Leading up to puck drop in Detroit, the New York Islanders made a number of changes to the playing roster. That's thanks to the incredible number of players on the team's COVID protocol finally coming off their hold.
So to get us all caught on who is where let's look at all of those roster moves before the Isles take the ice in Motor City.
New York Islanders roster moves ahead of road game in Detroit
First, let's start with the guys who were taken off the COVID protocol list. We already know most of these names, but let's get it down on "paper" so to speak:
Today two of the three remaining players came off the list (unofficially); Zdeno Chara and Keiffer Bellows.
Both Chara and Bellows were a full participant at the team's practice today meaning they both certainly got the all-clear to come off the COVID list and maybe even play tonight. The only player remaining on the COVID list is Casey Cizikas.
Naturally, with all of those players coming off the COVID list, a few guys had to go back to Bridgeport. Here's who went back to the AHL and on what day:
Dec.1: Richard Panik, Paul LaDue, Thomas Hickey
Dec.2: Anatolii Golyshev
Dec.3: Andy Andreoff
OK, so who's left?
Otto Koivula, Robin Salo, and Grant Hutton are the three guys who are still around. Though all of them are skating with the extras prior to today's game. So their time is likely up soon.
Not that they've been poor since being called up. I'd argue that Hutton should still be in the lineup to balance out the handedness of the defensive pairs and that Salo should be playing because of his superior ceiling.
And by "playing" I don't strictly mean at the NHL level. It's better for the 23-year-old Salo to be playing at the AHL level rather than sitting in the press box. We'll see if both Hutton and Salo are on the sidelines, Barry Trotz indicated he could go 11F-7D soon.
Finally, the Islanders did bring someone up today. They effectively swapped Andy Andreoff for Austin Czarnik. Who, lets face it, is a much better option for a fourth line center than Andreoff has been.