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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 4:17 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Caps sign Wolski to one-year deal

The Washington Capitals have signed left wing Wojtek Wolski to a one-year contract. The team didn't release financial terms, but the Washington Post reports the deal is worth $600,000.

Wolski, 26, had four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 31 games with the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers in 2011-12. He was acquired by Florida from New York on Feb. 25, 2012, in exchange for defenseman Mike Vernace and a third-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"I definitely think I can help on the offensive side," Wolski said on a conference call with reporters, according to The Washington Times. "I struggled the last two years. I'm definitely highly motivated, very excited and very hungry at this point in time and I look forward to the opportunity to be able to play with great players. I think it's going to be a very positive year."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward has 95 goals and 163 assists for 258 points and is plus-16 in 424 regular-season NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, Rangers and Panthers.

Wolski was selected by Colorado in the first round (No. 21) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

He registered career highs in goals (23), assists (42) points (65) and games played (80) and tallied four goals and one assist in seven playoff games during the 2009-10 season with Colorado and Phoenix. In 29 career playoff games, Wolski has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points.

The Zabrze, Poland, native participated in the 2007 NHL YoungStars game with new Capitals teammate Mike Green.

The Capitals also announced Wednesday they have re-signed center Zach Hamill, who played 16 games for the Boston Bruins last season. He was acquired in a trade for Chris Bourque on May 26.

Hamill had eight goals and 13 assists in 41 games for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League in 2011-12.

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Posted On Wednesday, 07.11.2012 / 3:38 PM

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

Hurricanes sign Gragnani to two-way contract

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free-agent defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani to a one-year contract.

It's a two-way deal that will pay him $800,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

"Marc-Andre was in the NHL all of last season, and will push for a job with us in the fall," said Ron Francis, Hurricanes vice president of hockey operations. "He has good size and has shown the ability to produce offensively both in the AHL and the NHL."

Gragnani, 25, split the 2011-12 season between the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, totaling two goals, 15 points and 26 penalty minutes in 58 games. The Montreal native played 44 games with the Sabres and had a plus-10 rating prior to being dealt to the Canucks along with Zack Kassian in exchange for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer on Feb. 27.

Selected by the Sabres in the third round (No. 87) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Gragnani has appeared in 73 career NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver, registering three goals and 18 points.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 8:18 PM

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

Stars GM expects Morrow to be on team

Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said Tuesday he expects captain Brenden Morrow to be with the team next season.

Morrow reportedly has become a trade target of the St. Louis Blues, among other teams.

Nieuwendyk addressed those rumors to the Dallas Morning News.

"We had a good talk the other day, and I told him I very much believe there’s a place for him on this team," Nieuwendyk told the newspaper. "I told him I fully expect him to be out there on the power play in front of the net where he’s always been."

The St. Louis Post Dispatch earlier reported the Blues had interest in Morrow for a possible trade. The newspaper mentioned the New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings as other teams that could be interested.

Morrow said he plans to be with the Stars next season.

"You asked me: Do I want to be a Dallas Star, and the answer is definitely yes," Morrow said. "If they want to trade me or they indicate to me that they don’t want me, then obviously I don’t want to be there or stand in their way. But, until they say that they want to trade me or ask me to waive my no-trade clause, then I’m excited to be on the team and I’m ready to get going next season."

Morrow, 34 in January, has one year remaining on his contract. The forward was limited by injuries to 57 games last season -- he had 11 goals and 15 assists. In 2010-11, he scored 33 goals playing all 82 games.

"I feel good where we are right now, but I also know things change," Morrow said. "Right now, I’m just focused on me and my health. I figure if I take care of that, everything else will work out fine."

The Stars added free-agent forwards Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr and traded for Derek Roy this summer. They have traded away forwards Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott.

The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that Roy needs shoulder surgery and could be sidelined until November.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 4:18 PM

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

Veteran forward Barch signs with Devils

The New Jersey Devils have agreed on a contract with free-agent forward Krystofer Barch. The (Bergen) Record is reporting it's a two-year deal worth $750,000 annually.

A six-year NHL veteran, Barch split last season between the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers, posting two goals, five points and 114 penalty minutes in 51 games.

Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Stars on July 18, 2006, the 32-year-old has career totals of 12 goals, 31 points and 669 PIMs in 304 games.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 1:10 PM

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

Langenbrunner returns to Blues on one-year deal

The St. Louis Blues have re-signed forward Jamie Langenbrunner to a one-year deal.

Langenbrunner will turn 37 this month. Last season, his first with the Blues, he had six goals and 18 assists in 70 games.

"We are excited that Jamie has agreed to stay in St. Louis," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "His professionalism and leadership both on and off the ice are invaluable assets for our club."

Langenbrunner has won two Stanley Cups during his 16 NHL seasons -- in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 12:57 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Could Stars' Morrow be trade candidate?

St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong has admitted to being active in trade discussions, and one of his targets could be Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the Blues could be one of a few teams interested in Morrow, who the Stars could make available for the right price.

Morrow, 33, had the worst statistical season of his career in 2011-12, with 11 goals and 15 assists while playing 57 games due to neck and back issues. It's a big slide from 2010-11, when he had a career-best 33 goals.

In 806 NHL games, all with the Stars, Morrow has 237 goals (78 on the power play) and 280 assists, with seven 20-goal seasons and two 30-goal seasons. However, he's played at least 70 games just four times in the past seven seasons.

The Stars this summer have added free-agent forwards Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney, and with Morrow entering the last season of his contract, Dallas could be looking at moving him.

Armstrong and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock know Morrow well. Armstrong worked in the Stars' front office when Morrow was drafted and was general manager when the team named him captain in 2006. Hitchcock was Morrow's coach in his first three NHL seasons.

However, the newspaper reports the Blues aren't the only team that could be interested in Morrow, naming the Rangers, Sharks and Kings as other possible suitors.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 9:39 AM

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

Lightning sign Purcell to three-year extension

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Tuesday the club has signed right wing Teddy Purcell to a three-year contract extension. Financial terms of the deal, which runs through the 2015-16 season, were not released.

Purcell was entering the last season of a two-year contract and would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.

Purcell set career highs last season in goals (24), assists (41) and points (65) while playing 81 games for the second straight season. He led the team with a plus-9 rating, was second in assists and power-play goals (eight), and third in goals and points.

He had an 11-game point streak from Feb. 21-March 8, and played for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, finishing with two points in eight games.

"I felt like the past two seasons I’ve really played to my strengths, which have helped me become a full-time NHL player with Tampa Bay," Purcell told the Lightning's website. "I really don’t think there is a better fit for me and I still believe I can get better every day, so I’m looking forward to remaining with the Lightning and taking my game another step."

After playing parts of three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, Purcell joined the Lightning on March 3, 2010 in a trade and quickly earned a full-time NHL job. In 181 games over the past three seasons with the Lightning, Purcell has 44 goals and 82 assists.

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Posted On Tuesday, 07.10.2012 / 9:17 AM

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

Rangers sign veteran Halpern to one-year deal

The New York Rangers have signed veteran center Jeff Halpern to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Halpern, 36, had four goals and 12 assists in 69 games with the Washington Capitals last season. He was second among the team's forwards in shorthanded ice time per game at 1:44

In 12 NHL seasons with the Capitals, Stars, Lightning, Kings and Canadiens, Halpern has 146 goals and 212 assists in 861 games.

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Posted On Monday, 07.09.2012 / 6:30 PM

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

Center Hanson signs with Bruins

Free agent center Christian Hanson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Boston Bruins, the team announced Monday.

The contract is worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

Hanson, 26, played last season for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League after signing with the Washington Capitals as a free agent. He had 10 goals, 11 assists and 42 penalty minutes in 52 games.

He played the prior season with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. In 58 games, he scored 13 goals with 21 assists and 51 penalty minutes.

In 42 NHL games over three seasons -- all with the Toronto Maple Leafs -- he has three goals, six assists and 22 penalty minutes. He most recently played during the 2010-11 season.

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Posted On Monday, 07.09.2012 / 1:55 PM

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

Canucks re-sign Raymond

The Vancouver Canucks on Monday re-signed forward Mason Raymond, avoiding an arbitration hearing. Terms of the deal were not released, but TSN is reporting it's a one-year, $2.275 million contract.

The 26-year-old left wing had 10 goals and 10 assists in 55 regular-season games. He missed the first two months of the season recovering from a broken vertebrae suffered in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

A 2005 second-round pick of the Canucks, Raymond has 70 goals and 86 assists in 328 regular-season games, and 16 points in 51 playoff games.

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