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8/5/2006 7:22:22 PM

The Boston Bruins have exercised their "walk-away" option on the arbitration award to defenseman David Tanabe. Tanabe is now an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any NHL team.

Tanabe was awarded a one-year, $1.275 million contract by arbitrator Edwin H. Benn during an August 3, 2006 hearing.

"This is one of the difficult decisions that must be made while managing a salary cap," said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. "We have made two significant additions to our defensive corps this off-season and we are very comfortable with the depth we have at that position."

With blueline additions Zdeno Chara, Paul Mara and Jason York joining veteran Brad Stuart and up-and-comers like Andrew Alberts, Milan Jurcina and Mark Stuart pushing for more playing time, Tanabe was deemed expendable.

The Bruins have experience walking away from an arbitrator's decision, doing so with Bryan Berard in 2003 and Dmitri Khristich in 1998.

Tanabe, 26, has played six NHL seasons with Carolina, Phoenix and Boston. He was acquired by the Bruins from Phoenix in a November 11, 2005 trade for Dave Scatchard and had four goals and 12 assists for 16 points with 48 penalty minutes in 54 Boston games last season.

His six-year NHL totals are 24 goals and 70 assists for 94 points with 193 PIM in 371 career NHL games.
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