With Zdeno Chara on IR, the New York Islanders called up Parker Wotherspoon to the roster. To the surprise of many. If a spot opened up on the Islander's blue line just about everyone would assume that Robin Salo would have been called up.
So why wasn't Salo called up? Why did the Islanders not bring up a kid who's seemingly ready for the NHL and call up someone who's been, to be fair, on the fringe of the Islanders depth chart for a while now?
New York Islanders: Why not call up Robin Salo?
Barry Trotz made it quite clear as to why Parker Wotherspoon was up over Robin Salo. One has been better than the other recently:
If you're just looking at production Wotherspoon has four points in his last five (1G, 3A) while Salo is at two points in the same period (2A). Wotherspoon is also directing a ton of rubber towards the net with 17SOG in those five games while Salo holds seven shots. If you care about +/-, Wotherspoon is at -1 while Salo holds a -5.
So just looking at the recent stat sheet Wotherspoon is clearly having the bigger impact on the AHL squad over Salo.
In terms of the eye test, from the games I've watched lately, Salo has been good enough in transition by dragging pucks out of the D-zone and into the O-zone, something the rest of the Bridgeport blueline struggles with. Including Wotherspoon. But tha'ts about it.
He's not having much of an impact offensively and his defensive game still needs work.
But Wotherspoon has played a solid two-way game even if his game isn't necessarily that strong when it comes to transitioning the puck. Wotherspoon knows his limits and plays within it and it's paying off for the 24-year-old.
Now there's also the fact that the Isles want to play Aho so even if they had called up Robin Salo would he have worked himself into the roster? Unlikely. So why keep Salo off the ice both at the AHL (neither Koivula nor Wotherspoon played for the B-Isles yesterday) and then at the NHL level? There isn't.
Keep Salo in the AHL to play and bring up a guy like Parker Wotherspoon who hasn't had that chance yet. Bring him up, play him at practice to see what he's got. He's earned it.