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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 / 4:56 PM

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

Sutter family ready for weekend with Cup

Hockey's first family of central Alberta is about to have a great weekend.

The Sutters have already enjoyed a summer to remember in 2012. It started with Brody Sutter signing an entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on June 1, followed shortly by his uncle Darryl capturing his first Stanley Cup as coach of the Los Angeles Kings. Then, on a draft day to remember, Brandon Sutter was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly before the Winnipeg Jets selected his cousin, Lukas, in the second round.

Following all these incredible milestones, the Sutter family will have one final memory this weekend when the Stanley Cup arrives in Red Deer for Darryl's day with the most iconic trophy in sports.

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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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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1