By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘new york islanders’
Posted: April 11th, 2014
Mercyhurst senior forward Daniel O’Donoghue signed a contract with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes today. (Contributed/Mercyhurst University)

Mercyhurst’s Daniel O’Donoghue turned the best season of his college hockey career into a NHL contract Friday.

The senior forward signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, and will join the club’s AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates in Portland, Maine, as early as this weekend. The Pirates play in Manchester, N.H., against the Monarchs tonight before returning home to face the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday.

“It’s a great feeling, and I’m very excited,” O’Donoghue said in a statement. “I have a lot of emotions running through me right now – anxious, excited, nervous. … It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited just to get my foot in the door.”

He set career highs with 15 goals, 28 assists and 43 points in 38 games. He finished his four-year career with 119 points (45 goals, 74 assists). He’s one of 16 players in the school’s NCAA Division I history to reach the 100-point mark, and of five to sign professional contracts. The others are Jody Robinson (New York Islanders), T.J. Kemp (Edmonton Oilers), Jamie Hunt (Washington Capitals) and Cullen Eddy (Philadelphia Flyers). Hunt is the lone player to play in a NHL regular-season game (2006-07).

“Our season ended almost a month ago, and I thought it would go a little quicker than this,” O’Donoghue said. “But it all worked out in the end.”

Posted: March 5th, 2014

After a long day of following the NHL’s deadline deals, here’s my top winners and losers from on trade market (in no particular order):


Thomas Vanek

* Montreal - The Canadiens needed to solidify their offense in hopes of making a deep Stanley Cup run this season. They acquired F Thomas Vanek, one of the league’s top offensive performers who instantly becomes the club’s leading scorer with 21 goals and 53 points. And they got him for a prospect and a second-round pick (a conditional one at that). If G Carey Price returns healthy, the Canadiens will be in good shape to make that run.
* Los Angeles - The Kings do everything well…except score goals. If F Marian Gaborik stays healthy (and with him, that’s always a big if), he provides that dangerous offensive threat that has big, strong forwards like Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards up front. Better yet, the Kings reportedly got Columbus to pick up half of Gaborik’s contract.
* Buffalo - The Sabres are still the worst team in the league standings. Expect them to rank near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, if not the league, next season. But the Sabres took a big step forward thanks to new GM Tim Murray‘s deals before and at the deadline.
Murray moved players he needed to move – G Ryan Miller (St. Louis) and F Matt Moulson (Minnesota). He also stockpiled picks that should lead to some top players – Erie Otters C Connor McDavid, perhaps? – over the next three years.

* N.Y. Islanders - GM Garth Snow waited until the last second to trade Vanek…and got way too little in return. Sadly, it could have been worse. The deadline could have passed without a deal, and the Islanders would have lost Vanek to free agency without getting absolutely nothing in return.

Roberto Luongo

* Vancouver - GM Mike Gillis traded G Cory Schneider to New Jersey during last summer’s draft, presumably to alleviate the Schneider-Roberto Luongo controversy in net. Then Gillis trades Luongo to Florida this week, leaving his team with inexperienced Eddie Lack in goal.
Meanwhile, Gillis didn’t trade F Ryan Kesler, who apparently doesn’t want to stay in Vancouver. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
* Winnipeg – The novelty surrounding the NHL’s return to Winnipeg has worn off. It’s time for the Jets to make the playoffs. So what was done for the stretch run? Nothing. Worse yet, the Jets lost promising rookie F Mark Scheifele to a reported knee injury.

Meanwhile, the jury is still out on…
* N.Y. Rangers - They need the offense newly

Martin St. Louis

acquired F Martin St. Louis provides. But he’s 38 years old, and the deal that sends F Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay also includes first-round and second-round picks. So the Rangers need to win the Stanley Cup this season, because the future appears tenuous.
* Pittsburgh – It’s difficult to second-guess an organization as successful as the Penguins. But they needed help on D, given the absence of Kris Letang and Paul Martin. Yet they acquired a pair of role players up front – Marcel Goc and Lee Stempniak.

*** McDavid and the 2015 NHL Entry Draft was a topic of conversation on the NHL trade deadline day. How did McDavid feel about that? Find out here

Posted: March 4th, 2014

Brad Boyes

The NHL trade deadline arrives today at 3 p.m. Former Erie Otters captain Brad Boyes won’t be involved in it.
TSN reported that Boyes, 31, has signed a two-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers worth $2.625 million per season. Boyes, who signed a one-year deal this past offseason, has 17 goals and 26 points in 59 games this season. He has 185 goals and 435 points in 665 games during a 10-year NHL career that also included stints with the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues.
Boyes, arguably the most revered player in Otters history, set franchise records with 141 goals, 168 assists and 309 points in 203 OHL games from 1998-2002. The former captain led the Otters to their only league championship in the 2001-02 season.

Posted: February 27th, 2014

Erie native Justin Mercier has signed a professional tryout agreement with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders. Read more by clicking here

Posted: September 28th, 2013

Former Erie Otters captain Brad Boyes has signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers, the NHL club announced Saturday.
Boyes, 31, who led the Otters to their only OHL championship in 2002, had 10 goals and 35 points in 48 games with the New York Islanders a season ago. He has 168 goals and 407 points in 606 games with five teams (San Jose, Boston, St. Louis, Buffalo and the Islanders) over the past decade. He set career highs of 43 goals (2007-08) and 72 points (2008-09) with the Blues. Boyes earned a spot with the Panthers in training camp after signing a professional tryout contract.

Posted: September 2nd, 2013

The Erie Otters and Niagara IceDogs meet in the preseason for the second time in three days. This time, it will be a 2 p.m. matchup today at Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario.
The Otters capped their week-long training camp Saturday with a 6-3 win against the IceDogs at Mercyhurst Ice Center in their first of six exhibition games. The highly anticipated line of Connor McDavid, Connor Brown and Andre Burakovsky combined for five goals and 14 points in the win.
McDavid, the OHL’s reigning rookie of the year, led the way with a goal and five assists. Brown had two goals and three assists. Burakovsky, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, had two goals – including the game-winner – and an assist in his Otters debut.
After today’s game, the Otters conclude the preseason with three more games – at Barrie on Friday at 7:30 p.m., against Owen Sound on Sunday at 2 p.m. at P&H Centre in Hanover, Ontario, at Kitchener on Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and against Mississauga on Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. at Caledon East Arena in Caledon, Ontario.
In other news, eight players leave the club Tuesday to attend NHL rookie camps – Brown (Toronto), Burakovsky (Washington), Connor Crisp (Montreal), Oscar Dansk (Columbus), Troy Donnay (N.Y. Rangers), Stephen Harper (Philadelphia), Dane Fox (St. Louis) and Adam Pelech (N.Y. Islanders).
Dansk, Donnay and Fox are set to play in the NHL Prospects Tournament, which begins Thursday at Center Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich.
Donnay and the Rangers face Carolina on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., followed by Fox and the Blues at 7 p.m. Dansk and the Blue Jackets play Carolina on Friday at 3:30 p.m., followed by the Rangers and Buffalo at 4 p.m. St. Louis meets Minnesota at 7 p.m. Donnay and Dansk will face off Sunday at 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Jackets-Rangers game. St. Louis faces Detroit at 7 p.m. The final day of games is next Monday.
Brown joins former Otters forwards David Broll and Greg McKegg in the Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Tournament, which begins Thursday with a 7 p.m. game against Chicago at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario. The Maple Leafs face Pittsburgh on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Ottawa on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Burakovsky will attend the Capitals’ rookie camp from Thursday through next Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. The camp ends with a game against Harper and the Flyers’ rookies next Monday at 3 p.m. The Flyers’ rookie camp runs from Friday through Sunday at The Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. Crisp will attend the Canadiens’ rookie camp from Thursday through next Monday at Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, Quebec.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: July 31st, 2013

The Erie Otters completed their coaching staff Wednesday with the addition of Cam MacDonald as full-time goaltending coach. MacDonald, 36, was a special consultant for the Otters in the 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League season while working with the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans. He spent the previous season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League. He also has worked with Ian Clark, goaltending coach of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. “We have two great goalies in Oscar (Dansk) and Devin (Williams),” McDonald said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get the season started.”
The Otters also filled two other positions, with Aaron Cooney joining the staff as director of broadcasting and media relations and Kevin Putzig taking over as equipment manager. Cooney, 23, a Point Park University graduate, was an intern for the Pittsburgh Penguins Radio Network this past season. He also spent six months with Pittsburgh’s Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan. Putzig, 24, joins the Otters after spending the past few seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate. He worked last season alongside former Otters head athletic trainer David Stickney, who holds the same position for the Sound Tigers.

Posted: July 9th, 2013

Mercyhurst University rising senior forward Daniel O’Donoghue begins prospect development camp with the NHL’s Calgary Flames Wednesday in Calgary, Alberta.
O’Donoghue, 22, joins 26 other forwards and 43 prospects in all at the camp, which runs through next Tuesday at Canadian Olympic Park WinSport as one of 11 players who are attending on tryout agreements. He also experienced camps with the Washington Capitals last summer and the New York Islanders in 2011.
O’Donoghue, a native of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., set career highs with 12 goals, 24 assists, 36 points, a plus-15 rating, three short-handed goals and 104 shots on goal. He was tied for second in NCAA Division I in short-handed goals.

Posted: October 10th, 2012

Former Erie Otters captain Brad Boyes, now a 7-year NHL veteran who signed a 1-year contract with the New York Islanders this past summer, shared his thoughts earlier this week on the lockout and the state of negotiations between the league’s owners and Players Association:

On when the season could start:
I honestly have no idea. I’m trying to stay as involved and up to date as I can. I’ve been to a few meetings. Hopefully I’m going to try to be at some meetings this week in New York to get a better sense of it. But to tell you I have an answer for that or anybody does, I’d think they’re lying. It’s pure speculation. I can’t even guess right now. I don’t even have a good guess. It could be a week. It could be two months. It all depends on where we’re at. I think I’ve got a pretty good idea where we’re at. But it depends on where the owners are at and what they want to do, how long they want to hold it for.

On possibly losing the whole season:
I don’t think we’re concerned about that right now. I think there is a deal to be had. It’s just a matter of both sides agreeing to it. We’ve got to prepare for the worst obviously. But right now, it’s trying to get that deal done. I think there is some optimism, but again when is that going to happen. Nobody really knows.

On the negotiations:
You’re going to come to a resolution at some point anyway. It just depends on when (both sides) are willing to give in. If that’s the point, and we both know when that point is, then obviously we could have gotten the deal months ago hypothetically. You can always get the deal done if they’ll accept what we’re offering or we’re willing to accept what they offer. But at this point, we’re not doing that. We don’t believe it’s a fair deal. As a player, until the owners are willing to accept a fair deal that works for both sides and not just the owners, then we’re going to be sitting here for awhile. It’s tough. It’s not to say it’s in the owners’ hands. But they are theoretically the ones with the power. They’re the ones that control whether we play or not. I think the proposals that we’ve given have been very forward thinking and frankly work for both sides. That’s what we’re willing to do. We’re just looking for a fair deal. We’re not trying to have the wool pulled over our eyes like last time (following the loss of the 2004-05 season). The players made huge concessions and the owners got what they wanted. Now they want what they want again. It’s a matter of figuring out the system -

On the lockout’s potential damage to the league:
I think there’s at least a sense that we’re not playing right now. We’re not getting on TV. You’ve got a massive media market (like New York City). We’re not taking advantage of it – I was reading something the other day that the same thing happened with the Rangers in ’94. The lockout in ’95, that took a lot of steam away from that momentum (from their Stanley Cup championship in 1994).
It will hurt. It’s just a matter of how much we’re willing to get those fans (back). You’ve got to come to a deal (so) that this stuff is not going to happen again. If we agree to the things that they’re proposing, five to seven years down the road it’s going to be the exact same thing. Itt’s just going to keep going over and over and perpetuate itself until there’s a system in place that’s good for both sides and is not going to continue to hurt the game and help both the big-market and small-market teams.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: June 23rd, 2012

Read about Erie Otters D Adam Pelech (N.Y. Islanders) and RW Connor Brown (Toronto), who were selected today on the second day of the NHL Entry Draft.

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