P.A. Parenteau finally returns to Nassau Coliseum

P.A. Parenteau talks to reporters before making his

P.A. Parenteau talks to reporters before making his exit as Islanders clean out their lockers on April 9, 2012. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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P.A. Parenteau had to wait a while to make his return to Nassau Coliseum, but the time finally came Saturday night when his Avalanche made its first trip to Long Island since Oct. 16, 2010.

Parenteau broke through with the Islanders, producing 120 points in two seasons, 2010-11 and 2011-12, while playing primarily with John Tavares and Matt Moulson on the team's top line.

"I'm really grateful for what [general manager Garth Snow] and [coach Jack Capuano] did for me. It's something I'll never forget. They pretty much put me on the map," Parenteau said before the game. "I had two great years here, I got to play with some awesome players and it was an important time for me."

Important enough to earn a four-year, $16-million contract from the Avalanche in July 2012. Playing with a larger pool of quality young talent, Parenteau is still holding up his end as he nears 31 years of age. He has 10 goals and 18 assists in 46 games after tying for the team lead with 43 points in the shortened 2012-13 season.

Parenteau was the subject of recent trade rumors after returning a bit prematurely from a knee injury. He wasn't feeling quite 100 percent and Avalanche coach Patrick Roy benched him for two games. But Parenteau played Saturday with Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly and said he has felt much stronger the last few games.

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Donovan sent down

Matt Donovan was sent down to Bridgeport Saturday and Travis Hamonic returned. Donovan was the only Islander left on the roster eligible to play for the Sound Tigers during the Olympic break; Calvin de Haan played too many games during the last 20 before the break to be eligible.

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