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Canadian Press
7/3/2006 9:18:06 PM

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CP) - Defenceman Brendan Witt has found a new home for at least the next three years.

Witt agreed to a three-year contract with the New York Islanders, the club announced Monday.

''From the beginning, the Islanders were at the top of the list of teams I wanted to sign with,'' Witt said in a statement. ''This is a franchise with an incredible tradition and I'm excited to be part of the new era on Long Island. I appreciate the faith Neil Smith has put in me and I'm looking forward to being coached by Ted Nolan.

''We're going to be a team that Islander fans can be proud of.''

Witt, 31, had a goal and 13 assists in 72 games with Nashville and Washington last season. The six-foot-two, 220-pound rearguard had only played for Washington before a mid-season deal landed him with the Predators.

The Saskatchewan native was the Capitals' first-round pick (11th overall) in the 1994 NHL draft.

''We were looking for competitors and today we signed one of the fiercest in the league in Brendan Witt,'' Islanders GM and vice-president Neil Smith said in a release.

''After battling against Brendan for 10 seasons when he was with the Capitals, our players and our fans know how great it is to have him on our side now. He never takes a shift off. There's no question we're a much tougher matchup with Brendan on our blue-line.''
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