Islanders prospect camp opens this week, and Lighthouse Hockey will be 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.
I arrived on Long Island late this afternoon. The traffic here isn't as bad as Uncle Gord told me it would be. It only took us three hours to get from one side of Kennedy Airport to the other side of Kennedy Airport. Uncle Gord told me it would take all day, but he was dead wrong. So he can suck it.
Long Island seems a lot like where I grew up in REDACTED. The big difference is that in REDACTED kids play hockey all year round. Either ice hockey, street hockey, pond hockey, bubble hockey or tonsil hockey. Here, the kids seem to just walk around the sidewalks. I'm not sure where they're going, although I hear there's a beach somewhere around here.
Today was the hottest day I've ever experienced in my life. Of course, where I'm from it's so cold that Slurpees run out of every faucet. So, technically every day from here on out is the hottest day of my life.
I'm very excited to be an Islander and meeting my fellow prospects has been great. There's a real buzz when we all get together, and we're all talking about the possibilities for this year. Everybody's ribbing each other, saying "I'm gonna be rushed to the NHL," "No, I'M gonna be rushed to the NHL!" Guys are fighting over who gets to be sent back to their junior team for another freakin' year, or who gets buried in the American League or who gets a pat on the back and a "thanks for comin'" at the end of camp.
The Russian dudes say they've been promised spots in the KHL and mansions and cars and stuff by the Russian president, but I'm pretty sure they're lying. I don't think Russia even has a president.
Some guys are already talking about what other team is going to select them when they re-enter the draft in a few years. Uncle Gord told me I should hold out for a few more million and refuse to report. But he quit his job at the brewery because they wouldn't let him take home all the dented cans. So I won't be taking his financial advice. He can suck it.
But that's too far into the future for me. Right now, my focus is on playing hard, giving 110 percent, getting pucks on net, keeping my feet moving, finding the open man, supporting my teammates and repeating all of those things anytime anyone with a pen and note pad comes anywhere near me. I'm also cramming to learn what "smaht, hahd hahckey" is, because I'm getting the sense that's real important around here.
Speaking of which, meeting the coaches has also been great. Coach Thompson's a little on the scary side and Coach Weight keeps asking guys if they need a place to stay since his pool house is empty right now. And every time Coach Capuano walks into a room he tears his shirt off for some reason. Boy, he must go through 100 shirts a day.
But they're really knowledgeable and have already taught us a lot about how to be a player at the pro level. Like how to play Spades and how to order at Chipotle and how not to do Twitter.
Tomorrow is the first day of camp and we'll get physicals, have our measurements taken, pictures taken, all that lame stuff. Uncle Gord told me before I left that I was too skinny and that I'd need to bulk up if I was going to make it in a man's league. Well, after four Chipotle burritos in 12 hours, the Islanders are already taking care of that. So Uncle Gord can suck it.
This player is not real. But don't let that stop you.