Will El Nino Rain Down On Long Island This Year?

Nino Niederreiter was drafted 5th overall by the New York Islanders at this year's entry draft back in June. With Cam Fowler still available when the Islanders were making their trip to the podium, all the tweeps on twitter were beginning to salivate at the possibility of drafting a potential top-2 defenseman, but instead, Garth surprised us all with the flashy forward from Switzerland. Fowler dropped to 12th to be selected by Anaheim. Apparently scouts from a handful of other NHL teams saw that there was something missing in Fowler's game and that he wasn't top-10 talent as many had originally predicted. However, El Nino was known for having a sick pair of hands and enough moves to ...
Grinder Threads

The Weight for the Islanders Maybe Over

New York- It has been a long time since the New York Islanders have held Lord Stanley’s Cup over their head. Gone are the days of the Dynasty but maybe now with this 2010-11 mix of veterans and youngsters a new reign of great hockey can begin. One part of a successful 2010-11 will be key players coming back from injuries including Captain Doug Weight and goalkeeper Rick DiPietro. Also a key will be a new defensive core for the Islanders including Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and James Wisniewski. Returning to the defensive line will be Radek Martinek who was shut-down due to a knee injury. Martinek who is known as a good scoring defensive presence will be a welcome addition back to the...

Who Will Be The Next Unsung Hero For The Isles?

Every once in a while there is a roster player on every team that suddenly has a stand out year that came out of no where. Last year the Vancouver Canucks got solid production from Alexandre Burrows, a player that went undrafted and was signed to an NHL contract in 2003. He put up decent numbers in the AHL and came into the Canucks line-up as a bottom-six forward. He ended up with 67 points on the 2010 season, following a 51 point season in 2009. Although his 67 points doesn't compare to the offense possessed by others such as the Sedin twins, having a 50/60 point guy that no one expected is not something that warrants complaints. Now-a-days many people are familiar with Jason Blake, who...

DiPietro Shoulders The Weight Of Next Season

Rick DiPietro was still recovering from his multiple surgeries at this point last season, and it wasn't a mystery as to whether or not Rick would be starting in goal for the 2009-2010 season. With Martin Biron signed to a one-year deal in the middle of the summer and Dwayne Roloson signed to a two-year deal just a short while after free agency began, it was all but certain that Rick was going to miss opening night. In fact, his return to the NHL didn't happen until the winter time after a few appearances with the Islanders AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. His first start on Coliseum ice was January 16th vs. the Buffalo Sabres. This YouTube video was provided by Mike Schurlein ...

One-on-One With Josh Bailey

Check out my interview with Josh Bailey over at The Hockey Writers! Please feel free to leave comments! http://thehockeywriters.com/one-on-one-with-josh-bailey/ -Rob McGowan Follow me on Twitter! http://twitter.com/IslesRM

Isles Take The SIMple Route

The New York Islanders have re-signed veteran winger, Jon Sim to a two-way contract for next season. At 32 years of age, Sim will be returning for his fourth year with the team (although his first year lasted for two games before he suffered a season-ending knee injury). Last year was a bit of a roller coaster season for Sim. He started with the Isles, was placed on waivers and went untouched, went down to the Isles farm team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and then ended up getting re-called to join the team when roster space opened up due to injuries. He finished the year with nine goals and six assists for 15 points in 49 games with the big club, in addition to 23 points (13 goals and 1...

Wizzing By: Isles Add Depth At D

Just the other day, I was asking the web if Garth Snow was done with making moves to his roster. The line-up looked almost identical to last year with a few minor tweaks; the team got tougher, the blue-line added a veteran presence, and young guys were getting a chance to have their day as Matt Moulson. But other than that, the team was exactly the same. A cause for concern was the fact that the defense, although filled with veterans such as Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina, had lost the element of physicality. Or in other words, a replacement for Andy Sutton. Those hard-hitting body checks that Suts delivered are hard to come by these days and are important for any successful team. But ...

Your 2011 New York Islanders?

After a brief hiatus that involved a family cruise to Bermuda, I am finally back at The Checking Line to talk some Islanders hockey. I apologize for the drag in blog frequency...but I figured now is as good a time as any to talk about the Isles roster since I've had plenty of time to think (and I am home sick from work). The first question is whether or not the Isles are done with sprinkling free agents into their lineup. They've done well so far, adding enforcers Zenon Konopka and Jeremy Yoblonski (who will probably be an AHL call-up), as well as youngster P.A. Parenteau, and defenceman Milan Jurcina and Mark Eaton. But Garth Snow really hasn't improved this team over last year's, es...

Grading The Isles Moves Thus Far

July 1st came and went with plenty of Free Agent action for many fans' delight. But for Isles fans, it was a quiet day. For those who read the many blogs that are available just a click away on the Internet, many knew to expect minimal movement, if any, by GM Garth Snow. It wasn't until the following day that the Islanders decided to get their hands dirty. Former Pittsburgh Penguin Mark Eaton was signed to a two-year contract to start off the fun, just before defenseman Milan Jurcina was signed as well. A few moments later, P.A. Parenteau, the lone shootout scorer for the Rangers in their playoff show-down with the Flyers, was signed to a contract as well. And to top off the frenzy, Zeno...

Isles Create Roster Space, Changes Coming July 1st?

The Islanders have decided to not tend qualifying offers to Sean Bergenheim and Jeff Tambellini, making them set to become Unrestricted Free Agents on July 1st. Nathan Lawson, Dylan Reese, Dustin Kohn, Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson were tendered their offers, extending the Islanders rights to keep them with the big club. You can expect that they are likely to accept their offers with little or no negotiating. So what does this mean for the rest of the roster? Jon Sim, Tim Jackman and Richard Park are still without contracts and heading into free agency most likely looking for new homes. Kohn, Reese and Lawson will likely be sent back to Bridgeport, keeping Schremp and Moulson with the ...