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When the Islanders acquired both Michael Peca and Alexei Yashin on consecutive days surrounding the 2001 entry draft, it signaled the dawning of a new era for the franchise. Despite paying the high price of Zdeno Chara and the draft pick that would eventually be used to select Jason Spezza (as well as throw-in Bill Muckalt) in return for Yashin, initial reactions were posi...
Without question, the biggest issue surrounding the New York Islanders this off-season will be the efforts to re-sign Ryan Smyth. The Isles, as usual, have many other outstanding issues to resolve before the 2007-08 campaign, including the possible buyout of captain Alexei Yashin, re-signing leading scorer Jason Blake, and whether or not to bring back two suspended players...
Every hockey web site, message board, forum, or mailing list at this point in the off-season has one Ryan Smyth rumor or another almost daily, so placing faith in any one rumor at this point is just about as sure-footed a strategy as throwing darts at a map of NHL cities. Personally, I've remained optimistic about the Islanders chances of bringing Smytty back, despite much...
doaftheloaf writes...

Duck Hunting

Posted Friday | Comments 0
This is how I think they stack up. [b]Goaltending[/b] - No doubt, Giguere is the more accomplished of the two, already with a Conn Smythe under his belt. He is as positionally sound as any goalie in the NHL. He is again proving to be his team's MVP on a team that boasts two Norris candidates. He is more than capable of stealing a game. An area of concern is that Gig...
raymullan writes...

Ray's Hockey Musings

Posted Wednesday | Comments 0
Hey, let me introduce myself i'm Ray, i'm from Belfast, Ireland (yeah there are hockey fans there!....really!) i'm 21 years old and am a huge Toronto Maple Leafs Fan! HEY STOP THE BOOING ALREADY! This is the first of hopefully many entries in my blog. Hope you read regularly and enjoy, any feedback or comments are much appreciated. So the Stanley Cup Finals are here ...
Well, considering the Anaheim Ducks are now 2-0 in the 2007 playoffs without stud defenseman and Mensa candidate Chris Pronger, my guess is that we can officially scratch him off the short list of Conn Smythe trophy contenders. Pronger's hotly debated second suspension was weathered by the Ducks' remaining defensemen and especially goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was...
And, in the end, after making us sweat it out for a couple of months, they got it right! Alexei Yashin’s tumultuous tenure as captain of the New York Islanders has finally come to an end. Whatever sales pitch Ted Nolan and Garth Snow threw at Charles Wang worked, though it must have been a tough decision for the Islanders owner. Regardless, as I have written in previo...
Isles78 writes...

The Challenge

Posted Monday | Comments 0
This is an open question for all the NHLers out there. Unrestricted free agency is almost upon us and a handful of notable free agents such as Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Daniel Briere, and Ryan Smyth to name a few, look like they will become UFA's. So here's the big question. As a top level UFA how do you decide which team you will decide to sign with? For some it...
Well here we are. We can expect that the ink will be dry on a new contract for Mats Sundin this week. At least before Friday. I still have a mixed feelings about this. I understand that he is in the twilight of his career and that he wants to do everything he can to win with the Leafs. It's a great story but will it happen? Can it happen? I would hope that part of th...
First off, let me start by looking at the numbers in terms of a salary cap hit for the 2007-08 season: ([i]all numbers rounded to two decimal places[/i]) SUNDIN- $5.50M TUCKER- $3.00M ANTROPOV- $1.95M STEEN- $0.95M KILGER- $0.87M STAJAN- $0.95M WELLWOOD- $0.95M PONIKAROVSKY- $1.58M POHL- $0.48M DEVERAUX- $0.55M ONDRUS- $0.50M WESTRUM- $0.48M NEWBURY- $0.4...
mattperry writes...

Slow going for the time being

Posted Thursday | Comments 0
Well folks it looks like it will be slow typing for me for a while. While playing in my summer hockey league I broke my right ring finger in two places (a strange thing that could ONLY happen to me). That will be fewer blogs for at least three weeks. However, here is what is running through my head today. The Oilers offseason plans. Next to landing a mobile defence p...
The Leafs left this weekends NHL Draft with a few extra pieces then when they arrived, an impressive move by Fergusen picking up Toskala to shore up the Leafs goaltending and adding gritty winger Bell from the Sharks and still drafting Oshawa Generals winger Dale Mitchell a 40+ goal scorer this past season in the third round equals a great weekend in Leafland. The situatio...
Gary Roberts writes...

Move Kubina For Rights

Posted Sunday | Comments 0
why not try to trade Pavel Kubina for Ryan Smyths negotiation rights, or maybe for Gomez's negotiation rights? the devils may need to replace refalski any way. Kubina is a good player but hes making double what he should, some teams can afford him, the leafs most certanly can't unload for nothing, and sign a big name forward instead.
(A Near Flawless Prognostication Through Slightly Orange-and-Blue Colored Glasses) So, here we are, less than a week to go before this year’s free agent frenzy. We’ll start to find out who’s going where on Sunday, if not sooner. For the New York Islanders and their fans, it’s hard to start throwing any new names out there at this point, what with very little res...
andean10 writes...

Silent In Colorado...For Now

Posted Tuesday | Comments 0
For the most part the hockey rumor mill has been void of much discussion about Colorado and their involvement in the free agent sweepstakes. There has been a little pen given to the possible signing of Drury, but as I said, not much. However, I think Colorado may surprise everyone with a few big moves. Let me offer a few reasons why they will be players and why top free ...
falvai writes...

UFA Destination Predictions

Posted Sunday | Comments 0
Predictions on where some of the biggest free agents will land. Nylander- Sadly, Nylander will leave the best situation of his career for more money, and will be overpaid by Philadelphia after the rest have passed the flyers by. Their disastrous last season will certainly scare away consistent winners like Gomez and Drury. Gomez- Reigning conn smythe champ and f...
falvai writes...

First day analysis

Posted Monday | Comments 0
Briere to Philadelphia Wow, remember when these guys were big and scary? Now they're young, fast and iffy (especially between the pipes). But if all goes well Briere will be a great centerpiece for the new look Flyers, and if not, it'll be a long 8 years. Drury and Gomez to the Rangers Made the pre-cap Rangers splash with less flash, and more leadership. Sather ...
For the first time in a while, Avalanche fans can be happy about a move made by the team's front office. There is an excitement around this team now that hasn't been here since the Avs star-crossed acquisition of both Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya before the 2003-2004 season in an attempt to make a determined run for the cup. But we all know how that ended up. Train wre...
On Trade Deadline Day 2007, the Islanders made a bold statement to their fans and the rest of the league that the organization would no longer settle for mediocrity. Trading former first-round picks Robert Nilsson and Ryan O'Marra, along with their 2007 first-round pick for Ryan Smyth was a loud and clear message that the fans would no longer be asked to look to the never ...
AMPLine4Life writes...

1 Year Rebuild

Posted Monday | Comments 0
Before the salary cap was instituted, you could always count on one thing in the NHL: The Colorado Avalanche were going to make the playoffs and be cup contenders. Every year GM Pierre Lacroix put a playoff team on the ice and every year they would deliver. At the end of the 05-06 season, Lacroix stepped down and handed things over to Francois Giguere. Things started rocky...
This past year, the Edmonton Oilers have given their fans a new [i]rollercoaster[/i] ~ one that gets your emotions going. Last summer, blue line veteran Chris Pronger requested to be traded. He is now public enemy #1 in Alberta's capital. I don't see it that way. His wife was not happy up here so I'm pretty sure that put Pronger inbetween a rock and a hard ...
Ryan Smyth always wanted to play his entire career with the Oilers. And he thought it was something he was going to able to do. Now he had always taken the “hometown discount” to stay with the Oilers in the past, but wasn’t it time after 12 seasons that the Oilers finally showed him the kind of money that most other teams in the league would be willing to pay for h...
Ryan Smyth returned to Edmonton for the first time since being traded last season at the deadline. He was traded to the New York Islanders for prospect Ryan O'Marra, Robert Nilsson and the Islander's first round draft pick for the 07 draft (Alex Plante). Before the game began a tribute to Ryan Smyth was shown over the video display board of his contributions to the Edm...
bongo_guy writes...

Colorado and Grit, Part 1

Posted Tuesday | Comments 0
My friends can testify to the fact that, prior to the 2007 Free Agency period, I was almost SCREAMING for Colorado to get two guys: Ryan Smyth & Scott Hannan. Why you might ask? Ryan Smyth is an obvious choice, if for no other reason than his leadership ability - something our team sorely needs due to all the new guys coming in (Svatos, Hensick, Wolski, etc). He also p...
[b]Headline: Ryan Smyth out eight weeks with ankle injury [url]http://thehockeynews.com/articles/12381-Colorado-Avalanche-star-winger-Ryan-Smyth-out-eight-weeks-with-ankle-injury.html[/url] The question must be raised now, with our mounting injuries to our key players (Joe, Ryan, Tyler, etc, etc), is it time to push the panic button (or the Staples 'Easy Button') to ma...
[b]At the beginning of the month, I admit I was pretty skeptical about the Avs chances to make the playoffs. With the injuries to Sakic and Smytty it was looking more and more likely that the Avs could miss the 2nd season for a second season in a row. The month did not start out very well as the team continued its dismal end to December, going 1-3 in the first 10 days but ...
Willie Wilts writes...

LEAFS: Captain Of The Ship

Posted Thursday | Comments 0
Yes Mats is still with us in Leaf land. Yes he invoked his no trade clause at the deadline. Yes Mats Sundin will be back in the blue and white next season and yes it will be with a no trade attached to the bottom of the contract. There is no reason to believe Sundin will retire at years end with or without a playoff appearance by the blue and white express. This stea...
There is plenty to discuss when it comes to the New York Islanders lately; tonight they host the all but forgotten 2007 trade deadline acquisition of Ryan Smyth and the Colorado Avalanche; our captain is floating in trade limbo as March 4th approaches; Sean Bergenheim is elevating his game to a potential leadership role; and of course, more trades are probably on the way. ...
[b]DANNY HEATLEY SAGA[/b] NHLPA is standing behind Heatley. Well, technically he is not doing anything wrong. Morally is another story. When it comes to pure talent, I am one of his biggest fans. I love watching Heater play. I am a huge fan of his play, but right now I am not a fan of his attitude. When it comes to a player, I would like to be a fan of the hockey pla...
As I conclude my work day, I thought I'd kill off the last little with some random thoughts on various goings on in the NHL over the last few days. Kovalev signing in Ottawa: I think that might mean Heatley is going to be moved. Kovy's cap hit is going to make it almost impossible to stay under the cap unless they do. Too much money for Kovalev too. Beauchemin signs...
Every Islander fan has seen that Garth Snow is capable of making a shake-up when the time is right. Last year he moved from the bottom of the first round all the way up to the 12th overall pick to select defenseman, Calvin de Haan. The year before that he moved down from the 5th overall pick to the 9th to take Josh Bailey. And in his first year as General Manager, Garth Sn...
Round 2 is off the ground, so it seems like a good opportunity to start throwing out names for consideration for the coveted MVP of the postseason. Here are the early favorites, with a skewed chunk of bias against players unlikely to make it through to rounds 3 and 4. (sorry Halak). [b]1. Sidney Crosby[/b] To the surprise of absolutely nobody in the world, Crosby is ...
In terms of excitement and surprise, Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs did not disappoint. It also presented us with a mixed bag of candidates for this year's Conn Smythe Trophy. Most of the early favorites have been eliminated, paving the road for some unlikely heroes as we look ahead to Round 3. [b]1. Jaroslav Halak[/b] If Halak can keep this level of play up thr...
After two rounds of play, the playoffs gave us some surprising candidates at the top of the list (Halak, Cammalleri, Pavelski). Now that we're down to 2 teams, the candidates are more of the expected variety for each team. The one unknown factor here, is how do you deal with Philly's goaltending situation? If Leighton rattles off 3 more shutouts, is it conceivable to gi...
When talking about Scott Niedermayer, where does one begin. From being drafted 3rd overall, to his 4 Stanley Cups and 2 gold medals (the only player to win that many of each), to being the only player in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup, Gold Medal, World Cup, World Championship, World Junior Championship, and World Cup. He is a workhorse, constantly playing averaging ov...
Now that two rounds are complete and we're off and running with the Conference Finals, it seems an opportune time to start mapping out the early favorites for this season's Conn Smythe Trophy winner. This year may be one of the most challenging to predict in the early going. Many of the best individual performers so far have already been eliminated, while many of the to...
With just 2 or 3 games left to be played, it's fair to say that the battle for the Conn Smythe Trophy has been effectively narrowed down to 3 candidates. At this point, the winner will largely be determined by which team can win 2 more games. Before we meet the candidates, let's review our history. Only 1 man in the last 20 years has won the award while playing for th...
saneopinion writes...

Wrap up from the Draft

Posted Saturday | Comments 0
This blog may come too soon, we may still see a Ryan Smyth trade, we may see more signings or we may even see a new assistant G.M. To Summarize the weekend I think we have to break it down into a few different categories. They are the Draft itself, the trades, Smyth, and Tanguay's Contract. The Draft: I do not think anyone really thinks Bartschi at 13 was a bad pick,...
Over the Next 30 days I will be Previewing each of the National Hockey League Clubs heading into the 2011-12 season starting from the Anaheim Ducks. Day 11 of the series belongs to the official AarifDeenReport Edmonton Oilers Preview. Please resort to myhockeybuzz page for previews of teams falling before this team. [b]Follow me on Twitter @AarifDeenReport please.[/...
Round 1 has officially come to a close, thus inaugurating the annual first wave of NHL Playoff MVP speculation. Undoubtedly, there are those who will claim that it’s simply to early to judge, but we’re pretty sure that even such purists secretly guess-timate as to which first round fire will keep burning. What can we say, we simply can’t help ourselves. With that, he...

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