How much do the New York Islanders value the traditional "enforcer" role?

That's a question whose answer got another new wrinkle after the club announced today that they've signed Bridgeport Sound Tiger winger Brett Gallant to an NHL contract.

On the surface, it's a curious move: Gallant was doing fine in his role in the AHL, and the Isles have some roster moves looming with the return of Josh Bailey and resurrection of Lubomir Visnovsky. So it makes one wonder if Eric Boulton, signed in the offseason but predictably appearing in only four games at under four minutes each, is the next man off the Island.

Gallant is 24 and in his fourth pro season, so his deal is under the NHL's Entry Level Contract rules, but at his age it's only a one-year deal. The Connecticut Post's Sound Tigers beat writer Michael Fornabaio's immediate reaction: "Well-deserved."