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Pederson signs with the Eisbären
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September 9, 2003; 22:06
Pederson signs with the Eisbären
Krefeld brings in Kelleher – Legwand Europe-bound, too?
Frank Johne

Europe-bound? Nashville’s top center David Legwand

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Munich, Germany - Only a couple of days into the new campaign, teams continue to beef up their rosters. 1993 NHL first-round pick Denis Pederson signed a one-year deal with Pierre Pagé’s Berlin Eisbären. The Krefeld Pinguine added minor league defenseman Chris Kelleher.

Forward Denis Pederson signed with the Berlin Eisbären
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

27-year-old Saskatchewan-native Denis Pederson tallied 128 points (57 goals, 71 assists) and 398 penalty minutes in 435 NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators.

Pederson’s signing gives the Eisbären some much needed depth. The team is currently missing seven regulars due to injuries (Marc Beaufait, Dave Roberts, Sven Felski, Ricard Persson and Jeff Tomlinson) and suspension (Brad Bergen and Yvon Corriveau, who remain in custody as suspects in a rape investigation in Sweden).

“What we like about Denis is his grit and his character”, said Peter John Lee, Berlin’s director of player personnel. Besides, Pederson is known to play a sound defensive game and can fill in at all three forward positions.

Pederson hopes to revive his scoring touch that was once very promising in the junior ranks. Last season, he tallied 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 43 appearances for the Predators.

Krefeld brings in Kelleher

Meanwhile, defending champion Krefeld Pinguine brought another player of the 1993 NHL draft class into the DEL: Chris Kelleher, (drafted by Pittsburgh, 5th/130), who has spent the majority of his pro career in the AHL, was signed to a one-year contract by Butch Goring’s team. The 28-year-old Massachusetts-native has the ability to move the puck out of the zone and counter-attack and is comfortable playing the point on the power play. He tends to struggle with defensive-zone coverage, though.

Star center Legwand bound for the DEL, too?

There is still a slight possibility that Pederson’s Nashville teammate David Legwand, a restricted free agent, might end up in the DEL, too. Last week, his agent stressed that the unsigned center considered playing in Europe this coming season if a new deal can't be worked out with the Nashville Predators.

"We've had ongoing discussions with our representative in Europe," Pat Morris told the Tennessean. "But I haven't really entered into them as of yet."

''David's a hockey player”, Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “He should be playing and playing in Nashville. His teammates would like to see him there and we'd like to see him there. It's really his decision. It's a business decision, what he decides he wants to do.''

Legwand, who is reportedly seeking a deal worth $1.5-million with the Predators, is not affordable for most DEL clubs, though, and will certainly be lured by wealthy clubs from Switzerland and Russia.
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