Thursday, June 19, 2008

Goodbye, MSG? And hello, Yashin?!

Almost choked on my lunch when I saw this on today:

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League is threatening to kick out Madison Square Garden, the owners of the New York Rangers, as punishment for accusing the league of violating antitrust laws.

That's right, kids! The league, in a letter signed by Gary Bettman, "asked a judge to agree MSG has breached its contract by challenging league rules and that it can force out MSG."

It all dates back to the Rangers protesting the league's control over all the team websites. Say what you want about the Islanders' past ownership squabbles, but at least the league never threatened to kick one of them out of the league.

That James Dolan is something, isn't he? From the Knicks disaster and Isiah Thomas to this, he seems like one sharp dude. Sharp as a marshmallow.

Just the kind of news that makes me smile. Unlike the report that the Islanders are thinking about bringing back Alexei Yashin.

God help us, no! I don't care what his numbers were for Yaroslavl in the Russian Superliga. And yes, the Isles' offense was pathetic last season. But they bought him out FOR A REASON. They guy is an albatross. There's no way Ted Nolan is on board with this, is there?

Not the kind of news we want to read as we prepare for the NHL Draft on Friday, when the Isles will have a chance at drafting a truly exciting Russian, Nikita Filatov.

Yea on Filatov, nay on Yashin.

Newsday's Greg Logan breaks down the Islanders' possible draft strategy here, noting that Snow could opt to trade down. That would be a mistake. If Filatov is there, you take him. If not, you grab one of the top defensemen who slid down. The Isles have extra picks and should grab the best player they can in the first round, and then use the later picks by either taking players with them or consolidating them into a higher pick at some point.

We'll find out for sure tomorrow night. See you there!


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