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Q&A with Michael Grabner

NewYorkIslanders.com caught up with the Austrian winger for a summer update.

Friday, 08.22.2014 / 9:25 AM / News
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Q&A with Michael Grabner
NewYorkIslanders.com caught up with the Austrian winger for a summer update.

After spending much of the summer abroad, Michael Grabner is stateside in preparation for the upcoming 2014-15 NHL season. It’s not easy to catch one of the fastest players in the league, but newyorkislanders.com tracked down the fan favorite and asked him about Austrian summers, offseason training and if he's added to his favorite "hobby."

NewYorkIslanders.com: How was your summer?

Michael Grabner: I went back home (Austria) a couple weeks after the season ended for almost three months. I trained there, started skating there a month ago and I was enjoying my time with family and friends. It was good overall except the weather wasn’t nice this year. We didn’t get too many sunny days, but it was good for training because you just wanted to go to the gym instead of sit around at home.

NYI: Tell me more about the training. You look like you’ve gotten bigger.

MG: The coaches wanted all of us to get a little bit bigger and stronger. Obviously we’re a fast team, but we want to be more physical and a stronger team, so we don’t get pushed around. I tried to focus on that in the beginning of the summer. I put on a few pounds, but my body fat is still low. I put on ‘good weight’ so I’m not getting fat. I always drop some weight during the season and during training camp to. I don’t expect to be the exact same weight I am now, but a few more pounds will hopefully help me during one-on-one battles. I don’t think it should affect my speed too much, it’s not like I gained 40 pounds.

Now that we’re back on the ice, it’s time to get into game shape and obviously try to work on some moves and my hands.

NYI: Have you worked on developing a couple of go-to moves for breakaways?

MG: It’s different in a game situation than in a shootout. In a game situation, it first depends on which angle you’re coming in on the goalie. You don’t always get to decide which way you’re coming in and then you have to read off the goalie. Obviously you try to have a couple of moves in mind, your go-to moves, but I’m definitely trying some new stuff and I’m going to stick with it and see how it works this year. I want to score more goals than last year.

NYI: The team was pretty busy this offseason adding new pieces like Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin. How do you feel about the summer moves?

MG: It’s been good. I think we got stronger in the positions that we picked guys up. It gives us a little more variety and more versatility to move lines and shift players around if things aren’t working. It’ll be exciting to see how the new guys mesh with the team coming into training camp. I haven’t heard anything bad about these guys, so it shouldn’t be too hard to come in and get used to our group. We’re a young team and pretty open and usually make new guys feel right at home. It’s getting pretty close to camp and I can’t wait to see the guys again and get back to New York and start the season.

NYI: Any new ink to unveil when you return?

MG: Yeah I got a couple of tattoos. I have a new saying on my ribs and a new tattoo on my stomach. The one on my lower stomach is a piece of the Olympic rings and I have four aces – the ace of spades, ace of hearts, ace of diamonds and ace of clubs – because they are game pieces and because life is a game.

I would have liked to done some more, but I didn’t have time with all of the travelling and stuff. We’ll see, maybe a few more in the next couple of weeks, but if not, I’ll wait till the end of next year.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 64 30 35 4 65
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 64 14 27 22 41
B. Nelson 64 17 19 7 36
F. Nielsen 64 11 25 12 36
A. Lee 58 20 13 13 33
J. Bailey 52 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 54 7 23 16 30
N. Leddy 64 8 18 15 26
T. Hamonic 54 4 21 15 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 33 13 0 .911 2.46
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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