Brendan Witt Placed On IR

#32 Brendan Witt (valorfaerie/Flickr)

Brendan Witt has been placed on the Injured Reserve by the New York Islanders, allowing them to reactivate Sean Bergenheim into the line-up. That means Brendan will be joining Jeff Tambellini in the press-box to watch the Isles take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight.

It’s kind of funny that Brendan Witt, a man who could survive getting hit by an SUV in Philly and manage to still play in the game that night, is now on the IR for calf-tightness.

Yes, I said calf-tightness. Chris Botta’s blog at had head coach Scott Gordon saying that Witt missed Saturday’s game against Phoenix only because of an insignificant injury. But shouldn’t it be relatively significant if he’s going to be placed on the Injured Reserve?

We all know that Witter is a very tough customer and barely sits, even when he should. However, his role has been diminished with the Islanders. He is a -18 and has been averaging between 11-13 minutes played per game. This is the guy that used to be the team’s No. 2 defenseman to Radek Martinek. With players such as Jack Hillen and Andrew MacDonald emerging as legitimate NHL defenseman (with quicker feet), Witt has been having difficulty earning minutes on the blue line.

So I pose the question, is Witt really injured? Or is this just a little stunt that the Islanders are doing since they are over the 23-man roster limit with Sean Bergenheim’s return?

#43 Martin Biron (llodgoalies/Flickr)

Everyone knows that it is only a matter of time until Biron is traded since Ricky has returned to the line-up, but the coaching staff and management are not going to rush his return to the starting role. Gordon has said that it is going to be Ricky and Roly in net, but that will come with ease. We may see Biron kept around for a few weeks just to be sure that DP is healthy enough to handle the NHL work-load, even if that means he is Dwayne’s back-up.

So do the Islanders demote MacDonald to make room for all 23 players? That would be a horrible mistake. As I said above, A-Mac has been one of the most reliable, young defenseman for this team over the past couple of weeks. Since Garth Snow is all about implementing youth, I don’t expect to see A-Mac sent down. That would have been the easy option, but instead Witt has been placed on the IR to buy some more time.

I’m expecting to see a few changes to the line-up over the next week or so, whether it be a demotion or a trade. I’m hoping it’s the latter.

**UPDATE 1/15**
It has just been reported on Twitter that Brendan Witt had been battling through a knee injury that the team did not previously report for several weeks and is the reason why he has been placed on the IR. This is common, as the Islanders do not like to release information regarding injuries in advance to protect the player, and the team from giving opponents a mental advantage before they play each other.

-Rob McGowan


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