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Blue Jackets Sign Derek Mackenzie, Dan Smith

Wednesday, Jul. 11th, 2007

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Derek MacKenzie and defenseman Dan Smith to one-year, two-way NHL – American Hockey League contracts, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.

MacKenzie, 26, has spent the past six seasons as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers organization. In 2006-07, he was scoreless in four games with the Thrashers and tallied 14-23-37 with 62 penalty minutes and a +14 plus/minus rating in 52 games with the Chicago Wolves, the club’s AHL affiliate.

Atlanta’s sixth pick, 128th overall, in the 1999 Entry Draft, MacKenzie has registered 0-2-2 and 20 penalty minutes in 28 career NHL games. He made his NHL debut with the Thrashers against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Apr. 12, 2002. He has also tallied 83-101-184 and 441 penalty minutes with a cumulative plus/minus rating of +38 in 377 career AHL games with the Chicago Wolves.

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, he played junior hockey for his hometown Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League from 1997-01. In 257 career games, he recorded 95-158-253 and 299 penalty minutes. His best season was 2000-01 when he racked up 40-49-89 and 89 penalty minutes in 72 contests. MacKenzie also won a bronze medal with Team Canada at the 2001 World Junior Championships, collecting 1-2-3 in seven games.

Smith, 30, tallied 1-10-11, 97 penalty minutes and was +13 in 80 games with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins last season. He spent the previous three seasons in the Edmonton Oilers organization, including 2005-06 when he collected seven penalty minutes and was +1 in seven games with the Oilers and had 0-15-15, 61 penalty minutes and was +11 in 69 games with club’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton.

The Fernie, British Columbia native was Colorado’s seventh pick, 181st overall, in the 1995 Entry Draft and spent four seasons in the Avalanche organization. He had nine penalty minutes and was +7 in 15 games with the club between 1998-00, including appearing in an NHL career-high 12 games during the 1998-99 campaign. He also helped the Hershey Bears, Colorado’s AHL affiliate, capture the 1997 Calder Cup championship as he joined the club late in the season after wrapping up his major junior career with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans.

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