The New York Islanders have confirmed three more signings, with GM Lou Lamoriello telling reporters including Brian Compton of NHL.com that they reached agreements with Cory Schneider, Michael Dal Colle, and Kieffer Bellows. Schnieder’s deal will be a two-way contract, but no other details have been released.
Now 35, Schneider spent last season as the Islanders’ taxi squad goaltender, playing just a single game for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and none in the NHL. That very well could be his role again this season, if the league decides to create a goaltender taxi squad this season as deputy commissioner Bill Daly suggested to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff recently. There is no chance of him supplanting Semyon Varlamov or Ilya Sorokin as the team’s main options, but Schneider does represent more than 400 games of NHL experience to have just in case injury strikes.
Dal Colle is perhaps the most interesting name announced today, if only because of the fact that he failed to receive a qualifying offer from the team and technically became an unrestricted free agent. The 25-year-old will be in training camp as always, once again fighting for playing time in the NHL. Originally selected fifth overall by the Islanders in 2014, that high draft pedigree wore off years ago. He should now be considered just another depth player that will battle for a bottom-six spot, contributing whenever he gets the chance. In 26 games with the Islanders last season, Dal Colle had just four points, and he has totaled 21 through his 111-game career.
Bellows, 23, still has just 22 games to his name despite being a first-round pick in his own right, selected 19th overall in 2016. The power forward scored three goals in 14 games last season and is not guaranteed a full-time role on this roster. Though he has shown an ability to score at the minor league level, recording 22 goals in 52 games during the 2019-20 season, he’ll have to show more consistent play in the NHL to secure a spot with the Islanders. Eligible for waivers this time around, he may have a leg up on some of his competition simply because the Islanders won’t want to risk him to the rest of the league.
The team also confirmed that Zach Parise’s deal is for just one year, and that all but one player in the organization is vaccinated at this point. Lamoriello expects to loan that player–who was not identified–to Europe this season.