Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of free agent forward Jeff Halpern to a one-year contract (2010-11). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Halpern, 34, split the 2009-10 season between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Los Angeles Kings playing a combined total of 71 games and recording 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists). He also amassed 39 penalty minutes while averaging 14:30 of time on ice. Halpern fired 71 shots on the opposing goal, scored two powerplay goals and tallied one game-winning goal.

The 6’0 and 203 lbs centreman completed his 10th NHL season in 2009-10. The Kings acquired him from Tampa Bay at the NHL trading deadline on March 3, 2010, in return for centre Teddy Purcell and a third round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Since he first joined the NHL in 1999-00, Halpern has amassed 316 points (131 goals, 185 assists) in 720 regular season games with Washington, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Los Angeles. He totaled 554 penalty minutes, scored 28 powerplay goals and nine shorthanded goals. He also added 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) and 27 penalty minutes in 30 career playoff match-ups.

A native of Potomac, Maryland, Halpern is a graduate of Princeton University in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. In four seasons with the Tigers, he registered a total of 142 points (60 goals, 82 assists). He led the league in goal scoring during the 1997-98 and the 1998-99 seasons. He was named to the ECAC Second All-Star Team both years.