Notes from the injury circus

*Stuart Smalley stares into the mirror...*

"Today is a new day. Today I am taking a new approach. Today I will look at the New York Islanders Hockey Club L.P.'s interpretation of the NHL's injury disclosure policy not as fuel for frustration, but as fodder for entertainment. Because darn it, this season has some fun in store. New coach and new prospects. No reason to let Big Brother's paranoia ruin it."

For those who are tired of this subject, I apologize for repeatedly harping on it. (In on-ice news, it's looking increasingly likely that old friends Miro Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko will draw the plum assignment of flanking Sidney Crosby.) But honestly, this injury reporting circus is just starting to get entertaining. Consider:

- The Isles, already with 7 NHL one-way contracts on the blueline, pick up another off waivers from the Rangers
- Two of them, Chris Campoli and Andy Sutton, are known to have injuries "below the head" and have not seen the ice in days
- The Islanders circulated a copy of the NHL injury disclosure policy to reporters, in a petty display of "So nyah."
- The only paper that covers them regularly, Newsday, has increased its reporter presence during preseason -- counter to industry trend -- meaning there are that many more bodies digging for info AND meaning the club is welcoming this additional coverage with a big "It's none of your business." Ha!
- Meanwhile, former PR head Chris Botta, mutually parted at the end of last season, is invited back to cover the team via blog with a veteran insider's perspective. Which means every time he shows up around the building(s), there are how many old friends and former colleagues willing to share a bit of info here and there?
- Amid all this, whoever is calling the shots on this issue (Garth "keep it in the family" Snow?) thinks it is both a good idea and feasible to hide injury information.

That, my friends, is how you cook up a recipe where in one corner, Botta is breaking the news that Sutton actually had surgery on his hand -- Botta suspects out for six weeks -- and Campoli's "good" shoulder is being re-evaluated. In another corner, Newsday's Greg Logan -- who broached the Isles' injury info dysfunction at multiple times last season -- considers this information and suspects (because what else can he do, given the tight lips?) that the announcement of first-round pick Josh Bailey's contract today may be in part timed to counteract the bad injury news.

But what injury news? The club doesn't disclose injury news, because it doesn't have to! ("Nyah nyah. Pthppt!") On that note, Logan also squeezed out of a club spokesman that the club "may have an announcement in the next day or two about its injured players."

We wait in joyful hope.

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