SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Ryan Strome's NHL debut will have to wait until tomorrow in Phoenix, as the bad weather on the East Coast and a time crunch left the Islanders wanting to let Strome get settled in before his debut.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard cleared waivers at noon EST yesterday, and Strome could not be officially recalled until then. Players cannot travel before their official recall, so Strome would have had to catch a flight (or more likely two), fly cross country all day and then try to jump into the lineup Tuesday night.
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Strome will join the team Wednesday in Phoenix in preparation for tomorrow's game that finishes off this five-game road trip. Strome was named AHL Player of the Week for the second consecutive week on Monday and the 20-year-old leaves Bridgeport as the AHL's leading scorer, with nine goals and 24 assists.
Bouchard, who signed a one-year, $2-million deal with the Isles before the season, wasn't claimed and will report to the Sound Tigers.
Even though he wasn't in uniform, Evgeni Nabokov received a warm welcome in his first "game" back in San Jose after he spent the first decade of his NHL career with the Sharks.
The Sharks gave a brief video tribute to the goaltender who owns every team record and he was choked up when he acknowledged the crowd while standing in the runway outside the Islanders dressing room.
Nabokov could come off injured reserve for tomorrow's game. He has been out since Nov. 16, when he left the game against the Red Wings with a groin injury on the first shot. The Islanders won that game, and they were 0-8-2 since.