Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.
Injury, World Championship updates, other odds and ends
Al Montoya's successful stint with the Islanders garnered attention and accolades beyond the reaches of the organization.
The 26-year-old goaltender has been tapped to represent Team USA as part of this months World Championships in Slovakia, an honor he seemed really excited about.
-John Tavares said he would really like to go back after playing for Team Canada last summer and plans on doing so; he hopes to have that settled over the next couple of days.
--Radek Martinek will play for the Czech Republic pretty close to home. The tournament is about 3 hours away from his hometown.
--Michael Grabner (Austria), Frans Nielsen (Denmark), Kyle Okposo (USA) and Jack Hillen, have all elected to forego participation this year. Injuries are the primary reasons, but for a few, contracts and new babies in the family also factored into the decision-making process.
-Frans Nielsen (concussion) said he doesn't think his head injury is a serious concern, but he is still experiencing some headaches while riding the bike.
-Andrew MacDonald is still recovering from hip surgery, attending physical therapy twice a day every day but expects to be 100 per cent by September.
-Same goes for Mark Eaton, who said he is at the 12-week point of a 16-week recovery timetable.
--Bruno Gervais is now out of the boot and walking better after taking Dan Carcillo's shot to his instep toward the end of the season.
--Jack Hillen said he should know more about the severity of his shoulder injury in the next few days, He hopes rest is the solution, but has not ruled out surgery.
--Remarkably, Zenon Konopka will not require surgery on the string of ailments he battled through to play every game this season. Docs told him 8 weeks rest should do it.
--Considering the uncanny amount of injuries the Islanders suffered this season, it is a considerable feat that Matt Moulson has played every game over the last two seasons. He said he may be more proud of that than any of the goals he tallied over the year.
-Konopka said he would like to re-sign and return for next year. Although nothing has been resolved of late, he's optimistic it will get done. In the meantime, he'll head back to his hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake with full custody of his pet bunny, Hoppy. Roommate PA Parenteau will receive visiting rights and that may include a few jaunts to Quebec. "Hoppy loves road trips." Konopka said.
-Crucial core members Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau are restricted free agents. Deals for those three are now a point of emphasis for the organization this summer.
-Okposo sounded really disappointed with the detour his season took with a preseason shoulder injury. Asked if he felt he ever hit his stride, he answered frankly.
"No. I don't think I played the way I was capable of playing."
Big off-season for him. Expect him to come into training camp pretty hungry.
--Captain Doug Weight said he'll take another 3-5 weeks to mull over his future plans but is still leaning toward retirement. Said being behind the bench was great, but somewhat painful because he wasn't far enough removed from the game to not still miss it.
--DiPietro feigned confusion when asked about the competition among three goalies heading into camp next year. "Who are we talking about?"
Didn't seem to appreciate any line of questioning that dealt with him fighting for his place on the depth chart next season.
--Weight has some very strong words on the recent officiating. Said he got a better idea of what was going on when he was behind the bench. Said it really irked him and that he felt that there was a "bias" against the team. Said it was clear the games were not important ones to the Islanders in the officials minds. More on that later....