Come sit on my knee, young fella, and I'll tell you about time was when June was a slow month for the NHL. No more. Now it's like the NFL (when it's not locked out), with news all the year 'round. Stanley Cup goes into June, the draft gets overcovered like CNN covers a missing pretty white girl, and the salary cap puts free agency on the mind all summer.
For the Islanders, there's a bunch going on: Michael Grabner is up for the Calder Trophy at the NHL awards show tonight (technically the vote was months ago, but we find out tonight). And at 11 a.m. this morning the Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has an announcement about the areener lease details with Charles Wang for the replacement of Nassau [Still Gloriously Unsponsored] Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
I'm not going to rehash this (though you're quite welcome to), but here was our comprehensive argument for why Grabner deserves the Calder -- or, at minimum, should not be seen as the distant third in a two-horse race. Plenty more hockey links follow on a busy June Wednesday morn'.
This Areener Used to be a Coliseum
Again, the announcement is today at 11 a.m., but Newsday was advanced the details, including:
Nassau County would receive 11.5 percent of all revenue from a new Nassau Coliseum -- or a minimum of $14 million a year -- under the agreement between County Executive Edward Mangano and the Islanders to be announced Wednesday.
The deal would give team owner Charles Wang a 30-year lease beginning in 2015 over the entire 77 acres surrounding the Coliseum, but would not grant him development rights. Wang would have to pay Nassau at least $14 million annually, regardless of how much the team takes in. But Mangano cites revenue-sharing projections of more than $18 million in the first year.
NHL Awards Tonight
The other fun thing about tonight's awards show: Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo and Zdeno Chara in the same room together. Think Jay Mohr makes any tire-pumping jokes? The show is tonight at 7 p.m. EDT on Versus/CBC.
Big Rule Enforcement Changes: Very interesting rule tweaks approved by the NHL for Boarding and "Rule 48" hits to the head. Both are progress, I think. You can now get just a minor for Rule 48 -- if it's an incidental thing, otherwise you get a match. Mikb, you're up.
AHL Free Agents: With a h/t to Michael Fornabaio, here's a great list (and ranking) of AHL free agents. Mike Zigomanis, anyone? Let's play count the ex-Islanders on that list. (I got to five before I stopped counting.)
NHL Free Agents:
Alex Tanguay is looking for a big raise (again), which means the annual Islanders fan clamor for him can now begin.
- Entering the Martinek Phase: Andrei Markov's knees have been wrecked for the past two seasons and he'll be 33 in December. Yet the Hockey Club from Montreal is apparently close to retaining him for two years at the same $5.75 million cap hit.
- This article blames it all on NHL economics, but the important thing for us to consider is whether you want to take a run at Chad LaRose, Erik Cole, or Joni Pitkanen.
From all these rumors, I can't take it no more / My best friend said there's one out now about me and the girl next door: Craig Custance has your rumors from Philly to Jagr to Detroit.
I just need some time, some time to get away: Even more rumors at Bruins2011DraftWatch, including Edmonton listening to offers for #1, and more wind behind that Carter-to-Columbus thing.
- Mock Me: The Hockey News mock draft seems almost contrarian. They have Huberdeau falling to the Isles, RNH to the Panthers.
- Mock You: Yahoo's Buzzing the Net is doing a live mock draft today at 1:30 p.m.
- Mock Them: ProSportsBlogging's Mock Draft gives the Isles the Dougie
- Kirk Luedeke at Bruins2011DW had interesting observations on Bob McKenzie's top 10.
- No pressure on Marcel Comeau or anything. He's only the legacy Thrashers scout in charge of Winnipeg's draft.
- The Avs know what they want. Not that it's all that hard to pick your top two and hope you get one.
- HNIC's Jeff Marek waxes on about Ryan Strome to Chris Botta at Point Blank.
- Draft do-overs: If given a do-over of 2009, Craig Button would pick Matt Duchene over John Tavares. And he drops Calvin De Haan to 27. Full 2009 do-over list is here. He does the same with the top of 2010 (and drops Nino Niederreiter down a few pegs, and Gudbranson many pegs).
Finally, this ain't hockey but: Come on, get out into the sun, people. For your eyes. (But still protect that skin.)
And back on topic, please look at this role and usage chart for the Atlanta/Winnipeg players (Meyer did heavy lifting) and tell me if you'd like such a thing for the Islanders. A chart, I mean -- not a team with ugly unis.