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Colin McDonald meets Islanders fans at Nassau Coliseum

Colin McDonald, left, and Michael Grabner, right, celebrate

Colin McDonald, left, and Michael Grabner, right, celebrate Grabner's goal on Florida Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom (35) in the second period of a game at Nassau Coliseum. (April 16, 2013) Credit: AP

With the Islanders' first preseason game less than two weeks away, Colin McDonald held a meet and greet to sign autographs and take pictures with fans Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum.

"You don't get a chance to meet the fans on a personal level like this throughout the course of the season and the reality of it is these are the guys, these are the people that pay us our salaries, and it's nice to kind of give back in all types of different situations," McDonald said. "But yeah, it's just good to see them up close and just tell them how much we appreciate what they do for us."

Last season was the 28-year-old right winger's first year with the Islanders. He had seven goals and 10 assists in 45 games in the lockout-shortened season. In six postseason games, McDonald scored two goals and had an assist.

McDonald was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the 2003 NHL draft, but he has bounced around quite a bit since then from teams in the AHL, ECHL and NHL.

"I've never had this type of stability before in my career," McDonald said. "Just being able to get to camp early and move in my place and not have to be in a hotel for camp -- it’s my seventh year pro now and I haven’t had a chance to do this before so it’s just very, it’s a different experience for me, but I’m just very happy I'm in this situation now.”

The Islanders begin the preseason on the road against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Stay tuned Thursday for a video of more with McDonald.


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