I’m not a “create a 10,000-word blog post out of one throwaway scrum sentence” kind of guy — at least not as much so in my advancing age — but am I alone in raising an eyebrow at Mathew Barzal citing “fresh coaching staff” among his many reasons for wanting to stay on Long Island long term?
It was an interesting point — granted, one of many — in his post-contract-signing press availability (which, as Dan said, belongs in the Islanders Hall of Fame). It will probably give ammo to the Barzal vs. Trotz truthers. At minimum, it’s at least another minor hint that for all of Barry Trotz’s attributes, the grind was starting to grind a little too hard.
I continue to wish Lane Lambert the best. His approach might be a little more aggressive, and I hope his nearly static roster proves good enough to pull that off to good effect.
Anyway, the Islanders have two more preseason games, including tonight at home vs. the Devils. MSG and NHL Network will carry coverage.
- The Isles announced additional training camp roster cuts and Bridgeport assignments. No surprises here, but Jakub Skarek, William Dufour, Simon Holmstrom, Ruslan Iskhakov and Aatu Raty all were assigned to Bridgeport, while the many contenders for the 6th-7th D spots remain, for now. [Newsday | Isles]
- The Islanders regulars are kind of excited to have the camp roster trimmed, so they can focus on bonding with the guys they’ll be “going to war” with. [Isles]
- Ryan Pulock and others echo excitement over Barzal’s long-term commitment: “It started a few years ago, with (Lee and Nelson), guys committing to spend their careers here. When you’re a part of that, and you see that belief we have in here to be successful, guys want to stay here, guys want to win here. The fanbase, everything about it is special.” [Isles]
- It was linked above, but Dan and Mike discuss the Barzal extension (and love), league-wide season previews, and then some. [LHH Islanders Anxiety]
- Poseiden and other legends: The stories behind Varlamov and Sorokin’s latest masks. (Sorokin on featuring Isles legends: “They built this club. It’s respect for the organization.” [Isles]
- Stan Fischler compares Gordie Howe and Matthew Tkachuk, as hell freezes over. [NHL]
- Division news: TJ Oshie leaves with an upper body injury of undisclosed severity. [TSN]
- So you’re saying there’s a chance: Leafs do not rule out robot captain for home opener. [NHL]
- Here’s to hoping for a full, not-pandemic-muddled regular season, and all the excitement that could come with that. [Sportsnet]
- Sonny Milano and Cody Eakin did not impress on their PTOs in Flames camp. [Sportsnet]