Casey Cizikas is here for the long haul after signing a five-year contract extension earlier this summer. Cizikas, the pesky, energetic center was back at Barclays Center in July, dropping by for a town hall with Brock Nelson and co-owner Jon Ledecky. NewYorkIslanders.com caught up with Cizikas to talk about his offseason training, wedding season and signing on the dotted line.
NYI: Catching up on your new contract…how exciting was it to sign that deal and know you’ll be an Islander for the next five years?
CC: It was really exciting. There’s no place I’d rather be than here in New York and I’m just happy to be here for another five years.
NYI: What’s your favorite part about being an Islander?
CC: The guys. Really everybody in the organization. Ever since I’ve been drafted here they’ve been nothing but the best. And the fans, our fans are unbelievable. You can tell by the end of the season, and in the playoffs, things really started picking up and it was unbelievable in this arena.
NYI: What have you been up to this summer?
CC: It’s been a busy summer. We’ve had quite a few weddings to go to. We had Travis [Hamonic's] the other weekend and we have Brock [Nelson's] at the end of the month. It’s been an exciting summer. Those are kind of our only chances to see everybody in the offseason. I golfed with Stromer [Ryan Strome] the other day; but when we get weddings like that and get a big group of guys from the team – and their wives – together it’s definitely fun. It’s definitely exciting being together and it just makes you want the season to start more quickly.
NYI: How is your offseason training going -- feeling ready to get back at it?
CC: I’ve been training with some of the guys this summer when I’m here in New York. I’m feeling healthy right now. Those nicks and bruises from the end of the season—they’re all healed up. Everything’s feeling good, and I’m just ready to get back on the ice.
NYI: There are going to be some new faces coming on the team this fall. What are you most excited for heading into the upcoming season?
CC: It’s been a tough summer losing some really close friends, but we brought guys in that are going to help our team out a lot. I’m just ready for the puck to drop in October.
NYI: With all the fans here for an evening with you, Brock and Jon Ledecky at Barclays Center, does it make you guys that much more anxious for the season to see how hyped everyone is in July for hockey to start back up?
CC: Oh yeah, definitely. They’re all here in their jerseys and their t-shirts. The sport that we have is incredible. It just goes to show how hard we have to work this offseason to make our dreams and their dreams come true of winning the Stanley Cup.