Thomas Hickey will miss at least a month with a lower-body injury, Newsday has learned. The Islanders defenseman suffered the injury, believed to be to his left leg, in the third period of Saturday night's 3-2 overtime win over the Blues in St. Louis. Hickey was placed on injured reserve on Monday.
Brian Strait, who paired with Hickey on Saturday night while Marek Zidlicky sat as a healthy scratch, took Hickey's spot on the left side of the third pair with Zidlicky in Monday night's 4-0 win over the Flames and for the foreseeable future.
Hickey missed the first four games of the season with a fractured thumb. Ryan Pulock, the Isles' top defense prospect, was with the team then but did not get into his first NHL game.
Pulock has two goals and two assists in six games with Bridgeport. Adam Pelech (two goals, plus-10 rating), who like Hickey plays the left side, also could be a candidate for recall. With their next game on Thursday night, the Islanders didn't bring anyone up to take Hickey's roster spot and likely will wait until this weekend to make a decision. They play the Devils in Newark on Saturday and the Sabres at home on Sunday, so they likely will want a spare defenseman around.
Hickey has been the Islanders' most durable defenseman since being claimed off waivers from the Kings before the start of the lockout-shortened 2013- 14 season. He played 202 of a possible 209 games during the previous three seasons, missing six as a scratch and one because of illness.
Hickey has two goals in four games this season, including a key third-period score in the Islanders' 4-0 win over Columbus last Tuesday, after entering this season with only seven in his career.