Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 2/26/14

Feb 8, 2014; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) and left wing Josh Bailey (12) and center John Tavares (91) and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky (11) celebrate a goal by Visnovsky against the Colorado Avalanche during the third period of a game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Avalanche defeated the Islanders 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is finally back, as hockey is returning to normalcy, nothing short of a grace for us all. Games began last night, and the Islanders are set to make their post-Olympic debut tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This upcoming week is going to be quite an eventful one for the Islanders, as the trade deadline is exactly seven days away from us. With assets who already have declined long-term contracts in Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald, the Islanders are guaranteed to be sellers this year, and those two players likely will never sport the orange and blue uniforms again.

Rumors continue to surface about the Islanders, whether it be about who they’re shipping or who they want in return. None seems to be completely accurate (It was said that the Boston Bruins might be interested in parting ways with top goaltending prospect Malcolm Subban in exchange for Andrew MacDonald, which would never happen), and it’s hard to trust a lot of what we are all hearing, no matter how enticing it does sound.

Not many people really know what Islanders GM Garth Snow is thinking, and it’s very hard to predict what he and his team will get in return at the trade deadline.

Aside from the trades the Islanders are bound to make, they already are making roster news, as they’ve called up the first line in Bridgeport of Ryan Strome, Mike Halmo, and Anders Lee. All three are set to see playing time with the team. Lee and Strome have been practicing on the Islanders’ third line with Colin McDonald, while Halmo has been seeing time on the team’s fourth line.

As frustrating as all this can be (and has been), just hang in there Isles fans. It’s not all bad, remember that. Oh, and John Tavares won’t be needing surgery on his knee. That’s good!

-Peter (@PJMcEntee)

In Case You Missed It

Injuries and Looming Trades Create Roster Problems (EOI)

Andy Graziano Explains the Isles’ Looming First Round Draft Pick Dilemma (EOI)

Rich Dias and Chris Triantafilis Look at the Hottest Topics Surrounding the Isles in “The Deke Squad” (EOI)

Islanders Trade Deadline Preview: Departures (Islanders Op-Timism)

Around the NHL

Buffalo Sabres 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2

Across the Sound

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers continue their hot streak, winning their fourth straight game by a score of 2-1 against the Providence Bruins. The Sound Tigers have won 12 of their last 14 games, and have been dominating the AHL as of late.

The team took a massive blow, however, as the team’s first line of Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, and Mike Halmo was called up to the Islanders. These players certainly were needed in Long Island, but this does hurt the team in Connecticut, as their primary scoring has now  been taken from them. However, that’s why the Islanders have a farm team, and they just got three solid players for what could be the rest of this season.

(For extensive Bridgeport Sound Tigers coverage, click here for EOI contributor Drew Casey’s latest weekly Sound Tigers briefing)