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Camping Out | October

Ok so camp is pretty much over with the roster still needing to be trimmed down to a manageable 23 maximum players for Saturday night's season opener against Dallas. With that let's run down some topics from the past couple of days.

Trimming Down
Dean McAmmond, Jed Ortmeyer, Anders Eriksson, Manny Legace and Krys Kolanos were all released this past weekend from their PTO contracts. Is anyone shocked? I don't think anyone expected these guys to make the team. Along with the tryouts, Justin DiBenedetto, Micheal Haley, Rob Hisey, Jesse Joensuu, Tomas Marcinko, Rhett Rakhshani, David Ullstrom, and Jeremy Yablonski, Dylan Reese, Travis Hamonic, Mark Katic and Mikko Koskinen were sent down to Bridgeport. Again not too surprised to see who was sent down, with the exception of Travis Hamonic. I'm not surprised by the fact the Isles sending him down to develop more in the AHL (which is the right move), but that Calvin De Haan was kept up here. In my opinion De Haan could use another year in juniors and that if anyone was kept up here it should be Hamonic. To make that even more interesting, Scott Gordon told Chris Botta that De Haan being here for opening night would be "a topic of discussion with Garth Snow all week." If De Haan does stay with the Isles, it's most likely that he will be in the Islanders starting lineup against Dallas.

Odd Man Out
Calvin De Haan practicing at Islanders mini campLooking at the defensive roster you have MacDonald, Wisniewski, Eaton, Martinek, Hillen, Mottau, Jurcina, Gervais and De Haan still here on the Island. If you look back to my past opinion on the matter you see that I have Wis, MacDonald, Eaton, Martinek, Hillen, and streit as your starters. Well now Streit is out with injury you can cross him off and replace Mottau in his place and it's safe to say that jurcina will also be starting come Saturday night. So that leaves Gervais and De Haan. If Calvin is still here by Friday then he will most likely be starting against Dallas leaving Gervais to watch from the press box.

Catching up with Bruno Gervais
Bruno Gervais during the Islanders Orange and Blue ScrimmageSpeaking of Bruno Gervais, I was able to catch up with him last week and find out how training camp was going. "It's been good," Gervais told me. "so far in camp it's been more about system and getting everything down. It's really been working on that and getting ready for the season." Later I Asked him if he had been giving any of the young kids advice. "Just little things, ya know," he replied. "All those guys are around right now and have been around for quite a bit. They what know training camp is like, the know what scott Gordon and the coaches expect. So they know what to do and just here and there little tips."

Kick a man when he's down
So Islanders fans received more bad news today when news broke that Rob Schremp will miss the next 3-4 weeks with a back injury reportedly suffered after taking a cross-check against the Devils on Friday night. Schremp was another positive story line for the Isles last season , after spending a few uneasy weeks wondering where he'd be. Schremp wound up becoming one of the Islanders shootout specialists, not to mention this sick baseball swing goal he scored against Colorado.

Meeting the Wiz.
Now that Streit is out with an injury this is a man that will be looked upon a lot this season. Obviously picked up from a trade Wisniewski has been nothing but happy to have joined the Isles. "It was a pleasant surprise, the guys here are unbelievable, Wisniewski said. "Nicest team and such a close nit group, that goes a lot to say about the leadership and the guys in the locker room. That goes a long way to go on a playoff run." The best response from Wiz was when I asked him about his feelings about how the "experts" picked the Isles in the bottom of the east. "My personally opinion, the media and the experts are just sitting in a booth and just picking the normal favorites," he responded. "They don't know anything, what's going to go on. How teams are going to handle staying healthy and that's the biggest thing. if you look at all successful teams they stay healthy throughout the year. So if we can all stay healthy and just keep on working and striving to our goal then we'll succeed." Interesting tid bit at the end about staying healthy .
Could not resist

John Tavares on Playing with Parenteau

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 02: PA Parenteau of the New York Islanders skates with the puck against the New Jersey Devils during the first period of a preseason game at the Nassau Coliseum on October 2, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Following the scrimmage two weeks ago, I spoke to John Tavares about what it was like to have P.A Parenteau on his wing during training camp and the preseason. "It's good, he's a real smart player, some nice hands," responded Tavares. "He's great to get along with so we talk a lot and try to build chemistry and try to get a feel for each other's game. So far it's been good." So is it odd for Tavares to be playing with a former member of the hated Rangers? "No, not really there are changes every year. I mean it'd be different maybe if he played in an organization for a really long time and seen somewhere else. But every year there's changes. There are always changes throughout the season so you get used to that."