Friday, May 13, 2011

Grabner Signs For Five

As the New York Islanders chase the franchise's fifth Stanley Cup in the coming years, they have now identified another one of the players who will be joining the pursuit.

Despite the calendar reading Friday the 13th, five was the lucky number of the day for the Isles and winger Michael Grabner. "Grabs," as he's affectionately known by fans and teammates, signed a 5-year contract for a reported $15 million.

It's great news not only for Grabner, who has had quite a whirlwind year that included 34 goals as a rookie and the birth of a son, but for Islanders fans.

It also signals that General Manager Garth Snow (and, by extension, owner Charles Wang) is committed to not only identifying the pieces that will help build a championship caliber team, but holding on to them.

Even if Grabner is unable to repeat his 2010-2011 goal performance in the coming years, we must collectively remember that he's only 23 years old. His speed and his skill will certainly help those players around him to increase their scoring opportunities.

It's a very reasonable deal for both sides. At about $3 million per season, the deal is in line with the contract extension fellow top scorer Matt Moulson received earlier this year.

The Islanders didn't have to make this move today. After all, Grabner was only coming into restricted free agency. But I'm glad they did.

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