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Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 2:49 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Senators re-sign Jim O'Brien

The Ottawa Senators on Wednesday re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jim O'Brien to a two-year contract that the team says is worth $1.275 million, an average annual value of $637,500.

"It’s nice to have a contract, but I’m looking at it like any other year," O'Brien told the Ottawa Citizen. "I have a lot to prove to myself and my teammates."

O'Brien split the 2011-12 season between Ottawa and the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. After scoring seven goals and adding seven assists for 14 points in 27 games at Binghamton, he was called up by the Senators on Feb. 3. O'Brien scored three times and added three assists for six points in 28 games. He scored his first NHL goal in Ottawa's 6-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 15.

The 23-year-old also played in each of the seven playoff games of Ottawa's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers. His lone point was an assist on Kyle Turris' game-winning goal in overtime of Game 4 on April 18.

"He showed the rest of our young guys in the organization that if you work had and you’re a good citizen and do what we ask you to do in Binghamton, we will certainly call you up and give you a chance," assistant general manager Tim Murray told the newspaper.

The native of Maplewood, Minn., was Ottawa's first-round pick (No. 29) in the 2007 NHL Draft, He has six points in 34 NHL games and 78 points in 183 games at the AHL level, where he helped Binghamton win the 2011 Calder Cup.

The Senators also announced they have signed defenseman Eric Gryba to a two-year, two-way contract.

Gryba, 24, spent last season with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. He established career highs in goals (five), assists (15) and games (73), and recorded 98 penalty minutes.

"He made big strides last year ... so we just expect him to get better and better,"  Murray told the newspaper. "I believe he can come to training camp and compete for a job at the (NHL)."

Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 2:03 PM

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

Fraser enjoys day-long festivities with the Cup

The weekly farmer's market in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, was forced to move this week from Friday to Wednesday, but area vendors shouldn't be too inconvenienced by the switch. It's all part of the day-long festivities welcoming Los Angeles Kings forward Colin Fraser and his special guest, the Stanley Cup.

It's not Fraser's first day with the Cup. After winning it for the first time with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, he brought the iconic trophy to his parents' home in Surrey, B.C. It was there he enjoyed a game of ball hockey with some old friends before being escorted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police to an official reception at Central City Plaza.

Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 1:48 PM

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

Bruins sign Aaron Johnson

The Boston Bruins signed defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Wednesday. Johnson's contract is worth $650,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level.

Johnson (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) skated in 56 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011-12, tallying three goals and setting NHL career highs with 13 assists and 16 points, and collecting 16 penalty minutes.

In 2010-11, the 29-year-old played in 72 games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League after signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Nashville Predators. He recorded AHL career highs in goals with nine, assists with 26 and points with 35, recording a plus-10 rating and adding 70 penalty minutes.

The 2009-10 season saw Johnson split time between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, when he recorded a combined four goals, six assists and 35 penalty minutes in 41 games.

Johnson has played in 281 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Oilers, Flames, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders, tallying 17 goals and 45 assists for 62 total points, with 217 penalty minutes.

The Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia native was selected by Columbus in the third round (No. 85) of the 2001 NHL Draft.

Posted On Wednesday, 07.18.2012 / 12:59 PM

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

Maloney willing to wait on Doan

Shane Doan could be the most desirable free agent left on the market, but he appears to be in no rush to make a decision.

Teams now appear willing to wait -- among them the Phoenix Coyotes, the franchise for which Doan has played every game of his NHL career.

Doan has expressed a desire to re-sign with the Coyotes, but is hesitant to do so while ownership questions remain.

Coyotes GM Don Maloney told the Arizona Republic that he doesn't mind waiting on Doan, believing it still "may be weeks" until Doan picks a team.

However, he remains confident that when Doan does make a decision, it will be to stay in Phoenix.

"I still remain confident that we will be able to sign Shane," Maloney said. "Nothing has changed in that respect. We still have regular communication despite everything you see and read."

Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 8:57 PM

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

Predators GM would be interested in Doan

The Nashville Predators would be "very interested" in Shane Doan should he decide to leave the Phoenix Coyotes, general manager David Poile told The Tennessean on Tuesday.

"First of all, I’m hoping the Phoenix situation gets resolved and he can stay there and finish his career in Phoenix," Poile said to the newspaper. "If he decides it’s not a fit for him and would like to pursue other opportunities, the Predators would be very interested."

Doan, an unrestricted free agent, is waiting to see if the team will stay in Arizona under new ownership. It is believed several teams have an interest in the 35-year-old forward.

Poile, whose team lost defenseman Ryan Suter when he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild this offseason, said he has started negotiations with defenseman Shea Weber.

"It’s ongoing and hopefully we’ll talk later in the week," Poile said. "I would say (we discussed) everything about the Predators, where we are and where we’re going and what part Shea has with that."

Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 7:59 PM

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

Panthers sign three players

The Florida Panthers announced Tuesday they have signed center James Wright to a two-year contract and defenseman Mike Caruso and goalie Brian Foster to one-year contracts.

Wright, 22, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 2, 2011. He appeared in 54 games for San Antonio of the American Hockey League last season, recording 28 points. He was selected in the fourth round (No. 117) of the 2008 NHL Draft by Tampa Bay.

Caruso, 24, played in 68 games with San Antonio last season, registering 13 points. He was chosen by Florida in the fourth round (No. 103) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Foster, 25, played in 12 games with San Antonio, going 4-6-0 with a 3.64 GAA. He made his NHL debut on Feb. 4, playing five minutes at Tampa Bay, making one save. He was selected by Florida in the fifth round (No. 161) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 7:30 PM

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

Predators sign goalie Smith

Goalie Jeremy Smith has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators, the team announced Tuesday.

The deal is worth $660,000 at the NHL level or $65,000 at the AHL level.

The 23-year-old restricted free agent played for the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League last season. He was second in the league in wins (31) and shutouts (five) and posted a 2.17 goals-against average.

He was selected by Nashville in the second round (No. 54) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 6:43 PM

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

Islanders sign former draft pick Clark

The New York Islanders announced Tuesday that Jason Clark has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract.

Clark, 20, appeared in 35 games over two seasons at the University of Wisconsin.

The Islanders selected Clark in the third round (No. 82) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He also played two seasons at Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 6:32 PM

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

Kings sign four to one-year deals

The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Thomas Hickey, forward Stefan Legein, forward David Meckler and defenseman Jake Muzzin to one-year contracts, the team announced Tuesday.

Hickey, 23, had 26 points in 76 regular-season games with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League last season. His plus-16 rating led the team. Hickey served as a captain for Team Canada when it won the gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Championship. He was selected in the first-round (No. 4) of the 2007 NHL Draft.

Legein, 23, recorded 14 goals and 11 assists in 63 regular-season games with the Monarchs last season. Five of his goals were shorthanded. Legin was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second-round (No. 37) of the 2007 NHL Draft and acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Meckler, 25, recorded 10 goals, seven assists and a plus-10 rating in 44 regular-season games with the Monarchs in his fifth season in Manchester. Meckler was selected by the Kings in the fifth-round (No. 134) of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Muzzin, 23, established career highs in goals (seven), assists (24), points (31), penalty minutes (40) and games played (71) for the Monarchs last season. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth-round (No. 141) of the 2007 NHL Draft and signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on Jan. 4, 2010.

Posted On Tuesday, 07.17.2012 / 2:31 PM

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

Kings commemorative milk bottle a big hit

As one of the last dairy farms still packing their product in glass containers, the staff at Broguiere's Dairy likes to have fun with their bottle designs.

Photo courtesy Don Broguiere

A family-run business since 1920, the company has made commemorative bottle designs honoring numerous Southern California teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, UCLA, USC, and even Little League teams. But the response they're getting for their new bottle honoring the L.A. Kings' Stanley Cup win has shocked everyone, especially the head of the company.

"The response caught us off guard. We did a 'Congratulations Lakers' bottle three different times and never had a response like this," said company owner Ray Broguiere, whose son Chris is a big Kings fan and came up with the idea. "The response has been better than anything we've ever done."

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