Gillies signs/Persson skates/Conacher waived

Finally, Colton Gillies is getting out of the hotel.

His PTO would’ve expired tonight, but Gillies has signed an AHL contract to keep him here the rest of the year.

“I can settle in now,” Gillies said after the morning skate. “The people (at the hotel) were great, the staff, but you’re definitely not settled in. I’ve only had a couple of home-cooked meals. You’re eating out all the time. It’ll be nice to settle in and focus on hockey.”

He’s been a good fit for Bridgeport. Brent Thompson loves that pairing with Johan Sundstrom on the penalty kill.

“He’s been a leader for us all year,” Thompson said. “He’s got a level head. I really like him in the locker room, on the bench.

“I’m very happy the Islanders committed to him. His job is to continue that same mindset. The way we’re headed, we’re in the right direction.”

It has been a good partnership and should stay that way.

“I know what I can bring,” Gillies said. “It’s a matter of working hard and bringing that every night.”

Bridgeport looked basically the same as it has, though John Persson was on the ice, too, in a red no-contact jersey, taking the whole skate (and the bag skate).

“He’s still a ways away,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to just bide our time. He’s still week-to-week.”

While all that was going on, the Islanders dropped the news that they’ve placed Cory Conacher on waivers. If he clears tomorrow and comes down, it’d obviously be huge, potentially, for Bridgeport: Conacher was the 2011-12 AHL MVP for the Calder Cup-champion Norfolk Admirals and didn’t have a bad lockout for Syracuse after that (except, um, for that game in Bridgeport), going up to Tampa Bay once the NHL season started until the trade to Ottawa late that season.

Of course, that’s a lot of chatter and linkage about a guy who hasn’t cleared waivers. We’ll see tomorrow at noon. Still just 24.

Good news down the hall: The Penguins announced extensions for the WBS coaching staff, John Hynes and Alain Nasreddine.

And the Oilers loaned Jesse Joensuu to Bern, Switzerland.

More tonight.

Michael Fornabaio