The Islanders are selling the ‘ice’ that was used during the team’s final game at Nassau Coliseum on April 25 (Derespina, May 14).
The tubes of melted ice, which come with a certificate of authenticity, can be purchased for $20 each plus shipping and handling.
The Islanders have not yet reached out to the representatives for G Michael Neuvirth about bringing him back (NBC Sports, May 14).
According to his agent, Neuvirth is interested in becoming a starting goalie elsewhere, and is ready to test free agency.
After being acquired by the Isles, Neuvirth played in five games in the regular season, going 1-3-1 with a 2.94 GAA. Neuvirth then appeared in one game against the Capitals in the Playoffs in relief of Jaroslav Halak.
The Isles acquired Neuvirth from the Sabres in early-March in exchange for goalie Chad Johnson and a conditional draft pick in 2016.
If I had to guess, the Islanders will try to retain Neuvirth. It’s just a matter of which teams will try to entice him with a starting role. Neuvirth was certainly more than serviceable in his stint as a starter for the Sabres (2.28 GAA and a .938 save percentage in nine starts in February), so a team looking to bring in someone to compete with their incumbent goaltender might promise more playing time.
As long as Jaro Halak stays healthy, Neuvirth is nothing more than a back up option, but I do think he would get more work than Chad Johnson did early last season. Johnson was pretty awful for the Isles, and it forced Jack Capuano to lean on Halak more than he wanted to in the early stages of the fall. If Garth Snow can find a way to retain Neuvirth, he’ll probably be a much more stable option than Johnson proved to be.
Kyle Okposo has one year left on his contract, and that makes locking up the team’s top right winger long-term a top priority.
According to David Pagnotta, chatter should pick up soon in regards to the Islanders offering Okposo a contract extension (Pagnotta, May 13)
Okposo, 27, signed a five year, $14 million deal back in May 2011.
In 60 games this season, Okposo scored 18 goals and had 33 assists for 51 points, and added two goals and an assist in the playoffs. He missed 22 games after having surgery to repair a detached retina.
As we know, Garth Snow is very adept at keeping his dealings close to the vest, but it makes all the sense in the world that the Islanders would start to go to work on keeping Okposo here for the long haul. He has great chemistry with John Tavares, and — after some worries that he may not be the same player after his eye surgery — Kyle finally got his legs under him toward the end of the regular season and had a very good series against the Caps.
The going rate for Okposo may be tough to gauge, but you would have to think if he hit the open market next season he’d be highly sought after. It will be interesting to see how these negotiations play out and if Okposo does indeed have a new deal when the Isles open camp in the fall.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers will begin playing in the Atlantic Division next season, the American Hockey League announced as it unveiled their newly realigned divisions on Tuesday.
Bridgeport, the Islanders AHL farm team, played the 2014-15 campaign in the Northeast Division. They will remain in the same division as the Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers) and the Springfield Falcons (Arizona Coyotes), but will see five new clubs enter their division.
Joining the Sound Tigers in the Atlantic Division will be the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals), Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers), Portland Pirates (Florida Panthers), Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins), and the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins).
Eric Boulton: Left Wing| 6’0″| 225 lbs| 38 years old
Regular Season Stats: 10 game played| 2 goals| 0 assists| 2 points| Minus-1
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
Eric Boulton’s time on the ice in 2014-15 was limited, to say the least. The Islanders’ tough guy appeared in just 10 games, in which his minutes were very limited. The most he played in those 10
appearances was on April 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He saw 9:02 of ice time and had a goal in that game. The least amount of time he saw on the ice was November 8 against the Los Angeles Kings, when he played 4:55.
Boulton didn’t see any time in the playoffs and his impact on the ice was minimal during the regular season. Bolton’s only goals came late in the season and against the Blue Jackets. It is also ironic that for a few minutes in the regular season finale it looked like Boulton’s third period goal was going to serve as the game winner and clinch the Islanders home-ice.
The 38-year-old winger is liked n the Islanders’ locker room and that is part of why he was with the team again this season. Bolton did not play horribly when he was out there, but his effectiveness was limited due to the style of game that he plays and the minutes he received on the ice.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
Brock Nelson has been having a phenomenal time at the IIHF World Championships.
The Islanders’ forward has been one of the United States best players in the tournament and his two-goal performance on Sunday helped the Americans clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. Nelson’s first goal came at the 4:17 mark of the first period to put Team USA ahead 1-0.
Nelson’s second goal came with 3:28 left in the period and the Americans on a power play. Mike Reilly sent a pass to Justin Faulk at the point and Faulk fired the puck at the net. Nelson was in front to grab the rebound and give the United States a 2-0 lead.
The United States went on to win 3-1. It was another strong effort from the Islanders’ forward, who had a strong NHL season in 2014-15. In six tournament games for the Americans, Nelson has scored six goals and three assists for nine points. He is tied for the tournament lead in goals, leads his team in scoring and is tied for second in the tournament in scoring.
“Brock’s a big strong guy and he was really good around the net tonight,” Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis told the Associated Press.
Nelson credited the chemistry he has had with his line mates for his success in the tournament.
“Our line has been working well for quite a few games now,” Nelson said to IIHF.com. “I don’t know what the secret is – it would be nice if we did – but I think we’ve played well from the get-go to create chances and capitalize on them. When you get a few early goals you build that chemistry.”
The New York Islanders’ retired numbers and championship banners were taken down on Friday at Nassau Coliseum. (Islanders, May 8)
MSG’s Shannon Hogan tweeted the original banners will be relocated to Barclays Center. (Hogan, May 8)
Four reproduction banners have hung in Barclays Center rafters the past year commemorating the Islanders’ four straight Stanley Cups from 1979-80 to 1982-93.
It is not yet clear if the Patrick Division, Wales Conference, and Regular Season Championship banners will make the trip to Brooklyn as well.
The only thing that takes the sting out of this is that the New York Islanders remain. We’ve lamented a lot about the Brooklyn move lately, and justifiably so, but could you imagine if these were coming down because the Isles were on their way to Quebec, Seattle or Kansas City? Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that.
I’m intrigued to hear what fans have to say about the secondary banners. To me, I love them. I grew up sitting down on the attack end, so I’d look up at those banners just as much as the Cup ones and marvel at how incredible this organization’s history is. It’s not like the Nets don’t have space up there. Why not bring over every banner the franchise has accrued to truly make it feel like home?