OTTAWA - Michael Grabner will make his season debut here Thursday night, the headliner among a flurry of moves the Islanders made prior to their trip for the return date of a home-and-home with the Senators.
Grabner, who had hernia surgery on Oct. 8 and had been ready to come off injured reserve for the past week, was activated Wednesday and skated on the right side with Mikhail Grabovski and Frans Nielsen in practice. Cal Clutterbuck (lower body, day-to-day) and Josh Bailey (maintenance day) both missed practice and it's not clear if one or both forwards will miss Thursday night's game.
On defense, there are more wounded. Johnny Boychuk, who missed the past three games, and Lubomir Visnovsky, who missed the past two, both went on IR Wednesday, retroactive to Nov. 27 and Nov. 28, respectively. Neither player made the trip to Ottawa and, unless both are back on the ice by Thursday, it's likely they are both out through the weekend with upper-body injuries.
Travis Hamonic isn't on IR but he didn't practice Wednesday. He left Tuesday's 3-2 overtime win twice, returning only for a couple third-period shifts before departing for good. Ottawa's Chris Neil crunched Hamonic with a legal hit that appeared to cause the Islanders defenseman serious discomfort in his right shoulder/collarbone area.
With Hamonic iffy, the Islanders summoned Griffin Reinhart from Bridgeport. The 20-year-old defenseman began the season with the Islanders.
He played the first three games before being sent down when Calvin de Haan returned from injury. Reinhart has two goals and six assists in 15 games with the Sound Tigers.
Notes & quotes: The Islanders' visit is a bit overshadowed by Daniel Alfredsson Night. The longtime Senators captain has announced his retirement and will take the ice with the Sens during Thursday night's warm-ups before a full ceremony prior to the puck drop.