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Bill Stewart


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


Felix Potvin, g (groin strain, 4-6 weeks); Gino Odjick, lw (abdominal surgery, season).


Traded Scott Lachance, d, to Montreal for a 3rd Rounder. (Like, Yay. Huge deal.)


2/25 Toronto         L 4-1  
2/27 Detroit         W 3-1  
3/02 Ottawa          L 4-2  
3/04 Dallas          L 3-2 OT
3/06 at Philadelphia T 3-3 
3/07 New Jersey      L 4-2
3/09 Philadelphia    T 3-2


Atlantic Division   GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA  
  New Jersey        64  35  21   8    78  191  161  
  Philadelphia      64  30  19  15    75  192  150  
  Pittsburgh        62  32  21   9    73  194  172  
  NY Rangers        64  28  28   8    64  181  177  
  NY Islanders      65  19  38   8    46  152  197


by Dave Strauss, New York Islanders Correspondent

In a season that has seen Hoistgate, holdouts, and horrible hockey, it seemed the Islanders at least had some hope for the future in new coach Bill Stewart, who has righted the sinking ship and made the team respectable the last few weeks.

Now it turns out that Stewart may not stick around long enough to finish the job.

Though Stewart led the Isles to a 6-9-6 record in his first 21 games, 17 against playoff teams, he may not want to continue if the Islanders ownership doesn't show a commitment to winning.

Stewart, 41, hasn't made any strong comments either way, but after GM Mike Milbury gave him a vote of confidence for next season, Stewart said cryptically, "We'll see where we go."

The New York Post has reported that Stewart has told a friend he will not come back to the Isles next season unless he knows management and ownership are committed to winning, committed to spending some money in the off-season.

If Stewart leaves the Isles, it will cast a greater cloud over the floundering franchise, but he will no doubt land on his feet. After winning the AHL Coach of the Year last season with the St. John Flames, Stewart was offered the job in Florida last summer before Calgary demanded a first-round pick as compensation.

According to sources, when Stewart was promoted from assistant Jan. 21, Stewart and president David Seldin agreed to meet again in two months to discuss his future. Stewart apparently made this promise on a handshake.

Initial reports emanating from the organization that Stewart received a raise to $240,000 were greatly exaggerated. That figure still would've made Stewart the lowest-paid coach in the league, below Calgary's Brian Sutter ($278,000).

However, New York papers are reporting that the Islanders were only willing to bump Stewart from his $120,000 assistant's salary to a pro-rated $140,000. Stewart has refused to publicly comment on his salary.

But salary is not the main issue as Stewart decided whether to stay with the Isles, but the question of whether New York Sports Ventures is willing to make the effort to putting a winning team on the ice.

Certain, Stewart has shown he can coach in the NHL. The team he inherited was in an 0-10-1 slide, and the Isles have been competitive against the league's elite teams, Dallas, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, in recent games.

Whether Stewart will get the chance to show what he can do with a full season is, it appears, up to him.


Trade rumors are swirling around the Isles. The only untouchables, according to GM Mike Milbury, are defensemen Kenny Jonsson, Eric Brewer, and Zdeno Chara. Yes, he didn't mention Ziggy Palffy. But don't expect to see Palffy dealt, not when he's locked up in a relatively affordable contract. The following players, however, shouldn't be buying any Long Island homes in the next two weeks, as some or all of them might be moved: Trevor Linden, Robert Reichel, Bryan Smolinski, Mariusz Czerkawski, Craig Janney, and Tommy Salo.

Another year of rebuilding lies ahead, it seems.

LCS Hockey

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