In a ground-breaking interview with Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post, Joshua Ho-Sang once again expressed doubt in the Islanders’ intentions.
After a mediocre preseason, Ho-Sang was sent down to Bridgeport to start the season, where he argues he is being treated unfairly.
“They tell me they want me to be a top-six forward up there, but I’m not a top-six forward down here, so it’s confusing. Sometimes, it’s like you’re sprinting with a rubber band on. You constantly have tension. You run until you’re exhausted and then the band is going to pull you back. If I was going to say anything, it would be just watch. I’m just pointing it out.”
The rollercoaster continues for Ho-Sang, who cannot escape controversy even with the new regime led by Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello. Since being drafted by the Islanders with the 28th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Ho-Sang notoriously overslept for his first practice with the team and sounded off on Garth Snow in an interview with Arthur Staple.
Ho-Sang called Lamoriello “a great man,” but did question his decision making this offseason, specifically regarding how the Islanders built the roster.
“I felt like they had their minds made up on what was going to happen and what the team was going to look like. It’s OK. They had the whole summer to plan that. I don’t know if you watched any of the games, but I didn’t play a lot. It’s OK. It is what it is.”
This is yet another disappointing blow to the Ho-Sang-Islanders relationship that has so far been a dud. While Ho-Sang has the right to feel like he has been treated unfairly, going to the media to express his frustration was not the right call.
When asked about the specifics of the story, Brett Cyrgalis, who is a Rangers reporter, said that he went to check in with Ho-Sang like he would with any player.
“I went to go see how he was doing, and this is what he said. And covering any other team does not change how or why I would have reported and written this story.”
Brett Thompson had a confusing, contradicting message regarding Ho-Sang, saying that he does project to be a top-six player, even though he does not have that role in Bridgeport.
“Big upside. Obviously you see his skill set. He has to learn when is the right time to use that and when is the right time to make the simple play and be a little predictable for his teammate. But if you were to project him to the NHL, listen, he’s a top-six guy, maybe a top-nine guy, especially if he cleans up his play away from the puck.”
Ho-Sang actually has received consistent playing time in Bridgeport, however, further complicating this situation. The questions arises: who should be believed?
This from a source who watches Ho-Sang every game:
-Playing just as much as any forward in BPT
-Played with MDC and Bellows on numerous occasions already
-Does get PP time with MDC (leader in points), Bernier (leads in goals), St. Denis and Toews#Isles
— Rob Traub, Actually known as Rob Taub (@RTaub_) October 30, 2018
At the end of the day, Ho-Sang never should have spoke to Cyrgalis. This is a terrible look for all parties involved, and will only end up hurting him. Even though Ho-Sang’s talent is not being utilized correctly, he has to man up and keep working towards his dream of being an NHL player.
Kieffer Bellows, Tanner Fritz, and even Michael Dal Colle and Steve Bernier could potentially be called up ahead of Ho-Sang. Ho-Sang, who is a restricted free agent at the season’s end, might not play another game for the Islanders. If this is the end, it has been a sad narrative for an unfortunate and unlucky prospect who was handled incorrectly.