Garth Snow is keeping his focus on the Islanders' roster decisions, not what decisions incoming minority owners Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin want to make with their new team.
Snow, entering his ninth season as general manager, will have Ledecky and Malkin on board when the team's sale is finalized sometime in the coming weeks. Charles Wang, who hired Snow in 2006, still will own a majority share for the next two seasons, but an organization that has had incredible consistency at the top will begin to change once the sale is finished.
That's not the GM's focus now, however. "Not at all," Snow told Newsday before the Isles-Devils preseason game here Thursday night. "For us, the task at hand is to get better as a group, as a team and individually. Whether you're a player, a coach or in my position, you focus on the task at hand.
"I've had the chance to meet the new owners. They're both great guys and obviously very passionate about hockey. We're focused on the season. That's what training camp is all about. Get your game in order and get the season going."
Snow was active this past offseason, far more so than in any of his previous eight summers in charge. After missing the playoffs for the sixth time in Snow's tenure, he and coach Jack Capuano wanted a more competitive camp and tougher battles for roster spots.
"It's really a situation we haven't had in a long time, where there's some tough decisions that have to be made," Snow said.
Those include whether to keep some of the team's top prospects, 2011 No. 5 pick Ryan Strome and 2012 No. 4 pick Griffin Reinhart among them. Each was in Thursday night's lineup looking to earn one of the final 23 spots when rosters are set on Tuesday.
Injuries that have begun piling up will aid both Strome's and Reinhart's cause. Top-four defensemen Calvin de Haan (upper body) and Lubomir Visnovsky (back spasms) remain sidelined. Rookie Ryan Pulock, the team's 2013 first-rounder, has impressed in camp but is out with a lower-body injury and has not skated since last Friday.
"Ryan did a real good job for us and now he's been out," Capuano said. "There's still a lot we need to look at."
Strome started on the wing Thursday night, though a center spot could be available in the short term with Casey Cizikas (back) now sidelined. Michael Grabner (upper body) has been out all this week. Of those five injured, only de Haan has resumed skating.
Despite the rising injury count, Snow has been pleased.
"We're going to put the best lineup on the ice next week against Carolina," he said. "We're going to put players out there we feel will win us hockey games.
"In that regard, it's not about one particular person. It's about who's competing. It's been a pretty tough camp. I think if you ask the guys, they'd say it's been extremely challenging."
Notes & quotes:The Islanders lost, 2-1, in a shootout. Kael Mouilleriat had the lone Isles goal and Jaroslav Halak was very sharp, making 21 saves. The Islanders finish their preseason schedule tonight against the Bruins in Bridgeport.