Captain Doug Weight will return to the Islanders next season, according to general manager Garth Snow.
Snow said Tuesday that a one-year deal for Weight was "in essence, done." The only element to be completed is the bonus structure, particularly team performance-based incentives.
The news comes months after Weight was forced to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder that left him wondering whether he'd played the last game of his career.
Weight, 39, will instead return as the veteran presence for the young, developing team that made him captain last season.
"I think he's been a great leader in the locker room. To me, with what he played through - having a torn labrum and torn rotator cuff - that's a testament to his commitment to the team and his leadership," Snow said.
Weight, who had a goal and 16 assists in 36 games last season, suffered the injuries last November but chose not to undergo surgery immediately. He tried to battle through the pain in an attempt to lead his team to the playoffs, an effort that endeared him even more to his coaches and teammates.
After trying to gut it out for a good chunk of the season, Weight went for surgery in March. After expressing relief about the decision, Weight said his hampered performance was "not the type of hockey I want to play."
"I don't think you saw the real Doug Weight," Snow said. "I think you saw Doug Weight playing not even close to the level he's capable."
After discussions with Weight this summer about the veteran center's progress, however, Snow said he is confident about Weight's ability to contribute and still play at a high level.
"There's not only a belief in Doug with himself but a belief from the organization that he's still a player that can produce," Snow said. "The bottom line is he has the intangibles of being a great leader and we believe he can contribute in a positive way."
Weight's agent, Steve Bartlett, said he anticipates some minor changes to the contract - currently valued between $800,000-$900,000 without bonuses - but that he's confident the deal will be completed soon.
Of his client's return to the club, Bartlett said: "He's excited to be back and a part of things."