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Isles get their man, ink Sillinger to three-year deal

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Mike Sillinger signed a three-year, $6.6
million deal with the New York Islanders, leaving the Nashville
Predators after less than one season.

Sillinger agreed to terms with the Islanders late Saturday
night, joining his 12th NHL team. The center, known more for his
defensive skills, scored 32 goals last season between St. Louis and
Nashville.

He will earn $2.1 million next season, $2.2 million in 2007-08
and $2.3 million in 2008-09.

"Mike Sillinger is one of the most respected players in the
game -- strong in all zones and at faceoffs, an excellent skater and
a leader," new Islanders general manager Neil Smith said. "It
says a lot about Mike that he excelled in the first year under the
new NHL rules by scoring 32 goals and having his best offensive
season."

Sillinger also had 31 assists in 79 games last season. He was
part a salary purge with the Blues, who significantly cut payroll
in an effort to facilitate the sale of the team. That purchase, by
a group led by former Madison Square Garden president Dave
Checketts, was completed last week.

It is not the first time Smith has acquired the 35-year-old
forward. While part of the Detroit Red Wings front office, Smith
selected Sillinger in the first round of the 1989 draft.

"As a free agent, you want to go to a good, young team and the
team that wants you the most," Sillinger said from Regina,
Saskatchewan. "I appreciate the faith that Neil has placed in me
and I'm really looking forward to playing for [coach] Ted Nolan."

Sillinger also has played for Detroit, Anaheim, Vancouver,
Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus and Phoenix.
With a vigorous workout program, Sillinger believes he has at least
three strong seasons left.

"Personal training is part of the regimen for any player who
loves the game as much as I do and wants to contribute for a long
time," he said. "I'm a part shareholder in a gym here in Regina.
I train with a bunch of junior players. I push them and they push
me. If training camp started today, I'm more than ready to go."

Sillinger has 198 goals and 263 assists in 908 NHL games over 15
seasons. He had two goals and an assist in five playoff games with
Nashville this year.