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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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Islanders sign Johnson, Brennan, Conacher

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 7:10 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The New York Islanders signed goaltender Chad Johnson to a two-year contract and forward Cory Conacher and defenseman TJ Brennan each to a one-year, one-way contract.

Newsday also reported the Islanders have signed forward Jack Skille to a one-year, two-way contract.

TSN placed the total value of Johnson's contract at $2.6 million.

"Obviously to get a deal done with an organization like the Islanders, with a young group of players who are hungry to win, it's exciting for myself to join the team," Johnson told the team website.

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Ducks sign Stoner, LaBarbera to contracts

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 6:52 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday signed defenseman Clayton Stoner to a four-year contract and goaltender Jason LaBarbera to a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"I'd like to keep growing and improving. Hopefully, the next few years here in Anaheim are the best of my career," Stoner said.

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Demko applauds Canucks' signing of Miller

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 6:48 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Goaltender Thatcher Demko of San Diego, Calif., watched with great interest the opening day of NHL free agency on Tuesday.

In particular, he wondered if the Vancouver Canucks had plans of adding another goaltender to their mix. After all, Demko, who will enter his sophomore year at Boston College in Hockey East in 2014-15, was selected by the Canucks in the second round (No. 36) of the recently completed 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia on June 28.

He didn't need to wait too long when general manager Jim Benning announced in the morning the team had signed East Lansing, Mich., native Ryan Miller to a three-year contract.

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Blackhawks sign Brad Richards to one-year contract

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 6:48 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Brad Richards learned about the Chicago Blackhawks' interest in him from his agent Sunday. The center's ears immediately perked up, even if he met the news from Pat Morris with some skepticism.

"When he mentioned Chicago obviously I was very interested," Richards said Tuesday. "I knew full well of what the challenges were of trying to get a contract because of the salary cap."

Richards' excitement intensified after a conference call he had Monday night with Chicago general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville. Richards' hope became reality Tuesday when he and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year contract worth a reported $2 million.

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Dan Boyle highlights hectic day of Rangers signings

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 6:39 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

What was expected to be an eventful first day of free agency for the New York Rangers saw several new faces make their way to the Big Apple.

The Rangers started the day by signing defenseman Dan Boyle to a contract that is reportedly for two years and worth $9 million, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. Signing the veteran was just the beginning of a day when New York re-signed forward Dominic Moore and signed forwards Tanner Glass and Chris Mueller, defensemen Michael Kostka, Matt Hunwick and Steven Kampfer, and goaltender Cedrick Desjardins.

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Canucks sign Ryan Miller to three-year contract

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 6:16 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning was a scout with the Buffalo Sabres when they picked goaltender Ryan Miller in the fifth round of the 1999 NHL Draft.

Right before making Miller the 138th selection, Benning was asked to check with his agent, Mike Liut.

"I ran up to the stands, I asked Mike, 'Is this the time to take Ryan in the draft?' and Mike said 'Yep, this is Miller time,'" Benning said Tuesday.

Fifteen years later, it's Miller time again for Benning.

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Flames sign Hiller, Raymond, Engelland

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 5:43 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames added three players on the first day of free agency Tuesday, signing goaltender Jonas Hiller, forward Mason Raymond and defenseman Deryk Engelland each to a multiyear contract.

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Signing in Minnesota beyond Vanek's 'wildest dreams'

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 5:40 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two hours after agreeing to a three-year, $19.5 million contract, Thomas Vanek slipped on a Minnesota Wild jersey for the first time.

"Feels good. Looks good," Vanek said.

Vanek, who makes his home about 20 minutes east of Xcel Energy Center in Stillwater, Minn., chose to take less money, over fewer years, to stay home and reap all the benefits that has to offer.

"It's beyond my wildest dreams," Vanek said. "It's still hard to put into words."

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Quote of the Day

I think I'm lucky to be here and you definitely don't take very many things for granted, if you take anything for granted. I definitely put my family and my wife and my close family in perspective, that they're the most important thing in the world. I want to do whatever I can to play hockey, but like I said, under the right circumstances.

— Stars forward Rich Peverley to "The Musers" radio show on The Ticket 1310 AM in Dallas