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Kings sign former AHL MVP LaBarbera

The Los Angeles Kings have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with unrestricted free agent goaltender Jason LaBarbera. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.

LaBarbera, 25, won the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Award as the AHL’s top goaltender and the Les Cunningham Award as the league’s most valuable player and was a First Team AHL All-Star in 2003-04, when he went 34-9-9 with a 1.59 goals-against average and an AHL-record 13 shutouts for the Hartford Wolf Pack.

In 2004-05, LaBarbera played in 53 games with Hartford, posting a 31-16-2 record and six shutouts. LaBarbera, who represented the Wolf Pack at the 2005 Dodge AHL All-Star Classic in Manchester, shared the Harry “Hap” Holmes Award for team goaltending and finished second in the AHL in GAA (1.84) and third in save percentage (.934).

“In Jason we have added another promising young goaltender who we expect to play a key role with the Kings this season,” said Kings senior vice president/general manager Dave Taylor. “We like his size and feel has a tremendous upside as he has been on of the top young goaltenders in the American Hockey League the last two years and has shown steady improvement as well.”

Originally selected by the New York Rangers in the third round (66th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, LaBarbera has also played in five career NHL games, all with the Rangers. During the 2003-04 season he posted a 1-2-0 record and a 4.85 GAA in four games. He also had an assist. In 2000-01, he made his NHL debut and played in one game on October 14, 2000, at Pittsburgh.