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Pahlsson, Garon welcome to Columbus!

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Samuel Pahlsson to a three-year contract announced team General Manager Scott Howson on Wednesday. Pahlsson is a nine year NHL veteran who has tallied 54 goals, and 92 assists for 146 points in 557 career games with Boston, Anaheim, and Chicago.

With the futures of Manny Malhotra, and Michael Peca unclear, Pahlsson fills a gaping need for the Jackets at the center position.

“Sami Pahlsson is a very good two-way center who can play against the top players in the league and strengthens our hockey club at the center ice position,” said Howson. “He won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim two years ago, played in the Finals in 2003 and won a gold medal with Sweden at the last Olympics, so he brings valuable experience at the highest level of competition to our dressing room.”

In the ’06-’07 season in which he won the Cup with the Ducks, Pahlsson was a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s top defensive forward.

The club now has Derrick Brassard, Antione Vermette, and Samuel Pahlsson at the center position for the upcoming season.

The Jackets have also announced that they have inked former Pittsburgh goaltender Mathieu Garon to a two-year contract. The 30 year old goalie has compiled a 94-83-13 record in 204 career games. Garon has a 2.84 goals-against average and .905 save percentage with the Canadians, Kings Oilers, and Penguins.

Garon will likely serve as a backup to starting goaltender and 2009 Calder Memorial Trophy winner Steve Mason.

“One of our priorities this off-season was to sign an experienced goaltender to team with Steve Mason and by adding Mathieu Garon we have done that,” said Howson. “Mathieu has been a successful goaltender in this league and we think he will be an important addition to our organization.”

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