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Eastern Conference Preseason Rankings: By The Numbers

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Welcome to September everyone! The month where, when you’re a hockey fan, you want to skip like Thanksgiving and move right into Christmas, or in this case the month of October. What September does give hockey fans are training camps and preseason games to watch as a teaser, a chance to start predicting where your favorite team will finish a the end of the season or determine how much blood pressure medication they’ll need to get them through a possible rough season. So I usually do my regular season predictions a day or two before the regular season begins, but I always do a preseason look at the teams before they even hit the ice in September. This is where I find my dark horses, my possible basement dwellers and so on. Now I must reiterate that this is strictly by the numbers. I’ll take the last three years of each season of the players and then for every team I take 12 forwards, 7 defenseman and 2 goalies.

The Passing Of A Legend

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There’s so much to say in such a small venue of space for me to get in everything I would like to write about Al Arbour. In my humble opinion he’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest New York coach ever. Some will argue a few Yankees or the NFL Giants coaches like Joe Torre, Casey Stengel or Bill Parcells, but Arbour did it in a sport most New Yorkers do not care enough about. He helped bring back hockey to New York and ignited one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. If Arbour had won for the New York Rangers as he did for the Islanders, there would be a huge memorial service in Madison Square Garden yesterday. Be as it may the entire hockey community has delivered their heart felt condolences to the Islanders organization, it’s fans and of course to Arbour’s family.

Poulin, Carkner Resign; Isles Have Interest In Zidlicky

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According to Newsday: the New York Islanders have resigned RFA goalie Kevin Poulin.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers have also signed defenseman Matt Carkner to a two year AHL deal.

The Bridge Report: What To Do With Grabner, Petrov

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With the month of August already here, it gets to be very quite when it comes to New York Islanders news, but that doesn’t mean Islanders fans don’t have time to analyze their team and begin making their predictions for the upcoming season. One prediction that has been analyzed quite a bit is the roster spots of Michael Grabner and Kirill Petrov. The Islanders are full and there doesn’t appear to be a spot available except for the press box at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Will the Islanders repeat last year and run with a full (humor) 15 forwards, 10 defenseman and 2 goalies?

What The County Lease Completed Means To The Islanders

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Like it or not, the lease between the New York Islanders and Nassau County is done and over with today. You can point fingers anywhere you want, but you have to go all the way back to Kate Murray’s predecessors of the Dynasty years politicians if you’re gonna start somewhere first. You can blame her all you want, it hasn’t meant much to the politicians the last 40 years and it won’t mean much if she’s re-elected. For Islanders fans, it’s time to embrace Brooklyn for better or worse. For the Islanders organization, the bittersweet farewell to Nassau can only be put into one word after the nonsense they’ve had to endure:

Just Take My Money

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Blog: Lubo Out, Brock & Poulin Still Not Signed

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From Sport.cask.sk: From Lubo himself: “Even before the start of the July transfer window (free agency), I have received a proposal for a contract extension from the Islanders management, but we disagreed. They took the younger players, so they decided to go a different route. The situation is now such that I’m waiting to offer.

I had to help with the google translate, but unless there is a plague on the Islanders defense, Lubo probably doesn’t return. He goes on to say that he’d prefer the NHL, but he wouldn’t mind playing in Europe. His health is also a concern so if he continues to be in pain he said he would probably retire. Good luck Lubo.

Islanders To Play On National TV This Year

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Blog: Consistency Is Key To Improve Isles

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After their first 100 point regular season in over 30 years and a nail biting, too many sticks breaking 7 game series with the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders fans were looking for a big offseason to improve the club to take that “next step.” First came the draft, which many are not to concerned with, but they should be. After covering the draft and looking at what went down, here is a simple statement that sums up the Islanders draft year: If the players pan out, Islanders fans won’t have to worry about salary cap management or losing players to free agency because of the talent that have been drafted the last two years will make up for any kind of loses, it was that good.

Welcome to the Barclay Center

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The prospects of the New York Islanders and Islanders fans had the chance to witness hockey for the first time in Brooklyn. The Islanders prospects hit the ice for the scrimmage game in front of 6,311 fans.

The arena was packed with people who were there to see the upcoming prospects like: Michael Dal Colle, Matthew Barzal and Joshua Ho-Sang play.

Walking into the Barclay Center, you could tell that the atmosphere was different from the Nassau Coliseum. When you first walk into the arena, you see a huge sign that says “Barclay Center”.

Walking past the entrance and heading into where you could see a huge jumbo-tron  and looking down at the ice, which has the  Islanders logo on the ice.  Fans could also see the different in size of the whole arena including a private club and the press box.  I shouldn’t forget to mention the Sugar Factory store in the arena.

Blog: Isles Select Anthony Beauvillier

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Islanders general manager Garth Snow may have scored another gem in trading up to draft Anthony Beauvillier. He’s labeled as a center but can play left wing as well. He’s the kind of player every coach loves because you can put him in any spot and he’ll do it. He’s very smart and can read plays very well. He’s lightning quick and as I have stated before can play any role you ask of him and he’ll compliment his line mates like belongs on that line. Make no mistake, this kid can score and will be a big offensive threat. He’s got top 6 written all over him. He’ll need time to physically mature, but he’s got enough of that and when he’s ready will be a great complement. Think Ryan Strome (Style).

Name: Anthony Beauvillier

Position: C/LW

Height/Weight: 5’10” 173lbs

ISS: 41

Central Scouting: 33 (North America)

TSN Bob McKenzie: 43

TSN Craig Button: 18

Blog: Isles Select Mathew Barzal

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The New York Islanders pulled a trade that didn’t necessarily catch fans off guard, but it was what the Isles got in return that was pure magic by general manager Garth Snow. The Islanders traded 2012 4th overall pick Griffin Reinhart to the Edmonton Oilers for the 16th and 33rd overall picks in this years draft.

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Erik Foley

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Erik Foley is quite possibly the biggest risk/reward player the Islanders could take with the 72nd pick. He doesn’t turn 18 until June 30th, which makes him one of the youngest players in this years draft. Foley barely has the size to play in the AHL, but he’s committed to Providence College nest year so if the Islanders were to draft him, he could marinate in the college ranks for a as long as he wants without being rushed. He already has some international experience playing in last years Ivan Hlinka Tournament where he and team USA won the Bronze medal. He’s a power forward despite his size and plays a similar style to that of Colin McDonald with a much bigger scoring touch or a Kirill Petrov. He is without a doubt the “Sleeper” pick of this years draft. If he properly matures the Islanders will have another top prospect everyone will be asking “Why didn’t we draft him?”

Name: Erik Foley

Position: LW

Height/Weight: 5’11” 185lbs

ISS: 88

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Mitchell Stevens

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Up next is my second to last, higher reward/risk “educated guess” that the Islanders may use with their 72nd or 82nd pick: Mitchell Stevens. When I read about Stevens I get a mix of a bigger Jason Blake, with Michael Peca leadership in my head. He’s speedy and can create some points on the breakaway. He can kill penalties and if the Isles can find a “Dave Scatchard” compliment for Stevens, he could be dynamic. The other attributes that I like about Stevens? He’s a winner. Stephens played for team Canada in the U-17 and playing a crucial role, and winning gold at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Following his draft season with Saginaw, he was promoted to captain, and finally wearing the letter for Canada at the U-18 World Championship in Switzerland this past spring, while scoring five goals and ten points in seven games. He may be another victim of slipping in the draft simply because of the depth.

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Stephen Desrocher

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Okay folks, it’s a new scenario: Garth Snow cannot make a trade to move up in the draft and he has to pick at number 72. For me, this is like trying to hit my target riding a horse backwards and blindfolded. No clue. But since I’ve been covering the draft since 2008, I’m usually pretty good at picking the right player in the correct round. For example, some players I had slated at number 70 and they went at 73 or I had them pegged for 59 and they were 56. Close but no cigar, especially Glen Sather’s. Remember, I’m swinging for the fences here, meaning the risk/reward meter is high. So here now is another player who the Islanders may see in either the 72nd or 82nd pick in the third round.

Name: Stephen Desrocher

Position: Defense

Height/Weight: 6’4″ 198lbs

ISS: N/A

Central Scouting: 145 (North America)

TSN Bob McKenzie: N/A

TSN Craig Button: 82

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Gabriel Gagne

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Just chalk up another “swing for the fences” prospect that I found that the Islanders may draft on Saturday. Gagne is another power forward winger who needs time to mature into his body and if he takes the initiative, will be a top 6 winger in the NHL. I’ve read from many sites that he reminds them of Benoit Pouliot. He has shown early on the ability to score but needs to use his already impressive size more to really capitalize on his overall offensive game. What intrigues me with Gagne was that he was a low second/high third round pick around mid season and now he looks like he could go mid second for sure, so he has improved this season. If he is given the time, his development and maturity will only benefit the Islanders when he’s finally called upon.

Name: Gabriel Gagne

Position: Winger

Height/Weight: 6’5″ 186

Central Scouting: 36 (North America)

ISS: N/A

TSN Bob McKenzie: 61

TSN Craig Button: 91

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Nicolas Meloche

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If there was a player that reminded me of Travis Hamonic, it’s Nicolas Meloche. He’s a big, physical defenseman who can put points up on the board and is very competitive. He’s not going to let you into his area without you getting hurt. He’s got a very good slap shot and is a sound defenseman in his own end. Why is this player available in the second, possibly third round? Like Hamonic, the 2008 draft was deep and Meloche is going through the same thing. Nothing about his game indicates that he’s dropped, it’s just the way the cards are going to fall in the draft. If Meloche is still available in the mid to low second, the Isles might pull the trigger and land themselves a first round talent at a bargain price.

Name: Nicolas Meloche

Position: Defense

Height/Weight: 6’2″ 204lbs

ISS: N/A

Central Scouting: 40 (North America)

TSN Bob McKenzie: 44

TSN Craig Button: 36

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Ryan Pilon

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Up next on Isles Talk is a defenseman who should go early in the second round, but may slip quite a bit if other general managers have a personal preference, Ryan Pilon. Yes he is related to former Islanders defenseman Rich Pilon, as Ryan is Rich’s nephew. Their games are very different: Rich was known for the hitting and intimidating, while Ryan plays a clam, more defensive style. He doesn’t crack under pressure and is in very good defensive position. He’s not going to be a top 4 defenseman, but with offensive players like Leddy, Boychuk, Hamonic and Pulock, putting Pilon on a pair with Mayfield sounds like a really good compliment. Hey, what Islanders fan wouldn’t want a Pilon in a Islanders Jersey?

Name: Ryan Pilon

Position: Defense

Height/Weight: 6’2″ 206lbs

Central Scouting: 24

TSN Bob McKenzie: 55

TSN Craig Button: 51

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Caleb Jones

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Next in my list of possible second round picks the Isles could select is Caleb Jones. Caleb is the younger brother to Seth of the Nashville Predators. Due to some issues I have with the Isles selecting the brothers of NHL stars (Lindros, Toews etc. with the exceptions being Sutters and Potvins) I’m not sure how I would feel about this move. However, Jones already possesses AHL size and will be starting his major-junior career with the Portland Winterhawks, just like his brother did. He’s a little shorter than his older brother, but Caleb likes to hit more while Seth likes to use his reach. Caleb is like Seth as he is good defensively while getting into the offense and putting up numbers. He’s not going to be Seth, but if he progresses nicely, Caleb won’t need his big brother in getting to the NHL. Caleb is a player that will be moving up and down my rankings for the next two days, he could go in the second or third round, but I believe someone will take a shot at him early.

Isles Talk 2015 Draft Preview: Travis Dermott

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Now I shall move onto the next phase of the 2015 Isles Talk draft preview and shift my focus to this scenario: What if the Islanders acquired a mid second rounder to a high third? I’m not speculating how they got there, just to go ahead and pick out players who could be in that category. Enter Travis Dermott. For now, if I could describe Dermott it would be like this: Travis Hamonic’s little brother. Nothing flashy, yet plays a good all-round game and is more of an offensive defenseman. He’s got good size for his age now, makes all the right plays yet is very calm in almost every situation. In 3-5 years the Islanders may need every kind of prospect to step in and Dermott could do just that. There’s a certain buzz going around that the first two rounds will consist of mostly forwards being drafted so when the mid to late second round and especially the third round come into play, it’s best player available. Could Dermott fall into the third round? Possible, but I’ll be shocked.

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