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Islanders Final* Roster: Kids are alright, Gionta, Bernier on waivers

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The Isles actually did the thing.

Isn’t it beautiful.
Photo by Kevin Schultz/schultzimages.com

With injuries removing Shane Prince and Alan Quine from the equation, there wasn’t too much drama surrounding the New York Islanders’ opening roster decisions. Except recent history, an abundance of love for old workhorse veterans, and the waiver-exempt status of a few first- or second-year players had fans wondering.

Though nothing is official until rosters are due Tuesday afternoon, the Islanders on Monday took the steps needed to produce a youth-friendly opening roster for the 2017-18 season: Veterans Steven Bernier and Stephen Gionta were placed on waivers.

That would make it appear that waiver-exempt Mathew Barzal (a lock), Joshua Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauvillier will start with the big club.

*We should caution that nothing is quite official yet. Both players could clear waivers and not be immediately assigned to the AHL. When a player clears waivers, that clearance remains in effect for a bit even if they aren’t sent down. Still.

The direction for decisions on defense was always a little more obvious: With eight healthy defensemen, including youngsters Ryan Pulock, Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech, all requiring waivers, there was little chance of funky movement there.

Promising waiver-exempt blueliner Devon Toews was returned to Bridgeport today, but he left an impression and there is an argument that he is already better than some of the other eight blueliners.

But with eight defensemen you already have to sit two each game. (Well, except when Toews lines up at forward for a preseason split-squad...) And of course, with 13 forwards you have to sit one of them.

So we’ll know whether Gionta and Bernier clear waivers tomorrow at midday. Soon after, we’ll learn for sure if the opening roster looks like this:

Forwards

  • 7 Jordan Eberle
  • 12 Josh Bailey
  • 13 Mathew Barzal
  • 15 Cal Clutterbuck
  • 16 Andrew Ladd
  • 25 Jason Chimera
  • 27 Anders Lee
  • 29 Brock Nelson
  • 53 Casey Cizikas
  • 66 Josh Ho-Sang
  • 72 Anthony Beauvillier
  • 86 Nikolay Kulemin
  • 91 John Tavares

Defensemen

  • 2 Nick Leddy
  • 4 Dennis Seidenberg
  • 6 Ryan Pulock
  • 14 Thomas Hickey
  • 42 Scott Mayfield
  • 44 Calvin de Haan
  • 50 Adam Pelech
  • 55 Johnny Boychuk

Goalies

  • 1 Thomas Greiss
  • 41 Jaroslav Halak