Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 7/18/13


Jun 7, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center

Sidney Crosby

(87) prepares to take a face off against the Boston bruins in the second period in game four of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

They say, “no news is good news,” but in the case of the 2013-14 NHL schedule, no news can’t be considered “good.” The league had been targeting Jul. 17 as the release date for next season’s slate of games for all 30 NHL teams, but wasn’t able to come through for the fans.

And on the slowest day of the sports year, it would’ve made perfect sense to announce the regular-season schedule as all sports fans—NHL fans in particular—were craving some sort of news from a major professional league.

But, much like the NHL’s inability to draft a reasonable CBA or reign in reckless team spending, it again showcased its ineptitude by not being able to meet a self-imposed deadline for releasing next season’s schedule.

If I sound bitter, it’s because Major League Baseball’s All Star break, combined with scorching temperatures in the New York area have basically pushed my patience to the brink. If the NHL doesn’t announce the schedule soon, I might lose it. (And I think most people around me would understand.)

Needless to say, with free agent transactions all but nonexistent and no schedule to look forward to at the moment, the NHL has effectively disappeared despite having the perfect opportunity to seize the national sports media spotlight.

Here’s hoping we all get some news from the Commissioner’s Office later today.

-MW (@MichaelWillhoft)

In Case You Missed It

Grading the 2013-14 Stanley Cup Futures Odds (EOI)

Note to the NHL: Fix the Point System (Lighthouse Hockey)

The Morning Skate: Goalies Don’t Grow on (Waiver) Trees (Islanders Point Blank)

The Right Stuff? (Isles Talk)

New York Islanders Smart to Keep Young Core Intact By Locking Up Josh Bailey (Rant Sports)

Jets Prospect Brendon Kichton Has Something to Prove After Getting Snubbed by Islanders (Toronto Sun)

The Five Most Memorable Jerseys in NHL History (The Hockey Writers)

Two Minutes For Tweeting

No New York Islanders news means I’ll be re-watching clips from the Orange vs. Blue scrimmage for the ninth time today. (Not necessarily a bad thing, considering some of the quality moves in this video from the prospect shootout.)

The #Isles hashtag has been somewhat dead lately—and with no news on the team, it’s completely warranted—but tweets like this one remind me that the fans are looking forward to the future of the franchise as much as I am.

A small sacrifice (having to sit through classes) for a big reward (knowing the Islanders will be playing in October) means the NHL season will be worth the time spent waiting. Now if we could only get that schedule…

Another award for Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, more fan outrage over the selection—unless you’re in Pittsburgh, in which case: PARTYYYYY. Even though I think Tavares should have won the award, the ESPYS are determined by fan voting, not writers or network executives. It’s tough to win a popularity contest on a small-market team.

More ESPY-related dissatisfaction from the NHL world, which I can’t say I disagree with. Sure, ESPN is a punching bag for NHL fans due to its lack of league coverage—and lack of general knowledge about the sport—but the NHL is the little brother of the four professional major sports, meaning it’s not likely that the league wins an ESPY any time soon, unless ESPN moves the format away from fan votes.

As always, thanks for reading us at EyesOnIsles. Keep it right here for all of your NHL offseason coverage and up-to-the-minute Islanders news. Be sure to check the menu bar at the top of the page for ways to connect with the EyesOnIsles staff; we’re always happy to talk hockey.