JR RETURNS HOME TO THE DESERT
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett announced today that the Coyotes have signed veteran free agent center Jeremy Roenick to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"JR is very well liked here in Phoenix, but this isn't about selling tickets on popularity," said Barnett. "It's about adding talent to our club. His pride and toughness breeds winning. That's what sells tickets."
Last season, the nine-time NHL All-Star played in only 58 games with the Los Angeles Kings due to injuries, recording 9-13-22 and 36 penalty minutes (PIM). Roenick completed his 17th NHL season increasing his career totals to 484 goals, 658 assists, 1,142 points and 1,381 penalty minutes in 1,182 games with Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The two-time United States Olympian (1998 and 2002) has also played in 136 career playoff games, registering 51-65-116, a plus-22 rating and 101 PIM. He has led his teams to three Conference Finals (1990, 1992 and 2004) and one Stanley Cup Final (1992) and has appeared in the playoffs 15 of his 17 NHL seasons.
"I'm thrilled to be returning home to play for the Coyotes," said Roenick. "I have a lot of great memories from my five years in the desert and I'm looking forward to having a great season and help lead our team to the playoffs. I'd like to thank Wayne Gretzky and Mike Barnett for having faith in me. I'm hungry, I'm focused and I can't wait for the season to begin."
Roenick ranks 3rd all-time among American born players with 1,142 points (trails only Phil Housley and Mike Modano), ranks 3rd in goals with 484 (trails Joe Mullen and Modano) and ranks 5th in assists with 658 (trails Housley, Brian Leetch, Chris Chelios and Modano).
"We're very pleased to bring Jeremy back to the Coyotes," said Coyotes Managing Partner - Head Coach Wayne Gretzky. "JR is an elite player who plays with passion every night. He'll be a valuable addition to our team and to the community. We are proud to have him and his family back."
An original member of the Phoenix Coyotes, the 36-year-old Roenick was acquired by the Coyotes from the Chicago Blackhawks on August 16, 1996 in exchange for Alexei Zhamnov, Craig Mills and a 1st round draft selection (Ty Jones) in 1997. From 1996-97 to 2000-01, Roenick played five seasons with the Coyotes, appearing in 384 games and collecting 141-210-351, a plus-15 rating and 564 PIM.
While with the Coyotes, 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of Boston, Massachusetts led the team to four consecutive playoff appearances and ranked first on the team in scoring in three straight seasons (1998-99, 1999-2000, and 2000-01). Roenick ranks 10th among franchise (Winnipeg Jets and Coyotes) all-time leaders in goals (141), 11th in assists (210) and 9th in points with 351. He also ranks 2nd in game-winning goals (32), 7th in shorthanded goals (7) and 7th in hat tricks (3). His best season with the Coyotes came in 1999-2000 when he registered 34-44-78 and 102 PIM in 75 games. From 1998-2001, Roenick posted three straight seasons with 70-or-more points.
He is the only player in NHL history to lead his team in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes in two different seasons (1999-2000 and 2000-2001 with Phoenix) and is one of only six players in NHL history (modern era) to lead his team in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes in the same season (Maurice Richard - Montreal 1952-53; Jean Beliveau - Montreal 1956-57; Stan Smyl - Vancouver 1979-80; Theoren Fleury - Calgary 1997-98 and Joe Thornton - Boston Bruins 1999-2000).
In his illustrious career, Roenick has scored 20-or-more goals 13 times; 30 goals seven times; 40 goals on four occasions and recorded two 50-plus goal seasons. In addition, he has recorded 45-or-more points 14 times; 70-plus points seven times and registered three 100-plus point seasons. In 1,182 games, Roenick has posted an incredible plus-180 rating including, most recently, a +32 rating with Philadelphia in 2001-02. From 1991-92 - 1993-94, Roenick registered back-to-back 107-point campaigns (1992-93 and 1993-94) and two 50-goal efforts (1991-92 and 1992-93).
In 2002, he helped lead Team USA to a Silver Medal at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Roenick registered 1-4-5 in 6 games. Roenick also represented the United States at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, playing four games and collecting one assist and 6 PIM. He represented the United States at the 1991 Canada Cup (Tournament All-Star Team), the 1990-91 World Championships (5-6-11 in 9 games) and the 1988 and 1989 World Junior Championships (led all scorers with 8-8-16 in 7 games and was voted a First Team All-Star in 1989).
Roenick was originally drafted 8th overall in the 1988 Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.