Bits: Informal workouts; mock expansion teams filled

It's skatin' time again. [This photo is from rookie camp, not today's skates.]

Per Katie Strang's Twitter, the Islanders are skating, with the vets skating first and the young 'uns (not The Young Ones, sadly) going next. All your much-anticipated prospects (you know: Hamonic, de Haan, Nino, Mikko, Poulin) are in that second group, while Rick DiPietro is in the first and told Strang the knee's good, he's ready for a regular camp. I'm sure she'll have more at the Newsday blog later.

Meanwhile, a follow-up on some in-house/SB Nation business here: After picking our protected list for SBN's mock NHL expansion draft (and later: Pondering realignment), the GMs for "Quebec" (Globe and Mail's James Mirtle) and "Winnipeg" (Behind the Net's Gabe Desjardins) made their choices, which you can see here. Gabe further explains his rationale, with some interesting points about how the salary cap world would change expansion draft strategy.

As Gabe tells it, "We were actually going to draft 30 players each, but by the time we got into the low-20s, there was nobody left worth drafting." He selected Bruno Gervais, the only exposed Islander to be claimed. (Mock Hilbert, Sim, DiPietro, Jurcina all survived.) Looking at those teams, I see some surprising strengths (Gomez! Barrett Jackman!) as well as some very old D (Hamrlik, Foote, O'Donnell) that remind me just how bad expansion teams can be.

What say you?

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