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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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