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Blue Jackets sign Sarno, Hartigan

The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the parent Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed center Mark Hartigan to a two-year contract and have signed center Peter Sarno to a one-year deal and defenseman Mark Flood to a three-year contract. Hartigan and Sarno each signed two-way NHL-AHL deals, while Flood inked a standard entry-level contract.

As is club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Mark Hartigan has played very well for our organization the past two years,” said Blue Jackets executive vice president and assistant general manager Jim Clark. “He was Syracuse’s leading goal scorer last season and has a chance to compete for a job in the NHL because of his offensive instincts.

“Peter Sarno is the kind of skilled playmaker at the center position that fills a need within our organization and Mark Flood is an offensive defenseman who we think is a good, young prospect who will add to our depth at that position.”

Sarno, 26, ranked second in the AHL in assists and sixth in points in 2004-05, tallying 16 goals and 66 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-11 in 80 games with the Manitoba Moose. Sarno, who had one goal in six NHL games with Edmonton in 2003-04, has registered 279 points (69g, 210a) and 223 penalty minutes in 364 career AHL games.

Edmonton’s sixth pick, 141st overall, in the 1997 Entry Draft, Sarno led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring twice during his three seasons of major junior hockey. In 1997-98, he collected 33-88-121 in 65 games with Windsor and in 1998-99 had 37-93-130 in 68 games with Sarnia.

Mark Hartigan led the Crunch with 31 goals during the 2004-05 season.

Hartigan, 27, tallied 31 goals and 59 points with 105 penalty minutes and a plus-2 plus/minus rating in 69 games last season with the Crunch. He led the Crunch in goals, power-play goals (15), and game-winning goals (5). His 31 goals and 59 points also represented career highs for Hartigan.

Originally signed by the club as a free agent prior to the 2003-04 season, Hartigan split that year between the Blue Jackets and Crunch, recording four points (1g, 3a) in nine NHL contests and 23 goals and 23 assists in 69 AHL games. The 6-foot, 205-pound native of Fort St. John, B.C., has registered six goals and five assists in 34 career NHL games and 69 goals and 82 assists for 151 points in 193 career AHL contests.

Before turning pro, he spent three seasons at St. Cloud State University, where he won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year award and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist in 2001-02.

Flood, 20, spent the past four seasons with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, where he registered 25 goals and 95 assists for 120 points, along with 83 penalty minutes, in 253 career games. Last season, he collected 4-38-42 with 14 penalty minutes and a plus-14 plus/minus rating in 60 games. He was Montreal’s sixth pick, 188th overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft.