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Sound Tigers Sislo adds credible presence on the wing

September 27, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — One of the big splashes the Bridgeport Sound Tigers made in free agency in July brought in a player familiar to the coaches and familiar with the front office.

Mike Sislo signed with a New York Islanders team that has a new general manager, Lou Lamoriello, who was GM of the New Jersey Devils when Sislo joined that organization in 2011. Chris Lamoriello, Lou’s son, is Bridgeport’s general manager, as he was in Albany.

“That was nice, but obviously going to an organization, everything’s new. But it’s been good so far,” Sislo said. “I have a ton of respect for him. That was nice, but it’s a new year, new team.”

Sislo, 30, gives Bridgeport a credible veteran AHL winger, a four-time 20-goal scorer, including a 23-goal, 47-point season last year with the Tucson Roadrunners. He was voted to the postseason all-star team in 2015-16, when he scored 27 goals for the then-Albany Devils. And he has played 42 NHL games with New Jersey.

He’ll be a leader while he’s here, Bridgeport coach Brent Thompson said.

“He’s been around the league long enough,” Thompson said. “He’s a good depth piece for the Islanders. If he’s playing well, he gets an opportunity.

“For me, just a great piece in the room, a good quality, character guy, which is what we want the room to be like.”

Thompson has seen plenty of Sislo from the other side.

In 36 games against the Sound Tigers (though Thompson wasn’t Bridgeport coach for all of them), Sislo has 27 points.

“I’ve got a lot of experience playing against Bridgeport over the years in Albany,” Sislo said. “I have a ton of respect for the players, coaches, how hard they’ve played. I’m excited to be part of it now.”

Sislo signed with the Colorado Avalanche in 2016, played in San Antonio that year and finished the year reassigned to the Toronto Marlies. He signed last year with Arizona.

He said he was excited to hear of interest from the Islanders this summer.

“Spending a lot of time in the east early in my career, it’s nice to be back,” Sislo said. “I’m familiar with the area.”

He’ll add to a deep group of forwards, fortified over the summer with solid veterans.

“The guy’s got a great hockey IQ, finds the scoring areas,” Thompson said. “He’s got a great shot. He’s got a knack around the net.”

With Friday’s exhibition game canceled, the Sound Tigers scrimmaged Thursday morning at Webster Bank Arena. They’ll practice Friday morning, then play Saturday against Hartford at Trinity College with one week until the regular season.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp; blog.ctnews.com/fornabaio

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