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Off day nonsense | January
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Oh boy, the Islanders lost their third straight game against the Hurricanes. Again missing an opportunity to jump to sixth place in the east. Boy the Islanders decide to lose at the worst times. Just as the NY hockey media was trying to decide whether they want to jump on the Islanders band wagon. WFAN even sent a reporter down to North Carolina to call in reports to the 20/20 sports update. So frustrating, but today we will take a more upbeat approach jumping around from intermediating topic to interesting topic.

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The John Tavares we don't know

It was a pleasant surprise to see the new face of the Islanders, John Tavares, grace to front cover of today's Newsdaysports section. The full page feature took a look at the life off the rink that the fans do not get to see. From his time spent living at the Weight's household, his development into a star and his relationship with teammate and mentor Doug Weight. The interesting and sometimes funny article gives a personal look at John.

We now see the numerous roles John has, hockey star, teammate, video game lover, big brother and peace keeper. Fans can now see that the serious, all business John Tavares is equally balanced by a fun loving, teenage John Tavares. Like a regualar member of the Weight family, John is like the older brother or that crazy uncle we all have. Not to mention he's a competitor in NHL 10, no matter how old you are. Just another prime example of how hockey players may just be the most down to earth people.

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If pigs fly

The New York Post is reporting an "eastern" team is in the hunt for Ilya Kovalchuk and mentions the Islanders somewhere in the article. Columnist Larry Brooks was the first to report that Islanders GM Garth Snow made an inquiry into Kovalchuk.

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The "Gilldozer"

Tough Guy, Trevor Gillies arrived o join the Islanders in Philadelphia after signing an NHL contract yesterday with the team. The 6'3, 220 pound, Gillies racked up 123 penalty minutes (ranked 13th in the AHL) and has a goal in 18 games. Sound Tigers beat reporter, Michael Fornabaio, had this to say about Gillies; tough as advertised. Not many of those PIMs by accident. Turns 31 Saturday; knows his way around. Good teammate, well-respected around the league. The soon to 31 year old is sure to add toughness, especially since the Isles will face a very gritty Philadelphia Flyers team on Saturday.

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Trade Talk

The other day I mentioned two possible trade options for the Islanders in the wake of losing Jack Hillen. Here is Hockey Bay Blog's thoughts on a possible trade with the Isles for David Hale;
I think a trade would be very possible as Hale has been edged out of the Lightning lineup recently. He has been sent down to the Norfolk Admirals for a 2 week conditioning assignment as he has been a healthy scratch lately on the Lightning as other defencemen have been playing better. In addition, if Paul Ranger returns to the line up soon (has been away on personal leave), the Lightning will be looking to move some of their surplus defencemen. As for what they would want for in return, well as long as you gift wrap it nicely, the Lightning management wouldn't know the difference between a bag of pucks and a good deal, either way, they'd just waive the player eventually.

As for a deal with Edmonton here is Low On Oil to explain; I haven't heard the Islanders mentioned in any potential Oilers trades yet. The Oilers are in sell mode with names like Moreau, Staios, Visnvosky, Souray, Cogliano, Nilsson, and Horcoff frequently named.Now, Horcoff's contract makes him completely unmovable. Moreau and Staios probably have negative trade value given their age, contracts, and performance.Souray's children live in Los Angeles with his ex-wife and he has a no-trade clause until July 1st, so it's more likely that he would head to Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, or Dallas if he's traded before this year's trade deadline (march 3).The Islanders have an extra goalie with Dipietro back and there were some previous rumors that the Oilers might be interested in Biron. However, the Oilers won't likely pick up a goaltender this season any more. Both Deslauriers and Dubnyk are pretty mediocre, but they are getting evaluated while the Oilers head to a top 3 draft pick.

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Bobby Hughs criminal case

Last and certainly least, Bridgeport Sound Tiger, Robert "Bobby" Hughes turned down a plea deal in his criminal sex act case in Albany. The deal would have had him plead guilty to committing a third-degree criminal sex act in October 2008. He declined however because he feels that no crime occurred. Hughes was arrested in November in Bridgeport following a game at the Arena at Harbor Yards and could face up 25 years in prison if convicted.