Rangers add Naslund, Kalinin to roster

TSN.ca Staff
7/3/2008 6:38:23 PM
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Markus Naslund is off the available list for free agents, as the Swedish winger has signed a 2-year contract with the New York Rangers worth $8 million.

"I think for anyone who dreams of playing in the NHL, playing for one of the Original Six teams with the history and tradition, it's special," Naslund said on a conference call.

"It was very appealing to me and my family to live in New York and be part of what's going on there. The overall picture was very appealing to me."

The unrestricted free agent, who turns 35 on July 30, finished the final campaign of a three-year, $18 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks, where played the last 12 seasons.

"As an organization we would like to thank Markus Naslund for his 12 exemplary seasons in a Canucks sweater. Markus is one of the greatest athletes to ever represent the Canucks both on and off of the ice. His on-ice success sees him leave the organization among the club leaders in almost every offensive category," said Canucks GM Mike Gillis, and Naslund's former agent, in a statement."

"We are very grateful for Markus' commitment to our community, our fans and our team over the years. Markus and his wife Lotta have given generously of their time over the years to many worthy causes including; Canuck Place, BC Children's Hospital and the Canucks for Kids Fund. We wish Markus, Lotta, and their three children the best of luck in the future."

During the conference call, it was clear that leaving Vancouver was a difficult choice for Naslund.

"It's not an easy thing," Naslund said on a conference call. "I've been in Vancouver a long time. I've been a captain there for the last eight years. I have very fond memories of playing in that city and all that comes with that."

"The fan base that's there, the organization has treated me first-class all the way. It's definitely a big step but it's a step that I'm excited to take."

Acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1996, Naslund bloomed into one the Canucks' most celebrated players in franchise history. In 1,035 career NHL games, he has 371 goals and 823 points.

Drafted by the Penguins in 1991, Naslund won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the NHL's most outstanding player - as voted by his peers - in 2002-03 after finishing second in league scoring with 104 points, including 48 goals.

The Rangers also announced the signing of defencemen Dmitri Kalinin to a one-year contract.

The 27-year old played 46 games for the Buffalo Sabres and marked one goal and seven assists. In eight seasons with the Sabres, Kalinin has 145 points in 466 games.


Markus Naslund (Photo: Getty Images)


(Photo: Getty Images)
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