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Kinnear returns, Skrlac retires

The New Jersey Devils on Monday announced that former defenseman Geordie Kinnear will return to the position of assistant coach of the American Hockey League’s Albany River Rats.

The team also announced that forward Rob Skrlac has retired as an active player. He will remain with New Jersey as an alumni representative.

Kinnear, 32, will be entering his fourth season as a member of Albany’s coaching staff, after serving as a special assignment scout in 2004-05. A former defenseman, he retired as an active player on Dec. 22, 2000, due to medical reasons. Kinnear spent most of his professional career with Albany, standing second on the club’s all-time games-played list (406), and second in penalty minutes (1,094). He was a member of the River Rats’ 1995 Calder Cup Championship team, and played in the 1996 AHL All-Star Classic.

Kinnear served as team captain for three seasons from 1996-99 – the longest stretch in Albany’s history. He made his NHL debut by appearing in four games with Atlanta during the 1999-2000 season. Kinnear was New Jersey’s eighth choice and 162nd overall selection in the 1992 Entry Draft.

Skrlac, 29, served as a member of the Albany River Rats for eight seasons, and is the team’s all-time leader with 1,197 penalty minutes. Skrlac made his NHL debut by appearing in eight games with New Jersey during the 2003-04 season. He scored his lone NHL goal in his second game, Dec. 18, 2003 at Atlanta.

Skrlac signed with the organization as a free agent June 17, 1997, after being selected by Buffalo with the 224th overall pick in the 1995 Entry Draft.