Time has bent in some weird ways over the last few months, but this Monday will be slightly different from the many previous Mondays.
The doors at Northwell Health Ice Center will be open today for Islanders players to take the ice for voluntary workouts. We’re talking about individualized small group workouts with very limited amounts of staff present, but the players will surely be happy to get their skates on for the first time since March.
Lou Lamoriello says the team has prepared and followed all the protocols, so any players that want to come out (about a third of the team remained on Long Island throughout the NHL”s pause, he said) can whenever they’re comfortable. Per NHL guidelines, COVID-19 tests will be done on an ongoing basis for them.
This is the official start of Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return to Play plan. Phase 3 will mean training camps are actually open, but things aren’t quite there yet.
#Isles players who attended today’s voluntary small-group workout at Northwell Health Ice Center includes: Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin, Thomas Greiss and Bailey— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) June 8, 2020
More Islanders Stuff
- Newsday on the facilities re-opening.
- Barry Trotz likes to talk about “predictability.” Unfortunately, what’s up ahead is anything but. Still, he’s been preparing back in British Columbia and wants to resume what he felt was a turnaround in his team’s fortunes. [Staple at The Athletic]
But there is the unknown of how those players will look and feel once training camps begin. No one has had a normal routine these last few months, even if players can now get back on the ice. So Trotz and the coaching staff can’t plug anyone in to any presumed playoff roles until they see what they’re working with.
“When you come to (a regular training) camp, guys are at a fairly close level in terms of conditioning, mental focus, how their hands feel. This is going to have more of an imbalance,” Trotz said. “Probably a third will be fine, a third will have some catching up to do and a third will struggle, catching up or whatever, their game and the mental part. So you don’t know what you have until you get there. Some guys you expect to be ready to go at camp, you might have a better option with someone you didn’t perceive, a younger guy who’s focused, who’s ready to go and might pass someone older.”
- Trotz also stopped by MSG Networks’ MSG 150 on Friday to talk to Bill Pidto, Alan Hahn and Steve Valliquette. Not surprisingly, he’s been prepping with his staff for various playing scenarios the entire time.
- It’s been a helluva weird few months for Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Andy Greene. Traded to the Islanders, played a bunch of games, then the pause, then back home. Their paths to Long Island have been bumpy but both feel they have been embraced by the tightknit group. [Islanders]
- Remembering Bryan Trottier’s Conn Smythe Trophy-winning run in the 1980 playoffs was one of the most magical moments in Islanders history. [Newsday]
- Oh, hey:
From @wcbs880 #Chopper880: Workers back on the job as construction resumes on #BelmontParkArena; 06.08.20; #Isles; @NHL; @NYIslanders pic.twitter.com/X6vHZL1ldg— Tom Kaminski (@TomKaminskiWCBS) June 8, 2020