Islanders head coach Doug Weight wasn't a fan of what Josh Ho-Sang said about the team sending him to the AHL this season.
Ho-Sang was sent down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers after the team said he needed to work on his defense. Weight said he was "disappointed" by the comments, but noted the team will talk to him soon.
"I think the natural reaction, the defensive reaction is to tell him to look in the mirror, look at his production, look at what he's done," Weight told Newsday's Laura Albanese. "The other reaction should be from us. We should look in the mirror. We should all learn from these events and look to them. Most importantly, we should discuss it with him rather than discuss it through these cameras and we will do that."
It wasn't just the Weight speaking to the media, but Ho-Sang's comments -- where he said he felt singled out -- were published in The Athletic instead of talking to the team first.
"Sure, it's eye-opening and an emotional thing for him," Weight said. "He wants to be in the NHL. That's where we want him. We have never singled him out in that fashion...There's not a guy in this organization in the last year and a half that I've spent more time with, either. I was disappointed in that."
But Ho-Sang wasn't happy about how he viewed the team's explanation for sending him down. He played in just 22 games, and even after sending him down, the team didn't get better on the defensive end. The Isles currently hold the worst goals-against total in the NHL (276), and the worst shots on goal differential (-336).
So, he wasn't entirely happy that he was sent down, in his opinion, for no reason.
"I got sent down for defense and what are they in goals against in the NHL?," Ho-Sang said. "I only played  games up there this year. I don't think it's my fault. They really painted it like it was my fault at the beginning of the year and I didn't like that."
Ho-Sang wanted to see other Isles teammates held accountable instead of the team throwing it all on him.
"There were some comments about me when I wasn't in the NHL, so I wasn't affecting the team, but they were focused on my defense and my turnovers," he said. "If you're going to send me down because of defense, it'd be nice to see other people be held accountable."
Weight made it a point to note how much time he spent with Ho-Sang while he was with the team. He would stay with him after practice to critique his film, and they still hold a strong relationship.
That is why the comments hurt Weight a little more.
"I've watched every single game he played with him in my office 'til 4 o'clock in the afternoon," Weight said. "Every single game. And talked about his off ice, talked about the on ice. I have compassion for him. I like him. So that was disappointing, but I get it. There's frustration. Hopefully he got it off his chest, but we have to move forward and we have to do it face to face and that's the last I'm going to discuss that."