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Coyotes Retain Rights to Gratton

August 25, 2003

PHOENIX (AP) _ The Phoenix Coyotes signed restricted free agent Chris Gratton to a one-year contract Monday.

Phoenix acquired the 6-foot-4, 225-pound center from Buffalo on March 10 in exchange for center Daniel Briere. The teams also swapped picks in the 2004 draft, with Buffalo acquiring Phoenix’s third-round selection for a fourth-round pick.

Gratton, 28, is a playoff specialist who finished second in the NHL last season in faceoff percentage, winning a career-high 58.6 percent of the time. But he had just one assist in 14 games with Phoenix after leaving Buffalo as the Sabres’ second-leading scorer.

Overall, he finished his 10th season with 15 goals and 45 points in 80 games. It was his sixth season with 40 or more points.

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