Matt Carkner

Predators waive Stalberg (again)

Big moves like David Clarkson’s terrible contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs get a lot of attention, yet there are often under-the-radar signings that are pretty lousy in their own right.

Many were excited when the Nashville Predators added Viktor Stalberg to the mix, but he just hasn’t worked out. He was placed on waivers for the second time in 2015 on Sunday, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

The Predators also reassigned Anthony Bitetto on a busy day for the organization.

In other waiver news, the New York Islanders moved bruising defenseman Matt Carkner from IR to waivers.

The last bit of minor news is that the Dallas Stars sent Travis Morin to the AHL on Sunday, the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika reports.

New-look Islanders hold on for season-opening victory


It was just one game, but it’s a solid start for the New York Islanders.

After they endured a disappointing campaign in 2013-14, GM Garth Snow sought to remake his team and those new additions led the Islanders in their 5-3 victory over Carolina Friday night.

Mikhail Grabovski scored his first goal with the Islanders after inking a four-year, $20 million contract. Defenseman Nick Leddy logged 18:29 minutes following his acquisition from Chicago. And then there was Johnny Boychuk.

The former Boston Bruins defenseman was one of the best players on the ice tonight. He scored the opening goal of the game and added two assists while recording a game-high 23:11 minutes.

Sophomore Brock Nelson also had a big game with two goals and four points after recording just 26 points in all of 2013-14.

The Islanders enjoyed 3-0 and 4-1 leads, but the Hurricanes deserve credit for not quitting on this game. They continued to battle in the latter half of the third period and managed to pull within two goals. With less than six minutes left, Chris Terry fired a one-timer past goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who was also making his Islanders debut. Carolina forward Eric Staal then scored a power-play marker with just 1:34 remaining in regulation time.

It was too little, too late for a Carolina squad hoping to hand Bill Peters a victory in his head coaching debut, but it might provide the team with some momentum going into tomorrow night’s rematch at Nassau Coliseum.

The Hurricanes were without Jeff Skinner (concussion) and Jordan Staal (leg). The Islanders are missing defensemen Lubomir Visnovsky (back), Matt Carkner (upper body), and Calvin De Haan (upper body).

Quick Hits: Heatley, Franson among notable IR placements


PHT already made note of some significant (and smaller) IR moves on Tuesday, but in a quest to graciously save you some clicks, here’s a collection of some of the other injured reserve placements of note. Some could be a pretty big deal, too.

(Note: this is a good spot to mention other IR assignments in the comments section if there are any important omissions.)

(Note: Rotoworld’s a helpful resource for injury updates small and large. If you ever need a quick look at league-wide injuries, this page is a great resource.)

Under Pressure: Garth Snow


Nearly 12 months ago we here at ProHockeyTalk asked, What’s Garth Snow thinking?

Almost a calendar year later, the same question can be asked.

With new ownership in the process of taking over and the Islanders set to move into a new home for 2015-16, one has to wonder what Mr. Snow is thinking.

The man, who appointed Snow general manager eight years ago, Charles Wang, is on his way out and the team has qualified for the playoffs just once in the past seven years.

With big changes at the top ahead, Snow is under pressure to turn his team into a playoff contender sooner rather than later.

New York finished the 2013-14 season 14 points back of eighth place Detroit for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Islanders were last in the Metropolitan Division with a 34-37-11 record.

The Red Wings finished with 93 points to clinch that final playoff spot last season, the only time the Islanders have finished with more than 80 points in an 82-game season was Snow’s first year at the helm in 2006-07 where the Islanders lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Buffalo Sabres in five games.

Under Snow’s watch, the Islanders have had three coaches and one can argue, given Snow’s pressure to win now, Jack Capuano could also be written about in this space.

The good news for Snow is he’ll have his captain, and top center, John Tavares back and healthy after suffering a knee injury at the 2014 Olympics limited him to just 59 games in 2013-14.

Snow went out and got Tavares some help adding depth to the forward group by signing Mikhail Grabovski to a four-year $20 million deal and Nikolai Kulemin to a four-year $16.8 million deal. The hope is Grabovski and Kulemin can rekindle their chemistry formed while playing together for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In goal, Snow went out and picked up the rights to Jaroslav Halak from Washington and inked him to a new four-year $18 million deal. Halak, who has a career 144-85-29 record with a .918 save percentage, should slot in nicely for the departed Evgeni Nabakov.

Halak should slot in nicely that is if he gets help from his defense.

The Islanders were 28th last season in goals-against ahead of only Florida and Edmonton. Snow didn’t do much to help his goaltender. He did go out and acquire the rights to Dan Boyle from San Jose, but was unable to come to terms with the pending unrestricted free agent, who signed with the New York Rangers.

The Islanders are also without Andrew MacDonald, who Snow sent to Philadelphia in March for minor leaguer Matt Mangene and a pair of draft picks.

Left are Lubomir Visnovsky, Travis Hamonic, Matt Carkner, Thomas Hickey and Brian Strait in addition to Calvin de Haan and Matt Donovan.

The Islanders did add a former Maple Leafs property on the back end as well in T.J. Brennan, the reigning AHL defenseman of the year. But given that Brennan was a minus-10 while scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace with the Toronto Marlies last season, I’m not sure how much help Brennan can be.

Then there’s budding prospect Griffin Reinhart, who at 20-years-old, could crack the Islanders opening day lineup. But to rest your defensive hopes on a rookie is recipe for disaster.

Snow’s inability to shore up defensive concerns could be what sinks him in New York’s final season on Long Island.

Related: In praise of John Tavares

Video: Islanders’ Carkner fights Sabres’ Scott


It didn’t take long for the main event to erupt between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders on Saturday.

The Islanders’ Matt Carkner took exception to a hit along the bench from the Sabres’ John Scott just prior to the midway mark of the first period. The two came together, squared off and began throwing some heavy punches before eventually tying each other up along the boards.