claireandgaryGary Harding is the Lead Writer of Isles Talk. A former President of the Islanders Booster Club, and a season ticket holder for over 26 years, Gary qualifies as a ‘long suffering’ Islander fan.  He, and his wife, Claire, sit in row A of Section 317, and attend just about every game possible, as well as a few road games in the year, too.

He has been a member of the“Islanders Blog Box” since 2008; a project that allows bloggers like him, to be able to obtain media credentials to Islander home games, and get the perspective of reporting a game, just as if he is a full blown member of the media.

Starting in August of 2013, John Panarese and Gary are talk show hosts on SPORTS TALK 1240 – a Part of the Sports Radio New York group on WGBB AM-1240.  John and Gary are on at least once a month – talking about New York Sports (with a little Islander influence).

Gary, born and raised in Levittown, on Long Island, and worked for a major car rental company for almost 26 years, and now is a Process Improvement Analyst for Icon Central Laboratories.  He has been married to Claire for  7 years.  They met on a bus trip to see the Islanders play in Montreal.  Gary also is a fan of the New York Mets, Long Island Ducks, New York Jets, Everton of the English Premier League, and is a big fan of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  Gary is also an accomplished bowler, having achieved perfection on May 4th, 1994, by bowling a perfect 300 game.  His highest league average ever was 219, and highest series was 798.

Gary also just had weight loss surgery in May of 2013.  In the eleven months following surgery, he has lost nearly 120 pounds, and feels great.  For further information on bariatric surgery options, check out Long Island Obesity Surgery.

Favorite Isles Moment – Everyone says the cups.  They were great.  However, I was not a season ticket holder, or going to the games, so my favorite, was the 1993  march to the semi’s – beating Washington and Pittsburgh – the best was seeing Darius Kasparitis punching Lemieux like a rented Mule!  Funny how a few years later, they were teammates.  Of course, Montreal had NINE guys on the ice when they scored in Overtime in Game 3 of the Semi-Finals.

Favorite All time Isles player – Tie – Bossy and Trottier on Offense, and Glenn Healy at the net. (Remember Pens fans, Trottier TAUGHT Mario how to WIN!)

Favorite Current Isles player – Okposo and JT – of course – with a close third to Michael Grabner; and with every day appreciating the play of Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic.  This year, I am on the Matt Donovan bandwagon. (If I dont – his mother may hit go after me with a Skeet Gun!! LOL!)

Favorite NHL City – Not Long Island – Vancouver with  a close second to Ottawa – followed by Montreal (spot a pattern here?)

Favorite player – not an Islander I like watching Ovie! – He is animated, funny and makes his mark.  Also enjoy watching the Sedin twins play.  Also – with his last name being the same as mine – Josh Harding of the Wild.

Team I hate the most (what do you think?)

Gary currently resides in Halesite, Long Island.  His e-mail address is gharding14@gmail.com

John Panarese is a blind Islander and hockey fan who has followed the game for over 30 years.  From the days of having been slipped dollar bills to change the television station to channel 11 by his uncle to turn on the Islander game, he has been a bleed blue and orange Isles fan suffering through all the rebuilding and stretches and rejoicing with every success of the team.  Besides having followed the team via the radio broadcasts through the “glory years” with Barry Landers and Jean Potvin calling the games, he was part owner of season tickets over a dozen year span and has been a member of the New York Islanders Booster Club for four years.

John, who lives in Hauppauge in Suffolk County, has lived on the island his entire life.  He runs a home business reselling adaptive hardware and software for blind and low vision computer users, as well as being an authorized Apple Affiliate business.

Besides the Islanders, he is a big Mets fan, and follows the Giants and Long Island Ducks.  He also is a bit of a hockey geek, subscribing to both XM Satellite Radio and the NHL Center Ice package because he doesn’t have much of a life.  As for what “qualifies him to write here, well some might say he’s simply an opinionated big-mouth.  He likes to think of himself as … well .. an opinionated big-mouth.


Toby Smith has been living in New York since 2003 and has followed the Islanders closely since he and his wife decided to make Long Island their permanent home.  He is a high school social studies teacher in New York City and a father of two wonderful  young kids. me and bobby ny

Born and raised in the greater New England area, he thoroughly understands the hardships of following teams that had often not met the expectations of a die-hard fan base.  Having been ‘born into’ his other sports team allegiances, he has chosen to support the Isles since he has mistakenly permanently settled in Suffolk County.  In addition to the greater Isles fan community, he is surrounded by an exceptionally crazy supportive and tight-knit group of family & friends who careen through the peaks and valleys of the NHL seasons together.


Me,Strome,de HaanPaul Kreischer is 40 years old and lives in Northeast Pennsylvania, but grew up on Long Island (Mineola) and a die-hard Islanders fan. He’s been blogging on the Islanders for numerous web sites since 2008, including Eyes on Isles for Gary and has seen time in the Bridgeport Sound Tigers press box. Paul has also been a member of the Islanders Booster club for a few years. Paul is a big fan of building a team through the draft, like the dynasty years and today’s team. His two memorable games that he has gone to were Bossy’s 50 in 50 and the Bates penalty shot. He is a counselor for a non-profit organization during the week, so Paul loves to research and write while he also deejays/mc’s weddings on occasion, so public speaking is also his forte. He has played just about every sport, but still continues to play basketball and bowling on a regular basis. Paul was a right winger and goaltender growing up so you’ll see him go by Netminder39 on many of the boards and yes, it is a mention to Rick DiPietro, but he wore 39 because it was the only number available. Loves to talk NHL and Islanders all the time, so drop him a line. (netminder39@live.com) (Twitter: @Netminder39)


colinColin Schmaeling – Lets Go Islanders!  Is a lifelong Isles fan whose endured the tough times and is looking forward to the next “92-93” run! He has worked at SiriusXM Satellite Radio since 2005. He is currently a producer in Sports Programming and work on “Mad Dog Unleashed” with Christopher Russo. He has been a registered USA Hockey official since 1999-2000.


Sean Morrell – seanI am a chef by trade and a hockey nut by life. Isles fan by birth.  First Isles memory is eating with Eddie Westfall and Billy Harris at the Salty Dog. Favorite Isles players of all time are Clark Gillies, Steve Thomas, Kasper, Claude Lapointe , Kyle Okposo, and Josh Bailey.

The picture is with the Iron Chef  Morimoto – the Iron Chef.  Sean will be ‘cooking his best’ for Isles Talk

Our newest writer on Isles Talk - WELCOME PAIGE!
Our newest writer on Isles Talk – WELCOME PAIGE!

Paige Passman – My name is Paige Passman. I live on Long Island, and graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh. I’ve been and Islanders fan since I was old enough to watch the games. The reason why I’m an Islanders fan is because I saw my dad watch the games, so I started to watch them with him. My favorite players are Matt Martin and Anders Lee and Ryan Strome. Besides hockey I also like baseball. My favorite team is the Yankees.

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