Friday, October 29, 2010

New York Islanders: Lighthouse Project Still Dark

It has been 4 months since Kate Murray essentially blew up Charles Wang's plans for his mega project in Uniondale.

See -

Since then we have heard the following.


Absolutely nothing.

For 5 years Charles Wang waited for an answer. He did all of the public relations, open town hall meetings started an entire corporation around his dream project.

One obstacle has brought any plans he had to a screeching halt. The Town of Hempstead and its grand leader Kate Murray.

So whats next?

Charles Wang made news this week when he entered into a contract partnering with developer Michael Dubb on his 144 acre property in Plainview.

Both Wang and Dubb have said nothing about relocating Mr. Wang's Lighthouse project to this site. All they have said is the want to "Create a Lifestyle community that will be an asset to the neighborhood."

Interesting words that mean essentially nothing.

Its no secret that this site is one of the handful that the Shinnecock Nation Indian Tribe was looking at as a possible Casino site.

Its also no secret that the Coliseum site was another high on the Shinnecock's wish list.

Maybe this site in Plainview will be what it appears. Or maybe its Charles Wang's Plan B.

Partnering with the Shinnecock Nation would allow any developer to bypass any local Town boards authority over the project. That prospect in of itself has to have Mr. Wang interested in a possible partnership with the tribe.

The Islanders lease is up in 2015. You can no longer say "well they have a long term lease, so they can't go anywhere."

Every year that goes by the lease gets less and less expensive for a possible buy out.

This does not mean the Islanders are bolting for Kansas City because no one would walk away from the Islanders cable contract unless absolutely necessary.

What it means is Charles Wang no longer has all his eggs in Kate Murray's basket.

You don't think the Town of Oyster Bay's Supervisor John Venditto would want the Islanders in his Town?

It would take 2-3 years to actually build an arena start to finish. Add planning to that, engineering, political red tape, union problems, protests, hearings, zoning problems, variances and government approvals could push this whole process if started today to 4-5 years.

Which means that if the Lighthouse project is in fact dead Mr. Wang has to be looking at alternate plans. Is this site in Plainview Plan B?

Charles Wang tried the public route to get his Lighthouse and ultimately failed because of the Town of Hempstead's road blocks.

Maybe he is trying the subtle route this time. Maybe he is waiting for the Shinnecock Nation to finally get its federal recognition.

Charles Wang has a plan. The Long Island community and the New York Islander fans would love to know what it is.

Only time will tell.

Post Your comments below.

Monday, October 25, 2010

NY Islanders: First 8 Games a Good Start - Come and See

First of all for those of you who like to follow athletes on twitter there are currently four New York Islander players who are actually on Twitter. They are -

Matt Moulson -
Rob Schremp -
Michael Grabner -
Bruno Gervais -

Anyone else is simply not who you think it is.

With that out of the way let us get to the business at hand.

Islander fans have been talking about the play this season of the Islanders and how exciting all of the games have been so far this season.

The record stands at the moment at 4-2-2. The two regulation losses to the Capitals and Panthers the Islanders were outplayed in very small periods of time in those two games.

One bad bounce and the either or both of the games could be in the win column.

The Islanders are showing that they may be in a rebuilding phase but the rebuilding phase is starting to show progress to make the hockey world take notice.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves and proclaim the Islanders as a contender however if you look at the body of work over the eight games this season you can tell two things.

1) The Islanders themselves believe they can win every game they play and will not be intimidated by the best the league has to offer.


2) Playing the Islanders is no longer an easy two points. Other teams are going to have to battle the Islanders every step of the way. This team will not take a night off.

Now what the team has to start doing is to make its fan base believe what they already know. The Islanders are competitive, young and exciting.

If you buy a ticket to watch this team you will no longer feel as though you would have been better off watching Avatar at home for the 6th time.

What you will see if a healthy Rick Dipietro, or is steady as oak back-up Dwayne Roloson.

You will see a defense corp. that will not wilt before your eyes in the 3rd period but a group that can and will stand tall and hold leads. One or two injuries will not cripple team defense as it has in seasons past.

You will see a very young and very fast group of forwards all on the upswing and one 39 year old who is keeping up with them in Doug Weight.

You will see a 21 year old sniper John Tavares coming into his own in the NHL beginning to carve out his place in the NHL along side its elite players.

You will see last years success story in Matt Moulson prove he is no one hit wonder.

You will see young forwards making the progress Islander fans have hoped they would.

What you will not see if you buy a ticket in the old barn to see the Islanders play is the home team embarrass itself on the ice, putting a 3rd rate product out there with coaches and management who don't seem to care.

What you wont see is visiting teams come in and treat the Coliseum ice as if they own it.

What the Islanders need to see is more Blue, Orange and White in the stands instead of blue and green empty seats.

Islander fans you are out there. I know there are tens of thousands of Islander fans who still remember the early 80's or younger fans have had their fathers tell them about the great Islander teams of the period.

For the fans who have written this franchise off I say this - It is time to come back to the team. It is time to fill the stands of the Coliseum again and breathe life back into that arena.

Sure its an old outdated arena. Fill it with 15,000 plus fans and no one is going to care.

If you remember the glory days of the Islanders and how much fun it was to go to the Coliseum come on back.

If you remember the Islanders playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs then come on back.

You will not be disappointed at the effort and skill this young team is putting on the ice.

Post your thoughts in the comment section below.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New York Islanders: TV Coverage is a Joke

We are 5 games into the NHL 2010-2011 season and there are many surprises around the NHL.

Some of them are:

1) The remarkable 4-0 start of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
2) Martin Brodeur's and Robert Luongo's sudden inability to stop pucks.
3) The hot start of the NY Islanders and more specifically Josh Bailey.

These are just some of the stories around the NHL right now and one that is bugging all Islander fans is the mockery of TV coverage that MSG+ provides.

Islander fans have no problems with Howie Rose (other than him being a Rangers fan) and Butch Goring who as a former player and coach brings a very nice perspective of the games. Butch has done an phenomenal job so far providing insights that Billy Jaffe didn't or couldn't or both.

The fans are speaking of something more subtle. Is it lost on no one that the Islanders have every one of their games broadcast on a network that owned and has the initials of where their blood rivals play?

It would be like the Red Sox being broadcast on YES2 or The Phillies being on SNY2.

If the Islanders received equally as slick production values as the top channel of the bunch, MSG network this would not be as big an issue as it is.

MSG+ is a joke. The name is a joke, the production values are a joke and whoever has been the director for the Islander games so far should be fired. Why?

I turned on the Islanders home opener and watched the pre-game show. Everything looked good. Then something happened. The color hue turned and everyone looked like a smurf with blue toned skin that made Avatar's Na'vi look pale.

It was not something that lasted for a minute and went back to normal, this was something that lasted for over 25 minutes.

I called my TV provider, DirecTV already knowing that it was not their feed causing the problem. I explained to the customer service representative what i saw and told him i don't think its you, its the feed from Cablevision. He proceeded to put me on hold and checked the TV they have in the office and came back laughing saying yes, i see the same thing the color is off and everyone looks like the smurfs.

He thanked me for reporting the problem and said he would contact the source of the feed.

The rest of the game went off O.K. except for the usual MSG+ issues of lingering on the announcers for uncomfortable lengths of time after they were done speaking or going to a shot to fast before someone was ready to speak.

Then there was the game against Pittsburgh. I turned on my new 63" HDTV to watch the Islanders take on Crosby and Company and what do i see? shadows around every player and advertisement along the boards giving me the look like the contrast was turned way to high. This lasted most of the game before the bumbling buffoons running the show fixed it.

What annoyed me even more is flipping over to the mighty MSG network and seeing perfection. Not on the ice mind you but a perfect picture. Sharp, colorful, full Dolby Digital surround 5.1 sound.

Then there was the game versus Colorado. Not the game itself. The picture was NOT HD. Why was it not in HD? Not because DirecTV does not have the bandwidth or because someone forgot to flip the HD switch, its because on the over flow channel that MSG provides for the games that are not on MSG and MSG+ simply are not broadcast in HD.

In this day and age how can ANY major sports programming not be broadcast in High Definition?

While your thinking about that one let me ask you this - During the Islanders-Penguins game why did the audio sound like it was coming through a cup with a string on it?

If you watch Islanders games on TV and judging from the ratings bump the Islanders have enjoyed since they drafted John Tavares a lot of you are then odds are you have seen mistake after mistake MSG+ has made in its Islander broadcasts. Its annoying, embarrassing and there is no excuse considering what fans pay for television these days.

Cablevision is paying the Islanders a lot of money for its broadcast rights and it shows. They take it right out of the broadcasts with what has to be interns running the graphics, audio and technical aspects. It is a disgrace and indicative of a company that is now depriving its customers of watching the FOX network of channels.

Sure FOX is greedy that much is a given but so is Cablevision any customer of theirs who has to endure their second and third rate equipment and customer service will tell you.

They would not dare put the kind of production value on their precious Knicks and Rangers. No. Mr. Dolan cares about those teams. Considering the level of success those teams have had however you would never know it.

If that's how he treats the teams he does love then you can imagine how he treats the "other" teams on his networks.

I have distanced myself as much as I can from the empire that is Cablevision, the owners of Madison Square Garden, The New York Knicks the New York Rangers, Newsday, Radio City Music Hall and countless other businesses. Its just a shame that no matter what we do Islander fans and Devil fans for that matter cannot get them out of our lives.

Post your bad experiences and comments below watching the Islanders and Devils on MSG+.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New York Islanders: Tavares Out - Excitement In

Say what you want about the Islanders after their first game of the 2010-2011 season. Say they have no shot at the playoffs, say they have no depth and write them off.

If game one is any indication on how the Islanders will fare this season if nothing else they should be one hell of a fun team to watch.

I had more fun watching that game Saturday night than i have in a long time watching a early regular season game.

The Islanders should have won that game more than doubling Dallas' shot total for the game.

But it was more than just shots. You can bet in that Dallas locker room they were saying things like "who are these guys?"

The Islanders skated hard, hit harder and played with a purpose.

Sure Dallas scored 4 goals, but one of them DiPietro should have had and when he shakes off all of the rust that has collected on him the past 2 seasons he will stop it.

The other Dallas goals were bang bang play that do not happen every game.

Islander fans absolutely loved watching James Wisniewski play in an Islander uniform scoring a power play goal and absolutely tattooing Jamie Benn with a clean check that energized the Islanders come back.

The trick will be bringing that energy to every game over the 81 games the Islanders have left.

It was not all positive.

John Tavares spent some time face down on the ice after getting bumped into from behind at center ice on an apparent inadvertent hit.

JT did not return and the team has stated it is a mild concussion. Mild concussion? I know concussions have grades but saying you have a mild concussion is like saying your mildly pregnant.

A concussion is never a good thing and the hit that sent Tavares out of the game has me worried.

I do not think contact was made at any time with Tavares' head, meaning the whiplash effect from the hit caused the concussion and if this is truly the case it may be a major problem.

In any event Tavares will be out for today's game with the Rangers and is a question mark for Wednesday's game.

Josh Bailey was all over the ice Saturday night, playing with a confidence he has not shown in his first 2 years in the league. The fans took notice as did the TV commentators who marveled at how many time during the game they said his name.

Nino Niederreiter, the youngest Islander ever did not embarrass himself nearly scoring on more than one occasion including late in the third.

Frans Nielson also shown more of the skill that has Islander fans wondering how he isn't all over the score sheet.

The revamped defense kept the quality chances down from last year and that's in despite of the 4 goals Dallas scored. Over the long NHL season this will balance out and less goals allowed should become the norm.

We can only hope two things now one that JT will be back soon and two, the Islanders can match Saturday night's effort on a game by game basis.

Voice your opinion below.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NY Islanders: No Faith Out There

Perhaps its the lack of any assemblance of recent success. Perhaps its the young core of a team yet to truly prove itself. Perhaps its the major injuries that have taken a major hit on the team before the puck has dropped in game number one.

There is no faith out there in any hockey publication, web site, blog, newspaper, sports dirt sheet or any other media outlet that does not have the words "Islanders" at the top of it.

This is nothing new to Islander fans as they have gotten used to low expectations and disappointing outcomes despite the almost defiant hope that things will be different this time.

The Hockey News predicts the Islanders to finish 14th in the conference or 28th in the league and this is BEFORE anyone knew the Islanders would be without their top winger and defenseman for extended periods.

In the Hockey News' defense, they do state that if certain things happen, like Rick DiPietro regaining his all star form and the revamped defense bringing down the horrible goals against totals combined with the maturing of some of the teams young stars could net the Islanders a playoff berth.

Way to hedge your bet guys.

TSN ranked the Islanders 29th taking repeated pop shots at the "fact" that the team can't score goals even though they had the same amount of goals last season as New Jersey and the NY Rangers.

Anyone that does any sort of research will know that goal scoring was not the Islanders primary problem last season. It was stopping them.

The team has vastly improved its team defense and taken it out of the charge of guys like Freddy Meyer and placed in under the care of guys like James Wisniewski and Mark Eaton.

Obviously someone at TSN missed the facts. doesn't mince any words. They hold nothing back and give the team no hope stating that the Islanders had no depth to begin with and the injuries to Striet and Okposo will not help. They say the Islanders finish 30th in the league and dismiss them as at the start of just another lost season.

If the Islander fans can look forward to something this season its making all of the nay sayers eat a great big steaming pile of craw.

Yes this article is being written after the injuries of Streit, Okposo and Schremp.

As good as Streit is this team is not built around one player or superstar.

Any team can have one flashy guy who scores 40 goals and a back up cast of slugs who never will win anything.

Thats not what the Islanders are trying to build. They are trying to build like Chicago has built their power. Slowly, methodically and with a purpose.

Sure every team needs a cornerstone guy and that is John Tavares. Watch what he does this year. I am not saying he scores 51 like Stamkos did but make no mistake JT will score more often and consistently.

Despite losing Streit the Islanders will be vastly improved on the defensive side of the puck. This is not an opinion based on anything but fact.

You dont add the players the Islanders did on defense and get worse.

What does all this point to?

The NHL writers, websites and what have you? They better get their forks ready because the Islanders are about to serve them up that craw they have been waiting to serve for a long time.

Place your opinion below.