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D ERSKINE & 2ND ROUND PICK ACQUIRED FROM DALLAS FOR NIINIMAA & 5TH ROUND PICK

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
D Gervais Recalled from Bridgeport

The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman John Erskine and a second round draft pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Dallas Stars for defenseman Janne Niinimaa and a fifth round draft pick in 2007. The Islanders have also recalled defenseman Bruno Gervais from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.

 "It's a trade that helps out both teams," said Islanders General Manager Mike Milbury. "Dallas gets a very good defenseman in Janne, whom we wish nothing but success. The move allows us to provide an opportunity for Bruno Gervais, who by all accounts is ready for the NHL. Obviously, it adds cap space. We also get a hard-nosed competitor in John Erskine and a very valuable second round draft pick in the next draft."

Erskine, 25, has played in 26 games for Dallas this season and has recorded 62 penalty minutes with no points. In 107 career NHL games, all with Dallas, the Kingston, OT native has recorded two goals and two assists for four points and 237 penalty minutes. The stay-at-home defenseman was drafted by Dallas in the second round (39th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Niinimaa, 30, was acquired by the Islanders along with a second round draft pick (Evgeni Tunik) on the March 2003 trade deadline from Edmonton for Brad Isbister and Raffi Torres. In 41 games this season, Niinimaa has scored one goal with nine assists for 10 points.

Gervais has played in four games with the Islanders this season, but has yet to record a point. In 33 games with the Sound Tigers, Gervais is the team's second leading scorer this season with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points. He is also a +7 and has collected five power play goals. Gervais is first among AHL defenseman in goals scored and fifth in scoring.

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