Player News - Islanders

Date: Team: Pos:

Coach Jack Capuano is stressing the importance of defense at training camp for the New York Islanders.

The Islanders were one of the worst defensive teams last season as they gave up 267 goals which was third worst as only the Oilers and Panthers gave up more. But Capuano saw some success in the last 20 games last season as they played a lot better in their own end. "I think we just got smarter in the end five-on-five," Frans Nielsen said. "We tried to be aggressive down low, but other than that, we always had guys in front of the net, more guys in the shooting lane. Not as many pucks got through from the points. By doing that, we had more guys in front of the net to clear rebounds, so they didn't get any of those easy rebound goals. As soon as the puck came to the net, everybody was more compact." It should be interesting this season as the Islanders will be young on the blueline but have Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson taking over between the pipes.
Sep 21 - 8:29 AM

Lubomir Visnovsky appears to be fully recovered from a concussion that cost him 58 games last season.

Visnovsky was supposed to anchor the power play last season but ended up with only 11 points in 24 games after suffering a couple of concussions last season. Look for the veteran to get 40-45 points with plenty coming with the man-advantage as the Islanders will have John Tavares and Kyle Okposo up front on the first power play unit.
Sep 20 - 10:46 AM

T.J. Brennan has a good chance to make the New York Islanders this season.

The 25-year-old defenseman was the top defenseman in the AHL last season and his offensive prowess will be a need for the Islanders this season. Look for Brennan to struggle defensively but his 24 goal, 69 point effort for the Toronto Marlies last season bodes well if you are looking for a 5-6 defenseman in deep pools.
Sep 20 - 10:28 AM

Griffin Reinhart has an excellent opportunity to make the opening night roster of the New York Islanders.

Reinhart was selected fourth overall in the 2012 Draft but was returned to the Edmonton Oil Kings after training camp last season and led the team to the Memorial Cup. He is more of a defensive defenseman and had only 34 points in 66 games for the Oil Kings last season so he is not expected to be a strong fantasy player. The Islanders have only a couple of veterans on the blueline and that gives Reinhart a big advantage going into training camp. Look for Reinhart to get 15-20 points this season in Long Island.
Sep 20 - 10:23 AM

Colton Gillies has been invited to the New York Islanders training camp on a PTO, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

The former 16th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Minnesota Wild hasn't played in the NHL since suiting up for Columbus for 27 games in 2012-'13. Last year, he was invited to camp by the Buffalo Sabres and ended up playing 65 games for their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. He scored 23 points.
Sep 19 - 1:05 AM

The pressure will be on the New York Islanders to perform this season.

The Islanders made the playoffs in 2013, but regressed last season. In the past, the Islanders' shortcomings have been written off as part of the rebuilding process, but as Tavares put it, "We're young, but we've certainly got enough experience." Throw in the fact that the Islanders' first-round pick belongs to Buffalo and the Islanders will be harshly criticized if they miss the playoffs again.
Sep 18 - 10:24 AM

Few players dish out punishment while taking very little quite like New York Islanders winger Matt Martin did last season.

He delivered 356 hits while only taking 91 at even-strength (359 overall) in 2013-14. He is worth consideration in league with hits and PIM. He had 90 PIM in 79 games last season and has 447 in 280 NHL games. His point totals are nothing special, yet he's at least managed to be in double digits there while at least getting some SOG (120 last season).
Sep 16 - 4:16 PM

Josh Bailey's position with the New York Islanders might not be secure after his challenging 2013-14 campaign.

Bailey had just eight goals and 38 points in 77 games last season. He's signed through 2017-18, but the offseason additions of Mikhail Grabovski and wing Nikolai Kulemin further marginalized Bailey and he'll also be pressured by up-and-coming forwards Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, and Anders Lee as they fight for roster spots. For his part, Bailey is hoping to use the fact that he's spot's in jeopardy as motivation. "If someone were to take it the opposite way, it wouldn't work out for them," Bailey said. "There's certainly some points of inconsistency I'd like to correct and my goal totals aren't anywhere what I'm capable of or want them to be."
Sep 15 - 5:49 AM

Kyle Okposo spent much of the summer training with John Tavares.

The Islanders tried putting Okposo and Tavares on the same line last season and it worked out great. Okposo was the big benefactor as he went from recording 24 points in 48 games in 2013 to 69 points in 71 contests last season. With them continuing to work together over the summer, it should be easy for them to pick up where they left off.
Sep 15 - 5:45 AM

Brock Nelson could be first in line to play on the top unit with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo as the Islanders head into training camp.

Whoever gets the role will get an immediate jump in fantasy value as Tavares is one of the top 4-5 centers in the NHL and Okposo is not too shabby as well. Nelson potted 14 goals and 26 points in 72 games with the Islanders last season but ended the season with three goals in his last three games. "Johnny and Kyle are great players. To play alongside them, you have to be precise and on top of your game every minute," Nelson said. "If you're there, there's pressure to produce." He is obviously worth selecting if he is on the first line, but don't count on that being a permanent decision if it happens at the start of the season.
Sep 14 - 8:41 AM

Ryan Strome could be in some difficulty to make the Islanders roster out of training camp.

Anders Lee could be in the same boat as both players can be sent to the minors without going through waivers, something that isn't available to other Islander forwards. Strome could move from center to the wing as the Isles are strong down the middle with John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski and Frans Nielsen already assured of spots in the lineup. Strome had seven goals and 18 points in 37 NHL games last season, showing that he deserves a chance to stay.
Sep 14 - 8:37 AM

Jack Skille, who signed a two-way deal with the Islanders on July 1, is confident about making the team.

Skille will get $750,000 if he makes the team and $300,000 if he is sent to the minors. "I have a lot more confidence, I'm a stronger player in a lot of areas," Skille said. "I'm expecting to have a strong camp, to make a strong showing. I signed here for a reason. I think they're going to give me a good, strong look. A lot of it as a player in this situation, it goes on the coach's trust. You've got to earn his trust right away, get him on your side. That's through smart play, good decisions on the ice and accepting your role. When you consistently do that in practice, in games, you earn the coach's trust. It's a huge piece for a player in my situation." The 27-year-old was selected seventh overall by Chicago in the 2005 Draft but has only 24 career goals in 194 NHL games. He had four goals in 16 games with Columbus last season and had an assist in six playoff games as the Blue Jackets used him throughout their only round of post-season action. He has little to no
Sep 13 - 8:49 AM

John Tavares joined some of his Islanders teammates for informal skate at IceWorks on Wednesday.

He's recovered from the knee injury he suffered at the Winter Olympics and is eager to get the 2014-15 campaign started. Tavares registered 24 goals and 66 points in 59 games last season, but he sees areas where he can improve. "I know I wasn't totally happy with the way I played on a consistent basis," said the Islanders captain. "I want to lead by example, so I'm the first one to say I know I have to be better."
Sep 11 - 11:23 AM

John Spano, who was previously jailed for wire and bank fraud as a result of his attempt to own the New York Islanders, has been indicted for theft and forgery.

Spano got approval from the NHL board of governors to buy the Islanders from John Pickett for $165 million, but documents quickly emerged that cast doubt on the validity of his financial situation. He eventually admitted that he lied in order to obtain a $80 million loan to purchase the team and was sentenced to 71 months in prison. Spano was then sentenced to an additional 51 months in prison less than a decade later as a result of another fraud case.
Sep 10 - 6:15 PM

The season-ending knee injury superstar John Tavares sustained last February is behind him and the Islanders' captain says he'll be 100 percent when training camp opens.

"It [the knee] is great," Tavares said. "I was cleared to play the first week of May, so if we were in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs I'd be playing. I had a normal offseason and the injury has been put behind me for a good three months now." Tavares missed the final two months of last season after suffering a torn medial collateral ligament and a torn meniscus in his left knee playing for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "I'd say it's out of my mind for sure," he said. "I've had a long time. You get in a game, you're always anxious, but I've played in some pretty intense scrimmages throughout the summer. I tried to skate a little more than I usually would just because I've had a lot of time off, probably the most time off I've had in my career with playing. Being three months, almost four months since I've been cleared to play, I've had a lot of time to get over some of those mental things."
Sep 8 - 10:47 PM

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