I was going to jump right into the individual player report cards this morning (this 2009-10 post gives you an idea what those are like), but it occurred to me there may be a lot of weekend info from "break down day" that many of you may have missed. So I'll note some of the bigger updates and discussion points here.
Before that, though, you may want to push "play" on the episode of "The Flashlight," our podcast that WebBard (Mark) and Keith have spearheaded here, with mikb joining as Officer of Misinformation. One of the things I love about having more authors here is they come up with ideas I'd either never think of or would never conquer my laziness to launch -- and usually they bring out new readers or awaken lurkers in the process. Different voices, different ideas, good times. So let 'em know what you think as they polish up this new LHH tradition.
Now on to the 2010-11 post-mortem...Most of these updates come from the audio files available at the Islanders site, and from the (refreshingly extensive) Newsday coverage of breakdown day:
Frans on His Concussion, the Worlds
...but this is from Danish media from last week, and shared in comments here at LHH: Frans Nielsen is still feeling the effects of his concussion when he rides the bike (doesn't sound worried though), but even more, he's really disappointed that he won't be helping his comrades at the World Championships. Remember that the following is translated, and spoken to media back home, so he's not complaining here so much as explaining to his home fans what the reality is:
"You just have to accept that that is the way it is. Unfortunately, I have missed a couple of World Championships. They do not really like the tournament over here. The Islanders, as an organisation, do not really think they get anything out of it.
I explained the situation with Denmark to them. That we are not as big of a hockey nation as the USA or Canada, where you can just bring in a new star if someone gets injured. We do not have a lot of players to choose from. As I feared, that is all they think about over here as well as what is best for the Islanders in the long term.
I expected it. I had seen it coming and expected that I would not be given permission. It does not come as a shock..."
The concussion makes this the prudent decision regardless -- and remember, two years ago he was kept from playing after still having complications from the Mottau incident. But I can understand both why he really wants to play and why the Islanders have reservations.
Other Worldly Men
As previously reported in multiple outlets, Radek Martinek will play for the Czech Republic for the 2011 Worlds, which are in neighboring Slovakia (mountain peasants...(just a joke from a Czech...Slovaks are my friends)); John Tavares wants to play but is not confirmed yet. Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner will not play this year. Katie Strang also reported that Jack Hillen, who played last year for USA, won't be there this year -- but you know who will? Al Montoya. Congrats to Inigo; what a spring it's been.
Zenon told media (again) that he hopes to come back. He also learned that he needs rest but no offseason surgery. Knee tendinitis were among the things bothering him.
Rick DiPietro: 'Who are we talking about?'
Well, this is just another day in the complicated saga and relationship that is Rick DiPietro and Islanders fans. Katie Strang described him as "bristled" and "feigned confusion" when asked about the idea of goaltending competition in training camp. Some debate of that in this FanShot here.
One of Those Other Goalies Has Surgery; Wotton Isn't Done Yet
Michael Fornabaio reported two important updates: Mikko Koskinen will have wrist surgery (hopefully that explains his up-and-down year), and Bridgeport captain Mark Wotton says he will play again next year. (If you don't know Wotton, here's our bit about him from last summer.)
Doug Weight on Officiating, Retirement
LHH Discussions and Updates
In addition to that "Flashlight" episode and WebBard's weekly prospect update, there was a whole lot of new topics here over the weekend. Man, let it never be said that the Islanders fanbase lacks an appetite! FanPost topics include:
- Name 'em: Your biggest surprises and disappointments of 2010-11
- What to do about the 4th line for next season (including Z...or not?)
- Trevor Gillies: To keep, or not to keep?
- What to do about DiPietro? An interesting breakdown of Islanders' +/- with and without him
I know I just got done saying this with the game 82 pleasantries, but you guys are awesome.
Around here, you can expect the player report cards, a playoff pool of sorts from WebBard, individual breakdowns and polls for each series, plus more comedy and stuff around the corner.