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NHL Free Agency 2013

Wild agree to terms with defenseman Ballard

Thursday, 07.04.2013 / 6:59 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms on a two-year contract with defenseman Keith Ballard, the team announced Thursday.

TSN's Bob McKenzie reports the deal has an average annual value of $1.5 million.

Ballard, 30, has played the past three seasons for the Vancouver Canucks, who used a compliance buyout on the remaining two years on his contract. He had two assists in 36 games in 2012-13.

"I did need a change, so to me, the buyout is a good thing," Ballard told the Star-Tribune before the deal was reached. "In my meetings at the end of the year with management in Vancouver, we all agreed that however it worked out, I needed a change. It's a funny feeling. In a lot of ways I'm very excited, but it's disappointing that it got to this. I'm so excited for the opportunity and what's going to come this next season."

Senators confident; 2 others in mix for Alfredsson

Thursday, 07.04.2013 / 6:43 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray said Thursday he is confident the team will be able to re-sign captain Daniel Alfredsson despite interest from other teams.

"I guess it's the big issue in town now," Murray said. "I didn't realize it was that big an issue because we're going to get it done, I would assume."

Alfredsson started the offseason unsure he wanted to return for his 18th NHL season, but late last month announced his desire to do so.

DiPietro sad to be leaving improving Islanders

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 10:27 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Rick DiPietro and the New York Islanders each are healthier than they've been in a while. That's one reason DiPietro is so disappointed the Islanders used one of their compliance buyouts on him.

"It's disappointing, obviously," DiPietro told Newsday on Wednesday, hours after the buyout became official. "You know in the salary-cap era after the lockout, it would take a while for some teams to rebuild. The Islanders have obviously gotten to the point where you're finally starting to see that come to fruition. The most disappointing part is that I'm not going to be a part of it."

The Islanders qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012-13, the first time they made it to the postseason in six years. But they did it without DiPietro; the oft-injured goaltender went 0-3-0 before being placed on waivers and finishing the season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

Hurricanes extend qualifying offer to five players

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 9:11 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday extended qualifying offers to forwards Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe, Riley Nash and Jared Staal, and defenseman Michal Jordan.

All five played at least part of the 2012-13 season with the Hurricanes.

Sabres agree to two-year deal with Matt Ellis

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 9:01 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday agreed to terms with forward Matt Ellis on a two-year, two-way contract. No financial terms were disclosed, but reports he will make $550,000 in the NHL and $300,000 in the American Hockey League.

Ellis, who turns 32 on Aug. 31, has played 11 seasons in pro hockey, including parts of eight in the NHL. He was claimed off waivers by the Sabres in October 2008. In 267 NHL games, Ellis has 16 goals and 41 points with 81 penalty minutes.

Jordie Benn signs three-year deal with Stars

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 5:31 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Defenseman Jordie Benn has signed a three-year contract to remain with the Dallas Stars, the team announced Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Benn, 25, had six points (one goal) in 26 games for Dallas in 2012-13. He scored his first NHL goal on March 23, 2013 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Benn also skated in 43 games for the Texas Stars, Dallas' affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Lightning re-sign Desjardins, Taormina

Wednesday, 07.03.2013 / 5:13 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and defenseman Matt Taormina, the team announced Wednesday.

Each player was given a one-year, two-way contract.

Desjardins, 27, appeared in three games with the Lightning in 2012-13, with a record of 0-3-0, a 3.00 goals-against average and .890 save percentage.

He played in 36 games in the American Hockey League, split between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Syracuse Crunch, registering a record of 15-18-3 to go with a 2.61 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. He appeared in 18 Calder Cup playoff games with Syracuse, posting a record of 13-5-0 to go along with a 2.30 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. Syracuse lost in the finals to Grand Rapids.

Lecavalier agrees to multiyear contract with Flyers

Tuesday, 07.02.2013 / 7:36 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Center Vincent Lecavalier, bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning last week, has agreed to a multiyear contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team announced Tuesday.

Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia and Darren Dreger of TSN report the contract is for five years and $22.5 million, an average annual value of $4.5 million.'s Pierre LeBrun reports the contract includes a no-movement clause.

Smith says 'best fit was for me to stay' with Coyotes

Tuesday, 07.02.2013 / 5:35 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

Connor Mellas - Staff Writer

Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith took stock of his options with other NHL teams but ultimately decided he wants to continue his career in Arizona.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith - 2012-13 Stats
Goalie - PHX
Record: 15-12-5
GAA: 2.58 | Sv%: .910
"I looked around at different situations throughout the League and saw teams that looked like they were in need of goaltenders, and after assessing the situation I think that the best fit was for me to stay in Phoenix and to work with the group that has made me very successful in the last couple of years," Smith told the Coyotes website.

The Coyotes made the re-signing of Smith official Monday, announcing a new six-year contract for their franchise goaltender.

Smith, who would have become an unrestricted free agent if not signed by July 5, reportedly will make approximately $5.67 million per season under his new deal.

Blue Jackets re-sign Comeau to one-year contract

Tuesday, 07.02.2013 / 5:08 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday re-signed forward Blake Comeau to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

Comeau, who was acquired from the Calgary Flames at the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline, would have become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.

The 27-year-old had two goals and five points in nine games after joining Columbus. He totaled six goals and 12 points in 42 games combined between the Flames and Blue Jackets.

"Blake is a dependable two-way forward who combines physical play with ability in the offensive zone," Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "We liked what we saw from him at the end of last season as he fit in very well with our team and we're pleased to have signed him to this extension."

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