Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.

Updates on Vanek, MacDonald, Hamonic, Nabokov

Thomas Vanek celebrates his third-period goal against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Had a brief chat with Isles GM Garth Snow earlier Wednesday, covering a few topics of interest. Here are some takeaways from that conversation:

-- Snow and Steve Bartlett, the agent for Thomas Vanek, have had some dialogue over the past few weeks and that should pick up in the next couple of weeks. Snow and the Islanders need to know in fairly short order if Vanek is willing to sign long-term....

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Travis Hamonic returns to Long Island for more testing

Travis Hamonic (3) takes a shot on goal

(Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

TAMPA, Fla. -- Travis Hamonic has gone back to Long Island for further evaluation of his upper-body injury, which is believed to be a concussion.

That’s obviously bad news for the Islanders, who need to muddle through another game Thursday night against a fast Lightning team without their top defenseman.

Concussions are scary. Given the situation with another important Isles defenseman...

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Fixing the Isles' power play problems

Islanders left wing Thomas Vanek skates during the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

COLUMBUS -- We don’t need another 1200-word breakdown of what’s doing with your Islanders today. But we can dive into some of the bad and some of the good coming out of Thursday’s 1-0 loss to the Hurricanes:

-- Atop the list of bad things is the power play, now at 0-for-21 and sliding. It is also 0-for-18 since Thomas Vanek arrived, though John Tavares’ goal in DC was essentially a PPG, since...

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Brian Strait, Mark Streit likely to skate alongside Travis Hamonic on first-line defense

Mark Streit celebrates his third-period goal against the

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Pittsburgh -- Jack Capuano wouldn't say who will play on the top defensive pair with Travis Hamonic in place of Andrew MacDonald, who is out for the remainder of the postseason with a broken hand. 

That spot most likely will go to either Brian Strait or Mark Streit. If it's Strait, that would be quite a jump from the beginning of this season, when the Isles scooped him...

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Islanders vs. Penguins matchups

Travis Hamonic of the Islanders defends against Sidney

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

1 Sidney Crosby vs. Travis Hamonic The Penguins’ superstar will return from a broken jaw and it will be Hamonic’s (and Andrew MacDonald’s) job to contain Crosby and his linemates. Hamonic has the capability to be physical with Crosby, but he’ll have to be careful not to overdo it. The Islanders likely won’t get many calls when matched up against Sid the Kid. 2 John Tavares vs. Brandon...

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What the playoffs mean to me: Travis Hamonic

Travis Hamonic talks to reporters as Islanders clean

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

BUFFALO -- Travis Hamonic is only 22, but he has a lot of wisdom about hockey life. Here’s his “In Your Own Words” about getting to his first postseason:

“I don’t know how many times growing up you play for the Stanley Cup in your backyard, or winning it -- you’ve got to get to the dance first to have the opportunity and it’s here now.

“You don’t know how often you’re going to get this...

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16 Islanders on verge of first NHL playoff experience

Travis Hamonic (3) is checked into the boards

(Credit: AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Islanders can clinch a playoff spot Tuesday night, and we’ve discussed over and over how it would be the first appearance for the long list of homegrown players on this roster.

Of the 27 Isles currently on the roster, 16 would be in an NHL postseason for the first time. That includes John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, Travis Hamonic and the other obvious ones.

But...

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Talk of ages getting old for Nabokov

Goalie Evgeni Nabokov of the New York Islanders

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Evgeni Nabokov has basically had it with the elder statesman role.

At 37, the goaltender is about ready to retire from the age-old question of experience being the best teacher.

"I’m not a babysitter, everybody’s a grown man here,’’ he said after practice Monday.

The question had to do with his steadying influence on the younger players. He wasn’t so much annoyed as a bit...

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Jack Capuano getting the most out of Isles players

Head coach Jack Capuano of the Islanders speaks

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

BOSTON -- After the Islanders’ 2-1 win here on Thursday night, the loudest thing in the visitors’ dressing room was a bit of music -- and sarcastic booing from the stall of the reigning Good Guy Award winner when the media parade walked in, causing the music volume to be lowered.

But that’s all. No whooping, no hollering; maybe the Isles were done with that, but their post-game comments were...

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Sore leg can't stop Islanders' Travis Hamonic

Travis Hamonic (3) is checked into the boards

(Credit: AP)

BOSTON -- Travis Hamonic was warned not to watch the replay of his ugly fall in the first period of Thursday night’s 2-1 win over the Bruins. It was a small miracle that Hamonic, who had to be helped off the ice to the locker room, returned within minutes and played the rest of the game on a sore left leg that got caught underneath him as he fell.

“It just felt like my foot got caught and...

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