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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 / 2:23 PM

By NHL Public Relations -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Senators add Latendresse on one-year deal

The Ottawa Senators have decided to give Guillaume Latendresse a chance to bounce back from his concussion problems, signing the big forward to a one-year deal worth $1.2 million.

Latendresse had spent the past three seasons with the Minnesota Wild following his trade from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Benoit Pouliot. He had a career year with 37 points in 55 games in his first season in Minnesota, but during the past two seasons he has played just 27 games.

Latendresse passed a physical in Ottawa on Sunday after having received clearance from the Wild’s doctors last month, and his contract includes performance bonuses that could boost Latendresse’s total salary to $2 million, according to RDS.

Latendresse said on his Twitter account last week that he wanted to be closer to his four year-old son who lives in Montreal, which is just a two-hour drive from Ottawa.

Should Latendresse be healthy, he is an interesting addition for the Senators that could be able to provide some offense in a third- or fourth-line role.

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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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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:52 PM

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

Whitney signs with Stars

Ray Whitney didn't wait long to pick a new team, and he's staying in the Pacific Division.

The Dallas Stars announced Sunday they have signed Whitney, Phoenix's leading scorer last season, to a two-year contract worth $9 million. Whitney, 40, who led the Phoenix Coyotes with 77 points last season, told TSN the Stars "were the only team that wasn't scared to give me a second year."

"That was pretty much it," he continued. "It was just the term of the deal. Obviously there is a little bit of a red flag at 40, but I think I've got a couple more (seasons) in me."

Whitney won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and has 1,003 points in 1,229 career games. He said he understands why general managers across the NHL would be hesitant to give a 40-year-old a two-year contract, but he also said with modern medicine and the way players take care of their bodies he doesn't see that age as the end of the road for players going forward.

“Ray Whitney was among the most productive players in the league last season and showed he remains extremely capable and dangerous,” Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. “He’s a winner, a competitor and a leader, and we’re very excited he’ll be a Dallas Star.”


Whitney credited Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and the system he played in Phoenix for helping prolong his career.

"Everything has to work. You have to have a coach who believes in you and teammates that can do something with you," Whitney said. "Training is a big part of it, and diet. The older you get, you realize if you lose one of your steps you're never going to gain it back. I'm trying like (heck) to not lose one of those steps."
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:52 PM

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

Wild add forwards T. Mitchell, Konopka

While the Minnesota Wild were pursuing Zach Parise on Sunday, they also added a pair of forwards early in free agency.

Minnesota agreed to terms with Torrey Mitchell on a three-year pact reportedly worth $1.9 million per season and Zenon Konopka on a two-year deal. Mitchell had nine goals and 19 points in 66 games for the Sharks this past season, his second straight campaign with nine goals.

Konopka had three goals and five points in 55 games with the Ottawa Senators. He also had 193 penalty minutes after leading the League in that category in the previous two seasons. Minnesota will be Konopka's fourth team in as many years after stops with Tampa Bay, the New York Islanders and Ottawa.

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I think that’s the sign of a good team. When you don’t play well, and you don’t stay focused and you don’t do the intangibles that it takes, you still win the hockey game.

— New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano after their win vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday
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