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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
12-year veteran upgrades the blue line


The New York Islanders bolstered their blue line today by agreeing to terms with veteran defenseman Sean Hill on a one-year contract. The 36-year old Hill has played 760 regular season games over a 12-year NHL career, scoring 59 goals and adding 205 assists for 264 points. He was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes team that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2002 and, as a rookie, contributed to the Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup victory in 1993.

"I spoke with Sean a lot over the last two weeks because we felt he would be an excellent addition to our blue line," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "We're very happy that Sean is coming to Long Island. He has been a very good defenseman in our league for a long time, a consistent player in all zones, a strong competitor and a leader".

The Islanders defense now includes veterans Hill, Alexei Zhitnik, Brendan Witt, Radek Martinek, Tom Poti, Joel Bouchard and second-year defenseman Chris Campoli, coming off an impressive rookie season in the NHL. The Islander top prospect on defense is Bruno Gervais, who was 16-25-41 in 56 games last season with Bridgeport (AHL) and 3-4-7 in 27 games with the Islanders.

Last year, as a member of the Florida Panthers, the 6-0, 205-pound Hill was 2-18-20 in 78 games. In 2003-04, while with Carolina, he 13-26-39 in 80 games. His best offensive season was with Carolina in 1999-2000, when he had 13 goals and 31 assists for 44 points in just 62 games. Originally Montreal's ninth pick in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, Hill was a member of the 1992 United States Olympic team.

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