Report: Lubomir Visnovsky close to signing deal in Austria

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Lubomir Visnovsky’s days as an Islander could be coming to an end.

The Islanders’ defenseman is close to signing a contract with KAC of the Erste Bank Hockey League in Austria, lubo visnovskyaccording to Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung. The deal would be for two seasons, according to Martin Quendler of Kleine Zeitung.

Visnovsky appeared in 53 regular season games with the Islanders in 2014-15 and four playoff contests against the Washington Capitals. His season ended early after taking a bone crunching hit from Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The hit sparked a war of words between the Islanders and Capitals and amped up the intensity in an already physical series.

Following the Islanders elimination from the playoffs it was unclear if Visnovsky would be able to continue playing hockey. “I want to play, but sometimes my body doesn’t work,” Visnovsky said during the Islanders’ break up day.

He added that he would take the summer to make a decision and it appears he has come to one. Visnovsky has spent 14 years in the National Hockey League, playing for the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and the Islanders.

Now the Islanders will have some decisions to make about their blue line for next season. Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Pulock are expected to compete for a roster spot and Scott Mayfield opened some eyes after his strong performance in the playoffs. Garth Snow could also look towards free agency or via trade to bolster the defense if he does not feel he has the personnel internally.


Sabres shopping the first rounder they got from the Isles

Sabres general manager Tim Murray is open to trading the 21st pick in this year’s draft (Cox, May 22)dal colle

The Sabres acquired the 21st selection from the Islanders in an October 2013 deal that sent Thomas Vanek to Long Island.

The traded pick was conditional, as Garth Snow had the option of either moving the Isles’ first rounder in the 2014 draft or the 2015 draft, with the decision due last spring. Snow opted to keep last year’s first rounder (fifth overall) and drafted Michael Dal Colle.

In 56 games this season with the Oshawa Generals, Dal Colle scored 42 goals and tallied 51 assists for 93 points.

Brian Erni

It’s interesting to note, if only because this year’s 21st pick will always be linked to Dal Colle. And with MDC continuing to score at a breakneck pace in the Generals’ postseason run, and dreams of him playing on John Tavares’ wing dancing in our heads, it’s likely Islanders fans will be happy with how this all turns out.

It’s a win-win for the Sabres. Not only can they opt to keep two first rounders in a very deep draft class, but they can make themselves instantly better if they choose to deal the pick to acquire another core player (don’t forget they have Evander Kane waiting in the wings for next season as well). For the Islanders, whoever is taken at 21 will be filed into that alternate reality of what could have been. But as it stands right now, it looks like New York played this one to perfection.


Islanders 2014-15 report cards: Casey Cizikas

Casey Cizikas: Center| 5’11″| 201 lbs| 24 years old

Regular Season Stats: 70 games played| 9 goals| 9 assists| 18 Points| minus-2

Playoff Stats: 7 games played| 1 goal| o assists| 1 point| plus-1

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders fourth line was one of the toughest in the National Hockey League and Casey Cizikas was certainly one of the reasons why. Cizikas had a career year in goals (9) and points (18), but the physical, gritty style of hockey that he played with was also a big contribution. Along with Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck, Cizikas was able to throw his body around to force turnovers and create offensive opportunities.

“It’s nice to score, but our job is to bring energy to the team and come up NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangerswith a big shift when we need it,” Cizikas told the Washington Post about his role. “so if we can chip in on the scoreboard, that’s nice.”

The centerman won 52.2 percent of his face-offs during the regular season, according to Hockey, and had a came away with the puck 47.3 percent of the time in the playoffs. Cizikas averaged 12:31 of ice time during the season and received an average of 13:42 in the postseason.

Cizikas wasn’t a goal scoring machine, but his chemistry with Martin and Clutterbuck made for a strong fourth unit. In fact, it was so strong that Islanders’ coach Jack Capuano even joked that it was hard to call the Martin, Cizikas and Clutterbuck unit a fourth line.

Cizikas struggled in 2013-14, finishing the year a minus-12, but he turned around and had a strong season for the Islanders this year. He was quite successful when he played his physical brand of hockey and the Islanders will benefit from him next season if he can produce another year like 2014-15.

Grade: B+


Bettman expects the cap to be $71 million in 2015-16

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expects the salary cap for the 2015-16 season to settle in around $71 million, depending on the fluctuations of the Canadian dollar (AP, May 22)


The $71 million would reflect a five percent rise from this season’s $69 million cap.

The Islanders’ cap number last season was roughly $67 million. Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, and Thomas Hickey are eligible for new contracts. (

Eric Bolton, Tyler Kennedy, Matt Carkner, Lubomir Visnovsky, and Michal Neuvirth are all unrestricted free agents.

Brian Erni

The Islanders’ main offseason targets will most likely be a winger to potentially play alongside John Tavares and a back up goaltender, not necessarily in that order. If you figure in roughly $3 million for Neuvirth or a comparable goalie, raises for Lee, Nelson, and Hickey (a potentially extension for Kyle Okposo would not count towards next year’s cap), and possible subtractions of Visnovsky and Michael Grabner, and you’re inching higher, but still have space. That leaves the Islanders in solid position to swipe in and grab a winger (Art Staple mentioned Joel Ward could be a target) or once again take advantage of another cap-constricted club (Patrick Sharp anyone?).

With their top three defenders locked in for years to come, the Isles can breathe easy in the cap department, and the extra $2 million will only help. When the time comes, they have plenty of room to lock up JT long term and still add talent in the interim, and that’s the perfect position to be in.

UPDATE: Big thanks to MSG statistician Eric Hornick for pointing out some flubs I made on the numbers. The news item and my analysis has now been updated to reflect the changes. Thanks, Eric!


Views from some 200 section seating at Barclays Center

Barclays Center held a select-a-seat event this week in order to give new ticket plan holders a chance to pick out the seat and row they wanted and purchase it for the 2015-16 season.

We asked our followers on Twitter who attended and bought tickets to share the view from their seats.

Section 214, row 4 (from @BoredJason)


Top of section 222 (from @hextall72):


Brian Erni

The first aspect of Barclays Center I noticed when I walked in for the first time three years ago was how steep the 200 sections are. Suffice it to say, you’re much further from the ice at the top of Barclays Center than you are at the Coliseum. That said, I’m actually pretty encouraged by some of the views from the upper bowl. The perspective is solid, frankly much better than I thought it would be. I’d still be interested to see some pictures from the defend corner to gauge just how obstructed the view actually is.

Got some views you want to share? Feel free to tweet them to me, and we’ll share them leading up to Opening Night.


County could sue to collect $6 million in unpaid bills from SMG

Nassau County is considering filing a lawsuit agNew-York-Islanders-Nassau-Coliseumainst Nassau Coliseum operator SMG to collect nearly $6 million in unpaid rent, utilities, parking and concessions, as well as an additional $176,000 in back ticket taxes. (Newsday, May 19)

SMG owes the county money dating back to 2011, according to an audit conducted by comptroller George Maragos. He wants the county to file suit to collect the money.

“The county has every intention to collect the dollars owed and has been actively pursuing a resolution to make the county whole,” said County Attorney Carnell Foskey. (Newsday, May 19)

The Pennsylvania-based venue management company said they are working to settle the “unpaid bills,” but SMG insists they do not owe additional ticket tax revenue.

The report comes as the Town of Hempstead held a hearing on Monday regarding the master plan for the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum. The hearing lasted two hours and the town board unanimously agreed to vote on the plan at a future date. (Newsday, May 20)

The vote could happen at “next week’s meeting, it could be at the meeting in June, it could be at any future meeting,” said town spokeswoman Susie Pokalsky.

Forest City Ratner, the development firm that built the Barclays Center, plans to turn Nassau Coliseum into 13,000 seat modern facility along with an entertainment district and retail space. Rather plans on beginning construction in August.