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Milan Lucic, as expected, signs with Edmonton

Sports / Hockey /

All the talk about NHL belt tightening and cost containment turned out to be just that -- talk.

The action started early on the opening day of NHL free agency -- think Black Friday at the mall -- and by the time the first hour passed, teams had spent $335 million on free agents.

As expected, free agent power forward Milan Lucic signed with the...Read more

Backes, Brouwer depart; Blues bring back Perron

Sports / Hockey /

The captain is moving on, and he's not the only one.

David Backes, who's worn the 'C' for the past five years, elected to leave the Blues Friday by signing a five-year, $30 million contract ($6 million annual average value) with Boston.

The Blues believed they were in the running with Backes until the end, but in the end, the team chose not to...Read more

Hurricanes sign veteran forward Lee Stempniak

Sports / Hockey /

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired veteran forward Lee Stempniak on Friday, signing him to a two-year contract that will pay him $2.5 million per season.

"Lee is a veteran, skilled forward who will provide offense for our team, as well as leadership on and off the ice," general manager Ron Francis said in a statement.

Stempniak, 33, had 19 goals...Read more

Panthers, Ekblad agree on franchise-high $60 million extension

Sports / Hockey /

Before the Panthers took a dip into the free-agent pool on Friday they came to terms on a contract with two-time All-Star defenseman Aaron Ekblad that, according to sources, will make him the highest-paid player in franchise history.

Ekblad, 20, is in the final season of his three-year, entry-level deal at $925,000. The new deal, which is for $...Read more

Blackhawks bring back defenseman Brian Campbell

Sports / Hockey /

The Blackhawks were in need of a defenseman and Brian Campbell was in need of a team that fit his criteria for signing as a free agent.

That matchup came to fruition when NHL free agency opened Friday as the Hawks inked the 37-year-old Campbell, who helped them win the 2010 Stanley Cup, to a one-year contract.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reported the...Read more

Red Wings sign free agent Frans Nielsen

Sports / Hockey /

The Detroit Red Wings have turned to a Dane in their need for a center.

With Pavel Datsyuk returning to Russia, the Wings targeted Frans Nielsen as their best option on the free agent market (once Steven Stamkos decided to stay with Tampa Bay, at least) and, after talking with Nielsen in advance of Friday's noon market opening, they secured him...Read more

Dustin Brown says losing Kings captaincy is a 'bitter pill to swallow'

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES -- He could have resorted to empty words and cliches after losing his Los Angeles Kings captaincy following a long tenure that included two Stanley Cup championships.

Instead Dustin Brown made it clear that the decision to replace him with Anze Kopitar following the Kings' first-round playoff loss was "a bitter pill to swallow."

"...Read more

Blackhawks re-sign Michal Rozsival, Brandon Mashinter

Sports / Hockey /

Michal Rozsival isn't ready to call it a career just yet.

The 37-year-old defenseman will be back with the Blackhawks next season after agreeing to a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday. The Hawks also announced winger Brandon Mashinter had signed a one-year deal.

Rozsival returned last season after fracturing his left ankle in the ...Read more

Commissioner Gary Bettman says NHL is ready for its first gay player

Sports / Hockey /

During the last decade, the NHL has been at the forefront of professional sports in terms of building relationships with the LGBT community.

Patrick Burke, who serves as the league's safety director, co-founded the You Can Play Project, which provides support and resources to LGBT athletes, in honor of his brother Brendan.

The NHL was also the...Read more

Brian Campbell 'hopeful' he'll sign with Blackhawks

Sports / Hockey /

For Brian Campbell, it really isn't about the money.

The veteran defenseman, who helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010 and has played the last five seasons with the Panthers, is an unrestricted free agent and is looking for the ideal situation in the next stop of his career.

His wish list is simple.

"No. 1 is a winning team," ...Read more

Red Wings free agency: Stamkos re-signs with Lightning, so now what?

Sports / Hockey /

Free agency begins at noon Friday, and the Detroit Red Wings have needs and spending power.

Their prime objective was Steven Stamkos, but on Wednesday afternoon, TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted that Stamkos is staying in Tampa Bay. So much for adding a 26-year-old, 312-goal scorer to the lineup. Stamkos re-signed for eight years, $68 million.

...Read more

Jason Zucker signs two-year contract with Wild

Sports / Hockey /

One restricted free agent down.

The Wild has re-signed left wing Jason Zucker to a two-year, $4 million deal. He was set to become a Group II free agent Friday and could have filed for arbitration by the July 5 deadline.

"I put myself in that situation," Zucker, not overly thrilled with his season, said of the short-term deal. "It's still a ...Read more

Eric Staal return to Hurricanes unlikely

Sports / Hockey /

Eric Staal will be looking for a team when NHL free agency begins Friday, but a return to the Carolina Hurricanes apparently will not be an option.

Canes general manager Ron Francis said Tuesday night there had been no contact with Staal, who was traded by Carolina to the New York Rangers in February just before the NHL trade deadline. Staal, ...Read more

Penguins' Matt Cullen puts off retirement; team hopes to re-sign him

Sports / Hockey /

Matt Cullen, coming off a strong season with the Penguins, has decided to put off retirement for at least another year.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford confirmed Tuesday that Cullen has told him he plans to continue playing, and that the Penguins want to re-sign him.

Cullen was productive in 2015-16, primarily as a fourth-line center ...Read more

Former Kings goaltender Rogie Vachon gets call from Hockey Hall of Fame

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES -- If only Rogie Vachon's election to the Hockey Hall of Fame had happened a year or two ago, when he and wife Nicole could have enjoyed the good news together.

Cruelly, she couldn't share his joy Monday when the former Los Angeles Kings goaltender got the news that he had told himself would never come. For Vachon, 70 years old and ...Read more

Laberge emerges from difficult year to become Flyers second-round pick

Sports / Hockey /

BUFFALO -- Pascal Laberge and his family have been through a tragic year, but the talented right winger had a moment to savor Saturday morning as he hugged his father after learning the Flyers had selected him in the second round of the NHL draft.

"My family and I have been through a lot," Laberge said.

Last September, his stepmother -- a ...Read more

Penguins trade right winger Beau Bennett, pick up defensemen, goalie, right winger

Sports / Hockey /

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Penguins made a surprise trade at the NHL draft Saturday, sending oft-injured right winger Beau Bennett to New Jersey for a third-round choice.

They used that selection to claim Connor Hall, a rugged defenseman from Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League.

"With the number of young guys we have, we felt it was time to give ...Read more

Panthers send Dmitry Kulikov to Sabres for Mark Pysyk on second day of draft

Sports / Hockey /

The Atlantic Division champion Florida Panthers were ranked a solid seventh in goals allowed last season, yet they continue to dramatically revamp their defensive corps.

Before the second round of the NHL draft began Saturday morning at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, the Panthers traded top-four defenseman Dmitry Kulikov to the Sabres for...Read more

Ducks take left wing Max Jones; Matthews goes No.1 to Leafs

Sports / Hockey /

The Anaheim Ducks reached back to their identity as a bruising team when they chose left wing Max Jones Friday as the 24th pick in the NHL draft. But the physicality they prize has its downside: Jones was suspended 12 games last season for a blindside hit he delivered while playing for London of the Ontario Hockey League, likely leaving enough ...Read more

Red Wings trade Datsyuk contract to Coyotes

Sports / Hockey /

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Detroit Red Wings shook up opening day of the draft by unloading Pavel Datsyuk's contract.

The Wings found a taker in Arizona -- it cost the Wings their 16th overall pick, but in exchange they got the 20th overall pick, the 53rd overall pick, and forward Joe Vitale.

The move frees up $7.5 million in salary cap space, ...Read more