The injury bug continues to hit the struggling New York Islanders. An already-battered blue line just lost another member, as Dennis Seidenberg took a Michael Matheson shot up high in the Islanders loss to the Florida Panthers yesterday, and early reports are that it resulted in a broken jaw. As Islanders’ bear writer Andy Graziano notes, the Isles are already without Travis Hamonic and Ryan Pulock, and neither one is expected back for weeks. Seidenberg’s injury will likely keep him sidelined just as long.
Seidenberg signed with New York on September 28th, after the World Cup of Hockey and right before the start of the season. After spending the past seven seasons with the Boston Bruins, the more recent of which were injury-riddled and ineffective, many speculated that Seidenberg’s playing days were over. However, he has seen somewhat of a career revival thus far in his 14th NHL season, as he has four goals (his last two seasons in Boston combined) and four assists to begin the 2016-17 campaign. Luckily for the Islanders, a jaw injury should not have any lasting effect on Seidenberg’s game play once he returns, unlike the knee issues that plagued him in Boston. Hopefully he is able to return promptly to an Islanders team that is 15th in the Eastern Conference and in desperate need of assistance.
In the meantime, expect Scott Mayfield to be the next man up. The Islanders had just six healthy defenseman on the roster before Seidenberg went down last night, and with Adam Pelech pressed into action already, big man Mayfield is likely the next call-up. Now down to just four defenseman with considerable NHL experience – Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Calvin de Haan – it also seems like a strong possibility that the Islanders will explore trades, closely monitor the waiver wire, and potentially even look to sign someone in the coming weeks.