OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 1, 2011) - The Ottawa Senators announced today the club has signed forward Francis Lessard to a one-year, two-way contract.
Lessard, 32, split the the 2010-11 season between Ottawa and the Senators' American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. In 36 games with Binghamton, he scored two goals and added one assist while recording a team-high 187 penalty minutes. He was recalled to Ottawa on Feb. 18 and spent the remainder of the season with Senators, recording 78 penalty minutes in 24 games.
Originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes with their third pick (80th overall) in the 1997 National Hockey League Entry Draft, Lessard was traded by the Hurricanes to the Philadelphia Flyers on May 25, 1999, before being sent to the Atlanta Thrashers on March 15, 2002.
The 6-2, 235-pound native of Montreal made his NHL debut with the Thrashers on March 27, 2002, and has played 115 career NHL contests with Atlanta and Ottawa, registering one goal, three assists and 346 penalty minutes.
Lessard, who will enter his 12th professional season, has skated in 487 AHL games with the Philadelphia Phantoms, Chicago Wolves, Hartford Wolf Pack and San Antonio Rampage, recording 68 points (26 goals, 42 assists) and 2,544 penalty minutes.