PHILADELPHIA - Garth Snow was confident that he'd made the right choice in selecting Josh Ho-Sang, the controversial prospect who made waves in explaining his falling draft stock earlier this week.
"When I do anything, I'm just another black kid with an attitude," Ho-Sang told Steve Simmons, as part of an interview that made waves, and raised more red flags about Ho-Sang's, well, attitude.
But Snow wasn't worried about it.
"He'll fit right in," the Islanders' GM said. "They s*** on me, too." (That happened on live TV. It was pretty great.)
It really shouldn't have come as much of a surprise that the Islanders went after Ho-Sang, thinking about it. Snow's been aggressive all offseason in his attempts to make his team better. Taking a chance on Ho-Sang, who was on several clubs' "do not draft" list despite being arguably the most skilled guy in the draft, fits with that approach.
"We get the players that we feel can help us win a championship. I don’t give a s*** what anyone else thinks," Snow said later, still feeling sweary."
So Snow traded up, sending two second-round picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning to get back into the first round and snag Ho-Sang.
Ho-Sang knew what people were saying about him. "I think I'm outspoken and I'm a little bit more opinionated than most people like," he said, "but I think that's just part of growing up, and I'm definitely learning the areas where I can and can't be. I'm just working on that moving forward."
He even admitted that he was prepared to go home unselected as a result, "especially towards the end. It's something you have to get ready for, just so you don't get hurt." But then the Islanders stepped up.
Ho-Sang couldn't have been happier.
"You want to be with people who believe in you and who think that you can can do great things, because that's how you get there," he said. "You need to be pushed."
"It helps you want to be better for them, and it helps you wanna give them everything you have, because you know it's not just about you, it's about your family, and after today, they've become my family."
"I'll give them everything I have. I'll push until I can't breathe."
As for those that didn't believe in him, Ho-Sang's out to make them look stupid.
"I've got 26 teams to show that they missed out and I definitely have to show the Islanders that they were right."