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Posted On Tuesday, 09.11.2012 / 5:13 PM

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

Hurricanes sign Welsh to two-year contract

Forward Jeremy Welsh has signed a two-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal will pay Welsh $700,000 on the NHL level or $105,000 at the minor-league level this season. In 2013-14, Welsh will receive $1 million.

"Jeremy is a player we think very highly of," general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. "He is a big man (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) that can play center or left wing, and has really good hockey sense."

Welsh, 23, made his NHL debut for the Hurricanes in the team’s final game of the 2011-12 season. He had 27 goals, 17 assists and 47 penalty minutes in 40 games for Union College last season, ranking first on the team and fourth in the NCAA in goals (27).

Union College reached the Frozen Four, where it lost to eventual runner-up Ferris State.

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Posted On Tuesday, 09.11.2012 / 3:09 PM

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

Jets agree to new deal with Machacek

The Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday announced the club had agreed to terms on a new contract with restricted free-agent right wing Spencer Machacek. Terms of the deal were not released.

Machacek, 23, saw time in 13 NHL games last season, totaling two goals, seven assists -- his first NHL points. He also had 50 points in 61 games with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's Ice Caps.

"I was coming into a new organization last year and the coaching staff probably didn’t know much about me," Machacek told the Winnipeg Sun. "At the end of the year, I showed I could play and I’m looking forward to coming to camp and trying to earn a spot."

Originally selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the third round of the 2007 NHL Draft, Machacek has played 25 NHL games, all with the Atlanta/Winnipeg organization over the past four seasons.

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Posted On Tuesday, 09.11.2012 / 2:00 PM

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

Blackhawks sign Rozsival to one-year deal

The Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday signed defenseman Michal Rozsival to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Rozsival, 34, had 13 points and a plus-8 rating in 54 games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season. He had no points and a minus-3 rating in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Originally selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round of the 1996 NHL Draft, Rozsival has 64 goals, 196 points and a plus-58 rating in 756 games with the Penguins, New York Rangers and Coyotes.

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Posted On Monday, 09.10.2012 / 3:26 PM

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

Eminger re-signs with Rangers

The New York Rangers on Monday re-signed free-agent defenseman Steve Eminger. Terms of the deal were not released, but the New York Post is reporting the contract is for one year at $750,000.

In 42 games with the Rangers last season, Eminger had two goals and three assists while averaging 13:16 of ice time per game. He also saw action in four games in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Originally selected by the Washington Capitals with the 12th pick of the 2002 Entry Draft, Eminger has 19 goals and 77 assists in 453 NHL games with the Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Rangers.

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Posted On Friday, 09.07.2012 / 3:36 PM

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

Report: Holmstrom ponders return, only to Wings

Tomas Holmstrom reiterated Friday he has not decided if he will return to play in the NHL, but if he does, it will only be for the Detroit Red Wings.

"I have not decided what I'm going to do," Holmstrom told the Detroit Free Press.

The 39-year-old forward became a free agent on July 1 after scoring 11 goals in 74 regular-season games last season. He has played his entire career of 1,026 games with the Red Wings and said he will not try to sign with another team.

"Wings it is," Holmstrom told the newspaper's website.

Detroit signed free-agent forwards Damien Brunner, Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo, and could re-sign Justin Abdelkader, which could leave little room for Holmstrom.

The report says Holmstrom's family wants him to continue playing. Earlier this summer, Holmstrom said he was working out with the possibility of returning.

Henrik Zetterberg spoke to Holmstrom recently, according to the Detroit News.

"He's still thinking (about his decision)," Zetterberg said. "He's in great shape last time I saw him."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.06.2012 / 9:35 PM

By Mike Battaglino -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Doan waiting, but has 'deal worked out' with Coyotes

Shane Doan said Thursday he has a "deal worked out" with the Phoenix Coyotes and is simply waiting for Greg Jamison to finalize his agreement to buy the team.

"We have a deal worked out, that we just want to make sure the team gets signed, and everything gets done, and it gets done before the 15th (of September)," Doan said on XTRA 910 AM Radio in Arizona.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.30.2012 / 10:20 AM

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

Penguins re-sign four to one-year deals

The Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday re-signed restricted free agents Eric Tangradi, Brian Strait, Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Grant to one-year, two-way contracts.

Tangradi, 23, had two assists and 16 penalty minutes in 24 games with the Penguins last season, and 15 goals and 16 assists in 37 games with the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Philadelphia native also skated in two Stanley Cup Playoff games against the Philadelphia Flyers, picking up an assist. If the left wing plays in the NHL this season, he'll make $726,000.

In 40 games split over the past three seasons, Tangradi has one goal and four assists.

Strait, 24, played in nine NHL games, picking up one assist, and saw action in three playoff games. He had 16 points and a plus-7 rating in 41 AHL games. If he stays in the NHL this season, he'll make $605,000.

Bortuzzo, a 23-year-old defenseman, made his NHL debut last season, going without a point in six games. He had 12 points and a plus-9 rating in 51 AHL games.

Grant, a defenseman selected in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Draft, had 10 goals and 27 assists in 61 AHL games. Like Bortuzzo, Grant will make $525,000 if they make the NHL team.

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Posted On Monday, 08.27.2012 / 3:50 PM

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

Goalie Lack re-signs with Canucks

Goaltender Eddie Lack has re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks, the team announced Monday.

TSN's Darren Dreger reports it is a two-year contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $85,000 at the AHL level the first year, then $850,000 at the NHL level.

"Soo happy to sign with Vancouver Canucks for another two years," Lack wrote on his Twitter account, according to the Vancouver Sun. "Thanks to everyone involved in the deal."

Lack, 24, played for the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League last season.

The Swede was 21-20-3 with a 2.31 GAA during the regular season, and had a 2.17 GAA in five playoff games.

“Right from day one of his first camp, Eddie came in and surprised everybody and is a very competitive kid who has played very well the last two years,” Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning told the Vancouver Province.

Lack was signed by Vancouver as a free agent on April 6, 2010. He is joined on the Canucks' depth chart by Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo.

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Posted On Friday, 08.24.2012 / 10:08 AM

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

Report: Doan will make decision by Sept. 15

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan will make a decision where he'll play in 2012-13 by Sept. 15, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reported Thursday night.

Doan, who turns 36 in October, became an unrestricted free agent July 1. He has been waiting to see if Greg Jamison can close a deal to purchase the Coyotes. The Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise is the only one Doan has played for since being selected by the Jets in the first round (No. 7) at the 1995 NHL Draft. The power forward has reportedly received multiple offers this summer to play elsewhere.

"Shane is going to sign a contract before the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) expires on the 15th," Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told McLellan. "(Ownership has to) be done before the 15th, otherwise we're signing somewhere because we don't know what the new CBA is going to look like, and I don't know if it's going to limit any scope of a contract, so we want to make sure we sign before then.

"I guess from that respect, time is ticking."

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Posted On Friday, 08.17.2012 / 12:19 PM

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

Predators sign Hannan to one-year deal

The Nashville Predators on Friday signed veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year, $1 million contract.

Hannan, 33, has 197 points (33 goals, 164 assists) and 522 penalty minutes in 908 regular-season games with the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames since entering the League in 1998, one year after he was the Sharks' first-round pick (No. 23) in the NHL Draft.

Hannan had two goals and 10 assists for 12 points in 78 games with Calgary in 2011-12, the 11th consecutive season in which he has played at least 75 games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.15.2012 / 5:12 PM

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

Sharks re-sign Mashinter to one-year deal

The San Jose Sharks on Wednesday re-signed forward restricted free-agent forward Brandon Mashinter to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Mashinter, 23, had 16 goals and 17 assists in 65 games with the Worcester Sharks, San Jose's American Hockey League affiliate, last season. He was second on the team in goals and fourth in points.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound center has 13 games of NHL experience, all with the Sharks in 2010-11, when he went scoreless with 17 penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.14.2012 / 9:06 PM

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

Flames invite Begin to camp on tryout contract

The Calgary Flames announced Tuesday that Steve Begin will attend training camp on a professional tryout contract.

Begin, an 11-year NHL veteran, missed the entire 2011-12 season after hip surgery. He played two games for the Nashville Predators in 2010-11 after appearing in 77 games for the Boston Bruins the previous season.

"Everybody thought I was done," Begin told the Flames' website. "But I love the game so much that I wanted to make a comeback.

"I'm doing everything to get back in shape -- I'm in great shape right now -- and I'll do everything I can to make this team."

Begin played 123 games for the Flames after he was chosen by them in the second round (No. 40) of the 1996 NHL Draft. He had 18 points and 192 penalty minutes.

"I'm coming back to where it all started. It makes it more exciting for me," he said. "I can't wait to go back. I still have a few friends back in Calgary and I know the city so it's going to be great. It makes the opportunity even better."

Begin, 34, also played for the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars. He has 100 points and 539 PIM in 488 career games.

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Posted On Monday, 08.13.2012 / 1:48 PM

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

Avs sign Giguere to extension through 2013-14

The Colorado Avalanche have signed veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere to a one-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season.

Giguere appeared in 32 games during his first season with the Avalanche in 2011-12, posting a 15-11-3 record with a 2.27 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. He finished ninth in the League in GAA and posted the best number by a Colorado netminder since David Aebischer's 2.09 in 2003-04. Giguere's .919 save percentage was also the best by an Avalanche goalie since Aebischer's .924 that same season.

"J.S. provided leadership, stability and a veteran presence to our team last season," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said. "He helped solidify our goaltending position and we are pleased to have J.S. under contract for the next two seasons."

Giguere, 35, has fashioned a 246-206-70 career record with a 2.52 GAA, .913 save percentage and 36 shutouts in 557 NHL games. The Montreal native ranks eighth among active goaltenders in career games (557) and shutouts (36), and is 10th in wins (246).

His 246 career victories tie him with George Hainsworth and Pete Peeters for 46th place on the all-time list. Giguere's 36 shutouts rank 41st in NHL history, and his 557 appearances place him 49th in games played by a netminder.

Giguere backstopped the Anaheim Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship. Four years earlier, he became the fifth player in League history to win the Conn Smythe on a losing team when he led Anaheim to Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, where it lost to the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 5:01 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Devils sign forward Bobby Butler

The New Jersey Devils on Thursday signed forward Bobby Butler to a two-way contract. No other terms of the deal were disclosed.

Butler spent the past two seasons with the Ottawa Senators, producing six goals and 16 points in 56 regular-season games last season. He was scoreless in three Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"He signed a two-way (contract), so we’ll just see what develops, but he has the potential of being a top-six forward," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Record.

Butler, who was undrafted, signed with Ottawa as a free agent on March 29, 2010.

The Senators bought out Butler's contract on July 27, making him a free agent.

"It’s going to be really up to him," Lamoriello said. “He’ll be given every opportunity. He visited and spent some time here and had some other opportunities."

The 6-foot, 185-pound native of Marlborough, Mass., split the 2010-11 season between Ottawa and the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton. He played in all 23 games for Binghamton en route to the team's 2011 Calder Cup Championship.

Butler spent four seasons at the University of New Hampshire, scoring 61 goals and piling up 121 points in 153 games for the Wildcats. As a senior, he was named a Hockey East First Team All-Star and the conference's player of the year after scoring a career-high 29 goals and 53 points in 39 games. With Butler in the lineup, New Hampshire went 87-49-17.

"He also played in Binghamton for (former Devils assistant and AHL head coach) Kurt Klienendorst when they won the Calder Cup, so we know a lot about him there, and also his college coach (Dick Umile) I had at Providence," Lamoriello told the newspaper. "So, we know enough about him."

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Posted On Thursday, 08.02.2012 / 9:14 PM

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

Sabres sign defenseman Biega

The Buffalo Sabres announced Thursday they have signed defenseman Alex Biega to a one-year, two-way contract.

Biega was Buffalo’s fifth-round pick (No. 147) in the 2006 NHL Draft. He played for the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League last season and recorded 23 points in 65 games.

Biega has appeared in 126 career AHL games over two seasons. Biega also played four seasons of college hockey at Harvard.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.02.2012 / 5:16 PM

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

Lightning sign KHL defenseman Korobov

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday signed defenseman Dmitry Korobov to a two-year, two-way contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Korobov, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, played in 82 games with Dynamo Minsk of the Kontinential Hockey League during three seasons, recording two goals and 20 points with 46 penalty minutes.

Korobov played in a career-high 39 games last season, scoring one goal and establishing career highs for assists (10) and points (11).

Korobov, 23, was not chosen in the NHL Draft.

The Tampa Bay Times reports restricted free agent goalie Jaroslav Janus will play in Europe this season. He has not yet signed with a team.

Janus, 22, was 23-8-2 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 34 games last season for Norfolk in the American Hockey League.

Assistant general manager Julien BriseBois told the newspaper the Lightning are still interested in working with Janus, a 2009 sixth-round pick.

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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 / 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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Posted On Thursday, 07.26.2012 / 3:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Flyers keep Jakub Voracek with four-year deal

The Philadelphia Flyers may have missed out on nailing down a big-name defenseman in the free-agent market, but they did land one of their key cogs from last season on Thursday when they signed forward Jakub Voracek to a four-year contract.

The deal reportedly is worth $17 million, according to CSNPhilly.com and other media reports. The 22-year-old restricted free agent, who will likely fill the void left by the departed Jaromir Jagr on the Flyers' top line with center Claude Giroux and left wing Scott Hartnell, will earn $4.25 million annually.

"We are happy to have Jake under contract and look forward to him being a big part of our future," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said.
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Posted On Thursday, 07.26.2012 / 12:39 PM

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

Oilers re-sign Plante, VandeVelde

The Edmonton Oilers announced Thursday they have agreed to terms with defenseman Alex Plante and center Chris VandeVelde on one-year contracts.

Plante, 23, played in 38 games last season with the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League and tallied 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) and 84 penalty minutes while being named to the Western Conference All-Star Team. He also appeared in three games for the Oilers, collecting an assist.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound blueliner was selected in the first round (No. 15) by Edmonton in the 2007 NHL Draft. In 10 career NHL games, he has a pair of assists and 15 penalty minutes.

VandeVelde, 25, had 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 68 games last season with the Barons. He also had six goals and 10 penalty minutes in 14 postseason games. He also appeared in five games for the Oilers in 2011-12 and scored his first NHL goal on March 25 against Columbus. In 17 career NHL games, VandeVelde (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) has a goal and two assists with 14 penalty minutes.

VandeVelde was selected by Edmonton in the fourth round (No. 97) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 6:38 PM

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

Stars sign Jordie Benn

Defenseman Jordie Benn has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Dallas Stars, the team announced Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The older brother of Dallas forward Jamie Benn made his NHL debut last season and had two assists in three games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 6:36 PM

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

Sabres sign defenseman Schiestel

Defenseman Drew Schiestel has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Buffalo Sabres, the team announced Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Chosen in the second round (No. 59) of the 2007 NHL Draft, the 23-year-old has played 156 games in the American Hockey League, with 52 points.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 3:14 PM

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

Canucks, Weise avoid arbitration

The Vancouver Canucks and forward Dale Weise have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for July 27.

The Vancouver Sun reports the deal is worth $615,000.

Weise, 23, had eight points and 81 penalty minutes in 68 games with the Canucks last season. In 78 NHL games with the Canucks and New York Rangers, Weise has eight points and 100 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 2:25 PM

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

Sens re-sign Da Costa to one-year deal

The Ottawa Senators announced Wednesday that the club has re-signed forward Stephane Da Costa to a one-year, two-way contract.

The Ottawa Citizen reports the deal is worth $800,000 at the NHL level or $80,000 at the AHL level.

Da Costa, 23, began the 2011-12 season with Ottawa, tallying five points (three goals, two assists) and eight penalty minutes over 22 contests before being assigned to the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League on Nov. 27. The Paris native played in 46 games with the B-Sens in 2011-12, scoring 13 goals while adding 23 assists for 36 points and accumulating 12 penalty minutes.

"He’s coming out of his entry level deal and he played some games in the National Hockey League, but he had to play in the American league to refine his game and get stronger," Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray said on the team's website. "He still has a ways to go in that department, but we recognize his talent level and his offensive ability with the puck and his vision on the ice. It’s all first class."

Da Costa was signed by the Senators as an undrafted college free agent on March 31, 2011, after two NCAA seasons with Hockey East's Merrimack College. In 67 career collegiate contests with the Warriors, he recorded 30 goals, 60 assists and 83 penalty minutes.

Da Costa is the only French-born player ever to be signed by the Senators. He has represented France at each of the past four IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.25.2012 / 1:37 PM

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

Isles ink McIver to one-year deal

The New York Islanders announced Wednesday that defenseman Nathan McIver has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way deal.

McIver, 27, is entering his eighth professional season. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound blueliner had one goal and 68 penalty minutes in 41 games last season with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.

The Summerside, PEI, native has appeared in 36 NHL contests with the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, notching one assist and 95 penalty minutes. The Canucks selected McIver in the eighth round (No. 254) of the 2003 NHL Draft.

In 345 career AHL games with the Manitoba Moose and Providence, McIver has 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) and 814 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 5:36 PM

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

Maple Leafs sign Aucoin, Gysbers

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed forward Keith Aucoin and defenseman Simon Gysbers to one-year contracts, the team announced Tuesday.

The Toronto Star reports Aucoin will make $650,000 at the NHL level or $350,000 at the AHL level.

Aucoin, 33, split the 2011-12 season between the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. He had three goals, eight assists and a plus-4 rating in 27 games with the Capitals. He also appeared in 14 playoff games for Washington, collecting two assists.

Aucoin played 41 AHL games, ranking second with 59 assists and tied for fourth with 70 points. He was named an AHL First Team All-Star.

Gysbers, 25, played 68 games for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL in 2011-12, posting five goals and 24 assists and a plus-13 rating. He ranked first among Marlies defensemen in goals, assists and points in the regular season.

The Toronto Star reports Gysbers will make $600,000 at the NHL level or $90,000 at the AHL level.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 1:59 PM

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

Predators sign Wilson to new three-year deal

The Nashville Predators on Tuesday signed restricted free-agent forward Colin Wilson to a three-year, $6 million contract. The new deal will pay the team's 2008 first-round pick $1.5 million in 2012-13, $2 million in 2013-14 and $2.5 million in 2014-15.

Wilson, 22, had a career-best 35 points last season, playing 68 games. His 15 goals were one off the personal-best 16 he had in 2010-11 while playing all 82 games.

The seventh pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, Wilson has 39 goals and 45 assists in 185 regular-season games, all with the Predators.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 12:14 PM

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

Carolina extends Harrison through 2015-16 season

The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday signed defenseman Jay Harrison to a three-year contract extension that will pay him $1.5 million per season beginning in 2013-14.

"Jay has developed into a consistent, steadying presence for our defense," general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. "He is capable of providing both physicality and offense, and we are happy to now have him under contract for the next four seasons."

Harrison, 29, ranked first among Hurricanes defensemen in goals (nine) in 2011-12 and set career highs in goals, assists (14) and points (23) while playing 72 games. The Oshawa, Ontario, native ranked second on the team in blocked shots (132) and was the Hurricanes' nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which honors sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication to the game of hockey. He was selected by the Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association as the winner of the Josef Vasicek Award (formerly "Good Guy Award") for media cooperation.

Chosen by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round (No. 82) of the 2001 NHL Draft, Harrison has totaled 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points along with 200 penalty minutes in 202 regular-season NHL games with Toronto and Carolina. The Hurricanes signed Harrison as a free agent on July 9, 2009, and he has 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) in 182 games with Carolina.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 11:12 AM

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

Hurricanes re-sign Boychuk to two-way contract

The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday announced that restricted free agent forward Zach Boychuk was signed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

The deal will pay Boychuk $625,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 in the American Hockey League in the 2012-13 campaign.

Boychuk, who will certainly battle for a roster spot out of training camp in September, split the 2011-12 season between Carolina and the team's AHL affiliate in Charlotte. The 2008 first-round pick (No. 14) produced two assists in 16 NHL games last season, and has seven goals and 18 points in 72 career games. He led the Checkers with 21 goals, and ranked third among Charlotte skaters with 44 points in 64 AHL games.

Prior to turning professional, Boychuk, 22, skated in 237 regular-season games over four seasons with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, totaling 110 goals and 271 points. He won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championship, serving as an alternate captain in the '09 World Juniors.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 2:40 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Versteeg agrees to four-year deal with Panthers

Kris Versteeg can finally look forward to spending some time in the same place.

The 26-year-old forward, who went from Chicago to Toronto to Philadelphia to Florida in the space of a year after winning the Stanley Cup with the Hawks in 2010, agreed to a four-year deal worth $17.6 million with the Panthers.

"It's been a bit of a whirl for the last two years," he said Monday during a media conference call. "Security was the No. 1 thing for me, and playing in Florida was the No. 1 thing for me. It all came down to wanting to be in Florida -- I've loved my time here and I'm excited to get going again and try to win the Stanley Cup with the Florida Panthers."

The deal enabled the two sides to avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday.

Kris Versteeg
Right Wing - FLA
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 54
SOG: 181 | +/-: 4
"Sometimes you have to keep negotiating right to the bitter end," general manager Dale Tallon said during a conference call when asked about the arbitration process. "It happens a lot -- you really don't want to go to arbitration, and we decided we didn’t want to. It made sense for both sides."

Said Versteeg: "I think we both got a fair deal and we're both excited about what the future of the franchise can be. I was confident we were going to get something done."

Versteeg, who was acquired by Florida from Philadelphia on July 1, 2011, is coming off the best season of his career, scoring 23 goals and adding 31 assists for 54 points in 71 games to help the Panthers win the first division title in franchise history. He had his first career hat trick in November and was part of Florida's top line along with Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann.

"I loved playing with those guys," Versteeg said. "They made me a better player."

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 2:36 PM

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

Predators re-sign Sergei Kostitsyn

The Nashville Predators on Monday signed restricted free agent left wing Sergei Kostitsyn to a two-year contract worth $6 million.

The Predators avoided losing Kostitsyn, an unrestricted free agent, last summer when they signed him to a on a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Kostitsyn, 25, finished with 17 goals and 43 points in 75 games in his second season with the Predators in 2011-12.

Kostitsyn has totals of 64 goals and 161 points in 307 career games.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 12:28 PM

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

Hurricanes re-sign Bowman to two-year contract

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed left wing Drayson Bowman to a two-year contract. The deal will pay Bowman $600,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the AHL level in 2012-13. He will be paid $600,000 in 2013-14.

Bowman, 23, split the 2011-12 season between the Hurricanes and Charlotte of the American Hockey League. With Carolina, Bowman established NHL career highs in goals (six), assists (seven), points (13) and games played (37), earning the majority of his NHL playing time in the second half of the season. He added 13 goals and 26 points in 42 games with Charlotte.

Chosen by Carolina in the third round (No. 72) in the 2007 NHL Draft, Bowman has registered eight goals and 16 points in 69 career NHL games with the Hurricanes. He has appeared in 149 career AHL games with Albany and Charlotte, totaling 42 goals and 88 points.

Bowman, who was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., andraised in Littleton, Colo., played junior hockey for Spokane of the Western Hockey League prior to turning professional, notching 242 points (130 goals, 112 assists) in 265 games and helping the Chiefs capture the 2008 Memorial Cup championship.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 12:06 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Jets agree to terms with Maxime Macenauer

The Winnipeg Jets on Monday agreed to terms with restricted free-agent forward Maxime Macenauer on a new contract. No terms were disclosed.

Macenauer, 23, had one assist in nine regular-season games with Winnipeg's American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in a trade on Feb. 13, 2012. He also suited up for 10 Calder Cup playoff games with the IceCaps, scoring one goal.

He began the season with the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim's AHL affiliate, where he played 13 games and scored four goals with two assists, along with two penalty minutes. The Laval, Quebec, native made his NHL debut with the Ducks last season, scoring a goal and adding three assists for four points in 29 games, along with 18 penalty minutes.

Macenauer has played in 101 AHL games between Syracuse and St. John's; he has 17 goals, 22 assists and 69 penalty minutes.

He was selected by Anaheim in the third round (No. 63) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.22.2012 / 3:53 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Fistric signs one-year deal with Stars

The Dallas Stars on Sunday signed defenseman Mark Fistric to a one-year, $1.475 million contract.

Fistric, 26, skated in 60 games for Dallas last season, posting two assists and 41 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the team in hits (235), third in blocked shots (105), earned an even or plus rating in 48 of 60 contests, and was one of only 17 NHL defensemen to win a faceoff in 2011-12.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Edmonton native is entering his sixth NHL season, all as a member of the Stars. He has played 257 games, scoring three goals and adding 20 assists for 23 points with a plus-16 rating and 220 penalty minutes.

Fistric was Dallas' first-round selection (No. 28) in the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 5:21 PM

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

Reports: Doan visits with Flyers, Rangers

Free agent forward Shane Doan has visited with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, according to multiple reports.

Philly.com says Doan's latest visit was with the Flyers on Saturday. The website said the sides have mutual interest, but the meeting was described as Doan "just checking his options."

Doan has expressed his interest in remaining with the Coyotes, for whom he has played his entire career, but the team could leave Phoenix pending resolution of its ownership situation.

"I've made no bones about the fact that I want to go back to Phoenix if the situation works out," Doan said Thursday.

Arizonasports.com reported Friday that Doan met with the New York Rangers. The 35-year-old forward was in New York City to take part in collective bargaining negotiations between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association.

The New York Daily News said it was Doan's first official visit of free agency.

Doan said Thursday he is accepting contract offers but not actively seeking them.

"I don't want to put anybody in a situation where they feel like if they impress me I'll come," he said. "Until I make my decision, I don't want to force anybody's hand."

Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told Buffalo television station WKBW that Doan has no other visits scheduled and is heading home to Kamloops, B.C.

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Posted On Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 4:15 PM

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

Report: Fistric signs one-year deal with Stars

Defenseman Mark Fistric and the Dallas Stars reportedly have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

The Dallas Morning News reports the deal is worth $1.45 million.

Fistric had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 1.

The 26-year-old played 60 games for the Stars last season. He has played parts of five seasons for Dallas after he was chosen in the first round (No. 28) in the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Friday, 07.20.2012 / 8:45 PM

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

Report: Fayne re-signs with Devils

Defenseman Mark Fayne reportedly has re-signed with the New Jersey Devils, avoiding arbitration.

ESPN.com says the contract is for two years, $2.6 million.

Fayne's arbitration hearing was scheduled for Aug. 2. He had surgery to repair a ligament in his left wrist in June and could be out of action until November.

The 25-year-old played all 82 regular-season games, totaling 17 points. He played in all of the Devils' 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games and had three points with a plus-5 rating.

Fayne, selected in the fifth round (No. 155) of the 2005 NHL Draft, played 57 games in his rookie season of 2010-11.

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Posted On Friday, 07.20.2012 / 4:07 PM

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

Hurricanes sign forward Samson

Forward Jerome Samson has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced Friday.

The deal will pay Samson $600,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the AHL level, with a guarantee of at least $175,000.

Samson, 24, split the 2011-12 season between the Hurricanes and Charlotte Checkers of the AHL.

He had two goals and three assists in 16 NHL games. He was second on the Checkers with 20 goals.

Samson was signed by Carolina as an undrafted free agent in July 2007.

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Posted On Friday, 07.20.2012 / 12:08 PM

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

Ducks sign Winnik to two-year deal

The Anaheim Ducks announced Friday that they have signed center Daniel Winnik to a two-year contract through the 2013-14 NHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register is reporting it is worth $3.6 million.

Winnik, 27, has appeared in 366 career NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks, tallying 37 goals and 64 assists with 187 penalty minutes.

"I was hoping to stay out West, just with the familiarity of playing all the teams. More so, the Pacific Division, having been there for three years and ending it with San Jose (last season)," Winnik said on a conference call. "I have always loved the West Coast and have been out there for so long now. ...

"There is really no adjusting time to people you are playing in your division. If I was to switch over to an Eastern Conference team, I’d have to get used to the playing style and the team systems."

Winnik appeared in a League-leading 84 games with Colorado and San Jose last season, scoring eight goals and 15 assists. Winnik's 84 games played were the most in the NHL since Sean Avery played 84 in 2006-07 with the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers.

Winnik was acquired by San Jose as part a five-player trade on Feb. 27, 2012 and went on to record three goals and two assists in 21 regular-season games with the Sharks. The 6-2, 210-pound center made his second career appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012 with San Jose, earning an assist in five games.

Selected by Phoenix in the ninth round (No. 265) of the 2004 NHL Draft, Winnik has played 12 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with Phoenix (2010) and San Jose, earning one assist.

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Posted On Friday, 07.20.2012 / 11:26 AM

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

Oilers, Gagner settle on one-year deal

The Edmonton Oilers and center Sam Gagner have agreed on a one-year, $3.2 million contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for Friday.

"It's obviously a long process but … I'm really excited it's over with," Gagner told the Oilers' website. "Arbitration is something you want to avoid if you can. I'm just happy something got done and I'm signed up for next year."

Gagner, 22, set a career-high last season in goals (18) and was a plus-5, the first time in his five seasons he had a positive plus/minus.

The highlight of his season came Feb. 2, when he had four goals and four assists in the Oilers' 8-4 win against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was the first eight-point NHL game since Mario Lemieux on Dec. 31, 1988, and Gagner joined Lemieux as the only players to score eight points in a game with one on each of his team's goals.

Gagner said there had been talks for a longer-term contract, but for now, he said he and the club are happy with this deal.

"I think at the end of the day this kind of worked out for the best," he said. "I think there's still an opportunity to stay in Edmonton long term. I need to have another good year this year and continue to solidify myself as a good NHL player and reach new levels. I'm excited about that opportunity and excited to get going next year."

Taken by the Oilers with the sixth pick of the 2007 NHL Draft, Gagner has 77 goals and 143 assists in 366 NHL games.

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Posted On Friday, 07.20.2012 / 10:50 AM

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

Leafs, Kulemin avoid arbitration

The Toronto Maple Leafs and left wing Nikolai Kulemin have agreed to a two-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for July 26.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but CBC and TSN reported Kulemin's contract will pay him $2.8 million per season.

Kulemin had seven goals and 21 assists in 70 games last season, a drop-off from the career-best 30 goals he had in 2010-11.

A 2006 second-round pick of the Leafs, Kulemin has 68 goals and 84 assists in 308 games over four NHL seasons, all with Toronto.

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Posted On Friday, 07.20.2012 / 12:45 AM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Oshie signs five-year deal with Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues and T.J. Oshie avoided an arbitration hearing Friday after agreeing to a five-year, $20.875 million contract late Thursday night.

The 25-year-old Oshie, who is coming off of career highs in goals (19), assists (35), points (54) and games played (80), was a restricted free agent who made $2.35 million on a one-year contract in 2011-12. He was the Blues' first-round pick (No. 24) in the 2005 NHL Draft. His 54 points were tied for the team lead last season.

"We're obviously excited to have T.J. under contract as he enters the prime of his career and to know that we'll have him through that portion," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "It's very rewarding and we think he's a big piece of our team from last year and he's a big piece moving forward."

St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie, who is coming off a 54-point season, avoided arbitration Friday by signing a five-year deal with the club. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Blues and Oshie were set to have an arbitration hearing Friday at 10 a.m. ET, when both sides would have presented their respective cases for a contract, which would be either a one- or two-year term of the team's choice. A deal between the two sides at some point leading up to the hearing always seemed like the most likely end result.

"Arbitration is just a tool that both sides have available to them," Armstrong said. "It's just a piece of the process. We exchange briefs and we get an idea where each side is coming from. I think everyone's comfortable with the business side of it that you try not to have any hangover of emotion based on an arbitration hearing.

"We knew today at 9 a.m. (CT), we were going to put T.J.'s fate in someone else's hands and we both decided it was best to try and see if we can work out something together."

After playing in only 49 games during a 2010-11 season that included some off-ice issues, the Blues gave Oshie a one-year deal to prove himself. Oshie proved worthy of a long-term commitment with a solid season that helped the Blues to the second-most points in franchise history with 109. Adding veteran coach Ken Hitchcock also was a catalyst in Oshie's success.

"We certainly thought he had a good, productive season last year," Armstrong said of Oshie. "A lot of the things that we were looking for as far as consistency on the ice, the ability to play 80 games was there. I also think with the coaching change, I think he embraced the new coach and someone with Ken's experience obviously he became a valuable player for our franchise with the amount of ice time he got. He and David Backes mirror each other. We know what David means to our team, so I just felt knowing Ken was here and knowing what T.J. means to the team and how he's coached by Ken just made it a natural movement to get him signed for a longer term as possible and we were able to do that."

Add this contract to the recent signing of David Perron to a four-year deal, and the Blues now have a good portion of their core group under contract for the long term. Defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk will be restricted free agents after the 2012-13 season and are likely the next targets for long-term deals.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.19.2012 / 5:08 PM

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

'Canes agree to terms with Tim Wallace

The Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to terms with forward Tim Wallace on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Wallace $700,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the minor-league level.

"Tim is a versatile forward and played well with Tampa Bay to finish the year," Ron Francis, Carolina's vice president of hockey operations, said in a statement Thursday. "He has a good amount of pro experience and should challenge for a spot with the Hurricanes in training camp."

Wallace, 27, split the 2011-12 season between the New York Islanders and the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring three goals and adding six assists for nine points in 49 games. All three goals and five of the six assists came in 16 games with the Lightning after Tampa Bay claimed him on waivers from the Islanders on Feb. 23.

After playing four years of college hockey at Notre Dame, Wallace signed with Pittsburgh in the fall of 2006 and played five seasons in the Penguins' system before signing with the Islanders as a free agent last summer. Wallace has scored three goals and earned eight assists for 11 points in 79 career NHL regular-season games with Pittsburgh, the Islanders and Tampa Bay. He has 84 goals and 157 points along with 307 penalty minutes in 328 AHL regular-season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.19.2012 / 8:38 AM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Weber agrees to 14-year deal with Flyers

Nashville Predators All-Star defenseman Shea Weber has agreed to an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers announced the signing in a release Thursday morning.

TSN's Darren Dreger, who first reported the story, says the deal is for 14 years and more than $100 million. Those terms were not confirmed in the club's press release.

Nashville has a week to decide whether to match the offer. If they Predators opt not to do so, it is believed they will receive a package of four first-round draft picks from the Flyers, although compensation depends on the annual average value of the contract. The Flyers' first-round pick has been no higher than No. 20 in each of the past four drafts.

Dreger reported Nashville was working on a trade and it's believed several deadlines passed before the Flyers grew tired of waiting and Weber -- a restricted free agent -- signed the offer sheet.

Weber, the runner-up for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, has one year remaining before he's eligible for unrestricted free agency. He turns 27 on Aug. 14 and is coming off a season in which he scored 19 goals and added 30 assists for 49 points. He was a First-Team All-Star for the second straight season and barely lost the Norris to Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.

Weber has played his entire NHL career with Nashville, which picked him in the second round (No. 49) in the 2003 NHL Draft.

The signing comes just two weeks after the Predators lost their other All-Star defenseman, Ryan Suter. He signed a 13-year, $98 million contract with the Minnesota Wild on July 4.
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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 8:01 PM

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

Islanders sign defenseman Wishart

Defenseman Ty Wishart has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with the New York Islanders, the team announced Wednesday.

Wishart, 24, had five goals and 14 assists with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League last season. He appeared in one game with the Islanders.

A first-round pick (No. 16) of the San Jose Sharks in the 2006 NHL Draft, Wishart was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 2, 2011 in exchange for Dwayne Roloson.

In 26 NHL games with the Lighting and Islanders, he has one goal and five assists with a plus-5 rating and 10 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 7:05 PM

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

Coyotes re-sign defenseman Summers

The Phoenix Coyotes announced Wednesday that defenseman Chris Summers has accepted his qualifying offer and agreed to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Summers played 21 games for the Coyotes last season, recording three assists. He also played 28 games with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.

Summers, 24, was chosen by the Coyotes in the first round (No. 29) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 3:32 PM

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

Wings ink Quincey to 2-year deal, avoid arbitration

The Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Kyle Quincey have agreed on a two-year contract that will keep the sides from taking part in a scheduled arbitration hearing. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, but TSN is reporting Quincey will be paid $3.55 million in 2012-13 and $4 million in 2013-14.

The hearing had been scheduled for July 25.

Quincey was acquired by the Red Wings on Feb. 21 as part of a three-team trade that saw Quincey go from Colorado to Detroit, Steve Downie go from Tampa Bay to Colorado, and a prospect and a 2012 first-round pick go from Detroit to Tampa Bay.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 2:49 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Senators re-sign Jim O'Brien

The Ottawa Senators on Wednesday re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jim O'Brien to a two-year contract that the team says is worth $1.275 million, an average annual value of $637,500.

"It’s nice to have a contract, but I’m looking at it like any other year," O'Brien told the Ottawa Citizen. "I have a lot to prove to myself and my teammates."

O'Brien split the 2011-12 season between Ottawa and the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. After scoring seven goals and adding seven assists for 14 points in 27 games at Binghamton, he was called up by the Senators on Feb. 3. O'Brien scored three times and added three assists for six points in 28 games. He scored his first NHL goal in Ottawa's 6-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 15.

The 23-year-old also played in each of the seven playoff games of Ottawa's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers. His lone point was an assist on Kyle Turris' game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 on April 18.

"He showed the rest of our young guys in the organization that if you work had and you’re a good citizen and do what we ask you to do in Binghamton, we will certainly call you up and give you a chance," assistant general manager Tim Murray told the newspaper.

The native of Maplewood, Minn., was Ottawa's first-round pick (No. 29) in the 2007 NHL Draft, He has six points in 34 NHL games and 78 points in 183 games at the AHL level, where he helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.

The Senators also announced they have signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year, two-way contract.

Gryba, 24, spent last season with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. He established career highs in goals (five), assists (15) and games (73), and recorded 98 penalty minutes.

"He made big strides last year ... so we just expect him to get better and better,"  Murray told the newspaper. "I believe he can come to training camp and compete for a job at the (NHL)."

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 1:48 PM

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

Bruins sign Aaron Johnson

The Boston Bruins signed defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Wednesday. Johnson's contract is worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

Johnson (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) skated in 56 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011-12, tallying three goals and setting NHL career highs with 13 assists and 16 points, and collecting 16 penalty minutes.

In 2010-11, the 29-year-old played in 72 games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League after signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Nashville Predators. He recorded AHL career highs in goals with nine, assists with 26 and points with 35, recording a plus-10 rating and adding 70 penalty minutes.

The 2009-10 season saw Johnson split time between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, when he recorded a combined four goals, six assists and 35 penalty minutes in 41 games.

Johnson has played in 281 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Oilers, Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders, tallying 17 goals and 45 assists for 62 total points, with 217 penalty minutes.

The Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia native was selected by Columbus in the third round (No. 85) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 12:59 PM

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

Maloney willing to wait on Doan

Shane Doan could be the most desirable free agent left on the market, but he appears to be in no rush to make a decision.

Teams now appear willing to wait -- among them the Phoenix Coyotes, the franchise for which Doan has played every game of his NHL career.

Doan has expressed a desire to re-sign with the Coyotes, but is hesitant to do so while ownership questions remain.

Coyotes GM Don Maloney told the Arizona Republic that he doesn't mind waiting on Doan, believing it still "may be weeks" until Doan picks a team.

However, he remains confident that when Doan does make a decision, it will be to stay in Phoenix.

"I still remain confident that we will be able to sign Shane," Maloney said. "Nothing has changed in that respect. We still have regular communication despite everything you see and read."

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 8:57 PM

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

Predators GM would be interested in Doan

The Nashville Predators would be "very interested" in Shane Doan should he decide to leave the Phoenix Coyotes, general manager David Poile told The Tennessean on Tuesday.

"First of all, I’m hoping the Phoenix situation gets resolved and he can stay there and finish his career in Phoenix," Poile said to the newspaper. "If he decides it’s not a fit for him and would like to pursue other opportunities, the Predators would be very interested."

Doan, an unrestricted free agent, is waiting to see if the team will stay in Arizona under new ownership. It is believed several teams have an interest in the 35-year-old forward.

Poile, whose team lost defenseman Ryan Suter when he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild this offseason, said he has started negotiations with defenseman Shea Weber.

"It’s ongoing and hopefully we’ll talk later in the week," Poile said. "I would say (we discussed) everything about the Predators, where we are and where we’re going and what part Shea has with that."

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 7:59 PM

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

Panthers sign three players

The Florida Panthers announced Tuesday they have signed center James Wright to a two-year contract and defenseman Mike Caruso and goalie Brian Foster to one-year contracts.

Wright, 22, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 2, 2011. He appeared in 54 games for San Antonio of the American Hockey League last season, recording 28 points. He was selected in the fourth round (No. 117) of the 2008 NHL Draft by Tampa Bay.

Caruso, 24, played in 68 games with San Antonio last season, registering 13 points. He was chosen by Florida in the fourth round (No. 103) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Foster, 25, played in 12 games with San Antonio, going 4-6-0 with a 3.64 GAA. He made his NHL debut on Feb. 4, playing five minutes at Tampa Bay, making one save. He was selected by Florida in the fifth round (No. 161) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 7:30 PM

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

Predators sign goalie Smith

Goalie Jeremy Smith has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal is worth $660,000 at the NHL level or $65,000 at the AHL level.

The 23-year-old restricted free agent played for the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League last season. He was second in the league in wins (31) and shutouts (five) and posted a 2.17 goals-against average.

He was selected by Nashville in the second round (No. 54) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 6:43 PM

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

Islanders sign former draft pick Clark

The New York Islanders announced Tuesday that Jason Clark has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract.

Clark, 20, appeared in 35 games over two seasons at the University of Wisconsin.

The Islanders selected Clark in the third round (No. 82) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He also played two seasons at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 6:32 PM

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

Kings sign four to one-year deals

The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Thomas Hickey, forward Stefan Legein, forward David Meckler and defenseman Jake Muzzin to one-year contracts, the team announced Tuesday.

Hickey, 23, had 26 points in 76 regular-season games with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League last season. His plus-16 rating led the team. Hickey served as a captain for Team Canada when it won the gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Championship. He was selected in the first-round (No. 4) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

Legein, 23, recorded 14 goals and 11 assists in 63 regular-season games with the Monarchs last season. Five of his goals were shorthanded. Legin was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second-round (No. 37) of the 2007 NHL Draft and acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Meckler, 25, recorded 10 goals, seven assists and a plus-10 rating in 44 regular-season games with the Monarchs in his fifth season in Manchester. Meckler was selected by the Kings in the fifth-round (No. 134) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Muzzin, 23, established career highs in goals (seven), assists (24), points (31), penalty minutes (40) and games played (71) for the Monarchs last season. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth-round (No. 141) of the 2007 NHL Draft and signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on Jan. 4, 2010.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 10:58 AM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Sabres sign Tarnasky and Brennan

The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent forward Nick Tarnasky and defenseman TJ Brennan on one-year contracts. No financial terms were disclosed.

Tarnasky, 27, joins the Sabres after spending a season in the Kontinental Hockey League playing for Vityaz Chekov. In his KHL season, Tarnasky scored five goals and added seven assits for 12 points, along with 173 penalty minutes in 36 games. The native of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the ninth round (No. 287) of the 2003 NHL Draft. In 245 games during parts of five NHL seasons with Tampa Bay, the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers, Tarnasky has 13 goals and 30 points, along with 297 penalty minutes.

Brennan was the Buffalo Sabres' second-round pick (No. 31) in the 2007 NHL Draft. After spending the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League, Brennan scored a goal in his NHL debut on Nov. 23, 2011 vs. Boston. The Willingboro, N.J., native appeared in 11 games for the Sabres in 2011-12.

Brennan finished the 2011-12 season with 16 goals, 30 points and 39 penalty minutes in 52 games for Rochester of the AHL. His 16 goals were a career high and were tops among all Americans defensemen.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 10:10 AM

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

Report: Jets, Kane working on long-term deal

Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets are working on a long-term contract that could keep the 20-year-old star forward with the franchise for at least six more years, according to a report from Gary Lawless in Tuesday's editions of the Winnipeg Free Press. Kane's entry-level contract expired after this past season.

Lawless reports that contract negotiations are moving along with the hope that a deal will be in place before training camp. A report on July 24 said the deal would be worth $29 million.

The two contracts reportedly being used as comparables are John Tavares' six-year, $33 million contract with the New York Islanders and Phil Kessel's five-year, $27 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Tavares signed his contract this past season; Kessel is entering the fourth year of his deal.

Both Tavares and Kessel were coming off their entry-level contracts when they signed those deals.

Kane, the No. 4 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, has improved his production in each of his first three seasons. He put up career-bests in goals (30), assists (27), points (57), shots on goal (283) and plus/minus (plus-11) last season. He had 26 points as a rookie in 2009-10 and 43 points the following season.

Lawless also reports that if for some reason the Jets and Kane are not able to agree on a long-term deal, they more than likely would look for a deal in the neighborhood of two years and $5.75 million, which would match the terms of Logan Couture's contract with the San Jose Sharks. Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal recently completed playing under a contract with the same term and money, but will start a five-year, $30 million contract in 2012-13.

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Posted On Monday, 07.16.2012 / 3:48 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Blues re-sign Porter, Peluso and Sonne

The St. Louis Blues on Monday re-signed forwards Chris Porter, Anthony Peluso and Brett Sonne to one-year, two-way contracts. No financial terms were disclosed.

Porter's deal is worth $650,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the AHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Porter appeared in a career-high 47 games for the Blues last season, scoring four goals and adding three assists for seven points. The 28-year-old has played in 98 NHL regular-season games, all with the Blues, scoring eight goals and adding eight assists for 16 points along with 27 penalty minutes. The Toronto native was chose by the Chicago Blackhawks in the ninth round (No. 282) of the 2003 NHL Draft and was signed by the Blues as a free agent on Aug. 21, 2007.

Peluso, 23, played in 61 games for the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, last season, scoring four goals and five assists for nine points along with a team-leading 159 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward was selected by the Blues in the sixth round (No. 160) in the 2007 NHL Draft.

Sonne, 23, played in 70 games for the Rivermen last season, scoring eight goals and adding nine assists for 17 points along with 40 penalty minutes. He was selected by the Blues in the third round (No. 85) in 2007.

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Posted On Monday, 07.16.2012 / 3:44 PM

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

L.A. signs King to two-year deal

The Los Angeles Kings signed forward Dwight King to a two-year contract, the team announced Monday. The Los Angeles Times reports the deal is worth about $1.5 million.

King, who turned 23 earlier this month, had 14 points (five goals, nine assists), 10 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating in 27 regular-season games in 2011-12. He was recalled by the Kings from Manchester of the American Hockey League on Feb. 10 after tallying 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists), 20 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating in 50 regular-season games.

During the Kings' 2012 run to the Stanley Cup championship, King (6-foot-3, 234 pounds) collected five goals, three assists, 13 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating. He ranked tied for first in goals scored during the postseason and tied for second in postseason game-winning goals (two) amongst rookies in 2012. Four of his five postseason goals were scored against Phoenix in the Western Conference Finals.

Selected by the Kings in the fourth-round (No. 109) in the 2007 NHL Draft, King has 14 points (five goals, nine assists), 12 penalty minutes and a plus-1 rating in 33 career NHL regular-season games -- all with the Kings.

With King officially on board, every player who appeared for Los Angeles during the 2012 postseason is signed for next season.

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Posted On Monday, 07.16.2012 / 1:18 PM

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

Sens sign Nathan Lawson to one-year deal

The Ottawa Senators announced Monday that the club signed goaltender Nathan Lawson to a one-year, two-way contract.

Lawson, 28, spent the 2011-12 campaign with Hamilton of the American Hockey League. In 44 games with the Montreal Canadiens' affiliate, he posted a record of 19-17-4 with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage, recording five shutouts.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs, the Calgary native spent the previous three seasons in the New York Islanders organization, playing primarily with the Islanders' AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He made his NHL debut with the Islanders during the 2010-11 campaign and posted a record of 1-4-2 over 10 games with New York that season.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound goalie has played in four professional seasons, including 10 NHL games with the Islanders and 127 AHL games with Bridgeport and Hamilton. Undrafted, he played three seasons with the Western Collegiate Athletic Association's University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves from 2004-05 to 2006-07.

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Posted On Monday, 07.16.2012 / 11:59 AM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Oilers re-sign Theo Peckham

The Edmonton Oilers on Monday re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Theo Peckham to a one-year contract. The Edmonton Sun reports it is worth $1.075 million.

Peckham, a third-round pick (No. 75) by the Oilers in the 2006 NHL Draft, had a goal and a pair of assists along with 80 penalty minutes in 54 games last season. He has four goals, 17 points and 382 PIM in 156 career games in parts of four seasons.

He was one of seven restricted free agents to receive qualifying offers from the Oilers after also making $1.075 million last season, according to CapGeek.

"It's a relief," he told the team's website. "I understood I was coming off not the greatest year, so -- it wasn't necessarily 'take what you can get,' but both sides are happy. There was a little discussion back and forth, but I think for the most part it worked out best for both sides."

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Posted On Monday, 07.16.2012 / 10:37 AM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Canadiens re-sign Blake Geoffrion

Blake Geoffrion, the fourth generation of his family to play with the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL, will be with the team for another season after signing one-year contract Monday.

RDS reports it's a two-way deal that will pay him $803,250 in the NHL.

Geoffrion, a forward who is the great-grandson of Howie Morenz and grandson of Bernie Geoffrion, was acquired in a trade from the Nashville Predators for defenseman Hal Gill late last season and scored twice in 13 NHL games with Montreal. He had three assists in 22 games with the Predators before the trade after putting up six goals and eight points with Nashville following a call-up in 2010-11.

"Contract is done, now time to focus on the season. Happy to be back with the habs where it all started for my family," Geoffrion said via his Twitter account.

The former University of Wisconsin star, who won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in the NCAA in 2010, was taken in the second round (No. 56) by Nashville in 2006.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.15.2012 / 7:07 PM

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

Report: Green rejects Caps' qualifying offer

CSNWashington.com is reporting defenseman Mike Green has rejected the Washington Capitals' one-year, $5 million qualifying offer, but is expected to continue negotiating with the team. Green had until 5 p.m. ET on Sunday to either accept or reject the offer.

By rejecting the offer Green becomes a restricted free agent.

Green, 26, had three goals and four assists in just 32 regular-season games due to a nagging groin injury. He had two goals and two assists in 14 playoff games.

He's been plagued by injuries the last two seasons, playing a total of just 81 games.

Capitals GM George McPhee said Saturday that the qualifying offer deadlines didn't faze him, and believes he will be able to negotiate new deals for Green and fellow restricted free-agent defenseman John Carlson.

"I think we've had healthy discussions with both players and there are deals to be made there," McPhee told CSNWashington.com. "I think that's something we'll get done sooner than later and they will be deals we can live with and they can live with."

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Posted On Friday, 07.13.2012 / 6:04 PM

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

Hurricanes sign Terry to two-year deal

Forward Chris Terry has signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced Friday.

Terry will receive $525,000 at the NHL level or $90,000 at the AHL level, with a guarantee of $105,000, in the first year. In the second year, he will receive $525,000 in the NHL or $105,000 in the AHL.

Terry, 23, led the Charlotte Checkers with 59 points (16 goals, 43 assists) in 2011-12. In three American Hockey League seasons, he has 67 goals and 103 assists in 235 games.

He was selected by Carolina in the fifth round (No. 132) in the 2007 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Friday, 07.13.2012 / 5:30 PM

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

Wellwood returning to Jets

The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms Friday with forward Kyle Wellwood on a new contract. The Winnipeg Free Press reports it is a one-year deal worth $1.6 million.

"Originally I was searching for more years (on his deal) and the Jets offered me a two-year deal, but after thinking about it I just felt most comfortable with a one-year deal," Wellwood said in a conference call, according to the newspaper. "To have this out of the way and be able to come into an environment I already know and have some familiarity, I’m really excited."

Wellwood, 29, played in 77 games with the Jets last season, recording a career-high 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists), good for fifth on the team, and four penalty minutes.

The Windsor, Ontario, native has played in 450 career NHL games between Toronto, Vancouver, San Jose and Winnipeg, posting 86 goals, 220 points and 34 career penalty minutes.

Wellwood was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round (No. 134) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

The Jets also announced Friday they have signed defenseman Paul Postma. The Free Press reports it is a one-year, one-way contract worth $550,000.

Postma, 23, played in 56 games with the St. John’s IceCaps last season. His 44 points (13 goals, 31 assists) led the team's defensemen. He had 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 15 Calder Cup playoff games.

The team also signed forward Ben Maxwell and goaltender Mark Dekanich. Maxwell played six games for the Jets last season. Dekanich played five games for the Springfield Falcons.

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Posted On Friday, 07.13.2012 / 4:25 PM

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

Stars give Larsen two-year deal, sign Fortunus

The Dallas Stars announced Friday they have agreed to terms on new contracts with defensemen Philip Larsen and Maxime Fortunus.

Larsen, 22, receives a two-year contract through 2013-14 worth $2.05 million ($900,000 first year; $1.15 million second year). Fortunus, 28, was signed to a one-year, two-way contract.

Larsen skated in 55 games for the Stars last season, posting three goals and 11 points. His plus-11 rating was tied for the lead among Dallas defensemen. The Esbjerg, Denmark native scored his first career NHL goal against Minnesota on Jan. 21, becoming the first Danish-born blueliner to accomplish that feat since Vancouver's Poul Poupiel in 1971-72.

Larsen has played 63 NHL contests over parts of three seasons. Of players who have skated with the Stars in each of the past three seasons, he is one of four who has earned a cumulative plus-10 rating or better (plus-13).

The 6-foot-0, 183-pound defenseman competed in this year’s IIHF World Championship where he had two assists in seven games for Denmark. He also posted a team-leading 23 shots in the tournament, and had the highest time-on-ice per game of anyone on Denmark's National Team (25:05).

Fortunus, 28, has spent the past three seasons with the AHL's Texas Stars and appeared in eight NHL games with Dallas during the 2009-10 season. Last season with Texas, Fortunus appeared in 60 games and collected six goals and 20 points.

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Posted On Friday, 07.13.2012 / 4:09 PM

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

Holmstrom says he'll play only for Wings

Forward Thomas Holmstrom said Thursday if he returns to the NHL it will be with the Detroit Red Wings.

Holmstrom, 39, is deciding whether to return for his 16th season or retire.

Reports out of his home country Sweden said Holmstrom would consider playing for someone other than the Red Wings. He told the Detroit News that is not the case.

"It's playing in Detroit, or nowhere else," he said.

The newspaper said Holmstrom is training as if he is going to return, but he has not made a decision. He is expected to talk with general manager Ken Holland within the next two weeks.

"I appreciate Kenny giving me this time to think about things," Holmstrom said. "I'm training, I'm working out. But a lot of it depends on my health, my knees."

Holmstrom has 243 goals and 287 assists in 1,026 games, all with Detroit.

The Red Wings have acquired forward Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo this offseason.

UPDATE: The Detroit Free Press reported on July 27 that the Red Wings and Holmstrom are expected to talk when Holland returns to Detroit next week.

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Posted On Friday, 07.13.2012 / 1:54 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Canadiens re-sign Diaz to two-year contract

The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed Swiss defenseman Raphael Diaz to a two-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Diaz, 26, completed his first season with the Canadiens in the NHL in 2011-12, scoring three goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 59 games, along with 30 penalty minutes, averaging 18 minutes of ice time per game. Diaz blocked 102 shots, ranking third among rookie defensemen in the NHL. He missed the team’s last 16 games of the season due to a season-ending groin injury.

A native of Baar, Switzerland, Diaz was part of the All-Rookie Team at NHL All-Star Weekend.

He first signed with the Canadiens as a free agent on May 13, 2011.

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Posted On Friday, 07.13.2012 / 9:56 AM

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

Penguins sign Ferriero to two-way contract

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Benn Ferriero to a one-year contract, a two-way deal worth $700,000 at the NHL level.

Ferriero, 25, has spent parts of the past three seasons playing for the San Jose Sharks, including 35 games in 2011-12, when he tallied seven goals and eight points. Ferriero also appeared in 20 games last year with Worcester, the Sharks' American Hockey League affiliate, amassing nine goals and 20 points.

A native of Boston, Ferriero played in 92 career NHL regular-season games with San Jose, totaling 14 goals and 22 points. Ferriero also played in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games, with his lone point the overtime goal in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings.

Selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the seventh round (No. 196) of the 2006 NHL Draft, Ferriero has appeared in 121 career regular-season AHL contests, notching 44 goals and 103 points. He has added five goals and seven points in 19 postseason games.

Ferriero spent four years playing for Boston College of the Hockey East between 2005-09. Ferriero, who was a member of the Eagles’ 2008 NCAA national championship team, totaled 64 goals and 139 points in 165 career games. He made back-to-back Hockey East All-Tournament Teams in '06-07 and '07-08.

Ferriero has represented the United States several times internationally, including at the 2005 World Under-18 Championship, where he led the Americans to a gold medal. Ferriero's younger brother, Cody, was chosen by San Jose in the fifth round (No. 127) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 6:47 PM

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

Bonino gets two-year deal from Ducks

Center Nick Bonino and the Anaheim Ducks will avoid arbitration with the sides agreeing to a two-year contract worth $1.4 million.

Bonino, 24, played 50 games last season for the Ducks, getting five goals and 13 assists. He has 20 points in 85 career games, all with Anaheim.

His arbitration hearing was scheduled for Aug. 3.

Bonino was selected in the sixth round (No. 173) by the San Jose Sharks in the 2007 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 4:12 PM

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

Coyotes sign forward Nick Johnson

Right wing Nick Johnson has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, the team announced Thursday.

Johnson played 77 games for the Minnesota Wild last season. He had career highs in goals (eight), assists (18), points (26) and penalty minutes (45).

In 87 career NHL games with Minnesota and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Johnson has 10 goals, 21 assists and 52 PIM.

Johnson, 26, was chosen by the Penguins in the third round (No. 67) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 3:39 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Sharks re-sign Galiardi, McLaren, McCarthy

The San Jose Sharks on Thursday re-signed forwards TJ Galiardi and Frazer McLaren to one-year contracts and John McCarthy to a two-year deal. They also signed free-agent forward Jonathan Matsumoto to a one-year deal. No financial terms were disclosed.

Galiardi played 69 games for Colorado and San Jose in 2011-12, scoring nine goals and adding six assists for 15 points along with 53 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound native of Calgary was originally selected by Colorado in the second round (No. 55) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

McLaren played seven games for San Jose last season, going scoreless with nine penalty minutes. In 20 games with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League, he had one assist and 73 penalty minutes. He is the all-time leader in Worcester Sharks history with 490 penalty minutes.

In 39 career NHL games, McLaren has six points (one goal, five assists), a plus-5 rating, and 85 penalty minutes. He was taken by the Sharks in the seventh round (No. 203) in the 2007 NHL Draft.

McCarthy, a seventh-round choice (No. 202) by the Sharks in 2006, appeared in 10 games for San Jose last season. He led the Worcester Sharks in goals (20) and points (47) while playing in 65 games. The 25-year-old has appeared in 51 career NHL games with San Jose over three seasons, scoring two goals and adding two assists with 18 penalty minutes.

Matsumoto, 25, appeared in one game for the Florida Panthers last season after being acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 18 for A.J. Jenks. At the AHL level, he combined to produce 60 points, including 23 goals, in 76 games with Charlotte and San Antonio.

In 2010-11, Matsumoto had two goals in 13 games with Carolina. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 1 at Philadelphia and scored his goals two nights later against the New York Islanders.

Matsumoto has 124 goals and 281 points in 392 regular-season games at the AHL level. He has 10 goals and 28 points in 41 AHL Calder Cup Playoff games. The Ottawa native was selected by the Flyers in the third round (No. 79) in the 2006 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 3:38 PM

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

Stars sign Bachman, Sceviour

The Dallas Stars announced Thursday they have signed goaltender Richard Bachman to a one-year, one-way contract worth $625,000. The club also signed forward Colton Sceviour to a one-year, two-way deal.

Bachman, 24, posted an 8-5-1 record with a 2.77 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 18 games with Dallas last season. Bachman earned a win in his NHL debut on Dec. 10, 2011 at Los Angeles, and recorded his first career NHL shutout on Dec. 12, 2011 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder became the first rookie goaltender in Dallas Stars history to win his first three NHL starts, and the first to start seven consecutive games.

Bachman, who avoided an arbitration hearing by signing this deal, represented the United States for the first time in his career at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, stopping 17 of 19 shots en route to a win over Kazakhstan in his only appearance at the tournament.

Originally selected in the fourth round (No. 120) by Dallas in the 2006 NHL Draft, Bachman spent two seasons at Colorado College before making his professional debut with ECHL Idaho during the 2009-10 season. Bachman was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and finished as runner-up for the ECHL Goaltender of the Year award.

Bachman spent two partial seasons and one full season (2010-11) with the Texas Stars, Dallas' affiliate in the American Hockey League. In 78 career games with Texas, Bachman posted a 39-29-6 record with a 2.37 GAA and nine shutouts.

Sceviour, 23, has spent the past three seasons with Texas and appeared in one NHL game with Dallas during the 2010-11 season. Last season with Texas, Sceviour finished third on the team with 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 75 games played.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 10:47 AM

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

Arbitration hearings to begin next week

Fourteen restricted free agents were set to have salary arbitration hearings in Toronto from July 20-Aug. 4.

Here are the players still set to go to arbitration as of July 20, as released by the NHL Players Association:

Dallas: Mark Fistric -- Aug. 1

Florida: Kris Versteeg -- July 23

Nashville: Sergei Kostitsyn -- Aug. 2

New Jersey: Mark Fayne -- Aug. 2

N.Y. Rangers: Anton Stralman -- July 31

Ottawa: Kaspars Daugavins -- July 24

Toronto: Nikolai Kulemin -- July 26

Vancouver: Dale Weise -- July 27

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 10:34 AM

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

Canadiens sign Palushaj

The Montreal Canadiens on Thursday signed restricted free-agent forward Aaron Palushaj to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Palushaj, 22, had a goal and four assists in 38 games with the Canadiens last season, and 15 goals and 20 assists in 35 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens' American Hockey League affiliate.

The offensive production was his first in the NHL after going without a point in three games in 2010-11.

A 2007 second-round pick of the St. Louis Blues, he was acquired on March 2, 2010, in exchange for forward Matt D'Agostini.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 10:05 AM

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

Mueller signs one-year deal with Panthers

The Florida Panthers on Thursday signed 24-year-old free-agent center Peter Mueller, who was not given a qualifying offer by the Colorado Avalanche, to a one-year contract. RDS reports the deal is worth $1.725 million.

Mueller had seven goals and 16 points in 32 games with the Avs last season, missing 50 games due to a groin problem as well as post-concussion issues. He sat out all of the 2010-11 season due to a concussion. In 254 regular-season games for Phoenix and Colorado, he has 55 goals and 88 assists for 133 points.

Florida general manager Dale Tallon hopes Mueller, a right-handed shot, can stay healthy and provide offensive depth -- the Panthers struggled to score beyond the big first line that usually featured Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss.

“Peter is a young and talented forward who is a former first-round draft choice,” Tallon said in a statement. “He is a skilled player with an offensive upside who will help our power play.”  

The Phoenix Coyotes chose Mueller with the eighth pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, and he scored 22 goals and 54 points as a rookie in 2007-08. He dropped to 13 goals and 36 points in 2008-09 and managed only four goals and 17 points in 54 games the following season before being dealt to the Avs at the trade deadline.

Mueller was an immediate hit with his new team, scoring nine goals and 20 points in 15 games, before missing the rest of the season with a concussion. Despite the injury, he was given a two-year contract by Colorado -- only to suffer another concussion during training camp that forced him to sit out the entire 2010-11 season.
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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 9:44 AM

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

Neil gets 3-year extension with Ottawa


The Ottawa Senators announced Thursday the club had signed forward Chris Neil to a three-year contract extension.

Financial terms of the deal were not released, but the Ottawa Sun reported the contract is worth $5.75 million, broken down as follows: $2 million in 2013-14, $2 million in 2014-15, and $1.75 million in 2015-16.

Neil will make $2 million next season on his existing contract. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.

"This is where I was drafted. This is where I want to be," Neil told the team's website.

"To finally get something done -- we've been talking for a little bit now -- it's a great feeling. It worked out for both sides, the team and myself, and I'm really excited about it. I like the direction the team is going and I want to be a part of it."

Neil, 33, had 13 goals, 15 assists and 178 penalty minutes for the Senators in 2011-12.

In 731 NHL games, all with Ottawa, he has 90 goals, 100 assists and 1,861 PIM.

"To be a part of an organization and to be a part of it for your whole career ... there's something to be said about that," Neil said. "There's loyalty from the player and the team. Ottawa has been unbelievable to me. They gave me an opportunity to play (in the NHL) and I try to go out and play as hard as a I can, game in and game out, and try to do my best to help the team win. That's what they appreciate about me and I look forward to doing more of the same."

The Senators announced Tuesday that defenseman Tyler Eckford has signed a two-year, two-way contract.

Eckford, 26, spent last season with the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League.
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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 5:55 PM

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

Bruins sign Exelby, MacDermid

The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Garnet Exelby and forward Lane MacDermid to one-year, two-way contracts, the team announced Wednesday.

Exelby’s contract is worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $130,000 at the AHL level. MacDermid’s contract is worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level.

Exelby spent the 2011-12 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League after signing with the Detroit Red Wings as an unrestricted free agent on July 5, 2011. In 75 games, he had seven goals, 14 assists and 177 penalty minutes with a plus-8 rating.

The 30-year-old has played 408 career NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers and Toronto Maple Leafs. He has seven goals and 43 assists with 584 PIMs.

MacDermid appeared in five games with Boston during the 2011-12 season. The 22-year-old also played for the AHL Providence Bruins, where he had four goals, 12 assists and 121 PIMs in 69 games.

Thursday the team announced it had signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $62,500 at the AHL level.

Bartkowski, 24, played the first three games of last season with the Burins before being sent to Providence, where he had 22 points in 50 games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 5:26 PM

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

Ducks sign goalie Andersen

Goaltender Frederik Andersen has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks, the team announced Wednesday.

The 22-year-old appeared in 39 games for Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League last season, posting a 1.67 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.

The native of Denmark was selected by Anaheim in the third round (No. 87) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 4:57 PM

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

Segal agrees to terms with Rangers

Free agent forward Brandon Segal has agreed to terms with the New York Rangers, the team announced Wednesday.

Details of the contract were not released.

Segal played 10 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season.

He also played 61 games with the Rockford IceHogs and Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, registering 18 goals, 18 assists and 69 penalty minutes.

Segal, 28, has played 102 NHL regular-season games over four seasons with the Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars. He has 11 goals, 11 assists and 83 PIMs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 4:17 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Caps sign Wolski to one-year deal

The Washington Capitals have signed left wing Wojtek Wolski to a one-year contract. The team didn't release financial terms, but the Washington Post reports the deal is worth $600,000.

Wolski, 26, had four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 31 games with the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers in 2011-12. He was acquired by Florida from New York on Feb. 25, 2012, in exchange for defenseman Mike Vernace and a third-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"I definitely think I can help on the offensive side," Wolski said on a conference call with reporters, according to The Washington Times. "I struggled the last two years. I'm definitely highly motivated, very excited and very hungry at this point in time and I look forward to the opportunity to be able to play with great players. I think it's going to be a very positive year."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward has 95 goals and 163 assists for 258 points and is plus-16 in 424 regular-season NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, Rangers and Panthers.

Wolski was selected by Colorado in the first round (No. 21) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

He registered career highs in goals (23), assists (42) points (65) and games played (80) and tallied four goals and one assist in seven playoff games during the 2009-10 season with Colorado and Phoenix. In 29 career playoff games, Wolski has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points.

The Zabrze, Poland, native participated in the 2007 NHL YoungStars game with new Capitals teammate Mike Green.

The Capitals also announced Wednesday they have re-signed center Zach Hamill, who played 16 games for the Boston Bruins last season. He was acquired in a trade for Chris Bourque on May 26.

Hamill had eight goals and 13 assists in 41 games for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League in 2011-12.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 3:38 PM

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

Hurricanes sign Gragnani to two-way contract

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free-agent defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to a one-year contract.

It's a two-way deal that will pay him $800,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

"Marc-Andre was in the NHL all of last season, and will push for a job with us in the fall," said Ron Francis, Hurricanes vice president of hockey operations. "He has good size and has shown the ability to produce offensively both in the AHL and the NHL."

Gragnani, 25, split the 2011-12 season between the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, totaling two goals, 15 points and 26 penalty minutes in 58 games. The Montreal native played 44 games with the Sabres and had a plus-10 rating prior to being dealt to the Canucks along with Zack Kassian in exchange for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer on Feb. 27.

Selected by the Sabres in the third round (No. 87) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Gragnani has appeared in 73 career NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver, registering three goals and 18 points.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 8:18 PM

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

Stars GM expects Morrow to be on team

Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said Tuesday he expects captain Brenden Morrow to be with the team next season.

Morrow reportedly has become a trade target of the St. Louis Blues, among other teams.

Nieuwendyk addressed those rumors to the Dallas Morning News.

"We had a good talk the other day, and I told him I very much believe there’s a place for him on this team," Nieuwendyk told the newspaper. "I told him I fully expect him to be out there on the power play in front of the net where he’s always been."

The St. Louis Post Dispatch earlier reported the Blues had interest in Morrow for a possible trade. The newspaper mentioned the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings as other teams that could be interested.

Morrow said he plans to be with the Stars next season.

"You asked me: Do I want to be a Dallas Star, and the answer is definitely yes," Morrow said. "If they want to trade me or they indicate to me that they don’t want me, then obviously I don’t want to be there or stand in their way. But, until they say that they want to trade me or ask me to waive my no-trade clause, then I’m excited to be on the team and I’m ready to get going next season."

Morrow, 34 in January, has one year remaining on his contract. The forward was limited by injuries to 57 games last season -- he had 11 goals and 15 assists. In 2010-11, he scored 33 goals playing all 82 games.

"I feel good where we are right now, but I also know things change," Morrow said. "Right now, I’m just focused on me and my health. I figure if I take care of that, everything else will work out fine."

The Stars added free-agent forwards Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr and traded for Derek Roy this summer. They have traded away forwards Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott.

The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that Roy needs shoulder surgery and could be sidelined until November.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 4:18 PM

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

Veteran forward Barch signs with Devils

The New Jersey Devils have agreed on a contract with free-agent forward Krystofer Barch. The (Bergen) Record is reporting it's a two-year deal worth $750,000 annually.

A six-year NHL veteran, Barch split last season between the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers, posting two goals, five points and 114 penalty minutes in 51 games.

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Stars on July 18, 2006, the 32-year-old has career totals of 12 goals, 31 points and 669 PIMs in 304 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 1:10 PM

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

Langenbrunner returns to Blues on one-year deal

The St. Louis Blues have re-signed forward Jamie Langenbrunner to a one-year deal.

Langenbrunner will turn 37 this month. Last season, his first with the Blues, he had six goals and 18 assists in 70 games.

"We are excited that Jamie has agreed to stay in St. Louis," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "His professionalism and leadership both on and off the ice are invaluable assets for our club."

Langenbrunner has won two Stanley Cups during his 16 NHL seasons -- in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 12:57 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Could Stars' Morrow be trade candidate?

St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong has admitted to being active in trade discussions, and one of his targets could be Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the Blues could be one of a few teams interested in Morrow, who the Stars could make available for the right price.

Morrow, 33, had the worst statistical season of his career in 2011-12, with 11 goals and 15 assists while playing 57 games due to neck and back issues. It's a big slide from 2010-11, when he had a career-best 33 goals.

In 806 NHL games, all with the Stars, Morrow has 237 goals (78 on the power play) and 280 assists, with seven 20-goal seasons and two 30-goal seasons. However, he's played at least 70 games just four times in the past seven seasons.

The Stars this summer have added free-agent forwards Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, and with Morrow entering the last season of his contract, Dallas could be looking at moving him.

Armstrong and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock know Morrow well. Armstrong worked in the Stars' front office when Morrow was drafted and was general manager when the team named him captain in 2006. Hitchcock was Morrow's coach in his first three NHL seasons.

However, the newspaper reports the Blues aren't the only team that could be interested in Morrow, naming the Rangers, Sharks and Kings as other possible suitors.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 9:39 AM

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

Lightning sign Purcell to three-year extension

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Tuesday the club has signed right wing Teddy Purcell to a three-year contract extension. Financial terms of the deal, which runs through the 2015-16 season, were not released.

Purcell was entering the last season of a two-year contract and would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.

Purcell set career highs last season in goals (24), assists (41) and points (65) while playing 81 games for the second straight season. He led the team with a plus-9 rating, was second in assists and power-play goals (eight), and third in goals and points.

He had an 11-game point streak from Feb. 21-March 8, and played for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, finishing with two points in eight games.

"I felt like the past two seasons I’ve really played to my strengths, which have helped me become a full-time NHL player with Tampa Bay," Purcell told the Lightning's website. "I really don’t think there is a better fit for me and I still believe I can get better every day, so I’m looking forward to remaining with the Lightning and taking my game another step."

After playing parts of three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, Purcell joined the Lightning on March 3, 2010 in a trade and quickly earned a full-time NHL job. In 181 games over the past three seasons with the Lightning, Purcell has 44 goals and 82 assists.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 9:17 AM

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

Rangers sign veteran Halpern to one-year deal

The New York Rangers have signed veteran center Jeff Halpern to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Halpern, 36, had four goals and 12 assists in 69 games with the Washington Capitals last season. He was second among the team's forwards in shorthanded ice time per game at 1:44

In 12 NHL seasons with the Capitals, Stars, Lightning, Kings and Canadiens, Halpern has 146 goals and 212 assists in 861 games.

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Posted On Monday, 07.09.2012 / 6:30 PM

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

Center Hanson signs with Bruins

Free agent center Christian Hanson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Boston Bruins, the team announced Monday.

The contract is worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

Hanson, 26, played last season for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League after signing with the Washington Capitals as a free agent. He had 10 goals, 11 assists and 42 penalty minutes in 52 games.

He played the prior season with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. In 58 games, he scored 13 goals with 21 assists and 51 penalty minutes.

In 42 NHL games over three seasons -- all with the Toronto Maple Leafs -- he has three goals, six assists and 22 penalty minutes. He most recently played during the 2010-11 season.

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Posted On Monday, 07.09.2012 / 1:55 PM

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

Canucks re-sign Raymond

The Vancouver Canucks on Monday re-signed forward Mason Raymond, avoiding an arbitration hearing. Terms of the deal were not released, but TSN is reporting it's a one-year, $2.275 million contract.

The 26-year-old left wing had 10 goals and 10 assists in 55 regular-season games. He missed the first two months of the season recovering from a broken vertebrae suffered in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

A 2005 second-round pick of the Canucks, Raymond has 70 goals and 86 assists in 328 regular-season games, and 16 points in 51 playoff games.

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Posted On Monday, 07.09.2012 / 11:34 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Doan ready to start figuring out his future

After putting his future on hold for more than a week, longtime Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan is ready to figure out where he wants to play next season and beyond.

Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told the Arizona Republic that 11 teams have expressed an interest in signing Doan, an unrestricted free agent whose priority has always been to return to the Coyotes. However, Doan wanted to wait until at least Monday to start his negotiation process because that is when he hopes to gain more clarity on the situation surrounding Greg Jamison's bid to buy the Coyotes.

Jamison has been approved by the NHL. A 20-year lease agreement between the City of Glendale and Jamison was approved in a 4-2 vote by the city council on June 8, and subsequently held up in Maricopa County Superior Court by Judge Dean Fink 20 days later. However, two Glendale residents have been trying to gather signatures in an attempt to push the lease agreement onto the ballot in November.

According to the Arizona Republic, it is not clear if the required number of signatures has been gathered or if the residents will submit them to the city by Monday, which is 30 days from the date that the lease agreement passed. The Arizona Republic also reported that the organizers of the referendum say paperwork on the ordinance wasn't available until June 15, so they should have an extra week to gather signatures.

Regardless, Doan is ready to get serious about signing a new contract either with the Coyotes or one of the other teams interested. Bross told the Arizona Republic that he plans to speak with Phoenix general manager Don Maloney on Monday.

"I would think if they don't have the signatures and it looks like the Jamison thing is going to go (through), then Don and I would get a little more serious in our dialogue about a new contract," Bross said. "If they do have the signatures or something throws a wrench in it and they say we're looking at two months before we can make a decision, I think we have to listen to some other offers."

Bross added that nothing is imminent right now, but if Doan is going to explore his options outside of the Coyotes, "there are two or three that he'd take a long hard look at, and it'd break his heart to do so."

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 7:06 PM

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

Canadiens re-sign Eller

The Montreal Canadiens on Friday signed restricted free-agent forward Lars Eller to a new two-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Eller, 23, set personal bests last season in goals (16), assists (12), points (28) and games played (79). He also had two power-play goals, the first two shorthanded goals of his NHL career and two game-winning goals.

The highlight of his season was four-goal game Jan. 4 against Winnipeg. It was the first time a Canadiens player had four goals in a game since 2006.

Originally chosen by the St. Louis Blues with the 13th pick of the 2007 NHL Draft, Eller came to Montreal in 2010 as part of the trade that sent goalie Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis.

In 163 NHL games with the Blues and Canadiens, Eller has 25 goals and 22 assists.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 6:18 PM

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

Wandell staying with Stars

Dallas Stars forward Tom Wandell has accepted the club's qualifying offer and will remain with the team on a one-year, $892,500 contract.

Wandell, 25, had six goals and nine assists in 72 games last season. A 2005 fifth-round pick, Wandell has 19 goals and 23 assists in 211 NHL games, all with the Stars, in four seasons.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 4:39 PM

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

Luongo feels return to Vancouver unlikely

While Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash remains the hottest name on the trade market, the matter of what the Vancouver Canucks will do with goaltender Roberto Luongo remains to be decided as well.

Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo - 2011-12
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 31-14-8
GAA: 2.41 | SVP: 0.919

During a radio interview Friday with The Jeff O'Neil Show on 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver, the veteran spoke about his time with the Canucks in the past tense and intimated he doesn't expect to be back in the fall.

"At the end of the day, I think it's time to move on. And I'm OK with that," Luongo said. "I had a great six years in Vancouver. It's a really wonderful city. I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately, I was not able to bring a Stanley Cup there. Probably my biggest regret. But it'll be remembered for six great years."

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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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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:21 PM

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

Canucks add pair of defensemen

The Vancouver Canucks on Thursday signed free-agent defensemen Derek Joslin and Patrick Mullen.

Joslin, 27, had four points in 44 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, and three points in four games with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

In 114 NHL games with the Sharks and Hurricanes, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound blueliner has four goals, 16 points and 63 penalty minutes.

Mullen, 26, had 41 points in 69 games last season with the Manchester Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings' AHL team. His 13 goals were tied for fourth among AHL defensemen.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Flyers add Fedotenko and Gervais

The Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday signed forward Ruslan Fedotenko and defenseman Bruno Gervais. Terms of the deals were not released, but ESPN.com is reporting Gervais' deal is for two years at $825,000 per season, while Fedotenko will make $1.75 million on a one-year deal.

Fedotenko, 33, returns to the team he started his NHL career with as an undrafted free agent in 2000-01. He had nine goals and 11 assists in 73 regular-season games with the New York Rangers last season, and two goals and five assists in 20 playoff games.

In 816 NHL games with the Flyers, Lightning, Islanders, Penguins and Rangers, the left wing has 169 goals and 184 assists. He also has a pair of Stanley Cup rings, with the 2004 Lightning and 2009 Penguins.

"I think the opportunity to add Ruslan, and his ability to play a lot of different roles on a team … he can play any wing, he can probably play center if you need," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. "The fact that he's won a couple times, the fact that he’s been here before, both played into the decision to move forward with him. We’ve actually tried to sign Ruslan a couple times over the last few years and we’ve always missed out. I like him, and I think he's going to bring a lot to our team in terms of leadership, and I think he's a winner. I really do."

Gervais, 27, had six goals and seven assists in 50 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. A 2003 sixth-round pick of the New York Islanders, Gervais has 81 points in 381 NHL games with the Islanders and Lightning.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 2:28 PM

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

Oilers sign Dane Byers

The Edmonton Oilers on Thursday agreed to terms with left wing Dane Byers on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not released.

Byers, 26, split last season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He was scoreless in eight NHL games, but had 16 goals and 23 assists in 61 AHL games. He also served as the team's captain.

A 2004 second-round pick of the New York Rangers, Byers has one goal in 14 NHL games with the Rangers and Blue Jackets.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 1:52 PM

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

Perreault signs two-year extension with Capitals

Center Mathieu Perreault has signed a two-year contract extension with the Washington Capitals, the team announced Thursday.

The deal reportedly is worth $2.1 million.

The 24-year-old had 16 goals and 14 assists in 64 games -- all career highs -- last season. He was a plus-9 and had four game-winning goals.

In 120 career games -- all with Washington -- he has 27 goals, 26 assists and is a plus-10.

Perreault was selected by the Capitals in the sixth round (No. 177) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He won back-to-back Calder Cup championships with Hershey of the American Hockey League in 2009 and 2010.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 11:43 AM

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

Report: Devils sign two forwards

The New Jersey Devils reportedly added a pair of depth forwards Thursday, re-signing Tim Sestito and adding Krystofer Barch.

Sestito, a 27-year-old center, was held without a point in 18 games with the Devils last season. He also skated in one Stanley Cup Playoff game. He had 19 points and 127 penalty minutes in 45 games with the club's American Hockey League team, the Albany Devils.

In 64 NHL games with the Oilers and Devils, Sestito has three points -- all assists.

Barch, a 32-year-old right wing, had five points and 114 penalty minutes in 51 games with the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers last season.

A 1998 fourth-round pick of the Washington Capitals, Barch has 12 goals, 39 points and 669 penalty minutes in 304 games with the Stars and Panthers.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 10:18 AM

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

Panthers sign Jacques to two-way contract

Jean-Francois Jacques, who spent most of last season in the American Hockey League, signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Jacques, a 27-year-old left wing, was held without a point in six games with the Anaheim Ducks last season. But in 65 games with the club's AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, he had 21 goals and 19 assists.

A 2003 second-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, Jacques has nine goals and eight assists in 166 NHL games with the Oilers and Ducks.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 9:57 AM

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

Penguins sign Dupuis to one-year contract

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Thursday the team had signed forward Philippe Dupuis to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not released, but ESPN.com is reporting the two-way contract will pay Dupuis $600,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

Dupuis, a 27-year-old center, went without a point in 30 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, but had 15 goals and 16 assists in 42 games with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

He has six goals and 12 assists in 116 NHL games with the Avalanche and Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 9:25 AM

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

Wild got help recruiting Parise, Suter

The results show Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, owner Craig Leipold and coach Mike Yeo did a masterful job in convincing free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to sign with the team Wednesday. But they got a little help in their recruiting pitch from some other Minnesota sports figures.

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and Twins star catcher Joe Mauer did their part in helping bring the two stars to the Wild.

Gardenhire is a noted hockey fan who has practiced in goal against the Wild and had a great thrill watching the top prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft take batting practice before a Twins-Pirates game in Pittsburgh last month.

In a video presented to Parise, Gardenhire showed off a signed photo of Parise in his Devils jersey that hangs on the bulletin board in his office at Target Field. He points to the photo and says, "I'd like that jersey to be green."

Gardenhire also waved a $5 bill at the camera, offering to add that to whatever contract the Wild had offered.

"I don't think he needs the $5, but I definitely sent him a video," Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I offered him about 18,000 rounds of batting practice. So I'll take credit for him."

Mauer shot videos for both Parise and Suter. In the Parise video, Mauer -- like Parise, a Minnesota native -- told Parise how much he's enjoyed playing in front of friends and family.

"I think I was wearing a Wild jersey," Mauer told the newspaper, "and I was just telling both of them that they'd look good in green."

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.04.2012 / 10:16 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Bowman: Hawks made 'impressive offer' to Parise

The Chicago Blackhawks didn't get Zach Parise -- this summer's top free-agent forward opted to sign with Minnesota on Wednesday -- but GM Stan Bowman said it wasn't for lack of trying.

"We made a very impressive offer to Zach. It came down to a family decision. You have to respect that," Bowman said during a conference call Wednesday night. "Our objective is not to make 'a splash.' Our objective is win hockey games. You can't look past the group we already have."

Bowman said that missing out on Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter -- who also signed with the Wild -- won't stop the Hawks from trying to get better.

The one thing Bowman said he couldn't offer was the chance to play at home.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.04.2012 / 11:08 AM

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

Parise, Suter could make decisions Wednesday

Agents for both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter said Wednesday could be the day the two marquee free agents in the class of 2012 make the decision about their futures.

Paul Ostby of Sheehy Hockey said on Twitter, "Client Ryan Suter plans on making a decision today." Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported on Twitter that Wade Arnott, agent for Parise, told her "likely a decision today."

Parise and Suter are the top players available, and both are expected to command huge contracts. Their decisions could also lead to more movement from players and teams waiting on the stars.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.03.2012 / 6:10 PM

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

Taylor Pyatt signs with Rangers

Taylor Pyatt is headed from the desert to the Big Apple.

The New York Rangers on Tuesday agreed to terms with Pyatt on a deal that TSN said is worth $3.1 million over two years, an average annual value of $1.55 million.

The 30-year-old was the eighth player chosen in the 1999 NHL Draft when he was taken by the New York Islanders. He made his debut with the Isles in 2000-01, was traded to Buffalo the following summer and has also played for Vancouver and Phoenix. Pyatt spent the past three seasons with the Coyotes and had nine goals and 19 points in 73 games this past season. He added four goals and two assists in 16 playoff games as the Coyotes advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.03.2012 / 5:12 PM

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

Report: Suter's agent says no decision Tuesday

The question of which team All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter will sign with won't be answered for at least another day.

According to a report from USA Today's Kevin Allen, Suter's agent, Neil Sheehy, said via email that the defenseman will not make a decision on Tuesday. There was no word as to when Suter might make up his mind whether to stay with the Nashville Predators or go to another club -- Detroit, Minnesota and Philadelphia are said to be the teams most interested in signing him.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.03.2012 / 9:52 AM

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

Raycroft signs with Italian club

Andrew Raycroft, who split last season between the Dallas Stars and their American Hockey League affiliate, on Tuesday signed to play for Italian club Milano Rossoblu for 2012-13.

Raycroft, 32, went 2-8-0 with a 3.52 goals-against average and .858 save percentage in 10 games with the Stars as Kari Lehtonen's backup. He was placed on waivers Dec. 28 and sent to the Texas Stars of the AHL when Dallas recalled Richard Bachman to serve as Lehtonen's backup. In 21 AHL games, Raycroft went 9-10-1 with a 3.16 GAA and .891 save percentage.

A 1998 fifth-round pick of the Boston Bruins, Raycroft won the 2004 Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie, but failed to establish himself beyond that first great season, when he won 29 games with a 2.05 GAA and .926 save percentage. In 11 NHL seasons with the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Avalanche, Canucks and Stars, he's 113-114-21 with 10 ties in 280 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.03.2012 / 9:17 AM

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

Caps sign Hillen to one-year deal

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday morning they have signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hillen, 26, had six points (two goals, four assists), a plus-6 rating and 20 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Nashville Predators in 2011-12. He finished tied for eighth on the club in blocked shots (65).

The Minnetonka, Minn., native has 56 points (10 goals, 46 assists) and 129 penalty minutes in 230 NHL games with the New York Islanders and Nashville. He posted career highs in goals (four), assists (tied; 18), points (22) and penalty minutes (45) during the 2010-11 campaign with the Isles.

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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 9:20 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Jets sign Olli Jokinen

The Winnipeg Jets have found their No. 1 center in Olli Jokinen.

The Jets signed the unrestricted free agent to a two-year contract Monday night. TSN is reporting the deal will pay Jokinen a total of $9 million.

"Olli is someone that we identified when we went through the process of identifying a players that would be available at the free agency time," Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said. "We were looking to get at centerman if we could and we were very fortunate to get him. We're very excited about getting him. He's got the size, a tremendous amount of experience. He had great consistency over the years. With adding the size of [Alexei] Ponikarovsky and now Jokinen, we're a bigger and harder team to play against.

"We're very excited about the opportunity to bring in a front-line player and top-six player into the organization."
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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 7:43 PM

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

Suter won't make decision on Monday

Premier free-agent defenseman Ryan Suter will not decide his new destination Monday night. In fact, his camp refuses to put a timetable on when the decision might be made.

"There will be no decision on Ryan Suter [Monday night] and there is no timetable for his contract signing at this time," Neil Sheehy, Suter's representative, said in a statement "Ryan is considering his opportunities and is taking the necessary time to give each proper consideration."

Several teams are keenly interested in the services of Suter, the consensus best defenseman on the market.

The Nashville Predators, Suter's most recent employer, would like to retain his services and have not given up the chase despite the intense pressure being exerted by other teams since Suter hit the open market Sunday at noon ET.

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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 3:30 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Canadiens not in running for Jagr

Montreal's La Presse newspaper reported Monday that the Canadiens are not only out of the running to sign free agent forward Jaromir Jagr, but they haven't even spoken to him since free agency opened Sunday at noon.

Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda tells La Presse that several teams are interested in retaining Jagr's services, but he unequivocally shot down the rumors that one of them was the Canadiens.

"There is nothing going on between us and the Canadiens," Svoboda told the newspaper.

The Canadiens were believed to be in the running to sign Jagr last summer, along with the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, before he finally chose to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers for one year and $3.3 million.

Jagr, 40, had 54 points in 73 games with the Flyers last season along with eight points in 11 playoff games.

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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 3:24 PM

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

Blues sign Jeff Woywitka

The St. Louis Blues announced Monday the club has signed defenseman Jeff Woywitka to a one-year, two-way contract.

Woywitka, 28, appeared in 27 games for the New York Rangers in 2011-12, tallying six points (one goal, five assists) and eight penalty minutes. He also dressed for six games for AHL Connecticut, notching three assists and six penalty minutes.

This will be Woywitka's second stint with St. Louis. He appeared in 152 games for the club between 2005 and 2009, tallying 35 points (six goals, 29 assists) and 106 penalty minutes.

Overall, the 6-foot-3, 227-pound blueliner has appeared in 278 career NHL games including stints with St. Louis, Dallas and New York. He has 55 points (nine goals, 46 assists) and 149 penalty minutes.

The Vermilion, Alberta native was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round (No. 27) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 2:36 PM

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

Canucks re-sign Ebbett, Pinizzotto

The Vancouver Canucks re-signed a pair of forwards Monday, agreeing to contracts with Andrew Ebbett and Steve Pinizzotto.

Ebbett, 29, appeared in 18 games for the Canucks in 2011-12, recording five goals and six points, including two overtime game-winners. He reportedly signed a two-way contract that will pay him $600,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the AHL level.

Ebbett has played in 163 career NHL games over the span of five seasons with the Ducks, Blackhawks, Wild, Coyotes and Canucks, collecting 24 goals and 58 points.

Pinizzotto, 28, impressed during his first training camp with the Canucks but ended up missing all of last season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. Terms of his deal were not immediately available.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Pinizzotto previously spent the 2010-11 season with the Washington Capitals' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, collecting 17 goals, 42 points and 178 penalty minutes in 68 games. He finished the regular season with the team's best plus/minus at plus-40. He also appeared in six AHL playoff games, recording two goals, four points and six penalty minutes.

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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 12:36 PM

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

Islanders deal with Boulton is official

The New York Islanders officially signed forward Eric Boulton on Monday, giving him a one-year contract for a reported $550,000.

The 35-year-old Boulton played 51 games last year for the Devils and had 115 penalty minutes and nine fighting majors. He did not record a point.

In 600 career games, Boulton has 73 points and 1,265 penalty minutes.

Boulton signed a two-year contract with the Devils last summer, but the team bought out the final year of the deal.

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Posted On Monday, 07.02.2012 / 8:59 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Radulov returns to KHL

Free-agent forward Alexander Radulov has chosen to return to the KHL, signing a four-year contract with CSKA. The announcement was made on the team's website.

Radulov had spent the previous three seasons with Salavat Yulaev in the KHL before returning to the NHL with the Nashville Predators late last season. Radulov had spent two seasons with the Predators before jumping to the KHL while still under contract with Nashville.

He had three goals and four assists in nine regular-season games to help the Predators finish fourth in the Western Conference.

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs he had six points in eight games as the Predators advanced to the Western Conference semifinals, but caused controversy when he was suspended for a game against the Phoenix Coyotes for missing curfew, and then made a healthy scratch for a second game.

After the season ended, Predators general manager David Poile publicly said Radulov, a restricted free agent, would not return to the club.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:18 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Devils increase offer to Brodeur

The New Jersey Devils have reportedly increased their offer to make sure Martin Brodeur never plays for a second team in his NHL career.

TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting the Devils are now offering the 40-year-old goaltender a two-year deal that would keep him in New Jersey through the 2013-14 season. Brodeur became an unrestricted free agent Sunday afternoon and can sign with any club.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 9:29 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Ducks sign Brad Staubitz to two-year deal

The Anaheim Ducks signed right wing Brad Staubitz to a two-year contract through the 2013-14 NHL season Sunday night. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Staubitz, 27, appeared in 62 contests split with the Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens in 2011-12, scoring one goal while racking up 121 penalty minutes. The 6-1, 215-pound winger appeared in a career-high 71 contests in 2010-11 with the Wild, scoring a personal best nine points (four goals, five assists) with 173 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 9:25 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Sabres sign John Scott

The Buffalo Sabres added size and toughness Sunday night, as they agreed to terms with forward John Scott on a one-year contract.

The 6-foot-8, 270-pounder split the 2011-12 season between the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers, tallying one assist and 53 penalty minutes in 35 games. In four NHL seasons, the Edmonton native has appeared in 146 career games with the Rangers, Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, recording five points (one goal, four assists) and 236 penalty minutes.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 8:03 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Garrison signs six-year deal with Canucks

Jason Garrison's career season is about to pay off in a big way.

TSN's Bob McKenzie is reporting that Garrison is leaving the Florida Panthers to sign a six-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks that will pay the offensive defenseman $4.6 million annually.

Garrison, 27, had 16 goals and 17 assists in 77 games this past season, just his second full campaign in the NHL. An undrafted free agent, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound blueliner has appeared in just 190 NHL games since turning pro in 2008.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 8:00 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Souray signs three-year deal with Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks announced Sunday that they have signed veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray to a three-year contract through the 2014-15 NHL season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Souray, 35, appeared in 64 games for Dallas last season, scoring six goals and 15 assists with a plus-11 rating and 73 penalty minutes. He appeared in his 700th career NHL game on Feb. 26, 2012 against Vancouver.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 6:42 PM

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

Red Wings sign Samuelsson, Tootoo

While the Detroit Red Wings wait to hear from Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, they managed to add two solid forwards Sunday.

The Red Wings wings announced they have brought Mikael Samuelsson back to Motown for two years, and signed Jordin Tootoo to a three-year deal.

Samuelsson, 35, reportedly will receive $6 million over the two years, according to TSN. He played in Detroit from 2005-09 and helped the Red Wings win a Stanley Cup in 2008. He had 13 goals and 15 assists in 48 games for the Florida Panthers last season.

"We know him and he can skate," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told the team's website. "He has the ability to chip in with some scoring, he has a real good shot and he can transport the puck up the ice on the power play. He’s a real good solid pro and again we know him. You see guys 38, 39, and 40-years-old getting three-year deals, but I think he’s a good, young 35 because of his ability to skate."

Tootoo, 29, has spent his entire professional career in the Nashville Predators' organization. He went 6-24-30 in 77 games for the Predators in 2011-12. Tootoo's deal reportedly is worth $5.7 million.

The Wings were busy from the get-go Sunday, signing Swiss forward Damien Brunner and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.

Brunner, 26, had 24 goals and 36 assists in 45 games in the Swiss league. He participated in the World Championships in May.

Gustavsson, 27, went 17-17-4 with a 2.92 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 42 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.

"We’ve got lot of cap space and we wanted to get our organization deeper," Holland told the website. "We tried to bring some kids along and some haven’t come along like we had hoped. Gustavsson, we see a guy’s who is 6-3, 6-4 with experience in Toronto with their media, and he dealt with it pretty good. We want Gustuvsson to push Jimmy (Howard) to another level and we want Jimmy to push Gustuvsson, so we think we have some real good goaltending."

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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 / 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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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:44 PM

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

Penguins bolster goalie depth with Zatkoff signing

The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to mold their depth chart behind starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with the addition of Jeff Zatkoff.

Pittsburgh and Zatkoff agreed to a two-year, two-way deal worth $525,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the American Hockey League, according to a report by TSN's Bob McKenzie. Zatkoff was 21-17-1 with a 2.49 goals against average and .920 save percentage for Manchester of the AHL as property of the Los Angeles Kings.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:26 PM

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

Defenseman Lundin signs with Senators

Defenseman Mike Lundin has signed with the Ottawa Senators, the team announced Sunday.

TSN reports the contract is for one year, $1.15 million.

Lundin, 27, played last season for the Minnesota Wild, appearing in 17 games with two goals and two assists. Lundin missed the first 23 games of the season with a back injury and final 25 contests with a lower body injury.

He played the previous four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had four goals and 29 assists in 224 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:19 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Avalanche add John Mitchell

The Colorado Avalanche added depth at forward and on defense in the first hour of free agency Sunday.

Colorado agreed to terms with former New York Rangers forward John Mitchell the team announced. TSN's Darren Dreger reported the deal for Mitchell is worth $2.2 million over two years.

Mitchell had five goals and 16 points in 63 games in his lone season with the Rangers after previously spending parts of three campaigns with Toronto.
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:01 PM

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

Coyotes snag Moss with two-year contract

The Phoenix Coyotes have agreed to terms with forward David Moss on a two-year contract, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Sunday.

Moss had two goals and nine points in 32 games last season for the Calgary Flames. He had a career-high 20 goals in 2008-09, which was the only season in his six with the Flames that he appeared in more than 64 games.

Moss, 30, was a seventh-round pick by the Flames in the 2001 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:00 PM

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

Red Wings sign goalie Gustavsson

Jimmy Howard will have a new backup in Detroit.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Red Wings.

Gustavsson came to Toronto as a heralded unrestricted free agent out of Sweden in 2009. He went 39-45-15 in 107 appearances over three seasons. Gustavsson posted a 2.98 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

The Leafs traded Gustavsson's negotiating rights to Winnipeg last weekend for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, but the sides never struck a deal.

The Red Wings used Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald as backups to Howard last season. Howard started 57 games but was injured at various points of the season.

It will be interesting if Gustavsson for some reason gets the start in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. The Red Wings' opponent is the Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:34 PM

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

Defenseman Meech signs with Jets

Defenseman Derek Meech has signed with the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Sunday.

TSN reports the one-year, two-way deal is worth $700,000 in the NHL, $105,000 in the AHL.

Meech, 28, played two games for the Jets last season as he recovered from an injury. He also played six regular-season games in the American Hockey League with the St. John’s IceCaps, and 15 postseason games, scoring nine points (four goals, five assists) in the Calder Cup playoffs.

He has played in 128 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings and Winnipeg.

The Jets also signed forward Jason King, 30, to a contract with the IceCaps.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:23 PM

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

Leighton re-signs with Flyers

Goalie Michael Leighton has re-signed with the Philadelphia Flyers to serve as the backup to Ilya Bryzgalov.

The contract reportedly is for one-year, $900,000.

The Flyers last week traded Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets, opening the No. 2 spot behind Bryzgalov.

"I'm very happy to be back in Philly," Leighton said, according to the team's website. "This is where I want to be and I'm excited about the team we have this year. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with Jeff Reese."

Leighton, 31, has not played an NHL game since 2010-11, when he played one.

In parts of three seasons, all with the Flyers, he is 35-40-2 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 104 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:23 PM

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

Pouliot signs one-year pact with Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning kept Benoit Pouliot from hitting the free agent market just before noon ET on Sunday.

Pouliot and the Lightning agreed to a one-year contract worth $1.8 million, according to multiple reports. He had 16 goals and 32 points for the Boston Bruins this past season, but was traded to Tampa Bay on the second day of the 2012 NHL Draft for a fifth-round pick and Michel Ouellet.

He has 46 goals in the past three seasons, but the Lightning will also be the fourth team he's played for since the start of the 2009-10.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:12 PM

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

Clemmensen signs two-year contract with Panthers

The Florida Panthers secured the services of a goaltender Sunday, but it wasn't Roberto Luongo.

Florida and Scott Clemmensen have agreed to a two-year contract extension, the team announced. He played in 30 games for the Panthers last season, posting a 14-6-6 record with a .913 save percentage and 2.57 goals-against average. He also appeared in three of Florida's seven playoff games.

“Scott is a high-character, hard-working player who is a true professional in every sense,” general manager Dale Tallon said on the team's website. “He stepped in and played very well in some tough games for us last season, including recording wins against Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Jose, Washington and Philadelphia. We are very pleased to have him back with our club and look forward to his continued contributions to our organization both on and off the ice.”

Jose Theodore
, who was Florida's No. 1 goalie last season, has one year left on his contract. The Panthers reportedly have been one of the teams interested in acquiring Luongo from Vancouver, who could be traded by the Canucks this offseason after sitting in favor of Cory Schneider at the end of their first-round playoff series against Los Angeles.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:58 AM

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

Goalie Danis signs with Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have signed goalie Yann Danis to a one-year contract, the team announced Sunday.

Danis, 31, played one game for the Oilers last season.

He has played in 50 NHL games in parts of four seasons starting in 2005-06. He is 16-21-4 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

His career high is 31 games with the New York Islanders in 2008-09. He also has played for the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:40 AM

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

Report: Smyth, Oilers agree on two-year deal

With a team of such young talent, the Edmonton Oilers were able to keep one of their own veterans shortly before he would have been available on the free agent market.

The Oilers have reportedly signed forward Ryan Smyth, 36, to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.25 million. Smyth would have become an unrestricted free agent Sunday after finishing a five-year, $31.2 million contract he signed with the Colorado Avalanche in 2007.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:36 AM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

'Canes agree with Jordan Staal on 10-year deal

Jordan Staal
Jordan Staal - 2011-12
Center - CAR
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 25 | PTS: 50
SOG: 149 | +/-: 11

Jordan Staal got his wish to play with his brother, Eric, and they will do so for a very long time.

The younger Staal, traded to Carolina by Pittsburgh at the 2012 NHL Draft, has agreed to a 10-year, $60 million contract with the Hurricanes, general manager Jim Rutherford announced Sunday.

If that contract sounds familiar, it is the same term the Penguins offered for reportedly the same amount of money to Staal. After he turned down that deal, Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero traded him to Carolina for Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, which the Penguins used to select Derrick Pouliot.
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:25 AM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Canadiens to pursue Dustin Penner

According to Marc-Antoine Godin of Montreal's La Presse, the Canadiens plan to make a contract offer to Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner when free agency opens at noon.

Penner managed just 17 points in 65 regular season games, but had a resurgence in the playoffs with 11 points in 20 games and was a key cog in the Kings Stanley Cup run.

The Canadiens have a serious need for size among their forward group, and Penner would definitely provide that with his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame. But his game has been wrought with inconsistency over the years, and the question remains whether or not the player we saw in the playoffs is the real Dustin Penner.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:07 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Zach Parise officially on the market

Zach Parise did not sign with the New Jersey Devils before the free-agent market opened at noon ET Sunday, officially becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Parise, who is the top forward and arguably the top unrestricted free agent available, met with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello in Toronto on Saturday night, according to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie. However, McKenzie tweeted at 11 a.m ET Sunday that while the Devils are not out of the running, Parise wanted to test his value on the open market.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers have been linked to Parise's name as being the most interested. Parise indicated two days after the Devils season ended that he would not sign with the Rangers.

Parise is good friends with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is expected to sign his 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension Sunday. The Penguins are roughly $12.26 million under the $70.2 million salary cap, according to capgeek.
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 10:56 AM

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

Report: Whitney, Doan to test free agent market

According to a tweet from TSN's Darren Dreger, Ray Whitney and Shane Doan will be available on the free agent market when it opens at noon ET Sunday, but they will have totally different mentalities.

Doan, 35, who has been with the organization for his entire career, wants to return to Phoenix but he wants to learn more about the future of the ownership situation before he makes his decision.

Whitney, 40, is hoping for a multi-year contract and could sign immediately. He led the Coyotes with 77 points in 82 games this past season, but Phoenix might be unable or unwilling to offer a 40-year-old player more than a one-year contract.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 8:17 PM

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

Gaustad signs four-year deal with Preds

It appears as though Paul Gaustad won't be testing the market Sunday.

Joshua Cooper of The Tennessean reported via Twitter on Saturday night that the hulking center has agreed to a four-year, $13 million deal to stay with the Nashville Predators. The 6-foot-5, 212-pound pivot was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline.

Gaustad, 30, had no goals and four assists in 14 regular-season games for the Predators and went 1-1-2 in 10 playoff contests.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 8:14 PM

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

Boll, Jackets agree to two-year deal

The Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to terms with right wing Jared Boll to a two-year, $2.1 million contract, the club announced Saturday.

Jared Boll
Right Wing - CBJ
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 3
SOG: 35 | +/-: -8
Boll, 26, will earn $950,000 in 2012-13 and $1.15 million in 2013-14.

Boll had two goals and an assist with 126 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Blue Jackets in 2011-12. He ranked second among on the club and 15th in the NHL in penalty minutes. In 2010-11, he went 7-5-12 and 182 penalty minutes in 73 games.

"Jared is a hard-working, honest player who gives everything he has every time he steps on the ice," Columbus general manager Scott Howson said. "He has also been a great ambassador in our community and we are happy that he will continue to be a Blue Jacket."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 5:45 PM

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

Habs sign Emelin to two-year deal

The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Alexei Emelin to a two-year contract, the team announced Saturday. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-2, 219-pound blueliner completed his first season with the Canadiens in 2011-12 and tallied three goals and four assists in 67 games.

Emelin, 26, led the Canadiens with 236 hits, ranking first among NHL rookie defensemen and fourth among League defensemen. He also blocked 88 shots, finishing sixth among rookie blueliners.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 3:51 PM

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

Schultz agrees to deal with Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.

Schultz, a top prospect who became an unrestricted free agent when he left school and didn't sign with the Anaheim Ducks, agreed to terms on an entry-level contract Saturday with the Oliers, the team announced.

The 21-year-old defenseman had 16 goals and 44 points for Wisconsin last season, and 40 goals and 113 points in three seasons (121 games) with the Badgers. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in college hockey.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 2:06 PM

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

Niskanen re-ups for two years with Penguins

While the Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to try for a big splash Sunday, they kept one of their key free agents from reaching the open market Saturday.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen and the Penguins agreed to a two-year deal, reportedly worth $4.6 million according Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Niskanen had four goals and 21 points in 75 games for the Penguins last season.

Niskanen, who will turn 26 in December, was acquired by Pittsburgh along with James Neal for Alex Goligoski before the trade deadline during the 2010-11 season.
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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 9:46 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Schultz to make decision on Saturday

Blue-chip defense prospect Justin Schultz reportedly will decide on Saturday which team he'll sign with.

According to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie, "Free agent defenceman Justin Schultz will decide tomorrow where he's signing." He cannot actually put his name on a contract until Sunday, when free agency begins.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported Friday that the Edmonton Oilers, one of the teams reportedly on Schultz's short list, brought in a couple of big guns to make their case -- both Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey talked with him.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 8:49 PM

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

Report: Ducks and Selanne to talk

One of the biggest offseason questions for the Anaheim Ducks is whether 41-year-old Teemu Selanne, their leading scorer in 2011-12, will return for another season. They'll reportedly get a better idea of the answer this weekend.

The Orange County Register reports that Ducks GM Bob Murray said he is scheduled to speak with Selanne over the weekend to get an idea of whether he is ready to officially commit to another NHL season and return to the team. Murray wouldn't offer anything beyond that in regard to where he's gotten any indication that Selanne will make good on a previous report out of Finland that said he would be back with the Ducks.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 8:35 PM

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

Report: Rangers re-sign Martin Biron

The New York Rangers reportedly have re-signed backup goaltender Martin Biron to a two-year contract. Multiple media reports, including ESPN New York and the New York Post, say the deal is worth a total of $2.6 million.

Biron could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 8:13 PM

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

Canadiens re-sign Travis Moen to four-year-deal

The Montreal Canadiens on Friday re-signed forward Travis Moen to a four-year contract. No financial terms were disclosed, but RDS reports the deal is worth a total of $7.2 million, for an average annual value of $1.8 million.

Moen, 30, would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"Travis brings tremendous leadership to our club, and is very appreciated from his teammates. He expressed his desire to remain with the Canadiens organization and we are very happy to have come to an agreement with him before July 1," GM Marc Bergevin said in a statement. "He has a lot of experience and brings a physical presence to our group of forwards."

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 6:44 PM

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

Coyotes re-sign Andy Miele

The Phoenix Coyotes on Friday re-signed center Andy Miele to a one-year, two-way contract. No financial terms were disclosed.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder had 16 goals and team-leading totals of 38 assists and 54 points for Portland, the Coyotes' AHL affiliate, in 2011-12, his first professional season. Miele made his NHL debut with Phoenix on Oct. 23, 2011, at Anaheim, and played seven games for the Coyotes without registering a point.

The 24-year-old native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., won the 2011 Hobey Baker Award after an outstanding 2010-11 season with Miami University in which he led the NCAA in scoring with 71 points in 39 games.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 5:16 PM

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

Flames re-sign Jones and Stempniak

The Calgary Flames on Friday re-signed center Blair Jones and forward Lee Stempniak to two-year contracts.

The team says Jones' deal carries an average annual value of $650,000. Stempniak's deal is for a total of $5 million, a $2.5 million AAV.

Stempniak scored 14 goals and added 14 assists for 28 points in 61 games for the Flames this past season, his first with Calgary. He was originally drafted in the fifth round (No. 148) by St. Louis in 2003 and has also played for Toronto and Phoenix. In 517 regular-season games, he has 129 goals and 275 points. He would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 4:58 PM

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

Blues' Armstrong doesn't worry about offer sheets

Two of the St. Louis Blues' most important players, T.J. Oshie and David Perron, will become restricted free agents on July 1, but GM Doug Armstrong isn't concerned.

"I think if you look around the league, there's probably 200 guys in the same boat," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday. "This isn't something that is a concern to me at all."

Oshie tied David Backes for the team lead last season with 54 points, while Perron was second on the team with 21 goals. Both are young and talented, and letting them go unsigned beyond July 1 will allow them to field offer sheets from prospective teams.

"I've never been in fear of an offer sheet," Armstrong told the newspaper. "It's part of the system. You have a right to match it if you think the player's worth the offer or you take the draft picks as compensation. So I'm not concerned about an offer sheet. It's a tool in the (collective bargaining agreement) and the players have the right to see if they can find one."

Both players also are eligible for arbitration, which Armstrong said could be a consideration. The deadline for filing is July 5. It would put the salary for each player in the hands of an independent party, but it also would end the threat of an offer sheet.

"The good thing about arbitration is when you find out on July 5 if they elect arbitration, then they're off the market," Armstrong said. "So that's done and you can either negotiate a longer-term deal with them or go to the arbitration process and elect a one- or two-year deal."

Armstrong has other roster decisions to make soon. Veteran forwards Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott and defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo and Kent Huskins will be unrestricted free agents if not signed before July 1.

"We're still kicking some tires on some guys, but time is certainly starting to wind down," Armstrong said. "If they get to July 1, obviously they'll look around and we'll look around to replace them.

"It's a long time before Oct. 10 [season opener]. It's not like we're playing Sunday. So we'll have a good roster by Oct. 10 ... I'm comfortable with that."

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 4:14 PM

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

Downie re-signs with Avalanche

Steve Downie was a key acquisition for the Colorado Avalanche late in the 2011-12 season, and he'll be staying put in Denver after agreeing to a two-year contract Friday.

Downie, 25, finished with two goals, 13 points and a plus-9 rating in 20 games with Colorado after being acquired from Tampa Bay on Feb. 21. Combined between the Lightning and Avalanche, Downie recorded 14 goals, 41 points and 137 penalty minutes in 75 games this past season. His 27 assists were a career high.

"Since his arrival, Steve has provided a unique combination of grit and skill to our lineup," Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman said. "We're looking forward to Steve's contributions to our team for the next two years."

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 3:40 PM

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

Wings coach Babcock ready to fly

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock won't be sitting in an airport at noon ET on Sunday, but he's packed and ready to go if needed to help with any free agent recruiting.

"I'm in a position to fly wherever they want me to fly," Babcock told the NHL Network on Thursday from his home in Saskatchewan. "We're a work in progress, so we're talking each and every day about the moves that we're trying to make, and we kind of have an A Plan, a B Plan, a C Plan, and we've probably got even a D Plan. I'm just going to be ready to go."

With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and the trade of Brad Stuart, the Red Wings are expected to be one of the top suitors for Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter. Or they could opt to add to their depth at forward from a group that includes the Devils' Zach Parise, the Coyotes' Shane Doan and Ray Whitney, the Capitals' Alexander Semin and the Flyers' Jaromir Jagr.

According to Capgeek.com, the Red Wings have more than $24 million in salary cap space.

"We're fortunate that there will be people on the market and we're going to have to improve our hockey club," Babcock said. "We were in a situation last year where we played $6 million under the cap on purpose to kind of be set up for going ahead and that's what we're trying to do to secure the best people that we can possibly secure and then go from there."

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 2:32 PM

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

Devils re-sign fourth line, two others

One of the keys to the New Jersey Devils' run to the Stanley Cup Final was the play of their vaunted fourth line.

The Devils kept that line intact Friday by announcing they have signed Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter and Steve Bernier to new contracts, as well as forward Cam Janssen and defenseman Peter Harrold.

Gionta, Carter and Bernier combined for 10 goals and 21 points during the playoffs, allowing Devils coach Peter DeBoer to roll four lines on a consistent basis and avoid having to tax stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.

Gionta, who spent the entire season in the AHL before he was recalled for the regular-season finale, had three goals and seven points. Carter scored five goals -- two of them game-winners -- and had seven points. Bernier added two goals and seven points.

Harrold also became a key component of the Devils' defense during the postseason, playing in 17 games and recording four assists. Janssen was a healthy scratch during the playoffs, but recorded one assist and 75 penalty minutes in 48 games during the regular season.

The (Bergen) Record reported Bernier signed a two-year contract with a cap hit of $775,000 while Janssen received a two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level. Gionta's deal is reported to be for two years, a one-way NHL contract for $575,000 for the first season and a two-way contract for $600,000 for the second. Harrold'a deal reportedly will pay him $525,000.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 12:59 PM

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

Report: 'Canes to waive Joslin

TSN is reporting the Carolina Hurricanes have placed defenseman Derek Joslin on unconditional waivers for buyout or termination of his contract.

The 25-year-old blueliner had two goals and two assists in 44 NHL games. He also played four AHL games with the Charlotte Checkers.

A 2005 fifth-round pick of the Sharks, Joslin has four goals and 12 assists in 114 NHL games with the Sharks and Hurricanes.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 11:06 AM

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

Reports: Brodeur hires agent, Devils re-sign pair

According to a media report, New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has hired an agent and could test the free-agent waters when the market opens for business at noon ET on July 1.

The (Bergen) Record's Tom Gulitti reported Friday that agent Pat Brisson confirmed in an e-mail an earlier report by TSN's Darren Dreger that Brodeur has hired him.

"It looks like he might be testing free agency on Sunday if a deal isn't reached by Sunday with the Devils," Brisson wrote in the e-mail.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 10:44 AM

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

Flames re-sign Sarich to two-year deal

The Calgary Flames on Friday signed defenseman Cory Sarich to a new two-year, $4 million contract. The move prevents Sarich from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

"Cory is a true competitor who plays the game the right way, with fire and grit," Flames GM Jay Feaster said. "He is capable of delivering the big hit and as such keeps opposing players honest. He eliminates time and space down low, he moves the puck well with a good first pass, he is one of the leaders in our room, and he is a well-liked and well-respected teammate. We are thrilled to have Cory back in the fold on a contract that fits within our plan and enables us to continue to improve our hockey team."

Sarich, 33, had a goal, six assists, a plus-1 rating and 66 penalty minutes in 62 games last season. He tied for second with 144 hits, and his 60 blocked shots were fifth.

Sarich had spent the previous five seasons with the Flames. He also has played with the Sabres and Lightning in 13 NHL seasons. In 887 games, he has 20 goals, 146 points and 1,035 penalty minutes, 10th among active defensemen.

The Sarich signing marks the second straight day the Flames have focused on their defense. They acquired the rights to impending free agent Dennis Wideman from the Washington Capitals on Thursday then signed him to a five-year contract.

"When we set about the process of improving our blue line we identified the need for a puck-mover who could play the point on the power play and help us offensively, and we also wanted a time-space eliminator who hits and competes and brings a sandpaper element to his game," Feaster said. "We took care of the first need [Thursday] by acquiring and signing Dennis Wideman, and we checked the box on the second need [Friday] by re-upping Cory Sarich."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 5:16 PM

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

Gill re-signs with Predators

Defenseman Hal Gill has re-signed with the Nashville Predators, agreeing to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Gill had five assists and a plus-4 rating in 24 regular-season games in 2011-12 after being acquired by the Predators in a trade from the Montreal Canadiens to bolster Nashville's defensive-zone play and penalty-killing. He was hurt late in the season, however, and sat out the Predators' first-round playoff series against the Red Wings. He returned during the second round against the Coyotes, finishing with no points and a plus-2 rating.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 4:03 PM

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

Report: Rask, Bruins agree on one-year deal

TSN is reporting impending restricted free agent Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins have agreed on a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

With Tim Thomas taking the 2012-13 season off, the move likely means Rask will be the Bruins' starting goaltender next season.

Rask went 11-8-3 in 23 games last season, with a 2.05 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. However, he suffered a season-ending groin injury in March.

Rask has started for the Bruins previously. In 2009-10, he went 22-12-5 with five shutouts, a 1.97 GAA and .937 save percentage in 45 games. That season, however, ended with him in net in the second round of the playoffs as the Philadelphia Flyers rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the Bruins.

A 2005 first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins acquired him in June 2006 in exchange for Andrew Raycroft. In 102 NHL games, all with the Bruins, Rask is 47-35-11 with 11 shutouts, a 2.20 GAA and .926 save percentage.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 3:19 PM

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

Blue Jackets re-sign Nikitin

The Columbus Blue Jackets announced Thursday the team has re-signed defenseman Nikita Nikitin to a two-year, $4.3 million contract. The deal will pay the 26-year-old blueliner $1.8 million in 2012-13 and $2.5 million in 2013-14.

Had he not signed, Nikitin would have been a restricted free agent July 1.

Acquired from the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 10, 2011, Nikitin had seven goals and 32 points in 54 games; prior to the trade, he had no points in seven games.

"We were very pleased with the way Nikita played after joining us last season as he became a significant contributor on our blue line," Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said. "He made tremendous strides this year and will continue to be an important part of what we believe is a very good group of defensemen."

A 2004 fifth-round pick of the Blues, Nikitin has eight goals and 33 assists in 102 games with the Blues and Blue Jackets.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 3:01 PM

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

Jokinen done in Calgary?

Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun reported Thursday that the Calgary Flames would not be offering impending unrestricted free agent center Olli Jokinen a new contract.

Jokinen, 33, was second on the Flames last season with 61 points and third with 23 goals, his best output since he had 34 goals and 71 points in 2007-08. He also played all 82 games last season, including the 1,000th of his NHL career.

In 1,042 games with the Kings, Islanders, Panthers, Coyotes, Flames and Rangers, Jokinen has 292 goals and 683 points.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 2:32 PM

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

Lee re-signs with Lightning

Defenseman Brian Lee has re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced Thursday.

He was given a two-year, one-way contract that TSN reports is worth $2.3 million.

Tampa Bay acquired Lee from Ottawa in exchange for Matt Gilroy on Feb. 26. He played 20 games with the Lightning, recording eight assists and 17 shots on goal while averaging 17:05 in ice time per game.

Over the course of the 2011-12 season, Lee set career-highs for games played (55), assists (15) and points (16). He played the first 35 games with the Senators, who selected him in the first round (No. 9) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

Lee, 25, has played in 187 career games and has five goals and 31 points. He made his NHL debut during the 2007-08 season.

Lee played college hockey at the University of North Dakota and appeared in 82 games over two seasons. He twice represented the United States at the World Junior Championships.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 2:02 PM

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

Latendresse leaving Wild

Guillaume Latendresse is moving on from the Minnesota Wild and will test his value as an unrestricted free agent when the market opens at noon ET on July 1.

Latendresse first told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune of his intentions Thursday morning and then announced the news on his official Twitter page later in the afternoon.

Latendresse, who played in only 27 games over the past two seasons due to knee injuries, told the Star-Tribune that he feels he needs to be closer to his 4-year-old son Hayden, who lives with his mother in Montreal. Latendresse is a Quebec native who played the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Canadiens before he was traded to Minnesota during the 2009-10 season.

The Star-Tribune reported that the Wild offered Latendresse a one-year contract with performance bonuses, but that on Wednesday he informed Wild GM Chuck Fletcher that he was turning it down.

"It's not that I didn't want to go back. It's not that the contract was not good. It's not that I didn't like the way the team was working or anything," Latendresse said. "It's really a personal matter more than anything. I would have loved to go back to Minnesota, but sometimes you have to make decisions for your family and for your future. And I think my son would be better if he could be closer to me."

Latendresse had 25 goals and 37 points in 55 games with the Wild in 2009-10 after getting traded from Montreal. However, he played in only 16 games in 2010-11 and just 11 this past season, totaling eight goals and seven assists.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 1:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Boucher injury could open door for Peters

With Carolina Hurricanes veteran backup goalie Brian Boucher expected to miss 4-6 months with a shoulder injury, the team could feel extra urgency to re-sign Justin Peters.

The 25-year-old Peters went 2-3-2 in seven NHL games last season, spending most of the season with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. He went 10-13-2 with a 2.77 GAA and .907 save percentage in 28 games.

"Even prior to that injury to Boucher, with the way Peters played last year -- he got to play more games in Charlotte, which is why we signed Boucher, and with the way he played when he came up here -- he has always been in the mix of conversation of being one of our two goalies this coming year," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the team's website.

Rutherford said no decision on the goaltending would come before July 1.

"Obviously this thing with Brian's injury gives Justin a better chance, but the fact that we're this close to July 1, we're probably going to wait a few days into [the free agency period] to make a decision," he said.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 1:28 PM

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

Report: Panthers to waive Bradley, Santorelli

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Florida Panthers have placed right wing Matt Bradley on unconditional waivers, presumably for the buyout or termination of his contract.

Bradley had signed a two-year, $1.9 million contract with the Panthers last summer, but had just three goals and five assists in 45 games.

TSN also reported the team placed center Mike Santorelli on waivers. Santorelli had nine goals and 11 points in 60 games last season, after scoring 20 goals in 82 games in 2010-11.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 1:19 PM

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

Nichol re-signs with Blues for one year

Forward Scott Nichol has re-signed with the St. Louis Blues, the team announced Thursday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the one-year contract is worth $650,000.

“We are pleased to have Scott back in the fold for next year,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. “His work ethic and professionalism are second to none and he serves as an excellent role model for our young core.”

Nichol played in 80 games for the Blues this past season, with three goals, five assists and 83 penalty minutes. He led the team by winning 57.6 percent of his faceoffs.

The 37-year-old joined the Blues as a free agent last offseason. He has 126 points (55 goals, 71 assists) and 891 penalty minutes in 632 career regular-season games.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 12:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Is Schultz's list set?

Coveted free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz reportedly has cut his list of desirable teams to sign with to five.

TSN reported Wednesday that the Canucks, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Senators and Oilers have made the cut. Among those eliminated from the bidding were the Red Wings, Flyers and Blackhawks.

Schultz has been in Toronto the last two days for meetings with his agents and prospective teams. TSN reported that with his final list of teams set, he'll begin another round of talks.

Schultz, a 21-year-old 2008 draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, became an unrestricted free agent last week when he withdrew from the University of Wisconsin and failed to reach a deal with the Ducks in the team's exclusive 30-day negotiating window.

A two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist at Wisconsin, Schultz is considered by many scouts as the best player not currently in the NHL.

Schultz is eligible for a two-year, entry-level contract, so the financial package from each team is the same. Instead, he's looking for the best roster fit, including a chance to step onto a team and play top-four defense minutes right away. And the native of West Kelowna, B.C., also reportedly would like to play for a Canadian team, preferably in the west.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 10:11 AM

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

Stars, Benn moving patiently

The Dallas Stars clearly would like to get restricted free agent Jamie Benn's name on a new contract, and preferably before July 1.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that while talks are ongoing, both sides are prepared to be patient and respectful of the situation.

"Jamie Benn is going to be a Dallas Star, and this is just part of the process," Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk told the newspaper's Mike Heika. "He's an important player to us, and it's not like he's going anywhere."

Benn's agent, Rich Evans, refused to comment to the Morning News on the pace of talks, saying Benn wanted to keep negotiations out of the media "for the time being."

In 2011-12, Benn set career-highs with 26 goals and 63 points in his third NHL season and played in his first NHL All-Star Game. A 2007 fifth-round pick, Benn has at least 22 goals in all three of his NHL seasons.

If the two sides don't agree to a new deal before July 1, Benn could talk with 29 other teams. While offer sheets to restricted free agents are rare, it could happen. However, it sounds like the Stars would match anything another team convinced Benn to sign.

"Jamie will be playing for the Dallas Stars for a long time," Stars owner Tom Gaglardi told the newspaper. "That's the important thing to keep in mind."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 9:27 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Schultz rules out Red Wings

Free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz appears to be shrinking the number of teams he's interested in.

The Detroit Red Wings, thought to be a favorite to sign the coveted 21-year-old blueliner, were told Thursday that Schultz would not be signing with them.

"I was told we are not on his list of teams," Red Wings GM Ken Holland told the Detroit News. "We expressed our interest to his agent (Don Meehan). They went over all the information (Wednesday)."

Schultz has spent the last two days in Toronto meeting with his agents and perspective teams, including the Edmonton Oilers.

A native of West Kelowna, B.C., Schultz is eligible for a two-year entry-level contract, which reportedly will contain a base salary of $925,000, and with bonuses can reach $3.77 million. So while the financial offers are the same from each team, Schultz is basing his decision on where he could fit on a team's roster -- he reportedly wants to play for a team that can offer him top-four defense minutes.

He also reportedly is hoping to play for a Canadian team, and preferably stay in the west. That means the Canucks, Flames and Oilers -- who sent a delegate led by team president Kevin Lowe to meet with Schultz on Wednesday -- could be front-runners. Other reported possible landing spots are the Maple Leafs (Wisconsin teammate and close friend Jake Gardiner plays there), Rangers, Flyers, Blackhawks and Senators, but their hopes could be dwindling like the Red Wings.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 9:27 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Schultz rules out Red Wings

Free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz appears to be shrinking the number of teams he's interested in.

The Detroit Red Wings, thought to be a favorite to sign the coveted 21-year-old blueliner, were told Thursday that Schultz would not be signing with them.

"I was told we are not on his list of teams," Red Wings GM Ken Holland told the Detroit News. "We expressed our interest to his agent (Don Meehan). They went over all the information (Wednesday)."

Schultz has spent the last two days in Toronto meeting with his agents and prospective teams, including the Edmonton Oilers.

A native of West Kelowna, B.C., Schultz is eligible for a two-year entry-level contract, which reportedly will contain a base salary of $925,000, and with bonuses can reach $3.77 million. So while the financial offers are the same from each team, Schultz is basing his decision on where he could fit on a team's roster -- he reportedly wants to play for a team that can offer him top-four defense minutes.

He also reportedly is hoping to play for a Canadian team, and preferably stay in the west. That means the Canucks, Flames and Oilers -- who sent a delegation led by team president Kevin Lowe to meet with Schultz on Wednesday -- could be front-runners. Other reported possible landing spots are the Maple Leafs (Wisconsin teammate and close friend Jake Gardiner plays there), Rangers, Flyers, Blackhawks and Senators, but their hopes could be dwindling like the Red Wings.

Selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the 2008 draft, Schultz blossomed in three seasons at the University of Wisconsin. He was a two-time conference defensive player of the year and a Hobey Baker finalist the past two seasons. He led all NCAA defensemen last season in goals, points and power-play goals.

He withdrew from school after his junior year, and when he didn't sign with Anaheim during a 30-day window of exclusivity that ended last week, he became an unrestricted free agent.

Schultz is considered by many to be third on the list of most desired free agents this summer, after New Jersey's Zach Parise and Nashville's Ryan Suter.

While some are questioning why so much attention is being paid to a player yet to skate in an NHL game, Schultz is considered by many to be the best player not currently in the League.

"His foundation of skating is excellent," NHL Network analyst Craig Button told NHL.com. "He has speed, quickness and agility and is able to use his abilities to beat pressure defensively and to move into advantageous positions and be a threat offensively. … Overall, he's a player who is capable of controlling the pace and tempo of play when he has the puck. He's a player who wants to make a difference in the game. I think he has a chance to be a top-end defenseman."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.27.2012 / 3:23 PM

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

Comeau re-signs with Flames

The Calgary Flames announced Wednesday they had re-signed forward Blake Comeau to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.

In 58 games with the Flames last season, he had five goals and 10 assists. He was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders on Nov. 25 after going without a point in 16 games.

In 319 NHL games with the Islanders and Flames, he has 61 goals, 75 assists and 167 penalty minutes.

It was a busy day for the Flames, who also acquired the rights to defenseman Dennis Wideman and signed him to a five-year contract.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.27.2012 / 12:11 PM

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

Schultz meeting with Oilers

TSN is reporting free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz will meet with the Edmonton Oilers -- along with other teams -- Wednesday in Toronto.

Schultz became one of the most sought-after unrestricted free agents on the market when he did not reach a deal with the Anaheim Ducks, the team that selected him in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft.

The 21-year-old played the past three seasons at the University of Wisconsin, where he was a two-time finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

"Are we interested? Of course we are," Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said Wednesday. "We believe we present an incredible opportunity."

The Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are among the teams believed to be interested in Schultz, who is eligible for an entry-level contract.

Earlier Wednesday, the Oilers promoted associate coach Ralph Krueger to head coach. The team selected forward Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 pick in last week's NHL Draft, adding him to a young core that includes Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.26.2012 / 10:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Parise says Devils will still be in mix on July 1

Even if Zach Parise doesn't re-sign on the dotted line to return to the New Jersey Devils prior to the start of free agency, there's no reason to believe the team for which he has spent the last seven seasons is completely out of the picture.

Zach Parise
Left Wing - NJD
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 15
SOG: 87 | +/-: -8
Parise told Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger on Tuesday that New Jersey would still be a strong candidate for his services -- even if no deal were struck by the noon deadline on Sunday.

"I'm sure a lot of people would think that, but that's very far from the case," Parise told the paper. "If it does happen to get to Sunday, that's by no means saying I don't want to go back to New Jersey.

"I know the perception would be, 'Oh, he wants out.' But that's not the case. I haven't been lying. I've said all along how much I like playing in New Jersey. So that wouldn't be me saying, 'I don't want to play there anymore.'"

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.26.2012 / 5:09 PM

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

Stuart signs three-year deal with Sharks

The San Jose Sharks announced Tuesday they had signed defenseman Brad Stuart to a three-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but CSNBayArea reported last week that the deal would be worth $3.6 million per season.

The Sharks had acquired Stuart's rights June 10 from Detroit, in return for forward Andrew Murray a 2014 seventh-round draft pick.

Stuart, 32, would have been an unrestricted free agent had he not signed prior to July 1.

Originally drafted by the Sharks with the third pick of the 1998 draft, Stuart played his first six NHL seasons with San Jose. He's also played with Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit.

He had six goals, 21 points and a plus-16 rating in 81 games with the Red Wings last season.

The Stuart signing caps a busy day for the Sharks, who re-signed three restricted free agents -- forwards Tommy Wingels and Andrew Desjardins, and defenseman Justin Braun -- and sent qualifying offers out to nine others.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.26.2012 / 3:39 PM

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

Sharks re-sign Desjardins, Braun, Wingels

The San Jose Sharks on Tuesday announced they have re-signed center Andrew Desjardins, forward Tommy Wingels and defenseman Justin Braun.

CSNBayArea.com reported Desjardins received a one-year contract, Wingels signed for two years, and Braun has a three-year deal. All three players were impending restricted free agents..

Desjardins had four goals and 13 assists in 76 games last season. Wingels had three goals and six assists in 33 games, while Braun had two goals and nine assists in 66 games.

The Sharks also announced they made qualifying offers to nine of their 14 other restricted free agents.

The players who received offers, allowing the Sharks to retain their negotiating rights, were: center TJ Galiardi, defenseman Matt Irwin, center Tim Kennedy, left wing Brandon Mashinter, left wing Frazer McLaren, forward/defenseman Matt Pelech, defenseman Nick Petrecki, center James Sheppard and goalie Alex Stalock.

The following players did not receive qualifying offers from San Jose and will become unrestricted free agents July 1: right wing Benn Ferriero, left wing Tony Lucia, right wing James Marcou, right wing Cameron MacIntyre and goalie Tyson Sexsmith.

Ferriero played in 35 games for the Sharks in 2011-12.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.26.2012 / 2:28 PM

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

Avs sign O'Brien to three-year deal

The Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday signed defenseman Shane O'Brien to a new three-year contract. Terms were not released, but the Denver Post reported the deal is worth a total of $6 million.

Had he not signed, O'Brien would have been an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"Having Shane under contract further solidifies our blue line," Avalanche general manager/executive vice president Greg Sherman said. "He brings energy to our lineup and we're pleased to have signed him to a multiyear deal."

O'Brien had 20 points and 105 penalty minutes in 76 games this past season. He also ranked in the top four on the team with 138 hits and 86 blocked shots.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.26.2012 / 11:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Avs elect not to extend qualifying offer to Mueller

When Peter Mueller has been healthy, he's shown himself to be a highly-skilled NHL forward.

Staying healthy, however, has been a major issue the last three seasons, and likely was part of the reason the Colorado Avalanche on Monday declined to give the restricted free agent a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Taken by the Phoenix Coyotes with the eighth pick of the 2006 Draft, Mueller broke into the NHL the following season. His 22 goals as a rookie were second only to Chicago's Jonathan Toews, and his 54 points trailed only Chicago's Patrick Kane and Washington's Nicklas Backstrom.

He slumped to just 13 goals the following season, and after a slow start to the 2009-10 season, the Coyotes traded him to the Colorado Avalanche on March 3, 2010.

The change of scenery lit a fire under Mueller, who had nine goals and 11 assists in 20 games. That hot run ended April 4, 2010, when he suffered a concussion on a hit by the San Jose Sharks' Rob Blake.

He was close to returning when the 2010-11 season started, but he suffered another concussion in his first preseason game -- Mueller said he was hit by a stick in the left temple, the same place he was injured on the Blake hit -- and that led to him sitting out the entire 2010-11 season.

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