Hockey Islanders to keep busy over the off-season

Jason Malloy
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Charlottetown Islanders forward Josh Shatford, right, tries to lift the stick of teammate David Henley in front of goalie Eric Brassard during practice earlier this week.

The work has just begun for the Charlottetown Islanders.

The young squad was eliminated from the playoffs on Thursday. They will take a few days off before having strength and conditioning tests and exit meetings next week.

Coach Gordie Dwyer said the next few months are critical for success when the 2014-15 season begins in September.

“The off-season is where you can make a lot of progress as a player,” he said on Friday.

“There’s a difference between a guy that plays hockey and a hockey player and I think what really separates them is preparation.”

Part of it is putting the time and effort in during the spring and summer to be in the best shape when training camp starts in August.

“There’s an expectation from the organization that everybody is hungry and willing to put in the effort and sacrifice to be part of this (team) in the future,” the coach said.

Wearing the Islanders uniform this season is not a guarantee players will wear it in 2014-15.

“You’re going to have to earn your spots,” Dwyer said.

The team acquired players at the trade deadline that went back to midget or junior A to finish the season. There are also midget and import draft picks that will be looking to earn a spot in training camp, while trades could also bring new players in to mix.

“There’s a lot of faces on the board right now that’ll be in tough come training camp next year,” said Dwyer, alluding to the depth chart in his office. “That’s a good problem to have for us.”

The team only graduates one player, defenceman Troy Vance, from junior while forwards Robert Pelletier, Spenser Cobbold, Mike DiPaolo and Craig MacLauchlan as well as defenceman Anthony Cortese could return in one of three overage spots next season.

Vance left Charlottetown Friday to return to his Middletown, N.Y., home. The Dallas Stars pick could be re-assigned to one of its affiliate clubs.

Vance scored on his last shift on Thursday for his second career playoff game in 23 contests in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Dwyer said the assistant captain logged big minutes for the team this season while being professional and a good role model for the younger players.

“He embraced that opportunity to become a leader,” Dwyer said. “He will be able to leave here knowing that he helped along some of these younger guys.”

 ****

A look at the Charlottetown Islanders players, who could return next year, based on their birth year.

1997

D Luc Deschenes

D David Henley

F Daniel Sprong

1996

F Bradley Kennedy

F Kameron Kielly

F Alexandre Goulet

F Josh Shatford

F Nathan Yetman

D Kevin Laliberte

G Mason McDonald

1995

F Liam Alcalde

F Zach Beaton

D Guillaume Rioux-Legault

G Eric Brassard

F Malik Johnson

F Thomas Stavert

F Julien Avon

D Vladislav Lysenko

1994

F Spencer Cobbold

F Robert Pelletier

F Craig MacLauchlan

F Mike DiPaolo

D Anthony Cortese

Organizations: Dallas Stars

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Middletown, N.Y., Quebec

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  • Hockey blog man
    March 29, 2014 - 10:40

    I forgot to mention is there anyway for this up and coming season that the Islanders could have a set of jerseys with the logo on it I'm not the only fan that has mentioned this I think it would look amazing.

  • Hockey blog man
    March 29, 2014 - 08:54

    The last game was defiantly not the way that the team or the fans wanted to see that's for sure but the boys played there hearts out and played until the final buzzer went well done gentlemen. Now here is my review of the season as the season approached and draft came along and the Islanders selected Sprong as there number 1 pick he was talk and he lived up to it.I remember when the Rocket took Pepin and they said he was the package he was nothing like Sprong this guy is our future we build around him and our younger guys.The Islanders came out of the gate just flying actually surprised a lot of people considering we were pegged to finish near the bottom in the standings which we did but with that start the city was hyped up the fans were estatic and then came the skid of losing and things just weren't going our way and finally the organization came to a conclusion to blow the team up and they really did.I didn't agree with all the trades that Grant Sonier made but fans you have to give credit he wasn't scared to pull the trigger and start to rebuild this team the right way we have a captain now to guide this ship the right one not like Serge Jr used to do sell his team and get nothing in return.The last game of the year when your getting blown out and Gordie pulled mason and put brassard in he never gave up he was still making huge saves the future for this team looks really bright and I no some fans have said I'm not coming back but you have to give them a chance look at the assets as far as I'm concerned we have 2 of the best up and coming stars in Daniel the real deal Sprong and Alex flashy Goulet we got the total package there so kudos to Grant and the scouting staff.Now for next year as 20 would love to see cobbold back and Dipaolo Cortese now I no we got Johnston coming but we have big decisions to make.The goal tending is set in McDonald and Brassard .I also want to mention that when all these trades were made the fans still came to the rink every night and supported this team .I don't mind them losing as long as they put in a full 60 mins of hockey and on most nights they did or the fans would of stopped going best of luck next year guys lets get to a clean start ok

  • Michael
    March 29, 2014 - 03:59

    Been a supporter for years.. You've got to work on defence!!!!if you don't have the ability then hire an assistant that's strong in this area. Sad when we loose the game but our goalie is recognized as the number 1 star!!! This should tell you something other than the fact he's a good goalie!!