I've been asked to contribute to various season previews. [You know what? I've also instructed myself not to begin blog posts with "I" -- and yet there I go. Apologies. To be fair, the second sentence began with "you," so...I like you!]
In the interest of disclosure, mutual link-scratching, and figuring out whether I've repeated myself, you can see some of my "Islanders Burning Questions" (and one of Dee's, too) at the SB Nation Islanders preview. Yell at Travis for the intro; yell at me for the non-Radek Q&A's. Meanwhile, you can see my three-graph write-up in NBC's Pro Hockey Talk Atlantic Division preview, in addition to team-specific write-ups from a few other Atlantic-followers.
But you're probably here for what went on at Islanders training camp this weekend while you relished/cried over NFL results. After the jump, a bushel load of links on the first weekend of band camp:
Injuries and precautions: You probably saw at any of a number of sources that Zenon Konopka (back) and Mark Eaton (back) start off on the shelf, while Andy Hilbert got a groin on Day 1. That's why you sign depth. ... The Isles were proactive in announcing Rick DiPietro gets a scheduled day off Monday. That's a refreshing bit of prudence and communications working together to preempt pre-panic among fans. ... NHL.com ran a feature on DiPietro being glad to be back, etc., including the following quote: "It's as normal as it's been in a long time," he added. "You've got to continue to monitor it and do all those little exercises that seem tedious and painful, but in the long run it'll pay off." That's the hope.
... The Post -- which has rediscovered the Islanders recently (hopefully Brett Cyrgalis gets to keep up this coverage) -- also had a good piece on DiPietro. You sure get the feeling no one really knows what or how much to expect from DP's latest return attempt (anyone seen a detailed description of the injury itself?), so they're just going one day at a time.
Islanders Point Blank: Matt Martin taught Trevor Gillies to tip pucks better. ... Chris Botta interprets Scott Gordon's quotes on Calvin de Haan and Travis Hamonic to mean they are an ice road trucker's long shot to make the team. (Top four or bust is the word.) ... The wonderful mixture of hands, mystery and hope that is P.A. Parentau.
Official site love: Official Mentor Doug Weight on Matt Martin and his own role, and Martin praising Weight like a good mentee should. Subtext: Weight at center between Martin and Trent Hunter. How much center will Weight play, I wonder? ... After participating in the NHL dog-and-pony media blitz, John Tavares is ready for hockey. ... Trent Hunter and Scott Gordon love Frans Nielsen almost as much as I do. ... Butch Goring in the booth: I've decided to look at it like the trade that brought him to Long Island; maybe he's the final piece.
BlogBox action: 7th Woman with some sights and thoughts from camp. Also: A reminder that Rick DiPietro is now 29. Where did the time go? ... Eyes on the Isles with thoughts and quotes on several players.
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Bottom line: Well you know. Everyone's happy to be here. Everyone believes the team can make meaningful strides. Everyone's been mostly realistic because it's fresh ice and there have been no bad news hurdles ... yet. As we all know, the real tests come later.