Penguins sign defenseman McKee

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The Penguins today signed free-agent defenseman Jay McKee to a one-year, $800,000 contract.

McKee, 31, spent the past three years with St. Louis, but the Blues bought out the final year of his contract this summer. The 6-foot-4, 203-pound defensive defenseman had a series of injuries while with St. Louis, many of them related to blocking shots.

The Blues are obligated to pay two-thirds of the $4 million salary he would have been due in 2009-10 under his contract with them, or about $2.67 million, which will be split over two years for salary cap purposes.

The Penguins expect Alex Goligoski to become a regular on defense this season after splitting last season between the NHL and the minor leagues but still needed to add a defenseman after losing Rob Scuderi and Hal Gill to free agency earlier this month.

Chicago, Nashville and Buffalo also were interested in McKee, who was a first-round draft pick by Buffalo in 1995.

Shelly Anderson can be reached at or 412-263-1721.


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