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Veteran forward Brendan Shanahan signs with New Jersey Devils

NEWARK, N.J. - Brendan Shanahan has finalized a contract with the New Jersey Devils and is expected to be with the team for its road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Shanahan, who turns 40 next week, reached a tentative agreement with the Devils last weekend. The deal was signed Thursday.

An unrestricted free agent, Shanahan played the last two seasons with the New York Rangers. He had hoped to stay with them, but grew tired of waiting for a contract offer.

The Devils drafted Shanahan with the No. 2 pick in the 1987 NHL draft. He has 650 goals and 1,340 points in 1,490 NHL games in 21 seasons. He ranks 11th on the career goal list, 24th in points, and is a three-time Stanley Cup champion - all with the Detroit Red Wings. He has scored at least 20 goals in 19 consecutive seasons.

Shanahan left the Devils in 1991 and signed with the St. Louis Blues. The loss turned into a major gain for New Jersey when it received future Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Stevens as compensation. Stevens helped lead New Jersey to three Stanley Cup titles.

Shanahan is the latest big-name player to come back this season after splitting with the Devils. Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston signed during the summer.

Shanahan scored 23 goals in 73 games last season but finished with 46 points, his lowest total in a full year since his rookie season of 1987-88.

The Devils also announced that centre Petr Vrana of Lowell of the AHL broke his leg and will have surgery. He played the early part of this season with the NHL team.

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