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Ottawa inks Lessard, Hale for 2010-11

The Ottawa Senators, parent club of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators, announced today the club has signed defenseman David Hale and forward Francis Lessard to one-year, two-way contracts.

Hale, 29, skated in 39 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009-10, recording four assists and 25 penalty minutes. He also appeared in four contests for the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, scoring once and adding an assist.

Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils with their first pick (22nd overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Hale has played 302 NHL games with New Jersey, the Calgary Flames, Phoenix Coyotes and Tampa Bay, registering 24 points (three goals, 21 assists) while accumulating 236 penalty minutes. He has recorded two points (two assists) in 17 NHL post-season games.

The 6-1, 215-pound native of Colorado Springs, Colo., has played seven professional seasons. In addition to his NHL tenure, he has skated in 66 AHL contests with the Albany River Rats, Lowell Devils and Norfolk, recording five goals, 10 assists and 103 penalty minutes.

Lessard, 31, spent the 2009-10 season with the Phoenix Coyotes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, recording two goals and two assists while accumulating 289 penalty minutes in 61 games.

Originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes with their third pick (80th overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Lessard was traded by the Hurricanes to the Philadelphia Flyers on May 25, 1999, before being sent to the Atlanta Thrashers on March 15, 2002.

The 6-3, 224-pound native of Montreal made his NHL debut with the Thrashers on March 27, 2002, and has played 91 career NHL contests, all with Atlanta, registering one goal, three assists and 268 penalty minutes.

Lessard, who will enter his 11th professional season, has skated in 487 AHL games with the Philadelphia Phantoms, Chicago Wolves, Hartford Wolf Pack and San Antonio, recording 65 points (24 goals, 41 assists) and 2,357 penalty minutes, which ranks sixth on the AHL’s all-time list.