Islanders Add Grit To Blue-Line By Acquiring James Wisniewski

Brian KarpelContributor IJuly 30, 2010

ANAHEIM, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  James Wisniewski #34 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the Edmonton Oilers at the Honda Center on February 10, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Islanders made two moves tonight.

First, they put Brendan Witt on unconditional waivers.  This might have some of the blue and orange faithful scratching their heads.  General manager Garth Snow hinted that Witt would not be "bargain basement-ed."

About an hour later it started to make sense. 

The Anaheim Ducks re-signed unrestricted free agent James Wisniewski.  Anaheim turned around and dealt him to the Islanders for a conditional third round pick in the 2011 NHL draft.

Wisniewski, at 5' 11" and 197 pounds, is a gritty and tough defenseman. 

“We see James as a key addition to our team and we feel our fans will connect with his style of play,” said Snow. “He is a solid puck-moving defenseman who can bring an added element of toughness to our blue-line.”

Wisniewski was a fifth round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2002.  He was traded in March 2009 to the Ducks. In his career he has totaled 97 points (17 goals and 80 assists) he also has amassed 254 penalty minutes.

Combined with the free agent signing of Mark Eaton, the Islanders are starting to add size to the blue-line to go with the scoring prowess of Kyle Okposo and John Tavares.

Things are continuing to go in the right direction this offseason for the Islanders.