Just some thoughts on the latest happenings in Islanders Country
Leave it to the Islanders to screw up something as simple as Opening Night Introductions.
A lot can change during the course of 3 years I guess. On September 12th 2006 the Islanders signed goalie Rick DiPietro to a record 15 year $67.5 million dollar contract. On October 3rd 2009, the team “forgot” to include him in the Opening Night Ceremonies. How the hell does that happen?
I understand DiPietro has been removed from the team for some time, but come on now. Even newcomer Rob Schremp, who has worn an Islander jersey only during warm-ups, was introduced. Once again, the Islanders leave people scratching their heads even when they have something going their way (Tavares’ Introduction).
Chris Botta has an interesting blog on islanderspointblank.com.
Botta complains how the Islanders have adapted the song Burn It to the Ground by Nickelback as the new goal song, replacing the extremely lame Let’s Go Islanders experiment song from last season. Which in turn replaced the Gary Glitter classic Rock N’ Roll Part 2. That song was replaced after Glitter was arrested and convicted of molesting young girls in Vietnam. The girls were 10 and 11. Glitter has also been arrested and convicted of having Child Pornography, and having sex with a 14 year old. Now, Botta says the team should return the song so the fans would be happy and that the Nickelback song is “lame”. Personally, I would rather have a lame song, (BTW, the song is not lame), than pay royalties to a child molesting sicko. Considering how much time and money Charles Wang puts into the Islanders Children Foundation and the Smile Train, I bet he feels the same way.
Hockey going soft?
After Brendan Witt’s incredibly hard, and 100% legal open ice hit on Ruslan Fedotenko, Evgeni Malkin came to his rescue (we’ll get back to that in a minute), after which Chris Kunitz came barreling in to keep Malkin from injury (smart move on Kunitz’s part), and while Witt is tussling with Kunitz, Jay McKee grabs Witt and drops the gloves. My question…..Why was this hit such a big problem? It wasn’t a high hit, it wasn’t an illegal hit, it wasn’t a big guy creaming a smaller skill player, it was one big defenseman laying out a big forward (who had his head up by the way). As Howie Rose so accurately pointed out on the Islanders broadcast, Denis Potvin used to throw hits like that once a game, and there wasn’t retaliation, it was just part of the game. I remember Darius Kasparaitis doing it all the time. Hitting is part of the game and clean open ice hits should be viewed as such.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Greg Logan a lot. We have spoken many times over the past few seasons and he is as professional a beat writer as they come, but unfortunately the newspaper business has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Blogging and Tweeting have become the best and fastest way to connect with your readers and Logan never really adjusted to that. He would write a War and Peace blog in length every other week, where Ranger beat writer Steve Zipay would post 5 or 6 blogs a day.
Newsday has now assigned the young and hungry Katie Strang to the Islanders beat, and she has hit the ground running. Her coverage of training camp, both on Twitter and her blog was outstanding, even providing blow by blow coverage of non televised games. Newsday has delivered what Islander fans have been clamoring for, more coverage. In addition, after the opener Saturday night, former Ranger beat writer Arthur Staple has written some follow up articles as well which again provides more coverage, and a different angle from the everyday beat writer. All in all, give Newsday credit for stepping up coverage of the team. Now if we could get the same objective coverage of the Lighthouse Project….we’d be in business.
Speaking of the Lighthouse Project
I am completely fed up with this topic. I live on Long Island, I have been a resident of the Town of Hempstead 26 of my 33 years on this earth, and I am completely dumbfounded by the length the Town has gone to drag this friggin thing out. I’m glad the Queens Chamber of Commerce has publically stated its desire to bring the Islanders to Flushing, I actually hope it happens. The Islanders would finally have a home where they would be looked at as a franchise and not as an afterthought for the development deal of expensive land.
On a separate note, what does the TOH plan to do if Charles Wang does in fact move the Islanders to Queens? It’s not like they have a line out the door of developers who are looking to dump billions of dollars into the wasteland that is the Uniondale/Hempstead section of Hempstead Turnpike. Who in their right mind would ever bid on the development rights again? If Wang moves the team, the Coliseum would have to close within 5 years and the “Nassau Hub” would be the new Roosevelt Raceway, which sat in ruins for nearly 14 years until it became, get this, housing and retail. Funny, Al D’Amato was involved in that fiasco as well. Google Roosevelt Raceway if you want to know what I’m talking about.
Joel Rechlicz returns to Bridgeport, Doug Weight and Blake Comeau will return to the lineup and Robbie Schremp will most likely make his Islanders debut this week. Soooooo who’s sittin?? If Comeau replaces Rechlicz, where are Weight and Schremp playing? You’d have to assume Matt Moulson is safe, Tavares, Okposo, Bergenheim, Park, and Hunter aren’t going anywhere, and Tim Jackman is the only thing that resembles an enforcer. That leaves Jeff Tambellini and Nate Thompson. I have noticed that Coach Gordon has a huge man crush on Thompson, considering that he was on the ice in a tie game with less than a minute to play. It’ll be interesting to see who’s in Coach Gordon’s doghouse early on as brought Schremp here to give him his shot and I do believe he will get it. Unlike Tambellini, Schremp has only played 7 NHL games, and the Islanders are extremely intrigued with his potential. On the other hand, Tambellini has played well this preseason and even decked Penguins Defenseman Brooks Orpik the other night. I guess we’ll see.
If anyone doesn’t believe the Islanders will be wearing the royal blue jersey’s full time next season should check out the Sound Tigers new digs. After talking with some people around the team, it appears the team will discontinue the current uni’s and adapt the royal and a new white away jersey. Then come back with a different 3rd jersey, most likely in the Navy blue they currently use. All I can say is THANK GOD!
Follow me on twitter : www.twitter.com/tonystabile
Filed Under: New York Islanders
About the Author: The New York Islanders have been a huge part of my life since I was 7 years old, and during the past 27 years I have experience many ups and downs with this team. The back end of 4 straight Stanley Cups, the Drive for 5, the Easter Epic, trading of my heroes John Tonelli, and Kelly Hrudey. Mike Bossy's early retirement, Pat LaFontaine for Pierre Turgeon, Dale Hunter, David Volek, Ron Hextall, Al Arbour's retirement, Bill Torrey to Florida, Mike Milbury, John Spano, The Milstein's, Hoistgate, the sale to Charles Wang, Draft Day 2000, Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca, Milbury's "reassignement", 40 days of Neil Smith, Ted Nolan, The Lighthouse Project, Kate Murray, Scott Gordon, going from 5 to 7 to 9, Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Calvin deHaan, El Nino, the 2 Kirill's and hopefully.....much, much more. I have been an Islanders blogger for the past 3 years, starting on Myspace, then for IslesNation.com and currently for HockeyIndependent.com, and I have been selected to the 2010-2011 New York Islanders Blog Box. I am an IT Manager for a quite large facility working for a government agency. I am married for 7 years to an incredibly patient woman and am the proud father of a beautiful 1 year old daughter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: Twitter.com/tonystabile