If Nino Niederreiter makes the New York Islanders roster out of training camp, does it leave Micheal Haley and Matt Martin fighting for the same spot in the lineup, if not on the NHL roster? Probably so. So who is your preference?
That's a debate you can take up in comments of this Haley or Martin? FanPost -- which isn't a broad FanPost (as a rule we like them longer, with a little more background/data, but we already have the background and you all can provide the data).
On that note, for debate purposes, there are other recent FanPost discussions on topics like: The Islanders offense (15th in the league last year...how much better will it be with Mark Streit back?) ... and is the Islanders system two players short of contending in 2013-14? ... and who should be the next captain?
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Topic for This Post: Opening Night Lineup?
You can discuss those specific debates in the FanPosts linked above. But for a debate topic for this specific post try this:
You can open an NHL season with 23 healthy bodies on the roster. The Islanders official site currently lists 24: 13 forwards, 7 defensemen, 4 goalies -- without counting a prospect hopeful like Niederreiter. How will this shake out by opening night?
- If you remove Kevin Poulin you're down to 23, but that's without Nino (or Strome, or any other prospect you think might make it.)
- If you remove both Poulin and Evgeni Nabakov you're down to 22 and have room to add a prospect either at forward or the blueline. Or do they open with three goalies again if "knee swelling" becomes a buzz word again?
- Speaking of depth and insurance against injury/setback, guys returning from surgery include Poulin, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Mottau, Mark Eaton, Streit and surely a few more I'm forgetting.
- If you add Nino and demote one of Gillies/Martin/Haley, your options get wider. Maybe you start to think about a Strome audition or Rhett Rakhshani or Casey Cizikas making an impression in camp. Perhaps one of the summer's AHL vet signings.
All of this is of course dependent on training camp job battles, injuries, and any trades between now and October. But how do you see it shaking out from your vantage point here in mid August?