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Commodore signs with Montreal’s AHL affiliate

Nov 22, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

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Veteran NHL defenseman Mike Commodore has signed a professional tryout offer with Montreal’s AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Commodore, 33, split last season between Detroit and Tampa Bay, registering two assists in 30 games while averaging just over 12 minutes per night. The Lightning didn’t extend Commodore’s contract for 2012-13, making him an unrestricted free agent.

The colorful rearguard has fallen on tough times since signing a five-year, $18.75 million deal with Columbus prior to the 2008-09 campaign.

While his first season in Ohio was successful — he appeared in 81 games, finished second in defenseman scoring and played a key role in the BJ’s first-ever playoff appearance — things went south shortly thereafter.

Commodore saw his playing time steadily decrease until things hit rock bottom in 2010-11. After being made a healthy scratch in seven of eight games by then-head coach Scott Arniel, Commodore requested a trade but was instead put on waivers.

He ended up playing only 20 NHL games that season and 11 with AHL Springfield, meaning he does have some fairly recent experience in the American league. That should serve him well in Hamilton, as the Bulldogs blueline has been decimated by injury as of late and could use Commodore’s presence in the lineup.

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