NEW YORK – The New York Rangers have re-signed defenseman Dale Purinton, who began his professional career with Charlotte of the ECHL.
In his rookie season in 1997-98, Purinton scored eight points (3g-5a) and had 186 penalty minutes in 34 regular season games with Charlotte and 95 penalty minutes in 17 regular season games with Hartford of the American Hockey League.
Selected in the fifth round (117th overall) by the Rangers in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, the 27-year-old Purinton had two points (1g-1a) and 117 penalty minutes in 40 regular season games for the Rangers in 2003-04.
The 6-2 and 220-pound Purinton has appeared in 181 career NHL games for the Rangers, scoring 20 points (4g-16a) while accumulating 578 penalty minutes. In 2002-03, Purinton led the team with 161 penalty minutes and had career highs with three goals, nine assists and 12 points while appearing in a career-best 58 games.
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Purinton has 13 points (5g-8a) and 891 penalty minutes in 169 games with Hartford and in 1999-2000 he set the team record with 415 penalty minutes. Purinton played a key role in Hartford winning the AHL Championship in 2000, registering three assists and 87 penalty minutes while appearing in all 23 postseason games.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2003-04 and every NHL team had an ECHL player play for it in 2003-04. Eleven players, including eight goaltenders, appeared in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04, breaking the high of five players in 2001-02, and a total of 116 ECHL players played in the NHL in 2003-04. There have been 255 players that have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.