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Laraque signs three-year deal

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Thursday the signing of free agent forward Georges Laraque to a three-year contract (2008-09 to 2010-11). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“A 10-year veteran, Georges is the kind of player who made his mark in the NHL. With his physical play and determination, we are convinced that he will add valuable energy to our group of players,’’ said Bob Gainey.

Laraque, 31, played 71 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, recording 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and leading the team with 141 penalty minutes. He took part in 15 of the Penguins' 20 playoff games, helping the club to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. Laraque reached the Stanley Cup Finals twice in the past three seasons, having played 15 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006.

A native of Montreal, Laraque was acquired by the Penguins from the Phoenix Coyotes at the trade deadline on February 27, 2007. The 6-foot-3, 243 pound right winger played 634 NHL regular season games with Edmonton (490), Phoenix (56) and Pittsburgh (88). He recorded 148 career points (52 goals, 96 assists) and 1,037 penalty minutes. He also participated in 53 career playoff games, scoring 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) and serving 68 penalty minutes.  

A second-round selection, 31st overall, by the Edmonton Oilers in 1995, Laraque joined the Phoenix Coyotes as a free agent on July 5, 2006.

As a testimony of his devotion to the community, Georges Laraque won the Oilers’ Community Service Award on four occasions from 2001 to 2006.  

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