ISLANDERS COUNTRY HELD HOSTAGE, DAY 37:35 pm – Hunter injured; Weight part of Guerin deal?

7:35 - Billy Jaffe reports that Trent Hunter is injured, that he “tried to go” during warmups. Makes you wonder why the Islanders didn’t have another Bridgeport player here if Hunter couldn’t play, but alrighty then.

 

It’s possible the Islanders excel dressing only 17 skaters.

 

Islanders PR just came over to say Trent has a “lower body injury.” Someone else said it’s an ankle.

 

*

 

7:15 pm – Saturday, it was Bill Guerin mysteriously missing when the game started.

 

Tonight, it’s Trent Hunter. Islanders playing shorthanded again. Hunter was at the Coliseum before the game. Where he is now is unknown.

 

*

 

7:00 pm – Opening faceoff between the Islanders and Colorado about to drop, and no word of a deal. Three hours until the end of live-blogging a Bill Guerin trade.

 

Scott Gordon was asked before the game if Guerin would be in the lineup Thursday against the Rangers if he isn’t traded by the Wednesday 3:00 pm deadline. The Islanders coach said yes and added, “I have no issues with Billy.”

 

Team represented with scouts at tonight’s game: Philadelphia, Rangers, San Jose, Detroit. Obviously, they’re not here to watch Guerin and Doug Weight. Colorado could be selling, too.

 

*

 

3:25 pm – Doug Weight could join Bill Guerin in a package deal before Wednesday’s trade deadline, a league source tells Point Blank.

 

The offer that prompted the Islanders to take Guerin out of the lineup on Saturday is no longer 100% intact. However, as the Islanders contemplate a series of trade proposals for their captain, at least one of the offers requests Weight’s inclusion in the deal. The playmaking center, currently out with a knee injury, is 9-26-35 in 44 games this season.

 

This would be a victory for the close friends, who enjoyed their reunion on Long Island and proved they still have good on-ice chemistry. It could also be a victory for the Islanders, who might finally strike a deal that satisfies their demands for both Guerin and Weight.

 

The 38-year old forwards are potential unrestricted free agents this summer.

 

*

 

2:50 pm – I have made the editorial decision that if Guerin is not traded by 10:00 tonight, the Bye-Bye-Billy Live Blog will end.

 

Not that I’m sick of it – and I have nothing against a little blog on the NHL’s worst team getting 2 million daily hits – but it would simply be time to move on. There will be plenty of news items. There are a few other stories I can tell. (I hope to have a solid one at the end of tonight’s game). When – if – a Guerin deal happens, we’ll write it up just like any news story.

 

When we started it on Saturday, I just didn’t think we’d be here this long. And if it hasn’t already, I don’t want it to degenerate into complete and utter BS.

 

And you know that once I pull the plug, Billy will finally, mercifully, be outta here. Yeah, I’m going to go with that. I know you’re reading. I’m doing this for you, Billy.

 

*

 

2:25 pm – Greg Logan preparing for Guerin-Gordon reunion if the captain isn’t dealt soon.

 

Joe Callahan no doubt appreciates the love and concern.

 

Teams are preparing their “clear day” rosters, the players eligible to play in the American Hockey League playoffs. That’s why you’re seeing depth guys like Callahan and Nycholat on waivers today. That’s all it is.

 

*

 

1:55 pm - When does the statute of limitations on predicting the Islanders’ trade partner for Bill Guerin end? As I wrote a few times yesterday, I was zeroed in on the Washington Capitals. But that was my prediction of the team that made the offer that prompted Garth Snow to take Guerin out of the lineup almost 40 hours ago.

 

There is a difference. Whatever that offer was, it might not be on the table anymore. Seems to me if Guerin isn’t dealt by the start of tonight’s game, the Islanders have moved on to other offers. They may have already.

 

Is all this Guerin mayhem getting in the way of the Islanders conducting other business? It’s not ideal, but no. The team is capable of juggling the Guerin dilemma with offers for Andy Hilbert, Radek Martinek, Doug Weight, Brendan Witt and others. I always thought if any of those Islanders were dealt, it would be closer to the Wednesday afternoon deadline. Maybe the Islanders can close the Guerin case by then to be fully focused on those final-hour swaps.

 

*

 

1:17 pm – Get a load of this: Jesse Joensuu has been called up from Bridgeport. The 6-4 Finnish right wing, the Islanders’ top upside-potential prospect with the Sound Tigers, will make his NHL debut tonight in place of Bill Guerin. If you can’t make it to the game – as many won’t with this weather – catch JJ’s premiere on VERSUS.

 

Didn’t think Joensuu would get a game on the Island this season. Then again, there’s been a lot of unpredictable stuff around these parts this season.

 

*

 

1:15 pm – Two media notes. Point Blank will have a brief stint on NHL Home Ice on XM Radio sometime in the 3:00 pm hour today to talk you-know-what with Mike Ross and Gary Green.

 

Also, I was wrong in my estimate on News 12 Long Island last night. Michael Colman asked me how many Hits the site would get on Sunday. I told him we did more than 800,000 on Saturday, so figured we’d do a little over a million on Sunday. I was off by a bit.

 

The final tally was 2,178,434. And to think, Sunday is usually the slowest day of the week by far.

 

*

 

12:45 pm – Although frustration has reached several parts of Islanders Country at both Shining and Shawshank levels, perhaps it’s time for a little perspective. I’ve dug up the True Value piece I wrote on Bill Guerin seemingly two months ago, but in reality 12 days ago. I’ve copy-and-pasted the bottom half of my story, all that matters. It could shed some light on the holdup, or at least the difficulties that come with a deal like this. Looking forward to your feedback.

 

February 20, 2009

 

True Value: Since it’s Guerin’s call, the Islanders’ asking price could be diminished. A first round pick or top prospect would seem out of the question. So you know what that means. (Since some readers get really irked every time I say an Islander is worth a second-rounder, I’ll end it there). And do you remember this Saturday afternoon conversation?

PB View: The Islanders should include Guerin and his representative in every step of the process. They should show him this respect not just because he holds the no-move and all the cards, but also because he is their captain and has given the franchise two solid years.

Prediction (as of Feb. 20*): Too much has to happen for this to get done. We predict Guerin ends up not being moved, and then is signed by another team in the summer. Because of the no-move clause – which the Islanders included to get Guerin to New York – they will receive nothing in return for him. Until we hear that the Guerin camp and Islanders management is getting together to seriously discuss his future, that’s our prediction and we’re sticking to it.

 

*

 

11:55 am, NVMC - Islanders fans frustrated by the lack of Bill Guerin trade news may now have a kindred spirit.

 

Bill Guerin.

 

In a story posted about a half hour ago by TSN, whispers of Guerin’s discontent have surfaced: “Sources tell TSN that Guerin has become frustrated by the ongoing uncertainty and has done nothing to complicate or stall the trade from going through.”

 

Guerin has always been open and accessible with the media. And now, as I wrote yesterday, he is in a situation where he’s had to lie, fib or – worse – avoid not just press pals by real-life friends. Billy and I have a very close mutual friend, a very close mutual friend who has no idea what’s up with Bill and is dying to find out. While no one is crying for Guerin, it is a difficult situation.

 

The Islanders did not have a replacement forward at their morning skate, just completed at the Coliseum. Richard Park skated but told me he needs to rest another week. Nate Thompson skated today, but is not an option. A forward from Bridgeport should be on his way. Whoever it is, he played in three games the last three days. He didn’t need a workout this morning.

 

*

 

12:10 am, March 2 – That should do it for the night, friends. Thanks for the feedback on the News 12 phoner. Turned into a Point Blank infomercial, so I got that going for me. Which is nice.

 

If the Islanders trade Bill Guerin or (as expected) continue to keep him off the ice until a trade is done, the team needs a forward from Bridgeport. Trouble is, tonight’s home game against goalie coach Jeff Hackett’s Colorado Avalanche would be the Sound Tigers player’s fourth in four days. Maybe Richard Park can throw on a flak jacket and rush back.

 

If the Islanders are recalling a player from Bridgeport, it’s possible he got on the road soon after his team’s 3-2 win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton today. The traveling will be nasty today. By the way, that’s three wins in three days for Jack Capuano’s team. Added to the Islanders’ impressive win over Buffalo, that’s four organeyezational victories buried in the avalanche of the Guerin saga.

 

Add to the more than 1,500 Comments on this epic struggle so far.