IPB Mailbag

You asked us questions last week, this week we answer.

Name: Alan1981
I think the isles need a power fwd like benoit pouliot or brian boyle. Id also like the isles to get a 2nd goalie like reimer? Do you think the isles will have a big summer and make some moves?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I think the Islanders have to have a big summer.  At this point, with the move to Brooklyn looming, the Islanders can not afford to have another season like the last one. Garth snow has shown that he is being proactive this offseason with the tare for, and signing of, Jaroslav Halak. By all indications it would seem he is going to address what the Islanders need — defense and a capable backup goaltender — to make sure the team takes a step in the right direction in 2014-15.


Name: Matty D
IPB Mailbag: Now that we have Halak’d Jaroslav up for 4 years, what can we expect going forward? Does Snow have enough money laying around where he can sign a top 3 forward to play along Tavares and a top 4 defenseman? These are 2 things this team desperately needs.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Similar to what I said in the previous question, I believe will spend this summer because he has to. The Islanders need to shore up the holes — as you mentioned a defenseman and a wingman for Tavares. I wouldn’t expect Snow to go crazy and overspend like a mad man, but he will be active this offseason.


Name: Matt
IPB Mailbag: If the islanders could make 2 signings in the off season: 1 offensive and 1 defensive. Who should they target.

Kevin Schultz

We had a lot of variations on the off-season signings question, clearly a hot topic, and apologies to those whose question didn’t make it through. Offensively, well, someone like Vanek would be ideal. With Vanek and Moulson gone, the Islanders could use some depth among their top-six forwards. Strome isn’t there yet and Nelson very well could be, but I think that left wing side next to Tavares and Okposo is the biggest need offensively. Maybe Vanek would sign? Maybe.

The free agent market is always tough because there’s always some team willing to overspend like crazy for a good but not elite player (see Toronto and David Clarkson last year). If not Vanek or Moulson (and I don’t think there’s a snowballs chance of Moulson coming back), then there are some interesting names out there: Jussi Jokinen, Mason Raymond and Milan Michalek are all left wings at around .5 ppg. Jokinen, maybe with Pittsburgh-padded stats. Anyone of those three would be nice.

Defensively, Matt Niskanen could be out there and Andre Benoit from Colorado. There are a few other defensemen (Dan Boyle, Timmonen, Markov) but they are all 35+, which is worrisome. Ideally I’d want the younger guys, but beggars can’t be choosers.


Name: Seth
What kind of nostalgia can we expect in 2014-15 season as we close out the Coliseum? There seems to be no noise about the last year at the old barn affectionately dubbed “Fort Neverlose” in the 80s. Any plans to commemorate the 40+ seasons? Also, any further info from Barclays on how improvements will be made to watch hockey in this basketball building?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders haven’t announced anything formally as of yet, but I would put money that they will be doing things to commemorate the team’s final year at Nassau Coliseum. I would look to the season long celebration during the Islanders 40th anniversary during the 2011-12 season. As next season approaches the team will likely start announcing plans for the final season in Nassau.

To the best of my knowledge there has not been any update on any modifications to Barclays Center.


Name: Adam Mertz
IPB Mailbag: With all the rumors of a new owner if the islanders get one do you think they will try and get out of the that 25 year iron clad lease in Brooklyn and try and move the team somewhere else? I hope thats not the case. Thanks again

Kevin Schultz

If the new owner turns out to be Barroway, I don’t see him moving the team regardless of the lease. He was raised and went to college in the northeast and previously tried to buy the 76ers and Devils. I don’t see a reason to move either or those teams and I don’t think there would be a reason for him to move the Islanders to, say, Quebec. Why would Barroway want to travel to Quebec if he’s a Northeast Boy?

If someone else buys the team, it’s a little murkier. But I think the Islanders truly do have Gary Bettman on their side. I think Bettman wouldn’t allow a team in a new arena to leave the biggest market in North America. Plus the cable deal is a stupid big cash flow for anyone to give up. Leases can be broken if two sides agree to it, but I think Barclays wants the Islanders, Bettman wants them in New York and I don’t know that Barroway would be interested in moving them.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I agree with Kevin. I don’t think Barroway, or anyone else interested in buying the Islanders, would think of moving the Islanders out of New York. It just goes against all logic. New York is the biggest market in the country, the team is moving to a state-of-the-art arena in Brooklyn, and has a bright future in front of it. Plus the Islanders have a very favorable television deal in New York.

It would be hard to imagine a new owner, regardless of who that might be, moving the team away. The NHL would not have it either. Gary Bettman campaigned hard for the Lighthouse Project and other attempts to keep the team in New York, so to imagine him allowing a new owner to walk in and move the team is hard to believe.

The Islanders are not going anywhere regardless of ownership.


Name: Martin Flatley
IPB Mailbag: How close are the Islanders to being sold? Should the sale take place, what are the chances of new ownership bringing on Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma to bring this team to the next level?

Kevin Schultz

The best details on the sale I’ve seen from Chris Botta and the Islander Mania message board. Both of those places say the deal is done or getting close to done, so that’s what I have to go with as I have no info to add.

I think it’s fair when a new owner comes in to give the existing staff a year and evaluate the processes and way they do their jobs. Plus, I’d think it’s fair to give the staff a full year with a bigger payroll. A full house cleaning could be more chaos than it’s worth in the short term. Immediately, I would like to see an Assistant GM and President of Hockey Operations brought in. You know, serious hockey guys who could either evaluate the current staff, or provide advice and, if the President decided change is needed, he would be a person able to bring in top-notch talent like a Shero or Bylsma.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I have the same information as Kevin does in regards to the sale of the team. When it’s done we’ll know, but these things take time and I would not expect this to get done as quickly as certain would like it to.

A change in management may not come as quick as those same fans would like either. I think the current management staff stays in place – if it’s still the same people now as is if/when the team is sold – for one season before a decision is made. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think Snow has done as bad of a job as people believe he has and it is only fair to give him that grace period with new ownership. Same goes for Capuano.


Name: Chris
IPB Mailbag: Two questions for you:

1. Do you think Garth & Jack survive when the sale goes through?
2. Who do you want with the #5 pick?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Similar to the answer I gave Martin, I think they do for a year and then ownership will make a determination whether they would like to make a change. To answer your second question, Michael Dal Colle could be a good option if available at five or the pick could be packaged to deal for a player to help the team now. Dale Colle is a big kid that has size and toughness. He also has the making of an NHL power forward for the future.


Name: Carl
IPB Mailbag: How are the Islanders planning on replacing Vanek?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I would say the Islanders go through free agency to find a replacement for Vanek (aka a player to fill the void on the top line). The Islanders could give Anders Lee or Brock Nelson a chance on the top line, but I don’t really see them doing that. Also considering the Isles have gone the free agency root the last few years to find Tavares a linemate it wouldn’t shock me to see them do it again.

Name: PotvinRocks
It seems like the Isles have given up on Kevin Poulin, but Josh Bailey goes 25 games without a point and still plays in the top 6. What was so wrong with Poulin?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

To me part of it has to do with the risk the Islanders took to get Bailey. They clearly missed out on selecting several higher caliber players by moving down to get Bailey. I think that this is Snow trying to make sure this gamble pays off, because every year you see glimpses of the player Josh Bailey could be, but he doesn’t sustain it. Kevin Poulin was not as much of a risk and he was being given the time to develop. Poulin has had some solid starts, but he’s not panning out to the Isles goaltender of the future. I know certain writers online think he’s an amazing goaltender, but he’s not getting the Islanders to a cup. Bailey is a player that the Islanders want to pan out because of the gamble they took to select him.

Name: Scott
Any chance the Islanders try to trade up to grab Reinhart’s brother?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I don’t really think so. Doing so would make a nice story line, but I don’t see it happening.

Name: Manny
Has anyone in the Isles organization ever complain about an article you posted on IPB?

Kevin Schultz

In the years that I’ve been here, we’ve never had any complaints or “suggestions” from the Islanders on what we’ve written on the blog.

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I have never had any complaints come from the Islanders during my time with Islanders Point Blank, or with any other outlet.

Name: Keith Quinn
If you could be any Kool-aid flavor, what would you be?

Kevin Schultz

I was always a Squeeze-It kid myself. OH YEAH

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I’d be Islanders Kool-aid cause it’s the best kind, duh ;)


Name: Chris R
Do you think that Garth will finally sign Kirill Petrov this off season?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I think he will try with all the power he can. The last we heard a report in R-Sport was suggesting that the Islanders were ready to guarantee him a spot on the roster. It will be interesting to see if this saga finally comes to a close.


Name: Raymond Cifelli
IPB Mailbag: Is Mikko Koskinen still property of the Isles ? If yes, is he a possible back-up or future #1 for the Isles ? He had a GREAT year in Russia this past season. Thank You

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Mikko Koskinen is still Islanders property I believe, but since he is under contract with Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL it doesn’t seem likely he will be back in North American anytime soon. The Islanders will likely turn to re-signing Evgeni Nabokov to play backup to Halak or the Islanders will find another NHL caliber goaltender to guard the net when Halak needs rest.


Name: Mike L
IPB Mailbag: I have a few questions:

1-any progress in getting new radio station?
2-any chance Bridgeport soundtigers move to refurbished coliseum?
3-is it true Isles looking to make future practice facility in armory in the Bronx?

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

In regards to a new radio station I haven’t heard anything. My bet would be it will remain on Hofstra’s station for one more season and then once the move to Brooklyn takes place they will move to a major radio station in the area.

As far as the Sound  Tigers go, last summer Bruce Ratner confirmed that the Sound Tigers would be moving to a renovated Nassau Coliseum. I know there was a bit of confusion, because the Sound Tigers seemed to caught off guard by Ratner’s deceleration, but I don’t believe he would have said it if it was not going to happen.

I heard some murmurs about the Isles potentially using the armory, but I feel if the Islanders were to change their practice facility the new rink being built in Eisenhower Park would make more sense. Keeps the Long Island roots and it would not be any further away from Barclays than the Rangers practice facility is from MSG.


Name: John
“What kind of sandwich you want?”

*Pastrami and swiss.*

“Bread?”

*(C)Hala…k!*

“Please leave.”

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

I laughed way too hard at this.



108 comments
isles23
isles23

I feel like I'm one of the few but I never care what the rivals to my teams do. Red Sox won the world series, great IDC. Cowboys win a Superbowl, great IDC. I care what my teams do, not what others do. The rangers losing brings me no joy and them winning brings me no pain.

jrjr
jrjr

time to bust out the butch goring kings sweater


erika
erika

Ugh...Rags win. It's not like they don't deserve it, it's just that the Rag fans I encounter at work will be totally impossible tomorrow! I'm sick right now!

mrcisback
mrcisback

 I still feel good that the Rangers won't beat LA. LA's defense much more superior to Montreals defense not to mention there much bigger and experienced. LA also has the top 4 scorers in the playoffs. We just have to hope LA closes out that series tomorrow because the Rangers could beat Chicago in a 7 game series. The goaltender for Chicago has been very shaky in the series.

tag1
tag1

I think the Hawks are going to be gassed tomorrow night like the Habs were tonight I will be surprised if the Kings lose tomorrow night and I think the better matchup for the rangers would be the Hawks

dkdk
dkdk

This can't be happening! Fn rags!

steviel
steviel

somewhere Callahan is dying!

erika
erika

@isles23 you are a better (wo)man than I am, my friend. I hate everything today, and I have to admit that rooting for the Isles trumps everything, but if they are out of it, I do seek pleasure in their main rivals being beaten!  

dkdk
dkdk

And wangsnow go, we were only kidding. We only offered 50M when we knew you wouldn't take it.

Jay Morgenthal
Jay Morgenthal

@erika I'm old enough to remember every "1940" chanted in the NC prior to 6/14/94. For someone like me who was in MSG to see the Bruins with the cup in 1972, had to endure the humiliation of losing to philly in 75, the JP Parise OT goal in 75, hearing those "1940" chants really hurt. Suck it up. I did , you can too. 

dkdk
dkdk

I almost would like Rag fans to ride me like he old days. They pity me now and don't even rub my nose in it. As one told me, you haven't been our rival in 15 years. Now we hate the devils, flyers, and pens more than you.

dkdk
dkdk

A chance to buy Net tickets

dkdk
dkdk

He isn't the only one

dkdk
dkdk

Lundquist has been off the charts good

erika
erika

@Jay Morgenthal @erika I have no choice but to suck it up, they won because they were the better team. The better question is what are you doing on the Islander web site on the day your team made the SC finals for the 1st time in 20yrs?

tag1
tag1

My lifelong ranger fan friends I used to fight with have pity on me for rooting for this disaster of a organization We text each other during the game and I can't knock the rangers they want to win

steviel
steviel

@dkdk very true dk, very true and very sad. Rags- Isle  playoffs was hockey at its best!

dkdk
dkdk

The draft podium will be a nice place for snow to stammer his way through a congrats to the rags moment with wangster smiling behind him.

tag1
tag1

I'd rather post hypothetical trades that ain't gonna happen instead of going to the finals it's much more fun

dkdk
dkdk

It sure as SHYT does mitch,

dkdk
dkdk

No sweat orange, you just need to google some stats on hickey and it will be clear.

dkdk
dkdk

We are barely a thought to rag fans these days

dkdk
dkdk

Tag .... You mean like if we maybe we add Bailey to the package of Reinhart and the number 5 we get stamkos ... Lol?

dkdk
dkdk

Orange ,.... And with jay z flaunting his fifth nation bling

Isleguy27
Isleguy27

@orange2327 I really don't think what happened during the regular season will have any bearing on what happens in the playoffs. The LA Kings were 1-4 against the Ducks this year.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@orange2327 if the kings win tonight then the rangers will have had exactly 1 more day of rest meanwhile theyve played 7-7-6 game series...hardly well rested. 

tag1
tag1

Don't forget our world class GM and coach

steviel
steviel

@dkdk Look at us Isle fans posting about the Rags going to the finals on our site where our Islander bloggers are answering questions about what kind of sandwich they want?  

dkdk
dkdk

With wood he stole from some orphanage's tree house.

tag1
tag1

I lost track we're dealing with the Oilers the Jets who else?

dkdk
dkdk

You better be right 27 or the pitchforks and torches are headed your way ... Lol

dkdk
dkdk

Time it hit the sheets. I feel like I just went 15 years with wang.

dkdk
dkdk

Tag .... If only we WERENT dealing with buffalo

dkdk
dkdk

Right orange because every offer you pose must include Bailey like some crown jewel. With a cap hit of close to 4M he isn't even an add on. He is a detriment in any fake offer.

tag1
tag1

What a difference between Vanek's playoff performance and Gaborik's

dkdk
dkdk

Tag ..... Gaborik has been a wild man. Kind of ironic that he may lead the kings to the finals and what he brought back to the rags greatly helped them get there too.

tag1
tag1

Yup I'm sure he would love to beat the rangers even though torts is gone

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

and you guys wonder why people argue with you - you've been on an hour long rant mocking everyone that isnt you.

tag1
tag1

@slapshot18_rs  You might be wondering why people argue with us, I'm not, and it's the pro wang/snow crew that is usually arguing with us the same crew that was doing handstands and thumping their chests when the rangers started the season with 9 straight road games and went something like 3 and 6 while the Isles started the season with a winning record because of a easy schedule and were getting accolades from this same crew who totally ignored the difference in schedules and now look where the Isles are and look where the rangers are, the results speak for themselves.

Sorry when I post predictions it's not done as a Islander fan it's done as a NHL fan and if I feel the Isles will miss the playoffs like I did that will be my prediction, I won't predict that they will make the playoffs and win a series if I don't feel they will, and it doesn't make me a better fan if I make wrong predictions because I'm "optimistic".

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

tag because you're a pessimist. dont even know what the team is going to look like next year and you already count them out.  thats not exactly fair, but because of management you have a pessimistic outlook on any move, past or future.  thats not being an unbias NHL fan....and "no one cares what the rangers do" but then compare the islanders failures to the rangers success' - meanwhile two months ago they were calling for upper management to be fired as well.  its just funny, thats all. 

tag1
tag1

@slapshot18_rs  What are you talking about my prediction that they will miss the playoffs was for THIS season, was I right? Why would I make a prediction for next season now?

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@tag1 oops sorry, misinterpreted that part - others have been saying that though, i just put you in that general cateogry for obvious reasons 

tag1
tag1

@slapshot18_rs  Anyone who knows hockey knew that the rangers got off to a slow start because of their 9 straight road games to start the season and because they had a new coach and myself, dk and others mocked the Isles fans on here who were jumping for joy that the Isles were ahead of the rangers the first month of the season and didn't take the difference in schedules into account. Sorry for being right.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

honestly what does that have to do with ANYTHING at all? congratulations for predicting in week one that the rangers were simply off to a slow start...but where does that come into this conversation, even remotely? thats not what you've been mocking people for on here at all. 

tag1
tag1

@slapshot18_rs  You posted that we don't know why people on here argue with us and I posted that I do and gave examples of how people on here need to take those blue and orange glasses off when they make assessments of the team and the league once again sorry for being right when others on here were so wrong.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

lol congratulations - you also said halak wouldnt sign but i did! sorry for being so right when you were so wrong - your pessimistic outlook on life would never allow you to believe in anything positive coming to this fanbase 

tag1
tag1

@slapshot18_rs  Wrong I never said he wouldn't sign I said he's not Hasek and he alone won't put this team in the playoffs, go show me where I said he wouldn't sign, you're going o fer with your statements this morning.

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

oh sorry sorry all your boyfriends made that point very clear that halak wouldnt sign - i have no choice but to put you all in the same category because none of you have original thoughts...just repetition of comments you've all said already 10 or more times. very hard to sift through an original idea any of you have. 

tag1
tag1

I don't have any boyfriends on here schmuck have a nice day

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

ha dont like being generalized huh? you guys do it every day.