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Thrashers sign D Ron Hainsey

by Dan Rosen

Ron Hainsey
If the Atlanta Thrashers envision Zach Bogosian being among their top six defenseman this coming season, the 18-year-old who they made the third overall draft pick last month now has a pretty good mentor to show him how it’s done in the NHL.

The Thrashers announced Wednesday that they've signed puck-moving defenseman Ron Hainsey to a five-year contract. Hainsey, who is 27 and was a first-round pick by Montreal in 2000, had 66 points in 158 games over the last two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal made Hainsey the 13th pick overall eight years ago, but he never quite panned out. The Canadiens waived him early in the 2005-06 season, but Columbus scooped him up and helped him develop into a reliable, two-way defenseman.
Hainsey had two goals and 15 assists with Columbus in the final 55 games of 2005-06. The following season he put up career-highs in goals (9), assists (25), points (34), games played (80) and penalty minutes (69).

He entered unrestricted free agency after registering 32 points on eight goals and 24 assists in 78 games this past season. Hainsey played on the Jackets' top defensive pairing and averaged 22:33 of ice time, including 4:28 per game on the power play.

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