Anders Lee was on his way back, and Josh Bailey sped back from a concussion like nobody you've ever seen. Those are among the minor bits of retro-news that came out of the New York Islanders clear-out day interviews with reporters and team media.
The official site has lots of details -- Travis Hamonic rescinding his trade request was the major bombshell -- on these and other stories, plus video recordings of exit interviews with players here.
But a few interesting bits of info for your files:
Lee Thought He'd Be Back as Early as Game 7
Explains the official site:
Lee, who actually played the rest of the period [of the April 7 game where he was injured] with the fractured fibula, causing displacement, was ruled to be out indefinitely, but was actually close to returning to the Islanders’ lineup.
"We had gone through three skates and we were hoping for Thursday. It wold've been a stretch, but we were pretty close to getting back. ... For the most part I was ready to go."
It's a good bet Thursday, which would have been Game 7, was not going to be the first appearance in over a month for the big Isles winger. Discretion and prudence would have won the day for the team decision-makers.
But had the Islanders pulled out a series win, apparently he would have appeared in the conference finals -- something we didn't think possible when news of his broken leg, um, broke.
On his year overall, Lee reflected:
"I learned a lot this year, about myself, how to handle adversity. Things were going strong at the end of the year. Personally I just need to come back stronger.
"We had a window of opportunity this year. We know what kind of group we had in the locker room, basically the same as last year. We wanted to build off that year, and we did a little bit, but our ultimate goal is yet to be reached. Hopefully this will only make us stronger."
See his video here.
Bailey Mystery Injury: Concussion
The official site also had this to say about Bailey's injury suffered in the final game of the series with the Florida Panthers:
The injury that kept him out of Games 1 and 2 of the Islanders’ second-round series against the Lightning was a concussion.
"I ended up having a concussion," Bailey said. "It wasn’t overly bad, I was obviously able to come pretty quick. I’ve never had one before. Luckily I healed up fast."
As you may recall, we agonized about why his return was automatic while Ryan Strome's spot in the lineup was not. Then Bailey promptly scored two huge goals in what should have been an Isles win to re-take the lead in the series.
Alas, it wasn't to be and the Isles wouldn't win again...but through no fault of Bailey's, that's for sure.
In the interview, Bailey was asked about the move to Brooklyn and Barclays Center, giving an interesting answer:
"Eh, you're used to it now. At this point the Coliseum seems like a distant memory. Throughout the season we were pretty much told where to be and what to do, so...we adjusted. Anyone would. It's a fun place to play and we look forward to doing it again next year.
[On the travel] "Obviously it's a little bit more travel, more time in the car or whatever, but it's no big deal."
So put that issue to bed. (Again.)
Bailey also talked about the quality of people in the dressing room, the people in the organization and characters on the team as reasons that people like to stay with the club.