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KONOPKA LEAVES FOR ISLES WITH REGRETS

Zenon Konopka was an interesting combination of heart and personality last season for the Lightning. Not the most skilled player, he logged fourth-line minutes and was a willing fighter. But the center was also one of the team's best faceoff men.

It wasn't enough for general manager Steve Yzerman. Konopka, an unrestricted free agent, said Friday that Yzerman told him that he was not in the team's plans for next season and he did not get an offer.

He was one of four free agents to sign with the Islanders on Friday. Konopka, 29, got a one-year, $600,000 deal, Newsday reported.

"Of course it's frustrating," he said about not being with the Lightning. "But the most disappointing part of it is there was a lot of hard work on the ice and off it, too, getting to know the players and affecting everyone in a positive way. To throw that year away and start over, it's tough. ... It's a business. You realize that and move on."

Also signing with the Islanders were defensemen Mark Eaton and Milan Jurcina and wing P.A. Parenteau. GM Garth Snow said the team addressed several needs.

"Toughness (Konopka), size on the back end with Jurcina and Eaton, and obviously with Parenteau, a player who, when given the opportunity, can be productive," he told Newsday.

Eaton was a Penguin the past four seasons. Jurcina spent time last season with the Capitals and Blue Jackets, and Parenteau was with the Rangers.

PENGUINS: Ex-Lightning forward Ryan Craig signed a two-way contract that will pay him $500,000 if he plays in the NHL next season. Craig, 28, spent most of last season with AHL Norfolk and had 23 goals and 25 assists in 73 games.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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FAST FACTS

Key signings

Key free agent signings Friday:

Mark Eaton, D, Islanders, 2 years, $5 million

Christopher Higgins, RW, Panthers, 1 year, $1.6 million

Zenon Konopka, C, Islanders, 1 year, $600,000

Pavel Kubina, D, Lightning, 2 years, $7.7 million

Matthew Lombardi, C, Predators, 3 years, $10.5 million

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