John Tavares, Matt Moulson

Offseason Report: New York Islanders


From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

34-37-11, 79 points. 14th in Eastern Conference, fifth in Atlantic Division.


Lubomir Visnovsky (trade – maybe?), Brad Boyes, Eric Boulton, Matt Carkner


P.A. Parenteau, Jay Pandolfo, Steve Staios (retirement), Al Montoya

2012 Draft

First round, fourth overall — Griffin Reinhart (D – Edmonton – WHL)

Looking back

It was another frustrating season for the Isles and their fans. While there were bright spots in the play of John Tavares, P.A. Parenteau, and Travis Hamonic there was frustration in goal as their three-headed monster all dealt with injuries. Rick DiPietro again couldn’t avoid problems while both Evgeni Nabokov and Al Montoya had their issues as well.

Health, a lack of depth, poor defense, and being in a brutal division conspired to bury the Isles at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division.

Looking forward

The offseason has been typically dramatic as well for the Isles. They acquired Lubomir Visnovsky from Anaheim at the NHL Draft but now he filed a grievance and doesn’t want to go to Long Island. Perhaps GM Garth Snow should’ve offered Columbus more than their entire draft for the second overall pick to really sweeten the pot.

While they lost Parenteau to Colorado via free agency, they’re taking a chance on Boyes unlocking old potential playing with Tavares. Matt Carkner should add enough spice to their rivalry with the Rangers to cause a fuss.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Islanders’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.