Practice notes from afar: Thursday notes

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The Islanders made official what Arthur Staple reported earlier today: Matt Donovan’s up. For Bridgeport, it’s basically an Aaron Ness for Donovan swap. Scott Pellerin, after they skated at Scope late this afternoon, said he’s had good talks with the Islanders’ staff about Ness; “he’s been playing very well. We’ve got to get him back to playing at that level, to get him back to playing in the NHL.”

Donovan returns to the Island after 14 points in 17 games here. “He’s been playing very well for us,” Pellerin said. “He’s been working on his consisistency and the parts of his game he needs to continue to do well, at our level and also in the NHL. It’s an opportunity for him to go out and prove he can play at that level.”

On the Cantin suspension, Pellerin noted the automatic review on a match penalty. “As a group, we were a little upset. The play happens so fast,” he said. “It’s a sucker pass. His teammate threw it through the middle of the ice. Cantin comes over and finishes his check. In this day and age, you’re responsible for your hits. … It’s unfortunate the player was injured. With the match penalty, obviously, the league came down with a decision, and we’ll accept it and move on.”

The suspension leaves them with six healthy and available defensemen; not knowing what was coming until they’d left for Norfolk, they didn’t bring somebody in as a seventh. “If something has to be done, we’ll do it,” Pellerin said. “I’m confident in the group we have.”

Otherwise, basically what was available to them Tuesday is available to them Friday (at the moment, at least). Justin Johnson is eligible to come back Saturday.

Looking down the road: Lindsay Kramer got a copy of the Olympic break transactions rules. If I’m reading them correctly, it appears that only the Islanders guys who’ve played a decent amount both up and down would be eligible to play here during the break, and that only if they don’t play 16 of the last 20 Islanders games before the break (a period that begain Tuesday in Boston).

The weather scrapped Jonathan Quick‘s rehab assignment this weekend, the L.A. Times reports.

Good reads on the Olympic selection process from ESPN and Kevin Allen of USA Today, who got to sit in on the discussions.

And RIP, Bob Grant and Jay Traynor.

Michael Fornabaio

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