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Hutchinson signs with Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins, parent club of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

The deal is for the 2010-11 season and is a two-way contract.

Hutchinson, 30, has played in 135 NHL games in his career during stops in Dallas, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Nashville. He has recorded 38 points on 12 goals and 26 assists, and won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.

Hutchinson, a right-handed shooting defenseman, played in 78 games for Dallas’ top affiliate, the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, in 2009-10. He posted nine goals and 38 points in the regular season and added 16 points (5g, 11a) in 21 playoff contests to help Texas earn a berth in the Calder Cup Finals.

Hutchinson (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) was originally drafted by Nashville in the second round (54th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and made his NHL debut in 2003-04 with the Predators. That year Hutchinson saw action in 46 games for Milwaukee of the AHL, scoring 12 goals and 24 points. He chipped in 16 points (5g, 11a) in 22 postseason contests to help the Admirals win the Calder Cup title.

Hutchinson served as captain for the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack in 2007-08. That season he totaled 18 goals and 64 points en route to winning the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s defenseman of the year. His 46 assists and 64 points were the most in the league by a blueliner, while his 18 goals ranked third.

In 355 career AHL games with Texas, Norfolk, Hartford and Milwaukee, Hutchinson has recorded 59 goals and 152 assists for 211 points.

The Evanston, Ill., native played four collegiate seasons with Michigan State University. Hutchinson posted 78 points (19g, 59a) in 160 career NCAA games.