Falcons’ nest gets additions

The Springfield Falcons on Thursday signed three players to American Hockey League contracts, while the parent Tampa Bay Lightning inked free-agent defenseman and former AHL All-Star Doug Janik.

Janik, a native of the Springfield suburb of Agawam, Mass., spent the last five seasons in the Buffalo Sabres organization, playing 376 AHL games with Rochester and recording 18 goals, 91 points and a plus-41 rating.

"Doug Janik is an experienced defenseman who, we believe, is truly knocking on the door of playing full-time in the NHL as demonstrated by his strong play during the Eastern Conference Finals this past season,” said Lightning executive vice president and general manager Jay Feaster. "He is a high character player who fits well within our team-first philosophy."

The 26-year-old Janik is coming off a year in which he tallied five goals and 19 assists, along with 161 penalty minutes, in 71 games for Rochester.

Janik, a second-round draft pick in 1999, played 10 regular-season games and five Stanley Cup Playoff games in his career with the Sabres, and scored his first NHL goal in Game 7 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals vs. Carolina.

The Falcons announced the signings of center Dan Cavanaugh and right wings Ryan Gibbons and Maxime Boisclair to AHL contracts.

Dan Cavanaugh finished the 2005-06 season playing for his hometown Falcons.

Cavanaugh, a Springfield native, recorded six goals and 21 assists in 65 AHL games for Springfield and Philadelphia last season, his fifth year in the AHL. Cavanaugh has tallied 46 goals and 87 assists for 133 points in 351 career AHL games, and won a Calder Cup championship with Houston in 2003.

“We are pleased to have Dan under contract for the upcoming season,” said Falcons president and general manager Bruce Landon. “He is a very versatile player who can play center and right wing and he is an exceptional penalty killer. He is a strong two-way player who also has the ability to create offense.”

A product of Boston University, Cavanaugh was originally drafted by Calgary in the second round in 1999.

Boisclair, 21, is entering his first season of professional hockey after scoring 70 goals and adding 60 assists for 130 points in 70 games with Chicoutimi (QMJHL) during the 2005-06 season. It was his second straight season of at least 50 goals and 100 points.

Gibbons, 21, is also entering his first season of pro hockey after spending the previous five campaigns with Seattle (WHL). He collected a career-best 20 goals in 64 games last year with Seattle.