Saturday, May 14, 2011

Grabner Signing a Big Success!

The line was huge as expected at the Isles Team Store in Massapequa today. But this time, the staff was prepared. It ran like clockwork. Approximately 200 fans were in and out of the store in an orderly fashion.

When I arrived late in the time frame after our IslesMiniTweetUp, the line at the register was 15 deep. Grabner signed the last few autographs and then spoke with me for a few minutes.

With his dog in his lap, his beautiful girlfriend by his side and his precious baby sleeping in his stroller, this was a picture perfect Islander family. Grabner is always low key when questioned. But you can tell when he breaks into his sly smile how happy he really is.

He said the new contract deal went very quickly. I wondered if it was something they knew about, but kept secret for awhile. Not a chance. When I asked him how long he know about the deal he told me "Not long. It got done quick. Maybe the day before I signed it." Then he thought aloud, "Maybe even the SAME day. It happened so quick."

Of course it did. Garth Snow knew exactly what he wanted for Michael Grabner. As he told me, it was fair to both sides.

I asked Michael if there was anything he'd like to see in the new arena should it be approved and he didn't have any special requests, he was just happy for the fans who have waited so long for news on the site and is happy he'll be here to share in the excitement and hopefully a long playoff run.

He still feels that staying healthy will be the key component to making this team a playoff contender. "Injuries happen, but I've never seen injuries happen THAT much. But the last few months we played some solid hockey." So with the young core in tact, if they stay healthy, we'll see how far they can go.

Grabner never thought he'd be in this position at only 23 after leaving camp in Florida. When I asked him if he ever thought he'd be in this position so soon after that he chuckled a little. "No. Not really. I just tried to make a team and play my role. Do whatever the coaches asked me and limit my expectations."

This has been a banner year for Michael Grabner who ended the season with more goals than Ilya Kovalchuk. And I don't think Kovy's got a tee-shirt quite as interesting as this one that people would stand on line for two hours waiting to get.

And since they were having a one day, 40% off sale, I bought myself this one for the Americana holidays this summer.

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