Advertising Opportunities
LCS Hockey

[ issues | stats | nhl archive | home | nhl history | about us | search | comments ]

Eastern Conference

New York Islanders

Detailed Roster
Team History
Team Records

Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Calgary Flames
Carolina Hurricanes
Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers
Florida Panthers
Los Angeles Kings
Montreal Canadiens
Nashville Predators
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators
Philadelphia Flyers
Phoenix Coyotes
Pittsburgh Penguins
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals

More Issue Contents...

Join the LCS Hockey mailing list to receive publishing date reminders.


Mike Milbury


C - Robert Reichel, Trevor Linden, Bryan Smolinski, Claude Lapointe, Sergei Nemchinov. LW - Mike Watt, Ted Donato, Gino Odjick. RW - Zigmund Palffy, Joe Sacco, Mariusz Czerkawski, Kevin Miller, Mark Lawrence, Steve Webb. D - Kenny Jonsson, Bryan Berard, Scott Lachance, Richard Pilon, Eric Brewer, David Harlock, Barry Richter, Zdeno Chara, Eric Cairns. G - Tommy Salo, Wade Flaherty, Marcel Cousineau.


Bryan Berard, d (groin, 1-2 weeks); Gino Odjick, lw (abdominal strain, at least a month); Tommy Salo, g (broken finger, 2 weeks); Sergei Nemchinov, c (hip pointer, day to day).


12-22-98 Claimed Eric Cairns, d, off waivers from the Rangers. 12-21-98 Recalled Marcel Cousineau, g, from Lowell (AHL). 12-15-98 Recalled Mark Lawrence, rw, from Lowell (AHL). 12-14-98 Waived Mike Hough, lw, and assigned him to Lowell (AHL). Waived Jason Dawe, lw, who was taken by the Montreal Canadiens. 12-1-98 Recalled Steve Webb, rw, and Zdeno Chara, d, from Lowell (AHL).


12/12  Tampa Bay      L 2-1 OT
12/15  at San Jose    W 1-0
12/17  at Los Angeles W 5-4 OT
12/18  at Anaheim     T 2-2 
12/20  at Phoenix     L 2-4
12/22  St. Louis      T 3-3 


Atlantic Division   GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA 
  New Jersey        30  18   8   4    40   90   76 
  Philadelphia      31  14   9   8    36   86   70   
  Pittsburgh        29  13   9   7    33   83   80   
  NY Rangers        31  11  13   7    29   84   86  
  NY Islanders      32  12  19   1    25   79   93


by Dave Strauss, New York Islanders Correspondent

Ziggy's back! Ziggy's back!

Okay, so the months-long holdout that Ziggy Palffy engineered was at best interesting, and more frequently acrimonious. But it did produce one of the best lines in Mike Milbury's quote-ridden life, and contained one of the best cover-your-butt retractions of recent years as well.

More importantly, though, it's come to an end.

After a long standoff, Islanders restricted free-agent holdout Zigmund Palffy agreed to terms with the team on a five-year, $24.83-million deal. Ziggy wanted $6.8 million. The Islanders began by offering him $4.2. They ended up paying him an average of $5.1 million per. They're also hoping that Palffy's presence could enable them to earn their first postseason berth since 1994.

The news was exactly what the Isles needed to hear. Though they got off to an 8-8 start that put them right in the thick of the playoff pack, they recently slid to a seven-game losing streak that put their postseason hopes in jeopardy.

They've have had continual trouble scoring goals. Palffy, 26, not only is a three-time 40-goal scorer, he also led the league last season with 17 power-play goals and is a valued penalty killer.

"Obviously, this is a big step for everybody. This is something we wanted to get done at the beginning of the summer, but it takes time," said Islanders co-owner Steven Gluckstern. "It was clear to everybody this was a player who needed to play for this team. It was critical. He's a first-class player. To really be competitive, we need him on our team."

"I absolutely feel we can still make the playoffs at this stage," Gluckstern said. "You're going to have to play better than .500. But this team is capable of that - and with Ziggy, is more than capable of that."

"I'm very happy," said center Robert Reichel, a close friend of Palffy. "He was a big part of our team last year. He's a great player."

"I think the first night that he plays, he'll help us," Islanders coach and general manager Mike Milbury said. "The statistics clearly point him toward the upper echelons of forwards in this league and, when you spend more time around him, you come to appreciate his defense, you come to appreciate his penalty-killing ability and you come to appreciate his ability to make people around him better players. He's a top 10 forward in the league."

Gluckstern said: "[We] really wanted to get our star signed to a long-term commitment and show our fans we're really serious about building a winning team. I think we ended up with a transaction fair for both sides."

Captain Trevor Linden said: "It's surprising what one player will do for the outlook of your team and the depth of your team. Everyone knows what he's meant to this organization the last few years, and that hasn't changed. Certainly, it bodes well for the commitment. It's 30 games later than everyone wanted. But it's a step in the right direction."

An Islanders spokesperson said Friday the sales staff was busy from the moment the office opened, with former season ticket holders who had canceled at the start of the season calling to reinstate their tickets. There was an instant increase in sales of partial season ticket plans, and in sales of individual tickets for Tuesday's home game vs. the St. Louis Blues, which became the team's second sellout of the season.

Islanders scout Kevin Maxwell said that when Milbury informed his team of Palffy's signing, the players actually jumped for joy.

The signing came just as the Isles were in the midst of a dizzying array of injuries, trade rumors, arena announcements, and name-calling. In other words, a normal week in the life of the Isles.

On the injury front, the Isles got some good news when standout defenseman Kenny Jonsson learned he had not suffered yet another concussion, the sixth of his career and second in 31 days. Jonsson was checked by former teammate Travis Green in a 2-2 tie against the Mighty Ducks late Friday night.

Islanders coach and general manager Mike Milbury called Green's hit a cheap shot. "He's a gutless puke," Milbury said. "That's what Travis Green is. It's why he doesn't wear an Islanders uniform anymore."

C'mon, Mike, don't hold it in. Tell us how you really feel.

Other injured Isles weren't so lucky. Defenseman Bryan Berard is out for at least a week with a sore groin. Enforcer Gino Odjick is out at least a month with an abdominal strain that could require surgery. Tommy Salo broke a finger in the loss to Phoenix and could be out for two to three weeks. And checking forward Sergei Nemchinov is day to day with a hip pointer.

As for trade rumors, nothing will get done until after the eight-day holiday trade moratorium ends. The strongest rumors involve Bryan Berard being dealt, perhaps to the Florida Panthers in a deal for 6-5 rookie forward Oleg Kvasha and either Rhett Warrener, Robert Svehla or Ed Jovanovski. There were also rumors about goalie Tommy Salo being traded in a multi-team deal that could land Felix Potvin, but those rumors will likely cool until Salo returns.

The Isles also unveiled their brand new gazillion dollar scoreboard (you know, the one that wasn't safe to put up in preseason) in a special ceremony before their game against St. Louis. But all eyes were on the return of Ziggy, who had two assists in the team's 3-3 tie. He received a warm, if not overwhelming, response from the capacity crowd.

Palffy was asked after the game whether the Isles could make the playoffs. "Fifty games [left] is a hundred [possible] points," said Ziggy. "I'm here right now and I'm going to do everything for the team . . . I'm going to play the same game and not change." Told Coliseum crowds have chanted his name during losses, Palffy said, "They've got me now, so they can come and watch the games."

During the recent contract talks, Palffy had reportedly blasted Islanders president David Seldin for being new to hockey, said he did not want to play for the Islanders anymore, demanded a trade and said he would enjoy playing for the Rangers. Yesterday, he apologized, saying, "You can say something wrong. I'm only a human being . . . I always wanted to be an Islander. I never wanted to change jerseys. I think five years is a good deal for them and for me. I love [Long Island] . . . We have to stop talking about money. Let's talk about hockey. It's done for me and the Islanders. We're happy. They're happy."

He also said "I never said I wanted to be a Ranger. I said I wanted to beat the Rangers," proving that Ziggy has remarkable bull skills despite his limited English.

Milbury said, "He wants to get [the dispute] behind him. He's pleased with the deal. We're pleased with the deal and we all win - especially the fans."

And in the "waited too long and is now screwed" category, Vancouver GM Brian Burke said Palffy's signing should help him finally nail down a deal for Pavel Bure. "There are several players in this sweepstakes, including Palffy and (Theo) Fleury as well as Bure," Burke said. "So it doesn't bother me that one of them is out of it. It just crystallizes everyone else's options. The fact they signed him and intend to keep him, that's not all bad. Up until now it's muddied the waters a little bit because of the number of guys out there."

LCS Hockey

[ issues | stats | nhl archive | home | nhl history | about us | search | comments ]

Notice a problem? Have questions or comments? Contact 1994-98 © Copyright LCS Hockey. All Rights Reserved.