Watching footage of Nino Niederreiter skate next to (and be chased by) little Mike Cammalleri as Cammi loses it and breaks a hockey commandment -- "Thy stick shall not be a weapon." -- underscores the size Nino carries already at 18 years old. (Video of the stupid Cammalleri stickwork to Nino's face and leg, via the speedy Fel0096, after the jump.)
The league will review the infraction -- or infractions, rather -- and Jacques Martin of course defended the stick-wielding coward. Puck Daddy suggests a suspension is in order and FanHouse suggests it's "entirely possible," but we all know the victim was an Islanders rookie in a preseason game and Colin Campbell, um, "treats each incident as separate." Cammalleri was ejected and thus escaped the NHL's traditional ritual of on-ice frontier justice.
Prior to the split-squad games concluding the "competitive" portion of camp (Isles A won over the Devils 2-1, Isles B lost in Quebec to the Canadiens 7-2), the Islanders had announced the formality-only cuts of Dustin Kohn (goes through waivers first), Robin Figren, Tony Romano, Anton Klementyev and Kevin Poulin.
The big decisions and news are to come. Links and video coverage of the night's games follow here:
The Petulance of Cammalleri
"Hey Nino, know who's an absolute tool? -->This guy. But I was a playoff hero, and I eat organic!"
Stick to the face, eh? As the delightfully awful VH1 show says: "I'm sorry, Cammi, but you're just a tool."
UPDATE: Here was the alleged blindside hit that drew Cammi to wield his stick not as tool, but as weapon (h/t ICanSeeForIslesandIsles in comments):
- MTBVibe's dedicated thread on the night's action via FanPost.
7th Woman had game-thready running thoughts.
- NHL.com's recap of the Isles-Habs game, with Jon Sim and Jesse Joensuu (two in two nights) scoring
- Blake Comeau and Josh Bailey scored in the win over the Devils, which nhl.com recaps here. (I love how they say "salvaged a win" as if preseason records indicate anything -- not that these evaluative scrimmages are easy to right about.) Rick DiPietro made 25 saves and was named a 2nd star. Multiple observers praised the play of a lively Doug Weight.
- As linked above from the Gazette: Camalleri slashes, while Martin defends. Oh, "blindsided" was he? Maybe there's video before it of that, but the descriptions don't relay it and regardless that's when you hit someone back, not stick them in the face, back and leg.
- Habs Eyes on the Prize with their thoughts.
Nordiques fans in their beautiful blue rallied and also packed the building for the game. Apparently some were disappointed not to see more Isles "A" players, but they got their slaughter and if they're honest with themselves they'll remember what awful NHL preseason hockey is like: Scrubs trying to make a name and veterans on autopilot.
- Chris Botta with various thoughts on the game and roster decisions to come.
Stop me if you've heard this before: Larry Brooks is using his seasonal criticism of the Islanders to serve his own pro-union, anti-CBA crusade. I know, right? I'm shocked too. Sure, it sucks that the Isles have a lot of buyout money on the payroll this year -- we've all complained about that -- but they're still paying that money. The "spirit" of the CBA was to keep low-revenue teams from paying out more money just to keep up with the few rich clubs who can afford to flush money down the Holik on a yearly basis. I am not inside Charles Wang's head, but ask me if he'd rather that money be going toward the actual on-ice roster and I guarantee you I could come up with the correct answer.
You know the big decisions that lie ahead. Now we just wait to hear about 'em. Not that anyone has seen much thanks to this truncated preseason schedule, but might as well restart the thread: Who do you keep, who do you cut?
I'd like to see Nino for at least a portion of his nine games; if they do the same with Calvin De Haan, I'm at least open to see how it goes. I confess I'm motivated by wanting to see more reps from either of them to get a better read on where they're at.