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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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.05.2012 / 12:39 PM

By Seth Jones -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Seth Jones Draft blog

Jones gearing up for big season

Seth Jones is a defenseman for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman has solid athletic bloodlines -- his father, Popeye Jones, played 11 seasons in the NBA. Jones excelled the last two seasons for the U.S. National Team Development Program and likely will play for the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Jones has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.

Hi everyone. My name is Seth Jones, and this season I will be playing for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and I am extremely anxious for the season to be on its way.

Some of you might have heard of my father, Popeye Jones, who played in the NBA and now is an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets. You're probably asking yourself how I got into hockey if my dad was a professional basketball player. Not only do I play hockey, but my older brother Justin and my younger brother Caleb also play.

I was born in Dallas, Texas, and moved around quite a bit because of my dad's career. My family finally settled in Denver, where we ended up living for eight years. I first stepped on the ice when I was about 5 years old. My friends at school were all beginning to play hockey and they influenced me into trying it as well. It was something that I liked, but wasn't very passionate about. But that changed in 2001. I was 7 years old and happened to be at Game 7 when the Colorado Avalanche defeated the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final. This was the most unbelievable experience of my life at the time. From that point on my dream was to make it to the National Hockey League and win a Stanley Cup.

Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones in action
(Photo: Christopher Mast)

The first thing I wanted to do was learn how to skate really well because while I was watching all those hockey games, I noticed that was the most important attribute to being successful. So my mom got me to take lessons multiple times a week that just focused on skating and only skating. I played youth hockey in Colorado and then we moved back to Texas about six years ago when my dad decided to take an assistant coaching job with the Dallas Mavericks. I continued to play youth hockey in Dallas and a little over two years ago got an opportunity that does not come around for too many people -- I was invited to play for the U.S. National Team Development Program based out of Ann Arbor, Mich.

This was the first time I would be living away from my family and it wasn't easy to move away from them. But I became comfortable quickly and it was a smoother transition than I would have expected. The USNTDP was huge for me personally. My biggest issue was I did not weigh enough and I knew the program really focused on the physical development side of things off the ice. And playing against 20-year-olds at just 16 really helps, too. I left Ann Arbor after two years with the program 25 pounds heavier. This was a major accomplishment for me and it gave me more confidence on the ice.

Now it's time to get ready for the season in Portland. I got here Aug. 21 and it's been great. It's been very easy to get adjusted. I'm very comfortable, the guys are all very easy to get along with. I felt part of the team from the moment I got here.

Posted On Tuesday, 09.04.2012 / 4:11 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Landeskog's stock continues to rise

Gabriel Landeskog was named the youngest captain in NHL history Tuesday -- yet another reason why he deserves to be on your fantasy team's radar.

The reigning Calder Trophy winner was tabbed the leader for the Colorado Avalanche after excelling in all six offensive categories (22 G, 30 A, plus-20, 51 PIM, 12 PPP, 270 SOG) during his stellar rookie campaign. NHL.com's team of fantasy experts ranked Landeskog as the No. 54 overall fantasy player in its latest set of overall rankings released earlier Tuesday.

Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog
Left Wing - COL
GOALS: 22 | ASST: 30 | PTS: 52
SOG: 270 | +/-: 20
Landeskog's finish to the 2011-12 season saw him emerge with near point-per-game production, as he tallied 13 goals and 17 assists over his last 34 games. The 19-year-old phenom showed tremendous chemistry with late-season linemates Steve Downie and Ryan O'Reilly, posting a plus-20 rating for a non-playoff team in the process. He was owned in 59 percent of Yahoo! leagues at season's end -- a number that is bound to rise after upcoming drafts take place.

Taking into account his PIM production and ever-expanding role for the Avs' power-play unit, Landeskog already warrants keeper consideration in such leagues and should be on every team's draft watch list from the third to fifth rounds -- depending on league size and format.

To see where Landeskog ranks among the game's best fantasy assets, check out NHL.com's top-175 overall rankings.

Follow Fantasy Insider Pete Jensen on Twitter: @NHLJensen; Join the conversation: @NHLFantasy

Posted On Friday, 08.31.2012 / 6:32 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Martinez final Kings player to celebrate with Cup

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez started the week training at his old stomping grounds and ended it with a Stanley Cup celebration among friends and family.

A former standout for the Miami (Ohio) University Redhawks, Martinez was back at the school's Goggin Ice Center to participate in its week-long pro camp. Along with 19 other former Redhawks, including Andy Greene, Ryan Jones, Tommy Wingels and Andy Miele, Martinez returned to the ice for an intense training regimen overseen by Miami coach Enrico Blasi. But the camp wasn't just an opportunity for Martinez to work out and catch up with old teammates.

As one of only three Redhawks -- along with Dan Boyle and Kevyn Adams -- to win the Cup, Martinez was honored in the ice complex lobby. It was there that a massive portrait, showing Martinez during his college days as well as in his triumphant moment with the Kings, was placed on the wall of the building's entrance.

For the second-year player, the real Cup celebration took place Friday when the trophy arrived at his offseason home in Allen, Texas, about 30 miles north of Dallas.

Martinez received the Cup around 10:30 a.m., after which he and a group of friends and family, including some former Miami teammates, enjoyed lunch at a nearby driving range. From there, the Michigan native held a Cup party at his new home before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

For the town of Allen, it's the first time the Cup has been there since making an appearance at a 2009 game of the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League.

While Kings players and coaches have all had their time with the Cup, other members of the organization are awaiting their day. Jeff Solomon, the team's vice president of hockey operations and legal affairs, receives the Cup in San Diego on Saturday, and members of the Kings' training staff will get it in Los Angeles after that.

The Cup's whirlwind summer will end next week with vice president of business operations Luc Robitaille before it is engraved in mid-September with the names of the championship squad.

Posted On Friday, 08.31.2012 / 1:29 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

MacKinnon and Jones headline 2013 draft pool

The 2013 NHL Draft is certainly shaping up to be a good one.

While the Draft may not come close to the number of high-caliber defensemen selected in the first round last June, the depth across the board is quite impressive. During the 2012 Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, 13 defensemen were plucked in the first round to match a record set in 1996.

The run on defensemen started early, too, as three of the top five and eight of the top 10 players picked star on the back end.

The top two players on the board entering this season are center Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League.

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Quote of the Day

That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, [and] deservedly so. [Saad] falls into that category.

— Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Brandon Saad, who was traded by Chicago to the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason