Brian Strait acknowledged today that he was disappointed to learn that the Penguins had lost him to the New York Islanders on waivers on the eve of this season.
He was, after all, a Penguins draft choice, and had never been part of another organization.
It didn't take long, however, for him to realize that getting a fresh start on Long Island might have been the best thing that could have happened to his career.
He went from being the No. 7 or 8 defenseman on the Penguins' depth chart to playing alongside Mark Streit on one of New York's top pairings.
The Islanders already have given him a three-year, one-way contract, he is averaging over 18 1/2 minutes per game of ice time and has earned the confidence of the New York coaching staff.
"He's been real solid for us defensively," New York coach Jack Capuano said today. "He's a good fit with Mark, who creates some offense the blue line. We're real pleased with his game and his attitude right now."
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