The Islanders' Michael Grabner shoots the puck in the first...

The Islanders' Michael Grabner shoots the puck in the first period against the Atlanta Thrashers. (Mar. 24, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Professional Hockey Writers Association Monday reiterated its opposition to the Islanders' revocation of a blogger's media credentials in November and the NHL's failure to have the decision overturned in the intervening months.

In a statement, the PHWA described the decision to bar Chris Botta, a former longtime executive with the team, as "capricious'' and called on the league to disavow it and reaffirm the importance of members' access.

But in a conference call involving 20 chapter chairmen Sunday, the rest of the PHWA decided not to join the Rangers, Islanders and Devils chapters in boycotting voting for player awards.

The association said it "respects and will support the decisions of individual members not to return their ballots, which the league already has distributed to PHWA members.

"However, the PHWA also believes that because the voting process has begun, both the writers' organization and the league have entered into a mutual and honorable pact to see through the voting process for the 2010-11 awards.''

The Islanders have expressed concern that the New York-area boycott could hurt their players' chances. The NHL and PHWA expressed confidence that the integrity of the vote will not be compromised.

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