Eaton signs with Islanders - 07-02-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Mark Eaton will remain in the Atlantic Division. The former Penguins defenseman has signed with the Islanders for two years and $5 million overall. He will have a salary cap hit of $2.5 million

Last season in 79 games, Eaton, 33, recorded a career-high 16 points (three goals, three assists) and was a plus-5.

Eaton, 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, spent the past four seasons with the Penguins after signing as an unrestricted free agent in 2006.

Last season, Eaton counted $2 million against the Penguins' salary cap.

New York also signed former Capitals defenseman Milan Jurcina to a one-year $1 million deal. In 44 games split between Columbus and Washington last season, Jurcina appeared in 44 games and recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) and was a plus-2.

EN Says: In a season in which the Penguins' defense was exposed quite a bit, Eaton was one of the few reliable presences on the blue line. He plays a simple game. He's positionally sound and he blocks shots. And he can even handle the puck a bit too.

It would've been nice to see Eaton come back with the Penguins, especially since his family has some roots here, but considering his age and the Penguins' moves yesterday, it simply wasn't a reality.

The Islanders made a nice addition and a pretty affordable investment. He brings some stability to a position the Islanders were a little weak at.

Regarding Jurcina, he's a No. 5 or 6 defenseman at best but given the Islanders' lack of depth ont he blue line, he may be asked to do more. He's a big body (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) but doesn't always used his size all that effectively.

(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)



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