Canadiens sign centreman Smolinski for one year

0-smolly.jpgSmolinski in action last season.
Courtesy Vancouver Canucks

The Canadiens lost one centreman this afternoon with the departure of Radek Bonk to the Nashville Predators, the unrestricted free agent signing a two-year deal in Music City.

But they also gained one with the acquisition for one year, at $2 million with a no-trade clause, of Vancouver Canucks’ Bryan Smolinski.

Smolinski, 35, is 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds, provides the Canadiens with some badly needed size down centre.

The Canadiens are his eighth NHL team in a career which began with the Boston Bruins in 1992-93.

The Canadiens’ release:

Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced tonight the signing of free agent forward Bryan Smolinski to a one-year contract (2007-08). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Bryan Smolinski is an experienced centreman with good size who brings excellent two-way ability and face-off skills that will add versatility and depth to our club” said Bob Gainey.

Smolinski, 35, played in his 14th NHL season in 2006-07 starting the season with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks on February 26, 2007. He participated in 82 games (62 with Chicago and 20 with Vancouver), recording a total of 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) and 37 penalty minutes. He posted an average ice-time of 17:59 minutes per game.

Over the course of his career, Smolinski also played with the Ottawa Senators (2003-2006), Los Angeles Kings (1999-2003), New York Islanders (1996-1999), Pittsburgh Penguins (1995-1996) and Boston Bruins (1993-1995).

A 6’1”, 208 lb centreman, Smolinski who hails from Toledo, Ohio played college hockey with Michigan State University where he was named to the CCHA and NCAA First All-Star teams in 1992-93. The Boston Bruins’ first selection (21st overall) in 1990, Smolinski played 992 NHL career regular season games, recording 626 points (266 goals, 360 assists). He also served 586 penalty minutes.

In the playoffs, Smolinski played 111 games, including 12 with the Canucks in 2006-07, earning 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) and 58 penalty minutes.




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