New York Islanders forward Anders Lee didn’t hold back when asked about the team’s prospects heading into the 2017-18 season.
A recent guest on the NHL Network, 34-goal scorer Anders Lee was brutally honest when asked about his thought process as he heads into his sixth season with the New York Islanders.
“We’ve got a lot of guys, some guys on the defensive side are going to have to step up,” Lee remarked to Ken Daneyko, who asked which players were poised to have a big year.
“We lost a big guy in Travis Hamonic, and that gives a spot for [Adam] Pelech or [Ryan] Pulock to step in and hopefully if Pulock can light a few bombs from the point go we can be alright as long as they don’t hit one of us on the way in.”
Lee also called out longtime teammate Brock Nelson.
“You look at guys like Brock Nelson who scored 20 the last three seasons, he can push 30 and 35 if he really just gets things going. I’ve been skating with him all summer and things look good from his side.”
Lee’s comments on Nelson reverberate around the fanbase, as he’s often criticized for not giving 100% most nights. If Lee can impart anything on Nelson, it would hopefully be a stronger work ethic on and off the ice.
It seems that it’s not just fans that are clamoring for Pulock to be a mainstay on the Islanders roster. Lee has definitely taken note of the defenseman’s power play ability. Not calling him up sooner in 2016-17 was ultimately a decision that helped destroy the Islanders playoff chances. You can’t succeed with a power play that ranks 28th in the NHL.
John Tavares‘ Contract Situation
Lee wasn’t willing to get into captain John Tavares’ contract situation, ultimately brushing off and dismissing any questions surrounding No. 91’s long-term future. All he’d say was that taking his time on a new deal wasn’t out of character, and likely hinged on the team’s future plans for an arena.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano continues to push for an Islanders return to the Nassau Coliseum, despite team owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin seemingly focused on building a new arena at Belmont. pushing for a new arena at Belmont.
“I’m with the Long Island Association in believing that two stadiums so close to each other would hurt both facilities,” Mangano told Newsday‘s Joye Brown.
A brand new “from the ground up” arena at Belmont would annihilate the $165 million renovation the Coliseum received, as it was nothing more than a really expensive band aid.
Training camp is right around the corner, and pivotal players from last season’s roster, along with some youngsters, look ready to help the Islanders make the jump as they prepare for a turning point in the franchise’s history.