Kevin Poulin's surprisingly long run with the Islanders ended Sunday when the goaltender, who has played parts of five seasons with the Isles but is only 25, was claimed off waivers by the Lightning.
Poulin knew he wasn't going to be part of the Islanders this season, when he had little choice but to sign a one-year, two-way contract. "Not really" was what he said last week when asked if he thought he'd be back after playing only one game with the Islanders in 2013-14. "But I have to work hard and make the most of my time."
Poulin, who leaves with an 18-25-3 record and .899 save percentage in 50 career appearances with the Isles, has a chance to vie for the backup job with the Lightning. And the Islanders have their own goaltending situation set at both the NHL and AHL levels.
Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss will be with the Islanders and a pair of 22-year-olds, Stephon Williams and Christopher Gibson, will be in net for Bridgeport.
Williams remains with the Islanders even as Bridgeport's training camp opens Monday.
Although this is his first full pro season, Williams, the Islanders' fourth-round pick in 2013, likely will be the first goaltender ready for a call-up now. Poulin filled that role often during his five-year stint, including a 10-game run in 2010-11 that showed immense promise before a dislocated kneecap ended his season.
The Islanders sent three more players to the AHL on Sunday, including defenseman Scott Mayfield, who played the final two playoff games against the Capitals last spring. Ryan Pulock, another rookie defenseman, remained with the Islanders.
The team finishes its preseason this week with games Monday night at home and Sunday on the road against the Capitals. The regular season opens at Barclays Center on Oct. 9 against the Blackhawks.