This is a question Isles and Niagara fans are going to be referring to over the next month: How many games can Ryan Strome (and, theoretically, Griffin Reinhart) play before the New York Islanders have to make a decision on his 2013-13 season?
The likely dates and number of games have been suggested a few times, but TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted out a series of checkpoints today. They're different form the normal nine-games-and-out rules. To wit:
How long can they keep a player in training camp?
NHL teams have until Fri Jan 18 to return underage juniors to their respective teams or they must be put on the NHL roster.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 11, 2013
That means they can't keep him after training camp -- Strome stuck with the Isles as an observer for the first week of 2011-12 -- without putting him on the roster.
Further, McKenzie says that junior players can be returned until April 3 (the new NHL trade deadline/roster freeze), but if they play more than five games they will "burn" that first year on the player's entry level contract.
For Islanders purposes, these concerns only apply to Strome and Reinhart, who will both be in training camp. Reinhart's far more likely to be returned to the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings. Strome, who has lit up the OHL this year, is a candidate to win a roster spot at center.