It seems to be a known fact across the National Hockey League: Joshua Ho-Sang has a bit of an attitude. That's fair and well, after all, the 22-year-old forward is trying to make his way in a regular spot in the NHL and wants to convince the New York Islanders that they should call him back to the big club, and trust his progress.
The Islanders, who have quite a bit on their plate as they try to hold on and re-sign captain John Tavares, were at the centre of a controversy during the rookie camp this week, after new general manager Lou Lamoreillo ordered Ho-Sang to change his number. Drafted 28th overall by the Islanders in the 2014 NHL Draft, Ho-Sang caused a stir when he started his career after choosing to wear No. 66, a number made famous, of course, by Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux. While Lemieux stated that he didn't mind Ho-Sang using his famous number, Lamoriello wanted to put an end to the controversy, and the young forward sported No. 26 during the rookie camp this week.
And it could have frustrated Ho-Sang so much that he may be looking to be placed on the trade block and moved from the Islanders' roster.
On top of that, the fact that the Islanders selected Oliver Wahlstrom in the first round of this year's draft has had pundits wonder if the move makes Ho-Sang expandable.
When the new regime started in Brooklyn with Lamoriello in charge, many expected it to be a fresh start for Ho-Sang, who always seemed to struggled with former head coach Doug Weight and former GM Garth Snow. However, it seems like his reputation has gotten the best of him, once again...
“It’s a clean slate for everybody,” Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson said earlier in the week. “When guys come it’s a chance to reinvent themselves. To establish themselves. To do whatever, so for me, I think it’s a great opportunity just to lay some groundwork.”
However, Ho-Sang did not take part in Thursday’s scrimmage and has been on the ice just once during mini camp. He skated earlier in the day during a morning skate on Thursday, but had been kept off the ice for precautionary reasons due to soreness.
Let's see if Ho-Sang ends up on the move, or if new head coach Barry Trotz will be able to tame him and get the best of the young forward.