“It’s among the most pressurised positions in the sport because as a North American player you are expected to produce results every single game”.
Tony Romano was raised on sport. Ice hockey was his sport of choice. From the age of five he would travel for hours to play different teams in the area. Until he turned 18, he would get up at 05:30 in the morning and be at the rink at 6:00 to skate before school.
At 18 he went to Cornell University and played a year of college hockey. He ended up leaving after one year and played Major Juniors for two years in Canada, which is seen as a fast track to the NHL. He did that for two years. Then came his big break.
“I ended up signing with the New York Islanders. Playing for the Islanders was great because they were my hometown team. They have a pretty good history; back in the early 80s they had a dynasty. It was a big honour for me to have signed with them,” says Tony.
Tony played for the Long Island team for 3 years and after his third year – and a short stint in the minor leagues – he made the move to Europe.