Richard Park Signs With Penguins

The prodigal son has returned. Sort of.

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The Penguins signed Richard Park to a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced on Wednesday.

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Park, a former second round pick of the Penguins in 1994 (one spot ahead of Patrick Elias), spent last season playing with Swiss side Genève-Servette HC, scoring 34 points in 47 games.

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Park had trouble making his mark while a member of the Penguins, featuring in only 58 games with the Penguins over three seasons and scoring 11 points in the process.

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Park became a journeyman after leaving the Penguins, making stops in Anaheim, Philadelphia and an assortment of minor league teams in between.

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Park finally became an NHL regular with the Minnesota Wild in 2001-02. After three years of solid service with the Wild, he signed with the Vancouver Canucks and then, a year later, with the New York Islanders.

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Park would become the Islanders’ top penalty killer by the time he left, logging over 50 more minutes than the next closest killer on the team in 2009-10. Coupled with putting up 30+ points each season, Park had become a useful checking line forward.

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While Park’s contract is only set to run for a year, and is safe with a two-way structure, Dan Bylsma and co. will probably hope for the Penguins’ one-time prospect to make the team and alleviate some of the pressure placed on the penalty killing unit after Maxime Talbot’s departure.

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Perhaps most notable about Park is that he’s only the second native Korean to reach the NHL. The first was former Penguins defenseman Jim Paek.

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