Top Shelf : Islanders Daily 7/28/2013


Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

As another slow day passes us by here in the summer wasteland that is the National Hockey League, there are several non Islanders news pieces that Top Shelf would like to focus on today.

You might be wondering why the picture of Josh Harding is sitting to the left of your computer screen as you peruse our daily piece while sipping a nice hot cup of java and maybe some breakfast this Sunday.

As many know, Josh was miraculous in resuming his NHL career and appearing in the Wild’s first round playoff defeat at the hands of the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks. Why was he so miraculous? He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a dangerous disease that damages the insulating covers of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, in October 2012 but would not let that deter him from continuing his life long dream. Currently it affects 2.1 million people worldwide.

Now with almost all athletes, especially hockey players, they take their role as prominent sports figures very seriously and know that they are not only role models to some but could be pillars of society and help out various causes, especially those that are nearest and dearest to them and their families.

When Josh could not find enough information to educate even himself on the disease doctors told him he had, he started the charity, ‘Harding’s hope’ to increase education and understanding of this potentially debilitating affliction.

"There is a poor perception of people diagnosed with MS. People immediately think wheelchair and death and I want to be a role model for others diagnosed with MS by showing that this will not come between me and my goals."

Here is the link to the website of Josh’s charity and I hope that you all will consider donating. Even if it is $5, nothing is too small in the attempt to find a cure.

In other quick hits, Colby Armstrong is leaving Montreal and will continue his hockey career in Sweden and quirky bear chasing, vodka drinking goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has finally received an offer to continue his playing days, although it came from a team outside of the National Hockey League. Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks will meet with doctors this week to check the progress of the shoulder he injured in the finals and Ales Hemsky is still very much on the block for the Edmonton Oilers but his salary and injury history are proving problematic to move.

Coming up later in the week at Eyes, we have a very special Q&A interview to bring you. Great friend to the site, Newsday Isles beat writer Art Staple took our questions and gave us insight into the working of the Isles and his career as a journalist. We are also working on another great piece for August involving a beloved former Islanders enforcer and the outstanding charity work he continues to this day on Long Island. Stay tuned.

In Case You Missed It

Two Minutes For Tweeting

  • Well, at least there is something on this Sunday morning at the end of  July. Happy birthday to the Isles general manager, who has done a great job rebuilding this franchise and setting us up for future success.
  •   Ryan Whitney? The made of glass defenseman of the Edmonton Oilers? Great character and funny as heck on Twitter but not what the Isles need in my honest opinion. 
  • Staff writer Triantafilis with a gem….When I read this, I punched my dog in the face (a kid just seemed way too severe) – And I am joking before someone actually thinks of calling the pooch patrol down on my front door. ?
  •  Nik Backstrom could very well be challenging his inner Nicholas Cage as one of the worst actors of my generation. Could they possibly have gotten anyone less engaging and more bland than the Capitals centerman? I actually do whatever there is to do in the house when this comes on. Scrub toilets, change the sheets on my bed…..:)
  •  Given that I am in closer proximity to the Rock than the Nassau Coliseum, I most likely will be on hand for opening night. When the Isles move to Barclays, much closer to not only my home but my work location in NYC, season tickets are in order. 

-AG (@tazman19)