New York Rangers President, General Manager and Head Coach Glen Sather announced today that the club has signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Greg de Vries. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"Greg de Vries has developed into a solid, steady two-way defenseman and we are sure that his addition will help strengthen our defense significantly," said Sather. "He will be a great asset to our hockey club."
de Vries, 30, appeared in 82 matches with the Colorado Avalanche last season, registering six goals and 26 assists for 32 points, along with 70 penalty minutes. He established new career-highs with 26 assists and 32 points, which ranked third on the team in scoring among defensemen and marked the fourth consecutive season in which he posted a new career-high in points. His plus-15 rating placed fourth among Avalanche defensemen. He also matched a career-best skating in all regular season 82 matches for the Avalanche and has appeared in 183 consecutive matches. Additionally, de Vries ranked second among defensemen with 31 even-strength points last season and appeared in his 500th NHL match on April 6 vs. St. Louis. During the post-season, he skated in seven games vs. Minnesota, registering two goals.
A veteran of eight NHL seasons, de Vries has appeared in 500 regular season matches with Colorado, the Edmonton Oilers and the Nashville Predators, registering 30 goals and 69 assists for 99 points, along with 459 penalty minutes. Since the 2000-01 season, de Vries ranks sixth among all NHL defensemen with a plus-56 rating and is one of just four defensemen in the league to post a plus-15 or better rating in each of the last three seasons. He was acquired by the Avalanche on October 24, 1998 from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 1999 second round draft choice (Ed Hill). Prior to that, he was acquired by Nashville on October 1, 1998 from Edmonton, along with Eric Fichaud and Drake Berehowsky, in exchange for Mikhail Shtalenkov and Jim Dowd.
In Stanley Cup playoff action, he has appeared in 94 career games, registering six goals and 13 assists for 19 points, along with 77 penalty minutes. In the 2001 post-season, he appeared in all 23 playoff contests for the Avalanche, recording one assist, along with 20 penalty minutes, helping Colorado capture its second Stanley Cup championship.
Prior to his NHL career, de Vries skated in 178 matches with the Cape Breton Oilers and Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League (AHL), tallying 18 goals and 63 assists for 81 points, along with 279 penalty minutes.
The 6-3, 215-pound native of Sundridge, Ontario was originally signed as a free agent by Edmonton on March 20, 1994.