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Lightning sign MacDonald, Darche

The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, have signed free-agent left wings Craig MacDonald and Mathieu Darche to one-year contracts.

MacDonald, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, served as captain of the Admirals during the 2006-07 season, and recorded 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points in 50 games with Norfolk. He also had three goals and two assists for five points in 25 NHL games with Chicago.

A native of Antigonish, N.S., MacDonald is a veteran of 313 career AHL games, recording 76 goals and 221 points in seven seasons with New Haven, Lowell, San Antonio, Omaha and Norfolk. He has played in 160 career NHL games with Carolina, Florida, Boston, Calgary and Chicago, recording eight goals and 22 points. MacDonald played collegiate hockey at Harvard, and was originally drafted by Hartford in the fourth round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

Darche, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound Montreal native, skated in 76 games with Worcester of the AHL and two games with the San Jose Sharks in 2006-07. The 30-year-old tallied 35 goals, 45 assists and 80 points with Worcester, leading the team in all three categories while finishing tied for sixth in goals and seventh in points in the AHL.

In 436 career AHL games with Syracuse, Milwaukee, Hershey and Worcester, Darche has recorded 162 goals and 342 points. He led Milwaukee in goals (28) in 2003-04 as he helped the Admirals capture the Calder Cup championship.

In 28 career NHL games with Columbus, Nashville and San Jose, Darche has recorded one goal and one assist. He played four seasons of Canadian college hockey at McGill University.