New York Islanders 2005-06

Team Name: New York Islanders

Team Payroll: $38,454,340

General Manager: Michael Milbury; 11th year with the New York Islanders

Head Coach: Steven Stirling; 2nd year with the New York Islanders

Forgotten Moves:

Team Mode: The New York Islanders are in a playoff run mode. Of course

they lost Captain Michael Peca and their defensive workhorse, Adrian

Aucoin, but they have done a nice job in adding to their offensive

lines with the signing of Miroslav Satan. They have also added nicely

to their defense with the likes of Alexei Zhitnik, Brent Sopel , and

Brad Lukowich.

To Take Charge: Without a doubt, the Islanders are looking for Alexei

Yashin to take control. Alexei was given the “C” at the beginning of

the preseason. A big year is not only expected of Yashin, it is

required of him. Milbury finally got him the winger he’s been longing

for so there are no excuses for Yashin. Also lurking in the back of

his mind should be the potential of the Islanders buying out his

contract at the end of the season.

On The Rush: The Islanders’ offense improved significantly with the

addition of Mirolslav Satan and Michael York. In the last six seasons,

Satan has scored 194 goals, ranking him ninth in the NHL. York should

be a solid second-line center. In 03-04, he only played 61 games, but

registered 16 goals and 26 assists. He finished the year a + 18. The

Islanders Power Play has also improved due to the fact that they are a

quick team. Look for Bates and Blake to contribute in all offensive


Covering The D-Zone: MIlbury has made several moves on the blueline.

He lost Kenny Jonsson, Roman Hamrlik, and workhorse, Adrian Aucoin.

Milbury quickly replaced his quality players, with newer and younger,

quality players. Alexei Zhitnik came over from the Buffalo Sabres. He

only scored one goal, but added 33 assists. Brent Sopel from the

Vancouver Canucks will log his share of minutes on the blueline. Last

season he scored 10 goals and assisted on 32 others. Brad Lukowich

arrived fresh off of his Stanley Cup winning season with the Tampa

Lightning. He only scored 5 goals and registered 14 assists in 79

games, but he finished the season a +29. Some say that Isles took the

biggest hit when they lost Adrian Aucoin. Personally, I agree but I’m

a realist. The defensive additions will help the Islanders not only in

breaking out of their own zone, but by moving the puck swiftly up the

ice. Don’t be surprised if the Islanders Penalty Killing is in the top

half of the NHL, and I would expect a good number of short-handed

goals as well.

Guarding the Net: It’s no question that Rick DiPetro is the Islanders’

go to guy in net. If you had any doubts, Milbury erased them all when

he offered Ricky a 15- year contract. In 2003-04 he played 50 games

and went 23-18-5 with a goals-against average of 2.36. He only signed

a one year deal so he knows that he must perform. He will probably

play 60 games this year and with some playoff experience under his

belt, the Islanders expect big things from Ricky D. The Isles will go

as far as he will take them. Veteran goalie Garth Snow signed a 3 year

deal to remain with the Islanders. In the past, Snow has won some key

games for the Islanders. He can be out of action for a month, be

called upon last minute, and come out with a great performance. He

will be vital when the Islanders play his former team, the

Philadelphia Flyers. In 2003-04 Snow went 14-15-5 with a 2.80

goals-against average.

Talking About My Generation: The Islanders are stacked with prospects,

lets just hope Mike Milbury keeps them all. Sean Bergenheim, drafted

22nd overall in the 2002 Draft, should find himself on the roster. In

18 games in the NHL he had a goal and an assist. Petteri Nokelainen,

their top pick in 2004, is having a great training camp and as a

result, he could earn some NHL minutes. As an 18 year old playing in

Finland during the lockout, he had 15 goals and five assists in 52

games. Perhaps the Islanders’ most coveted prospect is Robert Nilsson.

In 41 games in 2003-04, recorded 21 points (8+13) and 10 penalty

minutes for Leksand. He also broke Swedish Elite Team records held by

NHL stars Peter Forsberg and Markus Naslund.

Projected Lines:

Mattias Weinhandl-Alexei Yashin-Miroslav Satan

Jason Blake-Oleg Kvasha-Trent Hunter

Shawn Bates-Mike York-Mark Parrish

Line 4: TBD

Alexei Zhitnik-Brad Lukowich

Janne Niinimiaa-Brent Sopel

Radek Martinek-Chris Campoli/Joel Bouchard

Expectations: 9th-11th in Eastern Conference

Projected: The Islanders are a better team offensively and with the

new rules, it’s anybodys guess as to how they’ll perform. They are a

playoff team and can finish anywhere from 5th-8th in the Eastern


9 Responses to New York Islanders 2005-06

  1. wingerxxx says:

    A Rangers fan being the first to comment on the Isle’s season preview? Blasphemy! lol Seriously…I do like the Isles chances for this coming season. If anything, because Mad Mike FINALLY got that sniper that Yashin needs to play with to be effective. I wouldn’t mind seeing Trent Hunter on that first line…or someone like Blake who can dig in corners and keep Yashin on his toes. I think the Isles are looking ok in their forward ranks.

    I think that Kenny Jonsson’s loss is a big hit though. He has always been one of the most underrated defensemen in the league. I think it’ll hurt just as much as losing Aucoin…although Zhitnik can eat up minutes as well. Niinimaa will have a bigger role this year…which is good, he needed more minutes anyway. Lukowich is someone the Isles could have used in the 03-04 season. I always got the feeling the the Isles had “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” on the blueline in recent years. Lukowich is only about a number 5-6 defender, but definitely steady. As such, this is a pretty decent defense. Sopel should be paired with Lukowich though, not Niinimaa.

    The biggest thing that must be watched is DiPietro’s play. He is the face and future of this team, along with Yashin.

  2. islesfan4lyfe says:

    Thank you for not being like most ranger fans and actually having an open mind about your cross-town rivals. I agree with most of what you have said. i personally only disagree about Jonsson. He was a good defensive player but was terrible on the power play. He always passed the puck, even whe he had great shots at the net. the defensemen obtained this year, are solid 2 way players that will eat up lots of minutes and be an offensive threat.

    The lines can go either way. They have narrowed their roster down to 25 (as of today). The next two games will tell a lot. I hope Gervais or Campoli get a chance.

    I do agree that our success depends on Ricky and Alexei. We expect big things from them, and they know it.

  3. cecilturtle says:

    The Islanders might just be good this year? I look at their roster and I don’t see any reason why they wont make the playoffs… Unless they “again” lose all their games against the Rangers this year while the rest of the league is getting an easy two points!

    The biggest key to the Islanders is Yashin. If he playes up to the level he is capable of playing??? The Islanders could vie for the cup if the team stays healthy? YOU STATED… THE ISLANDERS CAN BUY OUT YASHINS CONTRACT AT THE END OF THIS YEAR… I do not understand – please explain… Is their a buyout clause in his contract? It is my understanding that this year and this year only… Teams had a one time chance to rid their roster of salaries they deemed too high for their cap. BUT, this time has come and gone!!! If the Islanders were to have bought out Yashin’s contract during this short period of time??? they would have had to pay him about 100 million dollars. About 10 mil per year for bout 10 years. If ownership had the money they Sherly (surly) would have bought him out. Well they could’nt, So like it or not? Yashin is 25% of your teams payroll for the next 10 years! It looks like the Islanders will either sink or swim with this very talented kinda soft center. Seriously though, If Yashin playes up to his talent??? The islanders will be very successful this year and for many years to come.

    Cecil Turtle.

    G-Dam!!! I miss the Rangers / Icelanders rivalry. How have I made it this long without it??? Lets Drop the puck Baby!!!

  4. wingerxxx says:

    Milbury won’t buy him out. If Mad Mike has an Achilles heel, it’s admitting mistakes on his part. Buying out Alexei Yashin would be equilavent to admitting a mistake of epic proportions, dating back to when he signed Yashin to that deal. I wouldn’t worry too much about this, unless Yashin totally and completely goes into the tank this year. Which, with Satan playing with him and from the looks of the preseason…is not likely.

  5. islesfan4lyfe says:

    Alan Hahn’s article in Newsday a month back stated that if the Islanders bought out Yashin’s Contract after this season, it would be more cost effective because it would be for less money (he played an extra season) and the payments would be spread out over a longer period of time. Also, they would be able to re-sign him for less money. Don’t quote me on that. I tried to find the article but it wasn’t in the archives. To put it simply, it would make more sense, money wise to buy out his contract after the upcoming season.

    Thanks for reading and for your openmindedness!

  6. BlueOrangeWhite says:

    this post is pretty accurate, except for the expectations comment. this team WILL finish between 4-7 in the conference, and WILL be in the playoffs.

    there’s a great rare isles yearbook from 1976 on ebay

    under item number 5246620568

  7. BlueOrangeWhite says:

    this post is pretty accurate, except for the expectations comment. this team WILL finish between 4-7 in the conference, and WILL be in the playoffs.

    there’s a great rare isles yearbook from 1976 on ebay

    under item number 5246620568

  8. icegirl says:

    islesfan4lyfe, you hit it right on the moneeey. We finally got the winger for Yashin that we’ve all been praying for. My boyfriend is OBSESSED with the Islanders and got us a partial weekend plan. I can’t wait to see the Islanders kick some ass this season!

  9. intelligentscorpio says:

    Mad Man Milbury has finally done some good moves, like Satan, Zhitnik, Lukowich but lost Peca and Acouin and Jonnson. Still Yashin and his 100 million dollars contract is enough to keep the team from porgressing in the near future. Has some good young talent on the roster. Can beat Rangers on a regular basis though.

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