The New York Islanders Hockey Club announced today that forward Ryan Strome will receive a commemorative golden pressbox in honor of his milestone 100th* scratch.
Traditionally, when a player hits a mid-major milestone, such as 500 games played, or 200 goals scored, hockey players tend to acknowledge it with a pat on the back, or their teammates buying them a meal -- waiting for the big ones like 500 goals or 1,000 games played for a public ceremony. However, GM Garth Snow said, some accomplishments are so noteworthy that they merit something special.
“Ryan is an essential part of our hockey club. His hard work and dedication to being scratched is such that we felt it deserved something beyond what our players usually get.”
After enduring by all accounts a rough 2015-16, hopes were high for a rebound in 2016-17. But like much of the Isles forward lineup, he has struggled to score in 19 games played this season.
And head coach Jack Capuano has made clear that players who are known for offense who do not get on the scoresheet will face consequences if they are of a certain name, age and/or battle level.
As part of his gift, Strome will receive a key that unlocks a special gold-plated pressbox that he can sit in during gametime. The box comes equipped with extra features, such as a 4K HD TV for watching non-Islanders games involving the other 29 teams that would surely find a role for him, and a laptop so he can watch old highlights of himself on Youtube while dreaming of what could have been.
Strome says he was taken by surprise by the generous gift.
“I was just in my apartment, watching D3: Mighty Ducks, when I heard a knock on the door,” he said. “I opened it, and Matt Donovan was outside. He gave me a gold key, a certificate of ownership, and left. I’m very grateful for the organization for thinking of me in this way.”
When asked, if he thinks he was specifically recommended for this honor by Capuano, Strome gave a familiar response: “I think so. You’ll have to ask him.”
Strome’s work ethic has reverberated through the organization. When Islanders prospect and current Bridgeport Sound Tiger Joshua Ho-Sang heard about the pressbox, he was overjoyed.
“Stromer’s a great guy and a great role model,” the talented forward said. “It’s amazing seeing him earn this accomplishment, and it gives you something to shoot for. I can only hope that I can prove myself in the NHL and be next in line.”
For his part, Ho-Sang was recently scratched in Bridgeport but has a long way to go to reach such heights. “With a lot of dedication I can get to Ryan’s level.”
*This is fake. No, Strome has not been scratched 100 times in his young NHL career. It just kind of feels like that sometimes. Obviously, he’s not alone in his puzzlement about it all.