The Islanders took their team photo this morning on the ice at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Most notable about the set-up was the Islanders’ (wise) decision to take the picture in their vintage Third jerseys.
It was a particularly meaningful moment for veteran center Dean McAmmond, who grew up in Alberta an Islanders fan. He was such a big fan, the cake at his 13th birthday party was adorned with the Islanders’ logo.
Asked if McAmmond is in consideration for a return next season, Islanders head coach Scott Gordon said, “He’s fit in well and has grasped everything we’ve thrown at him very quickly. He also can still skate with great speed. He says he’d like to come back and he’s done everything possible to put himself in a favorable light.”
Joe Callahan, Andrew MacDonald, Jesse Joensuu and Joel Rechlicz were returned to Bridgeport, some of them not for long.
Figure on Callahan and Joensuu being back in the Islanders’ lineup for their home matinees on Saturday against New Jersey and Sunday against Phoenix. If both play tonight for the Sound Tigers, they’d be looking at 4 games in 4 days. Maybe they won’t play tonight for the Sound Tigers.
Depending on the health of some Islanders roster players, MacDonald (or another dman) and Rechlicz (or another forward) could return to the Island for the weekend. Thomas Pock may be closer, while Richard Park, Nate Thompson and the suspended Brendan Witt took part in the kind of exhausting post-practice skate that signals they’re not playing tomorrow.
Witt sits out the final two games of his ridiculous punishment and will return to the Islanders on Tuesday when they play in Toronto – of course, a date better known for being Point Blank Night II at Gabrielle’s in Rockville Centre.
Scott Gordon on the play of Joensuu, initially penciled in to play all this season (and likely next) in the AHL:
“It’s night and day for Jesse from how he looked in training camp. His skating, his foot speed, his positional play…Jesse’s made huge strides in every aspect of his game.”
As he never hesitates to do, Gordon credited the coaching of Jack Capuano and his staff at Bridgeport. “I think we’re around 39, 40 players that have been in our lineup at one point this season,” said the Islanders coach. “Whenever we get a player from the Sound Tigers, I never have anything to worry about. They’re conditioned, taught in the system. The link between the two teams has been outstanding.”