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Lightning/NHL

Canadiens trade for defenseman Niinimaa

By Wire services
Published October 1, 2006

MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Janne Niinimaa from Dallas on Saturday in a trade that sent center Mike Ribeiro to the Stars.

Niinimaa shores up a Canadiens defense that has lost Francis Bouillon and Jean-Philippe Cote to injury.

The Finn, 31, has 54 goals and 262 assists in 700 career regular-season games with Philadelphia, Edmonton, the New York Islanders and Dallas.

Ribeiro had 50 goals and 103 assists in 276 games for Montreal.

"I think they have great players, a great team, and they're going to try to win the Stanley Cup," Ribeiro said. "That's my goal going there."

Montreal also acquired Dallas' fifth-round pick in the 2007 draft for the Canadiens' sixth-round pick in 2008.

Blue Jackets: The team assigned goaltender Ty Conklin to the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse. The move all but assured Fredrik Norrena, acquired in a trade with the Lighting, will back up starter Pascal Leclaire. Conklin has a 27-19-5 career regular-season record with a 2.49 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

Hurricanes: The team released defenseman Jason Woolley, who had participated in training camp on a free-agent tryout basis. The defending Stanley Cup champions need help on the blue line after losing Aaron Ward to free agency and Frantisek Kaberle for much of the season as he comes back from shoulder surgery.

[Last modified October 1, 2006, 00:37:43]

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