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Analysis: Kessel trade begins Maple Leafs' rebuild

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:07 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Brendan Shanahan made his first major mark on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster on Wednesday, opening the door to the long-term, sometimes painful rebuild he knows the franchise needs to go through in order to once again become relevant in the chase for the Stanley Cup.

After spending months wielding his power mostly to build Toronto's front office and coaching staff, Shanahan, the Maple Leafs president, went to work on his roster rebuild by trading forward Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In trading Kessel, Shanahan opened $6.8 million in salary-cap space for the next seven seasons. The Maple Leafs retained 15 percent ($1.2 million) of Kessel's $8 million cap charge.

Kessel was the best trade chip Shanahan could play to start his rebuild if Toronto does not want to be in a win-now frame of mind, even after bringing in Mike Babcock as coach.

Blackhawks agree to terms with forward Tikhonov

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 3:50 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Forward Viktor Tikhonov agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. Financial terms were undisclosed, but Sportsnet reported Tikhonov will receive $1.04 million.

Tikhonov, 27, had eight goals and 24 points in 49 games with SKA St. Petersburg in the Kontinental Hockey League last season. He also had three points in 10 games to help Russia win the silver medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

Selected by the Arizona Coyotes with the 28th pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, Tikhonov had eight goals and 16 points as a rookie in 2008-09. He spent most of the next two seasons in the American Hockey League, and has been in the KHL since the 2011-12 season.

Avalanche fill needs by signing Beauchemin, Comeau

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 3:30 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche believe they filled immediate needs Wednesday by signing defenseman Francois Beauchemin and left wing Blake Comeau to free agent contracts.

Beauchemin, 35, signed a three-year contract that TSN reported is worth $13.5 million. He will play the left side on the Avalanche's top defense pairing with Erik Johnson.

Comeau, 29, signed a three-year contract that Sportsnet reported is worth $7.2 million.

"We addressed what we feel are our needs for what we were looking to do today," Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "We're excited to add Beauchemin and Comeau to our group. We've got leadership, we've got toughness, guys that play full 200-foot games.

"The biggest thing is we were looking for somebody to play with [Johnson] for top minutes, play against the other team's top lines. We looked at all the free agents out there, and there's only a handful we knew could play [that role]. Francois did a tremendous job for Anaheim, and I know he's excited to come here and do the same thing."

Anisimov set to help Blackhawks battle for more titles

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 3:15 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Artem Anisimov wanted to be part of the Chicago Blackhawks just as much as they wanted him to be their second-line center.

That's the main reason the two sides came together Wednesday on a five-year contract extension announced by the Blackhawks a day after they acquired Anisimov in a seven-player trade that sent forward Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"I want to be part of the team," Anisimov said Wednesday. "Every year, they've battled for the Stanley Cup. To sign for five years in Chicago is big for me, and I'm really excited to sign with the Blackhawks."

Devils sign John Moore to three-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 2:34 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The New Jersey Devils signed defenseman John Moore to a three-year, $5 million contract on Wednesday.

Moore, 24, had two goals and 11 points in 57 games with the New York Rangers and Arizona Coyotes in 2014-15.

A first-round pick (No. 21) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2009 NHL Draft, Moore has nine goals and 40 points in 230 games.

Frolik signs multiyear contract with Flames

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 2:28 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Calgary Flames signed forward Michael Frolik to a multiyear contract Wednesday. Terms were not released, but multiple media outlets reported it to be five years with an average annual value of $4.3 million.

"I'm really excited about it," Frolik told the Flames website. "Calgary had a great year last year and they got a great young group of guys. I know the city is pretty good too. I have a family now so it mattered too in that ... I'm really happy to be a Calgary Flame."

Coyotes sign goalie Lindback to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 2:18 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

GLENDALE, ARIZONAArizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed goaltender Anders Lindback to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The 27-year-old Lindback registered a 6-16-2 record with a 3.11 goals against average (GAA) and a .909 save percentage (SV%) in 26 games with the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres last season. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound native of Gavle, Sweden posted a 2.76 GAA and a .924 SV% in 16 games with the Sabres.

Lightning sign Condra to three-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 2:15 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Right wing Erik Condra signed a three-year contract Wednesday with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Condra, 28, spent the past five seasons with the Ottawa Senators. He had nine goals and 23 points in 68 games in 2014-15. The 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed shot has 33 goals and 87 points in 299 career NHL games, all with the Senators.

Condra, who was selected in the seventh round (No. 211) of the 2006 NHL Draft by the Senators, has three goals and nine points in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Canucks sign Weber, Bartkowski, Bachman

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 1:57 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday signed defensemen Yannick Weber and Matt Bartkowski to one-year contracts and goaltender Richard Bachman to a two-year contract.

Financial terms were not released on any of the contracts, but TSN reported Weber will make $1.5 million and Bartkowski will make $1.75 million.

Stars re-sign forward Eaves to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 1:57 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Forward Patrick Eaves signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the Dallas Morning News reported the contract is worth $1.15 million.

Eaves, 31, put up his best numbers in eight seasons with 14 goals and 27 points in 47 games.

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