Blue Jackets sign Calder Cup winners Gaunce, Benoit

Photo: KDP Studio

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Saturday the signing of defenseman Cameron Gaunce to a two-year, two-way contract, and defenseman Andre Benoit to a one-year, two-way contract.

A 6-foot-1, 185-pound, left-handed native of Sudbury, Ont., Gaunce, 27, posted one goal and three assists with 13 penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating in 12 appearances for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He also logged two goals and 11 assists with 38 penalty minutes and a plus-15 rating in 49 appearances in 2016-17 for the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

In 32 career NHL appearances for Colorado, Dallas and Pittsburgh, Gaunce has tallied two goals, three assists and 36 PIM.

A second-round pick (50th overall) by Colorado in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Gaunce has posted 21 goals and 126 assists for 147 points with 556 PIM and a +66 rating in 468 career AHL appearances spanning seven seasons for Lake Erie, Texas, Portland and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Gaunce served as an alternate captain for Portland in 2015-16 and helped Texas claim the 2014 Calder Cup championship.

Benoit, 33, spent last season with Malmo in the SHL, recording 24 points in 52 games.

In 391 career AHL games with Hamilton, Binghamton and Chicago, Benoit has recorded 51 goals and 155 assists for 206 points and won Calder Cup championships in 2007 and 2011. He was a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2010-11 and participated in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2016.

A 5-foot-11, 192-pound native of St. Albert, Ont., Benoit has posted 11 goals and 37 assists in 181 career NHL appearances for Ottawa, Colorado, Buffalo and St. Louis.