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Islanders open NHL free agency by reaching deals to sign F Boyes, D Carkner

Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 3:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Islanders open NHL free agency by reaching deals to sign F Boyes, D Carkner

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The New York Islanders got off to a busy start on the first day of NHL free agency by reaching deals with forward Brad Boyes and defenceman Matt Carkner.

Boyes agreed to a one-year deal after spending the past two seasons in Buffalo. Carkner agreed to a three-year contract after three-plus seasons in Ottawa.

Boyes is a two-time 30-goal scorer, but his production has tailed off. He managed just 13 goals and 37 points in 86 games after the Sabres acquired him in a trade with St. Louis in February 2011.

Carkner is a physical, stay-at-home defenceman. After having surgery to repair a right knee injury, he finished with a goal and two assists in 29 games with Ottawa last season.

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense