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Higgins headed to Panthers

Friday, 07.02.2010 / 2:06 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

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Higgins headed to Panthers
The Florida Panthers have signed winger Christopher Higgins to a one-year deal.

Higgins split last season between the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. With the Rangers he scored 6 goals and 8 assists in 55 games. In a dozen games with the Flames, he scored 2 goals and 1 assist.

"Chris is a big and hard working forward who possesses a scoring touch," Panthers GM Dale Tallon said. "He is a three-time 20-goal scorer on the NHL level, who can be relied on to play in all game situations. Chris, along with the additions of Michael Grabner, Steve Bernier and Dennis Wideman will all be counted upon to play an important role in our offense next season."

Higgins, 27, has played in 349 NHL games, scoring 92 goals and 76 assists while playing for Montreal (2005-09), the NY Rangers (2009-10) and Calgary (2009-10). He has recorded 20 or more goals in three of his last five seasons played, including a career best 52 points (27-25-52) during the 2007-08 campaign.

A native of Smithtown, NY, Higgins played his college hockey at Yale University and led the Bulldogs in scoring during both the 2001-02 (14-17-31) and 2002-03 (20-21-41) seasons. He was also named the 2002 ECAC Rookie of the Year and 2003 ECAC Co-Player of the Year.
Higgins was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round (14th pick) in the 2002  Entry Draft.

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I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek after giving Voracek a multiyear extension Thursday