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Posted On Tuesday, 07.24.2012 / 11:12 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Hurricanes re-sign Boychuk to two-way contract

The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday announced that restricted free agent forward Zach Boychuk was signed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration.

The deal will pay Boychuk $625,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 in the American Hockey League in the 2012-13 campaign.

Boychuk, who will certainly battle for a roster spot out of training camp in September, split the 2011-12 season between Carolina and the team's AHL affiliate in Charlotte. The 2008 first-round pick (No. 14) produced two assists in 16 NHL games last season, and has seven goals and 18 points in 72 career games. He led the Checkers with 21 goals, and ranked third among Charlotte skaters with 44 points in 64 AHL games.

Prior to turning professional, Boychuk, 22, skated in 237 regular-season games over four seasons with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, totaling 110 goals and 271 points. He won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championship, serving as an alternate captain in the '09 World Juniors.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 2:40 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Versteeg agrees to four-year deal with Panthers

Kris Versteeg can finally look forward to spending some time in the same place.

The 26-year-old forward, who went from Chicago to Toronto to Philadelphia to Florida in the space of a year after winning the Stanley Cup with the Hawks in 2010, agreed to a four-year deal worth $17.6 million with the Panthers.

"It's been a bit of a whirl for the last two years," he said Monday during a media conference call. "Security was the No. 1 thing for me, and playing in Florida was the No. 1 thing for me. It all came down to wanting to be in Florida -- I've loved my time here and I'm excited to get going again and try to win the Stanley Cup with the Florida Panthers."

The deal enabled the two sides to avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday.

Kris Versteeg
Right Wing - FLA
GOALS: 23 | ASST: 31 | PTS: 54
SOG: 181 | +/-: 4
"Sometimes you have to keep negotiating right to the bitter end," general manager Dale Tallon said during a conference call when asked about the arbitration process. "It happens a lot -- you really don't want to go to arbitration, and we decided we didn’t want to. It made sense for both sides."

Said Versteeg: "I think we both got a fair deal and we're both excited about what the future of the franchise can be. I was confident we were going to get something done."

Versteeg, who was acquired by Florida from Philadelphia on July 1, 2011, is coming off the best season of his career, scoring 23 goals and adding 31 assists for 54 points in 71 games to help the Panthers win the first division title in franchise history. He had his first career hat trick in November and was part of Florida's top line along with Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann.

"I loved playing with those guys," Versteeg said. "They made me a better player."

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 2:36 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Predators re-sign Sergei Kostitsyn

The Nashville Predators on Monday signed restricted free agent left wing Sergei Kostitsyn to a two-year contract worth $6 million.

The Predators avoided losing Kostitsyn, an unrestricted free agent, last summer when they signed him to a on a one-year, $2.5 million contract. Kostitsyn, 25, finished with 17 goals and 43 points in 75 games in his second season with the Predators in 2011-12.

Kostitsyn has totals of 64 goals and 161 points in 307 career games.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 12:28 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Hurricanes re-sign Bowman to two-year contract

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed left wing Drayson Bowman to a two-year contract. The deal will pay Bowman $600,000 at the NHL level or $105,000 at the AHL level in 2012-13. He will be paid $600,000 in 2013-14.

Bowman, 23, split the 2011-12 season between the Hurricanes and Charlotte of the American Hockey League. With Carolina, Bowman established NHL career highs in goals (six), assists (seven), points (13) and games played (37), earning the majority of his NHL playing time in the second half of the season. He added 13 goals and 26 points in 42 games with Charlotte.

Chosen by Carolina in the third round (No. 72) in the 2007 NHL Draft, Bowman has registered eight goals and 16 points in 69 career NHL games with the Hurricanes. He has appeared in 149 career AHL games with Albany and Charlotte, totaling 42 goals and 88 points.

Bowman, who was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., andraised in Littleton, Colo., played junior hockey for Spokane of the Western Hockey League prior to turning professional, notching 242 points (130 goals, 112 assists) in 265 games and helping the Chiefs capture the 2008 Memorial Cup championship.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 12:06 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Jets agree to terms with Maxime Macenauer

The Winnipeg Jets on Monday agreed to terms with restricted free-agent forward Maxime Macenauer on a new contract. No terms were disclosed.

Macenauer, 23, had one assist in nine regular-season games with Winnipeg's American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, after being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in a trade on Feb. 13, 2012. He also suited up for 10 Calder Cup playoff games with the IceCaps, scoring one goal.

He began the season with the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim's AHL affiliate, where he played 13 games and scored four goals with two assists, along with two penalty minutes. The Laval, Quebec, native made his NHL debut with the Ducks last season, scoring a goal and adding three assists for four points in 29 games, along with 18 penalty minutes.

Macenauer has played in 101 AHL games between Syracuse and St. John's; he has 17 goals, 22 assists and 69 penalty minutes.

He was selected by Anaheim in the third round (No. 63) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Monday, 07.23.2012 / 10:44 AM

NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Dustin Brown to bring Cup to Ithaca on Saturday

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown, a native of Ithaca, N.Y., will bring the Stanley Cup to Ithaca High School on Saturday morning.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that a limited number of photo opportunities with the Cup will be available for a $5 donation to the Semper Fi Fund, which helps provide support for injured or critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Fans will also be able to receive an autographed championship photo signed by Brown for a $5 donation, and raffle tickets will be sold for the chance to win mini replica Stanley Cups signed by Brown.

"Winning the Stanley Cup is a dream come true," Brown said. "I'm extremely excited to share this experience with the people and town of Ithaca, and raise money for a cause very close to me and my family."

The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund is a nonprofit organization that provides immediate financial support for injured and critically ill members of the Armed Forces and their families.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.22.2012 / 3:53 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Fistric signs one-year deal with Stars

The Dallas Stars on Sunday signed defenseman Mark Fistric to a one-year, $1.475 million contract.

Fistric, 26, skated in 60 games for Dallas last season, posting two assists and 41 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the team in hits (235), third in blocked shots (105), earned an even or plus rating in 48 of 60 contests, and was one of only 17 NHL defensemen to win a faceoff in 2011-12.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Edmonton native is entering his sixth NHL season, all as a member of the Stars. He has played 257 games, scoring three goals and adding 20 assists for 23 points with a plus-16 rating and 220 penalty minutes.

Fistric was Dallas' first-round selection (No. 28) in the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 5:21 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Reports: Doan visits with Flyers, Rangers

Free agent forward Shane Doan has visited with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, according to multiple reports.

Philly.com says Doan's latest visit was with the Flyers on Saturday. The website said the sides have mutual interest, but the meeting was described as Doan "just checking his options."

Doan has expressed his interest in remaining with the Coyotes, for whom he has played his entire career, but the team could leave Phoenix pending resolution of its ownership situation.

"I've made no bones about the fact that I want to go back to Phoenix if the situation works out," Doan said Thursday.

Arizonasports.com reported Friday that Doan met with the New York Rangers. The 35-year-old forward was in New York City to take part in collective bargaining negotiations between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association.

The New York Daily News said it was Doan's first official visit of free agency.

Doan said Thursday he is accepting contract offers but not actively seeking them.

"I don't want to put anybody in a situation where they feel like if they impress me I'll come," he said. "Until I make my decision, I don't want to force anybody's hand."

Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told Buffalo television station WKBW that Doan has no other visits scheduled and is heading home to Kamloops, B.C.

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Posted On Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 4:15 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Fistric signs one-year deal with Stars

Defenseman Mark Fistric and the Dallas Stars reportedly have agreed to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

The Dallas Morning News reports the deal is worth $1.45 million.

Fistric had an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 1.

The 26-year-old played 60 games for the Stars last season. He has played parts of five seasons for Dallas after he was chosen in the first round (No. 28) in the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Saturday, 07.21.2012 / 2:25 PM

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

Cup spends week with two of hockey's most historic families

This weekend should prove to be a special one as the Stanley Cup serves as the guest of honor on the historic Sutter family farm in Viking, Alta. The prolific property raised six brothers who played in the NHL in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, combining for an astonishing 4,994 games and 2,934 points. When second-eldest brother Darryl Sutter earned his first Stanley Cup win as coach of the Los Angeles Kings, it meant hockey's most prolific family would be celebrating a championship for the first time since brothers Brent and Duane won one together playing for the New York Islanders in 1983.

But earlier this week, another of hockey's most famous families celebrated the end of an even longer drought.

Just four days before the Cup arrived in Viking, it spent an evening in Clear Lake, Manitoba with the family of Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall, who is also part of one of the NHL's great dynasties.

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It was pretty unbelievable...I think (my family in France) is pretty much in front of the TV right now. I don't think I have to wake them up.

— 29-year-old Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare after scoring his first NHL goal
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