Islanders forward Trent Hunter signs five-year extension with New York

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders signed forward Trent Hunter to a US$10-million, five-year extension on Friday.

The 27-year-old was slated for unrestricted free agency on July 1 and his name had popped up in trade rumours ahead of Tuesday’s NHL trade deadline, but now his future is on Long Island.

“This is what I was determined to see happen all along – a long-term deal,” Hunter said in a release. “Even though I could have been an unrestricted free agent in the summer, I never gave any thought to playing anywhere else. I’m very proud to be an Islander every day and I didn’t have any interest in being anything else other than a New York Islander.

“The contract got done today with a lot of respect and class shown on both sides, so now it’s back to the race for the playoffs.”

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Hunter, from Red Deer, Alta., has 32 points (8-24) in 62 games.

The six-foot-three, 210-pounder has 157 points (69-88) in 306 NHL games, all with New York. He’s also collected only 109 penalty minutes.

“We’ve said it a lot this season: Trent Hunter is the kind of player and person we want as a core player for the New York Islanders,” Islanders GM Garth Snow said. “Our team theme this season is heart, grit and character and that’s a perfect description of Trent.

“Everyone in our organization, and I’m certain our fans, are thrilled Trent Hunter is going to be a New York Islander for at least five more seasons.”

Hunter was drafted by Anaheim in the sixth round, 150th overall, in 1998. The Islanders acquired him for a fourth-round pick in 2000.