Roloson "appreciative" of trade to Tampa

Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson said he's appreciative that Islanders general manager Garth Snow traded him to Tampa during the middle of last season.

Roloson, who turned 42 Wednesday, was sent to the Lightning January 1 in exchange for defenseman Ty Wishart and went on to lead the Lightning to the Eastern Conference finals.

"When I signed, Garth told me the situation and to his credit he stuck to his word, that when we were out of the playoffs, he would trade me," Roloson said.

Roloson was brought in as the starting goaltender in the 2009 offseason but ended up splitting time with Rick DiPietro and Martin Biron during his first year with the Islanders. Roloson again established himself as the clear starter the following season -- providing the only consistency throughout the team's devastating tailspin -- but was moved mid-way through the year.

The trade was a blessing in disguise for Roloson, who was itching to get back to the postseason after his sensational play led the Edmonton Oilers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006.

"Very appreciative of what he did," Roloson said.

Roloson is 1-0-1 in his first two starts for Tampa this season; Thursday is his first game back at Nassau Coliseum since he was sent down south over nine months ago.

"It's good to come back," Roloson said. "But at the same time it's a hockey game and we've got to focus on winning."