In what has quickly become a trend, Garth Snow has locked up yet another young cog in the youth movement machine. This time, Defenseman Bruno Gervais has been locked up for the next 3 years at a basement bargain rate (total) of $2.2-Million! According to Greg Logan’s blog, the deal is a one-way contract, which leads me to beleive that UFA Bryan Berard will not be returning next season.
More from Logan’s blog:
Gervais has gone without a goal for two straight regular seasons, although he got one in the playoffs last year at Buffalo. But when healthy, he has been a steady defender with some puck-moving skill.
Injuries limited Gervais to 60 games last season, but he averaged exactly 20 minutes of ice time per game. With the addition of free-agent Mark Streit, there is some question about how Gervais’ role on the third pairing might be affected. At the moment, it appears he might be the seventh defenseman, which could mean some time in the press box. But as the Islanders learned last season, you can’t have enough defensemen. They used 12 different defensemen last season because of injuries.
Under the circumstances, the deal Gervais received looks fair for everyone concerned. His first-year salary equals the qualifying offer of $522,500. He will earn $800,000 and $900,000 in the next two seasons.
Gervais turns 24 a week before the regular season begins on Oct. 10, and when this contract is up, he will have one more year until he reaches unrestricted free agency. His signing means that Snow most likely is done adding players to the NHL roster at least until training camp. All that’s left now is the choice of a coach
And from the Islanders official statement:
The New York Islanders and defenseman Bruno Gervais have agreed to terms on a three-year, one-way contract worth $2.2225 million. The deal will keep him under contract through the 2010-11 season. The Islanders now have all of their potential restricted free agents under contract for the upcoming 2008-09 season.
In 60 games last season with the Islanders, Gervais recorded 13 assists and points while averaging 20:00 minutes of ice time. The 23-year-old Quebec native was also honored this past spring as the Long Island Professional Athlete of the Year by the Nassau County Sports Commission.
“Bruno is a homegrown talent and has been developing in our system for a few years,” said Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. “He’s a high character player and person and is someone who is great in the Long Island community. We’re very excited to have him on board for the next three years.”
Gervais has played in 138 career NHL games over the course of three seasons with the Islanders and has scored three goals with 23 assists for 26 points. In five playoff games in 2007, Gervais scored a goal with an assist for two points in an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Buffalo.
Gervais also played for the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2004-05 and parts of 2005-06. Despite playing in only 55 games with Bridgeport in 2005-06, Gervais finished second among league defensemen in goals scored with 16.
Gervais was originally drafted by the Islanders in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Garth Snow on the signing of Gervais with iTV
In other news, a story in tomorrow’s Newsday claims that former Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella will be interviewing for the Islanders head coaching position on Sunday.
Lastly, I have made some site optimizations that have dramatically increased the way the site loads and performs. This should make the viewing experience a bit better and cut down on page load times. If anyone notices anything out of the ordinary (aside from the random image being temporarily broken the past several days – fixed it tonight) please contact me and I will get it fixed straight away.