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FORMER HIGH PICKS JOIN GRIFFINS

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins continued their roster tweaking on Wednesday by adding a pair of high picks from past NHL Entry Drafts. The team signed right wing Scott Barney to a standard player’s contract and defenseman Jason Beckett to a professional tryout.

Barney, 27, averaged nearly a point per game for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves last season, ranking among the club’s leaders with 32 goals (2nd), 51 points (T3rd), 15 power play goals (2nd) and five game-winning goals (T1st) in just 53 games. Selected 29th overall by Los Angeles in the 1997 draft, he has registered 11 points (5-6—11) in 27 NHL contests during his three professional seasons. Barney, who appeared in three games with the Atlanta Thrashers last year, has totaled 103 points (65-38—103) in 159 career AHL games.

Beckett, 26, played 234 AHL games during his first five pro seasons (2000-05) before taking last year off to study at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. Philadelphia’s second choice in the 1998 draft, he has totaled 41 points (10-31—41) and 478 penalty minutes during stints with the Philadelphia Phantoms, Milwaukee, Houston and Syracuse.

With a roster now consisting of 23 players, Grand Rapids will open the 2006-07 regular season with three straight road games, beginning this Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. versus the San Antonio Rampage. The Griffins will then host the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights for their home opener next Saturday, Oct. 14. Game time at Van Andel Arena is 7 p.m.

Tickets for all 40 Griffins regular season home games can be purchased in person at The Zone at Van Andel Arena and all Star Tickets Plus locations (including Meijer stores), by phone through Star Tickets Plus at 800-585-3737, or via the web at griffinshockey.com. Full season tickets, five-, 10- and 20-game value plans, and group ticket packages are available through the Griffins office at (800) 2-HOCKEY.

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