"What did the coaching staff see in Casey Cizikas that earned him a spot on this
"Casey is the captain of No. 1 team in Canada," said Cameron. "He's smart,
knows how to get the job done and will do whatever it takes."
Cameron would know since he also coaches Cizikas with the Mississauga St.
Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League. ThReporters wanted to know about
a certain 25-second stretch in the first period when the selfless Cizikas was a
one-man wrecking crew with his team shorthanded and down 1-0 some 12 minutes
into the contest.
Cizikas, 19, was too humble to admit his effort on the penalty kill might have
changed the complexion of the entire game, but only after listening to him
discuss that shift do you begin to realize just how important it was.
"The puck went into the corner and you do what all PK'ers try to do -- try to
buy some time and eat the clock down," said Cizikas. "I had some luck on my
side because they just couldn't get the puck off of me."
Cizikas, who has 16 goals, 36 points and a plus-23 rating in 28 games with
Mississauga this season, was a fourth-round choice (No. 92) of the Islanders in
But in addition to trying to become an impactful part of the Canadian National
Junior Team, Cizikas has been working hard to get his life off the ice back in
order. During a rugby match in 2007, it was alleged that a Cizikas tackle led
to fatal brain injuries suffered by 15-year-old Manny Castillo. Cizikas was
charged with manslaughter, and on July 6, 2009, he was sentenced to one year of
probation and 100 hours of community service. The incident is something Cizikas
won't soon forget.
"I know for a fact (Cameron) lost time with his family so he could be there for
me," Cizikas told AOL Fanhouse. "I couldn't ask for anything more from a person
in my lifetime than what Dave Cameron has done for me."
At some point, maybe Cameron, himself an Islander draft pick (135th overall in
1978), will have another footnote in Islander history. Another, you ask?
Cameron and Bob Lorimer were traded to Colorado in 1981. At the entry draft two
springs later, the Isles collected their piece of that trade- a draft choice by
the name of Pat LaFontaine.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home
telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on