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Bruins Sign Veteran Coffey

Paul Coffey, who holds NHL records for points and assists by a defenseman, signed a two-year contract Thursday with the Boston Bruins.

Coffey, 39, is a 20-year veteran of the NHL who has played for seven teams, most recently the Carolina Hurricanes, and won four Stanley Cups. He was an unrestricted free agent.

Bruins president and general manager Harry Sinden said the 6-foot, 200-pound Coffey would shore up Boston's defense and offense.

"He is one of the premier offensive defensemen in the history of the game as well as one of the best skaters and his strong play, particularly over the second half of last season, convinced us that he has plenty to offer the Bruins," Sinden said.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Coffey, who has worn '77' for 13 years won't wear it in Boston out of respect to Raymond Bourque, who wore that number for 13 seasons before being traded to Colorado.

"He's not wearing 77," Sinden said. "He has a tremendous amount of respect for Ray Bourque. We haven't figured out what number he'll wear, but we'll give him a number of options."

Coffey is the NHL's career leader among defensemen in assists, with 1,131, and points, with 1,527. He ranks second overall in league history in assists and eighth overall in points.

He holds the league's single-season record for goals by a defenseman with 48 in 1985-86 with the Edmonton Oilers. He three NHL titles with Edmonton and one with Pittsburgh.

Coffey had 11 goals and 29 assists in 69 games last season.

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