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The Islanders welcomed members of the media to the Coliseum yesterday to meet the organization

Wednesday, 09.22.2010 / 3:20 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Media Day was a huge success for the Islanders. Not only did the Long Island hockey team announce the signing of their fifth overall draft pick Nino Niederreiter, they had a large showing of local, national and international media present on the fourth day of Islanders Training Camp.

Hosting Media Day is a big indication that the 2010-11 hockey season has begun because it guarantees members of the media access to all the players as well as the Islanders owner Charles Wang, Head Coach Scott Gordon and General Manager Garth Snow.

With more than 40 members of the media present at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the final two days of summer, the Islanders received a warm welcome to kick off the hockey season.

“It was good,” Gordon said about Media Day. “I thought it was a good way to kind of start the year here in New York and Training Camp, get everybody under one roof and fire away the questions.”

Inside the newly renovated Islanders locker room, the second group of Islanders players took off their skates and got out of their gear while the media flocked in to begin their interviews. On top of the list was the Islanders newest signed player Nino Niederreiter, 2009 first overall draft pick John Tavares and veteran goaltender Rick DiPietro.

“This many people for one person, it’s pretty fun to see and I’m just enjoying the moment. I hope (Rick) DiPietro can breathe after a while,” Islanders rookie forward Justin DiBenedetto said with a laugh as he watched the media swarm around Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro.

It was good,” Gordon said about Media Day. “I thought it was a good way to kind of start the year here in New York and Training Camp, get everybody under one roof and fire away the questions. - Scott Gordon
Shining lights, camera’s flashing, video cameras rolling, audio recorders and microphones recording. More than 20 members of the media stood, scrunched and pushed their way closer to the front of the scrum.

“I had a lot of media crowd at the World Juniors a little bit, but not close to as much as (Rick) DiPietro has right now,” Niederreiter said. “But I think it’s good for him.”

DiPietro dismissed the rookies’ notion of being the top story. “This is the most media I’ve ever seen here. (It’s all because of) JT (John Tavares). They all flock to see JT,” DiPietro joked.

When pointed out that there was a pretty large media scrum in front of him just moments before, the goaltender said, “Well that’s because I’m a story now because  I’m coming back from an injury.”

But really, the goaltender was happy to see such a great turnout.

“This is nice,” DiPietro said. “It’s nice to have a buzz around the team, especially coming off a difficult season. Everyone is pretty optimistic. I don’t think we have as much media circus as the Jets do right now, but it’s nice to have a little bit.”

The goaltender has had a rough couple of seasons plagued by injury and this is the first time in three years that he is healthy and expected to start off the season, so it’s no surprise that the veteran is happy to be back and ready to play some hockey.

“I can’t wait (for the season),” DiPietro said. “It goes without saying. I can’t wait for the first exhibition game. So it’s a great opportunity for us. I think we have a great chance to do some really positive things this season.”




J. Tavares 78 33 37 6 70
K. Okposo 79 22 42 -4 64
F. Nielsen 81 20 32 1 52
B. Nelson 81 26 14 -3 40
N. Leddy 81 5 35 -9 40
A. Lee 80 15 21 -2 36
J. Bailey 81 12 20 -7 32
C. Cizikas 80 8 21 4 29
R. Strome 71 8 20 -9 28
M. Grabovski 58 9 16 3 25
T. Greiss 23 11 4 .925 2.36
J. Halak 18 13 4 .919 2.30
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