COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed center Michael Peca to a one-year contract, club General Manager Scott Howson announced July 11. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed. Peca joined the Blue Jackets prior to the 2007-08 season and collected eight goals and 26 assists for 34 points with 64 penalty minutes in 65 games with the club.
The 2008-09 season will be Peca's 13th in the NHL as he has registered 172-271-443 and 740 penalty minutes with a cumulative plus/minus rating of +72 in 793 games with the Blue Jackets, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks. He is a two-time winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward (1997-Buffalo, 2002-NY Islanders).
"We are very pleased to re-sign Michael," said Howson. "We value his experience, professionalism, leadership and ability to play in crucial situations."
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Peca was Vancouver's second pick, 40th overall, in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. He played parts of two seasons in the Canucks organization before arriving in Buffalo in 1995. In five seasons with the Sabres, he collected 96-121-217 and 352 penalty minutes in 363 games and served as the club's captain from 1997-00. In 1996-97, he captured his first Selke Trophy after notching 20-29-49, 80 penalty minutes and a +26 plus/minus rating in 79 games. In 1998-99, he scored a career-high 27 goals during the regular season and picked up 5-8-13 in 21 playoff games to help the Sabres advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
After sitting out the 2000-01 season, he joined the Islanders in 2001-02 and scored a career-high 25-35-60 with 62 penalty minutes and was +19 in 80 games en route to winning his second Selke Trophy. The Islanders captain also served as an alternate captain for Canada's gold medal winning Olympic Team that year. New York advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of Peca's three seasons, ending a seven-year playoff drought for the franchise.
Peca, 34, spent the 2005-06 season with the Edmonton Oilers and picked up 9-14-23 and 56 penalty minutes in 71 games and ranked 13th in the NHL in face-off winning percentage at 54.9 percent. He added 6-5-11, 20 penalty minutes and ranked second among club forwards in ice time (19:05) in 24 playoff games to help the Oilers advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. He tallied 4-11-15 and 60 penalty minutes in 35 games with Toronto in 2006-07 before suffering a broken leg on December 22 at Chicago that ended his season.
Deposits are now being accepted for Blue Jackets season tickets for the 2008-09 season. New 10 and 20 game plans also are available starting at $240. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.