NY Islanders News

Isles assign the “A” to four

By Gary Harding

Although it has not been directly said of when the guys will have the non-scarlet letter ‘A’ sewn onto their sweater, four guys have the distinction of being named as alternate captains for the Islanders this season:

  • John Tavares

  • Brian Rolston

  • Steve Staios

  • Kyle Okposo

Okposo is the lone returning “A” from last season, and he is ready to get the season underway, as he told the media yesterday.  “It’s definitely an honor to be singled out and called upon as a leader in this group, especially with so many veterans on this team.  All the guys who got them are excited.”

Staios, fresh from a training camp invitee, got a one year contract earlier in the week, and now gets something more to show for his hard work.  The 14 year veteran of four teams, is a solid influence on the young club, and will be counted on to provide solid minutes with Captain Mark Streit this season.

“Whether I was going to wear the A this year or not, it wouldn’t have made a difference with the way I approached the season”, said Staios to the media covering the Islanders on Thursday.

Rolston, who has won a cup with the Devils in 1996, is one to be ready to lead by example.  He has done that for the Devils and the Minnesota Wild in the past few seasons, and will be there for his new team this season.

Tavares, heading into the third year of his NHL career, was humbled by the announcement, but is ready to take on the role.  Being the leader in points for his debut two seasons, Tavares knows that he needs to keep that same approach to his game.

“I’ve already been a little more vocal than I was in my first year, just when I feel it’s necessary to speak up or talk to the guys and give my input”, said Tavares.  “Not much is going to change, but I’ll definitely lead by example.”

Four great choices, to give the coaching staff and Captain Mark Streit the help to move the Islanders forward.

Only a day away from the start of the season.  Get the jersey out of storage, get it cleaned and ready to be worn proudly, Islander fans.  Time to start showing the map of our home, and let the NHL know that the Islanders mean BUSINESS this season.