This time, Josh Ho-Sang’s exclusion from the Islanders’ roster was not about comments or deeds that irked management, nor was it about undisciplined play on the ice.
This time, as president and general manager Lou Lamoriello and coach Barry Trotz said Monday, it was simply about him not winning a roster spot.
“He came in and did everything that you could ask of a player to try and win a spot,” Lamoriello said. “In my opinion, he was given every opportunity and it just did not work out and you have to make a decision.”
The Islanders placed the 23-year-old right wing, selected 28th overall in 2014, on waivers Monday with the intent of reassigning him to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport if he clears by noon on Tuesday.
Ho-Sang had one assist in three preseason games but showed a newfound respect for the requisite defensive responsibilities. He is on a very affordable one-year deal worth $874,125 in the NHL and $70,000 in the AHL, and that might be very attractive to another organization with a positive scouting report about his elite skating and stickhandling skills.
Ho-Sang has seven goals and 17 assists in 53 career NHL games, including a goal and an assist in 10 games in 2018-19. And, as Ho-Sang pointed out in training camp, the Islanders went 9-1-0 with him in the lineup last season.
Will the mercurial playmaker ever make it with the Islanders? Monday’s move would seem to lessen those odds, even if he could be brought up during the season to provide scoring potential.
“I think it was his best camp,” Trotz said. “The reason being he was consistent. His attention to detail was much better. It was a real tough decision on that organizationally. He’s made strides. Every time he gets an opportunity at training camp or in the regular season, he’s closer and closer.”