* The Islanders already sported a defensive core that included Brendan Witt, Andy Sutton, Radek Martinek, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Freddy Meyer, Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais and Aaron Johnson, who played in 60 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.
Of those eight, only Gervais and Johnson have two-way NHL-AHL contracts, meaning those two can be sent down to Bridgeport without clearing waivers.
Despite Nolan's inclination – based on last year – to not carry extra players, he indicated today that "it's safe to say that we'll dress seven to begin with, but once the season progresses, we'll see. One good thing about Bridgeport being so close is that they players can keep their game sharp there, instead of practicing with us for two weeks and not playing."
"Berard played okay in his first game," said the head coach. "As the games move on, we'll see how he fits in. Campoli, Gervais and Meyer are all playing well, and so is the Johnson kid. To say who is going to get those six and seven spots, now, is tough. Once the dust all clears at the end of preseason, hopefully we'll have the best seven defensemen available."
"We really wanted to instill at the start of Training Camp that spots won't just be given away," said Nolan. "It's the best league in the world and one of the most competitive businesses, so they need to be earned. Things have a funny way of working themselves out."
NYI Fan Central Comments:
This was easy to see coming and no surprise to this point which is why it's very possible we could see a trade. I cannot see Gervais back in the AHL after Nolan saw him up close last season. If seven defenders do dress Tambellini and Bergenheim will not have a spot. Seems like it's not possible Aaron Johnson could make the club if he can be sent down.
One thing for sure, this group is very injury prone. To expect six defenders to play eighty two games is not going to happen. We saw what happened last year when the lack of depth caught up to the club and that was with Witt, Hill and Poti healthy most of the season.
Msg released the Isles television schedule today.
No surprises, only Msg exhibition game is televised, about fifteen FSN-2 games. Thursday 9/27 at 7:00 on FSN that they are having the Islanders season preview show.