29 July 2011
The Islanders made a wise move yesterday swapping Trent Hunter for Brian Rolston. In retrospect you cannot deny this move helped salary cap issues on both teams. The Devils of course trying to free some cap space up as they prepare for arbitration with Zach Parise and the Islanders, trying to reach the cap floor, get to add five million dollars to their payroll.
But other than the blatant salary cap upside for both teams, the Islanders do get a good player in return. At the very least a player who will play more than 17 games next season.
Rolston had a rough first half of the season, but picked up his play scoring 12 and 17 assists in 44 games after clearing re-entry waivers. He finished the season with 14 goals, 20 assists and 34 points in 65 games. In contrast, Hunter only appeared in 17 games for one goal, three assists and four points.
The Islanders make out just on merit of having someone who will play a good chunk of the season, although Rolston did miss 14 games last year with a sports hernia.
Another added plus is Rolston’s perceived excitement about coming to Long Island.
“I’m happy to be going to the island,” Rolston told the Record’s Tom Gulitti. “I’m going to a good young team that I think I’m going to get the opportunity to play. It will be a fresh start for me with a good, young team that I think has the capability to be a playoff team.”
On the other side, it’s sad to see Hunter go. He did have several good years but after several injuries his production tapered off and a season ending injury last year only allowed him 17 games.
The reason it is sad is more on a personal note than a professional. Hunter is a player I can truly say I grew up watching. He made his NHL debut when I was nine years old. Now, although his best days have passes, at least with the Islanders, it is sad to see him off with another team. Hopefully the change of scenery does him well in New Jersey.
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