Islanders place Rolston on waivers
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OTTAWA -- The Islanders might not be active in the trade market before Monday's 3 p.m. deadline, but that doesn't mean they aren't making some moves with the Eastern Conference playoff chase still afoot.
Veteran Brian Rolston, who had a disappointing lone season with the Isles, was placed on waivers Saturday and David Ullstrom was recalled. Rolston, who turned 39 Tuesday, had four goals and five assists in 49 games and was not the player the Isles hoped he'd be when they traded Trent Hunter to the Devils for him last summer.
"We feel guys like David Ullstrom deserve more ice time right now," general manager Garth Snow said. "Casey Cizikas came up and proved he can play at this level, and David has already done that as well."
Rolston was acquired mainly for his sizable salary-cap charge of $5.062 million to help the Isles stay above the cap floor, but Snow and Jack Capuano also felt Rolston's leadership and savvy, plus a booming shot, would be a benefit.
Rolston still offered a positive presence in a young locker room, but he could not fill a big role on the ice and his minutes diminished. Snow did hear from a couple of teams kicking the tires on Rolston this past week, so he might get picked up before noon Monday. If not, he's possibly played his last game in the NHL after 1,235, ninth-most all time by an American-born player.
Ullstrom impressed in a 14-game call-up in November and December, with two goals and two assists and some sandpaper to his play. He suffered a concussion in Winnipeg on Dec. 20 and went back to Bridgeport after three weeks of injury time. He leads the Sound Tigers with 19 goals in only 32 games.
Ullstrom might play on a young crash line with fellow rookie Cizikas and Matt Martin Sunday night here against the Senators, the start of a crucial four-game road trip. Josh Bailey (back spasms) did not skate Saturday and isn't likely to play Sunday night, leaving Cizikas in the lineup.
"It's all about helping our team get to the playoffs," Snow said. "We feel like we have players within our organization who can do that."