<
>

Itinerant veteran to battle Dunham for No. 1

NEW YORK -- Goaltender Kevin Weekes signed Thursday with the
New York Rangers, who expect the unrestricted free agent to compete
for the No. 1 job with Mike Dunham.

Weekes set career highs in appearances (66), wins (23), shutouts
(six) and goals-against average (2.33) with the Carolina Hurricanes
last season.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The seven-year veteran helped Carolina reach the Stanley Cup
final in 2002, going 3-2 in eight playoff games with a 1.62
goals-against average and two shutouts.

Weekes, 29, has already played for six teams and has a career
record of 78-136-33. He was a second-round draft pick by the
Florida Panthers in 1993.

Dunham went 16-30-6 with a 3.03 goals-against average as New
York's primary goaltender last season.

Last month, the Rangers re-signed restricted free agent Dan Blackburn, who had been the Rangers' top goaltending prospect but missed all of last season because of a left shoulder injury.

Blackburn is 20-32-4 with a 3.22 goals-against average and a
.894 save percentage in 63 NHL games, all with the Rangers.