Islanders Bits: 40th Anniversary Plans Take Shape

Four Cups in 40 years ain't too shabby.

The NHL is kicking into preseason media blitz mode, and for the Islanders that included yesterday's announcement of events to celebrate their 40th anniversary, including specific "Decades" nights to celebrate each decade and honor representatives Ed Westfall, Ken Morrow, Patrick Flatley and Kenny Jonsson -- finally giving Bob Bourne company in the Islanders Hall of Fame.

We'll have some 40-themed stuff this year at Lighthouse Hockey as well. If you have any requests, just shout. (That doesn't mean use a bunch of exclamation points.)

A whole lot of updates from the NHL media blitz yesterday, including at this link: Michael Grabner busting John Tavares' salesman chops; Grabner on enjoying Long Island; and Tavares on the possibility of one day being captain. Discussion of the latter topic in this fanshot.

Also:

Lokomotiv Tragedy

Well it's not as if I expected the numbness to go away after two days, but every time I see video of the Lokomotiv players I get a chill all over again. Something about seeing the distinctive numbers 38 and 63 in particular (Pavol Demitra and Josef Vasicek) in action jars me back to the reality that these young men are gone. I know this is part of the process -- but then I think about how I am just a fan, with distant knowledge. For their families, this process will go on for a lifetime. Ah, life.

In any case, if you can handle it, the on-ice memorial service in Minsk was impressive, breath-taking. Puck Daddy has an excerpt and the full video, with the Dynamo Minsk team taking part on ice in uniform. Seeing the placards with the players' and staff headshots though ... well you can pick out Vasicek's smile and Demitra's bald dome even from a wide shot. It brings it home. It hurts.

Also:

The NHL is in drum-up-the-buzz mode now. That's a good thing. That means we're almost there. The veterans are skating, and the rookies are ready to go.

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