The Islanders unloaded Michael Grabner on Toronto today on Day 0 of training camp, acquiring an assortment of players — goalie Christopher Gibson, defensemen Tom Nilsson* and Matt Finn, and forwards Carter Verhaeghe and Taylor Beck — who could impact Bridgeport’s roster in many ways.
If you were a player hoping to make the Sound Tigers this year, you probably just went full desk-flip.
— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) September 17, 2015
A situation where Grabner had fallen down the Islanders’ depth chart, the Leafs had prospect depth and were looking to clear contracts, and the Islanders had room (even after signing Steve Bernier today and Brock Nelson last night, the Isles are at 50, including the three who’ll likely go to junior, Barzal, Dal Colle and Ho-Sang).
Beck played last year in Nashville, but it’s a pretty crowded group up top for the Big Club, especially with Bernier stepping right in. (Of course things can change in a moment. But if he should be in the AHL, he’s got 278 pro games, so he’s an AHL vet eligible for the 320-game exemption.) Verhaeghe was in junior; the other three were Marlies or, in Finn’s case, briefly Solar Bears as well. Twitter buzz is Twitter buzz, and it selects for the people you follow, obviously, but there seemed to be some for Gibson in net and Verhaeghe up front (and on a Bridgeport team that looked awfully grind-it-out up front, he becomes kind of intriguing, what with his 80-something points in the OHL the past couple of years).
However it all shakes out over the next few weeks, today changed things up quite a bit.
*-Remember when this team had no righty defensemen?