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Islanders News: Arena prep, MSG-Comcast wars, a week in Bridgeport

This will be a big and busy week in Islanders season prep.

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NHL: SEP 28 Preseason - Islanders at Flyers
Going to try not to think about you for a year but well done, kid.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Islanders have four preseason games over the next week, with three of them encompassing their special Bridgeport tour which serve as this preseason’s home games while the new arena at Belmont sprints to completion.

Squeezed among those Bridgeport games against the Devils (Saturday), Flyers (Tuesday) and Rangers (next Saturday) is a visit to Jersey on Thursday.

Meanwhile, do you know how you’ll be catching games this year? In addition to the “wait, which stream is this on?” complications of the NHL’s new rights deals with ESPN(+) and Turner Sports, today there is a new CABLE FIGHT!!1 among MSG, which has the Islanders (and other lesser teams) local broadcast rights, and Comcast, which owns a giant swath of the cable-connected world. This one mostly affects Connecticut and New Jersey viewers., although every cable/sports rights pissing contest affects us all.

Islanders News

  • In praise of Aatu Raty, who made a good and “lasting” impression in camp before heading back to Finland. Again, that was always the plan, but he sure sounds like someone they could make plans for in 2022. [Isles]
  • Get “exclusive” {wink} discounts {wink wink} on tickets to the preseason games in Bridgeport. [Fevo]
  • And maybe that’s your best way to see them from Connecticut for a while... Here’s the MSG announcement complaining about Comcast dropping them in Connecticut. [Business Wire]
  • Some themes from camp so far, including Robin Salo’s push for a spot and Semyon Varlamov still out with injury. [NYI Hockey Now]
  • Here on PTO, Erik Gustafsson is just happy for the opportunity. [Newsday]
  • Arena Gawking: The team and UBS Arena held another tour of how things are going. They assure us again that it will open as scheduled for the Nov. 20 home opener. Photos and verbiage here: [Post | Newsday | Newsday video]
  • In their latest episode, Mike and Dan do not sound burdened with anxiety at all. It’s that nice mid-preseason bubble, where the team is competently run and everyone is healthy. They discuss the apparent higher standard under the Lou/Barry regime, the number of guys who’ve been “Press Box All-Stars” but are still cool with their lot, and Mike running into a legend eating salad. [Islanders Anxiety podcast]


  • The NHL and NHLPA are involved in the Jack Eichel vs. Sabres. vs. medical opinion saga. [TSN]
  • Meanwhile in Vancouver, it seems they are nearing agreements with their holdout RFAs, Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. [Sportsnet]
  • The tank is enabled: Jakub Vrana was injured 10 minutes into camp, and now he needs shoulder surgery and will be out for four months. Hang in there in Detroit, Nick Leddy. [NHL]
  • After a “should he be fired?” season concluded with a run to the finals, Marc Bergevin has leverage for a big extension as Canadiens GM. [Sportsnet]
  • Who will reach the finals out West? The Avalanche believe all the “Cup or bust” pressure is on them. [Athletic]
  • Speaking of which...the Leafs say people will appreciate seeing the raw emotion and devastation they felt and as recorded on the “All or Nothing” Amazon series. Yes, yes they will. [NHL]
  • There’s actually not much to any of these descriptions, but the Athletic asked its writers to pick one breakout star for this season from the teams they cover. Staple picked Oliver Wahlstrom. [Athletic]
  • This could be more entertaining than presented, but the Blues coach Craig Berube and David Perron collided during a drill, and the next day someone had painted a crude “body outline” on the ice where ol’ Berube was felled. [Blues]