For hard-core Islander fans eagerly anticipating Saturday’s season-opener against the Dallas Stars at Nassau Coliseum, what didn’t transpire in Monday’s practice session was far newsier than what did:
Head coach Scott Gordon said that forward Rob Schremp’s back injury, sustained in the team’s Friday exhibition game, will keep him out of action for three to four weeks. Forward Nino Niederreiter was having his bruised calf injury re-evaluated; he left Saturday’s split-squad exhibition game against Montreal after Canadien Mike Cammalleri’s slash from behind, which earned Cammalleri an ejection.
Also, forward Matt Martin (foot) resumed skating on his own but did not participate in practice.
With 27 players still on the roster, and the team required to trim to 23 by midweek, Gordon said that Niederreiter and defenseman Calvin de Haan, both first-round picks, will “probably be discussions we’ll have” all this week.
The two “certainly have shown why they’re first-round picks,” Gordon said. “And whether they’re here for the first nine games, the whole season, or gone Wednesday, we're happy with what we have in them.”
Generic quote of the day: “We’re glad pre-season is over,” Gordon said, “and, with the obvious exception of Mark [Streit] and Kyle [Okposo], relatively healthy, looking forward to playing a real game.”