The ‘YES!’ chant has become a part of Islanders culture, and it’s now immortalized in EA Sports’ NHL 16.
The Isles posted this video on their social media channels on Thursday:
Brian ErniThat’s great. The best thing about the YES chant (and, as many of you know, I think there are many) is that it came about very organically. It started with a smattering of fans, then caught on to the extent that the whole arena was doing it. Now, it’s ingrained in the fabric of the fan base. Last season, it was a great way for the players to reciprocate the love they felt from the fans, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the perfect rallying cry.
Now, I wonder if those video animated fans can tell me how the obstructed views at that one end of the ice are…
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is considering options to play in Europe next season.
The 38-year-old blue liner is mulling over starting the 2015-16 season overseas — potentially in the Swiss or Czech leagues — while he waits for an NHL offer, according to Slovakian newspaper Novy Cas. Visnovsky told IIHF.com earlier this month that he had been offered another one-year deal by the Islanders.
Since then the Islanders seemingly have decided to opt with giving their younger players a shot at filling Visnovsky’s role. General manager Garth Snow hinted the team would go that route during an interview with ESPN/TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. “I don’t anticipate [blueliner Lubomir] Visnovsky coming back, so there’s potential for one of our young defensemen to earn a spot,” Snow said two days prior to the NHL draft.
It would appear likely that either Ryan Pulock or Scott Mayfield fill the role Visnovsky held last season. Pulock is the odds-on favorite to be in the lineup opening night, but Mayfield had a strong enough playoff performance that he has pushed his way into the conversation for the upcoming year.
There is also still some serviceable talent on the free agent market, namely Christian Ehrhoff. The Islanders could decide to make an offer to him or another unsigned player. Then there is the possibility of a late offseason trade occurring, similarly to how the Islanders were able to acquire Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk.
When healthy, Visnovsky does prove to be a valuable commodity on the blue line. He is also useful asset on the power play. However, injuries hampered much of Visnovsky’s 2014-15 campaign and forced him to miss 29 games. Visnovsky also missed another three games during the playoffs after suffering an injury in Game 4.
The Islanders may have a change of heart as training camp gets closer, but as of right now it does not seem likely that Visnovsky will be suiting up in the orange and blue next season.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:This year’s minicamp — held earlier this month — would have been defenseman Scott Mayfield’s fifth since being drafted by the Islanders 34th overall in 2011. Instead, the Denver University product watched from the stands on the final day of camp, which ended July 11.
“It’s good to come out here and watch everyone. Kind of see the younger group of guys,” Mayfield said during a conversation with Islanders Point Blank.
The Islanders defenseman was on Long Island for some offseason training as he prepares to battle for a roster spot in September. That has been Mayfield’s main focus since the season ended after a disappointing Game 7 loss to the Washington Capitals in the opening round of the playoffs.
“I want to be in the best possible shape and condition,” Mayfield said. “Just the biggest size I can be. The most weight I can put on and everything. I just want to make sure I’m ready to come in and fight for a spot.”
Mayfield opened a lot of eyes during his two appearances during the playoffs. Islanders head coach Jack Capuano surprised everyone by adding Mayfield to the lineup in Game 6 instead of Ryan Pulock. He saw 10:30 of ice time in Game 6 and then played 14:20 in Game 7.
Fellow defenseman Brian Strait was impressed by Mayfield’s performance in the postseason.
“To come in in that situation it’s not easy,” Strait said in April. “He goes out there and plays with that much poise and confidence, it’s awesome to see. I can’t wait to see what else he brings.”
Michael (@islanderjunkie) writes: Brian, If Kirill Petrov makes the Opening Night roster, is he the 13th forward, or is he in the lineup? If he’s in the lineup, which forward comes out?
Brian ErniThat’s a great question. As we discussed earlier this week, it seems like Petrov has the inside track on a roster spot. One would think that a logical lineup placement is on a line with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolay Kulemin, which could potentially make Petrov’s transition to the NHL a little easier. But, that would create a state of flux among the ranks of the Islanders forwards.
Tavares, Nielsen, Strome, Lee, Kulemin, Grabovski, and Okposo (barring a last minute trade) seem to be locks. I’d assume Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson (assuming he has a deal in place) fall into that category as well, and I think the Islanders love their fourth line (for good reason). So that’s 12. Plus, there’s Michael Grabner, who — if healthy — needs to get in games, especially to justify the $5 million salary ($3 million cap hit). It seems like Petrov would have a hard time cracking the lineup, but I think therein lies the rub.
I don’t think Garth Snow, Jack Capuano, and the rest of the staff want any of their players — young or veteran — taking anything for granted. Guys like Nelson and Lee struggled down the stretch last year, while Grabovski and Grabner had a hard time staying on the ice. I believe an NHL-ready guy like Petrov is here to push the incumbent forwards to be better. There will be a lot of eyes on the competition on the blue line in camp, but don’t overlook plenty of the battles at the forward spots.
Overall, health will be a big factor in how the Islanders look on Opening Night, but I think if you asked the coaching staff, practically every job is up for grabs, so don’t sleep on what could be a very intriguing training camp.
Could Daniel Bryan, the man who made the YES chant popular, appear at an Islanders game in Brooklyn this year?
Bryan, who is promoting his new book, “Yes! My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of Wrestlemania,” appeared on the Boomer and Carton show this week, and Boomer had some harsh words for the YES chant.
“When the Islanders fans do it after they score a goal, it’s like nails on a chalk board,” Esiason told Bryan.
Bryan admitted that he’s not a hockey fan, but when Esiason suggested the Islanders invite Bryan out to their opener at Barclays Center on October 9, Bryan seemed receptive.
Brian ErniFirst off, please make this happen. How cool would it be for Daniel Bryan to lead a YES chant at Barclays Center? Whoever needs to make that call in the marketing department, get on it ASAP!
Can I just also say that I love that we have something that drives Rangers fans nuts? The Isles are a good, young hockey team that’s going to contend for a while, so they better get used to hearing plenty of YES chants over the years. I have this mental image what, if the Islanders win the Cup, Matt Martin can just wear his ring to Sunday dinners and start YESing before every meal. Hockey gods, this is all I want.
The start time of four 2015-16 Islanders’ contests have been amended by the NHL from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. face-offs (Staple, July 23).
The Nov. 25 game vs. Philadelphia, the Feb. 2 game at Washington, the March 8 game vs. Pittsburgh and March 21 game vs Philadelphia have all been pushed back a half hour. All four dates are weekday contests.
The Nov. 25 game will be the Flyers’ first trip to the Barclays Center and the March 8 game will be the Penguins’ first visit to the Islanders new home. The Islanders will skate at the Verizon Center for the first time, excluding the preseason, since the playoffs on Feb. 4.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:The time changes sure seem like a precursor to at least a few of these games ending up on the national broadcast schedule. The Islanders did not have a single game originally scheduled for a national TV audience last year, but that changed after the team’s hot start. This year the schedule would indicate that the Islanders are going to get at least a few games on NBCSN, especially with their new digs in Brooklyn and successful 2014-15 campaign.
NBCSN broadcasts usually have a 7:30 p.m. face-off, though some have started at 7 p.m and others at 8 p.m., and the opponents that the Islanders face on those dates are usually seen nationally quite a bit during the season. The Flyers were featured 16 times on NBC Sports Group properties last season, the Penguins 19 times and the Capitals 13. Adding to that, the Islanders and Penguins have usually held spirited affairs against one another in recent years, and the bad blood developed with the Capitals from last year’s opening-round playoff series makes that game attractive to a national audience.