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June 26, 1999

Tim Connolly


Q. Your Dad mentioned when you got here this morning off the bus some Islanders fans came over to ask for your autograph, some young boys. Is that what happened, they knew you and they were hoping for you right away?

TIM CONNOLLY: Yeah, a few of the Islander fans knew who I was. I guess that's where they wanted me to go. It's a great situation in New York, being from New York. It's going to be a young team with a strong future.

Q. You joined Mike Rupp with the Islanders, a teammate now. Will you play next year for New York? Do you hope to make the team or spend another year developing?

TIM CONNOLLY: That's completely up to the Islanders. I'm going to work out as hard as I can as possible this summer, go to the camp with an attitude to try to make the team. Coming out of Juniors on your draft year, you know, one or two guys do that a year. It's pretty difficult to do. If I'm back, I won't be disappointed at all.

Q. Can you talk about the broken leg, how that's healing and everything?

TIM CONNOLLY: Well, I broke it February 18th. I had surgery. It's healing great.

Originally the doctor had me scheduled to start skating in August. I've been skating for two weeks now. I'm about two months ahead of schedule. Probably about a month away from a hundred percent.

Q. Some of the scouting bureaus have called you the best one-on-one player in the draft. Have you heard that and would you agree with that?

TIM CONNOLLY: Yeah, I think my biggest strength is my one-on-one ability. They said that possibly I could be one of the best in the draft in one-on-one. I'm pretty confident. That's what I really try to concentrate on, that and making the players around me better are my two biggest strengths.

Q. When you look at the Islanders recently having to trade, it's a long time down the road, but when you get drafted by the Islanders, do you look at the situation and the way some players have had to be sent away?

TIM CONNOLLY: No, I don't look at anything about financial. I don't know anything about the trades or the other players. I'm just concentrating right now on getting back in shape, getting my leg healed up to a hundred percent. You know, you leave that for the general managers and the agents to deal with. I'm just going to concentrate on the hockey part.

Q. Talk about the pride a little bit of being the highest US prospect drafted, what that means to you.

TIM CONNOLLY: It's a great honor to be the highest US player drafted. There's a lot of great players, you know, Jeff Jillson and Matt Murley. You know, it's a great honor. I'm really happy to be in New York.

Q. You spoke a little bit last week about the financial situation as far as you're concerned, what you might look for when you get that contract. Now that you're in a position to -- either this year or down the road to get some money out of playing hockey, what are your thoughts about getting first a contract, getting those millions?

TIM CONNOLLY: Well, I'm really -- it's a great situation, because hockey is something that I love to do. What better job to be than something you love, like hockey. As long as I can keep that drive and love for the game, you know, the money will come. You don't really have to worry about that. I just concentrate on the hockey part.

Q. You've been compared to some great National Hockey League players who have already had outstanding careers. You've been called the young man carrying the hockey hopes of a hockey-playing continent on your shoulders. Is that pressure too much for you? Do you think about it? Does it effect the way you play?

TIM CONNOLLY: No, I don't really feel pressure out there. Hockey is a game and there's no pressure out there when you're playing. Pressure is when you don't have a job and have you six kids to feed. That's when the pressure's on. Hockey is something I love, something I'm going to work hard to make a career out of.

End of FastScripts…

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