HARTFORD, February 20, 2011: Connecticut Whale general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the team has signed veteran forward Francis Lemieux to a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement.

CT WhaleLemieux, a sixth-year pro, was leading the ECHL in point-scoring with the Florida Everblades, having struck for 28 goals and 44 assists for 72 points in 55 games. He was also second among ECHL players in assists and third in goals, and led the Everblades club in goals, assists and points. Lemieux has also played two AHL games this season with the Manitoba Moose, and was scoreless with no penalty minutes.

Last season Lemieux, a 5-10, 195-pound native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, played 21 AHL games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, scoring two goals and adding eight assists for 10 points with 20 penalty minutes. The 26-year-old Lemieux also played 13 games with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, action in which he had nine goals and three assists for 12 points, along with 43 PIM, and spent four games in Austria with Vienna, scoring one goal and serving six minutes in penalties.

Lemieux has played 251 AHL games in his career, with the Hamilton Bulldogs, Griffins and Moose, notching 45 goals and adding 68 assists for 113 points, with 233 penalty minutes. He won a Calder Cup with the Bulldogs in 2007. In 68 career ECHL contests, Lemieux has 37 goals and 47 assists for 84 points, as well as 130 PIM. Lemieux was originally signed as a free agent by the Montreal Canadiens December 8, 2005, after a four-year Junior career with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior League.

Francis Lemieux

The Whale are back in action tomorrow, Monday, February 21, visiting the Portland Pirates for a 1:00 PM holiday matinee (WTIC HD-2, www.ctwhale.com, www.wtic.com). Connecticut’s next home game is Wednesday, March 2 against the Springfield Falcons at 7:00.

Tickets for all 2010-11 Whale home games are available now at the XL Center box office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at www.ctwhale.com. Tickets start at $7 each at the XL Center ticket office on game day.

For information on Whale ticket packages, group sales and VIP packages, call (860) 728-3366.