New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan skates during Group...

New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan skates during Group C training camp at Nassau Coliseum on Friday, September 19, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Calvin de Haan didn't know what to expect in his season debut Thursday night, but he was happy to be making it. An upper-body injury sidelined de Haan through the second half of the preseason and the first week of the regular season, throwing a wrench into the Islanders' plans on defense.

The acquisitions of Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk while de Haan was out helped ease the loss, but de Haan's return allowed the team to send Griffin Reinhart to Bridgeport, where the 20-year-old rookie will get bigger minutes and a bigger role.

"I'm sure it'll take a bit to get my timing back," de Haan said after the morning skate and before he knew if he'd be playing. "Practices and games are very different, obviously. But the goal is the same: Keep it simple, play smart and keep the puck out of our net."

Jack Capuano had praise for Reinhart, who had some ups and downs in his first three NHL games on a defense pair with Brian Strait.

"He's a real poised individual," Capuano said. "I've been pleased with the way he's played. The pace of the game is something he'll have to adjust to."

De Haan was paired with Strait, with Strait moving to the right side.

Visnovsky gets closer

Lubomir Visnovsky skated with his teammates, the first time he's done that since hobbling off the ice two weeks ago with back spasms. The 38-year-old defenseman said he's pain-free now.

When Visnovsky returns -- likely next week -- the Isles will have to make a move. There is no defenseman left on the roster who is waiver-exempt. Matt Donovan is a likely candidate who will have to pass through waivers to be sent down.

More Islanders

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months