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UPDATED Islanders Back-to-Back News: Pelech placed on LTIR, Reilly claimed off waivers

They’re calling it an upper-body injury for Pelech, necessitating the claim of Mike Reilly.

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NHL: New York Islanders at Ottawa Senators
This looks like the play that got him.
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders earned themselves a big, gutsy win on the road against the Ottawa Senators last night, but it was gutsy because they lost two defensemen before the game was four minutes old. Adam Pelech left the game two minutes in, and Sebastian Aho left the game three minutes in.

We haven’t gotten an update on Aho yet and probably won’t until later today—no morning skate on the back-to-back, and in such a situation, Lane Lambert usually speaks around 5:00 p.m.—but Pelech has already been placed on LTIR.

This signifies a few things. First, LTIR requires that a player be out a minimum of ten games or 24 days, meaning Pelech will be out for at least about a month. Second, LTIR allows the NHL club not just an extra roster spot, but also that player’s salary cap space for the time he remains on LTIR.

Thus, the Islanders, who were capped out, now have an extra $5.75 million to play with for a call-up or waiver claim—no corresponding call-up has been made, but left-shot defenseman Mike Reilly was waived yesterday by the Florida Panthers. He only earns $1 million per season. I wonder if the Isles try to snag him first. We’ll find out at 2:00 p.m. ET in about 15 minutes.

UPDATE: The Isles did, indeed, claim Mike Reilly off waivers.

In the meantime, the Islanders won’t accrue deadline cap space until (or unless) Pelech comes back off LTIR. Even if Aho is healthy, a big question mark, they have only six defensemen available, and one of them is Samuel Bolduc. If Aho can’t go, they’d have only five healthy defensemen on the roster, not even enough for a full lineup.

Oh yeah, there’s a game tonight, too, and it’s another home game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Thank you, AI schedule-makers, for the repeat. So that question of how they’ll ice a full slate of six defensemen will be answered tonight. This ought to be interesting.

FIG Picks go here. Don’t pick Pelech.

Islanders News

About last night:
  • The top three lines all hit the scoresheet as the Isles held off the Sens despite icing only four defensemen for basically the whole game. [LHH]
  • The four remaining blue liners dug deep, with both Noah Dobson and Alex Romanov cracking the half-hour mark. Also, the Islanders nearly fell behind 2-1, but successfully challenged for offside and then took the lead themselves shortly thereafter. [3 Takeaways]
  • For the Senators, it was a missed opportunity against a wounded opponent. Man, this place would have melted down if the Islanders couldn’t find a way to beat a team that lost two defensemen that early in the game. [Sportsnet]
  • “Gutsy” was the word of the night. [Newsday]
  • And it helped that their offense is rolling. [NY Post]
  • Speaking of which, the third (Mathew Barzal) and the fourth (Anders Lee, who has three goals in four games) goals were scored six seconds apart, tying the franchise record for quickest goals. [NYI Skinny]
Moving on:
  • The stories about Pelech being placed on LTIR; Matt Martin, who has missed four straight games with an upper-body injury and didn’t travel to Ottawa yesterday, was placed on regular IR retroactive to November 15, opening up another roster spot. [Isles DTD | NY Post | THN]
  • I think Andrew Gross may be a bit of a curse because he posted this story earlier in the day yesterday about how Pelech can play with any partner. [Newsday]
  • The team site’s story about claiming Mike Reilly. [Islanders]


Yesterday’s NHL scores include another regulation loss for the Flyers, to the New York Rangers, and for the New Jersey Devils, to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

  • Andrei Vasilevskiy returned to the Tampa Bay Lightning net, and he made a bunch of saves while his teammates scored—[eyes widen, takes off glasses and cleans them, puts them back on, shakes head]—eight(!) goals on 15(!!!) shots against the Carolina Hurricanes. [NHL]
  • The Chicago Blackhawks announced that Corey Perry will remain away from the team “for the foreseeable future” without an explanation as to why. [Sportsnet] After numerous scandals, this organization promised to be more transparent, yet this remains a big mystery. That said, maybe this is a different situation.
  • The Anaheim Ducks are load-managing second-overall pick Leo Carlsson, and it’s worth wondering whether it catches on. [The Athletic]
  • An answer to the curious decision by the PWHL to launch using temporary jerseys and no team names or logos. [The Athletic]