Jurcina Extended and Colliton Recalled

GM Garth Snow will have his hands full once the 2011 season concludes. Not only will he have to find the right pieces to add to the young roster, but he will also have to re-sign a bundle of impending RFA's, including forwards Kyle Okposo, Josh Bailey, Rob Schremp, Blake Comeau and more. The defense will have Radek Martinek and Jack Hillen facing free agency as well with Bruno Gervais as another impending RFA.

Another possible free agent was Milan Jurcina, but Garth wasted little time in getting the 6'4, 240 pound defenseman signed. Although his size will come in handy, the one-year extension came as an initial surprise since he has only played in 20 games this season after missing time with a hamstring injury. But the reliable defenseman has scored 4 points, 2 goals and 2 assists, in those games played and is a +1. In fact, he is the only skater with a positive plus/minus rating. That says a lot about his play considering the Islanders are the second to last place team in the Eastern Conference.

Despite signing Jurcina, Garth Snow still has plenty of work cut out for him. The biggest challenge will be retaining Matt Moulson, who is due for a pay raise after proving that last year's 30-goal season was not a one-hit wonder. He will also be facing unrestricted free agency for the first time in his NHL career, so if the Islanders want to keep him they will have to get serious. Expect them to do their best since he is a long-time buddy of John Tavares, the team's leading goal-scorer and a major member of the team's core.

In addition, with Frans Nielsen joining the injured list, Jeremy Colliton has been re-called from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Colliton recently joined the Islanders farm team this season after spending last year with Rogle Angelholm of the Swedish Elite League. He was drafted in the 2nd round at 58th overall by the Islanders back in 2003. So far this year, Colliton has 8 goals and 8 assists in 32 games played with the Sound Tigers. He will dress in Saturday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

-Rob McGowan

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