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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes


RALEIGH, NC (August 2, 2001) - Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the signings of goaltender Jean-Marc Pelletier to a two-year contract and forwards Byron Ritchie and Craig MacDonald to one-year contracts. As per club policy, no other terms were released.

“We’re happy to retain these three players for our organization,” Karmanos said. “Jean-Marc, Byron and Craig add depth to our organization and help to secure the future of this team.”

Pelletier (6’3’’, 200 lbs.), who was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers along with Rod Brind’Amour in January 2000, spent all of last season tending the net for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the International Hockey League (IHL). Pelletier, 23, played 39 games for the Cyclones in 2000-01, compiling a record of 18-14-5 with a 3.16 goals against average.

Ritchie (5’10’’, 190 lbs.), originally drafted in the seventh round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, was second on the Cyclones in scoring last season with 66 points (31g, 35a) and led Cincinnati with 166 penalty minutes in 77 games. Ritchie has played in 29 career games with Carolina, totaling two points (0g, 2a) and 17 penalty minutes. The Burnaby, B.C. native was a junior hockey teammate of Hurricanes winger Shane Willis with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

MacDonald (6’2’’, 190 lbs.) tallied 48 points (20g, 28a) in 82 games with Cincinnati last season. Selected in the third round of the 1996 Draft, MacDonald has played in 11 regular season games and one playoff game for Carolina. MacDonald was a teammate of Jason Karmanos and Hurricanes forward Craig Adams at Harvard University.

The Carolina Hurricanes changed their minor league affiliation for the 2001-02 season. Carolina’s top prospects will play for Lowell of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season.

Ken Preston contributed to this report.

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