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Thursday, July 13, 2006
Blackhawks re-sign LW Bourque to two-year deal


CHICAGO - The Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday locked up a pair of promising rookies.

Left wing Rene Bourque and defenseman Duncan Keith, two of the few bright spots for the Blackhawks in 2005-06, re-signed with the team on Thursday.

Bourque received a two-year contract and Keith got a four-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bourque, 24, recorded 16 goals and 18 assists in 77 games as a rookie last season. His 34 points ranked fourth on the team.

During the NHL lockout campaign in 2004-05, Bourque scored 33 goals for Norfolk and was named to the American Hockey League All-Star team.

Keith, 23, led Chicago in ice time, logging nearly 23 1/2 minutes per game to rank second among rookies. He recorded nine goals and 12 assists in 81 contests.

A second-round pick out of Michigan State in 2002, Keith played for the Norfolk of the AHL for two seasons before being promoted.

The Blackhawks also re-signed left wing Michael Holmqvist to a one-year deal worth $625,000 on Thursday.

Acquired from Anaheim last July, Holmqvist had 10 goals and 10 assists in 72 games with the Blackhawks and was a vital member of a penalty-killing unit that ranked ninth in the league.

A first-round pick of Anaheim in 1997, Holmqvist played part of the 2003-04 season with the Ducks and scored two goals in 21 games.