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Worcester Becomes New ECHL Home For Isles

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From the New York Islanders:

“We are excited to partner with the Worcester Railers Hockey Club as our new ECHL affiliate and bring professional hockey back to an already established hockey city. The proximity of having our ECHL team within driving distance from Bridgeport and the Islanders is a definite benefit. The Railers great ownership group, led by Cliff Rucker, has set a platform for our prospects to develop their game in their brand new practice facility, Worcester Ice Center facility. We’ve had several members of the current Islanders team play games in the ECHL and look forward to continuing that trend with the Railers.” – Garth Snow

Blog: Let’s Play Catch Up & Speculate

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Since there hasn’t been much news on the Islanders front, I’m taking multiple stories from the last few weeks and putting it all on one piece. I’ll also add an interesting twist to the expansion draft for Islanders fans.

Berube Not Returning

This really isn’t a shock to me, but I did have higher hopes for him. He basically pulled a Kevin Poulin and failed to take the reins while Jaroslav Halak was in the minors. Had he performed, you were probably looking at the next backup for the New York Islanders and maybe even a future starter. Having the three-goalie system did not help matters, but when you’re given an opportunity, you don’t waste it.

Isles Talk Season in Review: A Year Of Transistion

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Every franchise goes through a transitional period. Some start as a rebuilding team and after a few years, they begin to improve and reach another stage in the organizations development, such as just making it to the playoffs on a regular basis. Then another period occurs when the team makes the playoffs more often or wins the division or finally gets to another round. There’s another transitional period when as a fan, you know your team is going after the Stanley Cup. Expectations are high, there’s a ton of optimism to begin the season and you’re ready to challenge any team that comes into your home arena.

Short Blog Q & A: The Day After

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As the Islanders clean out their lockers today there are a few questions that fans want answered heading into this offseason. So before the season in review comes out, let’s answer a few of those questions. ****These answers are my own opinion and does not reflect Isles Talk’s overall view****

Does Garth Snow return as GM? Yes

Will John Tavares sign with the Islanders? Yes

Will the Islanders come out with plans for a new arena during the offseason? Yes

Will the Islanders get Matt Duchene this summer? No

Who will the Islanders lose in the expansion draft this year? de Haan, Hickey or Halak

WGBB Talks With Brendan Burke & Alan Fuehring

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WGBB hosts Gary Harding, John Panarese and John Sweeney talk to New York Islanders play-by-play announcer Brendan Burke during the first half of the show and the voice of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Alan Fuehring. The guys talk about the Islanders previous road trip, what’s to come for the remainder of the season with Brendan and the impact of Jaroslav Halak and Josh Ho-Sang being promoted to the big club with Alan. Alan also discusses who Islanders fans could see in the future including Devon Toews. Just click here to listen to the podcast and enjoy.

PK

Blog: Ho-Sang’s Work Ethic, Commitment Is Rewarded

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With the trade deadline over and the New York Islanders failed attempt at landing Matt Duchene now in the rear-view mirror, they managed to make one minor move by calling up recent AHL player of the month, Josh Ho-Sang, for the remaining six games on what is a franchise record nine-game road trip. According to reports, Ho-Sang will play and get top six or top nine minutes. He’s come a long way from over sleeping in his first Isles training camp. He’s grown as a person and as a player and it is starting to show on the score sheet. He scored 5 goals and 10 assists for 15 points in the month of February. His total for the season is 10 goals and 26 assists for 36 points in 48 games. So for the month of February, he’s been able to rack up half of his points in one month.

Standings & How It Affects Trade Market

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So the Islanders and the rest of the NHL have reached the 60 game mark of the season and this is where teams will decide to either throw in the towel or decide to take a risk. However with the standings as close as they are, you might see a few teams become buyers and sellers this year. How does this affect the Isles? Let’s take a look at the rest of the NHL.

First the East. You should have penciled in the Capitals, Penguins, Rangers and Blue Jackets about three months ago. I think it’s safe to put the Senators in and the Canadiens as well, but their lost to the Isles last night really showed that Montreal needs a change and they needed it a month ago. When you talk about a need, it’s at center. It’s been that way for a while. Look for them to take care of that by the end of the weekend. Here’s the rest of the east(again, for just a little while longer, by point pace):

Atlantic

3. Toronto: 93
4. Panthers 92
5. Boston: 91

Metro

Isles Talk Rumor Roundup: Jordan Eberle

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From Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports Network:

Hockey Insider Darren Dreger had a Tuesday morning radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690, and was asked what he’s been hearing on the Eberle front.

“Not a lot, to be honest,” said Dreger. “I would say a month  or so – maybe six weeks ago – there was some tire-kicking. I know that there were three teams that were calling Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton, but no one really willing to jump and take the bait. I believe that the Islanders were one of those teams. But obviously it didn’t go anywhere.

“And the last time I checked with Chiarelli, which was last week – late last week – he said that things had cooled on Eberle. And that’s not to say that there’s no interest in Eberle or that Edmonton has taken him off the market. It’s just maybe kind of a dull time.

Which Islanders Team Shows Up Before The Deadline

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The next nine games are all on the road for the New York Islanders. If this were the last three or four years, I’d be a little more optimistic. One thing is for sure, if the Islanders don’t rack up at least nine points, they’re going to need other teams like Toronto, Boston and Philadelphia to lose and lose often. So let’s go over which Islanders team may show up for at least the next three games as there is a four-day break in between the third and fourth games and of course, the March 1st trade deadline. So the first three opponents are Detroit tonight, Montreal and Columbus.

Blog: The Sellers Becoming A Reality Soon

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With the Islanders win last night over the New Jersey Devils, you may want to draw a line above a few teams that you may feel are probably not going to make the playoffs, even though they’re technically still in it. Once you’ve drawn that line, the upcoming trade deadline drama will begin to heat up. To do that let’s take a look at the current standings. Again, this is going by the percentages or my point pace.

Atlantic

3. Florida 92
4. Toronto 92
5. Boston 92
6. Sabres 85
7. Tampa 85
8. Detroit 81

Blog: Islanders & Leafs On Similiar Paths To Playoffs

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You wouldn’t know it, but the New York Islanders and the Toronto Maple Leafs are on the verge of writing a similar chapter to their respective stories as they enter the final stretch of the NHL regular season. Except for the annoying articles about John Tavares leaving the Isles to go play for the Maple Leafs, it’s the younger players from both teams that are making the most news and are generating excitement in both New York and Toronto. To start the season, many did not have the Maple Leafs making the playoffs and the Islanders were at best a bubble team. Now as both teams square off for game 55, it’s the Leafs and Islanders that are on pace for a playoff spot and ready and eager to possibly upset one of the higher seeded teams. Let’s compare shall we?

Blog: Welcome To The Trade Deadline

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It’s that time of year boys and girls. It’s when some teams begin to throw in the towel and prepare for next season. It’s also a time when teams will load up on rental players in the hopes of a long Stanley Cup run. Welcome to the trade deadline window folks. Before we get into who’s in/out and which players may go, let’s simplify the standings a bit a see who else is still in the playoff race. So not counting tonight’s games, I took the point pace standings after the Islanders played their 51st game and these were the results in a nutshell.

In the playoffs for the East in order: Washington (121), Columbus (114), Pittsburgh (114), Rangers (106) Montreal (103) Ottawa (98)

From here on out, unless there is a plague, you can pretty much pencil those teams in and consider them buyers.

Blog: Islanders Will Need A ’13 Season With A Better ’94 Ending

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With a run that I had hoped for (6-1-2 in their last 9), the New York Islanders look to be in the playoff race for the duration of the regular season, pending nothing tragic happens to their star players. As I continue to look at the standings, I can’t help but think back to the shortened season of 2013, where the Islanders found themselves without much help from their backup goalies and had to ride solely on their aging starter. Move forward in time and the Islanders seem to be in a similar situation, but I’ll add a little more drama to further my point. In all actuality, this really feels like 1994 all over again where it may take the last game of the season to clinch the last playoff berth.

Isles Talk Rumor Roundup: Dennis Seidenberg, Ryan Strome & Jaro Halak

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Blog: Beware of Games-In-Hand

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There’s a lot of hockey fans across the sport that like to use the term, games-in-hand. It’s a perception that helps people who don’t necessarily understand the percentages, but gives the fans hope of coming back and catching up to a particular rival. Indeed, for New York Islanders fans this is certainly the case. If you don’t go by the percentages, the Islanders now sit five points back of the last playoff spot from the Philadelphia Flyers, but have three games-in-hand. In most cases, fans will say something like “Well if my team wins all three games, they’ll be ahead of them.” Or something like “If we take two out of three, we’re only one point behind.” So in the case of the Islanders and Flyers, who has the advantage? If you said the Islanders, you’re wrong.

Thomas Greiss Extends With Isles

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My Take: Well, this has certainly been a busy day. Three years is plenty of time for the Isles to attract Ilya Sorokin over and get him ready for the NHL if he should come over. The Isles win with Greiss, it’s as simple as that. He’ll be a vital piece and paired with Berube, you may be looking at this combo for the immediate future. Now what else could happen?

PK

Barclays Center Will Cut Financial Ties With Islanders

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From Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the building and the Nets, has since November been seeking an investor to take a stake in both. As of earlier this month, a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season — a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said.

In July, Bloomberg News reported that Ledecky and Malkin were considering building a new arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens. Prokhorov now owns the team’s former home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but the owners paid a hefty premium for the team in 2014 based on the pending move to New York City. They have shown no interest in returning to Long Island.

Blog: Islanders Long-Term Benefit Of A Calder Cup Run

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There’s something to be said about going deep into the AHL playoffs. It’s another level of development that the Islanders as an organization have not been able to do since the first year of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Why is this? Welcome to the reality of building through the draft and rushing players into the NHL. There was always this need to bring up the young players because free agency was never the Isles strong suit trying to lure stars to play in Nassau County. In years past, the idea was if you were selected to be an AHL Star, you were ready for the NHL. Indeed, close to 93 percent of the players who are selected as an AHL All-Star, go on to compete in the National Hockey League.

Here are a few of the recent, drafted Islanders players who have been selected to the AHL All-Star Game:

Isles Inch Closer

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With All-Star weekend officially starting for the New York Islanders, it’s clear that they have made some significant progress in trying to get back into a playoff spot. Just a couple of ice chips for everyone to soak in:

1. The Isles are on pace for 89 points. Around the time the Isles had completed their 30th game, I was still convinced they could reach somewhere between 90-95 points.

Blog: The Real Test Begins For Islanders

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This is going to be a brief, but impactful piece as I’ll just show a few stats so I can mentally prepare you for the rest of the month. Was last nights overtime loss to the Flyers a tough one? Of course. Another blown lead, the Flyers looked like they dominated the Islanders for most of the game, the Islanders couldn’t get out of their own defensive zone and you know the rest. Was it a must win? No it wasn’t. Why? Well let’s go over some numbers.

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