Islanders coach Jack Capuano said he and general manager Garth Snow would meet Tuesday and Wednesday to consider roster cuts, but that he didn’t expect any decisions until after the weekend. “We still want to see certain guys in the exhibition games that we have,” he said. “So there’s no rush. We’ve got some quality candidates here trying to earn a spot.”
The NHL requires that final 23-man rosters be finalized by Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. The Islanders open the season Oct. 8.
Besides captain Mark Streit, who missed all of last season because of shoulder surgery, the Islanders’ defense last year lost Mark Eaton, Milan Jurcina and Mike Mottau for significant periods of time. “So now I’m not really evaluating them overall,” the coach said. “I just want to make sure their conditioning level is up, their timing gets back, all the little things. They missed so much time, but I’m pleased with the way they trained and the way they rehabbed all summer; that’s a positive for us.”
Still, “there is opportunity back there for somebody to \[win a job\],” the coach said. “Don’t forget, as we showed last year, it’s not how you start but how you finish. But the guys who go through camp and do what we ask are going to get that chance to stick around.”
Capuano himself started late last year, hired to replace Scott Gordon on Nov. 15, so his first training camp with the team is important to him “becasue we’re a team that does make adjustments game-to-game, so you want to make sure that, when you make those adjustments, guys understand why, and what they’re supposed to do.”