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Old 08-30-2001, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default Peca signs for 5 yrs/$20 million


August 30, 2001 -- The Islanders' summer of fun continued yesterday when they officially announced the signing of center Michael Peca, who is getting a five-year deal worth $20 million.
Peca was acquired in a June trade with Buffalo in exchange for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt.

Peca, 27, who sat out last year in Buffalo because of failed contract negotiations, is slated to earn $3 million, $3.25 million, $4.25 million, $4.25 million and $5.25 million in each of the next five seasons.

"This is the first win of the season, as far as I'm concerned," GM Mike Milbury said. "We got through this without any sarcastic remarks by me and without any ugly incidents."

Along with unsigned Alexei Yashin, Peca is being counted on to turn the Islanders into a playoff team for the first time since 1994, when they were swept out of the playoffs by the eventual Cup champs, the Rangers.

Peca, one of the NHL's most respected leaders and two-way centermen, is looking forward to the challenge ahead of him and his new teammates.

"It's great to be a part of something where you're not just planting a seed, but watching it grow," Peca said. "We have to establish a winning attitude right from the start of training camp."

Peca, who won the Selke Award as the top defensive forward in 1996-97, is expected to bring instant credibility and accountability to the Isles.

"It's nice to have that kind of pressure on you," said Peca, who scored 20 goals and 21 assists two years ago, "but it's also on everyone else in the locker room."

Peca, wearing a No. 27 jersey, was not named captain of the Islanders yesterday. Milbury said that he was waiting for Yashin to sign before any C's are sewn onto sweaters.
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Old 08-30-2001, 02:34 PM   #2
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Great move for the Islanders. They sign Peca in his prime (27) and I think he'll really boost their team.
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Old 08-30-2001, 05:50 PM   #3
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Good for the Islanders, but good luck trying to get "Ca$hin' Ya$hin'"!!!

I think an average of $4 million per season is a great deal for a guy like Peca -- a defensive forward that puts up average offensive numbers and is an outstanding team leader who grinds it out every game.... like we were discussing in the Most Complete Player thread, it's between him and Forsberg for being the most complete player in the NHL today.

However, with that said, and even when they do officially add Ya$hin to their line-up, I still don't see the Islanders doing well in the playoffs this year.... and that's IF they make them.
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