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COYOTES SIGN LARAQUE TO TWO-YEAR DEAL

by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have signed right wing Georges Laraque to a two-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"I'm very excited to come to Phoenix and play for the Coyotes," said Laraque.  "The Coyotes have made a lot of great moves this summer and we will be a very competitive team next season.  I'm looking forward to playing for Wayne Gretzky."

Laraque, 29, registered 2-10-12 and 73 penalty minutes (PIM) in 72 regular season games with Edmonton last season.  During the playoffs, the 6-foot-3, 243-pound forward led the Oilers with 44 PIM and recorded 1-1-2 in 15 games played during the team's run to the Stanley Cup Final. 

Recognized as one of the toughest players in the NHL, Laraque ranks 8th in Oilers' history in career penalty minutes with 826.  He led Edmonton in penalty minutes in three of his final five seasons with the club.  In 2000-01, Laraque registered career highs in goals (13), assists (16), and points (29) while leading the Oilers with 148 PIM.

During his eight campaigns with Edmonton, Laraque received the Oilers' Community Service Award in three consecutive seasons from 2001-02 to 2003-04.  The Montreal, Quebec native also won the Oilers' Most Popular Player Award in 1999-00.

Laraque was selected by the Oilers in the 2nd round (31st overall) in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.  In 490 career games with the club, he collected 43-68-111 and 826 PIM.

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