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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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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential