New York Islanders' Michael Grabner Inks 5-Year Extension

Daniel Friedman@DFriedmanNHLCorrespondent IMay 13, 2011

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 26: Michael Grabner #40 of the New York Islanders scores a second period goal against Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens at the Nassau Coliseum on December 26, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This morning, the New York Islanders announced that Michael Grabner has been re-signed to a five-year deal worth a total of $15 million.

Grabner, coming off a terrific rookie campaign in which he recorded 34 goals and 52 points, will be looking to keep that trend going over the next several seasons.

Not surprisingly, Grabner was in attendance during this week's press conference regarding the new arena plan, and it was at that precise moment I realized he was here to stay. 

Said Grabner this morning (via Twitter): 

"I am happy to announce that I will be an Islander for the next five building,new contract and new baby.what a great year!!!!!"

A smart move, no doubt, from both a hockey and public-relations standpoint.

Let me say this: If Grabner can continue to produce at the rate he did in 2010-11, this is a major steal by Islanders GM Garth Snow. When you can sign a 30- to 40-goal scorer at $3 million per year, that's an incredible feat.

Not to mention the wonders this could do for the Islanders in their quest to garner as much support and endearment as they can between now and August 1, when the residents of Nassau County will vote on whether or not to approve a $400 million bond, which would be allocated by the local government towards building a new hockey arena and minor league ballpark.

Of course, Michael Grabner gives the Isles a dangerous weapon on offense for the next five years, something they haven't had since, well, Mike Bossy (I'm not comparing the two, just explaining that he represents the last time the Isles had a goal scorer who stuck around for a longer period of time).

By keeping Grabner in the fold, the Islanders have ensured that a major piece to the puzzle remains in place.

And maybe, just maybe, they've built up just enough excitement to ignite the fanbase and re-instill some of the passion that has been long missing around these parts.

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