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Grabner a fan of Long Island

Thursday, 09.08.2011 / 4:20 PM

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist / 2011 Player Media Tour

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2011 Player Media Tour
Grabner a fan of Long Island

It's no secret that the Nassau Coliseum, one of the NHL's oldest facilities, is not exactly a selling point when the New York Islanders are trying to recruit free agents and keep young talent. But forward Michael Grabner says Long Island has a lot going for it.

"It is," Grabner said when asked if the Island was nicer than he had expected. "A lot of guys probably see the Coliseum, but once you get to know Long Island, it's pretty good. There's a lot of beaches. You're 40 minutes from New York if you want to go there. I love living out there, and I think people would enjoy it if they lived there for a while. There's a lot to do -- there's not just the area around the Coliseum."

Grabner, who led all rookies last season with 34 goals, will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy Long Island -- he signed a five-year contract with the Isles this summer.

Asked if a lot of players get their sole impression of Long Island from the 40-year-old Coliseum and the hotel across the parking lot where most visiting teams stay, he said, "That's exactly what a lot of people think. But you go 15 to 20 minutes and you've got some beautiful areas -- lot of beaches, lot of parks. It's great to live out there."

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Hopefully [Jonathan] has a year that pushes us, that is the organization, to speak to him next summer and looking for [a long-term contract]. Because the thought process is trying to get a goaltender, and hopefully it's Jonathan, to be the stabilizer for this franchise.

— Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello on goaltender Jonathan Bernier