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Penguins sign Minard, Smith

The Pittsburgh Penguins, parent club of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, have signed centers Chris Minard and Nathan Smith to two-year contracts.

Minard, 25, led the Lowell Devils (AHL) with 32 goals and 49 points during the 2006-07 season. He also ranked first on the team with 12 power-play goals.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of Owen Sound, Ont., has appeared in 103 career games in the AHL, registering 68 points (39 goals, 39 assists) and 56 penalty minutes.

smith-n_200.jpgSmith, 25, spent the last five seasons with the Manitoba Moose, scoring 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 72 games last season. He also appeared in one NHL game with Vancouver in 2006-07.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound native of Strathcona, Alta., has played in 327 career AHL games, registering 113 points (47 goals, 66 assists). He is scoreless in eight career NHL games with the Canucks, including four Stanley Cup Playoff contests.

Smith was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round (23rd overall) of the 200 NHL Entry Draft.