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ISLANDERS SIGN D ALEXEI ZHITNIK TO 4-YEAR DEAL

Tuesday, 08.02.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
New York Islanders
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ISLANDERS SIGN D ALEXEI ZHITNIK TO 4-YEAR DEAL
Two-Time NHL All-Star, Olympic Medallist and Stanley Cup Final Participant Comes to Long Island

The Islanders have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Alexei Zhitnik to a four-year contract.

"Alexei is a perfect fit for us," said Islanders general manager Mike Milbury. "He's one of the best two-way defensemen in the game and he's a highly-respected player. He's going to play big minutes for us in all situations."

The 32-year old Zhitnik was named to the NHL All-Star Game twice (1999, 2002) in his nine-plus seasons with the Buffalo Sabres from 1995-2004. He has been to the Stanley Cup Final with Buffalo (1999) and as a rookie with Los Angeles (1993). In the 2003-04 season with the Sabres, Zhitnik had four goals and 24 assists in 64 games, along with 102 penalty minutes. He played last year with Kazan Ak-Bars of the Russian Hockey League, going 1-8-9 in 23 games.

"The Islanders were at the top of my list of teams I wanted to play for," Zhitnik said this evening. "I spoke with Mike Milbury and Coach Stirling and they told me what's expected of me. I'm very happy to be an Islander.

"I've played in the Eastern Conference for a decade and know what it takes to win," Zhitnik continued. "The Islanders have been a playoff team the last few years and now I'm hopeful I can take us to the next level. The playoffs have always been when I have played my best hockey."

The 5-11, 210-pound Zhitnik was originally selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round of the 1991 draft. The Kiev native has played in 882 NHL games and is 81-315-396. He was also a member of the Gold Medal-winning Unified Team at the 1992 Winter Olympics, Silver Medal-winning Team Russia at the 1998 Winter Olympics and Team Russia at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

"I've been an admirer of Zhitnik's for a while," said Islanders pro scouting director Ken Morrow. "He's a top-two defenseman who excels in all zones and in every facet of the game. Alexei is going to be a very effective player for us."

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 62 29 34 4 63
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 62 13 26 21 39
B. Nelson 62 17 19 6 36
F. Nielsen 62 11 25 11 36
A. Lee 56 20 12 12 32
J. Bailey 50 12 19 10 31
J. Boychuk 52 7 22 15 29
N. Leddy 62 8 17 14 25
T. Hamonic 52 4 19 16 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 32 13 0 .910 2.49
C. Johnson 8 7 1 .890 2.95

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