I knew it. Just as I started to put together a Bits post, the Islanders announced their roster cuts. Bits will be out later, as if anyone cares.
Staying on the Islanders will be forward Brock Nelson, defenseman Matt Donovan and defenseman Griffin Reinhart, who can play up to nine games with the big club before being returned to Edmonton of the WHL (if at all). None are surprises, especially with the injury to Cal Clutterbuck opening up a third line forward spot that seemed to have Nelson's name written on it. Reinhart's done some impressive things this preseason and Donovan was the estimated heir apparent to the vacant blueline spot left by Mark Streit (RIP).
Going to Bridgeport is a cadre of players, including sniper-in-waiting Ryan Strome, who will continue waiting. From the Islanders:
The 15 players loaned to Bridgeport include forwards Chris Bruton, Joe Diamond, Brett Gallant, Mike Halmo, Kirill Kabanov, Anders Lee, John Persson, Alan Quine, Ryan Strome and Johan Sundstrom. They're joined by defensemen Calvin de Haan, Scott Mayfield and Aaron Ness. Goaltender Anders Nilsson was also loaned to the Sound Tigers. Defenseman Joe Finley cleared waivers and was loaned to Bridgeport.
Seeing Strome cut will sting to those of us (raises hand) that want to see the kid unleashed on the NHL. But Bridgeport is just a phone call away and I doubt the preseason will be the last we see of him this year. Strome shone in his short AHL stint last season, and he seems prepared to work his way back to Uniondale.
2013 first-rounder Ryan Pulock was returned to his junior team, the Brandon Wheat Kings. And Kevin Poulin wins the Battle of the Back-up Goalies, which means Anders Nilsson is the odd man out.
Released from their PTOs were goalie Kenny Reiter, forward Justin Johnson and veteran defenseman Radek Martinek, who will now transform into a graceful swan and fly off into the sunset. Reiter and Johnson head to Bridgeport.
Updates and Commentary:
- Arthur Staple has the story in Newsday on what Capuano and Snow said about the final season-opening roster.
- Kevin at IPB talks about how the Strome decision represents a complete reversal of the Islanders' previous handling of prospects and why that's a good thing.