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Islanders News: Veterans want to stay, J-G Pageau injuries, Cizikas’ future

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Also: What areas do the Isles address to get to the next step?

New York Islanders v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Seven
Hoping it’s not the last we see of 53...
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

It’s Monday, the Stanley Cup final begins tonight, and it still stings — more than any time I can recall — that the Islanders won’t be there.

My family was on a multi-generation, multi-branch vacation for the last four games, so we caught Games 4-7 in unfamiliar places. But we had each other, we had my nephews pulling for “Uncle Dominik’s team,” and last night I had my daughter tell me the one bad thing about her vacation was “the Islanders didn’t win.”

I told her they did win twice on our trip, providing two wonderful memories, but yeah. I feel it. A team that limped into the playoffs made me a believer. And even more than belief — I wanted it for them. And for the fans. After receiving consolation from family members Friday night I told them I feel worse for the players and fellow fans. Then we arrived home last night and I found my son’s homemade “go ilinderse!” [sic] sign he made for this playoff run, lying by the TV.

Sports always leaves a weird emotional mark, but this one is going to last. I’m still processing it. Ultimately I know it was a spring of memories to never forget, so I hope that outlasts the disappointment.

Steve and I already mentioned it in our weekend posts, as did Dan in the Islanders Anxiety intro, but it bears repeating here: Thanks for sharing the ride with us.

Islanders News

  • Speaking of all that, no one really says it better than Mike and Dan, processing their post-season thoughts in our Islanders Anxiety podcast. [LHH]
  • But hear it straight from the guys on breakup day: [Barry Trotz video | Anders Lee and Mat Barzal video]
  • Kyle Palmieri loved his time her and would love to stay, as would the other vets and additions. “Even if it’s for that short bit, I’ll remember it forever.” [Newsday]
  • Beyond the late additions though, the Islanders overall roster stability is about to be challenged thanks to cap pressures. [Post]
  • Arthur Staple also tries to parse some of the final interviews, including confirmation from other sources that J-G Pageau was banged up and may need surgery. It seems Pageau’s injuries were a factor in keeping Travis Zajac in the lineup. Also some heartfelt praise from Varly and Clutterbuck about the fans who made the Coliseum what it was. [Athletic]
  • On that note, the Islanders felt the love at the Coliseum after playing last postseason in the bubble and much of this pandemic season in front of no fans. [Isles]
  • Five questions facing the Isles this offseason. [Newsday]
  • Larry Brooks on weaknesses the Isles need to improve. He targets Jordan Eberle, the Komarov and Wahlstrom (over Zajac even after Wahlstrom was ready to return) decisions, and calls Casey Cizikas an “expected loss” in free agency. He also quotes Denis Potvin raving about Mat Barzal. [Post]
  • Cizikas wasn’t ready to discuss his future, but his coach and teammates sung his praises, of course. [Newsday]
  • Anders Lee, who skated during practices over the last round or so, says he’ll be ready when training camp opens. [Newsday]
  • Finally allowed to speak now that the season’s over, Lee reflected on life as the injured captain: “It’s a really tough thing to have to kind of deal with in a year where we’ve been building for this thing for a long time.” [Post]
  • Compton on Lee, the unsigned vets, and what’s next. [NHL]
  • Neil Best: The new arena has a lot to live up to after another wonderful Coliseum ride. [Newsday]

Elsewhere

This is the spot where we share links and news from other teams and spots around the league or hockey in general, but for today at least, I just can’t be bothered with any other team. Feel free to share other news in comments as always to fill in what I’ve left out.

The Cup final Game 1 starts tonight, and ... I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. Normally I watch every year, but last summer I recall I didn’t watch much of the Lightning-Stars (I was also in the middle of work/pandemic hell, but still...I think the conference final hangover was part of it).

Anyway, we’ll see how this week goes. I don’t want either franchise to win.