Yesterday, the New York Islanders reported to training camp and enjoyed Media Day without ever speaking to the media—the Lou Lamoriello Way, if you will. Instead, they took a bunch of pictures, allowing us our first look at Zach Parise in an Islanders uniform and our first look at Zdeno Chara in this generation of Islanders jerseys.
But today, the players will take the ice and begin actually training for the upcoming season, a season in which they are a sexy Stanley Cup pick. What a time to be alive and an Islanders fan—or in the words of Bode Wilde: “What a world.”
- Training camp notes from Day 1. [Isles Day-to-Day] And some really early lines and pairs:
Some way-too-early lines and D pairs during #Isles Group 1 camp drills:— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) September 23, 2021
Way-too-early lines and D pairs from #Isles camp Group 2:— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) September 23, 2021
- Lamoriello is confident in his talented and vaccinated Islanders. [Newsday]
- Aside from the one unvaccinated player (see below), there were also a few names missing from Day 1:
Matt Martin, Semyon Varlamov and Samuel Bolduc are not on the ice today for the #Isles. Martin still working back from ankle surgery, no word yet on the other two.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) September 23, 2021
- Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck have one singular focus for this season: win the Stanley Cup. [Newsday]
- LISTEN: Andrew Gross elaborates on that a little more in this episode of Island Ice.
- LISTEN: Newly retired Travis Zajac, he of the opening goal in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins, spoke to The Athletic about Lamoriello and his career. [The Athletic]
- PHOTOS: Here are all those pictures I referenced above. The Islanders logo looks tiny on Chara’s large frame. [Islanders]
- The Girls Elite Program, hosted at Northwell Ice Center and joined in part by A.J. Mleczko and Shannon Hogan, helps to empower girls and women through hockey. [Newsday]
- LISTEN: Of course you want to listen to Howie Rose on a podcast; how could you not? In fact, there’s no chance on that one, Howie.
- Lamoriello had mentioned that there was one minor league player that had not been vaccinated, and that player was not welcome at training camp. That player has been confirmed, by the player himself, to be Bode Wilde, who evidently does not understand what a human right is.
#Isles prospect Bode Wilde confirms on Instagram that he is the one player unvaccinated in the organization as GM Lou Lamoriello alluded to yesterday, hence why he’s not at camp pic.twitter.com/P8Lgvvk8bC— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) September 23, 2021
RFA Drama, Resolved and Unresolved
- The Buffalo Sabres gave Rasmus Dahlin a three-year deal with an AAV of $6 million. [Sportsnet]
- And the Los Angeles Kings extended goalie Cal Petersen for three years. [NHL]
- However, both Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes remain unsigned by the Vancouver Canucks. Huge oof there. [Sportsnet]
- Also, Brady Tkachuk has not yet signed with the Ottawa Senators. [Sportsnet]
- But Kirill Kaprizov did sign with the Minnesota Wild. Here’s how it all unfolded, including GM Bill Guerin taking an impromptu trip to South Florida to see Kaprizov and his agent. [The Athletic]
- It has been one of the strangest and most newsworthy offseasons in quite some time. The Wild were among the most bizarre teams in the Western Conference [The Athletic], but the Montreal Canadiens easily took the cake in the Eastern Conference. [The Athletic]
- The Sabres and Jack Eichel remain at loggerheads, with each side preferring a different method of neck surgery. Eichel failed his physical, unsurprisingly, and has also been stripped of the captaincy. What a disaster. [Sportsnet]
- 2014 Isles first-rounder Josh Ho-Sang is at Toronto Maple Leafs camp on a PTO. Maybe they’re the team that can unlock his potential. [The Athletic]
- The players and the league are excited about the new TV deals with ESPN and Turner. [NHL]
- Edmonton Oilers fourth-liner Josh Archibald has refused the vaccine. Mark Spector, with a rare good take, says a player of that caliber is not worth the risk. For what it’s worth, apparent conspiracy theorist Archibald referred to COVID-19 as the “plandemic” in a May 2020 tweet, as shown in this piece. [Sportsnet]
- ...which makes for a nice segway into Marco Rossi, the Wild prospect that missed an entire year due to long COVID-19. After an extremely long and difficult recovery process, he is happy to get back to hockey. But sure, Archie, it’s all a conspiracy. [Sportsnet]
- The Calgary Flames are without a captain for the first time in a while. They should take their time in deciding who can replace Mark Giordano. [Sportsnet]
- The Canucks may have some RFA drama brewing, but at least they have fun hair. [Vancouver Is Awesome]
- Need a new vice? Justin Bourne helps you pick some smart bets for the 2021-22 season. [Sportsnet]
- The NHL and the firm it hired to do it have completed their investigation into the allegations that Evander Kane bet on his own games and found nothing to corroborate it. However, the league announced that Kane is under investigation for other “wrongdoing.” [NHL] While he’s under investigation, he will not be at training camp. [Sportsnet] CONTENT WARNING: The new wrongdoing is likely the allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence made by his estranged wife in a separate court filing. [Front Office Sports]