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Predators sign Ribeiro, Hodgson, Jackman

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

Robby Stanley - 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."

Maple Leafs add Hunwick, Parenteau, Arcobello

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

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.

Sharks fill two important needs with Martin, Jones

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

Dan Rosen - 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

Coyotes sign forward Downie to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:29 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

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

The 28-year-old Downie totaled 14-14-28 and 238 penalty minutes (PIM) in 72 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He also added 0-2-2 and four PIM in five postseason contests.

The 5-foot-11, 191-pound native of Newmarket, ON has recorded 73-117-190 and 1,004 PIM in 408 career NHL games with the Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Stars sign forward McKenzie to two-year contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 4:20 PM / News

The Dallas Stars have signed left wing Curtis McKenzie to a two-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McKenzie, 24, made his National Hockey League debut in 2014-15, scoring four goals and posting five points with 48 penalty minutes in 36 games with Dallas. The forward also registered 21 points and 46 penalty minutes in 31 AHL regular-season games with the Texas Stars. He also appeared in three games in the Calder Cup Playoff, registering two points.

To read more from the Stars website, CLICK HERE.

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."

Rangers, forward Stalberg agree to terms on contract

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 3:22 PM / News

NEW YORKNew York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Viktor Stalberg.

Stalberg, 29, has played in 338 career NHL games over parts of six seasons with Toronto, Chicago, and Nashville, registering 62 goals and 70 assists for 132 points, along with 182 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played (79), goals (22), assists (21), points (43), and game-winning goals (six) during the 2011-12 season with the Blackhawks. In addition, Stalberg has recorded nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 38 career NHL playoff games, and he captured a Stanley Cup as a member of the Blackhawks in 2012-13.

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."

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