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Islanders Training Camp News: The welcome Mat(t)s, the cutouts and the NHL sponsors

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Also, finally, surely, Noah Dobson gets his chance?

New York Islanders Training Camp
That’s Cory Schneider, who could not be had for Nino Niederreiter, though Garth tried.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s Jan. 6 and the Islanders begin their season in just over a week, and I confess I’m still wholly disoriented by the whole thing. Hey, I’m a standup-goalie and lockout-era kind of guy, so for me if the season is starting in mid-January, it’s because the NHL owners haven’t secured a salary cap yet or the Isles owners are threatening to leave Nassau Coliseum because it’s unsafe.

This pandemic thing is so 1919.

But today is day three of on-ice training camp activities, which means it’s the final day of fundamentals and systems before Barry Trotz concocts line combos for media to quiz him about.

Islanders News

  • The big news from yesterday was about the Mat(t)s. Mathew Barzal is still un-signed but more enlightened speculation was shed on his situation. Matt Martin is (not officially but basically) signed for a reported FOUR years.
  • Citing Elliotte Friedman and Arthur Staple, Dan rounded up that whole Barzal and Martin situation in the most thorough way possible. [LHH | Sources: No Sleep Till Belmont podcast, Friedman 31 Thoughts]
  • On that: Martin is here to stay. [Newsday] His teammates are thrilled. [Post]
  • Hopefully Noah Dobson is here for even longer, and with a bigger role beginning now. [Newsday]
  • All of that purgatory for Dobson last year was to prepare him for this. [Post]
  • Last year’s sixth-round pick Matias Rajaniemi won bronze with Finland at the WJC. [Isles] (By the way, the U.S. upset the favorites and host Canada to take gold.)
  • Like baseball teams did, you can buy a fan cutout for Islanders games with the funds going to charity. [Fan Cutouts]
  • Despite some key losses, the Isles believe they have good depth on the blueline. [Isles]

Elsewhere or Everywhere

  • More tributes to the late John Muckler, who was key to the Oilers’ dynasty interruptus among other NHL stops. [TSN | Sportsnet]
  • Nolan Patrick is back on the ice for the Flyers, a good sign for the top pick whose career was jeopardized by migraines at a young age. As a migraine sufferer I hope the best for him. [BSH]
  • The NHL announced corporate sponsors for the four divisions — yeah, only to generate revenue during the pandemic {wink wink} — and if you think I’m ever going to bother to mention them here, you must be new to Lighthouse Hockey. Trust me, the Isles are the best team in the [bank/tire/insurance/credit card/car of some sort] Division. [NHL | Sportsnet]
  • More sponsorships (helmets, mostly) if you care. [Sportsnet]
  • No really, I get it, revenues will crater without in-person attendance in a gate-driven league and it’s no worse than generic divisional names or names for Random Dead Guys Of Yore. [Athletic] I don’t begrudge their decision, and in my day job I saw proposals for additional “revenue-generating concepts.” But...fair to say everyone across society is dealing with challenges from the pandemic, so I’m not going to be all “Oh thank BOSSY they’ve found a way to make up for the loss of $13 beers.”
  • Ilya Sorokin’s compatriot, friend and soon-to-be rival isn’t necessarily the Smurfs’ #1 goalie. Sure. [NHL]
  • The Canucks hope Travis Hamonic will bring the things you expect him to bring. [Province]
  • Dougie Hamilton has moved around a lot in his career (not by choice) and maybe visited some museums, but the preference in his mind is staying in Carolina. [NHL]
  • Not gonna lie, I saw a headline “Wilson Retires” and I got my Hickey/Visnovsky-loving hopes up. Alas. [NHL]
  • Former Sabres GM Jason Botterill will be Seattle’s assistant GM. [NHL | Sportsnet]