Forecast: Mostly Cloudy, Clear Day
(Photo Credit: Pope Steve XXLVII)
Like most hockey fans, I followed this Mondays NHL Trade Deadline with piqued interest. I had to work until 7pm but the 600 plus tweets I received kept me apprised of the days’ activity. As a Bridgeport Sound Tiger fan the trade of 39 year old forward Brian Rolston was great news.
Rolston had cleared waivers at noon the previous day and was destined to Bridgeport if not for that trade. If the Islanders didn’t need his services the Sound Tigers certainly did not. We have a good thing going and his presence would hurt a strong young team.
At 3 p.m. this coming Monday all AHL teams have to submit their Clear Day roster to the league office. This is a list of the 20 players who are allowed to compete for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. After this date the NHL teams are allowed up to four free recalls or can call up a player at any time under emergency conditions. Once submitted, AHL teams are only allowed to make changes to their roster under emergency conditions, and these new players must come from a lower league. AHL teams are also allowed to bring in college or junior players whose season is over who are allowed to play at anytime during the Clear Day period. Sometimes these late calls can reveal gems.
In 2007, after his junior season ended with the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, goaltender Corey Price joined the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. He played in only 2 of the Bulldogs remaining regular season games but then went on to play 22 playoff games, resulting in the Bulldogs winning the Calder Cup that year. Dreams realized.
This afternoon the Sound Tigers announced they have agreed to terms on a one-way AHL contract with defenseman Russ Sinkewich. With right winger Yannick Riendeau and D-man Marc Cantin joining the club from the Bruins organization the Tigers now have at least 15 forwards and 9 defensemen on the roster. Part of this glut of talent can be attributed to something rare in recent Islander history. Everyone is healthy!
Katic is good to go, Rhett Rakhshani, Jeremy Colliton and Brett Gallant have also cleared – though Gallant will need time to get in game shape. As an organization only Dylan Reese and the ever-listed Rick DiPietro appear on the injury list. Mike Fornabaio notes that Friday’s game would be the first game without losing a man-game to injury since October 10, 2009.
At 3 p.m. on Monday, March 5 the roster must be cut to 20 players. Some very difficult decisions will be made before the deadline and this year as in every year I will be disappointed. Several players who have performed well and shown potential will not make the list.
With a lot of input from coach Brent Thompson the decisions will be made on Long Island with the results felt here in Bridgeport. We are in a playoff run with the most talented team I have seen in years. Unfortunately some who contributed to the success of this years team, wont be here to grow their beards for the playoffs, though they did leave their hearts on the ice. Go Tigers!