Five area NHL players, including 21-year-old Islanders star John Tavares, were named to the NHL players' association's 31-member executive committee Wednesday in Chicago. The 31 current NHLers also include Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro, Rangers goaltender Martin Biron and forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko. Various members of the committee will join PA head Don Fehr for negotiating sessions with the NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman beginning tomorrow in New York.
The league's collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15, though Fehr said he was hopeful the two sides could continue negotiations beyond that date without disrupting the start of training camps. The Islanders open camp on Long Island on Sept. 21.
Thompson an assistant
The Islanders officially named Brent Thompson an assistant coach with the club. Thompson, 41, coached the Islanders' AHL farm team in Bridgeport to a 41-26-9 record and a playoff appearance last season. Thompson will be in charge of the defensemen.
"We both want the game played the same way," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said."Even since we interviewed him for the Bridgeport job last summer, I knew he was what I wanted in an assistant."
Dean Chynoweth, the man whom Thompson is replacing, was hired as the coach of the Lake Erie Monsters, the Avalanche's AHL affiliateChynoweth had been an Islanders assistant for the past four seasons before being let go in April..
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