An independent blog on the New York Islanders and the NHL by a guy from New York.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 KoC New York Islanders Season Preview

After breaking the 100 point mark (101pts, 47-28-7) last season, your New York Islanders are certainly on the NHL’s collective radar.  They boasted an offense that scored 245 goals against the opposition.  Only the TBL (259), Dallas Stars (257) & NYR (248) scored more than the Isles at 245 goals on the season.  Jaroslav Halak broke a franchise record (Smith 32) with an impressive 38 wins on an All-Star season that included a team best 11 consecutive victories.  The defense had a solid season helping the team to a much improved record.  The Isles fought their way into the playoffs and pushed a very good Washington Capitals team to seven games before being eliminated.

This preseason, the Isles went 2-6-0, but never played a full team roster.  It was audition for individuals and lines as well as a “stress test,” as B.D. Gallof put it.  One might say it was a proving ground for aging vets, prospects or rostered players to test how they would react in unfavorable scenarios.  Several of the games were split squad or comprised of a mostly AHL defensive line up.  While I would have liked to see a little more from New York, I am not too concerned with their play.  This year’s team is comprised of mostly the same line up with a few tweaks.  For those scoring at home, the Isles were 4-2-1 last year in pre-season. 

The Metro may be the best division in the NHL this year.  It will certainly have some of the most difficult teams in which to play.  The improved Islanders should finish 2nd or 3rd in their division and be seated in the top half of the conference for play off positioning.

This year’s squad looks like this:


Josh Bailey
Steve Bernier
Casey Cizikas
Cal Clutterbuck
Mikhail Grabovski
Nikolay Kulemin
Anders Lee
Matt Martin
Brock Nelson
Frans Nielsen
Kyle Okposo
Ryan Strome
John Tavares


Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan
Travis Hamonic
Nick Leddy
Ryan Pulock
Brian Strait
Marek Zidlicky


Jean-Francois Berube
Thomas Greiss
Jaroslav Halak

The often maligned Josh Bailey was a quietly competent 41 point producer in 70 games last season and is due to start benefiting for an improved roster in Brooklyn.

Steve Bernier is said to be another Casey Cizikas type player and had a career high 16 & 16 for 32 points in 67 GP with the NJ Devils last season.

"The" Casey Cizikas produced 18 points, but his intangibles along with Matt Martin (14 pts) and Cal Clutterbuck (16 pts) go far beyond the stat sheet.  From instigators or game changing plays, the best 4th liners in hockey should have plenty of changes to make an even bigger impact his season.

Mikhail Grabovski suffered a concussion that seemed to derail his first season with the Isles.  He scored only 19 pts in 51 games, so he should be eager to reignite his scoring touch.  The question is can he do so playing a more cautious style of game?

Nikolay Kulemin scored 31 pts and was lethal on both sides of the puck for the Isles last year.  He played a solid defensive game that also resulted in 3 SHG.

Brock Nelson started the year on fire, but cooled off in the second half.  Nelson still managed 42 points on the season and has a bright future as a key part of the team.

Frans Nielsen had a solid 43 point season and the Isles veteran can do anything they ask of him.  Nielsen lost some of his dangerous shoot out touch, but with 3 on 3 OT this season, shoot out specialists’ wont factor into the end result as much.

Kyle Okposo is a gritty scorer who plays hard every night.  Despite only playing 60 games, Okposo still managed 51 points and will have incentive to make an impression with the Isles or anyone else who may want to bid for his services in the off season.  I for one will be cheering for him to do just that.

John Tavares (86 pts in 14-15) will most likely break 100 points this season and a full year with impressive young teammates, Anders Lee (41 pts) and Ryan Strome (50 pts and +23) may be just what fans have been waiting for.

The acquisition of veteran D, Johnny Boychuk (26 pts & +15) & Nick Leddy (37 pts & +18) may have been the greatest trade by any General Manager last season.  Garth Snow was rewarded when Boychuk & Leddy helped stabilize the Isles blue line, making them much harder to play against.

Calvin de Haan had 12 pts in 65 games and had his share of struggles last season, but showed some maturation in big minutes for New York.  He should improve behind a more veteran core of Isles defenders this season.

What more can be said about Travis Hamonic?  The guy has unassailable character and is an impact defensemen who shuts down top players around the NHL.  Hamonic finished with 33 pts and a +15 rating in the regular season, but was sidelined with an injury that kept him out of the post season.  His absence may have been the greatest factor in the Isles 7 game series loss to Washington.

Ryan Pulock has been high on the list of prospects Isles fans have really wanted to see on the pro level.  Pulock led all NYI AHL D-Men with 17 goals (16 assists) despite missing 22 games to injury.  If he can stay healthy, he should be as advertised.

Brian Strait has had his ups and downs with the Isles, but I am in the camp that sees him as a last Defenseman on the depth chart.  Hopefully his action will be limited and not take opportunity from prospects like Scott Mayfield.

The addition of an aging, but competent Marek Zidlicky should help with veteran depth of defense and improve a lack luster PP unit.

Jaroslav Halak was awesome last season as I stated in the opening paragraph.  But he has been hampered throughout his career and through this year’s preseason with an upper body injury.  Although Halak practiced today, Isles management decided they need to play it safe and claimed a good AHL level goalie from the waiver wire.

The Isles claimed Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings.  Berube went 37-9-4 with a 2.18 gaa and .913 save percentage in 52 games last season with the AHL Manchester Monarchs.

Thomas Greiss posted a 9-6-3 record in 20 games with a 9.08 Sv% and 2.59 gaa and has shown he is a solid NHL backup goaltender.  Preseason wasn’t a fair audition for Greiss, so he should be very eager to show his stuff in the regular season.

Looking in:

Former KHL’er, Kirill Petrov had a strong preseason and should be among the first forwards called up from the farm in Bridgeport.

Michael Dal Colle, Mathew Barzal & Anthony Beauvillier should continue to work hard to take the next step.

The biggest factors for success this season will be special teams and staying healthy.

On special teams, the Isles PP was ranked 23rd and went 0-14 vs the Caps last season which almost assured their 1st round elimination in the playoffs.  In a very tough metro, PP goals will be crucial and Doug Weight and the Isles coaching staff will need to figure out a more consistent way to score goals.

The Isles PK was very good at times, but was ranked 26th in the NHL.  With a better defensive game and stronger goal tending, the Isles were still held back by their subpar PK.  It simply needs to improve to keep them in close games.

The first season in Brooklyn should be one to behold.  I am looking forward to being reminded what the next level looks like.  Let’s hope we all get to see it next summer.  It all starts this Friday against the defending champs from Chicago.  Isles legend, Jiggs McDonald has the call!

Isles Notes:

Isles have loaned Kirill Petrov to the BST, sent Mathew Barzal to the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL and placed Louis Leblanc on waivers.  Thomas Hickey remains on IR.

Barclays Center has launched the New YorkIslanders Radio Network that includes WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, and WRCN 103.9 FM. The three stations will broadcast every game in the team’s inaugural season in Brooklyn with Chris King doing the broadcasts.    

Alexa Ray Joel will sing the National Anthem on Opening Night for the New York Islanders on Friday, Oct. 9, at the team’s inaugural game in its new home at Barclays Center.  

Isles departures from last season:  C Tyler Kennedy; RW Colin McDonald; D Griffin Reinhart; D Matt Donovan; G Michael Neuvirth.

NHL Notes:

Per Renaud Lavoie, “NHL and NHLPA agreed not to change the division and conference until a final decision is made on the expansion. No changes for 16-17 season.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Islanders Off-Season 2015: The Sound Of Victory

After Brett Yormark mentioned that Islanders fans had an influence on preserving the teams traditional color scheme for the 2015-16 jerseys in Brooklyn, they were even more than vocal about the new Brooklyn influenced goal horn. After Kirill Petrov scored the lone NY goal in the 3-1 loss to Washington, the new goal horn sounded to the dismay of many.  It was reminiscent of a New York subway horn and fans let the Barclays Center, the Islanders and Yormark know they were displeased.  An on line petition & several rants went across social media to let everyone know that the fans were very unhappy about another change.

So this evening, Brett Yormark tweeted a message to Islanders fans, “We heard the fans. We're bringing their goal horn back for opening night in Brooklyn.”  It seems that Barclays Marketing has heard and responded to the Isles fan base yet again.  It is good to know that they have been receptive to some of the recent fan concerns with the move to Brooklyn. 

It must also be noted though, that fans should reserve these kind of crusades for things that really concern them.  Eventually, the drama will become common place and the pleas will start to fall on deaf ears.  There must also must be a tradeoff of sorts now that the team has a new home.

Michael Kay of the Yes Network quoted Brett Yormark as saying, “I need Islander fans to understand there must be a balance" on preserving the history but also including Brooklyn.”  To me, this is a statement that was said to start a precedent to Isles fans everywhere.  Some change will be coming and there won’t be any room to negotiate by fans or anyone else.

Real concerns are fine to stand up for, but just make sure it’s a cause worth fighting for.  Eventually, a bigger concern may come along, but we may have used up any room to save those other “traditions” with lesser battles that were won.

Isles Notes:

In other news, Thomas Hickey is out four weeks with an upper body injury, Steve Bernier will be out 1-2 weeks & Jaro Halak is day to day (upper body).

9/29:  Anthony Beauvillier was returned to Shawinigan (QMJHL) and Michael Dal Colle was reassigned to Oshawa (OHL).

Mike Halmo, Scott Mayfield and Adam Pelech were returned on loan the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Islanders Off-Season 2015: Isles Radio Questions & Poulin Claimed

It looks like the hosts for the Maple Leafs radio broadcasts will be calling road games from a studio in Toronto.  ESPN, NFL Network and FS1 have done similar things with their own brand of broadcasting and it does seem to be somewhat of a changing trend in the sports industry.  It is an apparent decision from New Leafs GM, Lou Lamoriello to not allow broadcasters on the team’s charters for away games.  So for an organization valued at $1.3B by Forbes, it’s a curious budget cut for Toronto.

So what if anything will that mean for your New York Islanders?  Well, it’s too early to tell but Brett Yormark has promised a major announcement regarding the new radio that should be breaking very soon with all but the last few details apparently being finalized.  Whether or not Chris King will continue to call the games or if a major terrestrial radio outlet will host the broadcasts is unknown.  We don’t even know what we can expect from the new brand of Brooklyn based Isles radio.

With modern social media and alternative platforms for delivery, the broadcasting landscape has changed since your Father followed his favorite team back in the day.  Fans can now employ Radio, Streaming, Internet support, Facebook & Twitter updates or platforms like Slingbox to catch up on their favorite team’s nightly contests.

While I am a believer in Radio for those trapped in their cars or stuck at work, it is especially beneficial for fans out of the NY area who could tune into NHL Satellite Radio for their home teams local NHL broadcasts. I am sure fans have had more than enough second fiddle television coverage on MSG and sub-par radio production & exposure while trying to follow their team.  We are tired of seeking another team’s broadcast to try and follow Isles hockey on a given night.

Technology is nice, but there are a few things that I hope the new incarnation of Isles radio can still bring to its fans.

I want Chris King to remain with the call and to have a real radio outlet that will get Islanders games cleanly and clearly to fans all over the world. 

The Isles put Kevin Poulin on waivers with intentions of sending him to Bridgeport, but the Tampa Bay Lightning claimed the goaltender and released Ray Emery from his PTO. 

Poulin was the Islanders 5th round selection, 126th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  The 25 year old seemed to be a big part of the New York’s future plans in net until he suffered a dislocated knee in the 2010-11 season that he struggled to recover from on the ice.  Poulin finished his 5 year in and out Isles career with a 18-25-3 record and seemed to be expendable after the organization acquired Christopher Gibson (Grabner trade) to play with Stephon Williams in AHL Bridgeport.

@kevinpoulin60 “So excited for this new challenge!! Thanks to the @NYIslanders and all the isles fans for the support. #HelloTampa”

Isles Notes:

The Islanders will face the Washington Capitals again on the road Sunday night.  The season opens on Friday, 10/9 against the Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks.

The Islanders have dropped to 2-5 on the preseason after a 3-1 loss to Washington.  Kirill Petrov scored for New York late in the game with Greiss on the bench, but rally fell short.  Thomas Hickey left the game due to injury.

Tavares, Strome & Pulock scored on Saturday against Carolina in Halifax, NS, but the Isles blew a 1-0 and 2-1 and 3-2 lead before falling to the Canes, 5-3.

Isles lose both split squad games. 5-2 to Flyers and 4-2 to NJ.

NHL Notes:

Per @NHLhistorygirl, “On this date in 1942, the Brooklyn Americans suspended operations and the NHL shrunk to six teams for the next 25 years.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Islanders Off-Season 2015: Isles Down Devils

Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome, Frans Nielsen, Travis Hamonic and Brock Nelson are joining John Tavares and the Your New York Islanders to face the New Jersey Devils at the Barclays Center. 

Forwards:  Lee-Tavares-Strome, Nelson-Nielsen-Okposo, Dal Colle-Beauvillier-Petrov, Vaive-Wright-Johnston.

18 - Ryan Strome
21 - Kyle Okposo
26 - James Wright
27 - Anders Lee
29 - Brock Nelson
45 - Justin Vaive
51 - Frans Nielsen
52 - Ross Johnston
71 - Michael Dal Colle
72 - Anthony Beauvillier
90 - Kirill Petrov
91 - John Tavares

Defensive Pairings:  de Haan-Hamonic, Czuczman-Mayfield, Strait-Pulock.

3 - Travis Hamonic
6 - Ryan Pulock
24 - Kevin Czuczman
37 - Brian Strait
42 - Scott Mayfield
44 - Calvin de Haan

Kevin Poulin starters & Christopher Gibson will finish the game in goal.

In the first, the Isles open with some good pressure and Brock Nelson puts it behind Schneider after a giveaway for a SHG, 1-0 NY at the 3:57 mark. Shortly afterwards, Travis Hamonic takes a John Tavares pass from Anders Lee and fires one from the slot for a 2-0 lead.  Its Hamonic’s first game back since April 10th.  Isles had 12 shots and Kevin Poulin with 9 saves.

Stempniak gathers in his rebound off Poulin’s glove and tucks it in on a wraparound through traffic to bring the Devils within a goal, 2-1 Isles in the 2nd.  It’s the first even strength goal for the Devils in nearly 8 periods.  Shots are 23-21 Devils with a 14-9 advantage in 2nd.

Christopher Gibson starts the 3rd for the Islanders.  Devils pull Schneider for the final :50, but Gibson preserves the win for NY.  Play was slow for much of the period.  Isles with a 6-4 edge in shots and a 28-27 Devils edge in the game.  Brian Strait goes to the dressing room after blocking a shot as time expires.  John Tavares did not appreciate Palmieri's elbow lead toward his head. That will probably be filed away for later.

In the NHL mandated 3 on 3 OT demonstration, Isles generated some good pressure in the NJ zone.  Devils call a timeout with 3:04 remaining.  Gibson surrendered a goal (Kennedy) in the extra session after Petrov lost his stick.

Observations:  Kevin Czuczman guilty of a few too many (3) penalties.  Ryan Strome looks really comfortable with Tavares & Lee.  Anthony Beauvillier plays a solid Casey Cizikas type game.  Kevin Poulin looked pretty comfortable and played two pretty solid periods in net. Kevin Gibson looked good as well, especially late.

The Isles PP went 0/5 and the PK was 5/5.

The 1st and 2nd stars of the game were Travis Hamonic and Brock Nelson.

"This is a group that we believe in. We look at each other like family. We look at each other and say "We Can Do This Together."  Matt Martin

Isles Notes:

Islanders are 2-1-0 on the preseason.

Former Washington Capitals GM George McPhee was named as a special advisor to Islanders GM Garth Snow.  McPhee was the former agent and is a longtime friend of Garth Snow and will aid Snow and the Isles scouting staff.

MSG+ has added two Isles preseason games to its schedule: 9/25 @ PHI 10/4 @ WSH.

Islanders & Barclays Center seen in badtaste

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Islanders Off-Season 2015: Isles Split-Squad With Flyers

On Monday, your New York Islanders had split squad games against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Barclays Center and at the Flyers AHL affiliate’s home arena. 

They split the night, with team “A” winning 3-2 in Brooklyn and team “B” losing 5-3 in Allentown, PA.

Team “A”

11 - Bracken Kearns
12 - Josh Bailey
13 - Mathew Barzal
15 - Cal Clutterbuck
16 - Steve Bernier
17 - Matt Martin
27 - Anders Lee
48 - Joe Whitney
84 - Mikhail Grabovski
86 - Nikolay Kulemin
90 - Kirill Petrov
91 - John Tavares

2 - Nick Leddy
7 - Matt Carkner
14 - Thomas Hickey
28 - Marek Zidlicky
50 - Adam Pelech
55 - Johnny Boychuk

41 - Jaroslav Halak
35 - Stephon Williams

5,366 fans showed up in Brooklyn to kick off the preseason for the Islanders 2015-16 season.  John Tavares (PPG-Bailey), Anders Lee (PPG-Tavares) and Kirill Petrov got the goals for New York in what was a high tempo, physical game for the Isles.  Marek Zidlicky was paired with Thomas Hickey and reports say that he played well.  It looks like, Petrov had a solid game.  It should be an interesting story to follow this season. 

Jaroslav Halak played two periods and had 12 saves on the night.  Stephon William played the third period and the league mandated, 3 on 3 OT experiment for NHL pre-season games to preserve the win for New York. 

Isles were 2 for 7 on the PP and had the edge in shots, 28-24.

In Allentown:

10 - Alan Quine
25 - Ben Holmstrom
26 - James Wright
36 - Eric Boulton
43 - Mike Halmo
45 - Justin Vaive
46 - Justin Florek
49 - Sebastian Collberg
53 - Casey Cizikas
56 - Taylor Beck
71 - Michael Dal Colle
72 - Anthony Beauvillier

6 - Ryan Pulock
24 - Kevin Czuczman
37 - Brian Strait
42 - Scott Mayfield
44 - Calvin de Haan
62 - Jesse Graham

1 - Thomas Greiss
33 - Chris Gibson

Team “B” tied the Flyers three times before finally losing the game 5-3.  James Wright, Alan Quine & Justin Vaive (Beauvillier) scored for New York.  Thomas Greiss and Christopher Gibson (acquired in Grabner trade) had the duties in net.

Monday split quads weren’t on TV, but the game against the Devils on Wednesday is on MSG+.

Isles Notes:

New Player Numbers:

Zidlicky 28
Bernier 16
Beck 56
Gibson 33
Nilsson 8
Matt Finn and Carter Verhaeghe have yet to choose a number.

Per Arthur Staple, Capuano said “Zidlicky signing "makes it difficult" for Pulock/Mayfield to earn a spot. "A lot can happen before the season though."

Per Arthur Staple, “Ho-Sang had to be woken up Friday morning at the hotel by team staff while his teammates were already on the ice. and before Ho-Sang was dismissed, had to run the stairs at the Coliseum for three hours as punishment.”

John Tavares on Ho-Sang, “It’s your first day of NHL camp and you’re not here at all … I don’t see that,” Tavares said. “I don’t get how you don’t have 3-4 alarms set, how you’re not jumping at that first opportunity to show what you need to show. I know how highly the organization views him, too.”

Garth Snow on Ho-Sang, “Enough with the bull----. It’s time to grow up.”

Capuano on Ho-Sang, "Let me tell you when he left here, he knows exactly where he stands.”

And according to Newsday, Ho-Sang got the message.

Brett Yormark: Was brief consideration to changing main jersey. Fans were "very outspoken," so decided "we can't touch that.That's sacred ground."

Per Tony Stabile, “Received confirmation today that in addition to the Stanley Cup Banners the Isles retired numbers will hang from the rafters at Barclays.”

Friday, September 18, 2015

Islanders Off-Season 2015: Training Camp Opens & Zidlicky Signs

Camp Opened for the Islanders today.

Arthur Staple mentioned that Steve Bernier was skating with John Tavares & Anders Lee in Group A. Curious?

Well, it turns out that Joshua Ho-Sang was late for the first day of 2015-16 Isles training camp.

As a result, he was sent back to Niagara of the OHL and for him, camp is over before it really began.  Staple mentioned the word around camp was that “Ho-Sang's behavior had been exemplary during week of rookie camp that preceded today. Same with camp in July.  Ho-Sang was also going to skate this weekend on the right side with Tavares and Lee. Clearly Isles value him.”

Ho-Sang had his detractors up until his draft and the Islanders took the talented forward in spite of his “troublesome reputation.”  No one can doubt Ho-Sangs skill and potential, but his choice to be late on the first day of camp is sure to put him is disfavor of the moment.  It just wasn’t a smart thing for him to do and I am sure Josh Ho-Sang knows he made a mistake.  He is never short of motivation but he will need to make better decisions if he wants to be brought in with a shot to make an impression as a potential line mate of John Tavares and Anders Lee.

UPDATE:  Per Arthur Staple, “Islanders have signed D Marek Zidlicky to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. Will be in camp tomorrow.”  It is an incentive and bonus ladened contract.  There is another veteran defensemen to add depth to the blue line & PP unit.  So the D could look like Boychuk-Leddy, Hamonic-de Haan & Hickey-Pulock with Marek Zidlicky for depth with Brian Strait & Scott Mayfield pushing for a spot.  Looking good.

Camp News:

Lines and pairings mean very little, but here was the lineup for day 1 of camp.

Other lines in Group A: Dal Colle-Cizikas-Collberg, Martin-Kearns-Clutterbuck, Whitney-Barzal-Bailey.

Calvin de Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic & Matt Carkner were D in Group A.

Top lines in Group B: Nelson-Quine-Okposo, Florek-Nielsen-Strome, Petrov-Grabovski-Kulemin.

Leddy-Pulock, Hickey-Mayfield D in Group B.

Goaltenders at camp this year are Christopher Gibson, Thomas Greiss, Jaroslav Halak, Parker Milner, Kevin Poulin & Stephon Williams.

Camp Notes:

Per Arthur Staple:

“Snow likened newly acquired prospect Carter Verhaeghe to Casey Cizikas, thinks Christopher Gibson could be a future NHL goalie.”

“Gibson's acquisition means Kevin Poulin has an even tougher climb at camp. Halak/Greiss for Isles, Gibson/Williams/Poulin for BPT jobs.”

Per Cory Wright, “Petrov skating with Grabovski and Kulemin. Grabo and Kule helping Petrov adjust to North American game and communicate with coaches.”

Isles Notes:

Former Islander, Trevor Gillies was signed by ECHL SC Stingrays and is now a member of the Washington Capitals system.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Islanders Off-Season 2015: Isles Trade Grabner & Add 5

The Islanders traded Michael Grabner to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Taylor Beck, Matthew Finn, Christopher Gibson, Tom Nilsson & Carter Verhaeghe. 

Grabner was a healthy scratch in 13 of the Islanders final 18 games last season. After battling the effects from several nagging injuries that often hampered his break out speed, his production seemed to be in a steady decline, which lowered him on the Isles depth chart. 

The additions of Finn and Verhaeghe were speculated as the lynch pin of the deal for New York.

Beck, 24, F played in 62 NHL games last season with the Nashville Predators, scoring 8 & 8 for 16 pts.  Beck was selected (70th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Preds.

Finn, 21, D scored 1 & 2 for 3 pts in 28 games as a member of the Marlies in the AHL.  Finn was the Leafs 35th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft and led the OHL Guelph Storm to a title in 2013-14 with a +57 rating.

Gibson, 22 is a depth goaltender who had a 24-17-3 record with a 2.42gaa and a .921Sv% for the AHL Marlies last season.  Gibson was the 49th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Nilsson, 22, D had 1 & 5 for 6 pts in 44 games in the AHL with the Marlies.  Nilsson was Toronto’s 100th overall selection in the 2011 Draft.

Verhaeghe, 20, F was the Maple Leafs 82nd overall selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.  He scored 33 & 49 pts in 68 games as Captain for the Niagra IceDogs of the OHL and has a gold medal in the 2013 U18 WC’s.

Of the players acquired, Staple mentions that none projected to make roster right away and it seems that they may have been contracts that Toronto wanted to off load to make room for other prospects in their system.  While the moves do add even more depth to the Isles minor league system, it also adds almost $8M in cap space for New York after losing MG $3M cap hit for this season.  

Is there another move to be made?

In other news, the Isles signed Steve Bernier to one-year, $750,000 deal.  Bernier was brought into camp on a PTO, but looks like he may have been in the plan all along.  He was security if Nelson wasn’t signed in the final hours last night and now seems to have secured a roster spot with Grabner’s departure.