Buh Bye Wimpy Isbister?
Brad Isbister was benched and will be a healthy scratch. Isbister traded?
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
The Fourth Period –
How do you create a frenzied buzz around the arena, in the press box, and on the message boards the week before the trade deadline? You make the player most rumored to be on his way out of town a healthy scratch.
That’s exactly what the Islanders did last night when they sat winger Brad Isbister in last night’s 3-1 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Isbister did not even take the pre-game skate leading many people to the conclusion that a trade announcement was imminent.
And that may be exactly the case. The rumors floating around the press box at Nassau Coliseum had Isbister going to Florida, San Jose, Calgary and St. Louis, although coach Peter Laviolette said after the game that it was simply a ‘coach’s decision’ not to dress Isbister.
One particular rumor had Isbister and goaltender Chris Osgood (who is expected to rejoin the Islanders tomorrow from an injury), going to St. Louis in exchange for forward Cory Stillman and a defenseman. The thinking was that the Blues were encouraged with Chris Pronger’s on-ice workout on Monday, making a defenseman available to be dealt.
Another rumor had Isbister on his way to Florida, with the names of defensemen Igor Ulanov and Brad Ference mentioned as possibilities going the other way. Panthers coach Mike Keenan reportedly expressed interest in Isbister a few days ago.
A deal could be announced as early as today, or it really could have just been a ‘coach’s decision’.