Islanders roster moves: Kieffer Bellows to taxi squad

Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Kieffer Bellows #20 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

After three games up with the New York Islanders roster, Kieffer Bellows has been sent to the taxi squad. According to CapFriendly, the Isles sent Bellows and Dmytro Timashov to the extra group today.

With no game for another day-plus this could be nothing but a paper transaction, but usually when a move is made it’s for a reason, or else why make the move in the first place?

New York Islanders make adjustments to the taxi squad

We’re going to see this all season long, guys are going to come on and off the New York Islanders taxi squad fairly frequently. But again, why make move if it does nothing? Clearly, these moves were made for a reason. And it was for cap considerations.

On paper, the only change these moves make is that Timashov can now start practicing and traveling with the Islanders squad. So what else do these means mean?

With Bellows and Timashov now with the extra group, that means the taxi squad now consists of:

  • Thomas Hickey (D)
  • Oliver Wahlstrom (F)
  • Otto Koivula (F)
  • Austin Czarnik (F)
  • Kieffer Bellows (F)
  • Dmytro Timashov (F)

If you looked at Bellows’s ice-time over his last three games you could tell this was coming. Game 1 (10:25), game 2 (7:30), and game 3 (6:38). That diminishing ice-time is Barry Trotz saying: “I don’t quite trust you”.

Bellows’s 52.38 SCF% is fifth for all skaters and he’s eighth in high-danger chances-for (57.14%) which shows that he’s been effective with his ice-time, but clearly wasn’t to Trotz’s liking. (All stats at 5on5 and from NaturalStatTrick.)

With Oliver Wahlstrom still on the taxi squad, it seems that Barry could very well go for a third line of Michael Dal Colle, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Leo Komarov. Remember, Komarov and MDC are still on the regular squad. Technically MDC is on IR for some undisclosed injury.

With the amount of ice-time Barry has handed to that third line recently this shouldn’t be the issue some fans will make it out to be. Bellows and linemate Ross Johnston combined for 13:06 of ice-time that’s less than every other forward outside of Matt Martin (7:30).

There’s still plenty of time for Lou Lamoriello to make any other adjustments before Thursday’s game. Paperwork to pull someone off the taxi squad must be filled by 5 PM on the day of. So