Jack Capuano decided to be cautious with Cal Clutterbuck's return, holding the forward out another few days rather than bringing him back for Tuesday night's game against the Coyotes.
That also allows the Islanders to delay roster and lineup decisions.
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"The injury he sustained, as quickly as he's come back -- we don't play again until Friday, so it's a perfect opportunity to work on his conditioning," Capuano said of Clutterbuck, who is ahead of the projected 4-6 week timetable the Islanders put on his recovery from a deep skate cut. "We want to make sure we do the right thing."
If Clutterbuck is ready to return on Friday night in Chicago against the Blackhawks, that could mean the end of Griffin Reinhart's stay with the team. Reinhart has yet to play in the first three games and can only be returned to his junior team, Edmonton of the Western League; at 19, he is too young for the AHL.
Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner also were scratched.
GM likes Coyotes, Isles
Coyotes general manager Don Maloney, who held the same title with the Islanders from 1992-95, is a more contented man with his team finally out from NHL stewardship and with its future in Arizona settled.
"Probably the most pleasant part," he said, "is I can stop answering questions about the future and what it holds."
Maloney managed to retain coach Dave Tippett, captain Shane Doan and goaltender Mike Smith as the ownership saga dragged into the summer.
He also likes what he sees from the Islanders, a team the Coyotes hadn't faced since Dec. of 2011. "They're right on the cusp of being great, for a long time," he said. "They've drafted well, they have a real star in [John] Tavares. I'm really impressed with them."