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Griffin Reinhart to Bridgeport as New York Islanders activate Calvin de Haan from IR

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But last season's top pair might not be reunited just yet.

Not a bad game to go out on.
Not a bad game to go out on.
Bruce Bennett

One of the IR-delayed preseason dominoes has fallen: The New York Islanders have activated Calvin de Haan from Injured Reserve, making room by assigning rookie Griffin Reinhart to AHL Bridgeport.

Reinhart will join a crowded Sound Tigers blueline that looks like it will get back captain Aaron Ness as soon as this weekend, when Bridgeport plays a three-in-three including a home-and-home with Albany.

A Brief Debut

For his initial three-game baptism in the pros, Reinhart was a number six defenseman paired with Brian Strait. He averaged 14:23 of ice time including a cumulative 4:18 of shorthanded time spread across those three games.

Such a short time isn't much to go on in terms of deeper data collected, but he and Strait certainly represented a third pair in usage at even strength.

To these eyes, Reinhart showed he still needs some adjusting to NHL speeds and decision-making, but he also exhibited the strength around the net positional instincts that have been part of his billing. One challenge is that the latter two attributes won't work without the former also catching up to speed. But that is so often the case for a 20-year-old making the jump straight from juniors, so we'll see how he evolves over time.

The conventional wisdom had Ryan Pulock pulling ahead of Reinhart during training camp, but Pulock's injury kept that order from remaining on opening night. The Islanders also have Matt Donovan healthy (and scratched for the first three games), but Donovan requires waivers to be reassigned.

More Returnees on the Way

So with Donovan in reserve, this opening week became about getting Reinhart a few looks before a roster move was made when the first defenseman came off IR.

Lubomir Visnovsky and Matt Carkner are also on IR, with Visnovsky looking like the next in line, though probably not until after the weekend.

As for tonight's game against the Sharks? We'll see if last season's top pair is restored: