The New York Islanders have a game tomorrow. I know—I know! I forgot what that feels like, too. But I’m serious this time.
Surely, the Islanders have enjoyed their time at home this week, but they have kissed their partners and kids good-bye and are probably loading onto the team plane right about now. (Actually, I have no idea what time they’d fly out for a one-day trip, but let me roll here.)
Awaiting them are Barry Trotz’s long-time team, the Nashville Predators, who can’t quite figure out themselves. They traded Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Ellis this summer without really replacing them, and then they gave 31-year-old Mattias Ekholm a four-year extension. They’re in that dreaded tweener space: not good enough to compete for a Stanley Cup, not bad enough to tank. They might make the playoffs, but it would take a pretty Herculean effort from Juuse Saros for that to happen.
Set your alarms, folks, because tomorrow’s game is at 1:30 p.m. ET (meaning it will be 12:30 p.m. where the game is played, which, sure!).
- Semyon Varlamov is “ready to play a game.” [Islanders | Newsday]
- Varly’s return featured in NHL Buzz.
- David Pagnotta says that GM Lou Lamoriello will explore the market for defenseman sometime shortly after the Olympic break. [TFP]
- Ross Johnston’s extension is an insurance policy for The Best Fourth Line in Hockey™. [Newsday]
- LISTEN: Rick DiPietro joined The Jeff Marek Show to give his summary of Ilya Sorokin’s play. Haven’t listened yet, but I assume Marek opened it with: “Rick, are we witnessing greatness here?” (Pretend Dan or Mike is reading it in Marek’s voice; their impression of him is amazing.)
- In typical Islanders fashion, they completely blocked out the negativity headed their way after their slow start and “calmly right[ed] the ship.” [LWOS]
- Robin Salo fueled the B-Isles to victory. The team might actually be good, for once. [The Bridgeport Report]
- BMW has signed on to be one official partner of the New Jersey Devils (Winnie the Pooh in his regular clothes), but it also signed up to be the Isles’ official luxury automotive partner (Winnie the Pooh in a tuxedo). [Insider Sport]
- She’s gorgeous.
A new view in the New York night sky.— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 28, 2021
If you catch a glimpse from the air, send us a photo! pic.twitter.com/XIt1tAocgE
Not Islanders News
- In the Blues game against the Colorado Avalanche, both Jordan Binnington and Nazem Kadri received 10-minute misconducts after Binnington swung his stick toward Kadri. Kadri wasn’t sure why he was punished; let’s call it making up for lost time. [Sportsnet]
- The Seattle Kraken’s Three Stars post-game ceremony features the players tossing plush salmon to fans; just like those fish markets! [ESPN]
- A couple years ago, Jake Guentzel crashed into the boards and broke his shoulder. The incident inspired the development of new hockey rink boards designed to prevent these dangerous outcomes. [Fast Company]
- The Vegas Golden Knights extended defenseman Zach Whitecloud for another six years. [NHL]
- The AHL Cleveland Monsters, affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, had their home opener yesterday. It made one writer wistful for the old Barons and NHL hockey generally. [OH Really?]
- China will host the next Winter Olympics, but the IIHF may deem their hockey team too bad at hockey to compete meaningfully. [NY Times]
Continuing Chicago Fallout
- Following his meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned over his role in covering up Kyle Beach’s sexual assault in the name of winning. [NHL]
- Bettman, in a statement released shortly after news of Quenneville’s resignation broke, agreed with Quenneville’s “decision.” [NHL] Bettman will meet with current Winnipeg Jets GM and former Chicago Assistant GM Kevin Chevaldayoff this afternoon, and I suspect Chevaldayoff will be out, too.
- As he and Quenneville should be. Beach has shown far more courage and bravery than the feckless men in that May 23, 2010 meeting, none of whom have apologized. [Lazerus @ The Athletic] I assume part of that is that there may be legal reasons involving admitting fault as to why they haven’t apologized, but it may just be that they’re callous assholes—there’s certainly, at this point, a lot of proof of the latter conclusion.
- Our local teams, the Islanders and New York Rangers, offered their support for Beach. [Newsday | NY Post]