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Islanders News: All-Star Game today; Original JT returns on Tuesday

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Hockey news and notes for Islanders fans on NHL All-Star Weekend.

2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition - Passing Challenge
The beautiful boys
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After last night’s Skills Competition, today is the All-Star Game, one of the few NHL events important enough to make it to Big Boy NBC. Here’s what you need to know to watch it:

NHL All-Star Game

  • Sunday, January 28, 2018
  • Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
  • Start Time: 3:30 pm
  • Broadcast: NBCSN (US), CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports (Canada)
  • Full rosters for all four division teams can be read here.

Islanders All-Star Links

  • Neither John Tavares nor Josh Bailey won any individual Skills Competitions, but both put up good showings and clearly had some fun. [LHH | Islanders | Full event results from SBN]
  • Bailey is excited to be at the first ASG of his ten year career, and is as always, incredibly humble. [Newsday]
  • All-Star Games are old hat for Tavares, but he’s honored nonetheless. [Islanders]
  • It’s good to go to an All-Star Game with a teammate that’s been there before. [MSG Networks]
  • And, yes, Tavares’s contract did come up during the media availabilities, even Steven Stamkos’s. [Newsday | Stamkos quotes | Encyclopedia update soon]
  • The league already announced the site of next year’s game: San Jose’s SAP Arena. [NHL | FTF]
  • Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman perfectly combine the two events happening in Tampa this weekend: the NHL All-Star Game and the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. [Sportsnet]

“But Dan,” you say. “I am a busy adult who sees through the hypocrisy of the All-Star weekend’s forced congeniality and rejects it as a legitimate sporting event. The Islanders gain nothing from the game and are putting their players at risk for injury in a pointless exhibition designed to appeal only to children, capitalists and the easily entertained. I take my sports more seriously than the average consumer and only accept games when the stakes are at their highest, and I refuse to waste my precious time on this foolish, inconsequential pablum masquerading as the great game of hockey.”

Okay. Thanks for the heads-up. See you tomorrow.

Other Islanders links

  • Looks like there will be news, too. Newsday is also saying Governor Cuomo will announce that the Islanders will play games at Nassau Coliseum next season. [Newsday]
  • A small article on Tim Leiweke, the big shot fixer working behind the scenes between the team and Barclays Center. [NY Post]
  • From an informal poll taken around Tampa, it sounds like players and coaches are looking forward to playing in Uniondale again. Nostalgia is a powerful force. [Newsday]
  • More evidence of that: A Tuesday game against the Panthers now becomes one of the hottest Islanders tickets of the year because of one very important man. John Tonelli, Islanders legend among legends, will be dropping the ceremonial puck and breaking the standoff he’s had with the franchise for some time. This is a notable event for the fanbase, which can finally show the man the love they’ve had for him for 40-years. Hope it leads to more appearances for him at Islanders events.

FYI: New Islanders Anxiety coming this evening.

In the Minors

  • It was a good night for Islanders affiliates. The Sound Tigers beat Hershey 3-1 with another goal from Scott Eansor, his 16th of the season. [BST | Soundin’ Off]
  • Today is the AHL All-Star Skills Competition from beautiful Utica, NY. Michael Fornabaio has all the details on how to watch and/or listen. Brendan Burke and Alan Fuehring have the calls.
  • The Railers swept their series with Quad City thanks to a 5-2 win. [Telegram]
  • Worcester and Bridgeport and enjoying their (literally) close relationship. [Telegram]

Okay, last ones

  • Here’s a roundup of Gary Bettman’s annual State of the League Address. [Sportsnet]
  • The NHL also announced next year’s overseas games: The Devils and Oilers will play in Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, while the Panthers and Jets will play in Finland. There’ll also be in games in China, too. [NHL.com]
  • The league will officially open its NHL ‘18 eSports initiative later this year, so get your thumbs ready. (trust me, if you’re not aready a competitive gamer, your thumbs are not ready)