"Enough with the bull. It's time to grow up."
Those were the harsh words Islanders general manager Garth Snow had Saturday about Josh Ho-Sang, the Isles' talented prospect whom Snow dismissed from training camp on Friday morning. Ho-Sang overslept and missed the shuttle to get to IceWorks for the first day of camp, causing Snow to come down hard on the 19-year-old forward.
Snow would not elaborate on the punishment, but a team source told Newsday that Ho-Sang was forced to run the stairs at Nassau Coliseum for three hours on Friday before the general manager verbally dressed Ho-Sang down and sent him back to Niagara of the Ontario League.
"He's obviously very talented, but talent isn't the issue," Snow told Newsday. "It's about becoming a professional and acting like one. Hopefully he takes this lesson and learns from it. It's really up to him now -- we can't do anything else for him in this area."
Asked if Friday's lateness was Ho-Sang's first offense, Snow would not comment.
The young forward had top-10 talent going into the 2014 NHL Draft but fell to 28th, where the Islanders traded up to grab Ho-Sang despite widely reported attitude issues from his junior hockey days. Snow and the Islanders embraced the challenge of a so-called problem player, feeling his high-end skill was worth the gamble.
Now, Ho-Sang has cost himself a chance to not only display that skill in his second NHL camp, he's lost any good will he'd built up during his year in the organization.
"The situation that took place for me is unacceptable. I can say after the conversation that took place, he knows exactly where he stands," coach Jack Capuano said after the Isles' second day of training camp. "Garth was brutally honest with him and now it's up to him."
Ho-Sang has talked of how he admires John Tavares and one of the highlights of Ho-Sang's draft night in Philadelphia 15 months ago was a welcoming text and phone call from the Islanders captain.
Tavares said he plans to reach out to Ho-Sang in the near future, but the message may not be as welcoming.
"It's your first day of NHL camp and you're not here at all . . . I don't see that," Tavares said. "I don't get how you don't have 3-4 alarms set, how you're not jumping at that first opportunity to show what you need to show. I know how highly the organization views him, too."
Notes & quotes: D Marek Zidlicky jumped right in for his first day of training camp Saturday, just 12 hours after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract plus attainable bonuses. Zidlicky, 38, has seen quite a bit of the Isles, having played against them during his three-plus seasons with the Devils. "They're a good team, they had a good season last year," he said. "I just want to come in and work hard and we see what happens."