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Devils, Islanders help each other in Rolston for Hunter swap

Sean Leahy
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Brian Rolston to the New York Islanders for Trent Hunter is one of those deals that's incredibly serviceable for both sides who are desperate to fill needs this summer.

New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello finding a taker for Rolston and his $5.062 million cap hit next season, and bringing on Hunter's $2 million cap hit over the next two years frees up $3 million more to throw into a new deal for birthday boy Zach Parise whose arbitration hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3.

As he's done in the past with other contracts (see: Vladimir Malakhov and Dan McGillis), Lamoriello tried to make Rolston's contract disappear by waiving him in December. Rolston would later clear re-entry waivers despite an attractive $2.5 million salary that the claiming team would only need to pay him.

But the writing was on the wall for Rolston and as Tom Gullitti reported, he had to waive his no-trade clause in order to complete the move to Long Island. He'll be a veteran boost to a young lineup and be beneficial on a power play that ranked 17th in the NHL last season.

Hunter never matched his Calder Trophy winning finalist year of 2003-04 when he scored 25 goals. He's been slowed by injuries ever since and hasn't played more than 61 games in a season in three years. Hunter played just 17 games last season after suffering a Grade 3 MCL tear in November.

The Islanders are still under the $48.3 million cap floor by about $6 million, but it's only July and GM Garth Snow still needs to sign Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau to new deals. Comeau currently has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4.

And this should kill any of that Alexei Yashin-to-the-Islanders buzz now, right?

Photo credit: Getty Images

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