UPDATE: The Islanders have also agreed to terms with 2011 1st-round pick Ryan Strome.
Another roster domino officially falls as the New York Islanders have signed training camp tryout and ex-Devil Jay Pandolfo on the day before final season-opening rosters are due. [Note: You regulars are fast. Existing FanShot discussion over here.]
Before rehabbing his shoulder and spending almost all of last season away from hockey (save for a brief tryout with AHL Springfield), Pandolfo was once a bottom-six fixture on successful Devils teams.
Of course, his production and useage declined steadily each year since the lockout, leading to the self-inflicted buyout by the Devil that sent him on some Biblical year wandering pro hockey's desert.
So as with fellow camp invite Steve Staios, the Islanders are taking a bit of a leap of faith here that: 1) The body has recovered, 2) The aging body will not soon (re)decline, and 3) What they believe they saw in training camp was the real thing. Cheap depth, low commitment, veteran my-career-hangs-here surliness.
In the very least, all future down-on-their-luck NHLers know they can take Islanders' training camp invitations seriously. This isn't just some Manny Legace need-a-body show -- there are actual jobs to be won!
Forward Roster Update
I'm starting to wonder if Jack Capuano has a more varied crew of penalty killers in mind this year, possibly freeing Frans Nielsen up for more powerplay work. Just a thought.
Pandolfo, quoted by the official site before his signing, was obviously grateful just for the shot:
“They gave me a great chance, played me in every game and gave me good ice time,” Pandolfo said. “I felt pretty good, I hadn’t played games in a long time so it was good to get back in there and get my timing down and all that stuff, it felt pretty good and we’ll see what happens now.”
What happens now is a contract, and another lifeline on an NHL career that dates back to 1996-97.
Anyway, as we've discussed this week, the forwards are slowly becoming clearer:
|Matt Moulson||John Tavares||P.A. Parenteau|
|Michael Grabner||Frans Nielsen||Kyle Okposo|
|Blake Comeau||Brian Rolston
|Matt Martin||Jay Pandolfo
|Trevor Frischmon||Ryan Strome||Kirill Kabanov|
There are eight defensemen still in camp, too, although injuries or the prevailing winds on Dylan Reese may make that seven. In any case, cut the two junior forwards [edit: That is, if you're signing Strome now but still cutting him, which is quite possible] and you have 13 forwards, 3 goalies, 8 defensemen: One pro left to go.