That's a funny joke...I'm not going to Isles camp. Good one, man. - Bruce Bennett
The Islanders will invite 3 forwards and 3 defenseman from the Sound Tigers to training camp, leaving two of their brightest stars in Bridgeport.
Fornabaio reported that the Islanders will have forwards Casey Cizikas and David Ullstrom (not much of a surprise there), along with Sound Tigers captain Colin McDonald, with the team when camp starts tomorrow. All three played in tonight's loss to Portland, with McDonald assisting on a Cizikas goal.
On the blue line, the Isles will summon Travis Hamonic (duh), along with Jon Landry and Ty Wishart. Dom has dropped the Landry name a few times during the lockout as a possible surprise addition to the Islanders defensive corps, so his inclusion isn't too shocking.
The shock may come from the names left off the invitation list. Nino Niederreiter, who leads Bridgeport in scoring and is 10th overall in the AHL, and Matt Donovan are not on their way to Long Island.
Donovan was the favorite pre-lockout to make the Islanders out of camp, and he hasn't disappointed with the Sound Tigers this season. His offensive numbers are similar to Landry's and, at least in my opinion, Donovan has outplayed Landry in the defensive zone.
Niederreiter knew he was destined for Bridgeport this season, but with the circumstances of the lockout and his stellar play so far this season, not getting at least an invitation to camp is a little surprising. The injury Josh Bailey suffered while playing in Germany, coupled with Jesse Joensuu's groin issues, made it seem even more likely Niederreiter would make his way to the Island.
It's possible the Islanders like the progress Niederreiter and Donovan are making and want them to continue it at the AHL level for the rest of the season instead of rush them up to the NHL.
To be fair, Fornabaio did say he wasn't sure if there would be more Sound Tigers invited to camp, and this is not an official announcement. But if he's right and the Islanders are content with the likes of a McDonald or Wishart instead of Niederreiter and Donovan, it may prove to be a long, short season for Islanders fans.