Casey Cizikas missed significant time last season with a left leg laceration, then suffered a detached retina in the postseason bubble. This season might not be starting out too well for him, either.
The Isles’ invaluable fourth-line center appeared to hurt his left hand or lower left arm late in Sunday’s scrimmage at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow. Cizikas and linemate Matt Martin sandwiched defenseman Thomas Hickey along the boards in the left corner and Cizikas immediately dropped to his knees in pain.
He was attended to on the ice and then on the bench before heading to the Islanders’ room immediately after the scrimmage as other teammates continued to work in small groups on the ice.
"He’s getting checked out," coach Barry Trotz said. "The first indication may be more positive than negative. But I don’t have a firm update."
Cizikas, entering the final season of a five-year, $16.75 million deal, had 10 goals and four assists last season. He missed 20 regular-season games and four postseason games.
Trotz said playoff goalie Semyon Varlamov will start Thursday night’s opener against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden over highly touted Russian rookie Ilya Sorokin.
"Both have had good camps," Trotz said. "Varly’s earned that right to [start] and we’ll go from there."
Varlamov, entering the second season of a four-year, $20 million deal, was 19-14-6 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .914 save percentage last season, then played in 20 of 22 postseason games as the Islanders reached the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1993.
Simon Holmstrom, selected 23rd overall in 2019, cleared quarantine and participated in training camp for the first time . . . Forwards Josh Ho-Sang and Mason Jobst were placed on waivers in order to be re-assigned to the AHL . . . The Islanders will be off on Monday.