Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Zenon Konopka was a fan favorite during his time on Long Island and on Saturday night he skated in the barn he once called home when the Sabres lost to the Islanders Saturday night.
The 33-year-old agitator spent the 2010-11 season with the islanders. Konopka only recorded nine points that season, but won over the hearts and minds of the Islanders faithful with his steadfast dedication to the team.
“It was fantastic,” Konopka said when asked about his time on Long Island. “It was so great the last couple of days just seeing so many friends and acquaintances over the last two days. Had some great food.
“Enjoyed my time here when I was here and enjoyed my last few days here.”
Saturday’s meeting was not Konopka’s first meeting with his former team – he played against the Islanders during his tenure in Ottawa – but it was the first time he skated at the Coliseum since wearing Isles orange and blue.
After the Sabres morning skate, Konopka agreed it was a special feeling to be on Coliseum ice once again.
“I really enjoyed this arena and rink. Obviously it’s not totally up to date, but I think there is a lot of character and a lot of history here that you have to respect. It really is pretty cool being back here,” he said.
Konopka wasn’t the only member of the Sabres organization making a return to Long Island either on Saturday. Former Isles bench boss Ted Nolan also went against the team he used to call his own.
“It’s one of the places where I was very grateful for the opportunity I had here with the Islanders,” Nolan said. “Especially at the time… To get a call from Charles [Wang] to come here to coach was certainly an honor. I’m always greatful.”
Czuczman to Make NHL Debut ‘Real Soon’
After signing with the Islanders on Tuesday college free agent Kevin Czuczman has yet to make his NHL debut, but it could be coming on the horizon.
The Islanders have held off on putting the rookie defenseman into the lineup so that he can get some extra time to practice and learn the team’s system some more. Capuano hinted though before Saturday night’s win victory over Buffalo that he will make his first appearance soon with the Isles.
“You’ll see him shortly,” Capuano said referring to Czuczman. “Obviously with back-to-back games, and only having one practice, we’ll go through some video and get him in a few practices. We’re excited to see him play.”
Czuczman could make his Islander debut on Tuesday when the Minnesota Wild visit Nassau Coliseum