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Habs ink Begin, Downey

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

Steve Begin was all smiles as he met with the media at the Bell Centre, following the announcement of his new three-year deal.


MONTREAL - Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Monday the signing of forward Steve Bgin to a three-year contract (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09). The Club also reached a one-year agreement with forward Aaron Downey. As per club policy, financial terms of the deals are not disclosed.

"We are very pleased to have Steve Bgin under contract with the organization for the next three years," said Gainey. "Steve proved to be one of the leaders of our club through his determination, his energy, and his commitment to the Canadiens' organization.

"As for Aaron Downey, we soon realized when we acquired him in January that he is a player who brings contagious leadership as well as an important physical presence on the ice."

Bgin, who will turn 28 on June 14, completed the 2005-06 season - his second with the Canadiens - with 23 points in 76 games. He established career highs in games played (76), goals (11), assists (12) and points (23). He was selected as the winner of the Jacques-Beauchamp Molson Trophy, awarded annually to the member of the Canadiens who played a significant role during the regular season, without obtaining any particular honor.

Bgin was selected by the Calgary Flames in the second round, 40th overall in 1996. He was acquired by the Canadiens through the NHL Waiver Draft (from Buffalo) on October 3, 2003.

Downey, 31, was acquired off waivers from St. Louis on January 23, 2006. He played in 25 games with the Canadiens in 2005-06, registered five points (one goal, four assists) and 50 penalty minutes. With the Blues, Downey recorded two goals and 45 penalty minutes in 17 games.

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