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NHL: Future clearer for Lee

Brian Lee spent the weekend battling the flu. This week is off to a much better start. The Moorhead High graduate and former UND defenseman signed a two-year contract Monday with the Ottawa Senators, the team he's been with since turning pro in 2007.

Brian Lee spent the weekend battling the flu.

This week is off to a much better start.

The Moorhead High graduate and former UND defenseman signed a two-year contract Monday with the Ottawa Senators, the team he's been with since turning pro in 2007. Terms of the contract were not immediately disclosed.

Lee, 22, was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1.

"It feels great," Lee said. "Now I don't have to worry about anything but having fun, working hard and playing hockey. . . It takes some of the pressure off."

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Lee played at UND for two years, signing a three-year contract with Ottawa in the summer of 2007. That contract was worth $850,000 annually, the maximum for an entry-level deal.

Lee has split time between Ottawa and the team's American Hockey League affiliate, Binghamton. This season, he has played 18 games in the NHL and 31 in the AHL. He is currently with the big club.

"I think I belong here and I think I belonged here all season," he said. "It was just tough circumstances. I was kind of the odd man out. But this means I just get to worry about playing hockey. I don't have to worry about those outside circumstances anymore."

For his NHL career, Lee has played in 77 games, scoring four goals and adding 13 assists for 17 points.

Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to bschlossman@gfherald.com .

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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