With real training camp inching closer, the New York Islanders had their annual golf fundraiser Monday that also provided opportunities to hear from some of their leaders for the first time all summer.
Nothing earth-shattering of course, but one question-prompted theme was that there’s at least a little more competition in camp than last year. Theoretically, maybe.
- Bo Horvat, Mat Barzal (with his lovely summer locks freshly Lou-shorn) and Lane Lambert gave the “We’re excited, love the group” sentiments. Barzal: “Confident in this group...we’ve got to make it happen.” Lambert on having two good goalies: “I sleep well.” [Isles]
- Horvat and Barzal hope to rekindle the chemistry we saw for just a few games before Barzal’s injury. [Post]
- Lane Lambert spoke said mostly Lane Lambert things. [THN]
- Scott Mayfield said knowing the Islanders would keep trying to build a contender was a key point in him staying. Also: The long-term deal means “making sure I stay healthy, making sure my body’s always where it needs to be. That does put more pressure on you with term like that. That’s something I take very seriously.” [Post]
- Tristan Lennox is adjusting to trickier shots and angles as he makes the transition from OHL to the pros. He aims to fight for the organization’s “break in case of emergency” goalie spots. [Isles]
- Prepping for his first season in North America, Eetu Liukas is happy to play the more physical N.A. style. [Isles]
- The Andrew Ladd career arc/retirement story you didn’t know you needed. [the50athletes]
- Oh, and at the end of a colorful rundown of his preseason NHL picks, Stan Fischler says he figures we’ll see Zach Parise back by New Year, give or take an injury or a motivation. [THN]
Barzal on Bailey, Parise
“Zach, if you’re watching, get back here.”
#Isles Mathew Barzal will miss being Josh Bailey's teammate: "I've been with Bails since my first day here. He's a friend of mine for life. It's going to suck not seeing him in the room. It's a business and it happens. I'm wishing him the best in whatever happens."— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) September 18, 2023
Alex Romanov: TBD
#Isles GM Lou Lamoriello said that D Alex Romanov may not be ready for camp when we spoke with him last week.— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) September 18, 2023
Lane Lambert had no update on the matter.
Lambert is excited to see Wahlstrom get back out there after his knee injury. Said he's had a great summer.
- Still only 20, Aatu Raty is eager for a second fresh start with the Canucks. [NHL]
- You don’t say: In their eat-crow presser, Blue Jackets leadership admits hiring Mike Babcock was “a mistake.” [NHL | Sportsnet]
- Around the NHL, the list of players looking to hang on via PTOs includes Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows, J-F Berube(!) and Cory Conacher. [NHL]
- At age 37, Ryan Reaves does what he’s done in numerous previous stops, talking up how he’s going to defend teammates and add grit and all that stuff (before he inevitably gets scratched a lot, and then the team buries/moves him because such stuff is a luxury in a cap world). [Sportsnet]