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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 11:58 AM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Summer with Stanley blog

Kopitar's historical day in Slovenia

Anze Kopitar is the NHL's first player from Slovenia, so he is clearly the first person to spend his day with the Cup in Slovenia.

Kopitar's special celebration in Jesenice started Thursday with the Cup being placed atop a log in the backyard of the family's home, one that has been used to celebrate hockey accomplishments of Anze and his brother, Gasper, over the years.

Kopitar had breakfast with the Cup and will eventually hand it off to coach Darryl Sutter, who will spend his day with the Cup in Viking, Alta., on the farm where he was raised.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 11:40 AM

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

Blues sign Murray to two-way contract

The St. Louis Blues on Friday signed veteran forward Andrew Murray to a one-year, two-way contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Murray, 30, dressed in 39 games for the San Jose Sharks last season, recording one goal and four points. He also appeared in 10 games for their AHL affiliate in Worcester, posting a goal and three points.

The 6-foot-2, 218-pound forward has registered 24 goals and 40 points in 220 games over parts of five NHL seasons with San Jose and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Selkirk, Manitoba native was originally chosen by Columbus in the eighth round of the 2001 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Friday, 07.06.2012 / 11:30 AM

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

Coyotes re-sign Chipchura to one-year contract

Kyle Chipchura registered career highs in assists and points last season with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The team re-signed the five-year NHL veteran to a one-year contract Friday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-2, 205 pound center played 53 games for the Coyotes in 2011-12 and finished with three goals, 13 assists, 16 points and 42 penalty minutes. Chipchura also played in 15 playoff games for the Coyotes, collecting one goal and four points.

"We are very pleased to re-sign Kyle," general manager Don Maloney said. "Kyle is a hard-working, versatile forward who brings toughness and grit to our lineup. We are happy to have him back."

In five NHL seasons with Montreal, Anaheim and Phoenix, the 26-year-old native of Westlock, Alberta has appeared in 216 games, registering 13 goals, 44 points and 161 PIM.

Chipchura was originally chosen by the Canadiens with the 18th pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 7:07 PM

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

Oilers sign Dubnyk, Petry

The Oilers bolstered their depth on the back end with a pair of re-signings Thursday, as the team agreed to two-year deals with goalie Devan Dubnyk and defenseman Jeff Petry. According to the Oilers, Dubynk's deal has an average annual value of $3.5 million per season while Petry's deal has an average annual value of $1.75 million per season.

With Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin about to enter the final season of his current contract, Dubnyk should have the opportunity to take over the starting job full time. In 2011-12, Dubnyk went 20-20-3 in a career-high 47 games, finishing with a 2.67 goals-against average.

Petry played 73 games on the Oilers' blue line last season, finishing with two goals and 23 assists to go with a minus-7 rating.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 7:02 PM

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

Capitals sign Beagle to three-year deal

Forward Jay Beagle will be staying in Washington, as the forward has agreed to a new three-year contract with the Capitals, the team announced Thursday.

In 2011-12, Beagle set career highs with four goals and fiave points in 41 games played. Perhaps more pivotal than his scoring, however, was Beagle's impressive circle in the face-off circle, where he won 57.7% of his draws this past season, the second-best percentage on the team. During the course of the season Beagle was also credited with 66 hits and 23 blocked shots.

Beagle saw his role expand significantly during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as his average ice time of 18:25 per game ranked sixth among forwards on the team after averaging just 11:51 of ice time during the regular season. Beagle finished the playoffs with one goal and one assist as well as 25 hits.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:47 PM

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

Wild re-sign Falk to one-year deal

The Minnesota Wild re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Justin Falk to a one-year, one-way contract Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Falk, a 2007 fourth-round pick of the Wild, had nine points and 54 penalty minutes in 47 games. It was his first full NHL season after playing 25 games in splitting the previous two seasons between the NHL and the AHL.

Falk was sixth among all rookies last season in average ice time per game at 19:29, and was eighth in blocked shots with 78.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:40 PM

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

Flames re-sign restricted free agent Backlund

Promising young center Mikael Backlund, who was a restricted free agent, has re-signed with the Calgary Flames. Terms were not disclosed.

"Mikael has an opportunity to step up and attempt to secure a top-two-line center position with our club," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said. "He is a very talented player who skates well, has excellent vision and possesses a strong skill set. As we have discussed with him, Mikael needs to work on his consistency and his focus in order to break through in a top-six role and start to define his role on our team. We are excited about the level of competition that should exist in camp this fall and we expect Mikael to be in the thick of those battles."

Backlund, a native of Vasteras, Sweden, was selected by the Flames with the 24th pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. Last season he compiled four goals, 11 points and 16 penalty minutes in 41 games. In 138 career games, Backlund has 15 goals and 46 points.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:21 PM

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

Canucks add pair of defensemen

The Vancouver Canucks on Thursday signed free-agent defensemen Derek Joslin and Patrick Mullen.

Joslin, 27, had four points in 44 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, and three points in four games with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

In 114 NHL games with the Sharks and Hurricanes, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound blueliner has four goals, 16 points and 63 penalty minutes.

Mullen, 26, had 41 points in 69 games last season with the Manchester Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings' AHL team. His 13 goals were tied for fourth among AHL defensemen.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 4:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Flyers add Fedotenko and Gervais

The Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday signed forward Ruslan Fedotenko and defenseman Bruno Gervais. Terms of the deals were not released, but ESPN.com is reporting Gervais' deal is for two years at $825,000 per season, while Fedotenko will make $1.75 million on a one-year deal.

Fedotenko, 33, returns to the team he started his NHL career with as an undrafted free agent in 2000-01. He had nine goals and 11 assists in 73 regular-season games with the New York Rangers last season, and two goals and five assists in 20 playoff games.

In 816 NHL games with the Flyers, Lightning, Islanders, Penguins and Rangers, the left wing has 169 goals and 184 assists. He also has a pair of Stanley Cup rings, with the 2004 Lightning and 2009 Penguins.

"I think the opportunity to add Ruslan, and his ability to play a lot of different roles on a team … he can play any wing, he can probably play center if you need," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. "The fact that he's won a couple times, the fact that he’s been here before, both played into the decision to move forward with him. We’ve actually tried to sign Ruslan a couple times over the last few years and we’ve always missed out. I like him, and I think he's going to bring a lot to our team in terms of leadership, and I think he's a winner. I really do."

Gervais, 27, had six goals and seven assists in 50 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. A 2003 sixth-round pick of the New York Islanders, Gervais has 81 points in 381 NHL games with the Islanders and Lightning.

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Posted On Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 2:28 PM

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

Oilers sign Dane Byers

The Edmonton Oilers on Thursday agreed to terms with left wing Dane Byers on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not released.

Byers, 26, split last season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He was scoreless in eight NHL games, but had 16 goals and 23 assists in 61 AHL games. He also served as the team's captain.

A 2004 second-round pick of the New York Rangers, Byers has one goal in 14 NHL games with the Rangers and Blue Jackets.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic