It’s getting to be that time of year when the roster creeps closer to football territory than hockey, and the lineup grew by three — two officially, one to come — this morning. Bridgeport made the ATO official for John Stevens, whom the Islanders announced they’d signed yesterday, and they’ve also brought in forward Matt Gaudreau, brother of Johnny and fellow Boston College Eagle, on an ATO. As practice got rolling, the Big Club announced it has signed Jake Bischoff to an entry-level deal; he’s expected in town tonight.
The forwards were both on the ice this morning, Stevens in No. 46, Gaudreau in 40; Stevens in Argentina blue* between Michael Dal Colle and Tanner Fritz, Gaudreau in orange with Josh Winquist, Darren Nowick and Josh Holmstrom. (Eric Boulton was in defenseman’s blue, which threw me when I counted nine D.)
Brent Thompson got to see both of his new forwards play a little in Hockey East while watching Tage at UConn. Gaudreau has skill and can skate, Thompson said. He sees Stevens as a forward who’s good in all three zones. They were hustling off to physicals, so we’ll bug them later in the week. Thompson was not spilling on whether or how much they’ll play, but the practice array suggests Stevens gets a look.
Bischoff was the Islanders’ seventh-rounder in 2012. (A year later, that’s where they got Kyle Burroughs.)
The Rangers have been busy, too, signing Vinni Lettieri from Minnesota and Vince Pedrie from Penn State. And Bob McKenzie reports that Long Island’s Charlie McAvoy may leave BU for the Providence Bruins by the weekend.
Did a whole bunch of season-series-tiebreaker looking-up Sunday night after realizing Bridgeport clinched the Lehigh season series with the point. Actually, an actual day off gives you time to wonder about things like how close Devon Toews is to assorted assists records (by a rookie: 38, Rhett Rakhshani, 2010-11; by a defenseman, 40, Ray Giroux, 2001-02), like what would happen if every game was played the exact same way but they just ended without overtime if they were tied after 60 minutes (Bridgeport would be 14 points out; goal differential is destiny), like contemplating the last kick in the you-know-whats to a Bridgeport team’s playoff hopes quite like Sunday’s (I’m leaning toward this — iconic photo; had it on my computer desktop awhile — which left them six back with seven to play).
Forgot to mention: They wouldn’t let me into the arena garage Sunday in Allentown, so they sent me down the block to the Spiral Deck. Felt like I was leaving the New Haven Coliseum.
The U.S. women’s national team and USA Hockey are reportedly close to a deal.
And more from Hartford: Cutest. Picture. EVER.
*-Speaking of whom, Micheal Haley got one game for this.