12:20 pm, NVMC - News from the morning skate, and re-visiting the trade deadline one last time...
Trent Hunter is in, and Joe Callahan has been recalled from Bridgeport.
Nate Thompson, Richard Park and Thomas Pock skated but are not ready. With Brendan Witt suspended, this means the Islanders need one more defenseman and two forwards who weren't at the skate.
This will lead to much Mitch Fritz speculation. This could also lead to the return of goal-a-game Jesse Joensuu. Or not. Check out Fornabaio's Sound Tigers blog during the day. Mike's good at finding out which players have departed Fairfield County before the Islanders tell us.
A shot in the dark at tonight's line combinations:
Bergenheim - Nielsen - Okposo
(Joensuu) - McAmmond - Hunter
Tambellini - Bailey - Comeau
(Fritz) - Hilbert - Jackman
Naslund - Gomez - Antropov
Dubinsky - Drury - Zherdev
Avery - Korpikoski - Callahan
Sjostrom - Betts - Orr
The Rangers, after yesterday's trades, appear loose and confident. The Islanders have absolutely nothing to lose, except coming up real small in the final home game of the season that really-really means a lot to their fans. This should be fun.
Scott Gordon, asked by Greg Logan about the demotion of Jon Sim: "You'll have to talk to Garth about that."
Gordon on the play of goaltender Yann Danis: "He's playing like a No. 1. As great as Joey (MacDonald) was in November, Yann's numbers have been off the charts."
This is for those cherished readers who were stung by yesterday's quiet and pissed over my giving the Islanders a B for the deadline period - including the Chris Campoli trade.
Again, a 38-year old Bill Guerin - no-move clause and 3 goals in the last two months - never had much value. I thought, at best, they might get a late second round pick. When I proposed the Islanders trade Guerin for Petr Prucha and a third round pick, I was flamed by a 4-to-1 ratio. He went for a pick that will probably end up being a 4th, maybe a 3rd.
What could have happened yesterday at the trade deadline to prevent some of the over-the-top, I'm done-with-this team commentary?
UFA Andy Hilbert for a 6th round pick? Dean McAmmond for a 6th? Injured Doug Weight - who tells me he might be back by the end of March - for, uh, what?
Radek Martinek, under contract for next year, for a 4th round pick?
Brendan Witt - maybe your next captain - for a 3rd, maybe late 2nd at best?
I understand the Recchi to Boston trade raises eyebrows. I don't get it for Boston either. But look up how much Recchi is making compared to Guerin. Compare their stats this season. Then consider the minor detail that Boston never showed any interest in bringing Billy home.
We have all day. Keep the Campoli swap in the equation. Let me know the realistic trade the league's worst team should have made yesterday that could have avoided comments that if I taught at Hicksville High everyone would get straight As.
Charles Wang will be on with Howie Rose on the Islanders' pre-game show on The Plus that begins tonight at 6:30 pm.
Oh, the irony: Sean Avery declined to speak to the media after the Rangers' morning skate today. He pointed at the guy from TSN and said, "It's because you're here." Seriously.
It's a great day for hockey. God, I love this job.