Veteran forward Brian Rolston sounded both thrilled and determined when discussing Thursday's trade that sent him to the Islanders in exchange for Trent Hunter.
"Super happy to get traded to the Islanders, a team that's got a bright future and is ready to make the next step," he said when reached by phone. "I'm excited to join the group."
Rolston said he gladly waived his no-trade clause to join the Islanders, where he feels he'll have a better opportunity to excel than with New Jersey. He hopes to play in a top-two line capacity with the Islanders and be an integral cog on special teams.
"To be honest, I was ready to be moved for a while and it was a mutual decision," he said."When it came around to something being on the table. I said I'd be happy to be utuilized better on a new team. I couldn't have picked a better organization."
Rolston was waived in December by the Devils in the hopes that another team would claim the 38-year-old winger and provide the team cap relief. That didn't happen, but Rolston came back after clearing waivers and delivered a strong performance in the team's second half.
"I proved I can produce and it was vindicating for me," Rolston said. "Talk is talk, but if I get that opportunity, I will produce."
Rolston said that general manager Garth Snow pursued him hard in the summer of 2008 before he signed a four-year $20.25 M deal with the Devils. He appreciates that Snow's interest hasn't changed.
"I appreciate the fact that he sees what he sees in me," Rolston said. "It really means a lot to me. He believes I can help this team and I won't let him down."