Islanders kick off camp with plenty of optimism and one goal in mind
The Islanders opened training camp today with plenty to look forward to in 2021-22.
They’ve added a couple of all-stars, have a new arena and renewed Stanley Cup dreams.
The Isles knocked on the Stanley Cup door two seasons ago and knocked even louder last season, falling within one game of the Finals.
Now, the time has arrived to start that climb all over again.
“Two long runs, being where we were and having the chance we had, you almost look ahead a little bit you have to kind of reel it back in,” Brock Nelson said.
The Isles return mostly the same core that went on those runs. They added 37-year-old Zach Parise, and a slightly bigger addition -- 6-foot-9 to be exact -- in former Islander, 44-year-old Zdeno Chara.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Everything old is new again..<br>Time to party like it’s 1996!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Isles?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Isles</a> <a href="https://t.co/mTVOgUlCVm">pic.twitter.com/mTVOgUlCVm</a></p>— jamie stuart (@N12jamiestuart) <a href="https://twitter.com/N12jamiestuart/status/1441040027388022785?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 23, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
“We were pretty excited when we saw that signing couple of guys,” Nelson added. “If he didn't sign here, they were hoping he retired. He's obviously had a great career. Guys have played and battle with him.”
“A guy who's been through everything in this league guy and who has been in this league before I was born,” said Mathew Barzal.
The Islanders also had a welcome sight at practice with the return of captain Anders Lee. Lee is fully recovered from torn ACL, but not over missing out on last year's playoff run.
“It was really hard to not be able to be on the ice with your team and the boys the way they played on the ice was inspiring for me and what i was going through,” said Lee.
This season marks Barry Trotz's fourth year at the helm, and there's no mistaking what the Islanders are thinking.
“We're looking at ways to continue to climb up that mountain so hopefully one day can lift the Cup over our heads,” he said.
The Islanders play the Rangers in their first preseason game Sunday at the Garden. The first game that counts is Oct. 13.