After signing yesterday, former Calder Trophy winner returns to the Islanders to face Rangers
Bryan Berard will make his return to the Islanders in tonight's key matchup against the Rangers at the Nassau Coliseum.
"His commitment to the team by paying his own way while he was here, showed that he really wanted to be here," said head coach Ted Nolan, following today's morning skate. "We never gave him any guarantees, but he worked hard and really seemed to enjoy being here. That's what really sold us. He's a guy who is going to improve our power play."
Nolan indicated that it will be a game-time decision as to who Berard replaces in the lineup.
This will be Berard's first game with the Islanders since December 18, 1998, when he suited up for the Islanders in a 2-2 tie at Anaheim's Arrowhead Pond. While with the Islanders, Berard played in 188 games and was 26-83-109.
In his first season on Long Island, in 1996-97, Berard captured the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie with eight goals and 40 assists. Berard was originally drafted first overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1995, but was traded to the Islanders before playing a game with Ottawa.