With the end of a playoff-less regular season for the New York Islanders, the reassignments have begun to fill out their AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers roster for the end of that equally playoff-less season.
Among those headed to Bridgeport are Ryan Pulock (as previously reported out of Brandon), whose WHL season is over, as well as recent NHLers Matt Donovan, Scott Mayfield, Mike Halmo, Brett Gallant, Justin Johnson, John Persson and Johan Sundstrom.
...Jesse Root back to school. Isles send down Donovan, Halmo, Persson, Mayfield, Sundstrom, Gallant, Johnson. Unknown if any go tonight #BST
— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) April 14, 2014
It's been that kind of final month for both organizations, with a massive list of injuries forcing lots of ATOs in Bridgeport and callups and unexpected NHL debuts for players like Mayfield, Gallant and Johnson in particular.
As for Sundstrom, whose NHL season ended at the hands of a hit from behind by Douglas Murray:
Johan Sundstrom says his neck is sore, but otherwise he's fine. Says fellow Swede Douglas Murray texted him after hit to apologize. #Isles
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) April 14, 2014
(Presumably Murray also texted Nino Niederreiter just to cover all possible hurt feelings.)
The Sound Tigers have just three games remaining in their season, including tonight's makeup game (because foam parties happen) against Adirondack. Finally, they have a lot of fully signed bodies back to help play them.
Of most interest to Islanders fans, however, will be the pro debut of Pulock, the high-scoring defenseman who was their top pick in last summer's draft. Michael Fornabaio of the Connecticut Post reports Pulock is expected to play tonight.
For the other assignments, Donovan might be a bit of a surprise given his 52 games logged -- but also apparent short leash -- with the big club this season. With Pulock there, Donovan will be seeing both a new teammate and competitor for the role of offensive-minded defenseman,
After tonight, the Sound Tigers conclude with games at Hartford on Friday and Adirondack on Saturday. They are currently just two points ahead of Portland for last in the conference and in the AHL overall.