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Jackman Wins Bob Nystrom Award

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Tim Jackman and Bob Nystrom
Prior to the start of the Islanders-Lightning game on Saturday night, forward Tim Jackman was presented with the 2009 Bob Nystrom Award, which is given out annually to the Islanders player who best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication.


Nystrom was on hand to present the award to Jackman during a pre-game, on-ice ceremony.

Now in its 17th season, the award was voted on by Islanders fans on newyorkislanders.com

“It’s a great honor to win the Bob Nystrom Award,” Jackman said.. “I would like to thank the fans for their recognition as there were many others on our team who were just as worthy of this tribute. To be associated with Mr. Nystrom in this way is something that I take great pleasure in.”

Jackman, in his second season with the Islanders, has played in 64 games with the team this season and has scored four goals with six assists for 10 points and 153 penalty minutes. He also played in 12 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season and scored six goals with one assist for seven points and 35 penalty minutes.

Jackman recently signed to a one-year contract extension by the team, which keeps him under contract through the 2009-10 season.

Previous winners include Richard Park, Trent Hunter, Ray Ferraro and Brent Sutter.


KIDZ CLUB MEMBERS WATCH ISLES PRACTICE

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Nearly 150 fans, mostly comprised of Islanders Kidz Club members, had the unique opportunity to watch the Islanders’ morning skate Saturday in preparation for the club’s game against Tampa Bay. The event was one of the benefits of enrolling in the Islanders Kidz Club, presented by Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

The young fans received autographs from their favorite Islanders and a few lucky ones picked up some souvenirs.

For 8-year-old Sean Yung, one of the highlights of attending a practice—usually closed to the public—was picking up an official NHL puck courtesy of forward Jeff Tambellini, who flipped it over the glass and into section 117 where his family was sitting. Sean said he will be playing hockey in the spring and wants to be a goaltender.

“This is so much fun,” said Sean, who was joined by 4-year-old sister Erin. “Seeing the goalies was the best part.”

Sean’s father, Gary Yung, said this is the second year his family has been part of the Islanders Kidz Club. The Yungs also attended last year’s Kidz Club outing at the Islanders’ Iceworks practice facility in Syosset.

Christian Foster came into the practice hoping to get a puck, which was why he chose a seat three rows from the glass. The Merrick native was hoping to celebrate his 12th birthday, which is on April 4th, a little early and Islanders forward Richard Park obliged.

“Park gave me an early birthday present,” Christian said. “It’s been great to see them skate, I’ve been to eight games this season.”

Sparky the Dragon was also on hand, posing for photos with the Kidz Club members and even went behind the camera, taking snapshots of the excited fans as they stood along the boards.

For many in attendance, the seats marked the closest they’ve ever been to the players. Despite the fact it was just a practice, 8-year-old Eric Smith of Merrick said it was a thrill to see his favorite hockey team skating around the ice.

“I really liked it when they scrimmaged in the beginning,” Eric said.

Click here for more information on the Islanders Kidz Club, presented by Bethpage Federal Credit Union.
— By Brian Bohl


LEARNING FROM THE PROS

High-camera images of the Islanders defensive-zone coverage flashed across a high-definition television screen, as assistant coaches John Chabot and Dan Lacroix use a laser pointer to articulate where the Islanders forwards and defensemen should be positioned and the mistakes and success of each individual on the ice.

Usually, these discussions happen in the privacy of the coaches office. However, on Saturday morning, the coaches were giving a “Chalk Talk” to Islanders fans who purchased the Experience: Hockey Plan. The partial ticket plan, which included three Islanders games, gave fans the opportunity to select from several private events, such as “Chalk Talk.”

The 11 fans in attendance saw a side of the game that few have the opportunity to experience. While there was no physical blackboard or actual chalk, the strategy session included an hour-by-hour breakdown of a typical day for an Islander and also provided a glimpse into the technical aspects that going into preparing for game.

“It’s wonderful to be this involved and see a part of the game you otherwise never get to see,” Patchogue native Nicole Cardiello said. “I’ve been a fan since I was four and I’ve been to about 23 games this year. This is a real hometown team even though it’s on a big stage. It’s a great experience.”

Chabot and Lacroix went over how players participate in the morning skate, watch video and then get ready for a game. They also explained how line changes are usually made on the bench and how game video is prepared and analyzed.

The coaches also discussed how players react to mistakes, which Northport’s Richard Massari said was the best part.

“It’s funny because when we were kids playing sports, you would make a mistake, go back to the bench and tell your coach you know what you did wrong and feel bad about it,” Massari said. “And even at this level, it was cool to hear that the same type of thing goes on.”

Sam Cardiello, who was on hand with his daughter, Nicole, said the experience showed him an aspect of professional sports that doesn’t come across on television.

“We saw the assistant coaches laughing and joking with the players at times. That was great to see them having fun,” Cardiello said. “Getting to be a part of this—you really feel like you’re a part of the team.”

Click here, to place your deposit and be put on a priority list for a 2009-10 partial ticket plan.

— By Brian Bohl


NYI PRESIDENT'S PLATINUM CLUB DINNER
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Islanders President Chris Dey hosted the first New York Islanders President’s Platinum Club dinner on Friday night at Rothmann’s Steakhouse in East Norwich. 

The evening started off with a cocktail hour, during which guests were able to mingle with Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon and players, such as Bruno Gervais, Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau, Freddy Meyer, Andy Sutton, Joey MacDonald and Jack Hillen.

Following the meet and greet session, all of the guests enjoyed dinner and an awards presentation. During the ceremony, Dey presented each member of the Club with an autographed framed piece of memorabilia containing Sports Illustrated covers from each of the four Stanley Cup years. 

“I had a great time at tonight’s dinner,” Comeau said. “It’s always nice to be able to meet with some of our biggest contributors.”

“We had a great time tonight sitting with Bruno Gervais during the even,” said President’s Platinum member Larry Roher. “He was very personable.”

To find out how you can become a member of the President’s Platinum Club, call your ticket representative at 1.800.882.ISLES.


TOWN OF OYSTER BAY NIGHT

Saturday night was Town of Oyster Bay Night at the Coliseum. In honor of the night, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto was presented with an Islanders jersey by Doug Weight.
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