New York brings back Rucinsky, Hlavac

Updated: August 29, 2003, 3:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

New York Rangers: Enduring a relatively quiet offseason, the Rangers on Thursday agreed to terms with free-agent left wings Jan Hlavac and Martin Rucinsky.

Terms of both deals were not disclosed.

It is the second tenure with the Rangers for Hlavac, who split last season with Vancouver and Carolina. The Czech native registered 10 goals and 16 assists in 61 games.

Hlavac, 26, began his career with the Rangers and played two seasons with the club before being traded to Philadelphia in August 2001 in a deal that brought Eric Lindros to New York.

In 284 career games, Hlavac has registered 73 goals and 90 assists. He had career highs of 28 goals and 36 assists in 79 games with the Rangers in 2000.

"Jan is a player who enjoyed success in New York, and we feel he can be an asset to our hockey club once again," Rangers coach-general manager Glen Sather said. "He has the ability to produce solid offensive numbers and provides excellent depth to the left side of our lineup."

Rucinsky, 32, spent last season with the St. Louis Blues and collected 16 goals and 14 assists. He also is joining the Rangers for the second time, having played 15 games for the club in 2001.

Rucinsky, who also has played for Edmonton, Colorado, Montreal and Dallas, has career totals of 194 goals and 269 assists in 735 career games.

"Martin is a multitalented athlete who can complement a number of the center icemen on our hockey club," Sather said. "He is an experienced player who can step right into our lineup and make significant contributions on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice."

Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have signed Tuomo Ruutu, their first-round pick in the 2001 draft who has been playing in his native Finland.

Terms were not disclosed.

The highly touted center/left winger played 30 games for HIFK in Finland last season and had 12 goals and 15 assists before tearing his ACL in a game in mid-January that ended his season.

"It took a while to come to an agreement with Tuomo," Blackhawks general manager Mike Smith said. "Working together, both sides found a way we both could live with. We're optimistic he is going to have a long and successful career as a Blackhawk."

The 20-year-old Ruutu is the brother of Jarkko Ruutu of the Vancouver Canucks. Another brother, Mikko, was drafted by the Ottawa Senators and continues to play in Finland.

Tuomo Ruutu was the ninth overall pick of the 2001 draft, but it took more than two years to come to terms.

"I have followed the team since they drafted me and I am really excited about playing for the Blackhawks," he said.

Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins on Thursday signed defenseman Patrick Boileau, who appeared in 25 games for the Detroit Red Wings last season.

Terms were not disclosed.

Boileau, 28, split last season between the Red Wings and Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. He had two goals, eight assists and 14 penalty minutes in his time with the Red Wings.

Prior to joining the Red Wings, Boileau appeared in seven games with the Washington Capitals over three seasons.

Dallas Stars: The Stars on Thursday signed free agent right wing Rob Valicevic to a one-year contract.

Financial terms were not released.

Valicevic spent the majority of last season in the American Hockey League with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. He had 17 goals and 26 assists with Cincinnati and also appeared in 10 games with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, collecting one goal and two penalty minutes.

Valicevic, 32, has 28 goals and 20 assists in 186 career games with the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and Mighty Ducks.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

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