Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pinocchio would be embarrassed

(courtesy SC.EDU)
Funny I seem to recall that Gary Bettman back in April had ruled the Barclay Center out as a future home for the New York Islanders. Why the NHL Commissioner said at the time that he did not believe that the Islander fans would follow the team from Uniondale to Brooklyn.

Never mind that the Barclay Center is served by 11 different NYC subway lines, the LIRR and 11 surface bus lines. Bettman had plenty of arguments against the Barclay Center and none of them were legit with the exception of the Barclay Center seating under 15000.

Yet there was the NHL commissioner at the Barclay Center attending the press conference announcing that the Islanders would indeed move to Brooklyn in 2015. The NHL fan is not supposed to remember that in April Gary Bettman gave plenty of reasons why this would not work.

What the commissioner and Charles Wang left out that since they were so busy hyping the move that Islander fans will be hit with some very hefty increases in ticket prices.

Wang made a big deal about signing a 25 year lease but unless he is a total and complete idiot; want to bet there are several different ways for the Islanders to get out from that lease? Seriously can anyone really expect the Islanders to fill the Barclay Center with a team called the Rangers right across the bridge?

I for one can't wait for the first time both the Rangers and Islanders have home games on the same night. I do feel for the Islander fans as the problems go way deeper than a broken arena.

As long as Charles Wang owns the franchise then I am sorry but I just don't see the Islanders becoming a better franchise no matter where they are located. As much as Ranger fans dislike the Dolans, at least the Dolans are smart enough to stay out of Glen Sather's way.

But I really do like Jesse Spector's piece regarding the timing of the announcement of the move.

The NHL is in the middle of a labor stoppage with no hope of a deal being struck as nobody is talking to each other. But really this was a good time to announce that a team was relocating?

Wednesday the Islanders announce they are moving and now on Thursday the NHL will announce that an 82 game schedule is out of the question. Right now I would say there is a better chance that there won't be any season at all than even a half a season.

Pinocchio would be embarrassed by the size of Gary Bettman's nose.

Adam Pelech (OHL Images)
Game Action

Guess Islander defensive prospects have something about the number "3" as it was Adam Pelech's (NYI 2012 3rd) turn to have a 3 point evening as his Erie Otters just beat on the Saginaw Spirit 7-1. Pelech had 3 assists in a game for the second time this season as the Otters just jumped all over the Spirit.

Pelech got on the scoresheet when he earned a secondary assist on J.P. Labardo's shorthanded goal at 9:19 of the first period giving the Otters a 1-0 lead and off they went. In the second period, Pelech set up his defensive partner Jimmy McDowell for the Otter's 5th goal of the game at 9:30.

Pelech made it a 3 point evening when he was credited for a secondary assist just 3:05 after the last Otter goal. This time it was a power play goal giving Pelech 3 assists on 3 different types of goals.

Pelech with the 3 point +3 evening also jumps into the OHL's Top Ten in defensemen scoring at number 8 with a 2-10-12 record. The only blemish for Pelech was that he took a tripping call late in the 3rd that Saginaw scored on to spoil the Otter's bid for a shutout.

If you missed it yesterday Pelech was named to take part in the Subway Super Series against the Russians on November 12th as part of Team OHL.

The oddest part about the Erie/Saginaw game was that it was the first time for us to see 2 former Rangers coaching against each other. Greg Gilbert for Saginaw and Robbie Ftorek for Erie.

And Pelech joins Andrey Pedan (Sunday) and Brendan Kichton (Tuesday) in having 3 point efforts this week. Pretty impressive of them.

In Prince George, Brendan Kichton (NYI 2011 5th) and his Spokane Chiefs saw their 3 game winning streak come to an end 4-2 at the hands of the Prince George Cougars. Kichton registered his 4th goal of the season in the last minute of the game but by then the outcome had long been decided.

Kichton is 4-12-16 on the season.

Brady Skjei

Before people start questing what is going on with Skjei in Minnesota, yes Skjei is going miss Friday's game against the US Under-18 team. He might even miss Sunday's game that the Golden Gophers play against Canisius.

Skjei and some of his teammates are a little dinged up so Minnesota is going to have them sit out one exhibition game and if Skjei sits out Sunday as well, a non-conference game.

If these were WCHA conference games then Skjei and his teammates would play. There is no need to worry about Skjei as he is in good hands with Minnesota.

Defending the Blueline

Remember this charity? It was the one that the late Derek Boogaard supported while he was alive. On Sunday in Minnesota there will be a charity game featuring NHL players with the proceeds going to "Defending the Blueline."

I have to say that I am rather disappointed that Stu Bickel is the only Ranger player scheduled to appear in this event. I hope that on Sunday when the event happens that other Ranger players take part.

And why isn't he on their roster?

The Russians announced their roster for the Subway Super Series and Andrey Pedan's name was not on it. Pedan is 19 so it could not have been his age and while I am not a big fan of Pedan; I would still have picked him to play at least in the OHL part of the series.

Sometimes the adults who make these kinds of selections are more childish than the teenagers on their rosters. Pedan is 6'3 220 who has 3 years under his belt playing in the OHL which is a big reason why I want him on my roster if for no other reason than to play scout for his teammates.


Harry said...

Why the animosity towards the move to brooklyn? Isles will sell tix there, there will be the initial buzz, which will hopefully be backed up by an emerging team with the best player in NY at the center of the show. And I can't wait to see a Saturday with both at home, one year makes the rangers a monopoly?
Isles will get similar corporate season tix holders just like the rangers, mostly bc that arena will be way more of an attractive place to use as a perk than MSG to take clients to, or whatever these big corps do with tickets.
And as for the islander fans on LI who are saying they'll never go again, just wait until we get a winner, those fans have waited diligently for something to cheer for, it'll be hard to resist coming back or watching all the games on TV at least once they get it.

Jess Rubenstein said...

It is not the move itself but (a) the timing of the move announcement, (b) that Gary Bettman originally said Brooklyn was no a good move, and (c) quite honestly Charles Wang is a terrible owner who has escaped being held accountable for how the Islanders have been run on his watch.

If you had read what I have said in the past then you would see it is not the Islanders I have a problem with but rather how poorly they have been run.

Harry said...

The pinnacle of the mess was the Neil Smith debacle and the DP contract, but the way they've operated since, on a shoe string budget, while being unable to ship any mistakes to the AHL, hasn't been all that bad, all things considered. Now, Organizational depth is one of the depeest in the league based on rankings from many objective analysts, they've locked up all of the important players, and have acquired guys like nabakov for pennies, (they got lambasted for that move as always, but how does it look now?). If you take ALL of the bad, why not look at the good, the Ryan Smith trade was a great one (tho not in the same ballpark as Gomez for Mcdonagh, still wondering what incriminating photos of Gauthier or whichever MTL GM Sather has hidden somewhere).

Now, if the team settles into Brooklyn and they don't spend, or build up the hockey ops department a bit more, then I'll completely agree with you.

Jess Rubenstein said...


No offense but it appears you really have not read what I have been saying about the Islander prospects or even those playing in Bridgeport.

Yes the Islanders have a strong collection of talent prospects but they also have a history of not allowing those prospects to develop.

But you hit the 2nd biggest problem right on the head which is their hockey ops staff.

Ken Morrow is your head scout? Eric Cairns and Trent Klatt as your leaders in player development?

Sorry the Islanders had a great scouting staff until most of them could not take it anymore (seeing players they drafted shipped off) and left (to this day Ranger fans thank you for Gordie Clark).

Harry said...

And when did they all take off because of their players getting shipped off? That was over 5 years ago, when, admittedly, things were ridiculous with the Islanders organization. The Bailey development has been an issue, but he's coming around, and is only 22, Nino is obviously egg on their face, but based on their revenues and the opportunity to use Nino as a cap bump, that decided to play him up for the year, which was a disaster. If the CBA wasn't so flawed to allow a 1st year player to have a nearly $4mill cap hit Nino would have been in Portland for another year. What other player development issues have they had in the last -5 years? They've "slow-cooked" the goalie and Defense prospects in the CHL and the AHL and now the forwards are getting more time to develop. TO use Gordie Clark leaving as a dig at the current set up of the team isn't really fair, that was before Snow started as GM.

And to the history of not letting them develop,that was absolutely the past.

Jess Rubenstein said...

It doesn't matter when they took but that they did and why they left is because the structure in the Islander's front office.

Really Ken Morrow as the director of pro scouting? Trent Klatt and Eric Cairns running player development and they are the right people for the position because????

Sorry Harry but Joanne Holewa as your manager of Hockey Admin?? Even better is when you click her picture is that it takes you to Mike Dunham's bio.

Taking Ryan Strome when Dougie Hamilton was sitting there. Using every pick on a defenseman?

The franchise has no President, no strength and conditioning trainer, no skating consultant and on and on.

You want to talk Nino, I was the person who predicted (ask anyone who was at the draft) that the Islanders would take him.

The mistake wasn't keeping him last year it was sending him back the year before to Portland. I know I watched him there and Nino never should have been in Portland.

You had Doug Weight who would have been the perfect mentor for him. Instead Nino was hung out to dry by the Islanders and his development retarded because of it.

Nino wants to learn but nobody on the Islanders is taking the role of mentor. Nino didn't go back to Europe when the lockout started, he went back to Portland and worked out with the only coaching staff that has ever helped him.

I don't blame Garth Snow, I blame Charles Wang and his horrible ownership/management of the Islanders.

Wang wants to claim he has lost 20 mil a year on the Islanders; 15 million of that is his own fault.

There are some good people who work for the Islanders but Wang doesn't know how to own a team. Period