Josh Ho-Sang was loaned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Tuesday. After the news was broke, Islanders fans on Twitter jumped into a panic trying to justify the reason on why Ho-Sang was sent down.
The announcement came before the Islanders-Hurricanes game in which the Islanders fell 4-3, with zero power-play goals in three chances. While many in the media were surprised by the announcement, it shouldn’t be so shocking.
This isn’t the first time that Lou Lamoriello has sent down young players to the AHL. In his tenure with the Maple Leafs, Lamoriello sent Kasperi Kapanen and William Nylander to the AHL to play in the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2016 against the Sound Tigers.
Both Kapanen and Nylander turned out to be fine. Kapanen played nine games in the 2015-16 season for the Maple Leafs, and scored zero points. Nylander played 22 games and scored 13 points. Both are playing now in the NHL with huge roles in the Toronto Maple Leafs offense.
But there is a more honest answer: Ho-Sang didn’t produce enough to keep his spot.
The truth is that the Islanders are in a playoff fight, a situation that seemed unreasonable at the beginning of the season. Ho-Sang, who had two points in 10 games on the first line, wasn’t producing for what a first line winger should. Jordan Eberle gives the Islanders a better shot to make the Playoffs.
Eberle, who is hopefully starting to heat up, scored a goal against the St. Louis Blues in his first game back since being taken off the IR. Eberle also had a goal called off against the Hurricanes. With Eberle playing on the first line, the Islanders are also showing him off to potential trading partners who may be interested in Eberle at the Trade Deadline. With Eberle being on the final year of his contract, the Islanders could look to trade the winger as a rental. If that happens, Ho-Sang could be called right back up to replace Eberle after improving his game at the AHL level.
The Islanders are also showing off Michael Dal Colle. Dal Colle, who has shown limited potential with the Sound Tigers after being drafted five years ago, is now starting to heat up. He may be a piece for a trade.
There was only one spot available in the offense. It was either the Islanders would send Dal Colle down or Ho-Sang down. Being that the spot open was on the third line, and that Dal Colle has fit in well with Leo Komarov and Val Filppula, it’s no surprise that he was chosen to stay.
Ho-Sang has shown promise of being productive, and by sending him down the Islanders are confident that in the future he will be a productive top-six winger. The Islanders would rather have Dal Colle, who is finally showing progress of his development after five years since he was drafted fifth overall, play everyday with Ho-Sang getting time to play in the AHL.
Additionally, the Sound Tigers are in need of offensive help. They have lost two in a row, and with the Islanders plucking Devon Toews, Dal Colle, and Ho-Sang, there has been a drop of their play.
Don’t question Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello. They knows what they are doing. Trotz and Lamoriello could cement their already stupendous legacy if they lead the Islanders to the playoffs with the roster they have. The Islanders were predicted to come in dead-last in the NHL, but they are now competing for a playoff spot.
Joshua Ho-Sang will be a productive player for the Islanders in the future. It will just take a little bit of patience.