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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:25 AM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Report: Canadiens to pursue Dustin Penner

According to Marc-Antoine Godin of Montreal's La Presse, the Canadiens plan to make a contract offer to Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Penner when free agency opens at noon.

Penner managed just 17 points in 65 regular season games, but had a resurgence in the playoffs with 11 points in 20 games and was a key cog in the Kings Stanley Cup run.

The Canadiens have a serious need for size among their forward group, and Penner would definitely provide that with his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame. But his game has been wrought with inconsistency over the years, and the question remains whether or not the player we saw in the playoffs is the real Dustin Penner.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:07 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Zach Parise officially on the market

Zach Parise did not sign with the New Jersey Devils before the free-agent market opened at noon ET Sunday, officially becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Parise, who is the top forward and arguably the top unrestricted free agent available, met with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello in Toronto on Saturday night, according to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie. However, McKenzie tweeted at 11 a.m ET Sunday that while the Devils are not out of the running, Parise wanted to test his value on the open market.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers have been linked to Parise's name as being the most interested. Parise indicated two days after the Devils season ended that he would not sign with the Rangers.

Parise is good friends with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is expected to sign his 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension Sunday. The Penguins are roughly $12.26 million under the $70.2 million salary cap, according to capgeek.
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 10:56 AM

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

Report: Whitney, Doan to test free agent market

According to a tweet from TSN's Darren Dreger, Ray Whitney and Shane Doan will be available on the free agent market when it opens at noon ET Sunday, but they will have totally different mentalities.

Doan, 35, who has been with the organization for his entire career, wants to return to Phoenix but he wants to learn more about the future of the ownership situation before he makes his decision.

Whitney, 40, is hoping for a multi-year contract and could sign immediately. He led the Coyotes with 77 points in 82 games this past season, but Phoenix might be unable or unwilling to offer a 40-year-old player more than a one-year contract.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 8:17 PM

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

Gaustad signs four-year deal with Preds

It appears as though Paul Gaustad won't be testing the market Sunday.

Joshua Cooper of The Tennessean reported via Twitter on Saturday night that the hulking center has agreed to a four-year, $13 million deal to stay with the Nashville Predators. The 6-foot-5, 212-pound pivot was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline.

Gaustad, 30, had no goals and four assists in 14 regular-season games for the Predators and went 1-1-2 in 10 playoff contests.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 8:14 PM

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

Boll, Jackets agree to two-year deal

The Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to terms with right wing Jared Boll to a two-year, $2.1 million contract, the club announced Saturday.

Jared Boll
Right Wing - CBJ
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 3
SOG: 35 | +/-: -8
Boll, 26, will earn $950,000 in 2012-13 and $1.15 million in 2013-14.

Boll had two goals and an assist with 126 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Blue Jackets in 2011-12. He ranked second among on the club and 15th in the NHL in penalty minutes. In 2010-11, he went 7-5-12 and 182 penalty minutes in 73 games.

"Jared is a hard-working, honest player who gives everything he has every time he steps on the ice," Columbus general manager Scott Howson said. "He has also been a great ambassador in our community and we are happy that he will continue to be a Blue Jacket."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 5:45 PM

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

Habs sign Emelin to two-year deal

The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Alexei Emelin to a two-year contract, the team announced Saturday. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-2, 219-pound blueliner completed his first season with the Canadiens in 2011-12 and tallied three goals and four assists in 67 games.

Emelin, 26, led the Canadiens with 236 hits, ranking first among NHL rookie defensemen and fourth among League defensemen. He also blocked 88 shots, finishing sixth among rookie blueliners.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 3:51 PM

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

Schultz agrees to deal with Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers have won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.

Schultz, a top prospect who became an unrestricted free agent when he left school and didn't sign with the Anaheim Ducks, agreed to terms on an entry-level contract Saturday with the Oliers, the team announced.

The 21-year-old defenseman had 16 goals and 44 points for Wisconsin last season, and 40 goals and 113 points in three seasons (121 games) with the Badgers. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in college hockey.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.30.2012 / 2:06 PM

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

Niskanen re-ups for two years with Penguins

While the Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to try for a big splash Sunday, they kept one of their key free agents from reaching the open market Saturday.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen and the Penguins agreed to a two-year deal, reportedly worth $4.6 million according Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Niskanen had four goals and 21 points in 75 games for the Penguins last season.

Niskanen, who will turn 26 in December, was acquired by Pittsburgh along with James Neal for Alex Goligoski before the trade deadline during the 2010-11 season.
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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 9:46 PM

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

Report: Schultz to make decision on Saturday

Blue-chip defense prospect Justin Schultz reportedly will decide on Saturday which team he'll sign with.

According to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie, "Free agent defenceman Justin Schultz will decide tomorrow where he's signing." He cannot actually put his name on a contract until Sunday, when free agency begins.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported Friday that the Edmonton Oilers, one of the teams reportedly on Schultz's short list, brought in a couple of big guns to make their case -- both Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey talked with him.

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Posted On Friday, 06.29.2012 / 8:49 PM

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

Report: Ducks and Selanne to talk

One of the biggest offseason questions for the Anaheim Ducks is whether 41-year-old Teemu Selanne, their leading scorer in 2011-12, will return for another season. They'll reportedly get a better idea of the answer this weekend.

The Orange County Register reports that Ducks GM Bob Murray said he is scheduled to speak with Selanne over the weekend to get an idea of whether he is ready to officially commit to another NHL season and return to the team. Murray wouldn't offer anything beyond that in regard to where he's gotten any indication that Selanne will make good on a previous report out of Finland that said he would be back with the Ducks.

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