10:25 am - Point Blank has learned that the next step in the comeback of veteran center Mike Sillinger will be a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League.
The 37-year old Sillinger, attempting to return to the NHL after major hip surgery, is expected to make his Sound Tigers debut on Sunday when Bridgeport hosts Philadelphia in a 4:00 pm game at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The plan calls for Sillinger to also play Friday, Nov. 28 in a home game against Hartford and on the 29th in Worcester.
Sillinger has not played in the minor leagues since the 1992-93 season, when he played 15 games for the Adirondack Red Wings. He has played more than 1,000 NHL games since.
Ten days ago, we broached the subject of a minor league conditioning stint with Sillinger. He said his progress was not yet at the point where it was even a consideration. But several more Islanders practices later, it appears the veteran is ready to test himself in AHL action.
Sillinger is not required to play in the minors, but he agreed it was a necessary step on the road to NHL game No. 1,043.