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NHL Free Agency 2010

Mitchell proves worth the wait for Kings

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 8:04 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

After overcoming post-concussion syndrome earlier this summer, Willie Mitchell had one last headache that needed relief.

The Los Angeles Kings provided the aspirin Wednesday afternoon.

Mitchell, who was limited to just 48 games with the Vancouver Canucks last season due to a concussion – the third of his career -- suffered Jan. 16 against Pittsburgh, signed a two-year deal with the Kings worth $7 million. While some may believe the contract is a gamble, both parties directly involved disagree and are excited about what lies ahead.

"I think I tried to have a pretty open process with the teams that contacted me," said the 32-year-old defenseman, who had 4 goals, 8 assists and a plus-13 rating for the Canucks before a controversial hit by Pens star Evgeni Malkin ended Mitchell's season. "I was pretty open about what I felt I needed to do, to make sure I was prepared and ready to play. I didn't want to put a GM in a position they don't want to be in. I feel confident I went the right way of doing things. I was fortunate enough to have some teams contact me, and I felt the L.A. Kings was a good fit."

Bettman: No new Kovalchuk contract submitted yet

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 5:50 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

TORONTO -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday denied published reports that the League had rejected a second attempt by the New Jersey Devils to get star free agent Ilya Kovalchuk under contract.

Earlier this month, the Devils' initial contract offer to Kovalchuk, a 17-year deal, was ruled null and void as an attempt at salary-cap circumvention by arbitrator Richard Bloch.

"In order for a contract to be rejected, there would have to be a signed contract submitted," Bettman said after speaking at the Molson World Hockey Summit here. "There has not been a signed contract submitted."

Lightning re-sign Downie

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 3:23 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

Restricted free agent Steve Downie has agreed to a new two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We are pleased to get Steve under contract today," Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said. "We look forward to him building on the success he had last season and becoming an even bigger part of the team."

Downie, 23, is entering his second full season in the NHL. He had 22 goals, 24 assists and 208 penalty minutes in 79 games with Tampa Bay last season.

Report: Canucks sign Torres

Wednesday, 08.25.2010 / 10:22 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010

The Vancouver Canucks and Raffi Torres reportedly have agreed on a one-year contract that will pay the gritty forward $1 million, according to TSN.

Torres, 28, split last season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres. He had 19 goals and 17 assists in 74 games. Overall, he has 98 goals and 84 assists in 432 NHL games with the New York Islanders, Edmonton, Columbus and Buffalo.

Torres was selected in the first round (No. 5) by the Islanders at the 2000 Entry Draft.

Hornqvist signs three-year deal with Preds

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 12:45 PM / NHL Free Agency 2010

Patric Hornqvist signed a new three-year contract worth $9.25 million with the Nashville Predators, GM David Poile announced Tuesday.

Hornqvist, 23, last season became the first player ever drafted by Nashville to score 30 goals for the club, leading the Predators and registering the fourth-highest total in franchise history. He also tied a franchise record and tied for second in the NHL in game-winning goals (8) and led the club in power-play goals (10). Hornqvist tied for the team lead in points (51) and set a franchise record for shots in a season (275).

A native of Sweden, Hornqvist experienced a 28-goal increase from 2008-09, making him just the second player in the last nine seasons to experience such an increase (minimum 20 games in the first season). He also posted five multi-goal games, tied for the third-highest single-season total in franchise history and paced all Nashville skaters in plus/minus rating (plus-18).

Blackhawks sign seven-year vet Pisani

Tuesday, 08.24.2010 / 11:01 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010

The Chicago Blackhawks have signed right wing and seven-year National Hockey League veteran Fernando Pisani to a one-year contract.

Pisani, 33, tallied four goals, four assists, and 10 penalty minutes in 40 regular-season games with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2009-10 campaign. The Edmonton, Alberta, native has spent his entire seven-year NHL career with the Oilers and was a finalist for the 2008 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.

Thrashers re-sign Little

Monday, 08.23.2010 / 10:48 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010
The Atlanta Thrashers have re-signed restricted free agent forward Bryan Little to a multiple-year contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Little, 22, scored 13 goals and 21 assists in 79 games with the Thrashers last season. He compiled seven multiple-point games, which included a season-high 2 goals on Jan. 30 at Nashville. He also posted 2 assists in the season-opener on Oct. 3 vs. Tampa Bay and tallied goals in back-to-back games on Nov. 3 at Montreal and Nov. 5 vs. Columbus.

Little was selected by the Thrashers in the first round, 12th overall,  of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Panthers sign Andrew Peters

Thursday, 08.19.2010 / 11:53 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010
Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms with LW Andrew Peters on a one-year, two-way contract.
Peters, 30, has appeared in 229 NHL games with Buffalo (2003-09) and New Jersey (09-10), registering seven points (4-3-7) with 650 PIM. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound winger paced New Jersey with 93 PIM last season. Peters recorded a career high 151 PIM with the Sabres during the 2003-04 campaign and led the American Hockey League with 388 PIM during the 2001-02 season.
"With the addition of Andrew, we immediately add a physical presence to our line-up," said Tallon. "He brings an aggressive style of play and a dimension that our team needed to address this offseason. We look forward to his contributions to our club."

Thrashers add to defense corps with Meyer signing

Thursday, 08.19.2010 / 11:51 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010

The Atlanta Thrashers have signed free-agent defenseman Freddy Meyer to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Meyer, 29, played a career-best 64 games last season with the New York Islanders, totaling 4 goals and 15 points.

The 5-foot-10, 192-pound native of Sanbornville, N.H., has 19 goals and 71 points in 266 NHL games with the Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Phoenix Coyotes.

Report: Pisani signs with Hawks

Thursday, 08.19.2010 / 9:41 AM / NHL Free Agency 2010

Fernando Pisani apparently is on the move.

TSN is reporting the 33-year-old forward has signed a one-year, one-way contract with the Chicago Blackhawks that will pay him $500,000.

An eighth-round pick (No. 195) of the Oilers in 1996, Pisani had just 4 goals and 4 assists in 40 games last season.

Pisani is remembered for his remarkable performance during the 2006 postseason, when he helped the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Final. Pisani had 14 goals -- one of which came shorthanded in overtime of Game 5 against the Carolina Hurricanes -- and 4 assists in 24 playoff games.

In 402 NHL games -- all with Edmonton -- Pisani has 80 goals, 73 assists and 190 penalty minutes.
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