Isles bulk up on first day of free agency

July, 1, 2012
Much like their bitter rivals, the New York Rangers, the Islanders added size and grit on Day 1 of free agency.

The Isles inked three players -- forwards Brad Boyes and Eric Boulton and defenseman Matt Carkner -- that bring physicality to a squad that has missed the playoffs for five straight years.

The team's first signed 30-year-old forward Brad Boyes to a one-year deal that, a source confirmed to, is owrth $1 million.

The one-time 40-goal scorer played the last two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. In 2011-12, he recorded 8 goals and 15 assists in 65 games.

General Manager Garth Snow followed up the Boyes signing by landing tough guy defenseman Matt Carkner, who finished with 54 penalty minutes in 33 games with the Senators this past season. Carkner agreed to terms on a three-year, $4.5 million deal, according to's Pierre LeBrun.

The Isles added more toughness later in the afternoon with former Devils enforcer Eric Boulton. According to's Craig Custance, Boulton signed a one-year deal and sounded excited about the new opportunity.

"It's a promising young team."

The Islanders got a head start this off-season with their draft-day acquisition of veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. The Isles acquired him via trade with Anaheim in exchange for a second-round pick in 2013.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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