Sunday, July 12, 2009

On and Off Ice Comments

Another one of my friends went to the prcatice and sent these comments:


Got a last minute invite to todays closed Prospects Camp @ Iceworks and met a few fellow fans there...

We arrived too late for the 10:30 group, but made it in time to see Tavares for the first time in an Isles uniform.

- Wrecker and MadDonald had a few one on one scrimages, and Wrecker held his own in the skating department. Now, I'm not sure if it was because MacDonald is severely lacking in the skating dept, or if Wrecker has improved there - but he seemed to look a tad more graceful out there than at the end of the season. If he can improve in that area and work with Cairnsy some more on his fisticuffs - perhaps our friend Pats favorite Islander of the 21st century will be a keeper (of course adding some lead to that chin won't hurt either).

- Martin? looked pretty fluid out there for a "bigger guy".

- One of the goalies NOT drafted this year looked pretty good. Our goalies drafted in the 2nd and 3rd round this year were on the ice with the first group - so nothing to report there.

- Some kid named Tavares looked to have some pretty decent hockey talent. He might be someone to keep an eye on. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me to see him on the opening day roster.

We came prepared with things for the players to sign - sticks, jerseys, miniature Stanley Cups, etc.

Bailey was our first "victim", as he was already done with his skate for the day. Seems like a real nice kid - well spoken, very cordial, and apparently great with the fans. Hearing him speak - he doesn't act like he's got a roster spot locked up because of some sort of "entitlement", which was nice to hear. I'm looking forward to him feeding Okposo, along with Taylor Hall feeding Tavares - for many years to come! :)

Up next at the BBQ were a bunch of kids - most of whom have only a slightly better chance than Doug and I in suiting up for the Isles next season. I'm not sure if its an organizational deficiency, or the players are starting to trend back towards the smaller side - but the majority of these kids were under 5'10. Heres hoping they're all working on their college degrees to have something to fall back on!

Corey Trevino then came out for a bit - at first he was fairly unnoticed by most of the fans. Colin Wilson is gone from BU (not sure if he graduated or is just sticking with Nashville), so Trevino should see much more ice-time this season. The Isles list him @ 6'1, but they must have measured this kid with his skates on, because he's small. However, like Bailey - this kid seems to have his head on straight and was a pleasure to speak with.

Then, when things were breaking up - that Tavares guy came out and started signing things for the fans. Now this is obviously only my first "in person" impression of him - but the first wasn't one I want to remember. Getting straight to the point - he acted like a spoiled brat this afternoon to the fans who waited in some cases HOURS to get the chance to meet him. Obviously, he gets the benefit of the doubt - with all the public craziness he's endured throughout the last few weeks and months.

And while not wanting to blame the Isles for his "bratty" behavior today (shouldn't he be used to it by now, AND expect it?) - it may be deserved. This kids 18 years old, and has had HUGE expectations placed on his shoulders. While its nice to market this kid and strike while the irons hot - lets take baby steps here and NOT make this kid feel like he HAS to become the next Michael Bossy in his first season. Perhaps keeping ALL the players away from these direct "meet and greets" (to sell more tickets) after their skates should be the course of action, so they can ALL concentrate on what their really there for - and thats NOT to sell tickets!

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