Rookie camp is underway on Long Island, as Scott Gordon and his coaches take up the first task of their 2010-2011 NHL season. Specifically, it's the task of evaluating and teaching some of the heralded young talent that General Manager Garth Snow has stockpiled for the team over the last few seasons.
Gordon, who shared some post-skate thoughts with the few of us in attendance, said that this week is about giving the rookies a chance to display their talents. "Every player has his own special abilities and it's important that they show those," the coach declared. He went on to say that he wasn't overly concerned with this group's mistakes, realizing that they are inexperienced and aren't really expected to perform as a team.
"An opportunity is put in front of them. What they do with it ultimately rests in their hands." He summarized his role nicely, saying, "As a coach you try to teach; your objective is to give the players a game plan that allows them to be successful. Along the way you try to have a little fun with it."
I'm not sure if the players would agree with that last sentiment, though, as we saw a few instances of Gordon taking players to task on the ice. Kirill Kabanov's Day 1 tardiness earned him some extra sprint skating after the session, and more than a few times Gordon halted drills with his whistle to correct players on their positioning.
While we didn't recognize all of the names on the ice, we did all keep our eyes glued to Calvin DeHaan, goalie Mikko Koskinen, Travis Hamonic, Nino Niederreiter, and the aforementioned Kabanov, who sported a bright orange sweater.
We are also happy to report that Calvin DeHaan said he is fully recovered from last season's injury, and is undeterred by the defensive logjam ahead of him on the Islanders depth chart. He mentioned that he has been working on his strength and conditioning with coach Jesse Demers for the last four weeks. DeHaan will be heading to Boston tomorrow when the Isles' prospects play a game against their Bruins counterparts at the TD Garden.
Stay with us for more camp news and views later this week.
Scott Gordon, (Bridgeport head coach) Jack Capuano, and the Isles coaching staff impart their wisdom upon the youngsters.