The Islanders leave for their Western Canada road trip on Monday, and might have a new face with them.
The team placed defenseman Calvin de Haan on injured reserve on Sunday after he missed the last two games with a lower-body injury suffered last Monday against Detroit. With Scott Mayfield suspended for three (now two more) AHL games and Adam Pelech out indefinitely with his own injury, Arthur Staple believes the club will recall prospect Ryan Pulock from Bridgeport.
#Isles Transaction: Calvin de Haan has been placed on IR, retroactive Monday, Feb. 15 (lower body).— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 21, 2016
#Isles place Calvin de Haan on IR retro to last week. No call-up yet, but I'd expect to see Ryan Pulock join team tomorrow.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) February 21, 2016
For a while, it looked like de Haan wouldn't need to go on IR. He had skated at Islanders practices all week, including Sunday's, and his injury wasn't considered serious unless you're Jack Capuano, who was initially worried about the idea of losing one of his top four defensemen. With the roster at the 23-man limit, someone needed to go on IR to make room for a call-up.
The retroactive designation means that de Haan could technically come off IR very soon. But with the team in Minnesota, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg in the next two weeks, they would have to play some line-up gymnastics to keep both players. They could place someone else on IR or wait until rosters expand after the trade deadline (which is next Monday), which would mean de Haan would miss the next three games.
Pulock's power play shot has been talked about since the Islanders drafted him in the first round in 2013, but Sound Tigers coach Brent Thompson says the AHL All Star's positioning and footwork have gotten much better this season. Should he get the call, Pulock would see his first regular season NHL action. He almost made the team out of camp in 2014, but an injury ended up getting him sent back to Bridgeport and he never returned to the Islanders.
Not only do the Islanders need to replace de Haan, but anyone who watched the flaccid, fruitless five-minute "man advantage" they had in the second period of their 1-0 win in New Jersey on Sunday would agree that their power play needs... something. Anything. Please...?
We'll see who's at Republic Airport on Monday.
Update: Maybe Pulock was trying to go out on a high note. Too bad the Sound Tigers went on to lose 5-2, snapping their 11-game points streak.
Pulock had gone 14 games without a goal, 24 games with one, 36 with two. But there's one. #BST— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) February 21, 2016