The New York Islanders didn’t get better on Tuesday, but they didn’t get worse.
The trio of Joshua Ho-Sang, Thomas Hickey and Tanner Fritz cleared waivers — only two nondescript players were claimed around the league — meaning these three will be available to help AHL Bridgeport and for recalls if and/or when injuries dictate.
The Islanders will announce their 23-man, season-opening roster by the end-of-day deadline, where the assignments/”loans” of these players to the Sound Tigers will become official.
Certainly appears Thomas Hickey, Josh Ho-Sang and Tanner Fritz all cleared waivers for #Isles. They are all ticketed for Bridgeport (AHL). The Sound Tigers had two practice groups today and none of those three participated in either, which was not unexpected.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 1, 2019
Which is important, because clearing waivers does not in itself mean a player is ticketed for the AHL. It’s just a requirement to be assigned there if the team goes that route. But a cleared player does not require waivers again until 30 days on the NHL roster and 10 NHL games played.
Given the Islanders practice lineup today, with Casey Cizikas still out but hoped to be “fine” for the start of the season, the opening roster is likely to look like this:
Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Michael Dal Colle - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier - Derick Brassard - Leo Komarov
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Tom Kuhnhackl - Ross Johnston
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Greiss
Dobson looks like he is staying, though there are decision points during the season — 10 games before he burns the first year of his Entry Level Contract, 40 games and he burns a year of “service” toward the seven years before unrestricted free agency — when they could evaluate whether to return him to major juniors. A rare and unlikely move.
Andrew Ladd will be placed on IR. If Cizikas is not ready to go, perhaps he joins him and the Islanders can hang on to an additional player (Simon Holmstrom?) for a little longer. The Islanders were reportedly still deciding whether Holmstrom was going to be assigned to Bridgeport or Sweden; it’s possible that they were waiting to see if both Fritz and Ho-Sang cleared waivers, or perhaps it’s just more Lounomics. HV71’s season has already started.
Either way, the Islanders have a lot of flexibility and depth to start the season, much of it to Bridgeport’s benefit.