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Lightning sign free-agent defenseman Kurtis Foster

Wednesday, 07.08.2009 / 9:40 PM / 2009 NHL Offseason News

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free-agent defenseman Kurtis Foster, who missed most of 2008-09 due to a severely broken leg.

"We are extremely excited about adding Kurtis as we continue to strengthen our blue line,” Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton said. "He is a big, mobile defenseman that gives us a heavy shot for the power play."

Foster, who's 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, has played in 186 NHL games with the Minnesota Wild and Atlanta Thrashers, scoring 21 goals and adding 56 assists for 77 points with 155 penalty minutes.

The native of Carp, Ontario, played in 10 games with the Wild last season after recovering from a badly broken leg sustained the previous March in a game at San Jose. He scored 1 one goal and had 5 assists for 6 points with a plus-7 rating. Foster also played in six games with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, scoring a goal and adding 5 assists for 6 points.

In 2006-07, Foster led all Wild defensemen with 20 assists, was second in points with 23 and tied a franchise record with 13 power-play assists. In 2005-06 he led all Minnesota defensemen in points with 28 and goals with 10 as a rookie. That season he ranked eighth in the NHL in points among rookie defensemen and was tied for second in goals. He has played in three career Stanley Cup Playoff games, all in 2007, earning two assists.

Foster was originally picked in the second round by Calgary in the 2000 Entry Draft. He was acquired by Atlanta in a trade on Dec. 18, 2001, and signed with the Wild as a free agent on Aug 4, 2005.

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