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Maple Leafs sign Robidas, Komarov

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 9:32 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Stephane Robidas to a three-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Robidas, 37, split last season with the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks, scoring five goals and 10 points in 38 games. The veteran was traded to the Ducks at the NHL Trade Deadline after spending parts of 11 seasons in Dallas.

"He's a heart-and-soul kind of a player," Toronto general manager Dave Nonis said. "He's a player I think that at the end of every year you can look back and say he's given you everything he had. He's still a very effective player."

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Analysis: Thanks to Nill, Stars are contenders again

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 9:21 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

After almost 19 years working under Ken Holland to build the Detroit Red Wings into a perennial Stanley Cup contender, Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill needed 14 months and two days to put his new team in the middle of the competitive arms race in the Western Conference.

Nill gave the Stars the ammunition they needed Tuesday by acquiring Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza in a trade and signing Senators forward Ales Hemsky to a three-year contract reportedly worth $12 million.

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Sabres sign five on first day of free agency

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 9:11 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- After a weekend at the 2014 NHL Draft that had the Buffalo Sabres feeling good about the future, the team made a splash on the first day of free agency by acquiring five players Tuesday.

Sabres general manager Tim Murray signed unrestricted free agent forwards Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick, and defenseman Andrej Meszaros.

Buffalo also acquired defenseman Josh Gorges from the Montreal Canadiens in a trade for a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and re-signed restricted free agent forward Marcus Foligno.

A veteran group joining what was a very young team at the end of the 2014 season should help ease any concerns about leadership heading into next season.

"We're more competitive," Murray said. "We've got a lot of character now. We have leadership now. That's important to me when you're adding young players every year. There's a short term and a long term. The long-term is that your young players get better. Your young players become pros. They're not just good players, they're good NHL players, and I think that this group of people that we've added today can help in that regard."

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Flyers re-sign goalie Emery to one-year contract

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 9:04 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

The Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday re-signed goaltender Ray Emery to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed, though it is believed Emery will make less than he did last season.

"You always want to earn as much as you can, but I'm happy to be staying in the same spot," Emery said. "It was a real comfortable situation for me and I'm just glad that I get to stay somewhere I'm comfortable."

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Iginla celebrates birthday by signing with Avalanche

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 8:47 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Jarome Iginla turned 37 on Tuesday and will be embarking on his 20th season in the NHL this fall, but the newest member of the Colorado Avalanche has no doubt he can still play at a high level.

"I don't want to be arrogant, but I do believe I can still be very good and continue to be able to contribute offensively as a good player and compete and be physical and skate," the forward said after signing a three-year, $16 million contract with the Avalanche as a free agent. "I love the game as much as ever and I work as hard as ever in the summer and I look forward to doing that."

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Capitals sign Niskanen for seven years, Orpik for five

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 8:47 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan identified reinforcing the defense as his most pressing priority. He achieved that Tuesday, signing former Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik each to a long-term contract worth more than $67 million combined.

"I know it's a big commitment by ownership," MacLellan said. "We feel we've addressed areas that we felt we needed to address. We needed to shore up our defense, give us some depth, give us some leadership, give us some experience. I think we've accomplished that."

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Lightning sign Stralman, Boyle to multiyear contracts

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 8:25 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Anton Stralman and center Brian Boyle each to a multiyear contract Tuesday on the opening day of NHL free agency. They also signed goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year contract.

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Canadiens turning leadership roles over to young core

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 8:00 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens' run to the Eastern Conference Final in the Stanley Cup Playoffs opened a lot of eyes around the NHL. It appears to have opened the eyes of Canadiens management as well.

General manager Marc Bergevin had a busy day Tuesday on the opening of the NHL free agent market, but the most important thing he feels he accomplished was to turn over the leadership of his club to his young veterans.

Bergevin allowed captain Brian Gionta to leave as an unrestricted free agent and traded defenseman Josh Gorges and his $3.9 million salary-cap charge for the next four seasons to the Buffalo Sabres, where Gionta eventually signed a three-year, $12.75 million contract.

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Panthers GM Tallon enjoys huge day with six signings

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 7:38 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon figured he'd be busy on the first day of NHL free agency, but he didn't expect to be able to land all the players he targeted.

Tallon said that's what happened after the Panthers signed six unrestricted free agents Tuesday: forwards Dave BollandJussi JokinenShawn Thornton and Derek MacKenzie, defenseman Willie Mitchell and goalie Al Montoya.

"It was a great day for our franchise," Tallon said. "We exceeded expectations. We identified a number of players and we got 'em all. I've never had that happen before; the guys that we identified were guys that we ended up getting."

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First day of free agency sees West get even more wild

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 7:26 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Much of the offseason work before the start of the 2014-15 season has now been completed, and the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks remain the class of the Western Conference.

The list of possible contenders queuing up behind those two powers is growing, though, with several teams looking better on paper after a series of trades and the first day of free agency. It was the tougher conference in 2013-14, but the battle for the top eight spots in the Western Conference next season could be incredible.

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Quote of the Day

It's a little different but it feels amazing. A new chapter in my life and I'm excited. It's been amazing. Better than I expected. The weather is great, the place is just amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm glad to get the season going.

— Ryan Kesler on his transition to the Anaheim Ducks