The New York Islanders were supposed to play a pre-season game against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Some of the guys on the fringes of the Islanders roster were hoping to use the game to show Isles management and coaching staff they deserve a shot.
Now, as you probably know, that game never happened. A power outage at the Prudential Center caused the game to be canceled. The game will not be made up. Meaning there’s only one more game left in the Isles pre-season.
Power outage could impact careers of fringe players on New York Islanders roster
For a number of players on the fringes, this poses a problem. Before the game in Newark, Barry Trotz told reporters that this meeting in New Jersey would feature 75% of the NHL roster while Saturday’s game would feature 90% of the NHL roster.
That’s a big problem for a few guys. Certainly for Russian winger Anatolii Golyshev. The fourth-round pick in 2016 is on the margins of the Islanders roster and is trying to work himself into perhaps one of the extra spots of the Isles group.
It’s unlikely, even with tonight’s game, that Golyshev would leapfrog any of the Isles top-four LW on the roster (Lee, Beauvillier, Parise, Martin/Johnston). But to get a shot at being the 13th or 14th forward on the team was absolutely a possibility if he played well.
Now, thanks to a power outage, he won’t get his shot. Of course, he could go and play in the AHL, but will he stick around for what will certainly be a big pay cut from what he could make in the KHL?
This power outage could have a big impact on the trajectory of where Golyshev plays this year.
Then you have to consider the other guys who are fighting for spots on the fringe of the Islanders roster. Erik Gustafsson is still trying to show he should be given an NHL deal. I feel like he’s earned it, but has Barry Trotz? You’d imagine getting another game against an NHL-heavy Devils roster.
Not getting that last chance could very well keep the lone player on a PTO off the roster.
The same could be said for Thomas Hickey. He wants to get back to the show and can use every opportunity he can get to prove he’s still got it. He’s not likely in the lineup on Saturday. This was his last chance before what will surely be a return to the AHL.
That’s a lot riding for players on the outside of the roster looking in. There’s no one to blame, these things happen, but it’s got to be very frustrating for those guys who were hoping to get one last chance to prove themselves tonight.