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Grabner gets five-year deal from Islanders

NHL.com @NHL
The New York Islanders announced on Friday that forward Michael Grabner agreed to terms on a new five-year contract to remain on Long Island.

"I'm really happy knowing I'll be staying here on Long Island, especially after Wednesday's news of a new arena," Grabner said. "We have a lot of young, talented players who came together last year and I am thrilled to have the chance to be a part of getting this team back to the playoffs."

The 23-year-old Grabner not only led the Islanders, but all NHL rookies during the 2010-11 regular season with 34 goals. The Calder Trophy nominee also produced 52 points to rank third among first-year players and fourth on the team.

The native of Villach, Austria, also finished second in the League with 6 shorthanded goals.

"Michael showed last season that he is an elite player in this League," Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. "In addition to providing speed and skill to our offense, he's worked hard to elevate the defensive side of his game to become an all-around player."

Following the announcement, Grabner posted the following message on his Twitter account: "I am happy to announce that I will be an Islander for the next five years; new building, new contract and new baby. What a great year!!!!!"

In addition to his offensive production, Grabner posted a team-high plus-13 rating -- one of six players on the team to finish with a plus rating. The two-way forward also recorded fewer penalty minutes (10) than any other Islanders player who appeared in at least 21 games.

Grabner was selected to represent the Islanders at NHL All Star Weekend in Raleigh, N.C., and made his mark on the weekend, helping Team Staal earn a victory at the Honda Superskills event by winning the Bridgestone Fastest Skater competition. In the end, Grabner beat Edmonton's Taylor Hall, 14.238-14.715, to win the crown.

"I never practiced it or worked on it … I guess it's just natural," Grabner told NHL.com. "It's not a skill everyone has, so I'm lucky I guess. I was hoping I would be in the event. That's what my game is based on -- speed. So I was excited when heard I was in the event."

Grabner made his NHL debut during the 2009-10 season with the Vancouver Canucks, playing in 20 games and posting 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists). He was traded from Vancouver to the Florida Panthers this offseason, before the Islanders claimed him off of waivers on Oct. 5, 2010. In 96 career NHL games, he's registered 39 goals, 63 points and a plus-15 rating.
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