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Features

Hamilton, Frolik acquisitions raise bar for Flames

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:25 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- General manager Brad Treliving knows the Calgary Flames' on-ice success last season, when they qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009 and advanced beyond the first round for the first time since 2004, will increase expectations on them next season.

So, too, he predicts, will his recent acquisitions.

The Flames signed free agent forward Michael Frolik on Wednesday, five days after adding defenseman Dougie Hamilton in a trade with the Boston Bruins then signing him. Calgary also retained goalie Karri Ramo, re-signing him before he hit the free agent market.

"We told our team this, at the locker clean-out I said, 'We all have to be better, and it starts with me,'" Treliving said. "What we accomplished last year was nice, but ultimately it's just a step. The fact we had the season we had is going to raise expectations. That's just human nature, and we can't shy away from those. If we all want to be good, this is what happens. There's more expected. There's more pressure. We've got to start living like a team that wants to be good.

"I think those expectations are a good thing. That means you've added good people. The people you do have have had some success, so there should be expectations."

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Flyers sign goaltender Neuvirth to two-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:05 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers signed goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a two-year contract Wednesday.

Neuvirth, who likely will serve as the backup to Steve Mason, will be paid $1.5 million in 2015-16 and $1.75 million in 2016-17, according to Sportsnet.

"We're excited about it," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "We think he's a proven goalie. He's a good goalie. One of the attractive things for us with [Neuvirth] is … if something happens to [Mason] he'd have to carry the load and he's done that in the past. We think we brought in a real good goalie that's going to give us a real solid backup. I'm sure he's going to play more than the typical backup."

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Oilers' facelift continues with Sekera, Letestu

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:04 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli checked off two more items on his list during the first day of NHL free agency.

On Wednesday, Chiarelli signed veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera to a six-year, $33 million contract and center Mark Letestu to a three-year, $5.4 million contract.

"At the start of the shopping period, we had [Sekera] on our list and began talks with his agent," Chiarelli said. "It was at that point that there was interest and there was a little bit of recruitment from that period and dialog. He's a really versatile [defenseman] and really strong. He can play on our top pair if need be. We'd like to spread it out a bit so he can kind of be the linchpin of that second pair. He plays both sides. He played most of the year on the left, but when he was traded [to the Los Angeles Kings] he moved to the right."

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Campbell signs two-year contract with Blue Jackets

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:55 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

ColumbusBlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Gregory Campbell to a two-year contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Campbell, 31, has registered 68 goals and 108 assists for 176 points and 618 penalty minutes in 721 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. He has also added 4-9-13 and 19 penalty minutes in 59 career playoff games, winning a Stanley Cup championship with the Bruins in 2011 and advancing to the finals in 2013.

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Penguins excited to add Kessel's skill on the wing

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:35 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford did what he said he would.

Rutherford declared after Pittsburgh was eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in five games that he would bring in at least one top-six wing. He did just that Wednesday, when the Penguins acquired forward Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I'm very excited about what happened today," Rutherford said. "We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.

"We set out this offseason to bring in more skill on the wing and some more speed. I certainly think we covered that by adding Phil Kessel. We also liked to get some consistency of wingers for [Evgeni Malkin] and [Sidney Crosby]."

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Kapanen, Harrington add to Maple Leafs' young cadre

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to add youth and skill to their roster with the additions Wednesday of forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling and defenseman Scott Harrington from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel trade.

Kapanen, whose father Sami Kapanen played 831 NHL games scoring 189 goals and 458 points, is another young player the Maple Leafs hope will develop into a top-six forward.

"He's one of the youngest players that was drafted two years ago," Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said. "He came over this year and played a little bit in the [American Hockey League]. He's a talented guy; a top-six forward, we are hoping. I think he adds to another group of players that we have in our stable, that with a lot of work and a lot of patience and some development, we hope he can become a very productive Leaf at some point."

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Shanahan continues shakeup of Maple Leafs' core

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 6:20 PM / NHL Insider

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs' new direction continued Wednesday with the trade of veteran right wing Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kessel has led the Maple Leafs in scoring the past six seasons, but was traded along with minor-league center Tyler Biggs, defenseman Tim Erixon and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft for forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Nick Spaling, defenseman Scott Harrington and a first- and third-round draft pick in 2016.

Having not yet hired a general manager, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan orchestrated the trade, which he said started at the draft last week in Florida.

"I had said at the end of the season there were going to be changes," Shanahan said. "For whatever reason we had a lot of talented individuals on this team, but as a group, the core group, it hadn't worked. This is about winning. Phil is certainly a very talented player and we knew changes had to come."

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Predators sign Ribeiro, Hodgson, Jackman

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 5:36 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators general manager David Poile had a clear plan heading into free agency Wednesday, but that plan hinged on whether impending free agent center Mike Ribeiro would re-sign with the Predators.

Ribeiro signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Predators a little more than an hour before free agency began. He had 15 goals and 62 points last season and finished second on the Predators in scoring behind rookie forward Filip Forsberg. Poile was thrilled to get the contract with Ribeiro done and have his first-line center back for next season.

"I met with Mike [Wednesday] morning and certainly reinforced to him the importance of his being a good citizen in the community, and Mike is certainly committed to our team and to his family," Poile said. "He really appreciates us showing confidence in him as a hockey player and as a person."

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Maple Leafs add Hunwick, Parenteau, Arcobello

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 5:12 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Matt Hunwick to a two-year contract, and forwards PA ParenteauMark Arcobello to one-year contracts Wednesday. They also re-signed forward Richard Panik to a one-year contract.

Hunwick, 30, had 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 55 games for the New York Rangers last season, and was scoreless in six games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has played in 347 NHL regular-season games and has 78 points (18 goals, 60 assists) along with 132 penalty minutes. Sportsnet reported his contract is worth $2.4 million, an average annual value of $1.2 million.

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Sharks fill two important needs with Martin, Jones

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:53 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson talked about patience and how there still was plenty of time to build a roster for next season as he left the 2015 NHL Draft on Saturday without the goaltender or defenseman he was seeking.

Four days later, he has both.

The Sharks signed 34-year-old defenseman Paul Martin to a four-year contract Wednesday. Financial terms were not released, but TSN reported the contract has an average annual value of $4.85 million.

Martin's signing came less than 24 hours after the Sharks acquired and signed 25-year-old goalie Martin Jones to be their No. 1 goalie

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract