Morning Skate: Roster Freeze Means No Major Roster Changes, Donovan Producing

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

Each December, the NHL institutes a holiday roster freeze for the entire league. It’s basically assuring the players that no one will get unexpectedly traded across the continent while enjoying a holiday meal. The freeze kicked in at midnight on the 19th and runs through midnight on the 27th.

During this time teams aren’t allowed to make trades or make waiver moves. That means you can put down the pad of paper you had furiously written Islanders trade scenarios on for one week. Emergency recalls are permitted though, so if injuries become a factor a team won’t have to skate with three defensemen or something like that.

Here’s the full language of the rule, if you’re interested.

The Islanders have a sort of schedule freeze of their own. After playing tonight at the Garden, they have two more games Saturday and Monday before four days off. Aside from the Olympic break, that ties for their longest break of the whole season. There’s also another four-day break in March. But please, try not to kill each other on Twitter during the break. 


One quick aside, thanks for all your question submissions over the last 24 hours. We got over 100 replies and will sort through them over the weekend and answer as many as possible next week.


Looks like the Islanders will draw the 59 and a half million dollar man tonight…


The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the Islanders struggles, and takes the Twitter/fan angle to start:

Jack Capuano showed up for work again Thursday, which is news in itself, since many Islanders fans have made it quite clear through message boards and online polls that they don’t want him coaching their favorite team any more.

And some thoughts from Tavares trying to build on small successes:

Where fans see a shipwreck, the Islanders spot the life rafts. Tavares said the team has been playing better defense, which has resulted in a stronger forecheck. And they can take leads. Now they have to figure out how to sit on those leads, instead of on each other.

Tavares was visibly upset with how Tuesday’s game ended, but he’had cooled by Thursday. He said his job as captain is to prevent negativity from seeping into the dressing room, and, so far, he appears to be succeeding.

“It seems like we have to play a perfect game sometimes, but that’s how things are going,” Tavares said.


Meanwhile in Bridgeport… 

“Like I’ve tried to do from the start, just work as hard as I can, put up points, play well defensively,” Donovan said, “do everything the coaches ask and hopefully I’ll get called back up.

“I feel I’ve been playing well. I’ve just got to keep playing the way I’ve been playing and working as hard as I can.”

Matt Donovan’s been in Bridgeport for 10 games now and is doing quite well, which is what you certainly want to see out of the kid. He’s already fifth on the team in scoring, with 10 points (2G-8A) in 10 games. He’s also +6 and is averaging 2.4 shots per game.

All of that is good news, so hopefully he gets another chance on the Island. Due to the roster freeze he’ll have to wait at least another week plus.


ALSO: LHH is having technical difficulties but when they come back you can check out their research on the Islanders’ 1979 Holiday Album. Yep, that was a thing…

And your moment of zen, via Claude Giroux and SB Nation.

15 comments
jepliberty
jepliberty

I'm so sick or reading some fans posting this guy, or that guy will be up next year, we have heard that crap for how many years now, I want now, not next year, or the frigging year after, NOW!

briguywolf
briguywolf

John Tavares is a Saint


...and thinking back to the '09 draft, I thought Snow was just "playing the game" when he was being ambiguous about who the Islanders would select first. After seeing his methods and looking at his achievements (or lack thereof) as GM, there is no doubt in my mind he was seriously considering Hedman or Duchene

shlo
shlo

Makes no difference. This team has no leadership on or off the ice. Some of the older players better take charge.

Steven Cook
Steven Cook

Why isn't Donovan back up on the Isles?  He was a -5 in 22 games before he was sent down.  Aaron Ness is -13 in 18 games since being called up to replace Donovan.  Why is Ness still here?  This season is lost.  It is time to get de Haan, Donovan, Strome and Nelson regular playing time so they get experience and are ready for next season. 

Joe Acquista
Joe Acquista

The freeze mean we can't fire our coach either. Not saying we are firing him but atleast if the rule says we CANT then I won't rule out hope that he will be fired on the 28th. Thanks

Richard
Richard

Oh, no major roster moves pending?


Without a freeze there would still be none. Wang/Snow are perfectly happy with this. They had their little run of luck last season and got season ticket holders (many who had swore never to buy them until Wang proves he cares) to not only sign up for another year, but two years. The writing was on the wall then.

What they do to Isles fans is criminal.

jmoney93
jmoney93

AHL success doesn't mean anything on the NHL blue line, not getting over excited about this

wmayshays
wmayshays

@Steven Cook  

Agreed 100%

10 pt's in 10 games.  That's more than de Haan and Ness combined in over 2x's the number of games.  I think Donovan will be back soon enough.


Although I don't think Ness has played poorly.  For me, it's much like the Hickey situation.  Both have played admirably IMO, considering what I expected of them to begin with.  Both were drafted fairly high, Hickey 1st rd, Ness 2nd rd, but neither are exactly what I want.


What I want are big tough, in your face defensively sound D-men with too much muscle to be pushed around and too much wing span to be skated around.  Guys like Reinhart, Pedan and Mayfield are Huge and fairly close to ready.  (Anyone of those 3, if not all, will be up at some point next yr)  Meanwhile if our Offensive defense men are no smaller than Donovan I'd be happy.  I've been impressed with de Haan and his defensive ways thus far.


This is not to say that size and strength or toughness is everything, it's just a way I think our team could find an edge.  Skill is important but why not have it all.

Chris
Chris

@jmoney93- Agree 100%. Donovan looked like a fish out of water here, and while Ness has shown a little more poise, they're both guilty of bad decisions and poor positioning. 


Lets face it, without consistent secondary scoring and a trade for a veteran defenseman that can skate and play physical, there's nothing to get our hopes up for.

Richard
Richard

@Zee Executioner Yep. I've heard many talk about it. Not sure if they got a discount or whatever, but many Isles fans say they signed up for two seasons.