Sunday, July 02, 2006

Arnott to Nashville; Sillinger an Islander

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CP) -- The Nashville Predators have waded into the free-agent swimming pool, signing coveted centre Jason Arnott on Sunday to a $22.5-million US, five-year contract.The 31-year-old Arnott had a career-high 76 points for the Dallas Stars last season and was one of the top unrestricted free agents available this summer."Jason Arnott provides the perfect fit for the Nashville Predators and we are thrilled to add a player of his calibre to our lineup," GM David Poile said. "He has size, skill and experience and gives us the No. 1 center that we have been looking for." Arnott won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000, when he scored the championship-clinching goal in overtime.In 824 NHL games with the Stars, New Jersey and Edmonton, he has 276 goals and 368 assists for 644 career points.

Mike Sillinger, one of the game's top defensive centers and a 32-goal scorer last season, is now a member of the New York Islanders.
The Islanders signed the 35-year old Sillinger to a three-year contract late Saturday night. The native of Regina, Saskatchewan had 32 goals, 31 assists and 63 points in 79 games last season spilt between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators. In five playoff games with the Predators this spring, he had two goals and an assist. In 908 NHL games, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Sillinger has scored 461 points.
"Mike Sillinger is one of the most respected players in the game -- strong in all zones and at faceoffs, an excellent skater and a leader," said Islanders general manager Neil Smith. "It says a lot about Mike that he excelled in the first year under the new NHL rules by scoring 32 goals and having his best offensive season. Since Saturday morning, Mike was the forward we focused on. His signing makes us a better team in so many areas of the game."
Reached at home in Regina this morning, Sillinger was ecstatic about coming to Long Island. After all, in last season's Blues media guide, he listed Bryan Trottier as his idol.
"Neil Smith drafted me in Detroit and Bryan Trottier was my favorite player growing up, so this is perfect," said Sillinger. "As a free agent, you want to go to a good, young team and the team that wants you the most. I appreciate the faith that Neil has placed in me and I'm really looking forward to playing for Ted Nolan. I'm very proud to be joining the Islanders."

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