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Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Owen Nolan to attempt comeback with Coyotes

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Five-time All-Star Owen Nolan signed a one-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.

Owen Nolan
Nolan

Nolan last played in the NHL for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2003-04. He had knee surgery in 2005. He ruled out a return last season because his knee had not healed enough for him to play.

But Phoenix is taking a chance that the right wing can help its hockey club in 2006-07.

"A healthy Owen Nolan can help our hockey club," Coyotes general manager Michael Barnett said. "After considerable due diligence, we've found his injuries to be well healed. He's fit, focused and anxious to get back battling on NHL ice."

Wayne Gretzky, the Coyotes' coach and managing partner, believes Nolan can help his team in 2006-07.

"Owen is one of the league's premier power forwards," Gretzky said. "His size, strength, goal-scoring ability and leadership will be a big asset to our team."

Nolan's knee injury led to three grievances with the Maple Leafs: One in December 2004 over an alleged improper suspension, one in January 2005 over the Leafs' refusal to pay the $5.6 million salary for that season, and a third in September 2005 when the club did not honor the option clause in his 2005-06 contract.

He has 349 goals and 386 assists in 915 regular-season games in 14 season with Quebec-Colorado, San Jose and Toronto. In 65 games in 2003-04, he had 19 goals and 29 assists for the Maple Leafs.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.