Isles Notebook: Nelson & Hamonic Skate; Visnovsky Update
Photo courtesy of Jae C. Hong / AP
By Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey)
Wednesday was a busy day in the NHL. The league’s board of governors meeting in New York and the Toronto Maple Leafs firing general manager Brian Burke.
But on the Isles front, there was some news as well.
To start, Brock Nelson and Travis Hamonic took part in full contact drills with the rest of their Sound Tiger teammates. Nelson has been out with a broken jaw and Hamonic was out due to a concussion.
The Sound Tigers also announced this afternoon that they had signed forwards Jack Combs and Chad Costello to one-year, AHL contracts for the remainder of the season. It would seem the two signings are preemptive strikes before NHL training camps open and the Isles call up a couple players.
In the player movement department, players continue to trickle back to Long Island. According to Arthur Staple Matt Moulson, Matt Martin, Marty Reasoner, Eric Boulton, Matt Carkner, and Frans Nielsen were on the ice at Islanders Iceworks today. Evgeni Nabokov and Rick DiPietro were also on the ice.
Jesse Joensuu arrived back in New York today, according to the team. He is expected to skate at Iceworks tomorrow.
On the Visnovsky front, things continue to be murky. The NHL and KHL are trying to avoid an all out war between the two leagues, though KHL President Alexander Medvedev didn’t have issue talking down the NHL to Sports-Express’ Slava Malamud.
“NHL’s opinion of itself is so high,” he said. “OK, let them get drunk on their greatness. We’ll see how many Euros look our way… Our league will act according to our own and international rules. If players decide to stay, we will help them… [Not going to Sochi] will be a big financial loss for NHL. If they decide differently, that’s their problem.”
In the big picture the NHL is more concerned whether or not Ilya Kovalchuck returns than if Lubomir Visnovsky does. And if Visnovsky is legally forced to return, Newsday reports he will.
Finally The Islanders will have both Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart at training camp when it opens
It is hard to see Reinhart making the squad this year, but Strome is another story. The 19-year-old forward has had an outstanding year in the OHL putting up 62 points (22 goals, 40 assists) in 32 games for the Niagara Ice Dogs.
It also being reported that the NHL has changed things, only allowing junior players five games, instead of nine games, in the NHL before a team has to decide whether to keep them or send them back.