The Islanders are sending Ryan Strome back to Bridgeport.
New York needs to make room on the roster as Radek Martinek is coming off injured reserve (Staple).
Strome was named to the AHL All-Star team on January 9.
Staple also notes that “NHL teams received a memo prior to season saying that a player who plays more than 15 of 20 games prior to Olympic break cannot be assigned to AHL during break.”
He also quotes Garth Snow as saying: “The development of all our young players is important. (Strome) needs to play during the break.”
Kevin SchultzThis move seemed like it was to open up a spot for Martinek, which is what the Islanders wanted to do, although there’s a strong argument that Peter Regin could easily be sent through waivers. Regin hasn’t played since January 6, sitting out the last four games.
However, given Snow’s quote above the team was obviously looking at Strome getting playing time over the Olympic break.
Strome had four points in 15 games and seems to have played well in his appearances. He backchecked noticably (to me, at least) on a number of occasions and was credited for 16 hits in 15 games, so it wasn’t as though he wasn’t physical at all.
While 4 points in 15 games isn’t stunning, Strome’s possession numbers were among the best on the team. Strome was fourth on the team in Fenwick at 50.9%. This number is the same as Corsi, except it removes blocked shots from the totals. It assumes that blocked shots are a skill that some players or teams may be better at. So, Strome is the fourth best Islander at getting non-blocked shot attempts for his team.
But, more than anything, the Islanders were successful with Strome on the ice. The team was 8-4-2 in the 15 games that Strome played.
Hopefully, this is a temporary move. Strome hasn’t been particularly over matched or bad at the NHL level.
Also, one other note, is that Calvin de Haan and Matt Donovan are also eligible to head to the AHL for the Olympic break. To do so by the rules Staple tweeted above, the Islanders would have to send them down the night prior to the outdoor game against the Rangers. Is that in the plans, too?