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Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Free Agent Left Wing Craig MacDonald; Re-Sign Center Derek MacKenzie

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed free agent left wing Craig MacDonald to a one-year contract and re-signed center Derek MacKenzie to a two-year contract, club General Manager Scott Howson announced July 14. Both are two-way NHL-American Hockey League contracts and keeping with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

MacDonald, 31, registered two goals and nine assists for 11 points and 16 penalty minutes in 65 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, setting career highs in assists, points and games played. He was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Hartford's third pick, 88th overall, in the 1996 Entry Draft, he has registered 10-23-33 and 91 penalty minutes in 225 career NHL games with Carolina, Florida, Boston, Calgary, Chicago and Tampa Bay. He has also recorded 76-135-211 and 386 penalty minutes in 313 career AHL games with New Haven, Lowell, Omaha and Norfolk.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound MacDonald spent two seasons at Harvard and notched 13-20-33 and 30 penalty minutes in 66 games. In 1997-98, he played for the Canadian National Team and had 18-29-47 and 38 penalty minutes in 58 games. He made his NHL debut with Carolina at Pittsburgh on January 7, 1999 and spent the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons with Cincinnati of the International Hockey League. He tallied 32-52-84 and 180 penalty minutes in 160 career games for the Cyclones.

MacKenzie, 27, scored two goals and had eight penalty minutes in 17 games with the Blue Jackets last season, including his first career NHL goal against Tampa Bay on March 9. He added 25-24-49, 46 penalty minutes and had a plus/minus rating of +6 in 62 games with the Syracuse Crunch, Columbus' AHL affiliate, setting career highs in goals, assists and points. He tied for the club lead in goals and was fourth in points, while ranking fourth in the AHL in shorthanded goals (four). In 13 Calder Cup playoff games, he collected 6-8-14 and 22 penalty minutes to lead the club in goals and points.

Prior to joining the Blue Jackets organization last year, he spent the previous six campaigns as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers organization. In 2006-07, he was scoreless in four games with the Thrashers and tallied 14-23-37 with 62 penalty minutes and a +14 plus/minus rating in 52 games with the Chicago Wolves, the club's AHL affiliate.

Atlanta's sixth pick, 128th overall, in the 1999 Entry Draft, he has registered 2-2-4 and 28 penalty minutes in 45 career NHL games. He made his NHL debut with the Thrashers against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Apr. 12, 2002. He has also tallied 83-101-184 and 441 penalty minutes with a cumulative plus/minus rating of +38 in 377 career AHL games with the Crunch and Chicago Wolves.

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-COL

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