Casey Cizikas’ dedication and perseverance certainly was tested last season, between a left leg lacerated by a skate blade and a detached retina in the playoffs.
Yet the sparkplug center returned to play all 56 games, the first time in his career he’s played every game in a season.
Before the Islanders’ 3-2 overtime loss in Boston on Monday, Cizikas was announced as the Islanders’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player that best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey as voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
"Going out there every single night and battling and working, it’s kind of the staple," Cizikas said. "It’s what the Islanders’ identity is."
Cizikas missed 20 games last season and four in the postseason after suffering an eye injury.
Robin Lehner (2019), Mark Fitzpatrick (1992) and Ed Westfall (1977) are the three Islanders who have been awarded the Masterton.
An impending unrestricted free agent, Cizikas said, "Getting a chance to play in the NHL, you never take it for granted because you don’t know when it could end."
Brock Nelson played in his 301st consecutive game, tying Bobby Nystrom for second place on the team’s all-time list. Original Islander Billy Harris is first at 576 games…The Islanders finished 5-2-1 against the Bruins…Matt Martin and Travis Zajac were rested…The organization announced its AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, known as the Sound Tigers, has been rebranded as the Islanders. "I don’t think there’s any question about the commitment we’d like to have with the city and the continuation of this franchise being located in Bridgeport," the team's general manager Chris Lamoriello said…" Former Islanders coach Jack Capuano, now the Senators associate coach, was named Team USA’s coach for the World Championships May 21-June 6 in Latvia.
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