In a move that has been looming as each player practiced with the team and even participated in Bridgeport over the weekend, the New York Islanders recalled defenseman Thomas Hickey and winger Andrew Ladd from brief AHL conditioning stints.
At the same time, the team announced the reassignment of winger Michael Dal Colle to Bridgeport.
#Isles Transactions: Michael Dal Colle has been loaned to Bridgeport. Thomas Hickey and Andrew Ladd have been recalled from their conditioning stints.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 19, 2019
To fit both Hickey and Ladd on their 23-man roster and pull them off of Injured Reserve, however, the Islanders will need to make another move. Typically, news of players being placed on NHL waivers hits at noon, when we’ll also likely hear that Hickey and Ladd have come off IR.
[Update: No moves announced at noon. So no one on waivers or added to IR yet, and Ladd and Hickey remain on IR for now.]
Seldom-used Ross Johnston and Luca Sbisa would seem to be obvious candidates for demotion, but we’ll see how the Islanders maneuver it under Lou Lamoriello. (Back in the day, Radek Martinek or Eric Boulton would pick up an injury and go on IR.)
Dal Colle has been a regular in the lineup, still has waiver exemption, and they likely want him getting regular playing action; those factors help explain why he was the first to be bumped from the NHL roster, even though he’s been quietly effective if not points-productive when playing with Valtteri Filppula and Leo Komarov.
In Bridgeport, where the Sound Tigers will have a boy from the Make A Wish Foundation at practice. Also here: Michael Dal Colle.— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) February 19, 2019
But that forward lineup spot will likely go to Ladd, who when healthy is still a smart, effective NHL winger — something that gets forgotten with his heavy contract and frequent injuries since joining the Islanders.
Meanwhile, the trade deadline is just one week and three Islanders games away. Much is subject to change between now and 3 p.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 25.