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Islanders News: So many defenseman, so little time

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Johnny Boychuk is feeling good this September.

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
The ankle he broke is no longer broken. It was his ankle, right?
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Islanders’ first real preseason game of the season takes place tonight against the Flyers in Philadelphia. And it’ll be on local TV!

Sadly, though, we won’t have Brendan and Butch just yet:

Islanders News

  • They’re eager to get back into game action tonight, just like the rest of us. [Newsday]
  • The fellas are embracing the competition on the blue line, knowing they’ve got a lot of capable defensemen for not as many roles to fill. [Islanders]
  • There’s a good chance that the Isles split goalie duties again this season, which I recommend, personally. [Islanders]
  • Johnny Boychuk is happy to be healthy at the start of this training camp. [Newsday]
  • Tanner Fritz is fighting for a spot after recovering from his scary blood clot last spring. [Islanders]
  • Tom Kuhnhackl, whom Barry Trotz says has “street cred,” is day-to-day. Mitch Vande Sompel, who crashed into the net on Friday, is going to be out a while. [Islanders]
  • However, 2019 first round pick Simon Holmstrom was finally able to get on Islander ice after recovering from a shot block that resulted in a lower-body injury. [Newsday | Islanders]
  • More on Trotz’s notoriously tough first day of training camp, which Derick Brassard said was the “hardest training camp practice of [his] career.” [Islanders]
  • PLEASE DON’T ARGUE ABOUT THIS TODAY: GM Lou Lamoriello and Slava Fetisov have remained good friends since working together, so Lamoriello was more than happy to host the former Devils defenseman’s passion project, the Last Game. It will be Tuesday afternoon at the Coliseum - many former Islanders, as well as Boomer Esiason, are expected to participate. [Newsday]

The first look at Semyon Varlamov’s new mask for this season:

Elsewhere

  • Island Park born-and-bred Charlie McAvoy has ended his RFA holdout, signing a three-year bridge deal with the Bruins with an AAV of $4.9 million a year. [SCOC | Sportsnet]
  • Still without an NHL deal, the JetsPatrik Laine will skate with SC Bern of the Swiss league. [Sportsnet]
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov will be suspended the first three games of the season after all (meaning he won’t be suiting up in the opener against the Isles), with the league citing “inappropriate conduct.” He’s trying to win back the trust of the Capitals and their fans, now. [NHL]
  • Andrew Mangiapane ended up taking his qualifying offer from the Flames, and I’m sure he’ll be in “prove-it” mode this year. [Sportsnet]
  • Stars defenseman Julius Honka has requested a trade, and the Canadiens are among the interested teams. [Sportsnet]