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Minor League Moves: Islanders start the Sound Tigers restocking with Whitney, Kearns and others

New farmhands a'comin.

Who is the giant inflatable tiger burping up this year?
Who is the giant inflatable tiger burping up this year?
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Islanders spent most of Wednesday morning doing some necessary housecleaning, which left their garage a lot less packed than it used to be.

In other words, a lot of guys who played for their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport last year were allowed to find other work and did, including captain Aaron Ness landing in Washington and late addition Dustin Jeffrey heading to Arizona.

But late in the day, the Islanders started the process of restocking the Sound Tigers for 2015-16. CT Post's Michael Fornabaio has the rundown in a semi-live blog, although it's important to note that none of these moves have been made official by either the Islanders or Sound Tigers. So withhold your excitement accordingly.

The new blood includes:

  • Joe Whitney, former BC guy and Albany Devil, who has three straight 20-goal seasons in the AHL, but is primarily known for being fun-sized at just 5'-6".
  • Bracken Kearns, who spent last year in Finland, but whom you may know better from his days at the San Jose Sharks Parochial School for Children With Really Wacky Names.
  • Tyler Barnes, formerly of Toledo, who was congratulated on his signing by longtime Islanders prospect Jason Clark.
  • Both AHL vet Ben Holmstrom and his brother Josh, as well as Andrew Rowe.
  • NEW! As noted in the comments, add AHL and KHL vet James Wright to the list.
  • NEW! They're coming in waves now, as Fornabaio tweets that contracts for Justin Vaive and Justin Florek are expected soon.

Update: It's officially official now - at least for Whitney, Florek, Kearns, Wright, Vaive and Ben Holmstrom, who all agree to one-year two-way deals. So expect the Sound Tigers to be right back in this spot next year.

We'll continue to update with either official statements or new names. But if you were wondering (as a few of us were) who the hell was going to play for Bridgeport next year, don't worry. The Islanders were on it.