Anders Lee loses bet to Mathew Barzal at NY Islanders Stadium Series practice

Islanders Stadium Series: Mat Barzal Doesn't Believe Anders Lee
Islanders Stadium Series: Mat Barzal Doesn't Believe Anders Lee / nyislanders

Boys will be boys.

You give a hockey team idle time before practice at an NFL stadium and you can expect some hijinks and good fun. We all know New York Islanders captain Anders Lee could’ve chosen a different path. After being named 2008 Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year, he could’ve pursued a collegiate football career as a quarterback.

He chose hockey and the University of Notre Dame, which has worked out quite nicely for him.

Lee was in his perfect element at Thursday's practice at MetLife Stadium. He was around a hockey rink inside a professional football stadium and was ready to show off his other skills.

“It’s fun. We always have [a football] in the bag,” Lee said Thursday. “Guys are chucking it around pregame wherever we are on the road if we get the opportunity. So, we brought it out here again today, and it’s a pretty special building to throw it in.”

The casual throwing and catching of the football led to a friendly moneyless wager between Lee and Mathew Barzal. "We have a little bet going on here, Leesy, former quarterback, thinks he can get it over that second deck [of MetLife Stadium], I don't think he can," remarked Barzal.

"Matt Martin thinks he can get it over. I think they're out of their minds."

The bet was simple. If Lee's toss failed to make the second deck, he had to go up and get it. If he reached the target, Barzal was have to ascend to the second deck to retrieve it.

Lee reared back, took a few steps forward into the imaginary pocket, and unloaded a perfect spiral into the crisp winter New Jersey air but watched it graze off the facade of the second deck, falling short of seats. Barzal had won, Lee had lost, and fun was had.

Lee and Barzal will be on the same team hoping for the same result when the Islanders "host" the New York Rangers at Sunday afternoon's Stadium Series matchup in front of 70,000 hockey fans inside the home of the New York Giants and Jets.