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Grabner signs three-year contract with Coyotes

Forward scored 27 goals with Devils, Rangers last season

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Michael Grabner signed a three-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Financial terms were not released.

"Everyone knows my game is based on speed and skating," Grabner said. "I would say I'm a shoot-first kind of guy. They have a lot of good playmakers on the roster. I'm just going to try to use my speed and open up some space for them.

"They have some quick guys up front and some pretty good D-men there, like Oliver Ekman-Larsson. I'm excited to get to know these guys a little closer. Hopefully I can bring my speed in there and help them."

The 30-year-old forward had 36 points (27 goals, nine assists) in 80 games with the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers last season. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in 21 games after being traded to New Jersey on Feb. 22 and was held without a point in two Stanley Cup Playoff games.

 

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"First off, he's a proven even-strength scorer. Those are difficult to find," general manager John Chayka said. "He's a top-10 scorer in the last two years in terms of even-strength goals. The game is trending toward speed and skill, and he's got it in spades, and he's an elite penalty-killer, so he's got these special attributes, these unique attributes that are typically very difficult to find in free agency. ... We got someone who's motivated, who's in great shape and had an interest in playing for the Coyotes. We wanted to address our wing position and add some goal-scoring, and we felt we addressed that with Michael."

Grabner scored 27 goals for the second straight season in 2017-18; his NHL career high is 34, with the New York Islanders in 2010-11. His 51 even-strength goals the past two seasons were tied for eighth in the NHL.

Grabner was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round (No. 14) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He has 249 points (158 goals, 91 assists) in 553 games with the Devils, Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Islanders and Canucks, and 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 31 NHL playoff games.

Grabner will be reunited with two former Rangers teammates, center Derek Stepan and goaltender Antti Raanta, who were traded to the Coyotes on June 23, 2017.

"It's always nice when you're coming to a new team and know a couple of faces," he said. "With [Stepan] and Raanta being down there, it's nice to get them to help me out a little bit. It definitely makes it easier trying to get into a new organization because you never know what to expect, being the new guy."

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