NASHVILLE, TN– On Wednesday morning, 29-year-old forward Nikita Soshnikov cleared waivers and was reassigned to the Bridgeport Islanders, giving New York Islanders an extra roster spot. However, at this time, general manager Lou Lamoriello has not elected to re-call anyone.
“Well, first of all, I thought that he would clear,” Lamoriello said Thursday morning. “He hasn’t played. He hasn’t played here in the states for a few years. He hasn’t played for us, other than a couple of games, so I thought he would clear, and it gives him an opportunity to get some ice time. We got three games this weekend, in Bridgeport, so, he’ll get some ice time.”
Bridgeport plays Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, against Charlotte, Wilkes-Barre, and Providence.
Per NHL rules, a player that clears waivers does not need to be sent to the AHL immediately. The team that waived the player has 30 days, or 10 NHL games, to decide what to do with them.
“We’re in a good position. Fortunately, we are healthy. We’ve got seven defensemen, we’ve got our two goaltenders, and we’ve got an extra forward, which is ideal,” Lamoriello said. “And it gives you the flexibility that if there is something that you’d like to do, you can do it quickly without maneuvering your roster.”
To break that down, if the Islanders made a trade or signed a free agent, the Islanders could do so immediately with the extra roster spot.
As we have mentioned here over at NYI Hockey Now, the Vancouver Canucks may have to move their captain, 27-year-old centerman Bo Horvat, who would be a perfect addition to this Islanders hockey club. TSN’s Craig Button recently said that Horvat’s time in Vancouver is ending as contract negotiations have gone nowhere.
The lack of a call-up by New York does not mean a trade is in place, or a trade is close, but it could be a safety net for a future addition.
The decision not to call someone up in the interim is interesting because even if the Islanders did make a trade for someone, mostly any call-up would be waiver-exempt. So that tends to lean towards something cooking. How high the flame is in the kitchen, no one knows.
The idea that Soshnikov was sent to Bridgeport to help them out with a few players injured, like AHL goal scorer Chris Terry seems like it could be a reason, on the surface.
However, with Bridgeport being a developmental league, wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the organization to have a player from Worcester (ECHL affiliate) get a chance, like forward Collin Adams, who is tearing it up with the Railriders with six goals and six assists in 12 games?
With Soshnikov in Bridgeport, if the Islanders brought him back to the NHL roster, they would not need to place him on waivers again for 30 days, 10 NHL games.
We shall see after the weekend if he comes back to the NHL.