Lou Lamiorello spoke to the media on Tuesday, giving some news about the team for the upcoming season. The news regarded the status of several injured Islanders as well as some minor signings made by the team. He also discussed the team’s vaccination status, as well as his own policy regarding player vaccinations. There also is the news of an Islanders player from last season heading into retirement.
Travis Zajac Calls It A Career
On Monday, Travis Zajac announced that he would not be returning for another NHL season. He instead signed a one day contract with the New Jersey Devils for the purpose of retiring. Zajac played the majority of his career with the Devils, aside from 27 games he played with the Islanders last season. This is significant for the Islanders because Zajac had been rumored to return to the team as a depth signing. He played an important role for the team down the stretch and during the playoffs, replacing an injured Oliver Wahlstrom for the Boston and Tampa Bay series. This leaves the Islanders’ best depth options at center as either Leo Komarov or Cole Bardreau, neither of which are particularly intriguing.
Injured Islanders Expected to Be Ready for Camp
Losing Anders Lee was a big blow to the team last season, but luckily they won’t have to wait long to get him back. Lamiorello announced that Lee has been progressing as scheduled in his rehab, will be a full participant in camp and will be ready for the start of the regular season. He also announced that J.G Pageau’s offseason hand surgery was a success. He, like Lee, will be a full participant in camp and will be ready for the start of the season. Lastly, there was Matt Martin, who had an offseason surgery to remove a chip in his ankle. He too won’t have to miss any of the regular season due to this surgery. Having all three of these players ready is great news for the team as they start the season on a difficult, extended road trip.
The Islanders Are 100% Vaccinated
Lamiorello announced that the entire franchise, which includes the main staff, players and minor league personnel, are vaccinated. He noted that there was one player who refused the vaccine in the AHL, and that player won’t be on the team. Lamiorello expressed a no-exceptions policy when it comes to personnel on this team getting the vaccine.
Islanders Make Four Minor Signings
Lamiorello announced the signings of Kieffer Bellows, Michael Dal Colle, Cory Schneider and Erik Gustafsson. Bellows and Dal Colle were both promising prospects of the team who haven’t shown much in the NHL. They likely won’t see much playing time unless the team is struggling with injuries. Cory Schneider signed a two-way contract and will have the same role as last season. He’ll split time between the AHL and NHL and will only suit up in the event of an injury to either Sorokin or Varlamov. Gustafsson signed on a PTO, and will likely serve as a depth defenseman as the newly signed Zdeno Chara will be getting the last starting spot. He has some promise as a two-way defenseman, but will really have to up his defensive play if he hopes to keep his spot as a depth defenseman on this team.
Featured image courtesy of NHL
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