With the NHL preseason in full swing, Matt Di Giacomo takes a look into the recent happenings surrounding the New York Islanders.With less than two weeks left until the regular season, the New York Islanders are quickly trimming down their roster. With everyone now back from the World Cup of Hockey, the Isles are ready to begin putting their regulars out to meet the new additions.
Cuts and Pairings:
After getting a good look at some of the new rookies in training camp the Islanders have sent a number of players to their clubs:
- Parker Wotherspoon, David Quenneville, and Mitchell Van-Sompel to Juniors.
- Loic Leduc, Carter Verhaeghe, and Kyle Schempp have been assigned to Bridgeport.
- Ben Holmstrom and Bracken Kearns have been placed on waivers and Josh Winquist has been released from a PTO.
One notable pairing during training camp has been Andrew Ladd and P.A. Parenteau. The two newcomers who were suspected to have been sharing a line with John Tavares have, indeed, been logging minutes in together. In Tavares’ absence, the center of the line has been Matt Barzal, the rookie with the best opportunity to seize a role with the team after camp.
In addition, fresh off a new contract, Ryan Strome has been spending some time at the center position. The struggling Junior is expected to find a new chapter in his game at center, or on the wing should Barzal indeed crack the roster.
The Islanders did not have a lot to be happy about after their preseason games, dropping two split squad decisions in Philadelphia and New York on Tuesday.
New York lost to Philadelphia 4-0 and to the Rangers 5-2, but the bright points of the team in New York was the goaltending from J.F. Berube. Despite the score, Berube has looked sharp in his 1.5 appearances during the preseason, notably against the first preseason game against the Flyers which resulted in a split 3-0 shutout between him and Chris Gibson.
Additionally, fresh off of a World Cup of Hockey final, Jaroslav Halak is back in business and ready to go. After some of the best goaltending in his career, the 31-year-old is ready to take his starting role once again. Arthur Staple of Newsday said this of Halak’s performance:
“Halak certainly has been the talk of the World Cup, outside of that dominant Canadian squad and the U.S. failure. I’d say this worked out extremely well for Halak and the Islanders. He had something to prove after last season’s injury problems, and the Islanders needed to see him perform at a high level to feel good about keeping him.
They’ve seen that and then some. I think the organization has changed its mind about Halak and he stays. The question now with Thomas Greiss and J-F Berube also angling for time is, who goes? The answer in the short term is probably no one. I’m sure that will lead to more questions in the coming weeks, but I think they have their No. 1 back in Halak, a talented backup in Greiss and a good prospect in Berube that they don’t want to lose.”
So, with that response, it’s safe to assume that he has put Halak’s future with the Islanders to rest for now. It remains to be seen what happens with the other two, but time will tell.
With all of that being said, it’s going to be very interesting seeing the regulars all congregate again for training camp. Particularly, how Tavares pairs up with his new linemates and where Seidenberg slots in.
Not to mention that with 24 different one-way deals on the team, it is expected that someone will be the odd-man out. Seeing that Snow signed a defenseman, it is expected of the organization to unload a defenseman. The best guess is with the only two tradeable contracts on the team in Calvin de Haan and Thomas Hickey.
It remains to be seen what the final lines will look like, but with what we have so far here is what the lineup could look like come October 16th.
Ladd – Tavares – Parenteau
Prince – Nelson – Bailey
Lee – Barzal – Strome
Chimera – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
deHaan – Hamonic
Leddy – Boychuk
Seidenberg – Pulock