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Posted On Tuesday, 07.31.2012 / 4:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Favorite son Emerson brings Cup to Waterford

In the lengthy hockey history of Waterford, Ontario -- located about 80 miles south of Toronto -- roughly 12,000 kids have played hockey in the local minor hockey system. Only one of them has played in the NHL. Monday afternoon, that prodigal son returned to Waterford with a very special guest.

Following a 13-year NHL playing career that ended with the Los Angeles Kings, Waterford's Nelson Emerson served as an assistant coach for three seasons before being named the team's director of player development in 2009.

After Emerson received the Cup on Monday from Kings assistant coach John Stevens, who enjoyed his time with the trophy a few miles away in Simcoe, Ontario, the town of Waterford welcomed the Stanley Cup for the first time.

The Cup's afternoon started at the fire department, where Emerson boarded the town's historic antique fire truck for a ride to the local arena. It was there that about 1,200 locals lined up for a moment with the Cup.

The gathering included former member's of Emerson's 1983-84 midget hockey team, which won the International Silver Stick and Ontario Minor Hockey Association titles. At Emerson's request, that iconic Waterford team reunited around the Cup, where they posed for photos and relived old times.

"That's Nelson," team captain Chris Miles told Jacob Robinson of the Simcoe Reformer. "Nelson knows he came from grassroots and he never forgets."

After an hour at the arena, Emerson enjoyed a private party at his cottage nearby, but his hometown certainly enjoyed a day it won't forget anytime soon.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.31.2012 / 4:04 PM

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

Sabres re-sign Kaleta to multiyear deal

Patrick Kaleta signed a multiyear contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. The Buffalo News reports the deal is for three years, $3.825 million.

Kaleta, who was a restricted free agent, had five goals and five assists in 63 games for the Sabres last season.

The 6-foot-1, 206-pound forward is known more for his ability to antagonize than to score. He had 116 penalty minutes last season, most on the Sabres, and led the team's forwards with 139 hits.

In 267 career games with the Sabres, Kaleta has 26 goals, 24 assists and 434 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Monday, 07.30.2012 / 8:43 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Kompon will celebrate with Cup in St. Louis

Jamie Kompon hasn't worked for the St. Louis Blues for six years.

Yet the assistant coach will take the Stanley Cup to that city after winning it with the Los Angeles Kings.

Hired in July as an assistant for the Chicahgo Blackhawks, Kompon told the team's website his plans for his day with the Cup

"Yes, I was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, but my parents no longer live there," Kompon said. "When I arrived in St. Louis (1997), I didn’t know a soul. When I left in 2006 for Los Angeles, there was a goodbye party for me and 200 people showed up.

"I didn’t think I had that many friends, but everybody who walked through the door, I knew. So, yes, I have a warm spot for St. Louis and that will be where I have my Stanley Cup day on Aug. 6."

Kompon will be working in Chicago for coach Joel Quenneville, his former boss with the Blues. Mike Kitchen, another former St. Louis coach, is on the Blackhawks staff.

Kompon also has a warm spot for his former California home, though the team did not renew his contract.

"I had a wonderful time in Los Angeles, and what we did this spring really did wonders for the sport out there," Kompon said. " ... My wife, Tina, and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary the day we won it all, June 11. I came home that night and there were purple, black and white streamers on our house. I didn’t even realize our neighbors knew what I did for a living, but it was a terrific run."

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Posted On Monday, 07.30.2012 / 5:25 PM

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

Canucks sign forward Desbiens

The Vancouver Canucks announced Monday they have signed right wing Guillaume Desbiens.

The Vancouver Province reports it is a two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the minor-league level.

Desbiens, 27, has played 23 NHL games with the Canucks and Calgary Flames, collecting 37 penalty minutes.

"I know what I can do and they know what to expect from me," Desbiens told the Vancouver Province. "If I have a good enough camp and I mix things up, you never know what can happen. I’m looking to make everybody change their mind and keep me on the team.”

In 2011-12 he split the season with the Flames and the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. He registered 14 points and 114 penalty minutes in 59 games with the Heat, and 25 penalty minutes in 10 games with the Flames.

He was chosen by the Atlanta Thrashers at No. 116 in the 2003 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Monday, 07.30.2012 / 3:04 PM

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

Leafs sign Mark Fraser to one-year deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday that they've re-signed defenseman Mark Fraser to a one-year contract.

Fraser, 25, split the 2011-12 American Hockey League season between the Toronto Marlies and Syracuse Crunch, tallying seven assists, a plus-15 rating and 67 penalty minutes in 45 games. The 6-4, 220-pound player helped lead the Marlies to the 2012 Calder Cup finals, posting three assists and 31 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games.

Fraser was acquired by the Maple Leafs from the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 27, 2012 in exchange for Dale Mitchell.

The native of Ottawa, Ontario, appeared in four games with the New Jersey Devils in 2011-12, collecting 14 penalty minutes. Fraser has played 98 career NHL games, all with the Devils, posting eight points (three goals, five assists) and 86 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Friday, 07.27.2012 / 5:32 PM

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

Flames sign goaltender Irving

The Calgary Flames announced Friday they have signed goaltender Leland Irving to a one-year, two-way contract.

It is worth $687,500 at the NHL level or $207,500 at the AHL level.

Irving played seven NHL games last season and registered his first career win on Dec. 23 in a 3-1 victory at Vancouver. He had a .912 save percentage and a 3.20 goals against average with a 1-3-3 record.

"At last year’s training camp, I was ready to compete for a job, but I had no idea whether I was able to compete at that level. Just because you have success in the American League, it’s a whole other league when you get to the NHL," Irving said, according to the Calgary Sun. "It was only seven games, but that’s a huge stepping stone in my career and for my confidence, in general."

Miikka Kiprusoff is the Flames starting goaltender.

Irving, 24, was a first-round pick (No. 26) by Calgary in the 2006 NHL Draft. He was 30-24-2 for the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League in 2010-11.

"Leland made some great strides last season in attempting to establish himself as being ready to carry the load as the backup goaltender in Calgary," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. "At the same time, in order for us to have the success we want as a team, it will be necessary for our backup goalie not merely to start 20-plus games but also to win more than half those starts. We are pleased to have Leland under contract for the upcoming season and look forward to what should be a hard-fought and spirited battle in training camp between Leland and Henrik Karlsson."

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Posted On Friday, 07.27.2012 / 1:34 PM

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

Jets sign Enstrom to multiyear extension

The Winnipeg Jets announced on Friday the signing of defenseman and alternate captain Tobias Enstrom to a multi-year contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

Enstrom, 28, was second in scoring last season among Jets defensemen, posting six goals and 33 points in 62 games.

The native of Nordingra, Sweden is the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise leader among defensemen in games played (380, sixth most overall), points (204, fourth overall), and assists (172, third overall).

Enstrom’s 32 career goals are one shy of Yannick Tremblay for most goals by a defenseman in franchise history. He still holds the franchise single-season record for most assists by a defenseman with 44 in 2009-10.

He has represented his country in international competition six times, including four games and two assists at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Enstrom was originally drafted by Atlanta in the eighth round (No. 239) in the 2003 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Friday, 07.27.2012 / 12:50 PM

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

Butler's contract bought out by Senators

The Ottawa Senators announced Friday that the club has bought out the remainder of the contract of forward Bobby Butler, which was valid through the end of the 2012-13 season.

A native of Marlborough, Mass., Butler appeared in 94 games over the past three NHL campaigns with Ottawa, tallying 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) and 22 penalty minutes. He was held scoreless in three postseason contests during Ottawa's first-round loss to the New York Rangers.

Butler, 25, was signed by the Senators on March 29, 2010, after completing his collegiate career with the University of New Hampshire.

The Ottawa Citizen reports the cost of the buyout is $400,000, paid to Butler in $200,000 installments over the next two years. Citing CapGeek.com, it says Butler's salary-cap charge will be $50,000 next season and $200,000 in 2013-14.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.26.2012 / 7:18 PM

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

Devils sign defenseman Corrente

The New Jersey Devils reportedly have signed defenseman Matt Corrente and forwards Alexandre Carrier and Phil DeSimone.

General manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed the signings to The Record on Thursday.

Corrente's deal is said to be a one-year, two-way contract worth $525,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the AHL level.

The 24-year-old played 39 games last season for Albany of the American Hockey League. He had two goals, six assists and 73 penalty minutes.

A first-round pick (No. 30) by the Devils in 2006, Corrente has 34 games of NHL experience.

Carrier and DeSimone were signed to AHL contracts, the report says.

Carrier, 21, played last season in Austria.

DeSimone, 25, had 14 goals and 19 assists with Hamilton, Montreal’s AHL affiliate, last season.

Lamoriello also confirmed the Devils earlier re-signed defenseman Mark Fayne.

Fayne, who is recovering from offseason wrist surgery, said he will be ready for the season opener in October.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.26.2012 / 5:20 PM

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

Rangers re-sign defenseman Stralman

The New York Rangers agreed Thursday to a new contract with defenseman Anton Stralman, the team announced. Several reports say it is a two-year deal worth $3.4 million.

The sides had an arbitration hearing scheduled for July 31.

Stralman, who was a restricted free agent, finished with two goals and 18 points in 53 regular-season games and added three goals and six points in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

A seventh-round draft pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005, Stralman, who turns 26 on Aug. 1, has career totals of 13 goals and 92 points in 265 games with the Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and Rangers.

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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense