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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 4:20 PM

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

Poile focused on re-signing Weber

With Ryan Suter's departure a thing of the past, Nashville Predators GM David Poile said his full attention now is focused on getting defenseman and team captain Shea Weber to sign a long-term contract with the team.

"Shea is the player we want to build our franchise around," Poile told The Tennessean on Friday. "He's our captain, he's our leader and at some point we would like to enter into a longer term contract with him. That's what our goal is and we'll see over the next little while if we can make that happen."

Weber had career-bests of 19 goals and 49 points last season, and he's averaged at least 16 goals the past six seasons. He won a $7.5 million, one-year contract in arbitration last year, and currently is a restricted free agent again.

However, Poile remains confident the team and Weber can agree on a new deal that keeps the 2003 second-round pick in Nashville for the long haul.

"He believes in us, sees himself as the leader of our hockey club, and I think he, a lot like us, is disappointed with the outcome with Ryan," Poile said. "So having said that, we have to both get back up on the horse and find a way to fill the hole and move forward. Hopefully that will be together. Right now, if you ask me, I think Shea feels that way."

As far as replacing Suter, who signed a 13-year contract with the Minnesota Wild on July 4, Poile said a number of options exist.

"I'm not committed or sold on any one particular type of player or a specific player," he said. "If we were, we might have made that move. We're having talks within our organization, we're having talks with agents and we're having talks with other teams. You have to give it some time."

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 1:06 PM

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

Panthers re-sign Ellerby to one-year contract

The Florida Panthers re-signed defenseman Keaton Ellerby on Friday to a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed, but general manager Dale Tallon confirmed it is a one-way NHL contract.

Ellerby collected five assists in 40 regular-season games for the Panthers last season and was scoreless in one Stanley Cup Playoff game.

"Give him an opportunity. He can skate, he can play, hopefully he's maturing," Tallon said. "It takes a long time for defensemen, longer than forwards. It takes 300 games before most players become top-notch defensemen. We're very patient."

A first-round pick taken by the Panthers at No. 10 in the 2007 NHL Draft, Ellerby has recorded two goals, 17 points and 34 penalty minutes in 120 games over parts of three seasons with the team.

"He's got great feet," Tallon said. "He's able to carry the puck and he's aggressive, he's got size and skating ability. It's just a matter of playing with a little more confidence, that's all."

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 12:52 PM

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

Jets agree to terms with Maxwell, Dekanich

The Winnipeg Jets signed forward Ben Maxwell and goaltender Mark Dekanich to new contracts Friday. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Maxwell, 24, played nine games with the Jets last season. In that time he recorded a goal and five points. He spent the majority of the season with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League, where he recorded eight goals, 25 points and 35 penalty minutes in 43 games played. He also appeared in 15 Calder Cup Playoff games with the club, posting three goals and seven points.

A native of North Vancouver, B.C., Maxwell has played in 47 career NHL games between Montreal, Atlanta, Winnipeg and Anaheim, and has two goals, eight points and 19 penalty minutes. He was originally chosen by the Canadiens in the second round (No. 49) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Dekanich, 26, played five games with the Springfield Falcons last season when he recorded a 1-2-1 record, 4.00 goals-against average and .867 save percentage. Also a native of North Vancouver, B.C., he has played in one NHL game -- a relief effort with the Nashville Predators on Dec. 18, 2010 in which he made 22 saves.

He has played in 127 career AHL games between Milwaukee and Springfield for a 66-40-12 career record, 2.22 GAA and .920 save percentage. He was originally selected by the Predators in the fifth round (No. 146) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 12:48 PM

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

Lightning sign Taormina to two-way contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday signed restricted free agent defenseman Matt Taormina to a one-year, two-way contract.

The 5-foot-9, 190 pound blueliner has recorded four goals and 12 points in 47 career NHL games spanning two seasons, all with the New Jersey Devils. In 30 games with the Devils last season, Taormina had one goal and seven points, and was a plus-6.

Taormina played in 141 games at Providence College, where he didn't miss a game while recording 20 goals and 65 points. The native of Warren, Mich., was undrafted and signed as a free agent by the Devils on Feb. 25, 2010.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 11:40 AM

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

Blues sign Murray to two-way contract

The St. Louis Blues on Friday signed veteran forward Andrew Murray to a one-year, two-way contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Murray, 30, dressed in 39 games for the San Jose Sharks last season, recording one goal and four points. He also appeared in 10 games for their AHL affiliate in Worcester, posting a goal and three points.

The 6-foot-2, 218-pound forward has registered 24 goals and 40 points in 220 games over parts of five NHL seasons with San Jose and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Selkirk, Manitoba native was originally chosen by Columbus in the eighth round of the 2001 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 11:30 AM

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

Coyotes re-sign Chipchura to one-year contract

Kyle Chipchura registered career highs in assists and points last season with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The team re-signed the five-year NHL veteran to a one-year contract Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-2, 205 pound center played 53 games for the Coyotes in 2011-12 and finished with three goals, 13 assists, 16 points and 42 penalty minutes. Chipchura also played in 15 playoff games for the Coyotes, collecting one goal and four points.

"We are very pleased to re-sign Kyle," general manager Don Maloney said. "Kyle is a hard-working, versatile forward who brings toughness and grit to our lineup. We are happy to have him back."

In five NHL seasons with Montreal, Anaheim and Phoenix, the 26-year-old native of Westlock, Alberta has appeared in 216 games, registering 13 goals, 44 points and 161 PIM.

Chipchura was originally chosen by the Canadiens with the 18th pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 7:07 PM

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

Oilers sign Dubnyk, Petry

The Oilers bolstered their depth on the back end with a pair of re-signings Thursday, as the team agreed to two-year deals with goalie Devan Dubnyk and defenseman Jeff Petry. According to the Oilers, Dubynk's deal has an average annual value of $3.5 million per season while Petry's deal has an average annual value of $1.75 million per season.

With Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin about to enter the final season of his current contract, Dubnyk should have the opportunity to take over the starting job full time. In 2011-12, Dubnyk went 20-20-3 in a career-high 47 games, finishing with a 2.67 goals-against average.

Petry played 73 games on the Oilers' blue line last season, finishing with two goals and 23 assists to go with a minus-7 rating.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 7:02 PM

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

Capitals sign Beagle to three-year deal

Forward Jay Beagle will be staying in Washington, as the forward has agreed to a new three-year contract with the Capitals, the team announced Thursday.

In 2011-12, Beagle set career highs with four goals and fiave points in 41 games played. Perhaps more pivotal than his scoring, however, was Beagle's impressive circle in the face-off circle, where he won 57.7% of his draws this past season, the second-best percentage on the team. During the course of the season Beagle was also credited with 66 hits and 23 blocked shots.

Beagle saw his role expand significantly during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as his average ice time of 18:25 per game ranked sixth among forwards on the team after averaging just 11:51 of ice time during the regular season. Beagle finished the playoffs with one goal and one assist as well as 25 hits.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:47 PM

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

Wild re-sign Falk to one-year deal

The Minnesota Wild re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Justin Falk to a one-year, one-way contract Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Falk, a 2007 fourth-round pick of the Wild, had nine points and 54 penalty minutes in 47 games. It was his first full NHL season after playing 25 games in splitting the previous two seasons between the NHL and the AHL.

Falk was sixth among all rookies last season in average ice time per game at 19:29, and was eighth in blocked shots with 78.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:40 PM

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

Flames re-sign restricted free agent Backlund

Promising young center Mikael Backlund, who was a restricted free agent, has re-signed with the Calgary Flames. Terms were not disclosed.

"Mikael has an opportunity to step up and attempt to secure a top-two-line center position with our club," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said. "He is a very talented player who skates well, has excellent vision and possesses a strong skill set. As we have discussed with him, Mikael needs to work on his consistency and his focus in order to break through in a top-six role and start to define his role on our team. We are excited about the level of competition that should exist in camp this fall and we expect Mikael to be in the thick of those battles."

Backlund, a native of Vasteras, Sweden, was selected by the Flames with the 24th pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. Last season he compiled four goals, 11 points and 16 penalty minutes in 41 games. In 138 career games, Backlund has 15 goals and 46 points.

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Quote of the Day

I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on forward Loui Eriksson's potential