[First in a series over the next week on road roommates].
Jeff Tambellini has enjoyed the last few weeks having Jack Hillen as his roommate on Islanders road trips. In his first full season as a pro, Hillen says, “I just follow the crowd and try to be easy about everything.” As a result, Tambellini calls Hillen, “The lowest-maintenance roommate I’ve ever had in my hockey life.”
Okay Jeff, so tell us about some of your more challenging roommates.
“Yash (Alexei Yashin) is one of the nicest guys around. Everyone knows that,” Tambellini said today before boarding the Islanders 2:30 pm charter out of Farmingdale for Washington. “But…well, put it this way: we were on completely different schedules.
“On the night before a game, Yash would go to sleep at 10:15. I’m his roommate, and I’m a rookie at the time, so what am I gonna do or say”? Tambellini laughs. “The lights in our room would be out at 10:15, the TV is off, and I’m just sitting there like, what am I going to do for the next two hours?”
Any current teammates, Jeff?
“Frans Nielsen. Great friend. As a roommate? Good luck.
“One night, Fransy is snoring his brains out. I yell over to him. No movement. I throw a pillow at him. He doesn’t wake up. We’re in one of those great hotels we stay in where they over-do it with the pillows so I throw another one and another one. The snoring never stops.
“I nail him with a book. I throw a clock. I’m totally serious: his bed looks like a convenience store. Finally, I realize the only way I’m going to wake him up. I’m going to call his cell phone. He’s got a loud song and all the bells and whistles for his ringtone. He’s conditioned to not miss a call because he thinks it’s going to be his girlfriend. So I get out of bed, grab my phone, and actually call my own roommate!
“Fransy’s phone goes off and he jumps right out of bed in a panic to answer it. It’s me, the guy on the bed next to him. I ask him to please stop snoring.”
ETC: Sean Bergenheim still has not been cleared to play, meaning the Islanders will most likely have to call up a forward from Bridgeport for tomorrow’s game in Washington. Greg Logan reports that Joel Rechlicz will play against the Capitals and Joey MacDonald gets the start. Greg and I were at the same practice, but I didn’t get that info! Once again, the veteran journalist teaches the rookie blogger a lesson. That’s what I get for doing a story on road roommates…