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Canadiens sign free agent Alain Berger to 3-year contract

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of free agent left winger Alain Berger to a three-year contract (2011-12 to 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Berger registered 52 points (29 goals and 23 assists) in 65 games this season with the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Oshawa Generals. Fourteen of his goals were scored on the power play and one while shorthanded. He added 86 penalty minutes and displayed a +19 plus/minus differential. The 20-year old forward has registered five points (4 goals, 1 assist) thus far in six playoff contests.

"It happened really fast. My agent called this morning to tell me we had an offer and this afternoon Pierre called to congratulate me on signing," described Berger, who will hit the ice for Game 2 of his team's second round series against the Niagara Ice Dogs on Friday night. "I’m really excited to be a part of the organization and it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but there’s no time for celebrating – we have a playoff game tomorrow night so that’s all I’m focusing on right now."

In two complete seasons with the Generals, the 6’4’’, 209 lbs forward, hailing from Burgdorf in Switzerland, totaled 85 points (48 goals, 37 assists) with 142 penalty minutes in 109 games.

Berger also played with Bern of the Swiss National League A and with the Neuchatel Young-Sprinters of the Swiss National League B, in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

"I’ve been following the Habs for a while since [Mark] Streit played there and now with Yannick Weber in Montreal, the Canadiens are pretty big in Switzerland," said Berger. "I know them both a little bit from home. I know the NHL is still a ways off for me, but it’s great to be a part of the organization."

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