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Green, Richards give Red Wings coach more flexibility

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 12:04 PM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Coach Jeff Blashill says the signings of defenseman Mike Green and center Brad Richards provide the Detroit Red Wings with more flexibility.

"I think, in a lot of ways, they give us more options," Blashill said Thursday. "We think they fit in with our team and bring some unique skills."

The Red Wings signed Green to a three-year contract and Richards to a one-year contract Wednesday, the first day of NHL free agency. Green's contract is worth $18 million, and Richards is guaranteed $3 million for the 2015-16 season but could make $4 million with bonuses, according to TSN.

Blashill is going into his first season as Red Wings coach after replacing Mike Babcock, who left Detroit after 10 seasons to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Predators sign forward Bourque to one-year contract

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 11:48 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NashvillePredators.com

Nashville, Tenn.Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that forward Gabriel Bourque has accepted his qualifying offer and signed a one-year, $866,250 contract with the club.

Bourque, 24 (9/23/90), has played 220 career NHL games – all with Nashville – since 2011-12, recording 74 points (30g-44a). The Rimouski, Que., native set career highs in hits (141) and blocked shots (44) in 2014-15 after recording a personal-best 26 points (9g-17a) in a career-high 74 games during the 2013-14 campaign. During the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 5-10, 192-pound left wing tied for the team lead in goals (3), highlighted by two goals, including the game winner, in his NHL playoff debut becoming the third player in the previous 14 playoff years to attain the feat.

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Predators sign Max Reinhart to one-year contract

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 11:39 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NashvillePredators.com

Nashville, Tenn.Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced Thursday that the team has signed forward Max Reinhart to a one-year, two-way contract worth $575,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 at the AHL level.

Reinhart, 23 (2/4/92), who was acquired from Calgary in exchange for a conditional fourth-round selection in the 2016 Draft, has appeared in 23 career NHL games with the Flames over the past three seasons, posting a goal and four assists. Since scoring a pair of goals in his first professional contest with the AHL's Abbotsford Heat on April 15, 2012, the 6-1, 185-pound center has amassed 125 points (45g-80a) in 203 AHL contests. In 2013-14, his assist total ranked ninth in the AHL (42), while his point total tied for 11th (63).

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Habs, Thomas agree to terms on one-year contract

Thursday, 07.02.2015 / 10:45 AM / NHL Free Agency 2015

MontrealCanadiens.com

MONTREALMontreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Thursday that forward Christian Thomas has agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with the Club (2015-16).

Thomas, 23, played 18 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15. He scored one goal, his first career goal in the NHL, on February 12 against Edmonton. He averaged 9:05 of ice time per game and was assessed seven penalty minutes. The 5'09'' and 178 lbs forward also appeared in 52 games with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs, recording 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists). Two of his goals were scored on the powerplay and he totaled 125 shots on goal. Thomas has played 21 career regular season games in the NHL.

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Beleskey signs five-year contract with Bruins

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 11:53 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- While the Boston Bruins were struggling to score on their way to missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, forward Matt Beleskey was enjoying a breakout season with the Anaheim Ducks.

Now the Bruins are hoping Beleskey continues to blossom because their search for offense led them to sign the unrestricted free agent forward to a five-year contract Wednesday that averages $3.8 million per season.

Beleskey, 27, scored an NHL career-best 22 goals during the regular season and eight in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. When free agency began at noon on Wednesday, the 6-foot, 204-pound left wing was one of the most coveted forwards.

"I feel that coming to Boston, there's a lot of great young players, guys who have been around and guys who have won Stanley Cups," Beleskey said. "I think the experience is there and I think the style of play that I play is going to be useful in Boston. I think after being able to score some goals and get that confidence, I'm looking forward to next year. I'm looking forward to doing the same thing."

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Justin Williams signs 2-year contract with Capitals

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 11:48 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

Forward Justin Williams signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

"Justin is a proven winner and we feel he will be a great addition to our club," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. "We felt it was important for our team to add someone of his caliber, as a hockey player and as a veteran leader."

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Shawn Horcoff to sign with Ducks: report

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 10:30 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

Center Shawn Horcoff agreed to a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks worth $1.75 million on Wednesday, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Horcoff, who turns 37 on Sept. 17, played the past two seasons with the Dallas Stars. He had 11 goals and 18 assists in 76 games in 2014-15.

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Vermette returns to Coyotes after winning Cup

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 9:22 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

NHL.com

After helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, center Antoine Vermette returned to the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday, signing a two-year contract.

Vermette, who spent parts of four seasons with the Coyotes before being traded to the Blackhawks on Feb. 28, scored four goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including two game-winners in the Final that helped Chicago defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games for its third title in six years.

The contract is worth $7.5 million, an average annual value of $3.75 million, according to multiple media reports.

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Eichel signs with Sabres, ready for pro career

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:56 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, the second pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, on Wednesday became the first player from his draft class to sign a three-year, entry-level contract.

The decision ended speculation over whether Eichel would turn pro or return to Boston University for a second season.

"I'm super excited to be a part of this organization," Eichel said. "I signed today and that makes it official that I'll be leaving school and pursuing my career in professional hockey, and I couldn't be more excited about it. Looking at the Sabres organization, there's such a bright future here and it seemed like a no-brainer. It's my dream to potentially be playing professional hockey and I'm going to do everything in my power to make an impact on the Sabres next year."

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McDavid skates at Oilers' home arena for first time

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:40 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Connor McDavid stepped onto the ice at Rexall Place for the first time Wednesday, taking part in opening day of Edmonton Oilers development camp.

The No. 1 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft went through the fitness portion of the six-day camp before he participated in a skating session.

"Today was a lot of fun," McDavid said. "The fitness test wasn't a whole lot of fun, but it was cool to throw on the Oilers gear, the gear that I want to play the rest of my life in. It was very special put it on and to step onto Rexall with all that history. It was a lot of fun."

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Quote of the Day

It's very special, obviously; there is draft day and then there's the day that you sign your first deal. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm very honored to be able to do that."

— Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid on signing his first professional contract