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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Islanders Sign Bates to 3-year deal

Shawn Bates wanted to remain an Islander and the Islanders were happy to oblige. The versatile forward has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him in an Islanders uniform through the 2008-09 season.

"Shawn has been a very good player for us for four seasons now and his wish was to stay an Islander," said general manager Mike Milbury. "We were happy to get a long-term deal done with him. Shawn is the kind of versatile and dedicated player that every team in the NHL wants. In a skater's game, he has become even more valuable."

In 43 games with the Islanders this season, the 30-year old Bates has 11 goals and 11 assists. Signed as a free agent in the summer of 2001 after three seasons with the Boston Bruins, Bates had his best offensive season in 2001-02, when he was 17-35-52 in 71 regular season games and scored a penalty shot goal in Game Six of the opening round playoff series against Toronto.

"I've loved my four seasons with the Islanders. This is where I really developed as a player," Bates said this morning in Washington, where the Islanders play the Capitals tonight. "It was a priority for me to stay an Islander. I'm very appreciative that management was as enthusiastic about making a commitment to me."

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