STIRLING DRAWS THE LINE
Before turning in for the night on Friday after a post-game meal, the players in Islanders camp were split into three new groups.
"Of course, it's no secret there is some rhyme and reason as to who is in which group," said head coach Steve Stirling. "But these groups are not locked in for the rest of camp. Players can move from group to group based on practices and scrimmages. In fact, you can count on there being changes."
Of note is the presence of recent first-round forwards Sean Bergenheim, Robert Nilsson and Petteri Nokelainen in Group B. However, all three youngsters were told that they will join Group A mid-practice on Saturday -- so you can see how these lineups are forever subject to change.
You can also see some interesting combinations being formed. Jason Blake is taking head-turning prospect Blake Comeau's spot on the left of Alexei Yashin and Miro Satan. Oleg Kvasha and Mattias Weinhandl, dominating at times in scrimmages, stay together and are joined by Mark Parrish.
The perceived top 6 on the blueline have been retained in the same tandems.
Bruno Gervais and Tomi Pettinen round out the eight defensemen in Group A.
Here are the groups:
Alexei Zhitnik - Brent Sopel
Janne Niinimaa - Radek Martinek
Chris Campoli - Brad Lukowich
Tomi Pettinen - Bruno Gervais
Jason Blake - Alexei Yashin - Miroslav Satan
Mark Parrish - Oleg Kvasha - Mattias Weinhandl
Justin Papineau - Mike York - Trent Hunter
Arron Asham - Shawn Bates - Eric Godard
Joel Bouchard - Jody Robinson
Mike Jarmuth - Paul Flasche
Sean Bergenheim - Petteri Nokelainen - Robert Nilsson
Cole Jarrett - Kevin Colley - Masi Marjamaki
Steve Regier - Jeremy Colliton - Luch Aquino
Allan Rourke - Ryan Caldwell
Justin Kohn - Vince Macri
Travis Brigley - Wyatt Smith - Rob Collins
Blake Comeau - Ryan O'Marra - David Masse
Jason Pitton - Matt Koalska
Notes: Shawn Bates suffered a mild hip strain. If he is unable to practice on Saturday, he will be replaced in Group A by Petteri Nokelainen.