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Hired Hand: Islanders sign Bernier to PTO as clock ticks on Nelson

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Not the guy we were looking for.

Who the hell are you?
Who the hell are you?
Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Training camp is fast approaching and teams are making moves to bring in some fresh bodies on professional try out deals. The Islanders came to an agreement with former Devils, Panthers, Sharks and Canucks forward Steve Bernier on a PTO that's both totally innocuous and totally foreboding.

Bernier scored a career high 16 goals for New Jersey last season at the age of 29, which happens all the time and isn't a fluke at all. You may remember him from such hits as his infamous five minute major for boarding in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, on which the Kings scored three goals and sealed up their first championship.

More foreboding than either a funky shooting percentage or occasional bad judgement is the idea, floated by Arthur Staple, that Bernier was possibly signed to fill a Brock Nelson-sized void at forward.

Bernier wouldn't literally replace Nelson, who's seven years younger and palpably better. But without a contract, Nelson is sliding dangerously close to the Islanders long-standing rule about not negotiating past training camp.

The clock is down to seven days starting Thursday.

As an restricted free agent without arbitration rights, Nelson's options are pretty limited. He might not like what the Islanders are offering, but he doesn't have a lot of say. As of now, we don't know what the offer is or how much Nelson wants.

Right now, we have Steve Bernier on a PTO and some words of encouragement from The Captain.