Haley looks to build on breakout season

Micheal Haley

Friday, 06.24.2011 / 11:40 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Haley looks to build on breakout season
Before he was recalled by the Islanders on Feb. 11, 2011, Islanders forward Micheal Haley had put up 22 points in 50 games with the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Standing out as one of the team’s top performers and leaders, the tough guy showed he had more skill than he’d been given credit for in the past.

Undrafted, Haley played six seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before working through the ranks of the East Coast Hockey League and the AHL. In the two seasons prior to the 2010-11 season, Haley combined for 22 points in 110 games, which he matched in just 50 games with the Sound Tigers last year.

Haley made his NHL debut at the end of the 2009-10 season, but only saw time in two games before the season came to a close. When he was called up for the Islanders and Penguins rematch, Haley didn’t want to let the opportunity escape him.

“It was amazing,” Haley said of his NHL experience. “You’re just excited to be here and in awe, but this year was more that. I wanted to show that I belonged here. Having a first game like that (Feb. 11 Penguins game) helps drastically. I couldn’t have asked for things like that to go a better way.”

Haley scored his first NHL goal that game, but he was also a strong physical presence, coming to the defense of many of his teammates. Haley’s actions won over the packed house quickly and they showed their appreciation by chanting his name, truly giving him a warm welcome to the island.

“You run on the energy they give you, especially for someone who plays like I do, because that’s pretty much all you have,” Haley said of the chanting. “I could still hear them inside the locker room when I was ejected. It gave me goose bumps.”

The immediate fandom helped Haley get up for every game, along with a strong support system and great friends. Haley made his way up to the big club through the minors with Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin.

“Me and Gills (Gillies) got to do pretty much the same things down in the minors and I know what he’s about and what I’m about,” Haley said. “We get along great. As for Marty (Martin), he played in Sarnia (of the OHL) and I left the year before he got there, so we kind of took the same road. He’s one of my best friends, and even in Bridgeport we just knew what the other would do. You might be able to get away from one of us, but you can’t get away from two.”

They could definitely be an intimidating force on the ice. Haley put up 85 penalty minutes in the 27 games he dressed for, tallying two goals and one assist.

Finishing the season on Long Island meant the world to Haley.

“It just makes me hungrier,” Haley said. “Playing in the minors and the way that I do, it’s just in me. I love the game of hockey. I play the way I play because it’s how I was brought up. Now I’ve had a taste (of the NHL) and I don’t want to let it go. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure I don’t.”

Preparing for training camp, Haley plans to eat right and spend a lot of time in the gym and on the ice.

“I need to obviously improve my skating because you can always get faster,” Haley said. “I’ve kind of been good in situations, but I think I can make more of my own situations and don’t always have to wait for the right opportunity. Earlier this year, I started doing stuff on my own, trying to create for myself. As I get more comfortable and establish myself, I think I can do that here.”

Making an appearance at the Islanders Draft Party on Friday night was new for Haley, but something he definitely appreciated.

“I was actually excited to come down here and start thinking about hockey and training,” Haley said. “It’s the first year I’ve really felt this excitement, not only on a personal level to have a whole year here, but to be a part of this team.  The young talent here has proved how good we can be and were just going to get better.”

Take it from one of the most exciting players on the team.

“It’s an exciting time here on Long Island.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 6 2 4 3 6
J. Bailey 6 2 3 2 5
N. Leddy 6 0 5 1 5
R. Strome 6 2 1 1 3
K. Okposo 6 2 1 1 3
C. Clutterbuck 6 2 1 2 3
B. Nelson 5 2 0 1 2
N. Kulemin 6 1 1 0 2
L. Visnovsky 4 0 2 5 2
J. Boychuk 6 0 2 1 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 3 3 1 .926 2.34
M. Neuvirth 0 0 0 1.000 0.00

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