AEROS PLAYERS SIGNED
working right winger who drew comparisons to John LeClair from GM Neil Smith.
He was slated as at least a second line NHL player and possibly even a first.
He was seen as a potential 35 goal scorer with the chance to move into the
40′s in his prime years. After a final successful year of junior hockey he
made a splash in the Rangers 1998 Training Camp and was the last player cut
on the last day despite being only 20 years old at the time. But that was the
beginning of a very stressful and painful two years in the life of Stefan
Cherneski, one he hopes to put in the past by making the Rangers this season
in what might end as one of the greatest hockey triumph stories ever told.
be one of the top ten or so in the league but one that had the potential to
carve out a meaningful career. A surprise during the 1998 pre-season he came
within a skate blade of making the team. Beaten out by a 31 year old
journeyman named Brent Fedyk, Cherneski returned to Hartford determined to
make the team. That dream came crashing to a halt in a game against New
Haven when Cherneski was checked along the boards and his knee shattered into
7 pieces. Just to give you an idea of its severity, doctors weren’t sure if
Stefan would ever walk again properly let alone play hockey professionally. Read more»
Please keep this in mind:
Butch Goring will not hesitate to bench any player on this team who is not giving every bit of effort at all times when they are playing.
That used to be the definition of Islander hockey when Goring played here under Al Arbour and anyone who does not play that way will not be here very long.
Islanders by the numbers entering training camp:
Played on last years team-*
1. Rick DiPietro
30. Wade Flaherty*
34. John Vanbiesbrouck
35. Stephen Valiquette*
40. Mike D’Alessandro
55. David St. Germain
Comments: It’s Beezer’s job to lose and Di Pietro’s job to win. Di Pietro is a star in the making with fantastic quickness, great recovery, a sharp glove and ability to handle the puck.
Beezer will get the start in the teams preseason opener against Philadelphia and based on early reports in camp, is looking like the number one goaltender and is thrilled with being a mentor for Di Pietro. All the goaltenders have looked solid in camp so far, and St Germain has stood out in scrimmages.
Questions: Beezer is not going to be able to hold up this team on his own, and if Di Pietro does not make the team in some capacity Wade Flaherty or Steven Valiquette have to give this team 25-30 games. One goalie who’s season ended with a shoulder injury and is a journeyman and another who had some standout performances in a late season call up.
Friday morning, the first official day of the New York Islanders’
training camp. One skater took the ice then another and so on until the
ice was full of players passing, shooting and getting their ice legs
back in order. I came all the way from Durham, New Hampshire late the
previous evening to see the number one draft pick take the ice to pass
or fail. As the players were filing in so too were the coaches, scouts
and various staff members from the Islanders organization presumably to
see the same player I had come to see. I recognized John Vanbiesbrouck,
Jason Krog and several others but no DiPietro. He was in the second
group so the anticipation had some time to mount. Soon the first group
was finished with their work out and off to the side ice sheet for a
scrimmage. About an hour later the second group began to file in. They
all looked the same, big and focused, distinguished only by different
colored sweaters, except for the goalies. Three or four goalies took
the ice and DiPietro stood out like a sore thumb. Brand spankin’ new
pads, glove, blocker, helmet, everything absolutely pristine. The other
goalies had marked up pads from several games of use. That was the only
difference though, Ricky DiPietro was the consummate professional. He
didn’t look nervous or excited, he just followed instructions,
participated and above all stopped pucks.