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Isles sign defenseman Strait — three years, $2.3 million

Jan 31, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

Brian Strait

Just two weeks after claiming Brian Strait off waivers, the New York Islanders have locked up the defenseman with a three-year, $2.3 million contract extension.

Strait, 25, was plucked off waivers from Pittsburgh the day prior to New York’s season-opening loss to New Jersey.

He was immediately thrown into the lineup has has been a presence every since, appearing in all six games thus far while averaging over 18 minutes a night.

Prior to joining the Islanders, Strait appeared in 12 games with the Penguins — who took him in the third round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft — notching one assist and four penalty minutes.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes the average annual value of Strait’s deal with the Isles is $775,000, and it’s a one-way deal.

  1. islesjb - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    I don’t get the timing of this deal at all but at the same time, I don’t really mind it because of the price. He has been a real solid addition so far but I don’t see the urgency to lock him up after 6 FLIPPIN GAMES

    Oh well, I guess Garth see’s something in the guy. Hopefully he will turn into another savvy waiver pickup/signing by the Isles and it will really piss off Penguins fans

    • bcisleman - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      He has been very solid. Why wouldn’t Garth want to lock him up especially considering the price. Good defensemen are hard to find at any price. This is a steal.

      • islesjb - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        I agree he’s been really solid. It’s just been a very small sample size, but obviously the scouts and Garth have seen a lot more than I have. I’m not really questioning it or objecting to it; just seems strange so early in the season.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      As a Pens fan (and also a Strait fan) I can tell you that I don’t think it’s a bad move. We didn’t play him near enough – and the Isles are doing that – so the more you play him, the more you’ll see him make the plays, and the more his stock will rise. Lock him in at a low rate, what’s it hurting…by year end he may believe he’s worth more.

      As long as you’re not expecting offensive contributions, he’s real good.

      • islesjb - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Good points, and good to hear!

  2. bcisleman - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Garth Snow leaves no stone unturned to improve his team. All of his waiver pickups have done well but Keith Aucoin and Strait have been especially good. They are a big part of the team’s improvement. The Isles look like a team that could contend this year even though some of their best talent is 1-2 years away from being NHL-ready.

    • islesjb - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Don’t forget Thomas Hickey. Its only been a few games but I really like what he brings so far. A 4th overall pick who has been steady and looks like he can eventually bring a scoring touch to our defense.

      Definitely an upgrade over Staois/Jurcina/Mottau/Eaton of last year.

      • thecheeman - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Jay Pandolfo, Brian Rolston, Mike Mottau – the Devils middle age castoffs always seem to find a pointless home in Uniondale as of late.

      • islesjb - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        I think Eric Boulton might be a Devils castoff as well. He’s not much of a hockey player but I guess 1 over the hill player I can handle.

        Last year was more like 5 (Rolston, Eaton, Mottau, Staois, Pandolfo)

  3. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    This is one underrated aspect of teams like the Islanders and Coyotes: their pro scouting. They have the innate ability to take cast offs from other teams and turn them into contributors. I mean Moulson was like 250th by the Pens, signed a two way deal with the Islanders and turns into a 30 goal scorer. Grabner was claimed off waivers when Florida tried to send him to the AHL. For as bad as the Islanders have been through the years Snow has made some savvy moves.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jan 31, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      *drafted by the Pens

  4. 19to77 - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    The reason for the timing is that after six solid games, his value is $2.3m. After a whole solid season? Could be closer to $4-4.5m over the same length of time. If Snow is confident Strait’s play will remain at this level, he’s smart to sign him now, before that predicted consistency raises his value in negotiations.

  5. kingmeech - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Very smart move by Snow here. Great kid, hard worker, and a leader. By signing him now Snow is probably saving at least two million dollars in cap space each year moving ahead.

  6. friedberg7 - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    As a Pens fan losing Strait ticked me off. I felt the Pens should have let Bortuzzo go through waivers. However, due to Bortuzzo being a good hitter Pens decided to keep him instead. Bad move. Isles got a steal here.

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