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COYOTES SIGN DEFENSEMAN BRYAN HELMER

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

COYOTES SIGN DEFENSEMAN BRYAN HELMER TO TWO-YEAR CONTRACT

GLENDALE, ARIZONA -- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have signed defenseman Bryan Helmer to a two-year contract.  As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Helmer re-joins the Coyotes for a third stint after having previously played with the organization in 1998-99 (11 NHL games) and 2003-04 (17 NHL games).  The 33-year-old blueliner has played in 134 NHL games with Phoenix, St. Louis and Vancouver over parts of six NHL seasons, collecting 8-15-23 and 133 penalty minutes (PIM).  Helmer has also played in 6 NHL playoff games all with Vancouver in 2001-02.

Last season, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native recorded 12 goals, 44 assists and 56 points in 80 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL) to lead all club defensemen in goals, assists and points.  Helmer ranked tied for 6th among all AHL defensemen in scoring.  He also played in 16 playoff games (1-8-9), helping the Griffins reach the 2006 Western Conference Finals.

While with the Griffins, Helmer was a teammate of Don MacLean, who also signed with the Coyotes as a free agent on Monday.  Together, Helmer and MacLean helped lead Grand Rapids to the most wins (55), points (115) and offense (4.04 goals per game) in the AHL last season.

In 1998, Helmer earned AHL First Team All-Star honors with Albany.  He originally joined the NHL when he signed as a free agent with New Jersey on July 10, 1994.

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