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Richard Panik, Thomas Hickey Waived by New York Islanders Ahead of Preseason Finale

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Richard Panik

BRIDGEPORT, C.T. — The New York Islanders slimmed down their lineup even further on Saturday, hours before the Isles hosted the New York Rangers in their final preseason game of the year. Thomas Hickey and Richard Panik were both placed on waivers with the two destined for AHL Bridgeport if they clear.

Hickey wasn’t expected to make the Islanders roster, but Richard Panik had been battling for a roster spot to be one of the team’s extra forwards. Islanders head coach Barry Trotz had looked at Richard Panik in different parts of the lineup, including having him practice with the fourth line and play in the top six of the roster.

The Islanders fielded a roster on Saturday that consisted of about 98 percent of the team that will take the ice on Thursday for the season opener. Trotz had expected to get one more look at some of the bubble players on Thursday when the Islanders faced off against the New Jersey Devils.

“We just have to make a decision right or wrong. We’re going to have to make some decisions,” Trotz said Saturday morning. “It’s more important to get ready for the season. Get that 14th forward or the eighth defenseman in line. I think there’s a good group of guys and they’re hard to separate, so there’s not that much between all of them. We’re just going to have to make a decision and live with it.”

The Islanders have until 5 p.m. on Monday to submit their rosters for opening night, which means Trotz and general manager Lou Lamoriello still have a little time to narrow down the roster before the deadline.

Among those that are battle for a spot up front and still with the Islanders are Leo Komarov, Ross Johnston and Kieffer Bellows. On the blue line, Robin Salo and Sebastian Aho are both still with the team.

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