A little live blogging at Islanders practice, which started at noon and is comprised of just one large group. Check back during the next few hours for updates.
Noon: Kyle Okposo has a shoulder injury and is out for today’s practice. The Islanders say he will be re-evaluated over the weekend.
12:05: Before practice, former Bridgeport assistant Bernie Cassell – a skating specialist – had a small class with a handful of players, including Matt Martin, Zenon Konopka and Radek Martinek.
12:08: Also out for the Islanders: Doug Weight, Frans Nielsen, Rob Schremp, PA Parenteau and Trent Hunter. The Islanders say they have been given a day off. The team website says they’re all out with “general soreness.” No matter what you want to call it, Weight (coming off shoulder surgery), Nielsen (not revealed) and Parenteau (groin) have already missed days during camp.
12:10: For tomorrow’s public scrimmage at the Coliseum, the two Islanders squads will wear their new blue and white uniforms. Tickets are $10 each (benefiting the team’s Children’s Foundation) and are available through the team site and at the Coliseum box office.
12:12: For those that can’t make it to the arena, newyorkislanders.com will stream the scrimmage. Chris King will call the play-by-play.
12:15: Coaches on the ice at practice: Scott Gordon, Dean Chynoweth, Scott Allen, Sudarshan Maharaj (goalies), Jack Capuano (Bridgeport) and Cassell.
12:20: First 15 minutes of practice featured drills and almost complete silence, except for the occasional thought from Gordon. Now Gordon is at the dry-erase board by the Islanders’ bench.
12:25: At some of the days I’ve been at camp, I’d see this familiar face either sitting in the stands or around the locker room. He was wearing an Islanders coach’s jacket, but I knew that he was new. I’d think, “I know he was a player. I think he was a good player. I just know he never played here.” Then I’d forget about it and not pursue. As Katie Strang blogged yesterday, it is Geoff Sanderson. Perhaps he’ll fill the player development position vacated when Bryan Trottier’s contract was not renewed. The former Whaler last played in Edmonton in 2007-08.
12:30: Mikko Koskinen, on his back, recovers to make wild save on Konopka. Justin DiBenedetto smiles, can’t believe it.
12:37: If only Radek Martinek can stay healthy for most of the season…
12:45: There are five lines of forwards, arranged by colors, plus two players wearing yellow: Trevor Gillies and Kirill Kabanov.
12:54: Scott Gordon yells, “Stretch. That’s it”! Looks like a short one. Team plays a full scrimmage tomorrow morning.
12:58: It’s worth pointing out that the Coliseum scoreboard keeps running time in big, blue letters throughout practice. Have to believe this is a coach’s aid.
1:05: James Wisniewski enlists Kabanov’s help for post-practice work. Kabanov, at at the faceoff circle, backhands a puck to either Wisnewski or D partner Mark Streit. The current first-unit PP defenseman take turns one-timing slappers off their passes.
1:07: Gordon in discussion on the ice with Rick DiPietro, who is scheduled to play in tomorrow’s scrimmage.
1:40: After I interviewed Mark Katic for a future piece, I asked Scott Gordon about the defense prospect who flies below the radar and under Calvin de Haan and Travis Hamonic. Gordon complimented Katic’s work ethic in an offseason that started in February with shoulder surgery. “If he continues to get stronger and strong on his feet,” said the coach, “he has a real opportunity to play in the NHL.”
1:50: Gordon says the Islanders will play three full periods in their public scrimmage on Saturday. DiPietro is confirmed to play. The major change from the team’s prospect scrimmage in July is that the skills competition will be “modified.” For darn good reason, the coach is concerned about injuries. If a player was to get hurt in a skills showcase, there is little time for recovery before the start of the regular season.
Gordon on the extent of Okposo’s injury: “Sore shoulder. Day off.”