-- Last season, the New York Islanders
were a group that was decimated by injuries before even playing their first game.
They played much of the 2010-11 season without their captain, Doug Weight
, and all of it without alternate Mark Streit
. Younger players were forced to take on leadership roles perhaps before they were ready.
That's why Isles GM Garth Snow
went out of his way this offseason to sprinkle in more veterans who were not only capable of accepting leadership roles, but ones who relish them.
"I think we've got a good mix," coach Jack Capuano
said at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, just moments after naming Brian Rolston
, Steve Staios
, Kyle Okposo
and John Tavares
alternate captains. "You don't want to talk about last year too much, but when we did lose Eats and Motts (Mark Eaton
and Mike Mottau
) and Dougie (Weight) to injury, it gave other guys a chance to step up leadership wise. I love the mix that we have right now with our youth and our veteran guys."