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While playing with the Penguins, McClelland learned a number of tips on how to fight better from Paul Baxter, a fellow southpaw, who went on to become his adversary. McClelland had several highlight-reel bouts with the scrappy Flame, including a dominant knockout victory over his former mentor.

Rink Recollections: Kevin McClelland, 1981-1994

  By Brian D’Ambrosio, Kevin McClelland joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1981 assuming that he would be a ‘mucker’ and a ‘grinder’. Two seasons later, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers and his role changed from ‘grinder’ to guardian. Overflowing with the skillful likes of Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, and Paul Coffey, the team [...]

Hey fans- the joke's on us!

Guess We Now Know Snow’s Blueprint for 8th

This is a piece that we’ve been dying to write, which is what happens when the “I told you so” stuff comes to life. Let’s take a review of the first day of unrestricted free agency and see what the Islanders situation looks like, with needs and how they were filled. Understand that this is [...]

Jamie Huscroft: Rink Recollections of a Journeyman’s Career

Jamie Huscroft: Rink Recollections of a Journeyman’s Career

By Brian D’Ambrosio It’s often said that simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. Jamie Huscroft’s formula as a hockey player was simple – and reliable. Play laboriously. Lead by example. Answer the bell. That recipe secured him a spot on the rosters of seven teams, guided him through three hundred and fifty two regular season National [...]

Always have a patsy. It works.

The Clock is Ticking

Time is both a wonderful gift and a fantastic curse. Think of those times in life where time seemed to stand still. Those tend to be moments where you really did not want to be there.   Think of those times in your life that went by way too fast. Maybe it was a first kiss, [...]

Remember when you all thought Thing 1 was coming home? For DP? HAHAHA

Roberto Luongo? Where’d We Hear That One Before?

For those who faithfully read this blog, you may recall our article from May 23, 2013 titled “Well, that was fun. Now back to work!” The piece identified holes that the Islanders have in their 8th seeded team and a roadmap on how to improve the team at each position in which we saw deficits. [...]

Bailey's Gym?

The Curious Case of Josh Bailey

Josh Bailey was the first ever first round pick of Garth Snows master plan.  Even though there was a draft prior to the ’08 draft, and even though we are told Garth actually doesn’t draft, let’s just go with the premise that a rebuild started with Bailey.  One could argue that the Islanders made the [...]

Canucks interested in Kings’ assistant John Stevens

Canucks interested in Kings’ assistant John Stevens

By Tom Dougherty (@todougherty) John Stevens may be in line for another head coaching gig. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Canucks are interested in the Kings’ assistant coach for their vacant head coach position. Stevens has coaching experience at both the AHL and NHL level. The Canucks might be interested in Stevens for a [...]

Vigneault’s firing serves an injustice to Canucks fans

Vigneault’s firing serves an injustice to Canucks fans

By Tom Dougherty (@todougherty) When the Canucks were swept out of the playoffs by the Sharks in the first round, you knew drastic changes were coming in Vancouver. For the second straight season, the Canucks failed to exit the first round — losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings last year. And [...]

Well, That Was Fun. Now Back to Work!

Well, That Was Fun. Now Back to Work!

We know it’s been a while since we posted, but we wanted to bask in the rare light of an Islanders playoff appearance by taking in the games, atmosphere, and enjoyment that came with a series that ran one game longer than we predicted which included two embarrassing shutouts, yet somehow left Islander fans with the feeling that [...]

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 First Round Predictions

Hockey Independent Playoff Roundtable: 2013 First Round Predictions

With the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin just a few hours from now, four members of the Hockey Independent writing staff have come together to predict each and every first round series of this year’s postseason. The contributing authors to today’s piece will be Cris Cohen (New York Rangers), Seth Levin (New Jersey Devils),  Bill Philp (Tampa Bay Lightning) [...]

“I knew that if I played a tough game – and not many guys did – that would only help in their decision of whether or not to keep me,” says Odgers, who played 12 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Atlanta Thrashers. “So I erred on the side of scrapping more.”

Rink Recollections: Jeff Odgers, NHL, 1991-2003

  By Brian D’Ambrosio Jeff Odgers played every NHL game as if it were his final. He never took a game for granted –scared that his career could fade away at any moment.  Odgers scrapped and gritted his way onto the roster and he made sure he never provided his coaches with a sufficient reason to [...]

Brendan Witt: A Life of Old-Time Hockey, New Beginnings

Brendan Witt: A Life of Old-Time Hockey, New Beginnings

  By Brian D’Ambrosio Brendan Witt knew one of the Philadelphia Flyers would approach. After all, the bruising fourth line tended to drop the gloves. Slightly after the six-minute mark of the first period, the “Dan Line” -consisting of Dan Kordic, Daniel Lacroix and Scott Daniels - hoped to send a message. “Philly put these guys [...]

Honey, I Lost the Kids (part 2 of 2)

Honey, I Lost the Kids (part 2 of 2)

In the first part of this epic, we promised three pieces of evidence to explain how Garth Snow does things with the sole intention of job preservation. We pointed out how he is relatively awful at drafting in part one. Part two will speak to other shortcomings, starting here: Two- Garth Snow uses salary cap [...]

He's a really nice guy.

Honey, I Lost the Kids – part one of two

It’s almost like a reflex when you ask hockey fans about the best way to build a winner “It’s the draft!” Drafting allow you to develop players or trade for established ones. Since the Isles have had no playoffs since 07-08, they’ve been in rebuild mode. We’re going to look at this draft rebuild with [...]

Hey Charles, sell advertising on my ass!

Hockey Myths Exposed – Defensemen Need Time to Develop

Anyone who has watched more than a handful of hockey games gets serenaded with statements that are undisputed in the hockey world, but in reality it doesnt make a lot of sense. We’ve already disproved the myth that power forwards need years to develop in our article “Ninogate,” in which we use the “talent is [...]

Rink Recollections: Chris Tamer, NHL defenseman, 1993-2004

Rink Recollections: Chris Tamer, NHL defenseman, 1993-2004

By Brian D’Ambrosio Dearborn, Michigan native Chris Tamer grew up watching Bob Probert play hockey. Tamer even had a picture of the rugged Detroit Red Wings battler on his wall when he was attending college at the University of Michigan. It was the only photo on his wall, he says. Probert will always evoke memories [...]

Jim Agnew: Ex- NHL Tough Guy Turned Missoula, Montana Sheriff

Jim Agnew: Ex- NHL Tough Guy Turned Missoula, Montana Sheriff

  By Brian D’Ambrosio Jim Agnew is a man in uniform who is most deeply proud of being a wholehearted team player. These days, he buttons up a beige and brown shirt before excitedly starting his work time as a deputy sheriff in Missoula, Montana. In earlier years, he wore another type of distinguishing outfit, [...]

Destination Unknown, Part 3

Destination Unknown, Part 3

Part Three: Free Agents aren’t actually Free Chronicling the failures of the Garth Snow regime takes time, energy, and ideally, beer. In fact, watching the Islanders play is best done through a haze of sudsy goodness. We suggest that if you’re looking for a Belgian Style ale that’s full of deliciousness, you’d be good to [...]

Destination Unknown, part 2

Destination Unknown, part 2

Part Two: Does it feel drafty in here? Snow inherited a team that made the playoffs with regularity, and had a polarizing but successful head coach. Theorizing that the playoff team handed to him was underwhelming, Snow started what is lovingly referred to as a rebuild by fans, and a disaster by anybody else’s standard. [...]

Destination Unknown, part 1

Destination Unknown, part 1

  When it comes to the Islanders, there are two storied histories. One is the epic run including 19 consecutive playoff series wins, something not done by the likes of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Terry Bradshaw, or whatever teams you associate with winners. Speaking of associating with winners, one team that is universally not associated [...]