Yesterday the New York Islanders announced the system depth signing of 27-year-old defenseman Nathan McIver, a veteran of eight pro seasons mostly in Vancouver's system, with a few stops in the NHL with them and Anaheim. He was most recently in the Boston Bruins' organization for two seasons.
Who is he? A left-shooting Matt Carkner.
Really? Well, not really. Five years younger, an inch shorter and perhaps 30 lbs. lighter. But he's a tough defenseman willing to throw 'em and such, having amassed 746 PIM in 304 AHL games, including 26 fights in 2010-11 according to HockeyFights.com.
How do I know him? You probably don't, unless you closely follow the AHL. (And by "follow the AHL," I mean more than "I've seen clips of Donovan shooting and Gillies fighting.")
He is not to be confused with Norm "Every Day, Expansion Saves A Career" Maciver* nor the other "Don't Need a Gun" MacGyver, whose seven-season run was about four seasons shorter than Norm's NHL career. And of course not Don MacIver, who played six games for Winnipeg in 1979-80.
*Fact: Norm Maciver had 17 goals -- seventeen! -- in 1992-93 for the Ottawa Senators. Remember that next time a defenseman has a career year and you start to think he suddenly improved his shooting ability by a factor of four.
What do they say? Sound Tigers beat writer says McIver plays "solid defense, despite some bad injury luck recently."
What is he for? Defense (of course), toughness and protection of the crop of young fellers down in the AHL.
Will we see him on the Island? Never say never, but ... no. Not unless carnage ensues. Which it sometimes does. Especially with defensemen. McIver does have NHL experience with the Canucks (18 games) and Ducks (same) between 2006-07 and 2008-09, so he's been there and the Islanders have indeed signed him to a two-way, one-year deal. And no doubt he holds the outside hope of another shot in the show.
But by age 27 or so, when a guy hasn't been back to the NHL for three seasons, usually the window is closing. Usually.
Anyway, the P.E.I. native recovered from the aforementioned (afore-linked?) string of injuries to play 41 games for the Providence Bruins last season. Now he's on Bridgeport's side, which means he's on Kirill's and Brock's and John's and all the rest's side, including whichever other defensemen don't break camp with the Islanders ... whenever camp begins.