The New York Islanders had their breakup day and final media interactions on Tuesday. Some highlights, via the bittersweet flow on Twitter, are below.
But first, to orient you, here are a few links wrapping up the end of the season:
Newsday: Garth Snow doesn't expect major changes in the offseason, as there's a lot of internal competition on the horizon.
- Also this from Newsday: "John Tavares, who talked often with Nabokov during the season about on- and off-ice subjects, made his feelings clear Saturday about whom the Isles star wants in goal.
"At times, we didn't make it too easy for him," Tavares said of Nabokov. "He was a leader for us all year and a guy that was huge for us. I hope he's back."
- Vote for John Tavares in the EA NHL 14 cover thingy.
- At the official site, they talk about rocking the old barn for Games 3, 4 and 6.
- Via nhl.com, the Islanders shed some Dangerfield with their run.
- Spector: "Whether they build upon this or slide back depends on their offseason moves."
- Habs Eyes on the Prize: Snow for GM of the Year.
Breaking Up: It's not easy to do
Links below are to the tweets via the Isles (often with Instagram pics of them in the locker room) unless otherwise noted. They are all from players who are under contract for next year or whose restricted free agent rights are held by the Isles.
Matt Moulson, whose pace this season fell just short of another prorated 30-goal season:
"We've realized a lot of stuff over the season as individuals and as a team. We have to make sure we come back the same way next year."
Josh Bailey, who started the season on IR (and suspended, thanks to lockout injury):
"It was a step in the right direction. It's going to take a lot of hard work to get to this point next year and it's going to be a battle."
Colin McDonald, who carved out a regular NHL role and earned a contract extension:
McDonald said is was "by far the best experience of my hockey career" and that "we have a bright future."
Lubomir Visnovsky, who many thought would never want to come to the Island:
Lubo told the media today he's "happy that this is my home."
John Tavares, who never stops looking to improve (via Arthur Staple of Newsday):
"I improved in a lot of areas, but I think there's so much more for me to get better at. I'm just never get satisfied, I guess."
Michael Grabner, the engine of the third line who could probably play on the first or second (via Arthur Staple of Newsday):
"We heard about how the building could be during the playoffs, but it definitely exceeded by expectations. It was amazing."
Finally, this from Kyle Okposo, who had the kind of playoffs his boosters thought he could have:
Another year in the books, want to thank the fans for supporting us all year especially in the playoffs. The Coli was absolutely rockin'...— Kyle Okposo (@bookerT2116) May 14, 2013
That's the plan. Now make it happen.