Jeremy Colliton would have preferred to have his playing career last until he was 40, but it didn’t work out that way. The Islanders’ 2003 second-round pick retired from professional hockey at 29 because of post-concussion symptoms.
Colliton, 33, named the Blackhawks’ coach on Nov. 6, was back at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night after spending 2005-12 in the Islanders’ organization. He had three goals and three assists in 57 NHL games.
Colliton played with current Islanders Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey during his time with AHL Bridgeport and in the NHL. He retired as the leading scorer in Sound Tigers history with 203 points in 326 games. He also cited former Bridgeport and Islanders coach Jack Capuano as a strong influence on his coaching career.
“Good memories,” Colliton said of returning to the Coliseum. “This is the only organization I was with. It’s fun to be back and they’ve made some changes, so that’s neat.
“I kind of wanted to play until I was 40 and figure it out then,” he added. “I wasn’t ready to be done with hockey. I felt like I had a lot to contribute still.”
Martin said that as Colliton’s teammate, “you could tell he’s a really smart guy. Looking back, it makes a lot of sense he became a coach.”
Notes & quotes: Center Valtteri Filppula (upper body) missed a game for the first time this season but skated on his own on Thursday morning . . . Defenseman Thomas Hickey (injured reserve/upper body) and right wing Jordan Eberle (injured reserve/upper body) also skated on Thursday. Eberle participated in the Islanders’ morning skate . . . Left wing Ross Johnston and defenseman Luca Sbisa were the healthy scratches . . .The Islanders’ first goal in Monday’s 3-1 win at Buffalo has been credited to Leo Komarov instead of Nick Leddy . . . Forward Michael Dal Colle and defenseman Sebastian Aho were named AHL All-Stars for Bridgeport.