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Comeau: "I want to be an impact player"
One of the most interesting storylines to me at the beginning of last season was the organization's decision to send prospect Blake Comeau down to Bridgeport in October. Comeau, who played 51 games with the Islanders in 2007-08, was a young player that many people expected to be a top contributor from the group of kids that had emerged.
At the beginning of last season, however, Comeau was scratched for the first three games and was subsequently sent down to Bridgeport, where he'd play 19 games before returning to the Islanders in December.
With a tough year behind him, here's some thoughts from Comeau on why this year will be different.
How are you feeling now that camp is right around the corner?
"I'm anxious. It felt like a long summer. We were done early, which is obviously not what you want, so I'm really excited to get back into camp."
What are you looking to show head coach Scott Gordon at camp this year?
"I've got to show I can play consistently and physically like a true power forward. I'm not going to just be happy being here, I want to be an impact player."
Were you surprised when you were sent down to Bridgeport at the beginning of last year?
"I don't want to say I was surprised, but I was obviously disappointed. I wanted to be up here all year, but Garth and Scott thought it would be best [to go down to Bridgeport], so I went down with a positive attitude and earned my way back. Now, I'm feeling much more confident."
Why do you think the organization thought it was best for you to play in Bridgeport for the start of the season?
"With Scott's new system I was probably just trying to think too much when it had to just come natural. Once I got sent down, I don't want to say I was nervous, but I was anxious about what was going to happen to me. But then after being down there it helped me relax and learn to play the system."
How difficult was that process for you?
"It was tough. I was so disappointed, but I knew it wasn't the end of the world. I knew it wasn't the end of my NHL career."
Does going through that motivate you for this upcoming season?
"Definitely. And after spending time down there, I know I can't take anything for granted. That's why I feel more excited and confident heading into this year. I know I can't lull through or just go through the motions. I want to show Scott that I don't just want to be here, I want to be an impact player."