Habs ink Hamilton Bulldogs’ quintet to new contracts

Five members of last season’s American Hockey League Calder Cup champion Hamilton Bulldogs have been re-signed by the Montreal Canadiens.

The parent National Hockey League club signed forwards Duncan Milroy and Corey Locke, defencemen Jean-Philippe Cote and Andrew Archer, and goalie Yann Danis.

Milroy, 24, was the Bulldogs top scorer with 25 goals and 58 points in 64 games during the 2006-07 campaign. The Edmonton native chipped in 13 points (2-11-13) in 22 playoff games as the Bulldogs won their first league crown. Milroy also appeared in five games with the Canadiens and scored his first NHL point, an assist, on Feb. 20 against the Washington Capitals.

The 6-foot-1, 196-pound winger is Hamilton’s all-time franchise leader in games played with 267, collecting 140 career points (60-80-140) and 119 penalty minutes in four seasons. Milroy was selected by Montreal in the second round, 37th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

Locke, 23, totalled 55 points (20-35-55) in his 80 regular-season games. The native of Newmarket also led the Bulldogs in playoff scoring and set a single post-season franchise record with 22 points (10-12-22) in 22 Calder Cup games. Locke now sits in third place on the Bulldogs all-time playoff-scoring list with 22 points, trailing only Jason Ward (14-10-24) and Joe Hulbig (10-13-23).

In 235 games over three seasons in the AHL with Hamilton, the 5-foot-9, 171-pound winger has 157 points (55-102-157) and 111 penalty minutes. Locke, drafted by Montreal in the fourth round, 113th overall in 2003, also participated in the 2006 AHL All-Star game.

Cote, 25, appeared in 68 contests with Hamilton, recording 12 points (3-9-12) and 115 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound blueliner played six games and picked up two penalty minutes during the playoffs. In four seasons with the Bulldogs, Cote has 41 points (9-32-41) and 365 penalty minutes in 255 games.

In 2005-06, the native of Quebec City suited up for eight games with the Canadiens, posting a plus-2 rating and recording four penalty minutes. The defenceman was acquired by Montreal as an unrestricted free agent in August 2004.

Archer, 24, accumulating three assists and 21 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games. During the regular season, the native of Calgary registered one assist and 24 penalty minutes in 16 contests. He missed much of the season with an injury. In 156 career games over four seasons in Hamilton, the 6-foot-4, 217-pound defenceman has 16 points (1-15-16) and 221 penalty minutes. He was selected by Montreal in the seventh round, 203rd overall, in the 2001 Entry Draft.

Danis, 26, had a 23-14-6 record with one shutout, a .905 save percentage and a 2.81 goals-against average in 44 regular-season contests with Hamilton last season. On Oct. 6, 2006 against the Manitoba Moose, he became the team’s all-time franchise leader by picking up his 48th career win to surpass former Hamilton netminder Steve Passmore. Danis playoff contribution came in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Wolves, an overtime come-from-behind triumph.

The native of Lafontaine, Quebec played six games for the Canadiens in 2005-06, posting a 2.69 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and earning a 3-2-0 record. Danis originally signed with Montreal as a free agent out of Brown University in March 2004.