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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:52 PM

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

Whitney signs with Stars

Ray Whitney didn't wait long to pick a new team, and he's staying in the Pacific Division.

The Dallas Stars announced Sunday they have signed Whitney, Phoenix's leading scorer last season, to a two-year contract worth $9 million. Whitney, 40, who led the Phoenix Coyotes with 77 points last season, told TSN the Stars "were the only team that wasn't scared to give me a second year."

"That was pretty much it," he continued. "It was just the term of the deal. Obviously there is a little bit of a red flag at 40, but I think I've got a couple more (seasons) in me."

Whitney won the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 and has 1,003 points in 1,229 career games. He said he understands why general managers across the NHL would be hesitant to give a 40-year-old a two-year contract, but he also said with modern medicine and the way players take care of their bodies he doesn't see that age as the end of the road for players going forward.

“Ray Whitney was among the most productive players in the league last season and showed he remains extremely capable and dangerous,” Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. “He’s a winner, a competitor and a leader, and we’re very excited he’ll be a Dallas Star.”


Whitney credited Coyotes coach Dave Tippett and the system he played in Phoenix for helping prolong his career.

"Everything has to work. You have to have a coach who believes in you and teammates that can do something with you," Whitney said. "Training is a big part of it, and diet. The older you get, you realize if you lose one of your steps you're never going to gain it back. I'm trying like (heck) to not lose one of those steps."
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:52 PM

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

Wild add forwards T. Mitchell, Konopka

While the Minnesota Wild were pursuing Zach Parise on Sunday, they also added a pair of forwards early in free agency.

Minnesota agreed to terms with Torrey Mitchell on a three-year pact reportedly worth $1.9 million per season and Zenon Konopka on a two-year deal. Mitchell had nine goals and 19 points in 66 games for the Sharks this past season, his second straight campaign with nine goals.

Konopka had three goals and five points in 55 games with the Ottawa Senators. He also had 193 penalty minutes after leading the League in that category in the previous two seasons. Minnesota will be Konopka's fourth team in as many years after stops with Tampa Bay, the New York Islanders and Ottawa.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:44 PM

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

Penguins bolster goalie depth with Zatkoff signing

The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to mold their depth chart behind starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with the addition of Jeff Zatkoff.

Pittsburgh and Zatkoff agreed to a two-year, two-way deal worth $525,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the American Hockey League, according to a report by TSN's Bob McKenzie. Zatkoff was 21-17-1 with a 2.49 goals against average and .920 save percentage for Manchester of the AHL as property of the Los Angeles Kings.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:26 PM

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

Defenseman Lundin signs with Senators

Defenseman Mike Lundin has signed with the Ottawa Senators, the team announced Sunday.

TSN reports the contract is for one year, $1.15 million.

Lundin, 27, played last season for the Minnesota Wild, appearing in 17 games with two goals and two assists. Lundin missed the first 23 games of the season with a back injury and final 25 contests with a lower body injury.

He played the previous four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had four goals and 29 assists in 224 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:19 PM

NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Avalanche add John Mitchell

The Colorado Avalanche added depth at forward and on defense in the first hour of free agency Sunday.

Colorado agreed to terms with former New York Rangers forward John Mitchell the team announced. TSN's Darren Dreger reported the deal for Mitchell is worth $2.2 million over two years.

Mitchell had five goals and 16 points in 63 games in his lone season with the Rangers after previously spending parts of three campaigns with Toronto.
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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:01 PM

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

Coyotes snag Moss with two-year contract

The Phoenix Coyotes have agreed to terms with forward David Moss on a two-year contract, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Sunday.

Moss had two goals and nine points in 32 games last season for the Calgary Flames. He had a career-high 20 goals in 2008-09, which was the only season in his six with the Flames that he appeared in more than 64 games.

Moss, 30, was a seventh-round pick by the Flames in the 2001 NHL Draft.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 1:00 PM

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

Red Wings sign goalie Gustavsson

Jimmy Howard will have a new backup in Detroit.

Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two-year, $3 million contract with the Red Wings.

Gustavsson came to Toronto as a heralded unrestricted free agent out of Sweden in 2009. He went 39-45-15 in 107 appearances over three seasons. Gustavsson posted a 2.98 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

The Leafs traded Gustavsson's negotiating rights to Winnipeg last weekend for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, but the sides never struck a deal.

The Red Wings used Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald as backups to Howard last season. Howard started 57 games but was injured at various points of the season.

It will be interesting if Gustavsson for some reason gets the start in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. The Red Wings' opponent is the Maple Leafs.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:34 PM

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

Defenseman Meech signs with Jets

Defenseman Derek Meech has signed with the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Sunday.

TSN reports the one-year, two-way deal is worth $700,000 in the NHL, $105,000 in the AHL.

Meech, 28, played two games for the Jets last season as he recovered from an injury. He also played six regular-season games in the American Hockey League with the St. John’s IceCaps, and 15 postseason games, scoring nine points (four goals, five assists) in the Calder Cup playoffs.

He has played in 128 career NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings and Winnipeg.

The Jets also signed forward Jason King, 30, to a contract with the IceCaps.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:23 PM

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

Leighton re-signs with Flyers

Goalie Michael Leighton has re-signed with the Philadelphia Flyers to serve as the backup to Ilya Bryzgalov.

The contract reportedly is for one-year, $900,000.

The Flyers last week traded Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets, opening the No. 2 spot behind Bryzgalov.

"I'm very happy to be back in Philly," Leighton said, according to the team's website. "This is where I want to be and I'm excited about the team we have this year. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working with Jeff Reese."

Leighton, 31, has not played an NHL game since 2010-11, when he played one.

In parts of three seasons, all with the Flyers, he is 35-40-2 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 104 games.

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 12:23 PM

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

Pouliot signs one-year pact with Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning kept Benoit Pouliot from hitting the free agent market just before noon ET on Sunday.

Pouliot and the Lightning agreed to a one-year contract worth $1.8 million, according to multiple reports. He had 16 goals and 32 points for the Boston Bruins this past season, but was traded to Tampa Bay on the second day of the 2012 NHL Draft for a fifth-round pick and Michel Ouellet.

He has 46 goals in the past three seasons, but the Lightning will also be the fourth team he's played for since the start of the 2009-10.

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Quote of the Day

I've got a lot of experience and there's a lot of young guys. It's even making me excited a little more. It's kind of a new life. At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things what to do, but I just cannot do it anymore. It's a lot easier to tell them what to do because they've still got the legs and hands to do it. I just know things, but I cannot do them anymore.

— Jaromir Jagr after making his Panthers debut in a win against the Sabres on Saturday