LAS VEGAS — The most welcome sight for the Islanders on Thursday came when Thomas Hickey stepped on the ice late in the morning skate at T-Mobile Arena, allaying some fears about the potential severity of what appeared to be either a head or neck injury the defenseman suffered on Monday.
The Islanders placed Hickey on injured reserve on Wednesday retroactive to Monday night’s 4-1 win at Colorado. He appeared to hit his head when he went hard, back first, into the boards at 17:26 of the second period as he missed a check on Tyson Jost.
Hickey, dazed, was helped off the ice to the Islanders’ room.
“You never want to see a guy go down like that, with all the NFL stuff, even NHL stuff with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy),” defenseman Scott Mayfield said. “With all the different head stuff, you never know when those collisions happen how bad and how dangerous they can actually be. It was good to see him make progress in the right way.”
Both Islanders coach Barry Trotz and defenseman Luca Sbisa have fond memories of Las Vegas.
Thursday marked Trotz’s first visit since his former team, the Capitals, beat the Golden Knights in the decisive Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final. Sbisa played last season for the record-setting expansion club.
“This is where we got to hoist the Cup,” Trotz said. “I walked into the dressing room today with a little chuckle. The last time there was about three inches of champagne and beer on the ground.”
Sbisa, who has also played for the Flyers, Ducks and Canucks, had two goals and 12 assists in 30 games for Vegas and four assists in 12 playoff games.
“This city is very special, I think it’ll have a special place in my heart forever,” Sbisa said. “I can proudly tell my son about that year.”