PENGUINS SIGN FREE AGENT LEFT WING JOHN LECLAIR
(Five-time League All-Star approaching 400 career goals coming to Penguins)
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed free agent left wing John LeClair, it was announced today by General Manager Craig Patrick. In accordance with club policy, terms of the contract were not released.
LeClair, 36, is one of the leading goal-scorers in the NHL over the past nine seasons, scoring at least 50 goals in three consecutive seasons (1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98). Since 1995-96, he has scored 308 goals for an average of 34.2 goals a season – tying for sixth in the NHL with Penguins’ right wing Zigmund Palffy.
LeClair has been named a First-Team NHL All-Star twice (1995 and 1998) and a Second-Team NHL All-Star three times (1996, 1997 and 1999). He also has played in five NHL All-Star Games – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
In 873 career NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers, LeClair has recorded 382 goals and 379 assists for 761 points. In his first full NHL season in 1992-93, LeClair won a Stanley Cup championship in Montreal.
The 6-3, 226-pound native of St. Albans, Vermont has appeared in at least 75 games in seven of the last nine seasons and has appeared in all 82 games five times. LeClair appeared in 75 games in his last season, 2003-04, scoring 23 goals and 55 points.
“John is a big strong winger who is a proven and consistently productive goal-scorer,” Patrick said. “His presence further strengthens the group of forwards we’re assembling here in Pittsburgh.”
LeClair was originally drafted by the Canadiens in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1987 Entry Draft. He played in 224 games with Montreal over parts of five seasons (1990-94) and scored 49 goals. LeClair was traded to Philadelphia with Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Recchi and a third round draft choice on February 9, 1995. Over the next nine-plus seasons with the Flyers, LeClair scored 333 goals in 649 games and currently ranks fifth on Philadelphia’s all-time goals list.