The memory of getting that fateful phone call that he had been traded to the Islanders--which came four hours after avoiding arbitration and signing a deal with Anaheim and four days after returning from his honeymoon--is still fresh in defenseman James Wisniewski's mind three months later.
Now with a new role and a new team, Wisniewski will face his former team for the first time since the Islanders acquired him for a third-round pick this August.
And yes, that does serve as some extra motivation for him tonight:
"Absolutely," he said. "You always want to show them what they're missing. That's the best part about it. You get to go back and prove what you're worth"
"I spent a year and a half here and it was a good year and a half," Wisniewski said after the Islanders morning skate. "It jump-started my hockey career and it will be fun playing against them."
Although Wisniewski logged plenty of minutes and finished with a career-high 30 points last season, he understands the Islanders have given him more of an opportunity to flourish, especially on the power play.
The 26-year-old Canton, Michigan native is tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in scoring with 12 points, 11 of which have come on the power play.
"You can't pressure somebody or make them see what you see in yourself," he said. " If they see you as a certain player they're not wrong its just how they look a you. The Islanders see me as a different player, so hopefully it works out for both teams."
Zenon Konopka, who took a Chris Pronger shot to the foot Saturday against Philadelphia, skated again with the team today.
Coach Scott Gordon said he will "probably" play tonight.
Asked how he feels, Konopka replied: "Good enough"
Dwayne Roloson was the first goaltender off the ice this morning. If he gets the nod tonight--and it appears he will-- that will make it his third straight start.