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Beleskey signs five-year contract with Bruins

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

Matt Kalman - 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."

Justin Williams signs 2-year contract with Capitals

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

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."

Shawn Horcoff to sign with Ducks: report

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

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.

Vermette returns to Coyotes after winning Cup

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

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.

Eichel signs with Sabres, ready for pro career

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:56 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - 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."

McDavid skates at Oilers' home arena for first time

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:40 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - 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."

Red Wings sign Green for three years, add Richards

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:15 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings got the right-handed shooting defenseman with offensive ability they have been seeking for so long, plus a skilled veteran center with two Stanley Cup championships, on Wednesday.

Detroit signed free agent defenseman Mike Green to a three-year, $18 million contract and center Brad Richards to a one-year contract guaranteed for $3 million but that could be worth $4 million with bonuses, according to TSN.

"Both players have high hockey IQ's, great stick skills, and can play the give-and-go type of game that that we like to play," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday. "We're excited to have both Brad and Mike with our organization."

Kassian aims for fresh start with Canadiens

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:06 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

The Vancouver Canucks ran out of patience with Zack Kassian. The Montreal Canadiens hope to benefit from that lack of patience.

The Canucks traded Kassian, the 13th player taken in the 2009 NHL Draft, and a fifth-round pick in 2016 to the Canadiens on Wednesday for forward Brandon Prust, ending a tumultuous four seasons in Vancouver for the hulking right wing.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning explained that he wanted to add toughness and consistency to his lineup by replacing Kassian with Prust, who is seven years older and carries a salary-cap charge that is $750,000 more than Kassian's.

Wild re-sign Granlund, Prosser, Carter, add Reilly

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 8:06 PM / NHL Free Agency 2015

The Minnesota Wild re-signed center Mikael Granlund and defenseman Nate Prosser each to a two-year contract on Wednesday, and center Ryan Carter to a one-year contract. The Wild also signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year entry-level contract after he reportedly decided to sign last week.

Granlund's contract is worth $6 million, according to Sportsnet. Carter's contract is worth $625,000, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. No monetary value was reported on Prosser's contract.

Hamilton, Frolik acquisitions raise bar for Flames

Wednesday, 07.01.2015 / 7:25 PM / NHL Insider

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- General manager Brad Treliving knows the Calgary Flames' on-ice success last season, when they qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009 and advanced beyond the first round for the first time since 2004, will increase expectations on them next season.

So, too, he predicts, will his recent acquisitions.

The Flames signed free agent forward Michael Frolik on Wednesday, five days after adding defenseman Dougie Hamilton in a trade with the Boston Bruins then signing him. Calgary also retained goalie Karri Ramo, re-signing him before he hit the free agent market.

"We told our team this, at the locker clean-out I said, 'We all have to be better, and it starts with me,'" Treliving said. "What we accomplished last year was nice, but ultimately it's just a step. The fact we had the season we had is going to raise expectations. That's just human nature, and we can't shy away from those. If we all want to be good, this is what happens. There's more expected. There's more pressure. We've got to start living like a team that wants to be good.

"I think those expectations are a good thing. That means you've added good people. The people you do have have had some success, so there should be expectations."

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We don't know how long Carey will be out, but for us, it's business as usual.

— Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien on goaltender Carey Price, who is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury
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