6:05 pm – Scott Gordon’s comments on the Islanders’ acquisition of his former Providence (AHL) player, Nate Thompson:
“He’s a player who’s just 24 years old and brings incredible energy every shift. Players like that are hard to come by.
“Garth asked me what I thought of him and I told him what Nate could do. This organization liked Nate way before I got here. After I got the job, I was reading some scouting reports from the staff and every one was good on Thompson. (Bridgeport coach) Jack Capuano told me there were two players on Providence who made an impact every time we played each other. Nate was one of them.
“I don’t want to get into what this means to our lineup. Way too early to say. I think you can probably expect us to have these 23 players through at least Monday (3 games) and then we’ll take a look at where we’re at.
“Nothing is set in stone for Thompson. However, this is a huge opportunity for him and I’m sure he knows it. He’s hungry to make the NHL. Our fans loved him in Providence. Fans love the blue-collar players who can turn a game around with a hit or a fight or a big play. Thompson’s that kind of player, and his positives are the kinds of things you can’t teach.
“I’m sure the Bruins didn’t want to let him go. It’s a numbers game there right now and they’ve had to make several tough decisions. Nate’s a good pickup for us.
“He’ll drive wide to the net and crash, bang. He’ll stick up for his teammates. He’ll kill penalties for us. I would expect he’ll need time to work on faceoffs at this level because he’s only played four NHL games. Other than that, I know what we’re getting. He’s a high-energy player and we’re exited to add him to our roster.”
5:00 pm – I’ve yet to hear back from coach Scott Gordon on his once and future player Nate Thompson, picked up by the Islanders from Boston via the waiver wire today. In a cruel irony, defenseman Brett Skinner – a Thompson teammate in Providence – has been sent to Bridgeport to make room on the 23-man roster.
I did run into Islanders scout Eric Cairns at the Coliseum this afternoon, and he was real pleased by the Thompson pickup. “Our fans are going to love him,” said Cairns, who has had an eye on Thompson for over a year. “In your face, tons of energy, good skating, still a young player (he just turned 24). He’s a good fit for us.”
The importance of adding Thompson was best summed up by one of Cairns’ colleagues. On the grounds of anonymity, since he didn’t want his children to read this, a hockey ops official told Point Blank, “We needed someone just like this guy. We really needed to add a little F.U. to our forward lines.”
What this means for Josh Bailey’s Long Island stay is very much up in the air. As for Blake Comeau, the fight for a regular shift may have just gotten a little harder.
Etc: The headline is a little off-key, but Jim Baumbach of Newsday has a good column from practice today on Kyle Okposo.
1:40 pm - The Islanders have claimed center Nate Thompson on waivers from the Boston Bruins. Thompson, a 6-0, 200-pound center who plays an up-tempo, grinding style, played for Scott Gordon in parts of the last four seasons in Providence of the AHL.
Last year at Providence, Thompson was 19-20-39 in 70 games and 2-3-5 in 10 playoff games.
Amazing the things you learn while searching for a Jack Hillen head shot. I couldn’t find Hillen on the NHL roster on the official team site, but I did find Nate Thompson! Congrats to the blogger Strickland for breaking it. The conversation continues on Islandermania.