From the dark days of upsetting veterans (but that worked out OK for Billy Guerin. Jon Sim? not so much.) while getting trounced through much of December 2008, the Islanders have emerged as needed to have one John Tavares skate, on their ice, wearing their logo. (Does that '70s-ish yet unmistakably Islanders logo do the same for you that it does for me? Mmph, that's sweet.)
Of course, the threads backing that logo were a rather pacifist shade of light blue, which means one thing: Look for light-blue Islanders practice jerseys to sell like hot cakes!
A surprising volume of good info flowed out of the mini-camp, via sources beyond the triumvirate of usual suspects who are there through thick and thin (i.e., not the johnny-come-randomly Daily News). A giant pile of links and comment after the jump...
- TSN was there "deep in suburban Long Island" capturing video, spreading the joy of light blue everywhere. I mean, you gotta love Canada.
- In his print story, Greg Logan captures the fervor -- and the attempt to focus on hockey.
- Staple: Not a bad start that Tavares impressed Bryan Trottier. But the beauty of that piece is Trottier's tales about when he was a young pup of a rookie.
- Chris Botta says assistant coach John Chabot is not at camp and the Islanders have no comment. Harumph. He also was not at the Tavares press conference, whereas Dean Chynoweth was. Also in that update: great reaction from Calvin de Haan on his family buzzing about the Islanders trading down, only to realize it was to draft him; plus Travis Harmonic on when he'll make the jump from college.
- De Haan was welcomed to camp with an inadvertent high-stick from Tavares.
- Greg Logan: Mr. DiPietro (the elder) says the soon-to-wed Ricky's knee is doing much better, for what that's worth.
- Botta had comments from de Haan on his once and future teammte Tavares: JT is no slouch of a skater; damn critics will always find something.
- A run-down of drills and groupings in the official site's minicamp notebook.
- The official site with quotes from Tavares on the bonding experience at camps like this.
- And finally, some non-camp fun: The Alex Tanguay rumors [ESPN-LeBrun | Islanders Independent | IslesOfficial'sOutlook | NYI Net]
Enjoy your weekend -- and enjoy mini-camp, if you get to make it. Remember you need to show up early to get the mandatory wristband.