Showing posts with label New York Islanders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York Islanders. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

From Warroad, Minnesota, Number 29 Brock Nelson

As if UND fans needed an introduction to Brock Nelson, the rest of the NHL world is getting a taste, finally, of what UND fans saw in his two seasons representing, the then Fighting Sioux, colors and that is the ability to score goals and help produce them. Tonight was no different, scoring his fourth goal of the season for the Islanders, and the game winning goal in tonight's contest against the Rangers as well.

Playing on the Islander's top line with John Tavares, Nelson has found his niche to find the net in this young season. He has tallied a four point night, and is tied for top scoring in the NHL with 7 points with the likes of Rick Nash and John Tavares. Now I do understand that the season is very young, but I see him playing as well, if not even better than, when he played with Danny Kristo and Corban Knight in his 30 goal sophomore campaign at UND.

Brock has put the NHL on notice that he is one to keep a sharp eye on in the near, and probably the distant future. Look for Nelson to impress on the ice for many seasons to come. UND fans knew what the Islanders were getting, now everyone knows what they have, a future superstar.

Brock Nelson - ESPN story

I found this little article on Brock Nelson over on ESPN.  If you don't remember Brock played for UND in the 2010-11 and 2011-2012 seasons.

Sometimes in hockey it appears there's just a "poof" moment when it all falls magically into place.

At least that's how it must appear to fans when it comes to a guy such as Brock Nelson.

Brock who?

Exactly.

New York Islanders fans certainly know Nelson now, and if the early returns from the 2014-15 season are any indication, it won't be long before lots of hockey fans hear the name and nod their heads appreciatively.

Two games into the season, Nelson has six points on three goals and three assists and is tied with a guy named Sidney Crosby for the league lead in point production.

It's not like head coach Jack Capuano rubbed an old lamp he found in his office at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and a big, talented center appeared out of the smoke, though frankly, that's a better -- or at least more evocative -- story.

Capuano knows the path out of obscurity isn't nearly that neat and tidy.

The Isles coach knew Nelson as a rail-thin, 180-pound rookie at the Islanders' development camp a few years back, after they made him the 30th overall pick in the 2010 entry draft.

He has seen him evolve from a solid American Hockey League prospect -- he scored 25 goals and collected 52 points in just 66 games two years ago -- into a young man learning the NHL game the past season and occasionally finding his way onto the power play or penalty kill.

Now Nelson is well over 200 pounds, having focused on getting bigger and stronger with a more explosive skating stride, and Capuano decided the Warroad, Minnesota, native, whose uncle Dave Christian was part of the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic gold medal team, can handle the pressure of being the team's No. 2 center.
[+] EnlargeBrock Nelson
James Guillory/USA TODAY SportsIslanders forward Brock Nelson had 14 goals and 12 assists in 72 games the past season.


"When I think of Brock Nelson, I think of a guy that has a very high hockey IQ. Tremendous intelligence of the game," Capuano told ESPN.com before the Islanders (2-0) prepared for what promises to be an emotional home tilt against the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

The Isles coach said he has always been impressed by Nelson's ability to play on both sides of the puck, but when he came to the NHL, Capuano wanted Nelson to use his skill more and not play it safe, as many young players do in simply trying to stay in an NHL lineup.

Now that is happening with Nelson, who has been playing with Ryan Strome and newcomer Mikhail Grabovski, as well as getting top power-play minutes.

"So far, I've been able to be on the fortunate end of a couple of nice plays," Nelson told ESPN.com.

With a significant change in personnel in the offseason, Nelson said he knew there would be opportunities for a different or expanded role.

"If you go out there and execute, you're going to build trust with the coaching staff," he said. "Whenever you get that opportunity, you want to take advantage of it. I want to grab this by the horns."

The past season, when he played 72 games for the Islanders, Nelson stayed first in a local hotel and then roomed with defenseman Thomas Hickey. The two are continuing to share a place, though Nelson insists they aren't thinking ahead to the team's move to Brooklyn next season.

"I know everybody has the move in the back of their mind, stored away," he said.

But the focus has been on a solid start to this season.

He said the atmosphere for Saturday's home opener, a win over Carolina, reminded him of the team's playoff series against Pittsburgh two springs ago.

"I think guys are pretty dialed in and want to make a splash," Nelson said.
If Nelson predictably downplays his early success, one person who doesn't is longtime Islander and broadcast analyst Butch Goring. He said Nelson was the best player in the Islanders training camp, including higher profile veterans.

"You have to have those guys down the middle," Goring said. "This guy has enough ability to bring some offense. His game has just evolved so much so quickly."
And there's the intriguing future landscape of the Brock Nelson story.
Sure, his mini point explosion out of the gate has created some nice buzz for a team desperate to get back to the postseason after missing out this past year. But it's the long-term impact that will be interesting to follow.

Nelson has played some wing, and there were some who thought he might start the season playing on the Isles' top line with captain John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. But Capuano opted to use Cory Conacher on the top line and Nelson as the second line anchor.

If Nelson grows into that role, the Isles will look like this down the middle: Tavares, Nelson, Frans Nielsen and Casey Cizikas, with a number of other wingers who have some experience at center.

"It's as strong as we've ever been [down the middle]," Capuano said.

Goring, for one, believes the Isles will find their way into the top eight in the conference, but after that, a lot will depend on how the rest of the season goes for the team's currently unheralded scoring star.

"How far they go, a lot will depend on how much more Brock continues to develop," Goring said.
"Poof" moment indeed.  (Link to Story)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Islander Mussings: Vanek and Moulson

Here's something that might be of interest from the Globe and Mail. When the Minnesota Wild picked up Matt Moulson at the trade deadline, I was really excited, but after his play during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, I won't be too upset if the Wild don't resign him.
Eric Duhatschek, Globe and Mail -- Okay, let’s play Islanders general manager for a while because, hey, everybody else is doing it too right? They have huge amounts of salary-cap space, so anything is possible, as long as you’re prepared to cajole players into coming. Even the guys they’ve got signed – such as John Tavares – are on reasonable deals ($5.5-million through 2017-18 – tip of the cap to Garth Snow for that one). They also have two more years of Kyle Okposo at $2.8-million. So after Thomas Vanek played so badly in Montreal and Minnesota’s interest in him is waning, why wouldn’t the Islanders circle back to Vanek and make him an offer on July 1? Bet they could outbid anybody for his services – and they might not even have to offer that seven-year, $50-million deal that he turned down. The Islanders could sign Vanek, bid for Matt Moulson (who liked it there and might consider a return, because his options might be limited as well) and bring back them both back.


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Is Thomas Vanek the new whipping boy?



Holy Cow, poor Thomas Vanek has become the whipping boy, and the reason for the demise of two teams, if not three. That might be an exaggeration, just a bit.
Josh Elliot, the Hockey News -- First, he was the sacrificial lamb (one of them) for the rebuilding Sabres. Then, he was expected to help John Tavares put the New York Islanders over top and get them into the playoffs. Next, after the losses and the contract offers piled up on Long Island, he was the guy they just couldn’t pay to stay. And off he went to Montreal, where he would help them to the playoffs before earning the goat horns in the Habs’ third-round elimination.

Vanek wasn’t terrible in Montreal. He wasn’t the reason they lost. But he didn’t help much when it mattered, either. The Austrian put up five goals and 10 points in 17 games. That’s OK, but nowhere near his 27-goal, 68-point regular season pace. And with just two points in his final seven playoff games, there’s no denying he pulled a disappearing act. Maybe his mind was in Minnesota, but more likely (he’s a professional, after all) he suffered an injury that we’ll hear about in the coming weeks.

But injury or not, just look at the carnage in his wake. The perennially-rebuilding Islanders are down a first-round pick in the Connor McDavid draft next year. They also lost a second-rounder in the Buffalo trade, and while they recouped it when they sent Vanek to Montreal, the Habs’ pick won’t be as high as the Islanders’ one would have been. And what else do they have? Only 2012 second-round pick Sebastian Collberg, and a fifth-round pick.

Oh, and the Islanders have another gaffe to hang on Garth Snow – one that nears Mike Milbury-esque levels of catastrophe.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Brock Nelson scores for the USA against the Czech Republic



Former Fighting Sioux forward Brock Nelson has had an incredible World Championships for team USA. Nelson leads team USA in goals and has scored (5g-2a—7pts) and if my math is correct is tied for third on the team in points.

The team USA roster is loaded with good, young talent and looks like an former NCAA All-Star reunion tour.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Thomas Vanek question



Eric Duatschek asks some very good questions. Personally, I hope that Thomas Vanek still has a chance to make it to Minnesota. I think he could be the final piece for the Minnesota Wild. Well... that and a solid starting goaltender that can stop the puck and play a majority of the games. I think the Wild have that with Karcy Kuemper. Time will tell.
Eric Duhatschek, Globe and Mail -- THE THOMAS VANEK CONUNDRUM: When times were good in Montreal, there was some talk that the Canadiens might actually consider bidding for Vanek in free agency. Now, it seems highly unlikely, given what a negligible impact he’s had on their run to the semi-finals. But will Minnesota welcome him now, after making inquiries at the deadline, but ultimately settling for Matt Moulson, because the acquisition cost and the dollars out were more affordable? Moulson wasn’t a great fit in Minnesota and the New York Islanders would do well to try and kiss and make up, after dealing him for Vanek in the first place. Minnesota has the great good fortune of having Dany Heatley’s $7-million cap hit disappear after this season, but committing that money to Vanek, a player of questionable playoff pedigree, seems ill-advised at this stage. The Wild seem to have a good thing going, with the group they’ve assembled now. Sitting out free agency this summer makes the most sense for them.
One problem for Vanek is that he's been less than impressive during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vanek has scored  (5g-3a-8pts) in 13 games. He's also a (-3). That's not going to make teams want to sign him for 7+ million a season.
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Erik Johnson suspended two games by the NHL



Former Gopher and current Colorado Avalanche Eric Johnson has been suspended two games by the NHL for his dirty slash on New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen. Personally, I think it should be longer.

NEW YORK - Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson has been suspended for two games, without pay, for slashing New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen during NHL Game No. 878 in New York on Saturday, Feb. 8, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today. The incident occurred at 12:09 of the third period. Johnson was assessed a minor penalty for slashing. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, Johnson will forfeit $38,461.54. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
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(Video) Former Gopher defenseman Erik Johnson looking at a Shanaban



Former Golden Gophers and current Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is facing supplemental discipline for this dirty/brutal slash on Islander New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen. It will be interesting to see what kind of punishment is given to Johnson. (Shanaban)
NHL.COM --- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson will have a phone hearing Tuesday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a third-period slash on New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen on Saturday night.

Nielsen was skating for a loose puck in the Avalanche's zone when Johnson slashed him on the wrists with 7:54 left in the third period. Johnson was given a two-minute penalty on the play.

The following grounds for the proposed supplemental discipline are being considered: slashing. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to these infractions accordingly upon further review
Thoughts on the slash? How many games will he be facing?
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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

More Thomas Vanek

Deutsch: Alex Kotalik&Thomas Vanek beim Spiel ...
Deutsch: Alex Kotalik&Thomas Vanek beim Spiel Rangers Vs. Sabres (Madison Square Garden) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I thought this was a funny article, no really, it's me not you... Why doesn't Vanek just tell the Islanders, really it's you, and I don't want to play for you guys after the season is over.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Vanek is going to test the free agent market and he's set to make boatloads of money. 
Arthur Staple, Newsday - Thomas Vanek knows how it looks, turning down a seven-year contract believed to be around $50 million from the Islanders.

"I'm sure people will look at it and say, 'Wow, that's crazy by him,' or whatever," Vanek told Newsday Tuesday morning, a day after news broke that he had indeed rejected such a deal and will now almost certainly be traded before the March 5 deadline.

But it's not about the Islanders, he said.

"As I've told [general manager] Garth [Snow] before . . . It's like a breakup: It's not you, it's me. And it really is me wanting to explore this."

Vanek knows that his decision to head to July 1 free agency means the Islanders, a team that has been the punchline to plenty of hockey jokes over the past two decades, will get the short end once again. Big-time player says "no thanks" to struggling team, and so on.
In reading the news, it doesn't appear that Thomas Vanek is going to sign with the Islanders and it doesn't sound like he's going to be an Islander after the trade deadline either. I would imagine, the Islanders will trade Vanek to a team that needs a rental player for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  I would say, don't count on the Wild trading away prospects for Vanek. Maybe the Wild can entice the Islanders to take Dany Heatley? They will wait and sign him after July 1st, if he's still available. Just a hunch. 
Pierre LeBrun, ESPN.com --- Once news got out Monday via Arthur Staple of Newsday that Vanek had rejected a contract offer from the Islanders -- and Vanek's agent, Stephen Bartlett, confirmed to ESPN.com that his client was very likely going to the July 1 UFA market -- Isles GM Garth Snow's phone began to light up.

The early word around the league is that the cost to snag Vanek would be a three-asset haul, whether those assets are first-round picks or prospects or a player. It could be any combination. And if one of the assets is high-end enough, perhaps a two-asset package could do it.

Reached by ESPN.com Tuesday, all Snow would say is that he valued Vanek's presence on Long Island.

"I hope Thomas Vanek retires an Islander," Snow said. "I still hope to re-sign him."
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Islanders Brock Nelson scores against the Rangers



Former UND forward Brock Nelson scores his 10th goal of the year against the New York Rangers during the Stadium Series in Yankee Stadium. Former DU Pioneer Matt Donovan also assisted on Nelson's goal.
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thomas Vanek traded to Islanders

Thomas Vanek, Ice hockey player of the Buffalo...
Thomas Vanek, Ice hockey player of the Buffalo Sabres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Don't worry Wild fans, Dany Heatley's over-inflated contract will be up in Minnesota, after the season is over, and the Wild will be free to bid for Vanek's services. That being said, the Islanders get a good rent a player for the rest of the season to make a run in the playoffs.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night for forward Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-round pick in 2015.

The 29-year-old Vanek, a former University of Minnesota star from Austria, had four goals and nine assists in 13 games this season for Buffalo. In nine seasons with Buffalo, he had 254 goals and 243 assists in 598 games.

Both players are in the last year of their contracts.

Vanek's agent, Steven Bartlett, told ESPNNewYork.com that no contract extension for Vanek is in place with the Islanders. He doesn't expect any such talks to take place soon, either.

"He'll concentrate on going down there and doing well," Bartlett said when reached by phone Sunday night. "Hopefully, it will be a breath of fresh air."
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brock Nelson Scores First NHL goal



Former UND forward Brock Nelson scored his first NHL goal tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. assisting on the Nelson goal was Peter Regin and former Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck. So far in five-games this season, Nelson has scored (1g-1a—2pts).




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Sunday, October 20, 2013

NHL hockey: Michael Grabner hit on Nathan Gerbe



There could be another suspension coming, very shortly. New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner has a hearing on Monday with the department of player safety for this hit on Carolina Panthers forward Nathan Gerbe. My question, at what point to the players start realizing that you can not make these types of hits anymore. I think this is a violation of the NHL's Rule 48. In my opinion, this is an illegal check to the head. What do you think?


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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Brock Nelson having a good training camp with the Islanders.



I have been following the Islanders on Twitter during the preseason, and Brock Nelson has had a pretty solid preseason. It would appear that Nelson has a shot at making the Islanders. In five games with the Islanders during training camp Nelson has scored (1g-3a—4pts). It would also appear that Brock has improved on his post-game interviews. I remember him being one of the toughest guys to transcribe when he was with UND.






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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Links

College Hockey: Providence Goalie Giles making impression on the Flames. [Herald Hockey]

Thieves make off with Roberto Luongo’s tires, leave him with useless tire pump [Pass it to Bulis]

From the soon to be Brooklyn Islanders… Islanders' run of fan torture is unparalleled [The Sporting News]

Penguins Star Evgeni Malkin has a year left on his contract with the Penguins.. The Stars deny tampering with Penguins' Evgeni Malkin [CBC.CA]

Vikings News: Key stadium decisions put on hold until stadium authority reviews Wilf lawsuits and finances [Star and Tribune]

30 Teams, 30 days…. UND’s Jordan Schmaltz is ranked sixth for Blues prospects. [NHL.COM]

CHL president David Branch: Eliminating import players ‘never been discussed’ [Buzzing the Net]

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

List of NHL 2013 Compliance Buyouts so far

PlayerTeamLengthTotal AmountYearly Breakdown
Vincent LecavalierTampa Bay14$32,666,667$1,761,905*
Rick DiPietroNY Islanders16$24,000,000$1,500,000
Ilya BryzgalovPhiladelphia14$23,000,000$1,642,857
Keith BallardVancouver4$5,600,000$1,400,000
Danny BrierePhiladelphia4$3,333,333$833,333
Tomas KaberleMontreal2$3,000,000$1,500,000
Rostislav OleszChicago2$2,833,333$1,416,667
Steve MontadorChicago4$2,733,333$683,333
Jeff SchultzWashington2$2,000,000$1,000,000
Mike KomisarekToronto2$4,500,000$2,250,000
Tom GilbertMinnesota2$2,000,000$1,000,000
Carlo ColaiacovoDetroit2$1,900,000$950,000
Nathan GerbeBuffalo2$1,450,000$308,333
Here are the Compliance buyouts so far. s/t to TSN.CA. There are a few names on this list surprise me. Also, this is a perfect example of why NHL teams shouldn't over pay players or sign them to obnoxious contracts. The Minnesota Wild say bon achat to their over priced defenseman former Badger Tom Gilbert.
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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Marty Reasoner leg check on Jussi Jokinen and shenanigans



You could see this play coming, that's why I included the play leading up to this hit by the New York Islanders forward Marty Reasoner on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jussi Jokinen. Both teams were taking runs at each other at the end of a 5-0 game.

If you watch the video, you will see Jokinen looked up to see if the ref was going to call a penalty. Reasoner was assessed a five minute major for kneeing and given a game misconduct.
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kyle Okposo will not be suspended for his hit on Zach Bogosian



According to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun, Islanders forward Kyle Okposo's shoulder to head hit on Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian was reviewed by the NHL's Department of Player Safety and there will be no supplemental discipline. Nor should there be, in my opinion. It's doesn't look like Okposo targeted Bogosian's head.

There is also some question if Bogosian suffered a concussion on the play. I wondered about that too, since Bogosian challenged Okposo to a fight later on in the game, so we will see. No one wants to see a person get hurt.

I can say with confidence, that Bogosian is not going to get "a lot" of empathy from Wild fans, especially after he buried Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard last December and escaped supplemental discipline on the play. Bouchard missed the final 41 games of the regular season with a concussion, as a result of the Bogosian hit.





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Saturday, April 20, 2013

(VIdeo) Kyle Okposo with a high hit on Zach Bogosian



Here is the hit that got some discussion on twitter this afternoon. New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo hit Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian with a high hit in the head area. No penalty was called on the play and obviously, there could have been a penalty.



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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Matt Frattin's slick goal against the Islanders



Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Frattin didn't make the Maple Leafs roster out of camp but was the first one called up with the injury to Joffrey Lupul. Frattin was called up and dressed for tonight's game. One could say that Frattin made the most of his 2013 NHL season debut scoring(1g-2a--3tps).
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