NHL News and Notes May - 24

NHL News and Notes May - 24

Hockey Today - May 24
Thu, May 24, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Thursday, May 24

No games scheduled. The Stanley Cup finals begins on Monday.

HISTORY LESSON

Ottawa and Anaheim, who will meet in the Stanley Cup finals, haven't faced each other in a while. The teams, set to open the finals Monday night in Anaheim, didn't play each other this season and haven't met in Anaheim since Oct. 17, 2003, when Senators goalie Patrick Lalime made 30 saves in a 3-0 victory. The last time the two teams met was on Jan. 19, 2006 in Ottawa with Anaheim's Chris Kunitz beating Dominik Hasek for the shootout winner in a 4-3 Ducks win.

SIGNED

Colorado signed four players on Wednesday, including defenseman Jordan Leopold, who played only 15 games last season due to injuries. Leopold was signed to a two-year contract as was David Jones, a forward from Dartmouth, with defensemen Kurt Sauer and Jeff Finger signing one-year deals.

SPEAKING

''I haven't seen them much. I've seen them here and there in the playoffs. I think it will be the most physical series we've played in the playoffs so far. They're a bigger team and they've got some skill guys as well.'' - Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson on his impressions on meeting Anaheim in the Stanley Cup finals.

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Re: NHL News and Notes May - 24

Former Rangers star Leetch retires after 18-year NHL career
May 24, 2007

BOSTON (AP) -Brian Leetch, one of the NHL's top defensemen who helped the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup in 1994, retired Thursday after an 18-year career.

Leetch sat out last season as an unrestricted free agent after spending 2005-2006 with the Boston Bruins, when the 10-time NHL All-Star had five goals and 27 assists in 61 games.

I have been fortunate to be an NHL player since 1988,'' Leetch said in a statement.

I missed being in the NHL this past season, but believe it was the right time for me to stop playing.''

Leetch played one season at Boston College before he was selected by the Rangers with the No. 9 pick in the 1986 NHL draft. He went on to become the defensive cornerstone of the Rangers, who ended a 54-year championship drought by winning the '94 Stanley Cup. Leetch was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player in the playoffs that season.

Leetch spent more than 16 seasons with the Rangers before being traded late in the 2003-04 season to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He became an unrestricted free agent before he signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Bruins in 2005.

In addition to two Norris Trophies as the league's top defenseman, Leetch won the Calder Trophy for top rookie in 1988-89 and played on U.S. Olympic teams in 1988, 1998 and 2002.

In 1,205 NHL games, Leetch scored 247 goals with 781 assists for 1,028 points, making him one of only seven NHL defensemen with at least 1,000 career points.

Leetch ranks first on the Rangers' all-time scoring list for defensemen.

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Re: NHL News and Notes May - 24

Canucks re-sign C Kesler
May 24, 2007

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -The Vancouver Canucks re-signed center Ryan Kesler to a three-year contract Thursday.

The 22-year-old would have become a restricted free agent July 1.

Kesler had six goals and 10 assists in 48 games last season, but missed the final 34 games of the regular season after undergoing hip surgery in late January. He was a surprise starter when the Western Conference playoffs opened, but broke his finger in the first game and did not return.

A first-round pick of the Canucks in the 2003 NHL draft, Kesler has 18 goals and 44 points in 158 career games. He earned $1.9-million last season after Philadelphia signed him to an offer sheet and the Canucks matched it. Terms of Kesler's new deal were not disclosed.

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