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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Stockton Thunder Named as New Isles ECHL Affiliate

Via the Islanders Press Release:

The New York Islanders announced today an affiliation agreement with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, beginning in the 2013-14 season. Stockton will join the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers as the Islanders primary minor league affiliates.

“We are thrilled to have the Stockton Thunder join the Islanders as the organization’s ECHL affiliate,” General Manager Garth Snow said. “The culture of success in Stockton will benefit our prospects and develop them into better hockey players as they work their way from the ECHL, to the AHL and eventually playing for the New York Islanders.”

“Having an NHL affiliate is an important piece of our success, and a dedicated organization like the New York Islanders brings a lot to the table,” Thunder President Brian Sandy said. “The Thunder is committed to helping our players reach their goals through NHL development, and our new affiliation with the Islanders will help us achieve this objective for them in a much bigger way.  And, our fans can look forward to watching talented Islanders prospects, who will play important roles in our commitment to excellence, both on the ice and in our community.”

Since their 2005-06 inaugural season, the Thunder have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs seven consecutive times, from 2007-13. In 2012-13, the Thunder finished second in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division and made it to the Kelly Cup Finals before falling in five games to the Reading Royals. The Thunder play at Stockton Arena in Stockton, CA.

Islanders forward Colin McDonald played three games with the Thunder during the 2008-09 season, recording two assists.

A look at the 2013-14 Isles Schedule

It took long enough, but the 2013-14 New York Islanders schedule, along with the schedules for the rest of the 29 other NHL clubs, was released today. The Islanders will open up the season on the road on October 4 against the Devils and the home opener will take place the following night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, on of the three new teams in the Isles new division.

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NHL Players Headed to the Olympics

The NHL will send its players to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Below is the joint press release put out by the NHL and NHLPA:

NEW YORK/TORONTO (July 19, 2013) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that an agreement has been reached with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to secure participation of NHL players in the upcoming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
            NHL players will be available to the 12 participating IIHF Member National Associations for the men’s Olympic ice hockey tournament (February 12 – 23, 2014). This will mark the fifth consecutive time dating back to Nagano 1998 that NHL players have participated in the Olympics. More than 120 NHL players are expected to compete for their respective nations in Sochi.
            “The National Hockey League features the most international player population in professional sports, and our outstanding athletes take tremendous pride in representing their homelands on the global stage,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The decision to participate in the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was in many ways a difficult one, but one that we know will be well received by our Players and, most importantly, by the vast majority of our fans and sports fans everywhere.”
“The Players are very pleased that an agreement has been reached that will allow the world’s best hockey players to compete at the Winter Games in February,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director. “Having the opportunity to wear their nation’s sweater in Sochi is something the players look forward to.”
            The NHL will break from the 2013-14 regular season schedule on February 9 and return to play February 26 to allow for participation in the Games.
            As part of the IIHF-NHL-NHLPA agreement, seven NHL referees and six NHL linesmen will be integrated into the IIHF on-ice officials’ crews that will work the men’s tournament. The Olympic ice hockey tournament will be played according to the IIHF rulebook on international sized rinks, 60 x 30 meters.
            Click here for the schedule and groups of the men’s and women’s ice hockey tournaments. Twelve teams in three groups will participate in the men’s event (February 12-23), eight in two groups in the women’s (February 8-20).
            NBCUniversal, the Olympics rights holder in the U.S., and CBC/Radio-Canada, the Olympics rights holder in Canada, will present coverage of the Olympic ice hockey tournament in their respective countries. Schedules for each network will be released at a later date.

Leaked Panthers Schedule Indicates Isles will Face Florida Three Times

The entire National Hockey League is still waiting for the 2013-14 schedule to be released, but a leaked copy of the Florida Panthers schedule does give Isles fans a small glimpse of what their season may look like.

Miami Herald Panthers beat writer George Richards was sent a leaked copy of the Panthers schedule yesterday from @xxstein13xx, who Ironically is an Islander fan. The schedule, which is being characterized as tentative, reveals that the Islanders will see the Panthers three times during the 2013-14 season.

Florida’s first game against the Isles will take place on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at BB&T Arena. Their next two matchups against the Islanders will take place at Nassau Coliseum. The first one comes on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 1 pm and the second one would be on Monday,  April 1, 2014 at 7 pm.

The official NHL schedule has had its release delayed due to ongoing Olympic negotiations.

“There has been no final agreement on the terms of Olympic participation at this point,” deputy commissioner Bill Daley told NHL.com. “And unless, or until, there is, the release of the 2013-14 regular-season schedule would be premature. Having said that, we hope that a final resolution on both matters can be achieved in the very near future.”

Hickey Signs a New Two-Year Deal with the Isles

The Islanders announced that Thomas Hickey has agreed to terms on a new two-year contract with the team. Newsday’s Arthur Staple reports that the deal is worth $1.35 million over the course of the two years.

Hickey made his NHL debut with the Islanders on January 27 against the Winnipeg Jets and appeared in 39 games during the season. During that span he recorded four points (one goal, three points). His lone goal was his first NHL goal of his career and came on February 21 against the Montreal Candiens.

Hickey will be an annual cap hit of $675,000 per season and will be with the Isles through the 2015 season.

Isles Preseason Schedule Released

The Islanders released their 2013-14 preseason schedule this morning, which includes games against the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames, and Ottawa Senators.

They will open up the preseason with a split squad games against the Flames taking place simultaneously at two different arena’s in Canada. Split squad games against the Senators will be the final contests of the preseason. The Isles also have a pair of home and home match ups against the Devils and Predators.

The regular season schedule has not been announced yet, but it is expected to be released in the near future.

Preseason Schedule

*Tuesday, Sept. 17 Calgary Flames Scotiabank Saddledome 9 p.m.
*Tuesday, Sept. 17 Calgary Flames Brandt Centre (Regina, SK) 9 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 19 New Jersey Devils Prudential Center 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 21 New Jersey Devils Barclays Center 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 22 Nashville Predators Bridgestone Arena 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 27 Nashville Predators Nassau Coliseum 7 p.m.
*Sunday, Sept. 29 Ottawa Senators Barrie Molson Centre (Barrie, ON) 6 p.m.
*Sunday, Sept. 29 Ottawa Senators Canadian Tire Centre 7 p.m.

Isles Sign Bailey to Five-Year Contract

The Islanders announced they’ve signed Josh Bailey to a five-year contract to remain on Long Island. Bailey’s new deal is reportedly worth $16.5 million and will be an annual cap hit of $3 million per season. He had originally filed for arbitration back on July 10.

In 38 games last season Bailey put 19 points (11 goals, eight assist) and was a big part of the Isles late season push into the playoffs. During the postseason, he added three more points in six games.

“Josh has become an important member of the young core of the players we have in our dressing room,” general manager Garth Snow said in a press release. “We’re excited to come to terms with him on a deal that will ensure he is a member of this team as we solidify ourselves as consistent playoff contenders.”

The new contract mean Bailey will be in an Islander uniform until 2018.