Matt Climie and Zenon Konopka are the latest former Steelheads to sign new deals with NHL teams, with Climie landing a deal in Vancouver and Konopka returning home with the Ottawa Senators. Konopka, a key member of the 2004 Kelly Cup championship team, grew up in the province of Ontario (Niagra-on-the-Lake, between Toronto and Buffalo) and played junior hockey in Ottawa, so the one-year contract with the Senators is like a homecoming for the 30-year-old forward. ?No. 1, he competes every night. No. 2, he can provide some leadership on the ice and some competitiveness on the ice, and No. 3, he wins faceoffs and brings that dimension to our hockey club,? Senators general manager Brian Murray told the Senators' official team website. ?We like to have the puck and (head coach) Paul (MacLean) was adamant that we be strong in that area. I hope we?ve addressed part of that, at least, in adding Zenon.? Konopka led the NHL in penalty minutes last season as a member of the New York Islanders. With the Steelheads in 2003-2004, he scored 28 points in 23 regular-season games with the team as he bounced back and forth between the ECHL and the American Hockey League. In the playoffs, Konopka was dominant, scoring 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 17 games as the team rolled to its first-ever championship. Climie, 28, finished top-five in the ECHL in wins (27) and goals-against average (2.30) with the Steelheads during the 2008-2009 season. He was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Month and Goaltender of the Week during his tenure. He also became just the second player to ever play in a game for the Steelheads and in the NHL in the same season when the Dallas Stars recalled Climie late in the regular season. Climie played in the Stars organization in 2009-2010 and the Phoenix Coyotes organization in 2010-2011. With San Antonio, the AHL affiliate of the Coyotes, Climie won 26 games with a 2.64 goals-against average. He has appeared in five NHL games with an overall record of 2-2. He is expected to fill a role for the Canucks in the American Hockey League, but will have an opportunity to compete for the parent club?s backup goaltender spot behind Roberto Luongo if the Canucks opt to trade talented backup Cory Schneider. Greg Rallo (Florida Panthers) and Aaron Gagnon (Winnipeg Jets) are other former Steelheads to change addresses, each leaving the Dallas Stars organization. BJ Crombeen signed a new contract with the St. Louis Blues, the same team he?s played with the past three seasons.
Konopka, Climie change NHL addresses
Wednesday, July 6th
Upcoming Home Games
Get Hockey Updates
Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!