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Grabner Gets a Boost

by Jacob Betzner / New York Islanders

In the midst of recovering from hernia-repair surgery, Islanders forward Michael Grabner got a boost.

The speedy winger dropped by the Long Island Marriott to surprise the New York Islanders Booster Club on Tuesday.

Grabner shared childhood stories of growing up and playing ice hockey in Austria, discussed moving to North America as a 16-year-old to play major junior hockey in Canada and, eventually making the NHL. The more-than 50 boosters at the meeting peppered the 2011 NHL All-Star with questions and eagerly waited for a picture and autograph.

New York Islanders Community Relations Manager Ann Rina said the Booster Club members appreciated Grabner taking the time to visit.

“Michael [Grabner] wanted to show the Booster Club Members how much he and the team appreciates their support, and he was able to do that by surprising them at their first meeting of the season,” she said. “They were so excited to meet him.”

The unexpected visit truly made the first Booster Club meeting of the season memorable. Interacting with the passionate fans gave Grabner a little extra incentive to make a full recovery and return to the ice for the Islanders.

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