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New York Islanders Activate Ryan Pulock, Robin Salo Off NHL Roster

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New York Islanders Defenceman Ryan Pulock (6) in action during a regular season NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New York Islanders on November 30, 2019, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire)

Prior to Thursday’s contest against the Ottawa Senators, the New York Islanders have activated defenseman Ryan Pulock (LTIR). Pulock has not played since Nov. 15, when he suffered a lower-body injury in Tampa against the Lightning.

Ryan Pulock was a full participant at Thursday’s optional morning skate and retook his place atop the Islanders second power-play unit. 

In 12 games this season, Pulock has two assists and 19 shots on goal. 

“He’s a big piece of our team,” Islanders forward Matt Martin said about Pulock. “He’s been a dynamic defenseman for us for the last number of years. So if he is back in the lineup tonight, then that’s going to give us a huge boost.”

Ryan Pulock had been a staple alongside Adam Pelech, which had become one of the strongest defensive pairings that the NHL had to offer.

But with the struggles on defense to start the 2021-22 season, Trotz elected to separate the tandem to make the backend more balanced. 

Pulock played alongside Zdeno Chara on the second defensive pairing while Pelech welcomed Scott Mayfield on his wing. 

23-year old defenseman Robin Salo is no longer on the Islanders’ NHL roster and has been added to the taxi squad.

Salo was the only player on the Islanders roster who was waiver exempt. That could be the biggest reason why defenseman Sebastian Aho was not placed on waivers. There may have been a fear of losing him, and having players that have NHL experience is always a commodity, no matter the success.

Just because Robin Salo is off the NHL roster Tuesday does not mean he will not be on the roster tomorrow or after the All-Star break. Given the back-to-back, if the New York Islanders and head coach Barry Trotz want Robin Salo in the lineup on Wednesday, this is what needs to happen. 

Matt Martin, who said this morning that he feels much better than he did when the season began, could be placed on IR. That would open up a spot for him, and with the six-day break (would be seven, including tomorrow), Martin would be available for the Islanders first contest out of the break against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver.

This idea is all with the belief that Salo is the first option if Trotz wants to rest his older defenseman in Chara and Greene, which he’s made clear he wants to