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Canadiens sign defenseman Benoit to three-year contract

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Monday the signing of defenseman André Benoit to a three-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Signed by the Hamilton Bulldogs as a free agent in 2005, Benoit, 22, is playing in his first season in the American Hockey League. In 39 games, the St. Albert, Ontario native has collected five goals and 12 assists for a total of 17 points. He has totaled 39 penalty minutes.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound defenseman was invited to the Canadiens' training camp and took part in one preseason game, getting an assist on Sept. 18 against the Atlanta Thrashers. Benoit played in all four games in the Rookie tournament in Ottawa, notching one goal and two assists, as well as seven shots on goal.

As a junior, Benoit played five full seasons (2000-2005) with the Kitchener Rangers where he recorded 99 goals and 299 points in 324 games. He had his best season in 2004-05, collecting 24 goals and 77 points in 67 games. On September 19, 2003, he tied an OHL record for points in a game by a defenseman with eight. In the playoffs, he registered eight goals and 38 points in 45 contests.

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