The latest development in the Lou Lamoriello Culture Change appears to be this: We’re gonna shave beards AND lower uniform numbers. That’s not confirmed, but the signs and hints of this testament to style over substance have increased throughout the summer.
I don’t know about Johnny Boychuk (veteran, always wore #55 except that weird #7 phase in Colorado, probably gets a Mogilny Exception) or Valtteri Filppula (is now bad, but has always worn #51), but apparently Adam Pelech is dropping #50 for #3 and Thomas Hickey is dropping #14 for #4 because reasons. Now, maybe Hickey has always wanted a Seidenberg-quality number and Pelech has always dreamed of not having a “I was in training camp” number, and Scott Mayfield has always wanted one of Radek Martinek’s numbers.
But given Lamoriello’s history, I wonder and worry if something highly unrelated to on-ice performance is afoot. And if so, I have no reservations in saying it’s incredibly stupid. I try not to judge before there is confirmation, but...
#Isles confirmed number changes— Buddy (@BudGSN) September 4, 2018
Pelech: 50 -> 3
Mayfield: 42 -> 24
Hickey: 14 -> 4
Beau (72) and Ho-Sang (66) likely next
Yesterday we enjoyed Travis Hamonic’s reaction to fatherhood, noting there is another side that gets overlooked. Casey Cizikas does not overlook it.
Casey Cizikas’ son is now six months old. Told me he has a new appreciation for sleep. #Isles— Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) September 4, 2018
- A little more from Cizikas on playing for Trotz, and the good side of fatherhood. [Isles]
- Jordan Eberle and the new Islanders regime have yet to discuss a contract, but he’s focused on preparing for this season. [NHL]
- Both Eberle and Cizikas discuss moving on from when that 91 guy was here. [Newsday]
- Question 4 in our 20 in 20 series deals with Robin Lehner, and whether we should take that leap of faith that Mitch Korn will fix him. [LHH]
- “There were so many moments last season when the Islanders were exposed defensively where the structure was off, leading to a Grade-A chance against.” Barry Trotz could really affect the Islanders’ defensive approach. Hopefully. [The Athletic]
A little more detail on the Belmont (and in particular, the LIRR question) front from Jim Baumbach of Newsday:
So let's talk about the Islanders' Belmont project, ok?— Jim Baumbach (@jimbaumbach) September 4, 2018
- Meanwhile, in Nassau, RXR is totally going to get it done. [Newsday]
- He’s an outstanding player, but given his age it’s a bit of a risky contract. The Jets are going for it while re-signing captain Blake Wheeler to a five-year, $8.25 million AAV deal that takes him to age 37. [TSN | NHL]
- That #91 guy might make the Leafs score more goals. [TSN]
- R.I.P. Larry Wigge, a longtime hockey scribe who simply did great, solid, consistent work year after year.
Just got word that longtime NHL scribe Larry Wigge has passed away. Before there was social media and scores of electronic outlets, there were only a few print voices and Mr. Wigge was one of the most respected. I'll treasure reading his work and knowing him as a person. #RIP— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) September 5, 2018