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Predators Acquire Veteran Defenseman Witt

March 9, 2006

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ The Nashville Predators acquired veteran defenseman Brendan Witt from the Washington Capitals on Thursday for minor league forward Kris Beech and a first-round pick in this draft.

The 31-year-old Witt has one goal, 10 assists and 141 penalty minutes _ the most of any NHL defenseman_ in 58 games with the Capitals this season. He was a first-round choice by Washington in 1993 and played all 10 NHL seasons for the Capitals.

The deal was completed just before the NHL’s trade deadline and in advance of the Predators’ game at Vancouver on Thursday night.

``He’s an in-your-face stopper type defenseman that can handle weight, and we need a little more bang in the defensive zone, said Predators coach Barry Trotz, who coached Witt in Portland of the AHL in 1996-97. ``We’ve got a young back end with lots of skill, and the one area we wanted to improve upon was the size for the playoffs.″

Beech, who has a goal and two assists in five games with Nashville this season, returns to the Capitals, who picked him seventh overall in the 1999 draft. He played four games for Washington before being traded to Pittsburgh in 2001 as part of the deal for Jaromir Jagr.

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