Norfolk signs Zingoni, McKenna

The Norfolk Admirals have signed center Pete Zingoni and goaltender Mike McKenna to AHL contracts for the 2008-09 season, Admirals general manager Mike Butters announced today.

"Peter was a guy who was fairly high on our radar this summer," said Butters. "His grit and determination as a player is something that we wanted more of in our organization this year. We expect Peter to play a prominent role with us from Day 1.

"Mike McKenna is a highly skilled goaltender with fast hands. One thing that was missing in this organization in the past was depth. We signed McKenna because we needed a goalie ready to step in for us and produce. He had good numbers last season and will compete for playing time."

Zingoni, 27, is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound center from Newtown, Conn. In 66 games last season with the Philadelphia Phantoms, Zingoni registered 20 goals and 18 assists with 92 penalty minutes and a plus-4 rating. He tied for fourth on the team in goals and tied for seventh in points. Eight of his goals came on the power play, one came while shorthanded and four were game-winners. Zingoni also added three goals and two assists with eight penalty minutes in 11 Calder Cup Playoff games last season.

Zingoni is entering his fifth season of professional hockey. He has spent the past two seasons with the Phantoms, scoring 38 goals and 65 points in 128 games. When combined with a five-game stint in Syracuse for his professional debut in 2003-04, Zingoni has scored 40 goals and 29 assists with 156 penalty minutes in 133 career American Hockey League games.

Zingoni was originally drafted in the eighth round (231st overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He spent four seasons playing college hockey at Providence College where he had 34 goals and 47 assists with 135 PIM in 127 career games.

McKenna, 25, is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound goaltender entering his fourth professional season. Last season, the St. Louis native appeared in 41 games for the Portland Pirates, going 24-13-1 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .908 save percentage with three shutouts. His 24 wins were tied for the tenth highest total in the AHL. He also posted a 2-4 record with a 3.38 GAA and .886 save percentage in six Calder Cup Playoff games with the Pirates.

The 2007-08 campaign was the first season of full-time American Hockey League duty after brief stints over the previous two years with Omaha, Milwaukee and Norfolk. McKenna made his AHL debut with Norfolk in 2005-06, signing a professional tryout contract in January 2006. He played seven games in his first stint with the Admirals, posting a 4-2-1 record, 3.86 GAA and .883 save percentage. In 51 career AHL games, McKenna is 28-16-2 with a 2.97 GAA and .901 save percentage.

McKenna is a two-time ECHL All-Star. In 63 career ECHL games with the Las Vegas Wranglers, McKenna is 46-6-8 with a 2.18 GAA and .926 save percentage. In 2006-07, McKenna won 11 straight games from March 13, 2007 to April 23, 2007, was named All-ECHL second team and finished second in Goalie of the Year and MVP voting.

McKenna was drafted in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators. He played four seasons at St. Lawrence University, going 32-44-8 with a 2.85 GAA and 907 save percentage. He is St. Lawrence’s career record holder for appearances (95), minutes (5,236) and ties (8).