Islanders prospect camp opens this week, and Lighthouse Hockey is posting a series of dispatches from a hopeful young player trying to make the roster this year. The player's name, hometown, position, height and weight will be kept anonymous. So don't bother trying to figure out who it is.
Turns out those guys I thought were Russian players weren't players at all. They were part of a work crew cleaning some of the asbestos out of Nassau Coliseum. Also, they aren't Russian. They're Polish.
So that means that either they were lying to me about their offers to play in the KHL, or that league has much a much less rigid screening process than I thought. I'll have to ask my agent to find out more.
My Uncle Gord says never trust anyone from Europe. I don't know if that goes for the wife he ordered by mail, too. Anyway, those Polish/Russian/whatever guys were cool. Uncle Gord can suck it.
I found all this out while waiting to take my headshot, which is a picture of my head, apparently. They really go all out here - they do your hair, they apply make-up and they give you a shave with an old-timey straight razor. One guy saw the razor and thought the hair-stylist was going for his wallet. I give that stylist a lot of credit. He stayed until every guy had his picture taken before finally going to the hospital. I guess that's what happens when you spend enough time around hockey players.
They also took our official weights and heights and I found out hockey's dirty little secret - everybody's heights and weights are totally exaggerated. They just sort of round up when you're on the scale. Coach Thompson said it's psychological and makes everyone feel a little more intimidating. I asked what his height and weight was when he went to prospect camp. "Same as it is now," he said. "7 feet, 5 inches and 385 pounds." Sure thing, coach.
Most of the day was spent running drills. We were split into two teams and shown the team's training program and workouts. Believe me, being a pro is a lot of hard work. Back in REDACTED, the toughest work outs I got were when I had a date with one girl in the afternoon and another girl at night. Uncle Gord says in his day, pros smoked cigarettes in between periods and "relaxed" in hot tubs full of beer. But the closest he got to the pros was scalping tickets to Toronto Toros games in the '70s, so he can suck it.
It was a rough day, but it was really fun and educational. Later in the evening, the Islanders treated us to a night out to a local minor league baseball game. I didn't recognize any of the players, but their uniforms looked just like the New York Yankees.
This is player is still not real. But Brent Thompson really is 7'-5".