SportsNet's Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek interviewed "super athlete" and New York Islanders captain Anders Lee on the 32 Thoughts podcast. After they discussed Lee's prowess as a football player and why he chose hockey over other sports, they talked about the state of the Isles and the team's outlook heading into the 2023-24 season. "We did a lot of good things at the end of the year, said Lee. "We didn't like the way the series ended, but from where we can take some of that, there's a lot of opportunity there."
On the July 1st re-signings
"You're in the room with these guys all year. You know where they stand and how they feel about the Island and the team and what they want to do," said Lee. "For us, these weren't surprises."
"These guys have to do what's best for them and the family, but their intentions to want to stay and see this thing out with our group was no surprise at all."
Pierre Engvall's impact
"He stepped into our team and made a big difference," Lee said of Pierre Engvall, who the Islanders acquired at the trade deadline from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2024 third-rounder. "The way he was carrying the puck for us, the way he was entering the zone, using his speed and his body ... He can go into the corners if he has to," said Lee. "He was doing all those things with us, and that's why he was making an impact with Brock and Palms during the latter half of the season."
Bo Horvat acquisition
"He stepped in right away, not only on the ice but off the ice, said Lee of former Vancouver captain Bo Horvat. "He's such a good person, cares deeply about his game ...very welcomed in our room, I'm excited for him to get settled in and have a big season for us."
You can never have too many of those guys [leaders], different guys speaking up throughout the year. You need that."
Barzal's guitar playing
"We both picked it up a little bit during the Covid year, Lee said of Mathew's Barzal's hobby. "He's head and shoulders [better than me] ... he's got some more time on his hands to play, he's gotten pretty solid, honestly."
"He's a good little player now. He's going on stage, he's enjoying it."
Playing in the bubble
“One of my favorite hockey memories, honestly. It was a road hockey tournament with 25 of your buddies. It got long for sure, but we’re in the middle of a run. You felt unstoppable.”
The future of the Identity Line
“I haven’t really done that. I think that their impact is still felt very widely. They [Clutterbuck, Cizikas, and Martin] take a lot of pride in what they do. It's not an easy job for them to go out and play that way for 82 games. It's going to be fun to watch them roll it back; they're going to have a great year."