MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Thursday the signing of defenseman James Sanford to a two-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Signed by the Hamilton Bulldogs as a free agent on October 10, 2004, Sanford, 21, is playing in his second season in the AHL. In 37 games with the Bulldogs this season, the Alma, NB native has collected eight goals and 12 assists for a total of 20 points. He has also recorded a plus/minus rating of plus-3 and has totaled 29 penalty minutes. This season, Sanford also played with the Long Beach Ice Dogs, in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), collecting four assists in eight contests.
At the junior level, Sanford, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound defenseman, played four full seasons with the Victoriaville Tigres (2000-01) and the Moncton Wildcats (from 2000-01 to 2003-04). In 272 career games in the QMJHL, he recorded 55 goals and 132 assists for a total of 187 points, and 516 penalty minutes. He had his best season in 2002-03, collecting 16 goals and 45 assists for a total of 61 points in 72 games.