The Islanders embarked for Western Canada Monday afternoon, kicking off their last four-game road trip of the season. The Isles start in Winnipeg, before heading to Alberta for a set against Edmonton and Calgary and finish up on the west coast against Vancouver.
This trip marks the final time the Islanders will leave the Eastern Time zone this season.
Ahead of upcoming trip, the Islanders held a practice at Islanders Iceworks in Syosset. Here are some news, notes and quotes from today’s practice.
Thomas Vanek – Ryan Strome – Kyle Okposo
Michael Grabner – Frans Nielsen – Josh Bailey
Anders Lee – Brock Nelson – Cal Clutterbuck
Eric Boulton/Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Colin McDonald
Matt Martin was cleared by head coach Jack Capuano and will play Tuesday against the Jets.
Martin on Return: I feel good, it sucks being the in the press box watching games, but the important thing is to get as healthy as I can here and I’m definitely excited to get back in the lineup.
Trade Speculation: Ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline, there has been a lot of speculation that Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald could be on the move. Today the Islanders addressed questions from the media on the subject.
Martin on MacDonald, Vanek: I’ve played with A Mac for almost five years, going back to Bridgeport. In a lot of ways you grow up with someone like that and it’ll be tough to see him go – if he does go – but at the same time it’s a business. There have been friends of mine who have gone in the past and it never gets easier, but you stay in touch with them.
Vanek has been here a short time, but he’s become close with a lot of guys. It’s the nature of the beast, it’s unfortunate, but it’s not something we can focus on, we have to focus on playing hockey.
MacDonald, Capuano Speak: Andrew MacDonald and Jack Capuano had an extended talk on the ice at practice. The coach didn’t share specifics, but offered his thoughts on MacDonald’s current trade speculation.
Capuano: It would be tough. He’s a guy that I grew up with for a long time. If it happens, it’s a pretty emotional situation, especially when you’re with a guy for that long, but at the same time, it’s a business and guys move on. I’m real proud of the way he’s come along.
Road Record: The Islanders are 10-3-0 in their last 13 road games.