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Mark Streit Addresses the Media

by Dyan LeBourdais / New York Islanders
A minor check into the boards during a friendly power play scrimmage, a fluke accident, that’s all it took to force veteran defenseman Mark Streit to have shoulder surgery this preseason. As a result, the blueliner has been out of the New York Islanders lineup all season.


These past five months have been hard for Streit. He’s endured countless hours of physical therapy and strength training for his long awaited return to the Islanders locker room and finally he’s been cleared to skate with the team.

Even though he can’t take physical contact and will be wearing a non-contact yellow jersey at practices, the defenseman said he’s just happy to be back with his teammates.

His quotes from the Islanders morning skate are as follows:

On how he felt during today’s skate…
I felt really good. It’s just a good feeling to skate with the guys. I’ve been skating for six or seven weeks on my own, so it’s getting tough. I felt good. It’s great to skate with the guys and I felt really good.

On if he’s testing his shoulder…
I’m cleared to skate with the team, just no contact yet. There’s not really a timetable, so I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. It’s great to finally be out there, it’s been so long. It’s a good feeling. I can shoot the puck. I can take some wrist shots, slap shots, it feels fine. Just no contact yet.

On if contact is the next milestone…
It is kind of a milestone. It’s been a really long rehab on your own. You’re a hockey player, a team player, so you want to be with them and hang out with the guys. It’s been a rough ride, but I’m happy to be with the boys. I’m real happy with the way the guys are playing. It’s been real fun to watch, and there’s so much improvement this year, so I can’t wait to be back.

On if he’ll be back this season…
I don’t know. I’ve got to talk with Garth (Snow), and I’ve got to be 100 percent obviously. If I am not 100 percent, it doesn’t make any sense. You’ve got to have a goal – and I’ve said it before – my goal was to play this year. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I’m going to keep doing my work, keep working hard, and when it happens, it happens. We’ll see.

On what he sees in the young defensemen on the team…
They’re playing great. Even Mark (Katic) last game, he played his first NHL game. He rushed the puck, he skated really well and he looked really comfortable out there. It’s great. It was a tough year for some of the players, for me especially and for some of the other older guys, but it was great for the young guys. They’ve had to take responsibility and they took advantage of it. Some of the guys took huge strides. It’s going to be great for our future, and I’m really happy with the way the guys are playing right now. It gives me a little bit more motivation to work hard and to come back faster and to feel great again.

On if he has thought about playing in the World Championships…
We’ll see. I still hope the guys are going to win like ten in a row now and we kind of sneak up to be in the playoff race a little bit. Obviously, it is a possibility for me. The bottom line is that I feel really comfortable and feel 100 percent. I’ve got to have the confidence to play. A lot of things are on my mind. I’ve got to talk it over with the team here and make a decision together. It is possible. I think it would be great for me to play some games for the future, just for the overall feeling heading into the summer. It would be great for my confidence, and would make things a little easier.

On the hardest part of not playing…
You miss the game. You watch the games, and it’s just the times on the road with the guys and the game. Like before the game, you’re a little nervous, you play those games against Pittsburgh and the Rangers, and pretty much everything. It’s tough. You realize how much you miss hockey. It’s been a long year. It was tough, but it made me realize how fortunate I am to play this game, to be a player on this team and play in the NHL. I’m going to be back. And I’m 100 percent sure I’ll be stronger than ever.
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