It looks like the New York Islanders expect the worst for the condition of injured forward Casey Cizikas as they bring in Stephen Gionta.
Gionta signed on with the Islanders during training camp on a two-way deal and it’s becoming evident as to why he signed in the first place.
Steve Bernier, a longtime teammate of Gionta’s returned on the same contract for the Islanders. He more than likely helped push Gionta to come to the Island (or in most of this case, Connecticut).
A Team Impact
General depth is something the Islanders have struggled with this season. The forwards they currently have on the roster are generally struggling to score, including All-Star captain John Tavares.
Tavares has just nine goals and 23 points through the first 32 games, not very elite at all.
Gionta’s presence in the lineup can give the forwards more of an incentive to produce, especially Jack Capuano’s favorite whipping boy Ryan Strome.
Strome has been playing a noticeably more aggressive style as of late, checking nearly everything in sight. Capuano has been looking for more grind out of his forwards to try and generate turnovers.
While fans hope Cizikas won’t be out long-term, this could prove to be more than it is at face value for the Islanders. On one hand, it’s just another NHL journeyman getting another shot in the NHL.
On another, it’s a spark that can help push the forwards to produce.