The New York Islanders have claimed defenseman Tomas PÃ¶ck off waivers. The 26-year old Austrian’s AHL-proven offensive skills, which were often padded by playing long stretches of games at forward, were never quite enough to make up for his defensive shortcomings and win him a full-time job with the Rangers. Now he’ll get the chance to prove he’s worthy of the position with a depth-deprived Islanders team.
While most Rangers fans will remember PÃ¶ck for scoring in his first NHL game at the tail end of the dark years — the bright spots back then were so few and far between after all — my enduring memories of the Austrian Assassin will be seeing him get caught flat-footed as the opposing team scored (countless time) and this extremely rare fight, when he charged former-Islanders farmhand Drew Fata after Fata laid out Marcel Hossa during his brief conditioning stint with the Pack last season.
At least PÃ¶ck is already accustomed to the AHL-sized crowds he’ll encounter should he actually get the opportunity to ply his trade at the Nassau Coliseum.
Back in Hartford, his ex-teammates kicked off training camp on Saturday with a roster of 47 players, including 5 goalies, 15 defenseman, and 27 forwards. Among them are 21-year old Guillaume Parenteau, younger brother of Pierre-Alexandre (call me P.A.), who lead the Pack in scoring last season and looks destined to reprise that role after clearing waivers this afternoon. Lyon Messier, who was invited to the Rangers camp as a favor to his dad Mark (you may have heard of him), continues his bid to make it to the pro ranks with a try out in Hartford. Dad and grandad watched from the stands yesterday as coach Ken Gernander ran the team through its paces. For a full report from practice, see Howlings.
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