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Islanders sign Dunham to back up netminder DiPietro

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders signed Mike Dunham
to a one-year contract Friday, ending their search for a backup
goalie to replace new general manager Garth Snow.

Dunham made the team after joining the Islanders in training
camp as a non-roster invitee. The nine-year NHL veteran played in
New York's first three preseason games and was in uniform again
Friday when the Islanders faced the New York Rangers, but didn't
see any action.

"I talked to a few teams," Dunham said after the Islanders'
2-1 victory. "They needed another goaltender when Garth retired to
become the GM. I felt this would be the best opportunity for me."

He was 1-1 in his first three outings, allowing six goals on 36
shots for a 4.09 goals-against average. Dunham will serve as the
backup to No. 1 netminder Rick DiPietro, who earlier this month
signed a 15-year deal with the Islanders worth $67.5 million.

That contract was worked out with team owner Charles Wang along
with Snow, who until this summer was DiPietro's understudy. But
when Wang fired Neil Smith as GM just weeks after hiring him, he
turned to Snow -- who immediately hung up his skates and pads.

"It became clear in the past few weeks that signing Mike was a
priority," Snow said in a statement. "He possesses all the
characteristics that we look for in a player and has already shown
that he'll be an asset to our club."

During his NHL career, including stops with New Jersey,
Nashville, the New York Rangers and Atlanta, the 34-year old Dunham
has a goals-against average of 2.69 and a .908 save percentage.
Last season with the Thrashers, Dunham was 8-5 with a 2.77 GAA and
.893 save percentage.

He was still sporting his Thrashers mask when he faced the
Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday. DiPietro played in the
rematch Friday as Dunham watched from the bench.

"It's taking a little while to get used to," Dunham said of
playing for all three New York-area teams. "Once the season
starts, it'll be fine."