was recalled around five p.m. Tuesday afternoon, a few hours after Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said he met with General Manager Garth Snow about making some changes to the lineup.
In 27 games last season, Haley showed heart, something Capuano has talked about a lot lately. He brought his game every single night, pushed his teammates to be better and was a positive person to have on the bench, cheering on his teammates, adding energy and physicality when needed.
“Just coming back up and putting on the jersey is great,” Haley said. “These are some of my best friends and I talk to them regularly. It’s just like last year, we’re going to come and we’re going to play hard, hopefully get this thing off the ground.”
|Michael Haley skates against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 2, 2011 at Nassau Coliseum. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images) |
Playing for the Sound Tigers, Haley has earned one goal and two assists in 17 games, adding physicality with 32 penalty minutes. However, with the three-games per weekend schedule the Sound Tigers have endured, he’s watched his teammates on Long Island struggle through their season and that’s been hard for him.
“It’s almost like I’m there too,” Haley said. “Obviously I was playing in Bridgeport, but I felt it up here too and we want to change it.”
When he received his lone call-up of the 2010-11 season last Feb. 11, Haley made a name for himself in the NHL. He scored his first NHL goal in a 9-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, earned a team-high 39 penalty minutes, and heard his name chanted throughout the sold out crowd.
Though that game was a surreal experience, Haley doesn’t predict that kind of game occurring again anytime soon.
“Last year was a different situation, but I want to bring the same type of energy and same type of game… I think that game itself is a little different,” Haley said. “I don’t think those happen or come around too often, but I want to change something. Obviously, bring something. We just want to win. That’s the number one goal.”
Disappointed that he didn’t make the final roster out of training camp, Haley regrouped and began to play the game he’s known for, just trying hard every night to help his team win and hopefully one day get his next call up to Long Island.
“I know what to expect, I know what I have to do here. I know I can do it. So it’s not so much the nerves anymore. You want to prove what you can do and make sure you bring your best game.”
Adding Haley might be just what the Islanders need.