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Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 6:41 PM

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

Cup takes break from Kings to appear in 3D film

As on most film sets, the crew setting up at the hockey arena in Penticton, British Columbia, was forced to work around the schedule of its star.

That can be difficult when the shoot is in early July and the star is the Stanley Cup.

Fortunately for the producers of "Stanley Cup Odyssey," a short 3D film about the Cup set to premiere this fall at the Hockey Hall of Fame, it all worked out.

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.

Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 3:58 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Bernier enjoys eventful day with Cup in Quebec

After a picturesque trip through Slovenia with Kings star Anze Kopitar and two days of travels through Massachusetts with head athletic trainer Chris Kingsley, pro scout Steve Greeley and co-director of amateur scouting Mark Yannetti, the Stanley Cup found itself in the province of Quebec on Thursday as it spent the day with Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

The morning after the Kings received an award for "best upset" at the annual ESPYs, Bernier received the Cup in the city of Laval, a large suburban area just north of the island of Montreal that is also the hometown of NHL greats like Martin Brodeur, Mike Bossy, and Maurice Richard.

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.

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.

Posted On Thursday, 07.12.2012 / 3:18 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Kings Insider provides map tracking the Cup

In just one month since the Los Angeles Kings captured the franchise's first championship, the Stanley Cup has already traveled hundreds of miles through four different countries. The grand trophy even graced the red carpet, alongside Kings captain Dustin Brown, at the Hollywood premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man."

But perhaps nothing captures the incredible travels of the Cup quite like the map created by Kings Insider Rich Hammond.

A beat reporter for the Kings' website, Hammond has created a Cup tracker on Google Maps, which he has updated regularly since the Kings captured the Cup at Staples Center on June 11. In the month he's been tracking the comings and goings of the most legendary trophy in sports, Hammond has marked spots on the customized map for events like Brown's appearance on "The Tonight Show," the team's visit to Dodger Stadium, a stop at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, and days with Slava Voynov and Andrei Loktionov in Russia.

Links to the tracker are available at LAKingsInsider.com and the map is updated regularly by Hammond.

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

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.

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.
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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Quote of the Day

I think when you build a team, you look at pairs, and I think the pair of [Voracek and Giroux] is very good, certainly one of the top pairs in the League.

— Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek after giving Voracek a multiyear extension Thursday