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Islanders buy out last season of Witt's contract

General Manager Garth Snow speaks at a press

General Manager Garth Snow speaks at a press conference on at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. (August 13, 2008) Credit: Getty Images

Brendan Witt's time as an Islander officially came to an end last night after the Islanders bought out the last year of his two-year, $6-million deal.

The 35-year-old defenseman's future with the team has been in peril since early February, when he was waived by the Islanders and sent to AHL Bridgeport, where he spent the remainder of the season.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow aggressively tried to shop him this summer but with no success. The Islanders opted to place him on unconditional waivers Friday and Witt cleared Saturday afternoon.

The Islanders are on the hook for $833,333 per year over the next two years for Witt. His cap hit would have been $3 million for this upcoming season.

Witt, who had two goals and three assists in 42 games with the Islanders last season, saw his role with the team and ice time diminish significantly as the season went on.

Despite his disappointing year, however, Witt showed unquestionable toughness and heart throughout the season, during which he served as one of the Islanders' four alternate captains.

The most memorable display of his resolve came in December, when Witt was hit by a sports utility vehicle while crossing the street to grab coffee in Philadelphia.

Although he was thrown to the ground after being struck by the truck, Witt made it back to the Wachovia Center in time for the morning skate and played against the Flyers that night.

Witt now is free to explore his options with any other team in the NHL, as well as those in Europe.

New York Sports