Islanders pluck Grabner off waiver wire

Florida Panthers prospect Michael Grabner celebrated his 23rd birthday Tuesday by being claimed on waivers by the New York Islanders.

Florida Panthers prospect Michael Grabner celebrated his 23rd birthday Tuesday by being claimed on waivers by the New York Islanders.

Had the Austrian-born winger cleared waivers, he would likely have been demoted to the AHL's Rochester Americans.

Grabner was expected to challenge for a roster spot on the Panthers, but he failed to impress at training camp.

Grabner played 20 games last season for the Vancouver Canucks, notching a natural hat trick in the 5-4 victory over the Anaheim Ducks that clinched a playoff berth for the Canucks on April 2.

He finished the season with five goals and six assists for 11 points.

Grabner was traded to Florida with Steve Bernier and a first-round draft pick in return for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich on June 25.