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Catching Up With Anders Lee

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

New York Islanders forward. Notre Dame grad. Fashion mogul.

With his new clothing line – Anders Lee Line by 500 Level – Anders Lee has crossed into the fashion world, offering clothes for men, women and children (available at andersleegear.com). It’s one of the highlights of the summer for the 26-year-old, who’s back home in Edina, MN, training hard after recovering from a season-ending injury, skating with some Islanders teammates and plotting a takedown of Derek Zoolander.

NYI: So you have your own clothing line now, how did this come together?

AL: I was approached by the 500 level company and they had some pretty cool ideas. I took them up on it and I thought what they came up with was pretty cool. I figured it was a way for me and the fans to connect a little bit and to have that opportunity to have something like a clothing line, it’s something I thought I’d never have. I thought it would be a fun idea to give some fans an alternative to wear around and show their support of the Islanders.

NYI: So what’s your capacity in the company? Are you designing shirts?

AL: Right now I’m working with a designer, we’re looking to come up with a logo that we’ll implement in the shirts and the line. It’s mostly just approving some stuff that they’ve come up with. (there are a lot of “for nows” in this portion so I’m trying to change it up a bit)

At least for now it’s pretty preliminary and just trying to get some basic stuff out there. We’re working on getting some more stuff that really reflects who I am as a hockey player and off the ice as well.

NYI: What’s your favorite shirt?

AL: I like the one that’s a little more subtle. The name and the hockey stick. The shirts are actually extremely comfortable. When I got a sample of them and the quality I saw was pretty incredible. All of them are pretty sweet, pretty simple, but they have a cool message of being a fan and supporting the team.

NYI: Your season ended with an unfortunate injury – a broken fibula – but you were close to coming back during the second round. How’s the leg feeling?

AL: We worked really hard to get back at the end of the playoff run there. We were close and at the end of the day we were pushing it in the smartest way possible. Once the season was over I took some time to truly recover as much as possible and let everything heal up and enjoy a little bit of time off, but definitely started up a little earlier knowing I already had some time off in early April. Good to get back on the ice, test out the leg and it’s all ready to go.

NYI: What else are you working on? How’s training?

AL: Working on the same things all the time, some skating and puckhandling drills. You can never be a good enough skater and unless you skate like Nick Leddy, everyone’s working on it.

NYI: You’re playing in Da Beauty League out in Minnesota with a host of NHLers including Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy. How’s that going?

AL: Da Beauty League is a lot of fun. Summer skates are pretty relaxed and a lot of times guys are just taking it pretty easy. It’s nice to have a competitive league put together where guys can still have a lot of fun with it. Guys are skating hard and working on their game. Fans are coming in every night and the proceeds go to charity, so it’s a good thing and to be able to play at Braemar Arena the arena and rink I grew up playing on in Edina it’s pretty fun for me.

NYI: Speaking of Edina, 2016 first-round pick Kieffer Bellows is from your hometown. What do you know about him? Have you ever met?

AL: He’s got an unbelievable shot and he’s scored at every level. He’s a really good player and we are in a good position to have him on our side going forward and I’m looking forward to watching him progress and become an Islander one day.

I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet. With both our summer training schedules we haven’t gotten together. I’m sure by the end of the summer we’ll get on the golf course – we have a mutual friend or two – and do something like that.

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