With the opening of training camp, New York Islander players have undergone off-ice testing today. However, one notable missing player today is unsigned restricted free agent Mathew Barzal, who now is considered to officially be a holdout, according to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple.
Head coach Barry Trotz confirmed that Barzal is not in camp, although he said Barzal is on Long Island. He said he will make due without Barzal for now. The team currently only has $3.9MM in cap room, but once the team is able to put defenseman Johnny Boychuk on LTIR due to a career-ending eye injury, that should open up some extra cap space to sign the first-line center.
“You have to make sure you’re adaptable,” Trotz said. “We’re going to worry about who we can put on the ice.”
- Sticking with the Islanders, Staple reports that forward Casey Cizikas is in camp and ready to go. The 29-year-old forward was forced to leave the bubble during the playoffs after suffering an eye injury. Cizikas told Staple that he took a hit to the head during the playoffs and the vision in his left eye went blurry. After leaving the bubble, the key fourth-line forward was diagnosed with a detached retina. “I feel comfortable and confident on the ice now, so that’s the most important thing,” said Cizikas.
- When Taylor Hall signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres, the former Hart Trophy winner was penciled in next two Jack Eichel and winger Victor Olofsson. Unfortunately, the first few days of camp haven’t given him much playing time with those linemates as Eichel has been out with an upper-body injury and has been day-to-day with the start of camp. Now, Olofsson is also listed as day-to-day. The forward left practice Saturday after crashing hard into the goal post while doing a one-on-one drill with Rasmus Dahlin at full speed, according to The Athletic’s Jon Vogl. He was favoring his left arm. However, head coach Ralph Kruger said Sunday that he expects Eichel, Olofsson and goaltender Linus Ullmark to return by Wednesday, according to the Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski, although that likely means they will miss Monday’s scrimmage.
- Despite an impressive showing for Team Germany at the World Juniors last week, Buffalo Sabres prospect John-Jason Peterka will not be attending Buffalo’s training camp. The 18-year-old is expected to return to Germany and play for EHC Munchen in the DEL where he has been playing since last season. The team’s second-round pick (34th overall) scored seven goals amongst men in 42 games there last season and should take a much bigger role with his team this year. Vogl adds that Krueger knows Peterka’s coach in the DEL and believes he will develop him well.