Islanders prospect camp opens this week, and Lighthouse Hockey is posting a series of dispatches from a hopeful young player trying to make the roster this year. The player's name, hometown, position, height and weight will be kept anonymous. So don't bother trying to figure out who it is.
Coach Capuano keeps repeating that this camp is really about preparing us prospects for what life is like in the NHL. I can respect that. But I think bringing in the divorce lawyers, tax lawyers, equipment company reps and moving company CEOs to give us boring talks was a little much.
Today was a weird one since the locker room was off limits. A crew was here putting in a new carpet with a giant Islanders logo in the center. Not stepping on the logo is a big deal in the pros, and instead of fines or punishments, the team decided to plant landmines around the logo, just to make sure no one disrespects it. Like I said, it's a big deal.
The drills we ran on the ice and the training we did off it are really technical. There are lots of steps and about a hundred things to remember all at the same time. It's hard because hockey's always been like a second nature to me. Sometimes at home in REDACTED, I fall asleep in my skates, which makes my mom mad because when I wake up, my sheets are cut to ribbons.
The best thing about camp is meeting all the other prospects. Everybody's from some different far-flung place and getting to know the personalities and playing styles is really cool. Uncle Gord told me to scowl and bark - literally bark, "like a rabid dog" - at everyone so that they would think I was really crazy. But how can you bark at someone when you're out getting Italian Ices and cruising the mall together? He'll call me a wuss, but I'll tell Uncle Gord to suck it.
I swear the Roosevelt Field mall is bigger than all of REDACTED. And the food is better, too. Not one pot of roadkill anywhere inside the mall. Long Island's a lot different than I pictured it, mainly because I had no previous picture of it.
We ended up at the mall because the annual fishing trip that the Islanders usually take their prospects on had to be cancelled this year. Something about the price of boat fuel or the captain getting a ticket for boating under the influence. I'm not a totally sure.
A lot of the guys were bummed about missing the trip. I heard last year, Coach Capuano speared a sand shark, dragged it aboard the boat and ate it while it was still alive.
But I wasn't bummed at all. I've hated fishing ever since that time Uncle Gord left me to die.
We were on our way back to the dock in a little boat on Lake REDACTED when we ran over a shoal. I got out, pushed the boat into the water, and Uncle Gord took off. He left me there standing on that sandbar for a whole hour! I called for him non-stop the entire time. When he finally came back, the water was up to my knees. He said he knew the tide wasn't coming in for a while, so he figured he had time for a few pops at the dockside bar before he had to come get me. Every time he asks if I want to go fishing, I tell him to suck it. Then he just laughs at me.
Thursday night is the big scrimmage, where the Orange and Blue teams square off. We're all hoping to impress the coaches and stand out enough to get a spot on the team. To be honest, I'm nervous. Fans and full-time Islanders will be there, too, watching everything we do. But at least we'll be judged on playing hockey and not fishing.