Today, at around 1:00 this afternoon, Arthur Staple of Newsday reported that the Islanders placed forward Pierre Marc Bouchard on waivers.
The move came as a surprise to many for sure. Bouchard himself hasn’t played as well as the Islanders hoped he would, but his game has been decent this season. He’s not a goal scorer by nature, but he makes the players around him better. He served as a solid veteran third line center for this inexperienced Islanders team, and for that, we thank Bouchard.
Needless to say, a change was imminent for this offense, which has struggled immensely dating back to the beginning of November. Secondary scoring, something that the Islanders had an abundance of towards the end of last season, has disappeared. Josh Bailey, who was as valuable a member to the team at the end of last year as anyone, has gone silent, and he hasn’t registered a goal since October 25th. Michael Grabner hasn’t scored since Opening Night, and third line center Peter Regin has not registered a single point in nearly twenty games.
Ryan Strome has been on an absolute rampage in the AHL as of late, leading the Baby Islanders and the entire Baby NHL in scoring. Strome has shown his confidence is as high as it has been, and if there was anyone who deserved a call up from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, it’s Strome.
Strome is expected to play tomorrow night on the team’s elite first line along John Tavares and Thomas Vanek. Hopefully, he can add scoring contributions that the Islanders have lacked this season and if we’re really lucky, help get the Islanders back into playoff shape.