The Islanders took four young defensemen during the second day of this weekend's 2011 NHL Entry Draft and parted ways with one that has spent five-plus seasons on Long Island.
Bruno Gervais, 26, was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for future considerations Saturday morning during the third round.
Gervais, a sixth-round draft pick of the Islanders in 2003, will join former teammates Dwayne Roloson, Sean Bergenheim and Nate Thompson with the Lightning. All three former Islanders have found success on a team that went to the Eastern Conference finals under first-year coach Guy Boucher.
"We're going to give Bruno an opportunity to get a head start with a new team," general manager Garth Snow said. "Bruno has been a solid citizen for us, a good teammate and a great spokesman for the New York Islanders. He was one of the most popular players in that locker room....we wish him the best."
Boucher seemed enthused about the acquisition and said he has heard great things about Gervais from Thompson and former Isles assistant coach Dan LaCroix (who is now an assistant coach in Tampa Bay).
"One thing's for sure, if at worst he's a seventh defenseman, we've got a very good defenseman," Boucher said. " He could be a fifth or a sixth; I don't want to peg him with a number."
Gervais was limited to six assists in 53 games in part because facial and foot injuries that sidelined him this season.
"He's just a guy that had injuries so his last years were tougher, but he's had very good years before," Boucher said. "So we're confident we can help him be the player he was before he was injured."
On his Twitter account, Gervais thanked the Islanders fans for the time spent in Long Island.
"Thank you NYI and NYI fans for all the great memories. I had a blast with you all and wish you guys all the best," he wrote.