Steve Bernier
Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The veteran winger adds energy and the ability to kill penalties, but offers little beyond that.

In the background of all the speculation about John Tavares’ future with the team, the Islanders signed Steve Bernier on Friday to a two-year deal.

Bernier, an eleven year veteran of the NHL who has played for the Sharks, Sabres, Canucks, Devils, Panthers and Islanders, spent the 2016-17 season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL, where he tallied 16 goals and 10 assists.

His most recent NHL stint came with the Isles in 2015-16, when he posted 1 goal and 5 helpers in 24 contests. Prior to that, he tied a career-high in points with 32 in 2014-15 with New Jersey.

While this two-way contract obviously signals that the Isles intend to keep him down in Bridgeport for the majority of the two seasons, he does have a little attractiveness: Bernier is an energy winger who has proven the ability to kill penalties.

However, his scouting report is fairly limited after that. He’s inconsistent, and his poor skating and physical conditioning have plagued him in the past. Which means that this move should be taken at face value: Bernier is, at best, a depth winger who will be a leader down in the Port.

The bulk of the moves are yet to come. Says head coach Doug Weight, “It’s an important three weeks for our organization, no doubt.” Signing Bernier doesn’t change that.

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.