The New York Islanders announced who they're assigning to Bridgeport before the lockout begins, and there is one somewhat surprising name among the 19: Travis Hamonic, who last played in the AHL in November 2010 and hasn't been back since.
Griffin Reinhart and Ryan Strome were also formally returned to their junior clubs -- a good sign that neither will appear in the NHL this year whenever the season starts, unless the NHL and CHL work out a special lockout year arrangement.
For the Bridgeport-bound players, the assignments are necessary for these players on two-way NHL contracts, as they would otherwise end up in NHL limbo after the CBA expires Saturday night and the inevitable lockout begins.
The full list of newly assigned (but mostly expected) Bridgeport Sound Tigers:
Marc Cantin, Casey Cizikas, Jason Clark, Calvin de Haan, Brandon DeFazio, Matt Donovan, Mike Halmo, Travis Hamonic, Kirill Kabanov, Jon Landry, Brock Nelson, Aaron Ness, Nino Niederreiter, Anders Nilsson, John Persson, Kevin Poulin, Blair Riley, Johan Sundstrom and David Ullstrom.
Hamonic is 22 and has 135 NHL games under his belt. But maybe this gives him an opportunity to become a truly dominant D-man with lots of reps at that level. As for Niederreiter, it's certainly a necessary step.
Regardless, it's time to double down on our AHL coverage, no?