Today is the first day of prospect camp. Hockey season is (almost) back, y’all. No one expects anything big out of this team this season, myself included, but that doesn’t take away from the joy and excitement of watching hockey again. We all wish for meaningful hockey, of course, and it’s not a guarantee Islander hockey won’t be meaningful down the stretch. Who knows how it will actually unfold - that’s one of the reasons we keep coming back, isn’t it?
What I’m trying to say is that, despite everything that has changed this summer around this team, they’re still our team. No matter how much we all say we’re done with this team (and Lord knows I said it dozens of time last season alone), we’re still here. Welcome back, everyone. Let’s go Islanders.
Yes, I know it’s only prospect camp. I can’t contain my enthusiasm - which is something I did not think I’d feel about this season after the events of July 1.
- Things are certainly different than they used to be, for better or for worse or for no real reason at all. Like young players changing from high numbers to low ones, or everyone having to stay clean-shaven. Dom puts it best:
It’s one of those weird cases where Lou Lamoriello’s reputation precedes him — although again, his era of success is nearly as dated as these traditions — so it’s supposed to be fine, a completely superficial yet somehow magical ingredient of what is surely success to come. (On that note, it’s amusing to see younger fans who aren’t aware of this Lou trait react...going, “Wait...this is a thing? It’s just an ambiguous rule? That builds ‘team’?!” Have a seat, let me tell you about the days of playing through life-debilitating* concussions.)
*Not that there is any evidence of a link. No sir. Gary knows. Lou, too.
- Another reason to anticipate this season? The continuing progress of Ryan Pulock, who is perhaps the Isles’ best defenseman and the subject of Question #6 in our 20-in-20 series. [LHH]
- Josh Bailey isn’t worried about the composition of the new lineup, nor about not playing with that outkast John Tavares anymore (“ain’t nobody dope as me...”). [NHL]
- The Sound Tigers have added two preseason games to their September schedule: both against the Hartford Wolf Pack, both in the afternoon, both at Trinity College. Sep. 28 & 29. And, as Michael Fornabaio notes, a roster for prospect camp has not yet been made available. [Soundin’ Off | CT Post]
- TWO-PART VIDEO: Head coach Barry Trotz, clean-shaven, sits down with News 12 Long Island at Northwell Health Ice Center to discuss the feeling of winning the Stanley Cup and celebrating in his hometown, as well as why he decided to join the Islanders, how he feels about Tavares leaving, and what he plans to do with the team this season. [Part 1 | Part 2]
- Taylor Hall is gunning to remain part of the NHL’s elite after winning the Hart Trophy last season. [NHL]
- The Maple Leafs are seen by players from other teams as one of the top contenders for the Cup this season. [NHL]
- Pat LaFontaine sits down to discuss the impact Declaration of Principles has had on the league through its first year. The hiring of Hayley Wickenheiser is a great step forward, but more needs to be done, for sure. [NHL]
- Stan Fischler’s retirement is going well; after agreeing to write weekly columns for the Islanders, he has agreed to do the same for the NHL. This week, he shares some of his favorite hockey one-liners he’s heard/read over the years. The Maven is a machine. [NHL]