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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes


GLENDALE, ARIZONA -- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have acquired left wing Josh Gratton and two second round draft choices in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Denis Gauthier.

The 6-foot-2, 214-pound Gratton has played in 53 games this season with Philadelphia's top minor league affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL).  He has collected 9-10-19 and a team-leading 265 penalty minutes (PIM).  He ranks third in the entire AHL in penalty minutes and ranks tied for fourth on the Phantoms with four power play goals.  Gratton also played in his first three NHL games this season with the Flyers, registering 14 PIM.

In 2004-05, Gratton finished second on the Phantoms in penalty minutes with 246 PIM in 57 games and recorded 9-5-14.  He also helped lead the Phantoms to the AHL's Calder Cup Championship in 2005 with 3-3-6 and 78 PIM in 21 playoff games.  Gratton led the Phantoms in playoff penalty minutes that season.

A native of Brantford, Ontario, Gratton was leading the entire ECHL in penalty minutes with 239 in 2003-04 with San Diego (ECHL) at the time of his recall to the AHL's Cincinnati Mighty Ducks.  He also collected 69 PIM in 21 games with Cincinnati in 2003-04.  In 166 career games in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 2000-01 to 2002-03, Gratton registered 50-61-111 and 489 PIM with Subury, Kingston and Windsor.  The 23-year-old Gratton originally signed as a free agent with Philadelphia on July 27, 2004.

In his first season as a Coyote, Gauthier collected 2-9-11 and 61 PIM in 45 games.  The Coyotes acquired the Montreal, Quebec native on Aug. 26, 2004 in a trade with Calgary along with Oleg Saprykin in exchange for Daymond Langkow.  The 29-year-old blueliner has played in 429 NHL games in his 8-year career and recorded 15-55-70 and 576 PIM with Calgary and Phoenix.  Gauthier was originally drafted by Calgary in the 1st round (20th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

The Coyotes return to the ice tonight to face the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Nationwide Arena.  The game will be played at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time and will be broadcast on KDUS (1060-AM).

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