There are no more tuneup games. The big dance is finally here.
The Islanders begin their chase for the Stanley Cup today at 4 pm against the Florida Panthers. It won’t be an easy series, but the Islanders can make it through the qualifying round.
To do that the team will need its X-factors to come through for them. I highlighted three here for the Islanders and Panthers.
The rest of the area has gotten into the hockey spirit as well. The Empire State Building was lit up in Islanders orange and blue last night in honor of the team’s game today.
📷: craigsbeds/IG pic.twitter.com/0BB4plOK5q
— Empire State Building (@EmpireStateBldg) July 31, 2020
The Florida Panthers will need to play with urgency if they hope to beat the Isles in Game 1. (Florida Hockey Now)
Sidney Crosby called athletes “role models, first and foremost” when discussing social change. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Jack Studnicka skated with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk in the Boston Bruins exhibition game on Thursday. His effort impressed head coach Bruce Cassidy. (Boston Hockey Now)
The Colorado Avalanche begin their Qualifying Round series on Sunday at 4:30 pm. Adrian Date has some news and notes from Friday’s practice. (Colorado Hockey Now)
A look at how Fredrik Handemark will help the San Jose Sharks going forward. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Around the Island
Andrew Gross looks at three questions facing the Islanders heading into Game 1. (Newsday)
Greg Joyce from the New York Post breaks down the Panthers-Islanders series. (NY Post)
Arthur Staple spoke with several hockey people to scout the Islanders and Panthers. (The Athletic)
Christian’s Daily Links: Let the Offseason Begin
It took nearly a full calendar year for Stanley Cup Champion to be crowned for the 2019-20 season. The Tampa Bay Lightning closed out the Cup Final on Monday night with a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars to secure the franchise’s second Stanley Cup.
The Tampa Bay victory will bring some Islanders fans some comfort over New York’s Eastern Conference finals loss.
— Eric Hornick (@ehornick) September 29, 2020
With a champion crowned, that means the offseason is officially upon us. The Islanders offseason began a little over a week ago, but now things will kick into high gear. The Islanders have plenty of items to deal with during the offseason from RFAs and UFAs to sign to handling their current cap situation.
On the latest episode of Hockey Night in New York, my co-host Sean Cuthbert and I dissected what the New York Islanders offseason will entail.
New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is scheduled to address the media this afternoon for the first time since their season came to an end earlier this month. Stay tuned for complete coverage of that.
While the Islanders figure out what the 2020-21 team will look like, our friends over at Pittsburgh Hockey Now explore what the Pittsburgh Penguins lines could look like whenever next season starts. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Patrik Laine is an intriguing option for just about every team in the NHL, but how much does it make sense for certain teams? Sheng Peng examines that question for the San Jose Sharks. (San Jose Hockey Now)
We have a trade to announce! The Chicago Blackhawks and Vegas Golden Knights made a trade on Monday. (Vegas Hockey Now)
Around the Island
Is there some light at the end of the tunnel in ending New York’s championship drought? (NY Post)
Radar, the guide dog which the New York Islanders helped groom, has been helping a young swimmer from New York as she trains for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. (ITK)
Is there a market for a defenseman like Thomas Hickey? (Eyes on Isles)
Christian’s Daily Links: Remembering the Islanders Breaking Ground on Their New Home
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the New York Islanders breaking ground on their new home at Belmont Park. To say that day was a momentous occasion would be an understatement considering everything the franchise had been through in its quest for a new home.
And considering how the season ended this year, looking back at it you could almost call it an omen for what would be the most significant season the Islanders have had in 27 years.
“Our fans have been wandering for a while,” Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said a year ago at the groundbreaking ceremony. “They haven’t had the right type of facility and to have this world-class, state of the art, third-generation arena to call home is something they’re worthy of. We’re so happy as stewards of the franchise that we can deliver that to them.”
Since that day the New York Islanders went on a historic run that included a 17-game point streak early in the season and their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1993.
Really, it all started that September afternoon just hours before the Islanders were scheduled to face the Detroit Red Wings in a preseason game at Nassau Coliseum. Since then construction has proceeded at a rapid pace, even with a pause during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
The building is still expected to open in time for the 2021-22 season and jaunt down the Cross Island Parkway is a reminder of just how much progress has been made on the New York Islanders future home.
“Today will go down as one of the great days in the history of the New York Islanders,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “This is the day that assures everybody that has anything to do with the Islanders, who cares anything about the Islanders, who is passionate about the Islanders — as Islander fans are — this is the future of this franchise right here on Long Island.”
We may have a trade, we may not. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers are in a holding pattern over a trade that would send Patric Hornqvist to Florida and Mike Matheson to Pittsburgh. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Should Brian Boyle remain a member of the Florida Panthers or should they let the pending UFA walk? George Richards takes an in-depth look to try and find the answer. (Florida Hockey Now)
The Colorado Avalanche are having the same discussions as everyone else about who should stay and go when it comes to UFAs. Which category does Matt Nieto fit into? (Colorado Hockey Now)
Kevin Miller’s agent wanted everyone to know that his client was “ready to go” following knee surgery. (Boston Hockey Now)
Doug Wilson says the San Jose Sharks have the green light to spend to the cap from ownership. San Jose has roughly $14 million in cap space to fill this upcoming year. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Is Ottawa in play for a potential trade destination for Marc-Andrea Fleury? (Vegas Hockey Now)
Christian’s Daily Links: The Islanders-Capitals Series Goes on
The brooms will be put back in the closet.
The New York Islanders failed to come away with the Game 4 victory and the First Round sweep of the Washington Capitals. The Islanders let a two-goal lead slip away on Tuesday night and fell 3-2.
The Islanders also lost Cal Clutterbuck in the loss. He left the game after the second period.
The Boston Bruins could see David Pastrnak in the lineup for Game 5 against the Carolina Hurricanes. (Boston Hockey Now)
Nazem Kadri is trying to move past his playoff reputation during the Colorado Avalanche’s postseason run. (Colorado Hockey now)
What is Jared McCann worth? Dan Kingerski takes a look. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Dale Hawerchuk passed away on Tuesday. Jim Kyte remembers Hawerchuk. (San Jose Hockey Now)
Around the Island
The Islanders need to get back to their style of play. (Newsday)
More on Cal Clutterbuck exiting Game 4 early. (NY Post)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau has had a knack for big game moments. (The Athletic)
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NYI Team & Cap Info
Anders Lee Looks Back While Waiting for What’s Ahead with Islanders
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PODCAST: More New York Islanders Offseason Chatter
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Islanders Take Matias Rajaniemi, Henrik Tikkanen with Final Draft Selections
Final Steel Beam Raised at Islanders’ UBS Arena
Free Agency: Trade Murmurs Around Semyon Varlamov, Christopher Gibson Moves on
Free Agency: Brassard, Greene, Martin Could Still Return to Isles
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