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Pelts a Panther for the next two years


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SUNRISE, Fla. (CP) - The Florida Panthers have re-signed forward Ville Peltonen to a two-year deal, the club announced Wednesday.


''We are pleased to have guaranteed Ville's return to the Panthers,'' Florida's GM and head coach Jacques Martin said in a statement. ''He is an extremely skilled and talented player who possesses a great hockey sense. We look forward to his continued contributions to our club.''


Peltonen, 33, racked up career highs in goals (17) and points (37) in 72 games with the Panthers this season.


He had spent the previous five seasons competing in the European Elite League.


The Finland native has 97 points in 247 NHL games with San Jose, Nashville and Florida.


Pelton will represent Finland at the IIHF world hockey championship in Moscow this spring for the 12th time in his career. He has also competed in three Olympics (1994, '98 and 2006) and played in the World Cup in 2004.


Good start to the offseason. Peltonen was one of the teams better players this year and is definitely our shootout specialist.

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