As written earlier, the Islanders placed forward Nate Thompson on waivers today.
With Andy Sutton suspended for two games, the Islanders had to clear space so that they would be able to call up a defenseman (Dustin Kohn) to replace Sutton in the lineup.
While Thompson was a gritty, hard-working, high-energy fourth-line player and penalty-killer, he was scratched the past four games.
"I don't know if I'm surprised," Thompson said. "I think every guy on the team is prepared for if they became that guy on the bubble. It's tough on both sides and, unfortunately in hockey, there's a business side."
Thompson acknowledged the team's recent penalty-killing struggles and said he wasn't sure if that factored into the decision, but thanked Scott Gordon and Garth Snow regardless for the opportunity provided him the past two seasons. Thompson also played under Gordon in Providence during his AHL career.
"I have the utmost respect for Scott Gordon and Garth Snow for giving me an opportunity in the first place," Thompson said. "Whatever happens, I'll just keep working hard and do whatever it takes to make it back to the NHL and show what I can do."
Thompson, who is on a two-way contract, has until noon tomorrow to be claimed by another team. If not, he'll report to Bridgeport.
"Nate's played well for us. He's a good person and he's been a high-character guy for us. This by no means means that he won't be back with us at some point [if he clears]," general manager Garth Snow said. "It's just a move we had to make."
However, Snow also recognized the possibility that Thompson may be claimed by another team before tomorrow.
"if another team picks him up, they are getting a great person, a solid fourth-line guy, who can kill penalties, provide energy and be defensively responsible," Snow said.