The Islanders are expected to make it official Friday morning when they announce their decision to buy out the remaining year of his contract.
Bates was scheduled to make $1.2 million, but under NHL buyout provisions, he will receiver two-thirds of that amount in equal installments of $400,000 spread over the next two seasons. Last season, Bates appeared in only two games, and he was limited to 48 games the previous season by a groin injury and hernia surgery.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow portrayed the move as another step toward a youth movement. “It was a tough decision because Shawn was a great Islander, and he scored some pretty big goals in the past,” Snow said. “It was a decision based primarily on creating a spot on the roster for a younger player.”Saw this one coming, as six other youngsters were qualified contracts. Tambs, Neilson, Walter, Gervais, Bergenheim, and, Colliton should be on the roster this year. With the Free Agency picking up steam soon, look for Hilbert to be the odd player out come training camp.