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Panthers sign Pinizzotto to one-year, two-way deal

Vancouver Canucks v Dallas Stars

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 18: Kari Lehtonen #32 of the Dallas Stars makes a save against Steve Pinizzotto #13 of the Vancouver Canucks at American Airlines Center on April 18, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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The Panthers have added another center to battle for their fourth line job.

The team announced the signing of former Canucks forward Steve Pinizzotto to a one-year, two-way contract. Last season, he made his NHL debut playing in 12 games for Vancouver and earning zero points but 29 penalty minutes. The former R.I.T. Tiger has earned his way through the ECHL and AHL by playing a grinding, hard-nosed brand of hockey.

With Florida’s top three center spots likely being taken up by Aleksander Barkov, Shawn Matthias, and Marcel Goc he’ll be challenging guys like Drew Shore, Nick Bjugstad, and recently signed Scott Gomez for a spot on the fourth line. With that competition being stiff, it’s possible he’ll wind up back in the AHL.