size, but the question will be if he has the skill and mentality to compete at the NHL level.
Finally, the Dallas Stars have financial freedom. Tom Gaglardi has given GM Joe Nieuwendyk the ability to spend money—and did he ever. He dished out pretty good money to sign some free agents, and pick up a few assets over the summer. Let's take a look at what happened after another heartbreaking season.
In with the new: Jaromir Jagr - one year, $4.5 million Ray Whitney - two years, $9 million Derek Roy - acquired in Ott trade Cody Eakin - acquired in Ribeiro trade Aaron Rome - three years, $4.5 million
Out with the old: Sheldon Souray - to Anaheim Mike Ribeiro - to Was...
It was reported today by Randi Marshall of Newsday that four developers have applied to become the master developers of the Nassau Coliseum area known as the Hub. (Photo Credit: Nuke812/Flickr)
"Patchogue -based Baldassano Architecture submitted an application, managing partner Alex Badalamenti confirmed Tuesday. Garden City developer Breslin Realty also submitted its qualifications, a source said. They will compete with Plainview developer Donald Monti and Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld."
Monti has already expressed a strong desire to keep the New York Islanders in Nassau County through is developments if he is chosen, stating in a previously printed Newsday article that losing the team would be a "travesty" and that his plans "will be with the Islanders staying."
The buzzards of Quebec, Hamilton, and Toronto circle overhead as the Coyotes cling to life in the Phoenix desert.
As their position in the NHL becomes more precarious each day, the topic of relocation continues to heat up.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said that he wants to keep the Coyotes in their suburban Glendale home. That might prove to be too difficult considering the most recent attempt to buy the club, and most promising, has come up some $20 milllion short.
In the near future Bettman will have to seriously consider owners who will relocate the club possibly to the aforementioned Canadian cities.
Isles fans have a way of forcing themselves to see the positives in most murky situations. They could hold a polluted, cloudy glass of water to the light and say “...at least its water!” The fan base is thirsty and have been parched for entirely too long. Saving the ‘stranded on an island’ metaphors, most fans that attend and/or watch each Islanders’ campaign needs something to bring them back after being consistently let down. (Photo Credit: Flickr/slidingsideways)
For the older generation of fans, the original cast that were around since the dynasty days, the reasoning is simple. They seemed to have accepted their apparent, under the table deal with the hockey demons as an exchange for those years as hockey’s prestige.
For the fans that weren’t around for those glory days, they hold on to moments or streaks of greatness. They hold the 1992-93 Islanders dear to their heart spending their days cursing Dale Hunter’s existence and asking hypotheticals about Pierre Turgeon’s unforeseen injury. They remember a good 1993-94 team that got dismantled by the Cup bound Rangers in a 4 game sweep but took the loss thinking they’d be right back eventually. How could they not?
Nino Niederreiter came into the NHL last season with a lot of high hopes and expectations. From a stats stand point, it's safe to say that he fell very short of the mark for anyone's standards.
In 55 games, the 19 year old winger scored one goal along with a -29 rating and 12 penalty minutes after spending basically the entire season on the fourth line. His line-mates for the majority of the year were Jay Pandolfo ,Tim Wallace (prior to being claimed by the Tampa Bay Lightning) or Micheal Haley as well as other various candidates that were dressed depending on that game's line-up.
It's safe to say that he wasn't playing with the most offensively capable skaters, and he had to do so in limited ice time as well.
Yesterday, Arthur Staple of Newsday tweeted that New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky filed a grievance with the NHLPA over his trade to the Anaheim Ducks, claiming that his no-trade clause is still valid and never asked his permission to make the deal.
Newsday reports that Visnovsky's agent claims that this grievance has nothing to do with his desire to play for the Islanders, and is a matter of "establishing what's right."
The New York Islanders signed three players on July 1st, including defenseman Matt Carkner. His addition to the Isles will bring a new element of physicality and toughness on the blue line.
A big and strong crease clearing defenseman has been lacking possibly since Andy Sutton was traded a few years ago to the Ottawa Senators. Carkner's grit and willingness to stick up for his teammates will certainly make the Islanders a tougher team to play against.
Carkner and I had a chance to talk on the phone yesterday to discuss what he's been up to this off-season, what happened on July 1st and what he plans on bringing to the table one he puts on the orange and blue sweater.