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Published: Wednesday, 1/13/2010

Walleye sign ex-Storm player Keefe

Keefe Keefe

Walleye coach Nick

Vitucci is bringing tough guy Adam Keefe back to Toledo.

The organization signed Keefe, a player known to drop his gloves at a moment's notice, yesterday. Keefe had his most productive year as a pro when he played for the Toledo Storm in 2005-06.

"He's a warrior," Vitucci said. "He's the type of player we need."

Despite appearing in just 28 games for the Storm, Keefe led the team with 174 penalty minutes.

"He enjoys being an enforcer. But he's an honest tough guy. He does not jump anyone or take cheap shots," Vitucci said.

Keefe, a 5-10 and 200-pound right winger, started his pro career in Toledo. He scored a career-high 11 goals and added 10 assists. He also played in 11 post-season games and had 50 penalty minutes and scored two goals.

"He's also a very complete hockey player," Vitucci said.

But Keefe, 25, will initially be placed on injured reserve.

Keefe has not played this season because of a shoulder injury. He was invited to the Florida Panthers' NHL tryout camp and played in a handful of preseason games before injuring his shoulder.

"At one point he led the NHL in penalty minutes," Vitucci said.

The injury required surgery and the earliest Keefe will appear in a Walleye uniform will be in February. Keefe took part in practice yesterday.

"He looks great. He's way ahead of where I thought he'd be," Vitucci said.

The native of Brampton, Ont., has appeared in 176 games with three teams in the American Hockey League during his four years as a pro. Keefe has collected 977 penalty minutes. Last season, Keefe had 185 penalty minutes in 41 games for San Antonio.

In a five-year career in juniors, Keefe amassed 975 penalty minutes in the Ontario Hockey League.

Also yesterday, Walleye defenseman David Phillips was recalled to the AHL by Rockford. Phillips appeared in six games with Toledo, collecting one goal and one assist.

- Mark Monroe

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