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America's Solemn Traditions are Good for All of Us

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Memorial Day, one of America's most solemn holidays is a day of remembrance. Freedom like we know in America has always come at a profound cost, namely the lives our best and brightest young men and women.
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Another 5 for Kyle

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Islander fan favorite Kyle Okposo received a nice 5-year, $34 million contract this on May 25. Many fans believe he has a chance at becoming the next captain of the team. The contract is structured in a similar way to recently signed speed demon Michael “Gremlin” Grabner. The salary structure of the contract goes from first season to the fifth season – from $1 million to 4.5 million, just shy of the $35 million Grabner signed for earlier this month.

Kyle was the 7th pick of the 2006 NHL entry draft, and has shown signs of being a talented offensive forward. He had a high of 50 points in 80 games for the 2009-10 season. Unfortunately, Kyle’s serious shoulder injury in the preseason caused him to miss the majority of games last season. With 20 points in 38 games, in my opinion, Okposo never seemed to really find his groove.

You might say his point total was decent, and I’d agree all things considered, but he did have 34 goal scoring Michael Grabner on his line so I believe that padded his assist total as he and Frans Neilsen always looked for the “Hail Mary” pass up the middle to lead Grabner on a breakaway. On one hand it was nice for the team to finally have a second line scoring threat, on the other hand, it would have been nice to see Okposo score more goals. Next season he will have additional pressure on him because of his new contract and the shoulder will be at 100%, so Islander fans should really see what Okposo is made out of this coming year.

The structure of the last two contracts gives me the feeling that the team really believes something great is going to be happening for the team in three to five years because the contracts are heavily loaded to the future years. It could be a new coliseum, a playoff caliber team, or hopefully both. If things should really bomb though, Wang could also sell the team and be off the hook for the latter, more expensive years of the contracts. These do seem like good business decisions; like he is hedging his position with the coliseum, team, and fans.

I really like the latest contract extensions. They fit well with the overall scope of what the team is doing now and into the future. The length of Okposo’s deal, just as it was in the Grabner contract, is the only issue I have with them. If Okposo can remain healthy and get back into form I’d like to think he can remain in the 50 to 60 point plateau for the length of the contract. If either player digresses the team will be left holding the bag for up to five years. It’s the type of gamble the team is known for now. Somewhat long, lower salary per year averaged contracts to young promising players looking for stability.
 

Profit is Not a Bad Thing

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Businesses must make a profit.

This sounds reasonable doesn't it? Businesses offer products or services for a price, hopefully for more than they paid for them and the actual selling price should include their profit.

In today's economy it is difficult for small businesses to compete with the large box stores or with internet sellers who operate virtually, however if our small businesses are to survive and stay strong they must be competitive and offer something extra and that extra may vary from store to store or from one professional office to another and still make a profit. If the small business or professional offers nothing competitive, or different and does not have the personal touch, in this tough economy it will be difficult for them to survive.
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Speedy Grabner Signed to 5 Year, $15-Million Deal

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If any of you were worried that Michael Grabner wasn’t going to sign with the New York Islanders, you can lay those thoughts to rest as the impending RFA (Restricted Free Agent) has just signed a 5-year deal with the team. According to Katie Strang of Newsday, the average cost per year of the contract is $3 million and the salary increases by $1 million for each year of the deal.

It will be up to @grabs40 (@grabs40 is Grabner’s Twitter ID) to prove this past season wasn’t a fluke and that he can be a consistent contributor to the offense. Grabner had some great goal scoring stretches, and one thing that he didn’t lack in even when he wasn’t scoring was opportunity. His speed led to many breakaways, but his finishing was questionable at times. He’s still young though, and one thing you can’t teach is blinding speed.

Rolling the dice with a 5-year deal for Grabner is a typical move by GM Garth Snow. The average yearly price tag of $3 million isn’t bad for the Islanders, and the fact that it is loaded toward the future years makes it even better for the cash conscious team. Grabner has a lot to prove, so the length of the deal provides him with security. All things considered, this deal makes a lot of sense right now for all parties involved as the team pushes to build the new Nassau Coliseum.

I think everyone knew signing Grabner was a priority for the team. I called it a few days ago in this tweet. Let’s see which RFA is next to re-sign. Kyle Okposo anyone?
 

Every Dollar Counts

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Our communities are a wonderful balance between functionality and beauty. The North Shore of Long Island and especially the Town of Huntington has some of America's most beautiful landscapes and waterfronts.

This area also functionally possesses villages, hamlets and shopping districts that are important parts of our lives. Seldom do we think about our local merchants, professionals and retailers, yet we should.
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Wang, Mangano, Murray, Press Conference, New Coliseum

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After going to the Islanders/Mangano/Murray press conference yesterday I’m left with more questions than answers. Let me preface this by saying that I am for almost any option that keeps the team on LI.

The common phrase being thrown around for their proposal is a no-brainer, but I’m always a bit skeptical, especially when their plan more closely resembles a concept or a vision at this point. I don’t know what the real proposal is, but they are doing their best to make it look good to the taxpayers. At least the concept sounds promising, and if the team actually does pay back the 400 million for the new facilities should everything move forward and the new facilities get built, it will have been a huge, huge gain for Nassau. That’s a big if though.

I can see this team elevating itself to the status of a perennial contender within the next several seasons. That alone should make the team profitable. If it doesn’t, then what is the point? Losing sells seats, jerseys, pucks, sticks, advertisements, and everything else that brings money to the front office. Winning brings it on an entirely different level.

What’s clear is that Wang has conceded his Lighthouse project and in return will attempt to get the new facility financed by the people of Nassau county. The referendum slated for August 1st will be the first of multiple hurdles that must be maneuvered in order to see the ultimate goal of keeping the team on Long Island and giving Long Islanders a great place to watch hockey, and minor league baseball, concerts, etc…

Check out BD Gallof’s insightful article on some of the possible pitfalls and you’ll see that not everything is going to be easy. I asked Mr. Wang at the press conference what would happen if the referendum fails, and he said he didn’t want to think about it. Another member of the press said that … you need to think about that, and he reverted back to the lines we’ve been hearing the past year or more about how all options are on the table. It appears that this is the only break from the status quo, and any loss of momentum brings the team back to square one.

There is still some time before the 2015 end of lease date to create a new proposal should the vote fail, but if the people don’t want a new coliseum now, what makes anyone think they’ll want it later? It will take more money from Wang and/or the developers and that battle might ultimately force the team elsewhere. Wang has been portraying his decisions with the team to be business decisions, and we all know what that means – accountability to dollars and cents.

This video contains some feedback from CJ Papa, Brad Kurtzberg, Dee Karl, Timo Seppa, and BD Gallof. Apologies for the poor audio, and to Christian Arnold whose spot was mysteriously over-darkened and not included. Thanks guys!
 

Will Social Security Be Around When I Retire?

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Every year, about three months before your birthday, the Social Security Administration mails you your annual statement. My wife Kristen received hers the other day, and I was reading the insert included with the report. The insert was titled "What Young People Should Know About Social Security", and one of the questions asked was:
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Incorporation Overview

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What types of business entities are available in New York State?

1. Available entities are:

  • An “S” Corporation
  • A Limited Liability Company
  • A General Partnership
  • A Limited Partnership
  • A Limited Liability Partnership
  • A Sole Proprietorship
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