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SAYING GOODBYE TO THE DADS

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

The dads and mentors of the players and staff finished their second annual road trip with the team


For the second year in a row, GM Garth Snow invited the fathers and mentors of players on a road trip during a swing through the Sunshine State. Along with the dads and mentors of the players, Snow also invited the training and media staff to bring a guest as well, doubling the personnel from last year's trip.

With knowledge of last year's enjoyable trip, some fathers traveled from across the seas to take part in the road trip. Included was Ruslan Fedotenko's father, who came from Russia to travel with his son.

"This was the first time since I've been in the NHL that my dad has accompanied me on the road," said Ruslan. "This was a great opportunity for them to see our lifestyle on the road and what we're going through. It gave us a chance to bond. My parents lived pretty far away before so I would only see them once a year. There was some added pressure playing in front of them."

Chris Campoli brought his dad Gino on the trip for the second year in a row. And made him quite proud setting up the game-winner on Saturday against Tampa Bay.

"The dads had a lot of fun," said Chris. "The trip gives them the opportunity to see the lives we live. They worked so hard to help us get to the place we're in, so it's nice for them to get a sense of fulfillment. You don't get to spend a lot of time with your parents anymore, so it was valuable time spent together hanging out with the boys. Since it was year two, a lot of the dads were already buddies, so they got to skip the formalities this year."

Chris also reflected on the comparisons between his dad watching him now and when he was a kid.

Mr. Sillinger, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Campoli, Mr. Fedotenko
"It was definitely special playing in front of my dad," continued Chris. "It's no different than when I was a kid. My dad had high expectations for me. He still tells me things I can do. I'm still his son and that will never change. I always want to make him proud."

Along with the players, members of the training staff, Islanders TV and other media members of the Islanders brought their fathers and mentors.

"I thought it was great having the fathers and mentors on the trip," said head coach Ted Nolan. "I have two sons of my own and would love to go on a trip with them one day. But to be able to do that brings them back to the childhood days. It's just great for relationships and family atmosphere. That's what we're trying to build here on Long Island."


TANK GETTING BETTER

Ted Nolan discussed Ruslan Fedotenko's mild shoulder injury and appeared optimistic about his return for Wednesday's contest in Buffalo.

"The general public might not realize it, but there are a lot of hidden injuries and guys playing with a little soreness," said Ted. "Tank is day-to-day with a little soreness, but hopefully will recover in time when we get to Buffalo.

Check out video from this afternoon's practice on Islanders TV by clicking here.




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