COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS SIGN FREE AGENT CENTER JAN HRDINA TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT
Six-year NHL veteran has tallied 91 goals, 173 assists and 264 points in 438 games
Hrdina, 29, has scored 91 goals and added 173 assists for 264 points with 263 penalty minutes in 438 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Phoenix Coyotes and New Jersey Devils from 1998-2004. He split the 2003-04 campaign between Phoenix and New Jersey, combining for 12-21-33 and 40 penalty minutes in 68 games. In addition, he has appeared in 45 Stanley Cup Playoff games, scoring 12 goals and adding 14 assists for 26 points.
"Jan is a quality, two-way center who brings terrific versatility on the ice and great character in the dressing room to our organization," said MacLean. "He has played with the game's best players in Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr and has also excelled in a more defensive-minded role, so he has proven himself in all situations. I think he will be a great compliment to our group of forwards."
A native of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, Hrdina has collected at least 25 assists and 40 points in five of his six NHL campaigns, while winning over 50 percent of his face-offs taken each year. He made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh in 1998-99 and registered 13-29-42 and 40 penalty minutes in 82 games. He also appeared in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games that year, tallying 4-1-5 and 12 penalty minutes.
Over the next two campaigns, Hrdina combined to score 28 goals, 61 assists and 89 points with a cumulative plus/minus rating of +32 in 148 games. In five seasons with the Penguins, he picked up 79-148-227 and 215 penalty minutes in 366 games, including a career-high 24-33-57 and 50 penalty minutes in 79 games during the 2001-02 season.
Hrdina has represented the Czech Republic in international competition, including appearing in four games at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. That year, he also played in the World Championships and notched 2-1-3, 12 penalty minutes and was +5 in seven games. At the 1995 World Junior Championships, he tallied 2-1-3 and four penalty minutes in seven games.
Hrdina was Pittsburgh's fourth pick, 128th overall, in the 1995 Entry Draft. He played two seasons in the Western Hockey League, registering 70-103-173 and 141 penalty minutes in 117 games with Seattle and Spokane. After signing with the Penguins, he tallied 23-31-54 in 68 games with the Cleveland Lumberjacks, the club's International Hockey League affiliate in 1996-97 and added 20-24-44 in 72 games with the Syracuse Crunch, Pittsburgh's American Hockey League affiliate at the time, the following year.
Tickets for Blue Jackets pre-season games go on sale this Friday, August 12, at 10 a.m., while regular season games go on sale Friday, September 16. Tickets may be purchased at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, the Blue Jackets Zones at Chiller Dublin, Chiller Easton and Chiller North, all Ticketmaster ticket centers, by phone at (614) 431-3600 or via the internet at www.BlueJackets.com and ticketmaster.com. For information on full season tickets starting as low as $13 per game, mini-season ticket plans or group tickets, call (800) NHL-COLS.