Today's the day we'll finally get a glimpse of what the Islanders opening-night roster will be; the team must trim their roster to 23 by the 3 p.m. deadline today.
With three players on the IR (Streit, Okposo and Schremp) and yesterday's addition of Michael Grabner, the Islanders will have to trim by two players, presumably one forward and one defenseman.
The Islanders will carry eight defenseman to begin the season, so I'd expect the eight guys with one-way contracts to stick on, which means prospect Calvin de Haan will likely be sent back to his junior team--the Oshawa Generals. Just like last year, de Haan had a good camp for the Islanders and showed what an up-and-coming talent he will be for the Islanders' blue line in years to come. My guess is that they'd like to see him with another year to develop physically and to dominate at the junior level. From a development standpoint, I don't see anything wrong with that.
So now, we move on to the forwards. I think Nino NIederreiter is a lock to make the team out of camp, and at the very least, remain with the team for the first nine games. I also believe Jon Sim deserves to be on the opening-night roster. Sim is a pro who is a pain in the A** to play against, came prepared to fight for his roster spot in camp and played relentlessly in the Isles' preseason games.
I have said all summer that I think Matt Martin will make the team, but my guess is that his roster spot may be tenuous now with Grabner's addition. Martin worked really hard this whole off-season to improve his skating and prepare for camp. He's a hard-working, gritty third or fourth-line grinder and a physical presence in front of the net. I have no doubt he'll play plenty of games with the Islanders this season, but I wouldn't be surprised if he is the one to take the hit for Grabner.
We'll see what happens. Back later with any transactions.
Below are your line combos for the day:
Grabner and Gillies are your extra forwards