The San Jose Sharks announced Tuesday they had signed defenseman Brad Stuart to a three-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but CSNBayArea reported last week that the deal would be worth $3.6 million per season.
The Sharks had acquired Stuart's rights June 10 from Detroit, in return for forward Andrew Murray a 2014 seventh-round draft pick.
Stuart, 32, would have been an unrestricted free agent had he not signed prior to July 1.
Originally drafted by the Sharks with the third pick of the 1998 draft, Stuart played his first six NHL seasons with San Jose. He's also played with Boston, Calgary, Los Angeles and Detroit.
He had six goals, 21 points and a plus-16 rating in 81 games with the Red Wings last season.
The Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday signed defenseman Shane O'Brien to a new three-year contract. Terms were not released, but the Denver Post reported the deal is worth a total of $6 million.
Had he not signed, O'Brien would have been an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"Having Shane under contract further solidifies our blue line," Avalanche general manager/executive vice president Greg Sherman said. "He brings energy to our lineup and we're pleased to have signed him to a multiyear deal."
O'Brien had 20 points and 105 penalty minutes in 76 games this past season. He also ranked in the top four on the team with 138 hits and 86 blocked shots.
When Peter Mueller has been healthy, he's shown himself to be a highly-skilled NHL forward.
Staying healthy, however, has been a major issue the last three seasons, and likely was part of the reason the Colorado Avalanche on Monday declined to give the restricted free agent a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent July 1.
He slumped to just 13 goals the following season, and after a slow start to the 2009-10 season, the Coyotes traded him to the Colorado Avalanche on March 3, 2010.
The change of scenery lit a fire under Mueller, who had nine goals and 11 assists in 20 games. That hot run ended April 4, 2010, when he suffered a concussion on a hit by the San Jose Sharks' Rob Blake.
He was close to returning when the 2010-11 season started, but he suffered another concussion in his first preseason game -- Mueller said he was hit by a stick in the left temple, the same place he was injured on the Blake hit -- and that led to him sitting out the entire 2010-11 season.
PITTSBURGH -- One draft down, one more to go for Swedish goalie Oscar Dansk.
Dansk, drafted with the first pick of the second round by the Columbus Blue Jackets (No. 31) on Saturday at Consol Energy Center, spent this past season with Brynas Jr of Sweden's second division. He sported a 2.82 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 28 games.
NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-ranked European goalie admitted he would certainly take the major-junior route if he is selected by a team on Wednesday during the Canadian Hockey League's annual Import Draft.
"My dream will be to come to camp and try my best, but I know it's a process and however long the process going to take, we'll see," Dansk said. "I feel like I had good conversations with the Blue Jackets, but you never know what will happen."
"We kind of crossed paths on the floor and gave each other a hug," Sutter told NHL.com. "He's my best friend and to share this experience with him is so surreal. I'm extremely proud of him and I'm sure he'd say the same about me."
In 148 games spanning three seasons with the WHL's Blades, Sutter has totaled 352 PIMs, including 165 in 70 contests this season. According to hockeyfights.com, he also dropped the gloves 10 times in 2011-12 -- seven short of the 17 players he fought last season.
But after being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-5, 200-pounder said, "It looks like I'm a Flyers fan now."
Stolarz does have a connection to the Flyers, as growing up in central New Jersey, he played with and against Philadelphia forward James van Riemsdyk.
"I played against Trevor in high school when I was a freshman [at St. John Vianney], he was a senior at Christian Brothers [Academy]. There were a few times playing open hockey I'd play with James, Trevor and the youngest brother, Brandon."
Stolarz has taken a circuitous route to his NHL draft day. He played in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League and was recommended for an open camp Corpus Christi was having in Albany, N.Y. From there he was invited to the IceRays' main camp and posted a 2.84 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 50 games.
He admits he had no idea what hockey in Texas would be like.
"It was right on the beach," he said. "I figured it'll be a good spot."
However, playing in Texas made it a bit hard for NHL scouts to find him, which made his selection in the second round a bit of a surprise.
"To start the year I really wasn't focused on the NHL," he said. "I was focused more on getting a college scholarship. Anything after that was an added bonus."
He'll play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha next season, but said he's already looking forward to meeting Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
"He looks like an interesting character," Stolarz said. "He's a good goalie. Watching him in Phoenix and now Philly, hopefully I'll be able to pick up a few things from him."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
PITTSBURGH -- As recently as a week ago, Mark Jankowski was struggling to figure out what he should do.
But when he was taken the Calgary Flames with the 21st pick at the NHL Draft on Friday night, the tall center from Stanstead College in Quebec knew he’d made the right call to skip his high school graduation ceremony and attend the first round of the draft
"I think I made the right decision," a beaming Jankowski said while wearing a Flames jersey. "I only made my decision about a week ago, and right up until that day I was flip flopping every day."
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello pretty much assured that the younger Matteau wouldn't allow history to repeat itself when he drafted Stefan with the 29th pick of the NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center on Friday.
Was the youngster, NHL Central Scouting's No. 17-ranked North American skater, surprised by the selection?
By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer With the first pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Edmonton Oilers selected 18-year-old right wing Nail Yakupov, making him the first Russian-born player chosen No. 1 overall since Alex Ovechkin in 2004. READ MORE ›
"I met with the Devils a few times, but obviously knowing the history of my name, I guess it's surprising," Matteau said. "But I couldn't be more thrilled."
Matteau's father was selected with the 25th pick in 1987 by the Calgary Flames, meaning Stefan lost the big bet since father was drafted earlier than son.
After hearing his name announced by New Jersey director of amateur scouting, David Conte, Matteau said he didn't even have enough time to chat with his father.
"I gave [my father] a hug and ran down to the stage," Matteau said. "I think he's happy for me. If I would have gone to the Rangers with the pick before, there would have been a lot of pressure. I think it's good for me and I'm glad to be a Devil."
Matteau was the sixth American-born player drafted in the opening round. He'll play for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2012-13.
"You meet with teams early on and give yourself expectations and sometimes you don't meet them," Matteau said. "I thought I could have gone earlier, but it worked out in the end. There are 10 to 15 minutes between each pick and it's long.
"Today was the longest day of my life, but it all worked out in the end and I'm really proud."
The 6-foot-1 1/2, 210-pound center had 15 goals, including four power-play goals, and 32 points in 46 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program this season. He also accumulated 166 penalty minutes. In 47 games with the U-17 Team last season, he had seven goals, 18 points and 67 penalty minutes.
"I'm a big-bodied power forward, have a lot of skill and a good shot, and I play with an edge," Matteau said. "Some teams like that, and I like to bring an all-around solid game."
Matteau doesn't believe he plays the game as his father once did.
"Growing up, I did get to watch him … he was a hard-working, physical guy who played with an edge," Stefan told NHL.com. "It's weird to say this because he played 15 years, but I think I'm more offensive than he was. Dad told me I'm bigger and more skilled … that's what he said."
Matteau believes he's a perfect fit with the Devils, a team he considered to be one of the hardest-working in the playoffs.
"Just their physicality and the way they never stopped," Matteau said. "The Final was a tough go, but they still didn't back down and that's how I play. I go hard to the end and it's a good fit for me."
He said his "mentality is to make the team next year."
"If not, I'll just go back to junior and develop one more year and hopefully make the jump after that."
"He's a powerful man, big and strong," Cole told NHL.com. "He plays a physical game and he's going to be good. I would think he's a little (more physical than dad). He also probably has a little more high-end offensive ability -- Stef's going to put the puck in the net."
Does Matteau have a message for Devils' fans?
"No, not really … I'm in shock myself," he said with a grin. "There's a bright future ahead, and I'm looking forward to having an impact wherever they may need me."
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale