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Informal Notes from an Informal Skate: Injury updates and more

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Back to the grind.

The gang's all here.
The gang's all here.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The photo we ran this morning was not some kind of Photoshop mock-up. A few Islanders did gather for their first informal skate today and Newsday's Arthur Staple provided a few notes and updates.

First, the line-up

Of note: John Tavares was taking part in the NHL's media day in Toronto and Cal Clutterbuck did not skate but has been on Long Island for a while.

The Now-Healthy

It wasn't until after the season was over that we found out about Nielsen's high ankle sprains (yes, two), which he apparently suffered first in late February, then again in April. At 31, Nielsen is beginning (or more likely in the throes of) his decline, but fully if operational, he would be a huge boost to the Islanders on the ice or to Garth Snow on the trading block.

Grabovski's first year as an Islander was hampered by two concussions, one in October and one in February. His underlying numbers remained as productive as ever, but you can never be too careful with head injuries and he missed a ton of time before returning for a few playoff games.

If a fully operational Nielsen would be helpful, adding a fully productive Grabovski, who has better offensive instincts and can play wing as well, would be a boon and a half. We have yet to see Grabovski's best, but after a full offseason of rest and recovery, it's possible we're close to getting a look.