Monday, September 20, 2010

Isles Training Camp: Relying on Others

Oh how the drive to work in the morning right now irritates me. No, it's not just the endless traffic on the Oakdale merge but the fact that my car wants nothing more than to head straight to the Coliseum where Islanders training camp has now moved.

But alas, something has to pay the bills and it is not my hockey musings. So today, while others were present at camp, I relied on Twitter to find out what was going on.

The Islanders Dyan LeBourdias has an excellent article on Jack Hillen on their main website.

When I was there at camp this weekend, Newsday's Katie Strang and I couldn't help but comment on Jack's skating ability. She called it "efficient" while I just think it's mind blowing. But along with Jacks skating, he told me in April that he really wanted to work on his shot. So I had Dyan ask him how he progressed over the summer with his quest of getting to 120 shots instead of last year's 80.

“Yeah, I tinkered with a lot of different sticks and flexes and kick points and lengths, so I think I’ve settled on a good flex. I was working on different things, so I feel like I have made some progress.” – Jack Hillen

Hillen may have gone undrafted, but he will not go unnoticed. Not by a long-shot.

A minor deal was made out of Rick DiPietro taking a day off today and now having scheduled third days off from his routine. I don't know why this is getting so much conversation. Oh, wait. I take that back. It's because it is Rick. In all honesty, I think it's a brilliant idea. First of all, if you let him, Rick would probably never take a day off unless he was told to. If they want to have DiPietro around for the entire season, I don't mind them giving him some breathing room.

John Tavares turned 20 at the rink. I'm disappointed there were no Shakey Pie-in-the-face videos on ITV as there were when Ricky celebrated his birthday one year in at camp in Moncton. While still not of "legal age," John certainly no longer looks like a kid. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised to see what he can accomplish this season.

Katie Strang reports that the Islanders have been discussing an entry level contract with Nino Niederreiter's Swiss agent, who has been ever present. I'm certain he wants to get something done as quickly as possible, but the Islanders will sign Nino when they are ready. (Which will probably be soon.)

Tomorrow is Islanders Media Day. I was wondering if there would be any sort of press conference this season as they didn't have one for free agency signings or after the draft. So this will be the one big camera & microphone free for all.

I am curious to find out if Mark Eaton or Zenon Konopka will be there tomorrow and when they will be able to participate in camp.

Training camp is always where chemistry is built and to have new players not be able to participate certainly has to be a detriment. But, that is Scott Gordon's problem I suppose.

Please don't forget about the Blue & Orange Scrimmage game on Saturday morning at 11 am at the Coliseum. If the Bruins can pack their arena with almost 15,000 on a Thursday night, we have to come out strong and show them that Hockey is alive and well on Long Island. Tickets are only $10 and will benefit the Islanders Children's Foundation.

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