Canucks re-sign former AHL All-Star

The Vancouver Canucks, the NHL affiliate of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, announced on Wednesday that they have re-signed forward Jozef Balej.

Balej, 25, rejoins the Canucks organization after spending last season with Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss Elite League. In 37 games there, the Myjava, Slovakia, native scored 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points.

Balej appeared in 39 games with the Moose in 2005-06, scoring 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points and collecting 20 penalty minutes. He also played in one game with Vancouver. Balej suffered a kidney injury on Jan. 10, 2006, at Hamilton which caused him to miss the rest of the regular season. He returned for four games during the North Division Finals vs. Grand Rapids, scoring one goal.

Balej has appeared in 224 career games in the AHL with Hamilton, Hartford and Manitoba, tallying 65 goals and 88 assists for 153 points along with 148 penalty minutes. In 18 career NHL games with Montreal, the New York Rangers and Vancouver, Balej has one goal and four assists for five points.

A third-round draft choice by Montreal in 2000, Balej helped Hamilton reach the Calder Cup Finals in 2003 and skated in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2004.