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Crunch, Griffins make deal

The Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday received center Jeff Panzer on loan from the Syracuse Crunch in exchange for left wing Nathan Robinson.

Panzer, 26, has totaled 70 goals and 164 points in four AHL seasons with Syracuse and the Worcester IceCats. Claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets off waivers from the St. Louis Blues on Sept. 7, 2004, he contributed 18 points (8-10—18) in 51 games for the Crunch this season and posted a six-game point streak (3-4—7) from Jan. 8-21.

During his first three pro seasons with Worcester, Panzer was named team’s 2002-03 MVP, earned a selection to the PlanetUSA Team for the 2002 AHL All-Star Classic (DNP – injured), and set an IceCats record for most goals by a rookie (26) in 2001-02.

Panzer enjoyed a brilliant collegiate career at North Dakota, helping the Fighting Sioux to the 2000 NCAA championship and leading the nation in scoring during 2000-01 with 81 points (26-55—81). A two-time Hobey Baker finalist and First Team All-American (2000, 2001), he was named the WCHA Player of the Year as a senior and left North Dakota as the school’s third-leading scorer of all time (80-148—228).

Robinson, 23, has appeared in 50 games with Grand Rapids this season, recording eight goals, 16 assists and 10 penalty minutes. In 172 career AHL games with Grand Rapids, Robinson has tallied 35 goals, 56 assists and 75 penalty minutes.

Robinson appeared in five NHL games with Detroit in 2003-04, recording two penalty minutes. A native of Kingston, Ont., Robinson represented the Griffins at the 2004 AHL All-Star Classic, held at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena.