01/04/2012 01:45 EST | Updated 03/05/2012 05:12 EST

Panthers sign veteran Madden

The Florida Panthers have signed veteran centre John Madden to a one-year contract, the team’s general manager Dale Tallon announced Wednesday.

Known for his defensive prowess during his near-decade long career with the New Jersey Devils, Madden last laced up the skates with the Minnesota Wild in 2010-11 NHL season.

He has 867 NHL games under his belt with New Jersey, Chicago and Minnesota and has won three Stanley Cups — two with the Devils (1999-2000 and 2002-03) and one with the Blackhawks (2009-10).

The Panthers have been one of the surprise teams so far in the 2011-12 season. Despite an off-season overhaul, and a new coach in Kevin Dineen, the Panthers lead the Southeast Division and stand third in the Eastern Conference.