The NEFHL Season is underway and the New York Islanders are looking to continue their streak of never missing a post-season appearance.  As disappointing as it is to have not made it to a Conference Final or a Cup Final, GM Steve Reisman said "Our fans know that we are always in pursuit of the ultimate goal, Lord Stanley's Cup, but they fill the arena each game knowing that our management won't put a lousy team on the ice just to improve a draft pick."

With a 3-1 record, the Isles are presently undefeated on the road, having only lost to St Louis in a shutout that Coach Larry Robinson said was an example of what happens when players ignore curfew rules.  While the Islanders lost some serious talent to Free Agency this past off season (such as Eric Cole and backup Goalie Fredrik Norrena), UFA pickups Brad Larsen, Greg Devries, Steve Rucchin and Bobby Holik have stepped in to fill some gaps. 
The roster is still short on scorers, but defensively, this team expects to reach the post-season once again. 

Looking to the future, Islander management fully expects to re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk, Rick Dipietro and Ales Hemsky this coming off-season.  Both Chris Drury and Zdeno Chara will be looking for big new contracts going into next season.  The initial word is that Chris Drury will be protected and the Isles have been shopping Chara.  However, with both Kyle Chipchura and Robbie Schremp stepping up this season, it may be Chara who is protected and Drury who ends up playing elsewhere.  Both Chipchura and Schremp have 4 year contracts and are spending this season on the Sound Tigers in Bridgeport.  Petteri Nokelainen is also signed long term and was promoted to the pro roster this season.  Aaron Voros, Andreas Nodl and Wayne Simmonds are all in the fold through 2012 at reasonable prices and can all be expected to contribute in the next season or two.  Cody Franson was told he was secure in Blue and Orange and would be counted on to man the blueline in the coming seasons.  Prospect-wise, both Dwight King and Jenns Hellgren are performing will in the juniors and are expected to be signed to the Sound Tigers next season.
So while many teams shuffle their rosters back and forth between total ineptitude and attempts at becoming competitive, the Islanders just keep playing the steady brand of defensive hockey that has taken them to the playoffs every year. 

Next up, the Islanders play the Stanley Cup champions in Florida followed by a visit from the Dallas Stars. 

In related news, the Islanders are looking forward to a November 2nd visit to Atlanta and Islander players have been checking to see which supermarket the Thrashers AGM is bagging groceries for.