According to a New Jersey Devils press release, the team has re-signed Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond. Leblond, who last played for New Jersey during the 2010 season, has been brought back to the team. Originally a 2004, 7th round draft pick, Leblond has been playing under newly appointed Head Coach, John Hynes in the AHL for Wilkes-Barre Scranton. According to the press release, it is a two-way deal for $575,000.
Many remember Leblond from New Jersey's farm system, playing all but 37 games at an AHL/ECHL level. Always known as a player willing to stick up for his teammates, Leblond led the AHL in penalty minutes in 2010, where he amassed 334 penalty minutes in only 64 games.
Where has he been?
Since being trading to the Calgary Flames in July of 2011, Leblond has played sparingly in the NHL, including three games in Calgary and one for the Pittsburgh Penguins. During the last few seasons, Leblond has played in the AHL for the majority of the time, taking on the role of a grinder and enforcer, being third in the AHL in penalty minutes during his two seasons with the Penguins.
What it means for New Jersey?
While this signing is certainly meant to be a minor league depth signing, Leblond is someone who John Hynes must view as a high regard, as he has remained with Hynes for the past two seasons, this one being his third. Although being a seasoned AHL veteran, amassing 396 games, Leblond has 25 goals, 34 assists and a total of 59 points.
Although fans may question this signing, Leblond adds a level of veteran leadership to Albany and will serve as a model for the younger guys just coming into the league. Leblond is not going to light the world on fire and lead the league in goals, that's not his role. His role will be centered on mentoring the young players in Albany and sticking up for them. He's the guy a young team like Albany needs.
What are your thoughts on the signing of Leblond? Do you see him having a leadership role in Albany? Will he serve as a good mentor for younger players? Let me know your thoughts and like always, thank you for reading!