PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Penguins made their first move designed to provide some protection for No. 1 draft pick Sidney Crosby, signing free agent forward Andre Roy to a $3 million, three-year contract on Thursday.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Roy, a fourth-line left wing for the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04, adds a physical presence that the Penguins have largely lacked for three seasons.

Roy became a free agent because he was a 10-year veteran making less than the NHL minimum salary of $450,000.

Roy has played 310 NHL games with Boston, Ottawa and Tampa Bay and has shown an ability to finish plays as well as being a physical force. He scored 10 goals in 2002-03 with Tampa Bay and had a playoff goal during the Lightning’s Stanley Cup run.

Roy joins former Blackhawks forward Ryan VandenBussche in adding some muscle to what has been a smallish Penguins lineup since they last reached the playoffs in 2000-01. The 205-pound VandenBussche signed with Pittsburgh last summer and will make the league minimum of $450,000.

AP-ES-08-04-05 1744EDT

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