Isles Bits: Gregoire, Montoya, Nabokov, Konopka - too much news in May

Protecting cousins, avoiding bar fights.

For a team not in the playoffs, there really shouldn't be this much news in late May, but that's what a goalie curse and a crafty draftee will get you.

The CBA route for Jason Gregoire's decision to turn pro instead of do his senior season at North Dakota is nicely explained by Michael Fornabaio here. Lots of Gregoire quotes on how he hasn't ruled the Islanders out are here [Fanshot talk here]. Linemate-for-a-camp Justin Bourne tweet-raves about Gregoire's skill here...but let's remember this is a nice prospect, not a great prospect (not even Blake Wheeler, really). One who is exploring his options because he can.

Goalie Woes: The Islanders called Al Montoya's surgery to repair a torn meniscus successful [$5 please]. Montoya is expected to be ready for camp, but hey -- it's okay either way: Evgeny Nabakov's agent tells Newsday he'll "absolutely" report for camp! If he's still Islanders property by that time, I'll believe it when I see him in blue.

Zenon Konopka gets some media love: An upcoming issue of ESPN Magazine has Konopka and "four other oft-penalized jocks" and Mark Cuban sitting with Kenny Mayne for a roundtable-type discussion on their knack for receiving penalties and fines. An advance excerpt via PR:

Kenny Mayne: For a "menace," you seem to be good-natured.

Zenon Konopka: I take pride in the fact that I don’t often put my team at a disadvantage. As intense as hockey gets, everything I do is calculated – and it works.

Kenny Mayne: But because of that enforcer attitude, is it a situation where refs now think, Here comes that guy – let’s see what we can penalize him for?

Zenon Konopka: Possibly. Whether fair or not, when I get on the ice, there’s a target on me.

Kenny Mayne: That brings up a good point. You’re emotional. That’s an asset during games, but does it ever present a problem in real life? Even something as simple as idiots in a bar trying to start a fight?

Zenon Konopka: When I was 18, I’d react differently than I do at 30. The more confidence you have in what you do, the less you have to prove, and the less you’ll react to incidents like that. Plus, having been in fights on the ice, I’m far more levelheaded when people are trying to provoke me. If that’s a new situation for someone they might be more panicky and react poorly.

That's in the May 30 issue.

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