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Isles' big day nets four new players

Friday, 07.02.2010 / 5:02 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Isles' big day nets four new players
After signing defenseman Mark Eaton from Pittsburgh, the Islanders added another blueliner by signing Milan Jurcina, then inked free-agent forwards PA Parenteau and Zenon Konopka.
The New York Islanders had a busy second day of free agency, agreeing to terms with defensemen Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina and forwards P.A. Parenteau and Zenon Konopka.

Eaton, played the last four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 2009-10 season was a career year for the Wilmington, DE native, scoring 16 points (three goals and 13 assists) in 79 games. 

The 33-year-old defenseman was a member of the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in 24 games during the playoffs that year and tallied four goals and three assists for seven points. Over the course of his four years in Pittsburgh, Eaton totaled seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 218 games. Prior to playing for the Penguins, Eaton played five seasons within the Nashville Predators organization, splitting time between Predators and Milwaukee Admirals. He played his first year in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers

Jurcina spent the final two months of last season on the injured list after undergoing sports hernia surgery. He was also a popular name on the transaction wire -- the Washington Capitals traded him to Columbus in December, then reacquired him at the trade deadline in early March.

The towering Slovak defenseman, who checks in at 6-foot-4 and 236 pounds, will add size to the NHL's smallest defensive corps. He had his best years with the Capitals, getting full-time work in D.C. after arriving via a trade during the 2006-07 season from Boston, which drafted him in the eighth round in 2001.

Jurcina played in 30 games with Washington to finish the 2006-07 season and then played in a career-high 79 games in 2007-08. He played in 75 games the following season, but appeared in only 44 games this past season due to his injury woes.

In 211 games with the Caps, Jurcina scored 6 goals and added 30 assists.

"With the addition of both Mark and Milan, we add both size and experience to our defense," Islanders GM Garth Snow said. "Each played in winning environments the past few years and we look forward to them bringing that same element to our dressing room."

Parenteau, 27, had 3 goals and 5 assists in 22 games with the Rangers in 2009-10, the most he's played in one NHL season, and scored 20 times in 35 games with AHL Hartford. Parenteau previously played in five NHL games in 2006-07 with the Blackhawks, who drafted him in 2001. Parenteau has been a solid scorer at the AHL level, notching 34 goals in 2007-08 and 29 in '08-09.

Konopka, 29, led the League this past season with 265 penalty minutes while a member of the Lightning, also recording 2 goals and 5 points in 74 games. In 113 career NHL games for the Ducks, Blue Jackets and Lightning, he has 6 goals, 13 points and 377 penalty minutes.

"To add both Pierre and Zenon puts a tremendous amount of skill and grit into our lineup," Snow said. "Pierre has been one of the top scorers in the AHL the past two seasons and showed he can play in the NHL in his time with the Rangers this season. Konopka is a high-character guy that will do anything to help our team win and adds an intimidating factor into our lineup."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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