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Calgary re-signs defenseman Babchuk for two years

Monday, 07.04.2011 / 3:47 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames just claimed another defenseman off the rapidly shrinking list of top-notch free agents, re-signing Anton Babchuk to a two-year deal Monday.

Babchuk played in 65 games with the Calgary Flames this past season after he was traded for From Carolina. During the season, he had 11 goals, the 12th-highest total among League defensemen, and added 24 assists. He was also a team-high plus-14.

"Anton Babchuk is a sound positional player on the back line and perhaps one of our most adept defenseman at pinching down the wall to keep the play alive in the offensive zone," said Jay Feaster, the Flames GM. "Anton makes a good first pass, his shot is a big weapon for us on the power play, and he contributes to our offense without sacrificing his defensive responsibilities. He is a good teammate and a team-first guy.

Even more exciting is our belief that Anton’s offensive output will continue to grow under (coach) Brent (Sutter)’s system. Our plan had been to have him return this season, and we are very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement that will keep him in Calgary."

A first-round pick by Chicago in 2002, Babchuk has played 250 career NHL regular-season games and has 96 points.

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