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NHL Free Agency 2013

Analysis: Bruins choose pedigree over promise

Saturday, 07.06.2013 / 4:00 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

For Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, building a 2013-14 roster that can match, and maybe exceed, the accomplishments of the 2012-13 edition required committing to proven, older assets rather than waiting for potential to bloom.

The Bruins decided they could no longer wait for forward Tyler Seguin, the second pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, to fulfill his potential, and so now they'll be looking to veterans Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson to pick up the slack in the upcoming season.

Iginla signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract Friday with the Bruins on the first day of free agency. The 36-year-old's initial salary-cap charge will be $1.8 million, but he can earn $4.2 million more in incentives. Eriksson, the centerpiece of the package the Bruins acquired from the Dallas Stars for Seguin, will turn 28 this month and carries a cap charge of $4.25 million, according to

Iginla 'thrilled' to get together with Bruins this time

Saturday, 07.06.2013 / 3:10 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

The mess surrounding the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Calgary Flames during the pursuit of a trade for Jarome Iginla overflowed so much near the NHL Trade Deadline that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli felt compelled to hold a press conference to discuss a deal he didn't make.

Ultimately, Iginla wound up with the Penguins, Chiarelli felt misled by Flames general manager Jay Feaster, and all of Boston felt spurned by Iginla, who waived his no-trade clause to join the Pittsburgh Penguins.

So during the recent free-agent interview process, a call from Iginla's agent took Chiarelli by surprise.

Canadiens GM pleased with Briere, Parros additions

Saturday, 07.06.2013 / 10:45 AM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin dipped his toe in the free agency pool a day early and decided not to take the full plunge when the market opened Friday.

After signing bought out forward Danny Briere to a two-year, $8 million contract Thursday, Bergevin did not sign any free agents when the market opened Friday, instead choosing to acquire enforcer George Parros from the Florida Panthers in a trade for prospect Philippe Lefebvre and the Panthers' seventh-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Bergevin addressed the media Friday for the first time since he signed Briere, and said he was proud to be able to add the Gatineau, Quebec native to the Canadiens.

Blackhawks GM Bowman: 'I like where we're at'

Saturday, 07.06.2013 / 12:50 AM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – The free agency period started Friday and didn't take long to become frenzied.

Signings started rolling in left and right, a blockbuster trade was hatched, and all day long the hockey experts assessed winners and losers. There was one general manager, however, who watched it unfold and barely had his pulse increase.

Stan Bowman, the Chicago Blackhawks' GM, probably didn't pound his desk in frustration when David Clarkson and Tyler Bozak chose the Toronto Maple Leafs, or when Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss opted to sign with the Detroit Red Wings.

"I've always had the philosophy that if you're relying on the free-agent period in July to save your team, it's probably not the prescription we're looking for," Bowman said during a conference call Friday night. "I think adding a player here and there is certainly understandable, and Bryan Bickell, I guess, could fall into that category. We got him signed a week ago leading into this, so he may be the only guy you could put into that category for us, for the frenzy. But I think the way to build success and sustain it is to draft and develop your players and then add in the occasional player through free agency."

Maple Leafs land Clarkson, re-sign Bozak

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 11:12 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Center Tyler Bozak is staying in Toronto and right wing David Clarkson is leaving New Jersey to join him.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Clarkson to a seven-year contract Friday, and Bozak re-signed for five years and $21 million.

Clarkson is from Mimico, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. It's the same hometown as Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland, who was acquired in a trade during the 2013 NHL Draft.

"It feels good. It's an honor to be here," Clarkson told reporters Friday night. "I wore that jersey as a kid. I was a big Leaf fan when I was little, so it'll be pretty special to put it on. For my family, it's a big day."

Many people thought Bozak would be leaving Toronto after the Bolland trade, but now the Maple Leafs' top three centers are Nazem Kadri, Bozak and Bolland. Toronto waived Mikhail Grabovski on Thursday to buy out the remaining four years on his five-year contract.

Horton happy he's found home with Blue Jackets

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 11:03 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Nathan Horton to a seven-year contract Friday, one of the biggest deals on the first day of NHL free agency.

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported its total is $37.1 million, an average annual value of $5.3 million. He also reported Horton will receive $30 million in the first five seasons. The $37.1 million is the most total money any unrestricted free agent received Friday.

"We went into the market looking for a scorer, a proven scorer, that can bring offensive skill and power forward type to our team," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. "We found the No. 1 guy on our list and got him signed."

Horton, 28, spent the past three seasons with the Boston Bruins. He had 13 goals and 22 points in 48 games in 2012-13, then had 19 points and a League-best plus-20 rating in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games. The Bruins lost the Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

Horton helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011, scoring series-clinching goals against the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round and the Tampa Bay Lighting in the Eastern Conference Final.

"I want to bring what I can to the team. I think that scoring goals, battling, bringing pucks to the net, like a power forward does, that's what I want to do," Horton told reporters at Nationwide Arena. "But again, I'll do anything it takes, wherever I'm slotted and wherever the coach wants me to be, that's where I'll play and I'll be happy to do it because I want to get back and be in the playoffs, obviously, and everyone else does. I think we've got the team to do it. I think that's why we're so excited here. There's a buzz going around and I've felt it since I got here."

Senators lament Alfredsson, glad to land Ryan

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 10:41 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

The opening day of NHL free agency should have been a joyous one for Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray.

After all, it's not very often you add a young, proven, top-line goal-scorer to your lineup the way Murray did Friday when he acquired Bobby Ryan in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks.

It should have been hailed as a coup, and Murray's meeting with the Ottawa media at the end of the afternoon should have afforded him that rare opportunity for an NHL general manager to bask in the praise a transaction like that was sure to bring.

Instead, Murray had the exact opposite sentiment when he met with reporters and had to explain how, despite his and the team's best efforts, the greatest player in franchise history walked away to join a new division rival.

Blues sign forwards Lapierre, Aucoin

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 10:18 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The St. Louis Blues on Friday signed forward Maxim Lapierre to a two-year contract and forward Keith Aucoin to a one-year deal.

Lapierre, 28, played all 48 games for the Vancouver Canucks in 2012-13, posting 10 points (four goals) and 45 penalty minutes.

Lapierre has appeared in eight NHL seasons, including stints with the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver, totaling 113 points (54 goals) and 476 penalty minutes in 463 games. In 69 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Lapierre has 13 points (six goals) and 140 penalty minutes.

Panthers re-sign Matthias to two-year contract

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 10:09 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Florida Panthers announced Friday the club re-signed center Shawn Matthias to a two-year contract. Terms of the deal were not released, but TSN is reporting Matthias will make $1.75 million annually on the deal.

"I'm happy to get it out of the way," Matthias told the Panthers website. "The last contract I did, it was two days before camp, so it's nice to have it out of the way, and now I can just focus on training and getting ready for the season."

Wild sign Cooke to three-year contract

Friday, 07.05.2013 / 9:50 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Minnesota Wild added some grit to their lineup Friday when they signed forward Matt Cooke to a three-year contract.

"He's a player that [Wild coach Mike Yeo] and I know well from our days in Pittsburgh," Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher told the team's website. "He came into the League as a physical, energy-type player, but his game has evolved into a quality two-way player. We look at him as an ideal third-line forward."

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