New York Islanders Daily Insight, 5/24/17: Will Pulock Be Protected?
May 8, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock (6) ad Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17) fight to control the puck during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Newsday’s Arthur Staple anticipates the New York Islanders protecting Ryan Pulock in the upcoming expansion draft.

On Tuesday, Arthur Staple of Newsday conducted an Islanders mailbag, where he addressed fans’ questions about a multitude of topics.

Some asked about the assistant coaches; others about far-fetched signings. But perhaps the most consequential question, and answer, pertained to Ryan Pulock’s future with the team — specifically, the upcoming expansion draft.

In Staple’s view, the Isles will either trade him — assuming that the price is right — or protect him. It seems very unlikely that he’ll be exposed, the beat writer states.

So how will the Isles do this? As you’ll likely recall from previous columns, Johnny Boychuk has a no-movement clause that will require the team to protect him. Nick Leddy has too high of a ceiling to leave him unprotected. And despite a down season, Travis Hamonic is simply too valuable not to retain.

The likely route is protecting eight skaters (comprised of both F’s and D’s) instead of seven F’s and three D’s. While this approach would likely cost the Isles a forward, it would likely spare a defenseman.

Utilizing the 4-4-1 approach, Staple believes the Isles will protect the following players:

John Tavares
Andrew Ladd (NMC)
Anders Lee
Brock Nelson
Nick Leddy
Johnny Boychuk (NMC)
Travis Hamonic
Ryan Pulock
Thomas Greiss


Pulock’s future isn’t the only thing Staple discussed. Mikhail Grabovski’s (remember him?) status also came up. So did the possibility of Ladd and/or Boychuk waiving their NMC’s. Fortunately, there was no mention of the shootout format.

The Senators responded with a compelling 2-1 victory over the Penguins on Tuesday night, forcing Game 7 on Thursday. Although the Canadian Tire Center wasn’t completely full, a 14-year-old boy delivered an outstandingly beautiful rendition of the National Anthem:

So… while everyone was focusing on the Pens-Sens game, I was thinking about how the Isles dropped the ball — like they did so often with Mike Milbury — with Peter Laviolette. Apparently, Peter Botte of the NY Daily News was thinking the same thing.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.