Shane Prince’s life has been a whirlwind since being acquired by the New York Islanders at the trade deadline. Between a trip out West, to his first Islanders-Rangers and Islanders-Penguins games, Prince has just been trying to catch up on some sleep. But as you may have seen on his Twitter/Instagram pages, the Rochester, NY, native is thrilled to be here for the Islanders playoff push. Prince – or Princey, as the boys call him – sat down with NewYorkIslanders.com to talk about being traded to the team, his love of basketball and what he wants to be known for off the ice.
NewYorkIslanders.com: What were your thoughts when you found out you’d been traded to the Islanders?
Shane Prince: It was really exciting hearing the news, especially given where I was going. I knew the Islanders were a great team and when I arrived, it’s great to see a group of such good guys and they welcomed me in. They’re not only great guys off the ice, but on the ice as well. I think we have a really good team and it’s really exciting to be a part of.
NYI: When you were traded, a lot of Senators fans were vocal about their disappointment in seeing you go and Islanders fans were excited to have you come here. What does that mean to you?
SP: When I was traded I got some negative things and positive, but no matter where you go that’s going to happen. It’s up to me to make it all positive, I take it as a challenge, but for the most part it’s been good.
Your reputation is a huge part of it, when you’re done playing that’s all you have is your reputation and how you treated people when you played. At the end of the day, I’m a person like everyone else, but I’m fortunate enough to play hockey for a living. That’s a huge part of my life, I try to make a good impact wherever I go and whoever I come across with in life.
NYI: On the ice, we’ve seen you in a few games already, but what kind of player are you?
SP: I’m an offensive player for sure. I try to play a complete game, but my upside is definitely with the puck in the offensive zone, creating plays and using my speed to create turnovers, get pucks and create offense.
NYI: Who was your favorite player growing up?
SP: Danny Briere. I watched the Sabres a lot growing up being so close to home. When the Sabres were really good Briere was on the team and he’s an offensive guy and he was fun to watch.
NYI: He’s 5’9, you’re 5’11 and you’re both tenacious players. Is he someone you’ve tried to emulate?
SP: We’re similar players. I was an offensive player my whole childhood and Briere was obviously the same way. He played with an edge and that’s what I try to do as well.
NYI: We hear you’re a big basketball fan. Is this true and if so, who’s your favorite team?
SP: I like to play basketball, I like to watch basketball. In the summer, I like to go to the park and play pickup with whoever’s there. I really enjoy it.
And my favorite team, believe it or not, is the Brooklyn Nets. I’m not just saying that. Ever since they moved to Brooklyn, I’ve liked the whole idea of the team being in Brooklyn. I started following the team and have even been to a few games. I’ve been to Barclays Center for Nets games over previous all-star breaks. That’s another reason I was really excited to be traded here, to share the rink with the Nets. I already have tickets to Sunday’s game against Milwaukee.