FACEOFF: TOM POTI
By Jason Lockhart
(Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) A series of sit-downs with new members of the Islanders at training camp in Yarmouth.
Tom Poti was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 22, 1977. While playing for Boston University, Tom starred on defense and helped lead the Terriers to a NCAA National Championship in 1997. Tom was drafted in the third round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers and earned a spot on the NHL All-Rookie team following the 1998-99 season.
The Poti File:
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite non-North American city: Paris
Favorite TV Show: Simpsons
NHL team growing up: Boston Bruins
Favorite NHL player growing up: Ray Bourque
Favorite Book: Da Vinci Code
Sport (other than hockey)? Golf
Favorite arena outside Long Island: TD Bank North Gardens in Boston
Green Day or Eminem? Eminem
Favorite Board Game: Monopoly
Mets or Yankees? Yankees
Favorite Food: Pancakes
Favorite Movie: "Slap Shot"
Jets or Giants? Giants
Favorite Car: Dodge Viper
Like the color orange? Yes
What actor would play you in a movie? Kevin Costner
Favorite Brand of Skates: CCM
Favorite Brand of Hockey Stick: Easton
If you could have dinner with two people who would they be? George W. Bush and Tiger Woods
Favorite former Islander: Bryan Trottier
Favorite thing about Yarmouth, Nova Scotia: The people
Favorite Superpower: Invisibility
If you didn't play hockey, what would you be? Police Officer/Firefighter (anything that helps people)
What event in history would you like to have been a part of? Live in the Wild West
On going from the Rangers to the Islanders:
"It's interesting going from the Rangers to the Islanders. I'm not the first guy to do it. There have been quite a few in the past, so it's like anything else you just change teams and look forward to playing with your new teammates and forget about your old ones. There are a couple guys on the Islanders now that used to play with the Rangers, but they say it's not too crazy going from one to the next.
On the Rangers-Islanders rivalry:
"The Rangers-Islanders games are a lot of fun. You look at the schedule and circle those games because there's a playoff type atmosphere. It's something I look forward to."
On the best leader he's played with:
"(Mark) Messier was the best leader I played with in the NHL. He's down in the record books as one of the best leaders. It was pretty special to play with him for parts of three years. It's something you can tell your grandkids. He taught me how to be a professional every day, love the game and be fortunate that you can come to the rink every day and play hockey. He always had a smile on his face. I don't think I ever saw Mess in a bad mood; he was just loving every day."
On playing under Ted Nolan:
"It's been really good so far working under Ted. I didn't really know too much about him coming into camp. He seems like a good, honest guy and if you go out and work hard you'll get your ice time and that's all you can ask for in a coach."
On the new Islanders defense corps:
"So far it's hard to say what it's like, having so many new defensemen. I'm one of those new guys so I don't know the ins and outs of the organization, but it's a good core group of guys and they've welcomed us all really well. It should be a good year."
On being paired with Sean Hill on defense at training camp:
"It's been good playing with (Sean) Hill. He's an experienced guy who's been around the league a long time, so it's easy to play with a guy like that. It's too early though to read much into the defense pairings at camp."
A self scouting report:
"I'm a good puck moving defenseman that plays a lot of offense and jumps into the rush. But I make sure I take care of my defensive zone first."
On first picking up hockey:
"I was probably seven or eight years old when I first played hockey. My parents put me into a "learn to skate" program and I fell in love with the game."
On his most influential coach:
"My high school coach Steve Jacobs at Cushing Academy was probably the best coach I ever had. He was like a best friend, not just a coach. I really developed under him and pushed me to become a better player."