Bulldogs bring in Baines

The Hamilton Bulldogs announced today the signing of center Ajay Baines to a two-year American Hockey League contract.

Baines, 28, is a veteran of seven seasons of professional hockey, including the last six in the AHL. The native of Kamloops, B.C., skated in 409 regular-season games with the Norfolk Admirals, recording 68 goals and 107 assists for 175 points, good for the Admirals’ all-time scoring lead.

Baines was loaned to the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights on Feb. 15, and finished last season with 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points in 56 AHL games.

During his career, Baines has proven to be a great leader not only on the ice but off the ice as well. Twice in his tenure in Norfolk he was named the team’s nominee for the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, given to the AHL’s Man of the Year. Baines also headed the Admirals’ Going for Goals program, a successful community initiative that promotes literacy to middle-school students.