All-Star Taffe agrees to terms with Florida

The Florida Panthers, parent club of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, announced today that the club has agreed to terms with C Jeff Taffe on a two-year contract.

“Jeff is a focused, driven and hard working player who we are very pleased to have join our organization,” said Panthers assistant general manager Randy Sexton.

Taffe, 28, split last season playing for both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL). He appeared in eight games for Pittsburgh registering two assists, as well as 74 games for Wilkes-Barre posting career highs in goals (25), assists (50) and points (75) to finish second on the team and 11th in the AHL in overall scoring.

Last season with Wilkes-Barre, he set the franchise single-season record with 49 assists and was only one of two players to hit the 50-assist plateau. Taffe was also named to the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic and played alongside Amerks captain Rory Fitzpatrick for the PlanetUSA All-Stars.

In 328 career AHL games, Taffe has registered 109 goals and 144 assists for 253 points. For his career in the NHL, he has played in 153 contests for Phoenix (2002-06, 2006-07), the N.Y. Rangers (2005-06) and Pittsburgh (2007-09) registering 20 goals with 22 assists and 36 PIM.

The Hastings, Minn., native played three years at the University of Minnesota (1999-2002). He won the NCAA championship while playing with current Panthers defensemen Jordan Leopold and Keith Ballard during the 2001-02 season. Taffe was originally drafted by St. Louis with their first choice (30th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.