Archive for the ‘New York Islanders’ Category

Nobody is very fond of hearing about a condensed hockey season, unless of course they already lived through the agony of a cancelled year, which is what NHL fans were treated to in 2005.

After months of frustration that mounted from endless meetings that saw issues between the league and players’ association continually unresolved, the thought of  a 2013 season beginning in January was embraced.

And what a season it turned out to be. (more…)

Certain players could not care less that yet another lock-out is plaguing the National Hockey League. Why is that? They already took the liberty of joining various leagues across Europe before the issue became inevitable and forthcoming.

There have been some incredible talents to come and abruptly go in the NHL, as money, playing time and a lack of consistency persuaded them to continue their careers elsewhere.

Tax-free terms on a contract, which the Kontinental Hockey League offers, are something most of us can only dream about. You can’t blame a guy for trying flying to those stipulations. (more…)

Vancouver did not realize what he was capable of. Ditto for the Florida Panthers, as he failed to pass the test in training camp and quite honestly, the 23-year-old was unsure himself. Under his own admission, Michael Grabner deserved to be cut from a club that has gone one decade without a postseason berth and aims its advertising on their opponents – among other things that do not include the team itself. Whereas the dismissal from Vancouver was purely business because of their depth, being axed from Florida was almost insulting. Long Island didn’t seem to mind; they ran into problems on the injury front in September. So, against all odds, they made the 14th overall pick of the 2006 Entry Draft their property via the waiver wire.

“It’s another chance for me,” Grabner said. “I’m glad (the Islanders) took a chance on me. Hopefully I can pick up my game and help them out here.” (more…)

Surprises aren’t appreciated by everyone; these people are insistent on being told if something is in the works behind their back. With the National Hockey League’s latest campaign coming upon us, it’s a chance to pour over the players who shattered their expectations—if they had some to begin with—and whose presence graced an organization. For someone to be included in this list, it had to be their career-year to date; that goes without saying.

Next, the leap in their maturation must be a significant one—we’re not exactly going to cram in individuals who raised their highest production by ten points. And the key words are the ‘regular season’, as the playoffs are not why we’re gathered here today. No disrespect is intended for Sean Bergenheim or Joel Ward, who fired all calibers of bullets round for round during the postseason.

If surprises aren’t to your liking, do not read past this point. (more…)

Athletes pride themselves on their conditioning and exercise routines, even Kyle Wellwood is starting to catch on. Growing up, Nathan Gerbe had a very intensive tactic to help him build leg strength: pushing an automobile all on his own. In his hometown of Detroit, Michigan, he’d find an empty parking lot or rural road, shift the car in neutral and push on the rear bumper.

“I never pushed it home, but on workout days I would push it around the track to try to gain strength any way I could,” Gerbe said. “I’d use whatever car was available – sometimes an SUV, sometimes a sports car.”

That commitment brought the winger to NCAA greatness, including MVP honors in the Frozen Four Tournament, a Dudley Garret Memorial Trophy in the American Hockey League which goes to the best rookie and now a permanent roster spot with the Buffalo Sabres. (more…)