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Coyotes sign 6 to AHL contracts

The Utah Grizzlies’ National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate, the Phoenix Coyotes, announced on Thursday that they have signed six free agents to American Hockey League (AHL) contracts.

Coyotes General Manager Michael Barnett made the announcement.

The Coyotes signed left wing Jon Sim to a one-year contract, center Erik Westrum to a one-year contract, defenseman Rick Berry to a two-year contract, left wing Martin Sonnenberg to a two-year contract, left wing Doug Doull to a two-year contract, and goaltender Zac Bierk to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Sim, 26, played 112 games over parts of three seasons (2000-03) in Utah, where the New Glasgow, N.S., native scored 53 goals with 50 assists and 192 penalty minutes. In 2003, Sim was named the MVP of the AHL All-Star Game while representing the Grizzlies.

Last season, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound left wing split time between Los Angeles and Pittsburgh in the NHL, recording career highs in games played (63), goals (8), assists (10), points (18) and penalty minutes (33). Originally drafted by Dallas in 1996, Sim won a Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999.

Westrum, 25, played most of the 2003-04 season with the Springfield Falcons, recording 14 goals and 18 assists in 56 AHL games. He added one goal and one assist in 15 games with Phoenix, his first career NHL stint. Westrum, who won a bronze medal with the United States at the 2004 World Championships, has tallied 37 goals and 69 assists in 199 AHL games with Springfield over the last three seasons.

Berry, 25, played 65 NHL games last season with the Washington Capitals, setting career highs in assists (6), penalty minutes (108) and games played (65). Berry also played 10 games for the Portland Pirates, recording 2-1-3 and 12 PIM. The Birtle, Man., native played three AHL seasons with Hershey (1998-2001), and has totaled 19 goals and 40 assists, along with 300 PIM, in 184 career AHL matches with the Bears and Pirates.

Sonnenberg, 26, spent most of last season with the Lowell Lock Monsters, recording 20 goals and 22 assists in 48 AHL games. He also skated in five matches with Calgary. A Wetaskiwin, Alta., native, Sonnenberg has played 352 career AHL games with Lowell, Saint John, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Syracuse, recording 101 goals and 122 assists for 223 points.

Doull, 30, made his NHL debut in 2003-04, collecting one assist and 132 PIM in 35 games for Boston. He added one goal in 22 AHL contests with Providence. The native of Glace Bay, N.S., has collected 24 goals, 28 assists and 688 PIM in 177 games with Providence, St. John’s and Saint John over the past four seasons, and won a Calder Cup with the Flames in 2001.

Bierk, 27, played four games (0-1-2) with Phoenix and two games (0-1-1) with Springfield in 2003-04. He has a career record of 7-12-3 in 28 AHL matches with Springfield (2001-04) and Adirondack (1997-98), and has appeared in 47 career NHL contests with Phoenix, Minnesota and Tampa Bay, going 9-20-5.