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7/20/2006 1:02:27 PM

The New York Islanders have signed physical defenceman Rick Berry to a one-year contract.

The 27-year old Berry, who played for Milwaukee (AHL) in 2005-06, has played 197 NHL games over parts of four seasons with Colorado, Pittsburgh and Washington.

"(Pro scouting director) Ken Morrow felt strongly that we needed to add depth on defense, someone to lead the way in Bridgeport and push for a job on Long Island," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "We found an ideal veteran in Rick Berry. He's very solid positionally, blocks a lot of shots, loves to take the body and he's always there for his teammates."

The 6-2, 215-pound Berry was originally selected by Colorado in the third round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. In his 197 NHL games he has two goals, 13 assists and 314 penalty minutes. Last season with Milwaukee, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Nashville Predators, Berry had one goal, 11 assists and 121 penalty minutes. He also played five games last season for San Antonio (AHL).
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