Lamoriello on Ho-Sang’s future with Islanders: ‘It’s in his hands now’

Joshua Ho-Sang got Robin Lehner going the wrong way before pulling it back to his forehand for the sweet finish.

It’s been a tumultuous and seemingly unending five years between Josh Ho-Sang and the New York Islanders since the latter drafted the former 28th overall back in 2014.

The number of incidents and tense situations between the two parties are almost too many to count. The situation seemed to reach its inevitable peak in October, when Ho-Sang requested a trade out of Long Island after failing to crack the big-league roster out of training camp. He was subsequently waived, cleared, opted not to report to AHL Bridgeport and, after sitting out the entire season up to this point, Ho-Sang recently reported to the Islanders’ minor-league affiliate to begin his 2019-20 campaign.

Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello reflected on how the whole saga’s unfolded in a recent interview with The Athletic‘s Arthur Staple.

“I tried to look through his eyes — and you certainly try to look through your own eyes — and I didn’t find anything through his eyes that I could understand,” Lamoriello told Staples. “That’s me talking. As far as our organization, I thought we gave him every opportunity to have success, and unfortunately for him, it didn’t work out as far as him staying here.”

Ho-Sang last suited up for a game with the Islanders in January 2019. He’s yet to play this season, after Lamoriello suggested he sit out and stay away from Bridgeport while the club tried to move him.

“He made his request. And I don’t want anyone here who doesn’t want to play. I don’t care who it is,” Lamoriello said. “He was on waivers, so anybody in the league could have acquired him. Then I tried to see what interest there was in a trade, because once he cleared waivers he becomes somewhat valuable for someone as far as taking a risk. But then what’s the return?

“We communicated throughout. Chris (Lamoriello, assistant GM) stayed in touch with him. So there was nothing negative in any way.”

Now set to return to the organization and suit up in the AHL — a decision Lamoriello said came from Ho-Sang himself — it’s unclear what exactly comes next for each side.

“He had to make a decision with what he wanted to do with his future because we weren’t going to tell him to come back,” the Islanders GM said. “He called Chris, they had a conversation, he called Chris independent of his representation.

“So you give someone an opportunity, you give them a chance and it’s in his hands now. It’s as simple as that.”

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