Sports Briefing: Islanders Lose Kyle Okposo and Sign Two Forwards

Photo
Andrew Ladd with Chicago in February. He accepted a seven-year, $38.5 million Islanders contract.

Credit
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Islanders remade their roster in a series of moves on Friday, using the first day of free agency to sign the veteran forwards Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera at the same time the career Islanders Kyle Okposo, Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen departed for new teams.

On the day that the new owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin officially took majority control of the Islanders from Charles Wang, the team began changing the face of the franchise only months after it won a playoff series for the first time since 1993.

Nielsen, the most-tenured member of the Islanders, signed with the Red Wings for six years and $31.5 million. Okposo joined the Buffalo Sabres, where he will be reunited with the former Islander Matt Moulson on a Sabres squad on the rise. Okposo, a 28-year-old right wing, signed for seven years and $42 million. Okposo was a first-round draft pick by the Islanders in 2006. Martin, a fifth-round pick in 2008, agreed to a four-year, $10 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

To replace them, the Islanders lured Ladd with a seven-year, $38.5 million contract. Ladd, a 6-foot-3 left wing, was a trade deadline addition by Chicago late last year after almost five seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, where he was the captain. Ladd also won the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Blackhawks and in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he was a teammate of the Islanders assistant general manager Doug Weight.

Ladd, 30, has 210 goals and 256 assists in 769 career games. He has reached the 20-goal mark five times. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping this team get to the next level and win a Stanley Cup,” he said. “They are trending in the right direction.”

Chimera, 37, is coming off a 20-goal season for Washington. A 13-year veteran, he signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal. He is expected to replace the popular Martin on the team’s physical fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.

The Islanders also retained left wing Shane Prince, whom they had acquired from Ottawa at the trade deadline. He signed a two-year, $1.7 million contract.

The Rangers added speed with forwards Michael Grabner — a former Islander — and Nathan Gerbe. Grabner signed a two-year deal worth $3.3 million, and Gerbe accepted a one-year contract.

Left wing Viktor Stalberg, who scored nine goals for the Rangers last season, signed with Carolina, and forward Eric Staal left New York for a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild.

The Devils signed the veteran defenseman Ben Lovejoy to a three-year deal and added forward Vernon Fiddler.

In other key signings, Milan Lucic left the Los Angeles Kings to sign a seven-year, $42 million deal with Edmonton, and David Backes joined the Boston Bruins after spending his entire career with St. Louis. Backes, the former Blues captain, signed for five years and $30 million. Forward Loui Eriksson signed a six-year, $36 million deal with the Vancouver Canucks, and Troy Brouwer — who helped the Blues reach the conference finals last spring — joined the Calgary Flames for four years.

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Victor Hedman to an eight-year, $63 million extension through 2025. ALLAN KREDA

PRO FOOTBALL

Ravens’ Tight End Suspended

Tight end Darren Waller of the Baltimore Ravens has been given a four-game suspension for violating the N.F.L. policy on substance abuse.

As a rookie in 2015, Waller, a sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech, caught two passes for 18 yards.

Continue reading the main story

Read Story

Can't Get Enough NewsReportOnline?

Sign up for NewsReportOnline newsletter and get the latest news straight to your inbox!