Blake Comeau came into training camp as a bit of a question mark. He had 24 goals a season ago, fourth-most on the team, but he was signed to only a one-year, $2.5-million deal because general manger Garth Snow and the organization needed to see more consistency.
Less than a quarter of the way into this season, Comeau has provided only more questions, no answers. The team placed the 25-year-old wing on waivers Thursday after Comeau went without a point in his first 16 games (he was a healthy scratch for three others). He was a minus-11 and looked lost for long stretches on a team that has struggled to find offense outside of a handful of players.
If Comeau is not claimed by noon Friday, he will be sent to Bridgeport, where he spent parts of three seasons before becoming an Islanders regular in 2009-10. With a prorated salary of roughly $1.9 million, he might be an attractive waiver claim for teams such as the Flames or Ducks, who also have struggled offensively.
Comeau has not been the only Islander to struggle. Kyle Okposo sat out three straight games before returning earlier this week, and he produced his first two goals of the season plus an assist in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers.
Marty Reasoner, a veteran free agent signed in the summer, sat out for the first time this season Wednesday after posting one assist through 18 games and a team-worst minus-13 rating.
The seven defensemen used by the team this season have totaled three goals, only one at even strength.
"We have to have some secondary scoring to win games," Jack Capuano said last week. "It can't just be one or two guys we rely on."
John Tavares started the season on a tear but has gone eight games without a goal, making the failures of Comeau and the rest of the depth forwards even more glaring.
The Islanders will know whether Comeau remains in the organization by the time they gather for Friday's 3 p.m. game with the Devils at the Coliseum. Snow and Capuano hope the message already has gotten through to the remaining players: The Islanders will try to change things up if there are more problems.