Strome down/Wednesday notes (add: Boyd released)

Ryan Strome wasn’t walking through that door… until today he was. (Or will be.) The Sound Tigers were wrapping up an interesting practice at Wonderland when news broke that the Islanders sent Strome down. It presumably, in part, clears room to activate Radek Martinek, but Garth Snow told Arthur Staple they want Strome AHL-eligible for the Olympic break. A bit of a surprise, but still.

As noted in those rules Lindsay Kramer wrote about a couple of weeks ago, a guy in Strome’s situation (or Matt Donovan’s, or Calvin de Haan’s), who hasn’t been on an NHL roster for 87 days by Jan. 24, becomes AHL-eligible for the Olympic break if he doesn’t play in five of an NHL team’s last 20 games before the break*. The Islanders’ next five games run until next Thursday, Jan. 23, which means if he stays off the bus to Portland Lewiston that day, he could rejoin the Islanders on the 24th and conceivably face the Blues on Jan. 25 in Uniondale, unencumbered to the break.

(The timing could be purely coincidental, but Jan. 24 is also the date by which teams have to send down and keep down a waivers-exempt player who’s already earned his 87 NHL days, as noted in Lindsay’s post, to make him AHL-eligible for the break. I think that’s only Casey Cizikas and Brock Nelson on Long Island, for skaters at least.)

So it looks as if Bridgeport’ll be represented in St. John’s. Look out, Farjestad.

Meanwhile, Johan Sundstrom skated with them pretty much the whole way today. He remains non-contact (and didn’t want to talk about the illness that’s kept him out, a month today). Riley Wetmore and John Persson both took the whole thing with full contact. Scott Pellerin said Andrey Pedan continues to skate, and they continue to monitor his progress.

Edit: Not that there’s a direct correspondence to this morning’s news here, either, but Peter Boyd was let go from his PTO this afternoon. Think Boyd did some good things in his few games here, but with Persson and Wetmore coming back, and now Strome coming down, there was going to be a bit of a squeeze.

One of those days: in a drill late in practice, Justin Johnson (skating on defense) started throwing punches with Joey Diamond. Wondered where the coach thought that one fell on the spectrum of good passion to bad passion. “It’s a fine line of competing, battling, guys working hard for one another,” Pellerin said. “It’s going to happen. It’s happened on every team I’ve been on. We’ve got to understand the reason for it, talk and move on, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Elsewhere, the Olympic hockey schedule means little sleep next month. Ah well.

*-Donovan has missed four games in the “last 20,” two before he was sent down and two after, but de Haan has played all eight so far (and has a point in the last five). Aaron Ness and all the other no-waivers-required players in Bridgeport right now have already clinched Olympic-break AHL eligibility even if they’re called up.

Michael Fornabaio