NHL News and Notes

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Kings agree to terms with Stuart
July 3rd, 2007

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings agreed to terms on a one-year contract with defenseman Brad Stuart on Tuesday.

Stuart has 53 goals and 153 assists with 303 penalty minutes over 507 career regular season games with Calgary, Boston and San Jose. He has registered three goals and nine assists with 33 penalty minutes in 52 career playoff appearances.

For Calgary and Boston last season, Stuart put up seven goals and 15 assists with 44 penalty minutes in 75 games. He was traded to the Flames with center Wayne Primeau in exchange for defenseman Andrew Ference and right wing Chuck Kobasew on February 10, 2007.

The Rocky Mountain House, Alberta native was originally selected by the Sharks in the first round (third overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft,

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Devils sign Zubrus, Rachunek
July 3rd, 2007

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils signed free- agent forward Dainius Zubrus and defenseman Karel Rachunek on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old Zubrus recorded career highs last season in goals (24), assists (36) and points (60) in 79 games split between Washington and Buffalo.

"I knew that the decision [to sign with the Devils] would be a hockey decision," Zubrus said. "I want to win and that's why I wanted to come here. I believe in this team and the success they've had."

The 10-year veteran was Philadelphia's first-round pick (15th overall) in the 1996 Entry Draft. He has 138 goals and 222 assists in 689 career games.

Rachunek, 27, played with the New York Rangers last season and scored six goals along with 20 assists in 66 games.

"Karel Rachunek is an experienced player who will add size and depth to our defense," said New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello.

In six seasons in the NHL, including four-plus with Ottawa, he has appeared in 324 games and has 18 goals along with 109 assists.

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Habs sign Kostopoulos
July 4th, 2007

Montreal, Quebec (Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens signed free agent forward Tom Kostopoulos to a two-year contract on Wednesday. Per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The 28-year old Kostopoulos spent the last two seasons in Los Angeles after signing as a free agent with the Kings in 2005. In 2006-07 he played in 76 games, notching seven goals and 15 assists for a total of 22 points.

In 231 career games -- with Pittsburgh and Los Angeles -- Kostopoulos has tallied 25 goals and 45 assists along with 249 penalty minutes.

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Lightning swap Fritz for Rangers' Lampman
July 4th, 2007

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenseman Bryce Lampman from the New York Rangers in exchange for left wing Mitch Fritz on Wednesday.

The 24-year old Lampman has been a member of the Rangers organization for the past five seasons and appeared in 60 games with the Hartford Wolfpack of the American Hockey League last season, recording six goals, 19 assists.

Fritz, 26, signed with the Lightning as a free agent in 2004 and appeared in 177 games for the AHLs Springfield Falcons the past three seasons, recording nine goals, 16 points and 535 penalty minutes.

"In Bryce Lampman we are obtaining a mobile, very good skating, puck-moving defenseman with good vision who sees the ice well, makes a very good first pass and who possesses excellent hockey sense," Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster said. "He is also a player who can be used in all special teams situations. For the past three or four seasons now our pro scouts have felt that he was on the verge of playing regularly in the NHL."

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Isles sign Fedotenko
July 4th, 2007

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Islanders signed veteran left wing Ruslan Fedotenko to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

The 28-year old Fedotenko was a key cog in Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup run in 2004, scoring 12 goals in 22 playoff games.

"Ruslan brings so much to our team with his speed, versatility, work ethic and ability to score big goals," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "He was one of Tampa Bay's most valuable players when they won the Cup and at only 28 he's just entering the prime of his career. I strongly believe Ted Nolan is going to get the most out of him."

In 465 career NHL games with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, the Kiev, Ukraine native has 107 goals and 99 assists for 206 points.

"I'm very happy to be an Islander," said Fedotenko. "Last season was a disappointment for me and I'm determined to show the Islanders and our fans what I can do. We have a very good team of talented young players and experienced guys and I really like Ted Nolan's style of play. I looked at a lot of offers, but I know I've come to the right team."

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Roenick reportedly set to hang up skates
July 4th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Phoenix Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick, one of the greatest American ice hockey players in the history of the sport, is ready to end his 18-year career, a Philadelphia newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Roenick text messaged in to the paper, "I'm retiring; is that still news?", referring to the long-held speculation that last season, in which he tallied only 11 goals, marked his finale as an NHL player.

The 37-year-old Roenick, a nine-time all-star, totaled 495 career goals, ranking third all-time among American-born players, behind only Mike Modano (507) and Joey Mullen (502). He also had 675 assists, good for 1,170 career points while logging time with the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings, and finally with the Coyotes.

Known just as much for his outgoing and often over-the-top personality as he was for his ability, Roenick was also a two-time Olympian for the U.S.

Despite all of his on-ice accomplishments, Roenick retires without reaching the pinnacle of the sport. He reached the Stanley Cup Finals only once, in 1992, when his Blackhawks were swept out by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Blue Jackets sign Hejda
July 5th, 2007

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Jan Hejda to a two-year contract Thursday. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 29-year-old Hejda played in 29 games last season for the Edmonton Oilers and scored one goal to go along with eight assists.

Hejda was originally selected 106th overall in 2003 NHL Draft. He then spent three years playing in the Russian Elite League

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Flames ink Eriksson
July 5th, 2007

Calgary, Alberta (Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames signed veteran defenseman Anders Eriksson to a two-year contract Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Eriksson skated in 79 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets and picked up 23 assists.

In 491 career games with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets, the Bollnas, Sweden native has registered 21 goals and 132 assists.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound blueliner was originally selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 1993 NHL Draft by the Red Wings.

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Devils sign Weekes
July 5th, 2007

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils signed free agent goaltender Kevin Weekes on Thursday.

Weekes, who will serve as the backup to veteran Martin Brodeur, appeared in 14 games last season for the New York Rangers and went 4-6-2 with a 3.39 goals- against average.

"Kevin Weekes has played more than 300 career NHL games and will bring added experience as a backup goaltender to Martin Brodeur," said New Jersey's CEO/president/general manager Lou Lamoriello.

In 323 career games with Vancouver, the Islanders, Tampa Bay, Carolina and the Rangers, Weekes has a 2.90 GAA and 19 shutouts.

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Oilers get Rourke from Islanders
July 5th, 2007

Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers have obtained defenseman Allan Rourke and a third round pick in the 2008 draft from the New York Islanders for the Oilers' second round pick in the 2008 draft.

"We have added depth to our defense with the addition of Allan," stated Oilers' Vice President of Hockey Operations Kevin Prendergast. "He is a veteran of seven pro seasons, and will provide us with experience in Springfield."

Over three seasons in the NHL, his first spent in Carolina and the last two with the Islanders, Rourke has appeared in 42 games and has one goal with four assists and 26 penalty minutes.

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Ducks sign D Hnidy
July 5th, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - The Anaheim Ducks signed defenseman Shane Hnidy to a two-year contract Thursday. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.

Hnidy, 31, played in 72 games last season with the Atlanta Thrashers, scoring five goals and tallying seven assists.

The 6-2, 210-pound defenseman has played in 336 career NHL games -- with Ottawa, Nashville and Atlanta -- and registered nine goals and 28 assists.

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Islanders sign free-agent Guerin
July 5th, 2007

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Islanders made a big move to re-shape their roster, signing unrestricted free-agent forward Bill Guerin to a two-year contract on Thursday.

"My family and I are so happy to be coming to Long Island," Guerin said. "Garth Snow (Islanders general manager) contacted me on Sunday and was so positive, so persistent right from the outset, explaining to me why I would be ideal for his team. Ownership's commitment to winning at almost every cost and Garth making it clear to how determined he is to build a winner is why I'm an Islander today."

Guerin, 36, split last season between St. Louis and San Jose, scoring 36 goals and 56 points in 77 regular season games. He struggled in the playoffs, recording just a pair of assists in nine games.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has tallied 364 goals, 719 points and 1,439 penalty minutes in 1,026 NHL games over 15 seasons with the Devils, Oilers, Bruins, Stars, Blues and Sharks.

The native of Wilbraham, Massachusetts is a four-time NHL All-Star (2001, 2003-04, 2007) and represented the United States in three Winter Olympic Games. He was the fifth overall pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1989, and played college hockey for two years at Boston College.

New York was dealt several blows at the start of free-agency on Sunday, learning that free-agent forward Ryan Smyth would not pursue a new contract with the Islanders, while also losing forwards Viktor Kozlov to Washington and 40-goal scorer Jason Blake to Toronto. The club also rid themselves of disappointing forward Alexei Yashin earlier in the off-season.

While the team was able to bring in journeyman forward Jon Sim on a three-year deal Sunday, Guerin represents their first bona-fide free agent addition.

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Islanders sign Comrie, Jackman
July 5th, 2007

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Islanders continued their busy Thursday as the team signed forwards Mike Comrie and Tim Jackman to one-year deals.

Comrie, 26, had 20 goals and 25 assists in 65 games between Phoenix and Ottawa. He also played 20 postseason games in Ottawa's playoff run and tallied four goals and two assists.

"We really wanted Mike Comrie because Ted Nolan, the scouts and I were unanimous in wanting to bring his offensive production, creativity and competitiveness to our team," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow.

In 386 career NHL games with Edmonton, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Ottawa, Comrie has 123 goals and 139 assists.

Jackman last season played five games with the Kings without registering a point. In 69 games with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, he compiled 19 goals and 14 assists with 143 penalty minutes.

In 32 NHL games, with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings, Jackman has a total of one goal and two assists with 47 penalty minutes.

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Sabres sign Thibault, two others
July 5th, 2007

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent goaltender Jocelyn Thibault.

The club also signed left wing Andrew Peters to a two-year deal and forward Michael Ryan to a one-year contract.

Thibault appeared in 22 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, posting a record of 7-8-2 with a 2.83 goals-against average. The 32-year old netminder has an overall career record of 235-234-68-5 and a 2.74 GAA in 15 NHL seasons with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Penguins.

Peters played in a career-high 58 games for the Sabres last year, collecting two points and 125 penalty minutes. In three seasons with Buffalo, he has racked up 376 penalty minutes in 128 games.

"Andrew has been the consummate team player over the past few seasons," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said. "He has committed himself to improving his conditioning and skills to further his development and add to his contributions to the team."

Ryan played in 19 games last season with the Sabres, picking up five points.

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Bruins sign a pair
July 6th, 2007

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins on Friday agreed to terms with defensemen Bobby Allen and Byron Bitz. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Allen, 28, split time last season between the American Hockey League's Providence and Boston Bruins. Allen made his NHL debut last season with the Bruins in Buffalo on January 17, 2007, and went on to play in 31 games for Boston last season recording three assists and 10 penalty minutes. Prior to being called up to Boston, Allen had tallied five goals and 13 assists with 14 penalty minutes for Providence.

Bitz comes to the Bruins after completing his senior year of college hockey for Cornell University. In four years at Cornell, Bitz registered 28 goals and 60 assists with 157 penalty minutes in 124 career games. He was the Big Red's team captain last season.

He was the Bruins fourth pick, 107th overall, in the 2003 draft.

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Wild bring in Hill
July 6th, 2007

St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild on Friday signed defenseman Sean Hill to a one-year contract.

Hill, though, will miss the first 19 games of the season due to a suspension.

Towards the end of last season, Hill became the first NHL player to be suspended for the use of a performance-enhancing substance. He maintains that he never knowingly took a performance enhancer and appealed the suspension, but the 20-game suspension was upheld by the league and he served one game in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals when he was a member of the New York Islanders.

A 14-year NHL veteran, he has also laced the skates for Montreal, Anaheim, Ottawa, Carolina, St. Louis and Florida.

In 841 games, the 37-year-old Duluth, MN native has 60 goals and 229 assists with 976 penalty minutes.

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Stars sign trio
July 6th, 2007

Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - The Dallas Stars agreed to a one-year contract with left wing Brad Winchester and one-year, two-way contracts with center Toby Petersen and defenseman Trevor Byrne on Friday.

Winchester's contract was worth $475,000 while terms of the other two players' contracts were not released.

"Brad Winchester has gained some valuable NHL experience with Edmonton the last couple years and we think he adds depth to our forward group," said Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong. "Toby Petersen has shown offensive capabilities while playing for our affiliate in Des Moines as well as at the NHL level, and Trevor Byrne adds some size to our defensive corps in Iowa."

Winchester, 26, played in 59 games with Edmonton last season and scored four goals and added five assists. In 78 career games, all with Edmonton, he has four goals and six assists.

Petersen, 28, split the 2006-07 season between the Edmonton Oilers and the American Hockey League's Iowa Stars. In 64 games with the Oilers last season, Peterson recorded six goals and nine assists, while he posted two goals and six assists in seven games with Iowa.

In 155 games in the NHL, including 91 with Pittsburgh, he has 16 goals and 25 assists.

Byrne, 27, skated for the Hershey Bears and Chicago Wolves in the AHL last season and registering one goal and 13 assists.

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Maple Leafs ink Clemmensen
July 6th, 2007

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Scott Clemmensen was signed to be a backup goaltender with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

Clemmensen played six games for the New Jersey Devils this past season registering a 1-1-2 record and a 3.15 goals against average.

"Scott is an experienced professional goaltender, who will provide depth in the organization at that position," team general manager John Ferguson said.

Clemmensen has played in 25 career NHL games all with New Jersey, compiling a 7-6-4 record with a 2.82 goals against average.

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Red Wings sign veteran F Drake
July 9th, 2007

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings signed veteran forward Dallas Drake to a one-year contract Monday. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Drake was originally selected by the Red Wings in the 1989 draft and played two seasons in Detroit tallying 28 goals and 48 assists in 119 games.

In 14 NHL seasons, Drake has scored 174 goals with 297 assists and 844 penalty minutes in 944 games.

"We're very pleased to have Dallas join the Red Wings," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "He's a very physical player who will add grit to our lineup and make our team even more difficult to play against. He's a veteran player and you can never have enough experience and leadership on a team."

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Coyotes sign York to one-year deal
July 9th, 2007

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes signed left wing Mike York to a one-year contract on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 29-year-old York registered 10 goals and 11 assists in 66 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders last season.

For his career, York has posted 121 goals and 187 assists in 515 games with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Islanders, and Philadelphia.

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