Get Your T-Shirts & Hoodies -- and support Make-A-Wish (R) Metro NY

Once again the FINAL SCORE:

Shirts sold: 2,329

Contribution to @MakeAWish @MAWMNY $33,107.

Kids directly helped: MANY!


#ItHappenedAtTheColiseum

All proceeds benefit one of my favorite charities: Make-A-Wish®Metro New York.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Rhett to IR; Hunter signs with Kings

The Isles have announced that Rhett Rakhshani has been placed on IR, retroactive to Tuesday.

Also former Islander Trent Hunter has agreed to a contract with the Kings.  Hunter is also receiving $666,667 a year for each of the next four years to not play for the Devils.

(Thanks, Katie for the info!)
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Pre-Season: The final weekend

The Isles play their final two pre-season games this weekend.

They are in New Jersey tonight to face an angelic-like Devils squad.  No Parise, Kovalchuk, Elias or Brodeur for the home team tonight.  No Tavares, Moulson for the visitors.  Rick DiPietro and Kevin Poulin are the goalies on the trip to NJ.

Ryan Strome will be in the lineup for the Isles tonight.  He needs to agree to a contract by 5pm Tuesday in order to play for the Isles at any time this season.

The Isles face the Stanley Cup Champion Bruins (that stilll sounds strange) in Bridgeport, CT tomorrow.

Both games will be streamed on the Isles website.  It should be a Devils stream tonight (with Matt Loughlin and Sherry Ross) and an Isles stream tomorrow (with Chris King and Phil Giubileo).
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Isles ink veteran Staios

Late last season, the Isles fielded a defense corp that had 739 games of NHL experience.  The newest Islander, Steve Staios has 197 games more than that.  Staios agreed to terms on a 1-year contract with the team following a training camp tryout.  Staios, who is 64 games shy of the 1,000 mark, started his NHL career with the Bruins before playing for Vancouver, Atlanta, Edmonton and Calgary.

Staios, 38,  becomes the 2nd-oldest player on the squad.  He is about five months younger than Brian Rolston.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rob confirrms: Comcast DC

Neil Best had this a week or so ago but when the person involves tweets it himself, I'll redistribute it to anyone who might not have seen it.

Good luck to former Isles TV host Rob Carlin, who will be " working for Comcast SportsNet in DC.. Will cover Caps and all sports.. "

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Botta on Kabanov

Here's a story that sounds more like 1940s-50s Brooklyn than 2011 Long Island.  And it's an Islander, not a Dodger:

A great read from Chris Botta, who is now concentrating on his NY Times Blog:
http://slapshot.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/connected-by-facebook-islanders-prospect-joins-fans-for-night-of-roller-hockey/?ref=sports

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Newsday: Coliseum Task Force Can't Agree

If you're shocked by the headline, you haven't been paying attention.

Newsday's Randy Marshall has the story: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/coliseum-task-force-can-t-agree-on-plan-1.3206095 @randimarshall

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Tonight's Isles game is on MSG-Plus

For those in the NY-area, MSG-Plus will carry tonight's game from Calgary.  It will be a TSN production.  Face-off is at 9pm ET.

The same broadcast will air nationally on NHL-NetworkUS but I would expect that this will be blacked out in the NY area.

Gord Miller will call the play-by-play for TSN.  Former Islander Ray Ferraro, who scored overtime winners in consecutive games in the 1993 playoffs vs Washington, will have the commentary.

This is the 3rd of the Isles' 5 pre-season games for this season.  They will be in New Jersey on Friday and play the Bruins in Bridgeport CT on Saturday.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Capuano on Nabakov

(Several people reported issues with the blog last night, so I am resending this.  Thanks for your patience.)
 
Interesting quote from Isles coach Jack Capuano on tomorrow night's starting goaltender, Evgeni Nabakov, particularly the last dozen or so words.from the isles Training Camp 2011 blog:
<<
Capuano said, "He's (Nabokov) played so much hockey and he understands we want to give the young kids a look as well. We know what he's going to bring to the table he's going to play, I don't know if he's going to play the whole game out there right now, but he's going to play a majority of the game and as we move on he's going to play more and more.">>
With Chris Osgood's retirement, only three active goalies have more career wins than Nabakov (293):
1. Martin Brodeur 625
2. Nikolai Khabibulin 316
3. Roberto Luongo 308

The goalie right behind Nabakov in terms of wins is Miikka Kiprusoff (276).  As the Flames only have two goalies left in camp, expect either Kiprusoff or Henrik Karlsson to face the Isles Tuesday (9pm ET).

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Capuano on Nabakov

Interesting quote from Isles coach Jack Capuano on tomorrow night's starting goaltender, Evgeni Nabakov, particularly the last dozen or so words.

from the isles Training Camp 2011 blog:
<<
Capuano said, "He's (Nabokov) played so much hockey and he understands we want to give the young kids a look as well. We know what he's going to bring to the table he's going to play, I don't know if he's going to play the whole game out there right now, but he's going to play a majority of the game and as we move on he's going to play more and more.">>

With Chris Osgood's retirement, only three active goalies have more career wins than Nabakov (293):
1. Martin Brodeur 625
2. Nikolai Khabibulin 316
3. Roberto Luongo 308


The goalie right behind Nabakov in terms of wins is Miikka Kiprusoff (276).  As the Flames only have two goalies left in camp, expect either Kiprusoff or Henrik Karlsson to face the Isles Tuesday (9pm ET).

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pre-Season Skinny: Isles 6, Devils 2

Ok-- not really The Skinny.  Have to wait for the regular season for that.

This was pretty much a one-sided game, in part because the Isles used at least 14 skaters who should play opening night and the Devils used anything but.

Mark Streit made up for lost time, playing 23:44.  The game's #1 star scored a goal and added two assists.  Streit was one of five Islanders one was on-ice for all three Isles pp goals (Travis Hamonic, Matt Moulson, John Tavares and Frans Nielsen).  Nielsen, entering his final season as the NHL's biggest bargain ($525,000 cap hit) had no power play goals all last year but scored 1 on the power play in this game

Looks like Steve Staios is getting a big chance to make the squad.  He played a lot with Streit and also scored a goal.

Other notables: Matt Moulson scored twice; Michael Grabner set up Kyle Okposo for the first goal and drew a penalty that led to the 2nd goal.  He did miss on a breakaway - something he did frequently last season.

For the pugilists, Trevor Gillies and Cam Janssens fought twice- a quickie in the second period and a lengthy bout in the third.

All in all, it was a good night for the Coliseum faithful -- but one to be taken with a grain of salt, given the Devils' roster.

The Isles head to Calgary on Tuesday.  They visit New Jersey Friday and then "host" the Bruins in Bridgeport next Saturday to end the pre-season.

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Is there another Michael Grabner out there???

Last year it was Michael Grabner.  The year before it was Rob Schremp.

40 players were placed on waivers today.  The complete list is here:  http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=376604


The claim deadline for these players is noon ET, Monday.

There are no Islanders on the list.  Wade Redden and Pavel Valentenko were placed on the list by the Rangers.


 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Nobody Suspends the Wiz

...or maybe they do.  For the 2nd straight season, Wisniewski is in trouble with the NHL.  This time for more than giving the finger.

nhl.com

<<NEW YORK -– Columbus Blue Jackets' defenseman James Wisniewski has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing and the completion of a review by the NHL's Department of Player Safety for an incident that occurred in Friday night's preseason game in St. Paul, NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan announced today.

Wisniewski received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head of Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck 20:00 into the third period.>>

Brad Staubitz of Minnesota has also been suspended indefinitely for an incident earlier in that game.

Shanny's getting busy!

I haven't seen anything regarding a potential suspension for Justin DiBenedetto for drawing an instigator penalty in the final 5 minutes of last night's game in Boston.  You can see Dibo's actions, following a hit by David Krejci on Ty Wishart, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-lAOwYh55Q&noredirect=1


Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick 

NHL Guide and Record Book

Earlier this evening @NHL_Stats published a link on their twitter feed to the 2011-12 NHL Guide and Record Book. 

See below:
NHL_STATS: Link 2 NHL's 2011-12 Media Guide in PDF format.   Enjoy.
http://t.co/vyyGjufY
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Skinny Thanks You!

As the pre-season puck drops on another Islanders season, I would like to say thanks for all of your support.  September will be the most-viewed month in the blog's history...following August, which was the most viewed month in the blog history.

Pretty impressive as the team that the blog covers hasn't played a game since April.  Buckle up, and enjoy the ride (and if you haven't done so already, change your address for the blog to NYISkinny.com)

Happy New Season!  Here's to plenty of Skinny...through April... or May... or dare I dream  June.


Here's a link to tonight's webcast:
http://video.islanders.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=616&id=124334&navid=DL|NYI|home
 

Isles to stream tonight's game in Boston

The Isles have announced that tonight's game will be streamed on the Isles website, beginning at 7pm.  Blackout restrictions do apply.  (The Bruins are also streaming so fans in the Boston area can catch the game on bruins.com)

Pre-Season Skinny: The game (unofficially) marks the Islanders' first visit to Boston to play the reigning Stanley Cup Champs since their famous 9-7 victory in January 1973.
 
Tim Thomas is expected in nets for the B's.  Rick DiPietro and Anders Nilsson are on the trip for the Isles.  DiPietro is one of three Massachusetts natives on the trip; Jay Pandolfo and Mike Mottau will also play for the Isles tonight.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Isles ticket sales on the rise ... and roster for 1st game announced

Neil Best (@sportswatch) has a story on Newsday.com about the rise in Isles ticket sales ("Islanders fans buying into team now").  Paul Lancey is cited in story that says the team has added 1,000 new season season tickets and 1,100 partial plan subscribers.  
http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/neil-best/islanders-fans-buying-into-team-now-1.3191952

Also, Arthur Staple has a blog post noting that the Isles will send a mostly "B" lineup to Boston to face the champs tomorrow.  They'll have one line of NHL regulars (Comeau-Bailey-Parenteau) and two veteran defenders (Mottau-Staios).  Rick DiPietro will make the trip and get to play in his hometown (along with Anders Nilsson); it also likely means that he won't play on Coliseum ice on Saturday. 

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/isles-files-1.812028

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Isles TV Schedule released

MSG will produce 81 of the Isles' 82 games this season, with the exception of the November 7th game in Boston that is exclusive to Versus in the NY market. 

55 games will air on MSG Plus, 25 others on MSG Plus 2.  The November 21 game at Pittsburgh will air on MSG.

The complete TV schedule is on the MSG website:
http://www.msg.com/our-teams/islanders/islanders-2011-12-season-schedule-1.48856
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Congratulations to Mark Streit

...named today as 13th Captain in Islander history.

While each of the first 5 Captains (Westfall, Gillies, Potvin, B. Sutter, Flatley) each served over 2 full seasons... and all but Gillies served over 300 games, only one of last seven (Michael Peca) have served over 2 seasons.

Streit is the 4th defensemen to be named Captain, following Denis Potvin, Bryan McCabe and Kenny Jonsson; he's the first to do so since Jonsson resigned the captaincy in November, 2000.

Streit of course missed all season with an injury.  Only Trevor Gillies, Kyle Okposo, Matt Moulson, Dylan Reese, Andrew MacDonald, Frans Nielsen, Michael Haley and John Tavares were in the line-up for Streit's last NHL game (4-11-10 vs Pittsburgh) and are still in the organization today.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Webb and Patty hit NYC

Congratulations to Steve Webb (@stevewebb20) and Pat Lafontaine who are completing their 48-hour bike ride from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto to the NHL Store in NY.

At last update they were exiting Central Park South so barring any crazy NYC traffic over the last few blocks, they will beat their 11am goal.

http://w20foundation.org
http://www.cic16.org

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Best wishes to Rob Carlin-- who announced earlier tonight (via Twitter, how appropriate) that he will be "staying closer to his family" in the Baltimore area and not be part of the MSG broadcast team this season.
Rob noted that he will "announce his next move soon".
In 30 years, I've worked with only 2 play-by-play announcers (Howie and Jiggs) but there have been a number of hosts, including Stan Fischler, Matt Loughlin, Mike Crispino, Deb Kaufman Placey, CJ Papa and Carlin.

UPDATED:12:30 AM Wed.  Before he surprised Long Island, Rob surprised his wife... on morning TV in Baltimore.  http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/region/baltimore_city/good-morning-maryland%27s-megan-pringle-gets-%27surprise%27-

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Patty, Webb continue ride

As you probably have seen elsewhere, Pat LaFontaine and Steve Webb are riding from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto to the NHL Store in New York in a span of 2 days ... by bike.  They left Toronto at 11am Monday.

They are raising money for their respective foundations:

(Webb) W20 Foundation MISSION
Promotes social responsibility and community giveback through athletes in North America. Increase young athletes self confidence, promotion of responsibility, independence and overall help to build strong character.

A portion of proceeds will also support Alzheimer's and Dementia research.    


(LaFontaine) CIC Foundation MISSION
Building interactive game rooms in children's hospitals throughout NorthAmerica. These rooms connect hospitalized children to their family, friends and heroes. We will open rooms inCanada and NYC w/in weeks of the ride.  


Webb is blogging about it here:  http://w20foundation.blogspot.com/

You can also find out where they are at this link:
http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/ee71/9080/4e45/3e4d/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20110919-2143.kml

(As of 1:45 ET they are in central NY, just east of Bridgewater NY (and about 30 miles north of Cooperstown) --just over 200 miles from NYC.)

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Islanders get another shot at Staios

Steve Staios has accepted a training camp invite from the Isles. 

Staios, who turned 38 in late July could have been an Islander 20 years ago.  He was drafted by St. Louis in the 2nd round of the 1991 Entry Draft -- one pick after the Islanders selected Zigmund Palffy.

Staios has appeared in 936 NHL games, primarily with Edmonton.  He was a teammate of Islander General Manager Garth Snow with the Canucks in the late 1990s.

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Cyrgalis on Ricky

Brett Cyrgalis had a lengthy and interesting piece in the Post on Rick DiPietro earlier in the week.

In the wake of this summer's NHL news, one quote, however, caught my attention:

"The past three years, for both of us, have been as tough as it's ever been," says DiPietro's wife of two years (and girlfriend of 10), Cassandra. "I've felt for him. It's like he lost his identity, everything he knew was taken away from him. He felt helpless, worthless, depressed. And there was nothing I can do to help."
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

@brettcyrgalis

The Royal Wedding

To end a week that included the Isles re-signing John Tavares to a long extension and Josh Bailey to a shorter one, a wedding.

In Islander lore, a Royal Wedding. 

This weekend, Brianna Gillies (daughter of Clark) and Justin Bourne (son of Bob) will take the one-way walk down the aisle. Two of the eight leading scorers in Isles history (542 goals, 1205 points, 8 Cups between them) will be the proud fathers.

As Justin explained here: http://www.jtbourne.com/breeding-the-uber-islander/ the seeds for this weekend were rekindled at his father's Hall of Fame night in 2006.

The fathers go way back...two of the Saskatchewan boys that made this franchise.  Perhaps - just perhaps - there was an early sign, before either the bride or groom were born.  It was April of 1980 -- Clark Gillies scored an overtime goal to beat the Bruins in game 1 and the very next night Bob Bourne scored to do the same in game 2.

Follow Justin's musings @jtbourne and as they in the old country: Mazel Tov!


 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tavares deal done!

Various sources, including @katiestrangESPN and @stapenewsday have confirmed it.  The Isles have announced a press conference for Thursday to announce the deal.  Terms appear to be 6 yrs/33 million.

Another NHL player signed a 6 year/$33 million deal this off-season.  His name is James Wisniewski.

Since late January, Isles have announced multi-year extensions with Moulson, Okposo, Grabner and now Tavares.  All of them, as well as Niederreiter, are under contract through at least 2013-2014.  If the term of Tavares' deal is correct it will take him through the 2017-18 season.  The only other Islander under contract for that season is Rick DiPietro.

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nino and Rita

Really enjoyed this piece by Chris Botta on the relationship between Nino and "mental coach" Rita Sutter.

http://www.islanderspointblank.com/2011/09/how-nino-niederreiter-gets-an-edgedevelopment-assisted-by-swiss-based-mental-coach/

I've heard that name Sutter in Islander history before, too.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick



@ChrisBottaNHL @elnino25

Monday, September 12, 2011

ex-Isles Morrow, Galley to be honored

It's been a good week to be Kenny Morrow.

Days after the Isles announced that he will be entering their Hall of Fame (on December 31st, prior to a matinee against Edmonton), his alma mater, Bowling Green State University, announced that it will retire his college number (#3) to its "Cast of Honor".  

Morrow's number will be honored for not only him but two other NHL standouts, Rob Blake and Garry Galley.  Galley played the final 56 of his 1,149 NHL games for the Isles in 2000-01.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Re: Another season, another beat writer

Arthur's tweet about the beat includes the phrase "for now".   
"Big congrats to my old colleague , moved on to the bigger time. Follow me (for now) for all your news."  Arthur's handle is @stapenewsday
 


<<Congratulations to Katie Strang, who has left Newsday to cover hockey for ESPN.com  Looks like she'll be concentrating at least in part on the 3 local teams. Arthur Staple succeeds Katie on the Isles beat, who succeeded Greg Logan, who succeeded Alan Hahn...etc.  

Katie's new twitter handle is @KatieStangESPN >>
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick


Another season, another beat writer

Congratulations to Katie Strang, who has left Newsday to cover hockey for ESPN.com  Looks like she'll be concentrating at least in part on the 3 local teams. Arthur Staple succeeds Katie on the Isles beat, who succeeded Greg Logan, who succeeded Alan Hahn...etc.  

Katie's new twitter handle is @KatieStangESPN
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Ex- Isles coach Laviolette remembers 9-11

9-11-01 was going to be a special day for Peter Laviolette.  His first official day as a head coach.

His memories, in a story in the (NJ) Courier Post.  http://www.courierpostonline.com/fdcp/?unique=1315801650910 
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

#flyers

Friday, September 09, 2011

The Last Gladiators screens at the Toronto Film Festival this week
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/last-gladiators-toronto-film-review-233129 has the review

The story deal with NHL enforcers, specifically Chris Nilan.  Other  NHL players appearing include Donald Brashear, Marty McSorley and Tony Twist.

More on the film here: http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/tiff/2011/lastgladiators

Among the executive producers of this movie is Barry Reese, the father of the Islanders' Dylan.

(HT to @atari8bit (Glenn Birk) for the original tip on this.)

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

ex-Isles MacDonald KHL Story

All this week and next, you'll be hearing stories of people who survived 9-11 due to happenstance.  The surviving head of Cantor Fitzgerald wasn't at the World Trade Center that day because it was his child's first day of kindergarten.  One of my friends' father is still alive because the private Port Authority elevator from the 59th floor to Windows on the World was out of service, forcing him to go down to the concourse level, which is where he was at 8:46 am.

In a way, Joey MacDonald, who was the Opening Night goaltender of the Scott Gordon era just three years ago, is one of those people.  His story isn't about the Trade Center -- instead it's about the KHL tragedy.  A tragedy that he came very close to being a part of. 

Great piece here -- from Matt Reitz (@ViewFromMySeats) of ProHockeyTalk.com : 
http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/09/joey-macdonald-could-have-been-playing-for-lokomotiv

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Thursday, September 08, 2011

"18" to get his night... FINALLY! Morrow-Flatley-Jonsson too!

The Isles have launched their 40th anniversary celebration .... complete details are here: http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=587764

Among the team's plans are 4 special nights to honor Isles from each of the last 4 decades with introduction into the Islanders Hall of Fame as well as an alumni night.

<<
The Islanders will celebrate "Decade Nights" throughout the year, in which they will honor an Islanders legend with induction into the Islanders Hall Of Fame. Each of the former players will have their names placed on the Islanders Hall of Fame banner that hangs in the rafters at Nassau Coliseum.  In addition, a brass plaque, depicting each player as well as a list of accomplishments and contributions to the organization, will be mounted in the team's dressing hallway.

Decade Date Opponent Player
1970's Nov. 19 Boston Bruins Ed Westfall
1980's Dec. 31 Edmonton Oilers Ken Morrow
1990's Jan. 14 Buffalo Sabres Patrick Flatley
2000's Feb. 11 Los Angeles Kings Kenny Jonsson

On Saturday, Oct. 29, when the Islanders take on the San Jose Sharks, the organization will also have members of the team's alumni in attendance.
>>

In addition to being the original Captain, Westfall led the most overlooked team in Isles history -- the 1974-75 team that really started it all.  From Parise's OT goal to ex-Isle the Rangers to Westfall's goal to complete the 1-0 goal-post kissing comeback against the Pens to the Kate Smith-cut short rally against the defending (and eventual) champion Flyers, the Isles' playoff DNA was sewn in that spring of 1975.  After 18 years as a player, Westfall retired in the spring of 1979 before beginning a 19-year career in the Islander broadcast booth.

Morrow, of course, turned Gold to Silver in a 13-week span in 1980 and it was his empty-netter that cemented the 4th straight championship -- a feat not matched by any professional team in North America since.  The Lester Patrick Award winner was not known as a big goal scorer, but scored 11 in the playoffs including perhaps the most pivotal goal in franchise history -- in  overtime of game 3 of the best-of-5 first round against Los Angeles (1980) -- as well as the goal to defeat the Rangers in the decisive game 5 in 1984, considered to be one of the greatest overtimes ever played.

Flatley and Jonsson both captained the Isles; Flatley joining the squad in the Drive For Five and Jonsson being acquired from Toronto in what was perhaps Mike Milbury's best trade - a deal that also brought the Isles the right to draft Roberto Luongo.  In fact, only Denis Potvin captained the Isles longer than Flatley; Potvin and Bryan McCabe are the only defenders besides Jonsson to serve as Captain as well.

#isles40th

 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Ex- Isles forward back in NHL

No, not that one...although Katie has tweeted today that Alexei Yashin is again skating  with many Islanders at IceWorks again today.

Richard Park, who played last season in Switzerland, has agreed to a 2-way deal with the Penguins, the team that drafted him (one spot ahead of Patrik Elias) in 1994.  Park played 316 games for the Isles over 4 seasons, with his most famous game being the final game of the 2006-07 season, when he scored the first two goals in what eventually became a 3-2 shootout win over the Devils that lifted the Isles into the playoffs.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=587923 has the story.
 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

The Joy of Life, The Agony of Death

I was quite young when I started to watch Wide World of Sports.  I was always fond of Jim McKay and one of my earliest sports memories were the 1972 Munich Olympics.  It was left to McKay to report on the massacre of Israeli athletes and words he said that day resonated with me this week. 

<<"When I was a kid my father used to say "Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized." Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were 11 hostages; two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone.">>

In the space of two days, hockey in the NY area went through our greatest hopes with the benefit for MSG's Jake Wisniewski, who is recovering from a double lung transplant in his continuing fight against cystic fibrosis.  Several people commented to me on what a great event it was --even more so because the past and present NHL players were all so approachable. Tens of thousands of dollars were raised on Jake's behalf as players, media members, and fans of all three local teams converged on a bar in midtown Manhattan.  Our hopes for Jake's recovery continue and you can still help at www.cotaforjakew.com  .

Then, less than 12 hours after the event ended, those worst fears came true when an entire Russian hockey team was wiped away with a tragic plane accident.  Three players with Islander ties were among the victims-- Brad McCrimmon, the former Isles assistant; Josef Vasicek, who scored 15 goals in 81 games for the Isles in 2007-08 and Alex Karpotsev, the former Ranger Cup winner who played three games for the Isles late in the 2003-04 season after being acquired at the trade deadline. In the matter of moments the Isles lost two alumni after having only three players in their entire history predecease them.  May their families cherish their memories and somehow find peace.



 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Deadliest day in Isles history

Almost every NHL team was touched by the tragedy in Russia today and the Isles were no exception.

Two former players (Josef Vasicek and Alex Karpovtsev) were killed in the crash as was former Isles assistant Brad McCrimmon.

According to records maintained by the Society for International Hockey Research (SIHR), Vasicek and Karpovtsev are only the 4th and 5th deceased players in Isles history.

Prior to today, only three of the 462 players who had appeared in an NHL game for the Islanders were deceased (Bob Cook, Bryan Lefley and Brian Spencer) -- all were born in the 1940s and all played on the 1972-73 team.  

RIP Josef Vasicek (1980-2011) and Alex Karpovtsev (1970-2011).



 
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

Ex-Isles Vasicek, ex Isles Asst McCrimmon Feared Dead in Russian Plane Crash

The story is still evolving but several sources are now reporting that at least two people with Islander ties, Josef Vasicek and  Brad McCrimmon are feared dead in a plane crash in Russia involving the KHL team Lokomotiv. 

Vasicek played in all but one game of the 2007-08 season for the Isles, scoring 16 goals and adding 19 assists. McCrimmon, an Islander assistant coach in the 1990's, was named head coach of the team just a few months ago after a 30+ year NHL career as both a player and assistant coach.

The team has confirmed that the entire 37-man traveling group was on the plane, which was headed to its season opening game.  Only 2 survivors are known at this time.  However the dead have not yet been confirmed.

<<In his address to the Ufa crowd (at the KHL season opening game) , the KHL President Aleksandr Medvedev stated that all players and staff of the Yaroslavl team except one survivor, whose name is not unknown as yet, died in a plane crash near the city of Yaroslavl in Central Russia.>> (http://rt.com/sport/hockey/khl-season-hockey-team-013/)

Perhaps the best known player to a North American audience on the team's roster is Pavol Demitra, who scored over 300 goals in the NHL and won the Lady Byng Award in 1999-2000.

The team roster is listed here: http://en.khl.ru/clubs/lokomotiv



Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick