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Islanders defenceman Chris Lee cleared to fly after hospital stay

New York Islanders' Chris Lee drives the puck against the Florida Panthers in the third period of a preseason NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Alan Diaz

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New York Islanders' Chris Lee drives the puck against the Florida Panthers in the third period of a preseason NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Alan Diaz

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Injured New York Islanders defenceman Chris Lee flew back to New York on Tuesday morning after being hospitalized overnight in Florida following a hard hit in a pre-season game against the Panthers.

Lee was removed from the ice on a stretcher with 11:02 left in the third period of the Islanders' 6-0 loss after being checked into the boards from behind by Rostislav Olesz.

The 28-year-old defenceman underwent a series of tests at Broward General Hospital and was cleared to fly home. Lee was conscious and had movement when he was taken to the hospital.

The news wasn't all good for Lee, though. He was among seven players sent to Bridgeport of the AHL on Tuesday as the Islanders trimmed down to the regular-season roster limit.

The Islanders have 26 players on the roster, including veteran centre Mike Sillinger (hip surgery), and defencemen Chris Campoli (shoulder) and Andy Sutton (hand surgery), who will start the season on the injured list.

Also sent to Bridgeport were goalie Yann Danis, and forwards Jeremy Colliton, Mitch Fritz, Tim Jackman, Kurtis McLean and Trevor Smith.

First-round pick Josh Bailey made the cut despite having no points in two pre-season games.

New York opens the regular season at New Jersey on Friday night.

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