1:45 pm, Iceworks – Josh Bailey, who could have been injured if he went to the World Junior Championships, is instead now an injured member of the New York Islanders.
Bailey has been listed by Islanders PR guru Seth Sylvan as “day-to-day” with a sprained ankle. The 19-year old center did not practice with the Islanders today in preparation for Tuesday’s home match against the Washington Capitals. He was said to also be at Iceworks yesterday for treatment, while the rest of the team had the day off.
Nate Thompson (unknown injury) and Mike Sillinger (groin) also did not practice.
On the positive side, Mike Comrie and (in somewhat of a surprise) Kyle Okposo practiced in red jerseys with the team today. Comrie said he is definitely out for Tuesday while he hopes to get his timing down over a full week of practices. Expect him to join the Islanders on their two-game trip at the end of the week to Minnesota and Nashville.
Okposo, announced just 10 days ago by the team as out “4-6 weeks” with a sprained wrist, not only practiced, but skated full-tilt and cranked slap shots with no visible discomfort. After the workout, Okposo said he felt good, needed to work on his timing and was thrilled to be ahead of schedule, but could not provide his personal timeline for return.
Scott Gordon said the carousel of injuries has been “frustrating. We haven’t had a full deck since day one. It’s hard to have a rhythm.” Later on, in a one-on-one chat with Point Blank, he acknowledged that one of his biggest disappointments was not having youngsters Okposo and Frans Nielsen in the lineup. “They’ll be fine in the long run, but this year is important time for them and for us. We want to show everyone what they’re capable of.”
Add Bailey to the list.
ETC: Rick DiPietro, who reportedly was to resume practicing today, was not at Iceworks. Gordon said the current plan is for DiPietro to go on the road trip and not participate in his first team workout until Friday in Minnesota. Asked about DiPietro playing some games in Bridgeport, as suggested in this space, the coach said it’s an option, “but it’s not one we have discussed yet.”
Mitch Fritz is still with the big club, wearing an orange jersey today with Tim Jackman and Jon Sim.
I asked Gordon if there was any hesitancy to recall young prospects like Trevor Smith (hat trick for Bridgeport on Saturday) for fear of rushing them when ideally they should continue their development in the AHL. The coach said the other way of looking at it is a recall for a few games “provides an opportunity to see if they are ready.” He cited Tim Jackman as a player who has made the most of that opportunity.
Based on the availability of day-to-dayers Bailey and Sillinger and the tbd Thompson, the Islanders will need to find re-enforcements from Bridgeport or elsewhere by Tuesday night when they play the Caps at the Coliseum. Our hunch is none of those three are playing, so stay tuned for roster news on Point Blank either tonight or from tomorrow’s morning skate.