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Penguins acquire defenseman Pauli Levokari from Columbus

February 10, 2004 - American Hockey League (AHL) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Pauli Levokari (pronounced leh-voh-KAHR-ee) from Columbus in exchange for defenseman Brendan Buckley, it was announced today by General Manager Craig Patrick.

Levokari, 25, has appeared in 28 games for the Syracuse Crunch, the Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate (AHL) this season, recording three points (0+3) and 49 penalty minutes.

The 6'7", 249-pound native of Luvia, Finland was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the eighth round (257th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in 45 games with the Crunch last season, recording 10 points (4+6) and 88 penalty minutes after coming to Columbus from the Atlanta Thrashers organization.

Levokari, who was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate, is expected to join the team tomorrow and will be in the lineup when the Penguins (19-20-5-4, 47 points; Sixth-Place, South Division) host the Toronto Roadrunners (20-22-8-2, 50 points; Fifth-Place, North Division) tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.

The first 6,000 fans in attendance will receive a Tomas Surovy Bobble Head Doll, courtesy of Northeastern Pennsylvania Highmark BlueShield.

Buckley, 26, has played in 45 games this season for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording six points (2+4) and 61 penalty minutes.

The 6'1", 205-pound native of Needham, Massachusetts recorded eight points (2+6) and 99 penalty minutes in 80 games last season for the AHL Penguins. It was the second straight season that he appeared in all 80 regular season games.

Buckley has played in 268 career games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 44 points (7+37) and 338 penalty minutes. He is second on the Penguins' all-time list in games played and appeared in a franchise-record streak of 226 consecutive games played from February 17, 2001 to January 10, 2004.

Prior to joining the Penguins, Buckley played in both the United Hockey League and the American Hockey League during the 1999-2000 season. He played in 61 games with the Quad-City Mallards (UHL) registering 11 points (1+10) and 73 penalty minutes. In four games with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (AHL), Buckley was scoreless with six penalty minutes.

He was originally drafted by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the fifth round (117th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

Buckley played four seasons at Boston College (Hockey East) from 1995-1999. He recorded 39 points (4+35) and 306 penalty minutes in 158 career games with the Eagles.

Buckley was signed by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as a free agent on September 28, 2000.

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