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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 6:38 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Lightning sign defenseman Salo

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday reached a two-year agreement with 37-year-old defenseman Sami Salo.

The signing, which reportedly will pay Salo $3.75 million per year, comes as a bit of a surprise considering he has missed an average of 24 games annually since the 2004-05 lockout while dealing with various injuries.

The veteran, who turns 38 in September, just finished a one-year, $2 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks before hitting the free agent market Sunday. He played nine seasons with the Canucks, connecting for nine goals and 25 points in 2011-12 in 69 games.

His departure leaves the Canucks with just a trio of top defensemen -- Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler. Salo will likely figure into the Lightning's top four along the blue line -- so long as he's healthy.

He missed time last season due to groin injuries and a concussion suffered Jan. 7 against the Boston Bruins. He's also torn his Achilles tendon playing floorball and injured his shoulder after colliding with teammate Ville Peltonen for Team Finland during a line change at the 2006 Winter Olympics. He'd win a silver medal that year in Turin.

Salo, usually assigned the opposing team's top players, was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the ninth round (No. 239) in the 1996 NHL Draft. He spent four seasons with the Senators before being traded to the Canucks in September 2002. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Finn has 93 goals and 305 points in 761 career games. He has appeared in 100 playoff games, scoring 12 goals and 31 points.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 6:30 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Leafs sign McClement to two-year deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs have reportedly signed unrestricted free agent center Jay McClement to a two-year contract.

According to Bob McKenzie of TSN.com, McClement, who spent the last two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, will earn $3 million over the next two seasons.

McClement, drafted in the second round (No. 57) by the St. Louis Blues in 2001, has spent seven seasons in the League. He spent five-plus years with the Blues before being traded to the Avalanche in February 2011.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 6:01 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Ducks sign Bryan Allen

It didn't take very long for the Anaheim Ducks to replace Lubomir Visnovsky on their blue line.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun is reporting the Ducks have signed defenseman Bryan Allen to a three-year deal that will pay him $3.5 million annually. The Ducks officially announced the signing Sunday night.

Allen, who turns 32 next month, had a goal, 13 assists and 76 penalty minutes in 82 games for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2011-12. A former first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks (No. 4) in 1998, Allen played for the Florida Panthers from 2006 until being dealt to Carolina in 2011.

In 601 NHL games, Allen has 29 goals, 89 assists and 724 penalty minutes.

Visnovsky was traded to the New York Islanders on June 22 for a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 5:08 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Aucoin signs with Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed veteran unrestricted free agent defenseman Adrian Aucoin to a one-year contract worth $2 million.

"Columbus was the first team to call, which is always nice," Aucoin told the Columbus Dispatch. "A lot of other teams were going after really big fish and waiting to see what happened. But Columbus made it clear that they wanted me and they had a role for me right away."

Aucoin, who turns 39 Tuesday, totaled two goals and nine points in 64 games in his third season with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2011-12, his lowest total since playing in 33 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2005-06.

The Jackets were seeking a veteran presence along the blue line following the trade of Marc Methot to the Ottawa Senators. Aucoin has spent 16-plus seasons in the League with six different clubs. He has 121 goals and 395 points in 1,072 career games.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 4:30 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Parenteau signs four-year deal with Avalanche

PA Parenteau has indeed cashed in following his impressive 2011-12 campaign.

Parenteau, who had 67 points for the New York Islanders last season, has agreed to a four-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche, the team announced Sunday.

TSN reported the deal is worth $16 million.

"P.A. is a skilled winger who will instantly improve our offense," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said in a statement. "He’s a dynamic player who will help our power play and complement our young centers."

Skating alongside John Tavares, Parenteau, a 29-year-old wing, tallied 120 points (38 goals, 82 assists) in two seasons with the Isles.

Parenteau spent a half-dozen seasons in the minor leagues before finally getting a chance to play in the NHL with the New York Rangers. He had three goals and five assists in 22 games for the Blueshirts in 2009-10 before signing with the Islanders that summer as a free agent.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 4:15 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Ponikarovsky signs with Jets

The New Jersey Devils have lost one of their unrestricted free agents.

Forward Alexei Ponikarovsky, who had 18 points in 33 games for the Devils after being acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes, agreed to a one-year, $1.8 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

Ponikarovsky, 32, was Toronto's fourth-round selection (No. 87) at the 1998 NHL Draft. His best season came with the Maple Leafs in 2008-09, when he had 23 goals and 38 assists.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound wing had a goal and eight assists in 24 games for New Jersey in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 4:01 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Defenseman Zanon signs with Avalanche

Defenseman Greg Zanon has signed with the Colorado Avalanche, according to TSN.

The contract reportedly is for two years, $4.5 million.

Zanon, 32, played 56 games for the Minnesota Wild and Boston Bruins last season. He had three goals and five assists.

In 449 career games, he has 12 goals and 44 assists.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 2:58 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Kuba signs two-year contract with Panthers

The Florida Panthers have found a replacement for defenseman Jason Garrison, who is an unrestricted free agent.

Filip Kuba has signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Panthers. The terms of the contract come via Twitter from his agent, Rich Evans.

Kuba, 35, had 32 points and was a plus-26 in 73 games with the Ottawa Senators last season. He played most of the season with Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson as his defense partner. Kuba has 323 points in 792 NHL games dating to the 1998-99 season.

“Filip is an experienced player who adds further depth to our blue line,” general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. “He is a big, strong and responsible, shutdown defenseman who averaged more than 23 minutes of ice time per game last season. We are confident that he will fit very well into our top six and help our power play. We look forward to his contributions to our team.”

Kuba started his career in Florida, but played only 18 games over two seasons before he was traded to the Minnesota Wild. He spent five seasons with the Wild then moved on to play two for the Tampa Bay Lightning before getting traded to Ottawa in the summer of 2008. Kuba spent the past four seasons with the Senators.

He was drafted by the Panthers in 1995 (No. 192).

Florida also added tough guy George Parros on a two-year contract, the team announced. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com and TSN reported the deal has an average annual value of $925,000.

Parros had one goal and four points in 46 games last season for the Anaheim Ducks, but he is known as one of the League's best with his fists. He has 950 penalty minutes in 413 career NHL games over seven seasons.

"George is a physical player who adds toughness to our lineup," Tallon said. "He is a high-character, hard-working player who is respected throughout the League. We look forward to George's contributions to our club both on and off the ice."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 2:57 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Penguins add forwards Glass, Holzapfel

The Pittsburgh Penguins added a pair of depth forwards Sunday afternoon, replacing Arron Asham with Tanner Glass on a two-year deal and Riley Holzapfel on a one-year, two-way pact, the team announced Sunday.

Glass' deal has an average annual value of $1.1 million per season. Known as an agitator, Glass had five goals and 16 points in 78 games -- all career highs -- last season for the Winnipeg Jets. He also had a team-high 248 hits, and will likely slide into Asham's spot on the fourth line after he signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers.

Holzapfel had 16 goals and 37 points in 57 games split between two American Hockey League teams. The 23-year-old was a second-round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:59 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Canadiens sign Colby Armstrong

The Montreal Canadiens beefed up their forward group Sunday by signing Colby Armstrong, who was bought out of the final year of his contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

TSN reported the one-year deal is worth $1 million.

Armstrong, who announced the deal through his Twitter account, has had trouble with injuries the past two years in Toronto with a list of ailments that included a broken nose, broken foot, tendon problem in a finger, concussion, badly sprained ankle and a bout with blurred vision and dizziness.

He played just 79 games the past two seasons combined.

The signing marks the first addition to the roster for new Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin.

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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1