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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Isles acquire Rolston; deal Hunter to Devils

The Isles have acquired winger Brian Rolston from New Jersey in a 1:1 trade for Trent Hunter.  (Earlier reports had also said that a draft pick was included but that was inaccurate.)

The team release is here: http://islanders.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=585408&navid=DL|NYI|home

Rolston, 38, becomes the oldest player on the team -- his cap hit is $5,062,500 for the season.  He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next July 1.  He is just 3 1/2 years younger than the General Manager who acquired him -- today is Garth Snow's 42nd birthday. Rolston is four years older than Marty Reasoner (the oldest other skater on the roster; goalie Evgeny Nabokov turned 36 earlier this week).

Rolston had three consecutive 30+ goal seasons for the Wild, but scored only 49 goals for New Jersey over the past three seasons.  After being scratched and waived early in the season by New Jersey, Rolston who had only two goals and three assists in 21 games by New Year's rebounded to finish with 14 goals and 20 assists.

Hunter, on the other hand, missed the season's final 65 games after scoring a goal and an assist vs Columbus on November 24th.  It was his 99th goal as an Islander, leaving him one shy of being the 25th player in team history to score 100 goals.

Hunter departs the Islanders as the active career leader in most offensive categories.  With Hunter's departure, Blake Comeau now has played the most games for the Islanders (245); Matt Moulson has the most goals (61); Frans Nielsen has the most assists (83) while John Tavares has the most points (121) and power play goals (20).
Hunter, 31, has two seasons remaining on his 5 year/ $10 million contract.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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