Nobody is on the bubble for missing Wednesday’s roster cutdown to the league limit of 23, Islanders coach Jack Capuano said, because “everybody is on the bubble. I mean, I really don’t look at contracts at this point, I don’t look at who’s on a one-way, who’s on a two-way, or how much money they make. We have to win games, that’s the bottom line. And it doesn’t matter what happened last year.”
Theoretically, forwards Trevor Frishmon, Kirill Kabanov, Jay Pandolfo and Ryan Strome appear most vulnerable, and possibly defensemen Dylan Reese.
But, Capuano said, “every day changes again. Garth [Snow, general manager] and I are meeting, I talk to our coaches as well, and we figure out what happens. What other teams do will have an effect on what we do as well. Garth has always said that if there’s an option out there to make our team better, then we’ll look at it.
“Right now I’m happy with the guys we have, they’ve worked hard. But, I’ll tell you what: Just because there were transactions made [in sending 19 players to minor-league Bridgeport over the weekend], a lot can happen from now until Saturday night” when the Islanders open the season against Florida.
“I told the guys,” Capuano said, “you know the guys that are here today are here today. But you can’t take each day for granted. There’s a certain way we have to play. We have to win hockey games and the guys that are doing that are the guys we’re going to put in the lineup.”
Capuano acknowledged that he already has put plenty of thought into who will be his opening-night goalie, “but I’m going to keep thinking about it. We always tell the goalie the night before but our policy is that the morning of the game skate is when we release that information. So, if you’re planning on getting him on that Friday night, that’s cagey on your part.”