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Senators sign Konopka to one-year deal

Tuesday, 07.05.2011 / 3:54 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

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Senators sign Konopka to one-year deal
The Ottawa Senators found their fourth-line center on Tuesday.

Four days after the market opened for free agents, the Sens signed Zenon Konopka to a one-year contract worth a reported $700,000.

Konopka, 30, spent the 2010-11 season with the New York Islanders, for whom he appeared in each of the team's 82 games and led the National Hockey League with 307 penalty minutes. He also recorded NHL career highs with 7 assists and 9 points while finishing the season ranked fourth in the League with a 57.7 percent faceoff success rate.

Prior to joining the Isles, the native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario spent the two previous seasons in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Konopka registered 2 goals and 5 points while skating in 74 games for Tampa Bay in 2009-10 and led the NHL with 265 penalty minutes that season. He also recorded a 62.3 percent success rate in faceoffs.

Konopka spent his entire major junior career with the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's, appearing in 242 games over four seasons from 1998 to 2002 while registering 53 goals, 185 points and 389 penalty minutes.

Undrafted, Konopka made his NHL debut with Anaheim during the 2005-06 season. He also played parts of two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets before signing with Tampa Bay prior to the 2008-09 campaign. In 195 NHL contests, Konopka has registered 8 goals, 22 points and 684 penalty minutes.
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I watched many times this year the series between the Russians and Canada in 1972, and he was a dominating player there. After I watched the tapes, I respect him a lot more because he turned the series around. He was the guy. In that time, he was the best in the world. It’s a big honor for me to tie him.

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