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(Page 17 of 17)
NHL Free Agency 2011

Kaberle will see free agency; could return to B's

Thursday, 06.30.2011 / 12:16 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

"There's no finality to our relationship. What we agreed to with Tomas and his agent is that he would look into the market and we'd continue to talk with him. There's certainly no finality there."
-- Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli on re-signing Tomas Kaberle

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli expects defenseman Tomas Kaberle to test the free-agent waters Friday, but he's not ready to rule out the possibility of his return to Boston.

"There's no finality to our relationship," Chiarelli said Thursday. "What we agreed to with Tomas and his agent is that he would look into the market and we'd continue to talk with him. There's certainly no finality there.

"If it's not Tomas, we would look to some names in the market and/or we'd look to our younger guys. But let me be perfectly clear -- there's no end to the relationship."
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Vokoun among goalies set to test the market

Wednesday, 06.29.2011 / 4:50 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon knows he has a busy summer ahead of him. Getting Tomas Vokoun's name on a new contract would allow him to start it in a good way.

With Ilya Bryzgalov (Philadelphia) and Dwayne Roloson (Tampa Bay) off the market, Vokoun becomes the best goaltender available when free agency opens at noon ET on July 1.

Vokoun won just 22 games last season, but his .922 save percentage was 10th in the League, and his six shutouts were tied for the second-best single-season total in his 13 NHL seasons.

"We're in negotiations with him (Vokoun) as we speak and we're very hopeful," Tallon said on a conference call with local reporters Wednesday. "That's all I can tell you."
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What does your favorite team need this summer?

Wednesday, 06.29.2011 / 2:46 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Some players already have begun their offseason training in preparation for the 2011-12 season, and the city of Boston still is celebrating its first hockey championship in nearly four decades, but a day that will alter the future season is coming Friday.

July 1 is a holiday in Canada, but it also is a jubilee of sorts for NHL fans everywhere. While this year's free-agent market is considered significantly thinner than normal, there are plenty of teams flush with salary-cap space.

Those two factors could make Friday -- and the days that follow -- pretty unique in the recent history of the NHL. Not only with the 2011-12 campaign likely be affected by key decisions in the next 48 (or more) hours, but teams that do not spend wisely could regret it in future seasons, as well. 
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Canucks unable to keep Ehrhoff

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 8:34 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

During a conference call Tuesday to discuss the signing of free agent defenseman Kevin Bieksa, Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis didn't sound optimistic about his chances to re-sign fellow free agent defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. About two hours later, the Canucks gave up any hope of re-signing Ehrhoff before July 1.

The New York Islanders gave the Canucks a 2012 fourth-round pick in exchange for the exclusive rights to negotiate with Ehrhoff in the days leading up to the start of the free-agent period, which gets under way Friday.

Bieksa took what was likely a discount to stay with the Canucks, signing a five-year, $23 million deal. When Gillis was asked about how the negotiations with Ehrhoff were going, he made it sound as though Ehrhoff was pricing himself out of Vancouver.
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Finding a home for 15 unrestricted free agents

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 12:52 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

There's educating guessing, then there's wildly speculative, uninformed guessing. Everything that follows is the latter.

Free agency kicks off Friday (that's not a guess), and for the most part, no one knows where players are going to sign. In some cases, the players themselves don't know where they're going to sign. That doesn't mean we can't have a bit of fun trying to figure out where 15 UFAs will call home next season.

There are two goals here -- one is to start a little conversation about where players are headed, the other is to be correct about just two of these destinations. It's more likely that only the first goal will be reached.
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Are Richards, Rangers really a perfect match?

Monday, 06.27.2011 / 12:04 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

With July 1 just days away, it seems there are only three things in life that are guaranteed -- death, taxes and Brad Richards signing a lucrative free-agent contract with the New York Rangers.

The 31-year-old center and the tenants of Madison Square Garden are a match made in Midtown. The Rangers are desperate for a No. 1 center and someone who can quarterback their toothless power play, something Richards did with great success for the Dallas Stars. Richards had 28 goals and 49 assists in 72 games last season; 7 goals and 22 assists came on the power play.

The Rangers have never been shy about throwing large sums of money at talented centers who are around the age of 30. In 2007, General Manager Glen Sather signed 27-year-old Scott Gomez and 29-year-old Chris Drury to long-term contracts, a pair of deals that didn't work out the way the Rangers would've liked. Gomez was traded to Montreal in 2009 and the Rangers are reportedly in the process of buying out the final year of Drury's contract, another strong indicator that room is being made for Richards.
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Nieuwendyk: Stars will be F.A. players

Monday, 06.27.2011 / 11:44 AM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

"We have to be in the game. With the floor at 48 [million], we have to be in the game. Our philosophy hasn't changed. Even though we're still in this situation that we're in [with a lack of ownership], we're not going to be stupid either on July 1. When you look at free agency and the crop of players, with no disrespect to them, it's probably not as [strong as] it has been in other years."
-- Dalls Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk

DALLAS -- Last week was a busy one for Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. A week ago Monday, he introduced Glen Gulutzan as the 21st head coach in franchise history, just days before he and other organizational brass ventured to the Twin Cities for the 2011 Entry Draft.

With the 14th pick in the opening round, which they used to take hulking defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak, the Stars addressed one major need in their system, quality blueliners. With the draft now in the books, like every other GM in the League, Nieuwendyk now shifts his focus toward free agency, which begins on July 1.

"We have to be in the game. With the floor at 48 [million], we have to be in the game," Nieuwendyk said. "Our philosophy hasn't changed. Even though we're still in this situation that we're in [with a lack of ownership], we're not going to be stupid either on July 1. When you look at free agency and the crop of players, with no disrespect to them, it's probably not as [strong as] it has been in other years."
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Richards among intriguing free agent forwards

Sunday, 06.26.2011 / 7:00 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Brad Richards has tasted winning, and is ready for another helping. Before he signs his next contract, he said that will be one of his biggest considerations.
 
If Richards gets to July 1 without a new contract and becomes an unrestricted free agent, he'll have no shortage of suitors telling him just how close they are to winning the Stanley Cup.
 
Richards, who had 28 goals and 49 assists in 72 games this past season, led the Stars in scoring for the second straight campaign despite missing 10 games with a concussion. However, he's been to the playoffs just once in his four seasons in Dallas, and it's been a long time since 2004, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy while helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup.
 
"It's been too long since I had that chance to win the Stanley Cup," he said during a recent appearance on NHL Live. "I kind of thought we'd have a couple more cracks at it by now. That will be the main focus."
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Free agency likely to yield second-tier players

Sunday, 06.26.2011 / 7:00 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Teams looking for luxury items in the 2011 unrestricted free-agent market won't find very much to choose from. Those willing to shop at a less expensive store, however, might find some items to their liking.
 
With so many teams signing players to long-term contracts, it's becoming harder and harder to find impact unrestricted free agents each summer, and this summer looks no different.
 
Among the top names available, only Dallas Stars center Brad Richards could be in line for a long-term, big-money contract.
 
At age 31 and coming off a season where he finished in the top 10 in the League with 49 assists and 77 points, Richards could be in line for a contract similar to the five-year, $39 million deal he signed prior to the 2006-07 season.
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Markov signing sets D-men free agent market

Sunday, 06.26.2011 / 4:44 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

He's spent his entire NHL career in Montreal, but many thought this summer might be time for a change of scenery.
 
Andrei Markov was drafted by the Canadiens in the sixth round (No. 162) of the 1998 Entry Draft, and since he made his NHL debut with the team during the 2000-01 season he's developed into a player known for great vision, strong puck-moving ability and composure on the ice.
 
He also has some offensive prowess. Markov, who has averaged more than 22 minutes per game over his 10 NHL seasons, has 81 goals and 285 assists in 623 games.
 
With his four-year $23 million deal with Montreal set to expire on July 1, Markov was on the verge of testing the free agent market, but the Habs have nipped that fear -- the dreams of several other teams -- in the bud, signing the steady blueliner to a three-year deal woth $17.25 million this week. In fact, the deal may well have set the market for the 2011 defensemen free agent class.
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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh