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Stanley Cup Final

Coyotes sign Belanger to one-year deal

Tuesday, 09.14.2010 / 4:44 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

NHL.com

The Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday signed free-agent center Eric Belanger to a one-year deal. No contract terms were disclosed.

Belanger split last season between Minnesota and Washington, finishing with 15 goals and a career-high 41 points. He had 35 points in 60 games with the Wild and 6 in 17 games with the Capitals after being acquired at the trade deadline.

"We are excited to have Eric join us here in Phoenix," General Manager Don Maloney said in a statement. "He is a smart, quick, talented center who plays well on both sides of the puck. We had identified Eric early in the free agency period as someone who would be a great fit with us and feel fortunate we are able to bring him to the Coyotes organization."

Belanger has scored 13 or more goals and registered 33 or more points in seven of his nine seasons in the NHL. He scored a career-high 17 goals with Los Angeles during the 2005-06 campaign and with Carolina and Atlanta in 2006-07.

The 32-year-old native of Sherbrooke, Que., has played nine seasons in the NHL with Los Angeles, Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota and Washington, scoring 121 goals and adding 178 assists for 299 points, along with 283 penalty minutes in 634 career games. Belanger has also played in 37 playoff games registering scoring 2 goals and adding 5 assists.

He was drafted by Los Angeles in the fourth round (No. 96) in the 1996 Entry Draft.

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1