Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins CEO Jeff Barrett announced today that the team has signed 10 players to American Hockey League contracts.
Signed were forwards Kris Beech, Shane Endicott, Guillaume Lefebvre and Ed McGrane; defensemen Cliff Loya, Ross Lupaschuk, Alain Nasreddine, Darcy Robinson and Rob Scuderi; and goaltender Dany Sabourin.
Beech, 23, appeared in 53 games last season with the Penguins, recording 45 points (20+25) and 97 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the team in scoring. In the playoffs, Beech recorded 15 points (9+6) in 22 games. He also appeared in four games with Pittsburgh during the 2003-04 campaign, recording one assist and six penalty minutes.
The 62, 208-pound native of Salmon Arm, British Columbia has appeared in 103 career games with the Penguins, recording 88 points (39+49) and 176 penalty minutes. In 99 NHL games with Washington and Pittsburgh, Beech has recorded 27 points (10+27) and 59 penalty minutes.
Endicott, 22, appeared in 79 games last season with the Penguins, recording 39 points (17+22) and 68 penalty minutes. He ranked fifth on the team in scoring. In the postseason, Endicott tied for seventh on the team in playoff scoring with 12 points (8+4) in 24 games. He ranked third on the team in playoff goals and led the team with two game-winning goals.
The 64, 214-pound native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has played in 216 career games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 117 points (49+68) and 182 penalty minutes.
Lefebvre, 23, appeared in 64 games last season with the Penguins, recording 16 points (4+12) and 78 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, he recorded one goal and 19 penalty minutes.
The 61, 202-pound native of Amos, Quebec was acquired by the Penguins from Phoenix with Ramzi Abid and Dan Focht in exchange for Jan Hrdina and Francois Leroux on March 11, 2003. He made his Penguins debut on March 12, 2003 vs. Nashville, scoring his first NHL goal that night. In 12 games with the Penguins in 2002-03, Lefebvre recorded six points (2+4).
McGrane, 26, split last season between Corpus Christi (CHL), Houston (AHL) and Louisiana (ECHL). He appeared in 19 games with the Rayz, recording 21 points (14+7) and 10 penalty minutes and collected one assist and eight penalty minutes in five games with the Aeros.
The 511, 185-pound native of Hamilton, Ontario spent the majority of the 2003-04 campaign in the ECHL with the IceGators, recording 43 points (18+25) and 12 penalty minutes in 45 games. McGrane ranked seventh on the team in scoring.
Prior to last season, he played four seasons at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (Hockey East) from 1999-2003. In 144 career games with the River Hawks, McGrane recorded 138 points (70+68) and 54 penalty minutes.
Loya, 23, recorded 12 points (3+9) and 37 penalty minutes in 63 games last season with the San Diego Gulls of the East Coast Hockey League. The 62, 190-pound native of Pittsburgh played four seasons at the University of Maine (Hockey East). In 147 career games with the Black Bears, Loya recorded 20 points (2+18) and 132 penalty minutes.
He was drafted by Chicago in the seventh round (207th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Lupaschuk, 23, appeared in 58 games last season with the Penguins, recording 21 points (4+17) and 96 penalty minutes. He ranked fifth on the team with a plus-7 rating. Lupaschuk played in eight playoff games with the Penguins, recording two assists and 37 penalty minutes.
The 61, 210-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta has appeared in 204 career games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 86 points (31+55) and 288 penalty minutes. He was acquired by Pittsburgh with Kris Beech, Michal Sivek and future considerations from Washington in exchange for Jaromir Jagr and Frantisek Kucera on July 11, 2001. Lupaschuk was drafted by the Capitals in the second round (34th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Nasreddine, 29, appeared in a combined 70 games last season with Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording nine points (2+7) and 86 penalty minutes. Nasreddine appeared in 17 games with the Penguins, recording two points (1+1) and 16 penalty minutes after being acquired from the New York Islanders on March 8. He appeared all 24 playoff games with the Penguins, collecting one goal and 48 penalty minutes. In 53 games with Bridgeport, Nasreddine recorded seven points (1+6) and 70 penalty minutes.
The 61, 205-pound native of Montreal, Quebec was acquired by the Penguins on March 8, 2004 from the Islanders in exchange for Steve Webb. Nasreddine has played in 494 career AHL games with Carolina, Portland, Fredericton, Quebec, Hamilton, Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 83 points (17+66) and 1,206 penalty minutes. In 18 NHL games with Chicago, Montreal and NY Islanders, he has no points and 54 penalty minutes. Nasreddine was drafted by Florida in the eighth round (135th overall) of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.
Robinson, 23, appeared in 57 games last with the Penguins, recording eight points (2+6) and 64 penalty minutes. Robinson also appeared in one playoff game, going scoreless.
The 63, 235-pound native of Kamloops, British Columbia was drafted by Pittsburgh in the eighth round (233rd overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
Scuderi, 25, skated in 64 games with the Penguins last season, recording 16 points (1+15) and 44 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 13 games with Pittsburgh, collecting three points (1+2) and four penalty minutes.
The 61, 208-pound native of Syosset, New York has recorded 60 points (6+54) and 164 penalty minutes in 213 career games with the Penguins. Scuderi was drafted by Pittsburgh in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
Sabourin, 24, split last season between Calgary (NHL), Lowell (AHL) and Las Vegas (ECHL). In four games with the Flames, he posted a record of 0-3 with a 3.55 goals against average. He made his NHL debut against the Dallas Stars on October 29. In 14 games with the Lock Monsters, Sabourin had a record of 5-7-2 and a 2.85 gaa, and posted a record of 6-3-1 and a 2.35 gaa in 10 games with the Wranglers.
The 62, 182-pound native of Val-dOr, Quebec was drafted by Calgary in the fifth round (108th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
A total of 45 players reported to camp for a team meeting and physicals today. Four players were not present for the first day of training camp. Rookie forward Ben Eaves is recovering from an injury (knee) and is expected to arrive in early October. Michel Beausoleil and Darcy Johnson had car problems on the way from Quebec and Blake Bellefeuille, who was invited to camp on a try-out basis, retired. Beausoleil and Johnson are expected to arrive later today.
Head coach Michel Therrien and assistant coach Mike Yeo will conduct on-ice instruction for the first time tomorrow morning. Practice will be divided into two groups, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.