New York Islanders captain, Anders Lee, returned to the ice for an optional morning skate this morning for the first time since being injured back on March 11th.
This is fantastic news for the Islanders, despite head coach, Barry Trotz, having already ruled Lee out for the remainder of the Isles playoff run.
Back on May 28th, Trotz was asked if Lee’s status had changed moving forward. “No, the same timetable, you will not see him in the playoffs this year,” he said.
Regardless of his in-game status, this is still incredible news for the Islanders. Lee’s on-ice presence is never going to be replaced, however, the fact that he’s been around the team since he’s been injured means the Islanders are still receiving the same leadership in the locker room from their captain.
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) May 27, 2021
Now back on the ice, Lee is skating with his teammates and is acting as an extra set of eyes out on the ice which can only impact the roster in a positive way, while also sharpening his skill-set for whenever he may return.
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) June 7, 2021
Having Lee around also likely gives the locker room a boost of confidence, and a pep in their step to secure victories now almost at the halfway mark in the post-season.
Mat Barzal also stated back on May 28th, “Seeing his progression, who knows if we get him back or not.”
Trotz doesn’t like to show his hand, we know that. As of now, it’s status quo with Lee. But, having him around the team is a huge plus in the locker room. For now, the Islanders will press on without him on the ice, and look to beat the Boston Bruins and move onto the Conference Final for the second year in a row.
Follow James on Twitter @JamesNicholsNYI