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Rangers Sign Veteran Lefebvre


The New York Rangers continued their spending frenzy Monday, signing veteran defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre to a four-year deal worth $10 million.

The 31-year-old Lefebvre became the sixth free agent to join the Rangers in the past two weeks and the third player to come to New York from the Colorado Avalanche.

Lefebvre's deal also includes a fifth-year option at $3 million, bringing the Rangers' free-agent spending spree to about $70 million.

"I saw what the Rangers have done since July 1 and saw this team wants to win and quickly," Lefebvre said. "My first criteria was to go to a team that wanted to win."

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder joins former Avalanche teammates Theo Fleury and Valeri Kamensky in New York. The Rangers have also added forward Tim Taylor, defenseman Stephane Quintal and goalie Kirk McLean.

"It made the decision a lot easier with Theo and Valeri there, but at the same time this could be my last contract so I wanted to get the best deal I could," Lefebvre said.

Lefebvre began his career with Montreal 10 years ago, was traded to Toronto after three seasons with the Canadiens and then dealt to the Colorado organization, then called the Quebec Nordiques, in 1994.

He made $1.35 million last year and was close to returning to the Maple Leafs, but said that he couldn't pass up the Rangers' latest offer.

Lefebvre had two goals and 18 assists in 76 games last season for the Avs. Primarily known as a defensive player, Lefebvre has never scored more than five goals in a season and has been criticized in the past for a lack of physical play.

Lefebvre, who has missed just two games the past two seasons, will replace defenseman Jeff Beukeboom on the roster. Beukeboom retired Thursday because of a series of concussions.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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