DENVER–With an emergency recall of netminder Cory Schneider for the injured Semyon Varlamov, the New York Islanders now have one too many players on their roster ahead of their Monday night contest against Colorado Avalanche.
However, the Islanders would not need to do anything to their roster, as they could use the NHL CBA Loophole to remain roster compliant.
Per Article 16.13, the Islanders can keep Schneider on the roster for a maximum of 48 hours without needing to waive anybody or place Varlamov on IR. The loophole only works in goaltending situations:
The Islanders are dealing with a few injuries at the moment, with forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Palmieri day-to-day with upper-body injuries, while defenseman Adam Pelech remains away from the team (IR, upper-body) and will miss his sixth straight game.
An update on the injuries to those two forwards will give us more of an idea of how head coach Lane Lambert may operate Monday’s game.
If general manager Lou Lamoriello does feel the need to make a roster move, here are his options:
SEND DOWN FASCHING OR HOLMSTROM
The Islanders have three waiver-exempt players on their roster: Defenseman Robin Salo and forwards Fasching and Holmstrom.
Fasching is waiver-exempt until he reaches 10 games played with New York, as he has played just five.
One of those forwards will be sent down, as Salo is needed with Pelech out of the linuep.
Holmstrom and Fasching scored in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, and both have played relatively well, well enough to remain in Lambert’s lineup.
Despite Holmstrom scoring the first NHL goal of his career and playing a solid defensive game, Fasching is the stronger bottom-six player, and he likely will remain up with the Islanders.
He is at the bottom of the totem pole, but the Islanders have not waived him all season when given the chance, so that is an unlikely route.
With the way Fasching has burst onto the scene, he’s provided the Islanders with good defensive play and an offensive touch, while Johnston has not been a factor offensively when in the lineup and has been used as strictly an enforcer as of late.
Johnston is valued by the organization, as his four-year extension kicked in this season, with an average annual value of $1.1 million. The Islanders waived former first-round pick Kieffer Bellows, over him, and Nikita Soshnikov was just placed on waivers for contract termination on Sunday.
The likelihood of Johnston hitting the waivers, especially when unnecessary, is slim to none.
ADD ANOTHER PLAYER TO IR
Pelech is the only player the Islanders have on IR, but having another player join him would have the Islanders back to a 23-man roster.
But there’s a caveat to this move as whoever ends up going on IR, whether it’s Clutterbuck, Palmieri, or Varlamov, they will not only miss the remaining two games of the road trip, Monday against Colorado and Thursday against the New York Rangers but also the Islanders home contest Friday against the Florida Panthers.
Clutterbuck and Palmieri would miss four games total for the New York Islanders, with Palmieri missing 14 of the Islanders’ last 15 games.
Varlamov would miss at least two starts, as Lambert was likley to ride him a bit, given his strong play.