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Empty Netter Assists - 07-06-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-"It was a mistake to let Rob Scuderi go. To have a chance to have the do-over to bring Rob back is one thing I really wanted to do." - Ray Shero on re-signing Scuderi (right).

-"It's not the prettiest game in the world. Everybody knows that. But it can be effective." - Scuderi describing his game. (PG+)

-"When I think of the final points that came to my decision, I thought that both teams have the ability to play deep into the spring. But Pittsburgh is much closer geographically to where I am from. And I thought at my age, I wasn't going to get this opportunity again to pull the trigger on something like this. My parents are still on Long Island. My wife's parents are still on Long Island. To be able to play those teams consistently and have Pittsburgh be a one-hour flight, as compared to a cross-country flight is something that I've missed over the last few years. I've missed having them be part of our lives and their grandkids lives." - Scuderi.

-Paul Martin finished the season with a severe injury which required painkilling injections. He is still wearing a walking boot a month after the season finished.

-According to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com, Brenden Morrow played most of the postseason with a split kneecap.

-Don Meehan, the agent for former Penguins forward Jarome Iginla, initated contact with the Bruins about his client playing for them.

-“I’m sure there’s a lot of fans that aren’t fond of me and they remember when I played for Vancouver, but hopefully I can change their opinion quickly." - Former Penguins forward Matt Cooke on being accepted by Minnesota fans after joining the Wild.

-Shero speaks:

-The Penguins signed forwards Chris Conner, Nick Drazenovic, Andrew Ebbett and Bobby Fanham to one-year two-way contracts. (PG+)

Conner, 29, is a former Penguin who spent parts of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 season with the Penguins. Conner appeared in 12 games for the Coyotes last season and scored two points (one goal, one assist).

Drazenovic, 26, appeared in eight games for the Blue Jackets last season and failed to score a point.

Ebbett (right), 30, appeared in 28 games for the Canucks last season and scored six points (one goal, five assists).

Farnham split time between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Wheeling Nailers last season. In 65 AHL games last season, Farnham recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists) and lead the team with 274 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: This is organizational depth. These are players who will come to training camp and create competition for bottom six forward positions. Conner has probably the best chacne of this group to make the NHL roster considering his history here and the success he did have as a third liner through most of 2010-1, but none of these players is going to make you forget Matt Cooke.

-Happy 69th birthday to former Penguins coach Pierre Creamer. Hired in the 1987 offseason, Creamer coached the Penguins for one season. In 1987-88, he led the club to a 36-35-9 record and 81 points, one short of qualifying for the postseason. In the 1988 offseason, he was replaced by Gene Ubriaco.

-Happy 39th birthday to former Penguins forward Steve Sullivan. A free agent signing last offseason, Sullivan appeared in 79 games for the Penguins this past season and scored 48 points (17 goals, 31 assists). This past season, he played for the Coyotes and Devils. He is current an unrestricted free agent.

-Happy 56th birthday to former Penguins forward Ron Duguay. An all-star with the Rangers, Duguay came to the Penguins at the 1986 trade deadline when he was acquired from the Red Wings in exchange for Doug Shedden. He finished the 1985-86 season by appearing in 13 games and scoring 13 points for the Penguins. In 1986-87, Duguay played in 40 games and scored 18 points for the Penguins before he was traded to the Rangers in exchange for Chris Kontos midway through the season. In 53 games with the Penguins, Duguay scored 31 points. He currently works as a broadcaster for MSG Network.

-Happy 37th birthday to former Penguins forward Greg Crozier. A third-round pick in 1994, Crozier didn't make his NHL debut until he appeared in his only NHL game in the 2000-01 season. He signed with the Bruins in the 2001 offseason.

Atlantic Division

-The Devils signed former Canadiens forward Michael Ryder to a two-year contract worth a total of $7 million. His new deal will have a cap hit of $3.5 million, identical to his previous contract. Ryder, 33, appeared in 46 games last season and scored 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists).

-EN Says: After never really ever replacing the offense former captain Zach Parise took with him as a free agent departure last summer, the Devils went out and picked up a pretty consistent player in Ryder who scored 20 or more goals five times in his career. Ryder is streaky, but over the course of a season, he'll produce solid numbers.

-The Devils signed former Rangers forward Ryane Clowe (right) to a five year contract worth a total of $24.25 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $3.625 million, his new contract will have a cap hit of $4.85 million. In 40 games last season, he had 19 points (three goals, 16 assists).

-EN Says: After losing David Clarkson to free agency, the Devils needed to replace his blend of scoring touch and physical play. That said, this is a slight overpayment for a player who had a pretty dreadful 2012-13 season.

-Clowe and Ryder are two of the relatively few natives of Newfoundland in the NHL.

-The Devils signed former Blackhawks forward Rostislav Olesz to a one-year contract worth $1 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $3.125 million, Olesz had his previous contract bought out by the Blackhawks. He last played in the NHL in 2011-12 for Chicago. In seven games he had no points.

-EN Says: This is a low-risk high-reward signing. Olesz is a former first-round pick who played for Devils coach Peter DeBoer in Florida.

-The Flyers re-signed former goaltender Ray Emery to a one-year contract worth a total of $1.65 million. Coming off a cap hit of $1.15 million with the Blackhawks, Emery, 30, appeared in 21 games last season and had a 17-1-0 record with a 1.94 goals against average, a .922 save percentage and three shutouts.

-EN Says: After cutting ties with the combustable Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers replaced him with Emery who is coming off an outstanding season with the Blackhawks. Emery should platoon with Steve Mason and give the Flyers a much more stable and sensible presence in net than Bryzgalov.

-"It's a great honor to be able to have that kind of contract. It just shows the trust they have in me, and I'm going to do my best to not let them down. A little bit of pressure like that never hurts. I have a lot of good teammates that are playing well, so I'm just pretty excited to move on from this." - Flyers captain/forward Claude Giroux (right) on signing an eight-year contract extension $66.2 million.

-The Flyers signed former Oilers goaltender Yann Danis to a one-year two-way contract.

It's a great honor to be able to have that kind of contract," said Giroux, the Flyers' 25-year-old captain, in a conference call with reporters. "It just shows the trust they have in me, and I'm going to do my best to not let them down. A little bit of pressure like that never hurts. I have a lot of good teammates that are playing well, so I'm just pretty excited to move on from this."
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/flyers/20130706_Flyers__Giroux___Great_honor__to_receive_8-year___66_25_million_deal.html#3CdPP8wGrOVQJFFD.99

-The Islanders re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Travis Hamonic to a seven-year contract worth a total of $27 million. Coming off an entry-level contract with a cap hit of $875,000, Hamonic's new deal will have a cap hit of $3,857,143. In 48 games last season, he had 10 points (four goals, six assists).

-EN Says: Along with defensive partner Andrew MacDonald, Hamonic has developed into a trustworthy shutdown defender who can agitate just about any opposing forward. For the Islanders, this is statement signing as it shows other player a willingness on Hamonic's behalf to commit to the franchise long-term.

-The Islanders re-sign unrestricted free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. Nabokov, 37, appeared in 41 games last season and had a 23-11-7 record, a 2.50 goals against average, a .910 save percentage and three shutouts.

-EN Says: For a goaltender who can steer you through a long regular season, this is a fair contract. But Nabokov has routinely had issues in the postseason throughout his career. The Islanders need to investigate other options in net if they hope to get to the next level.

-The Islanders signed former Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard (right) to a one-year contract worth a total of $2 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $4.08 million, Bouchard, 29, appeared in 43 games last season and scored 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists).

-EN Says: This is a low-risk high-reward signing. Bouchard has never fully recovered from a series of head injuries. If he can regain his form, this could be a shrewd signing for New York.

-The Islanders signed former Senators forward Peter Regin to a one-year contract worth a total of $750,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $800,000, Regin appeared in 27 games last season and recorded three assists.

-EN Says: Before a shoulder injury derailed his career, Regin was one of the Senators' top prospects. If he can regain his form before the shoulder injury, this could be another shrewd signing.

-The Rangers signed former Lightning forward Benoit Pouliot to a one-year contract worth $1.3 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.8 million, Pouliot, 26, appeared in 34 games last season and scored 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists).

-EN Says: Pouliot is a former first-round pick (No. 4 overall in 2005) who has never found consistent success in the NHL. He has shown flashes of his talent but has never truly put everything together. Perhaps another change of scenery could benefit him.

-The Rangers re-signed former Penguins forward Dominic Moore to a one-year deal with a cap hit of $1 million. Moore did not play in 2012-13 in order to attend to the death of his wife. He last played in the NHL 2011-12 when he appeared in 79 games and scored 25 points (four goals, 21 assists).  Moore, 32, spent the first two seasons of his NHL career with the Rangers.

-EN Says: First, this is a just good news that a good person like Moore (right) has found work again in the NHL. Second, he's still a player capable of stepping in on a fourth line and being a dependable an smart mucker and grinder.

-The Rangers signed former Bruins defenseman Aaron Johnson to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $650,000, Johnson, 30, appeared in 10 NHL games last season and had no points.

-EN Says: This is a depth signing for the organization.

Northeast Division

-Long-time captain/forward Daniel Alfredsson has left the Senators and opted to sign a one-year contract with the Red Wings worth $5.5 million. His previous contract had a salary cap hit of $4.875 million. In 47 games last season, Alfredsson, 40, scored 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists). Alfredsson was the NHL's longest tenured captain having served that role with Ottawa since 1999-2000. He had been a member of the Senators since 1995-96 and is that franchise's career leader in virtually every offensive category.

-EN Says: A day later, this move is still hard to process. The idea of Daniel Alfredsson not wearing a Senators jersey will be foreign. That said, him signing with the Red Wings makes sense on a few levels. First, the Red Wings have long been friendly to Swedish players and he'll be joining fellow countrymen such as Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall. Second, the Red Wings needed a top-six right winger which Alfredsson still is. Finally, after spinning his wheels for parts of three decades with the Senators, this might be Alfredsson's best chance to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. Still, it will take some time to get used to not seeing him with Ottawa.

-"It came down to a selfish decision. I feel with Ottawa, they’re getting closer and closer [to winning a Stanley Cup]. Definitely going in the right direction. But I don’t have the time to wait for that.”" - Alfredsson on joining the Red Wings.

-“You’ve got to feel what a terrible loss it is for the franchise. If you didn’t feel that, then you weren’t here very often. He’s a big game player, a good man, a guy who helped all our kids…it’s hard to lose this guy.” - Senators general manager Bryan Murray on Alfredsson (right).

-The Senators acquired forward Bobby Ryan from the Ducks in exchange for forward Jakob Silfverberg, forward prospect Stefan Noesen and a first-round pick in 2014. Ryan, 26, has two years remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $5.1 million. In 46 games last season, Ryan, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 draft behind Sidney Crosby, scored 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists).

Silfverberg, 22, has one year remaining on an entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $900,000 at the NHL level. He appeared in 48 games last season and scored 19 points (10 goals, nine assists). Noesen, 20, has yet to start a three-year entry-level contract with a salary cap hit of $1,137,500 at the NHL level. A first-round pick in 2011 (No. 21 overall), Noesen appeared in 51 games for Plymouth of the OHL last season and scored 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists).

-EN Says: This is a deal which makes sense for both teams. The Senators had an obvious need for a top-line winger with Alfredsson's departure. While Ryan is more of a power forward than Alfredsson who was a skilled two-way player, Ryan is a regular-30 goal threat who will more than replace Alfredsson's offense. For the Ducks, they shed some salary and part ways with a player who never seemed totally comfortable with Anahem as witnessed by his comments last summer when he said he wanted traded to the Flyers. The Senators also get a high-end prospect in Noesen who has been compared to Ducks forward Corey Perry in terms of his style of play.

-“I don’t think Daniel Alfredsson will ever be replaced.  just want to try and play the way I can and get accustomed (to Ottawa). It’s a turnover day for the franchise and I understand that, but replacing Alfredsson is not going to happen.” - Ryan.

-The Senators signed former Maple Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $6.5 million. Like his previous contract, his new deal will have a salary cap hit of $3.25 million. MacArthur, 28, appeared in 40 game last season and scored 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists).

-EN Says: MacArthur has an interesting blend of skill and grit and can serve as a second- or third-line winger. That said, this is a pretty big contract for a player who can be streaky with his production.

-The Maple Leafs signed former Devils forward David Clarkson to a seven-year contract worth a total of $37.75 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $2,666,667, Clarkson's new deal will have a cap hit of $5.25 million. Clarkson, 29, appeared in 48 game last season and scored 24 points (15 goals, nine assists).

-EN Says: Clarkson offers a lot of what the Maple Leafs need, primarily a physcial scoring threat as a top six power forward. But considering he has only one season of 20 or more goals under his belt and his production faded badly in the latter hal of last season, this is an overpayment. He's a fine player but he's approaching 30 and has a pretty limited resume.

-"At the end of the day I think in my heart this is where I wanted to be. There are a lot of factors that go into it. You look at the way a team is built. I have been a Leafs fan since I was a kid. I'm excited to come here and put this jersey on. Wearing that jersey when I was young and idolizing some of the guys that played here meant something to me. When I was a kid I ran around the house wearing a Wendel Clark jersey. That was me playing mini sticks. My dad brought me up a Leafs fan, so it's an honor for me to be here." - Clarkson.

-The Maple Leafs re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Tyler Bozak to a five-year contract worth a total of $21 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1.5 million, Bozak's new deal will have a cap hit of $4.2 million. In 46 games last season, Bozak, 27, scored 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists).

-EN Says: Bozak has formed a pretty good on-ice alliance with all-star winger Phil Kessel the past few seasons. His value might not be reflected his in modest numbers but there is a chemistry with Kessel which adds to his value. This might be a slight overpayment but the Maple Leafs weren't eager to find a new center for Kessel.

-The Maple Leafs signed restricted free agent goaltender Jonathan Bernier (right) to a two-year contract worth $5.8 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.25 million, Bernier's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.9 million. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the contract. Bernier, 24, appeared in 12 games with the Kings last season and had a 9-3-1 record, a 1.87 goals against average, a .922 save percentage and one shutout. The Maple Leafs acquired his signing rights from the Kings last month.

-EN Says: For a player who could take over as the starting goaltender, this is a fair contract.

-The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent forard Frazer McLaren to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.4 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $632,500, McLaren's new contract will have a cap hit of $700,000. In 36 games last season, McLaren had five points (three goals, two assists) and 102 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: McLaren is simply there to add some beef and physical play to the lineup. He won't make or break the roster.

-Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Trevor Smith has signed a one-year two-way contract with the Maple Leafs. In 75 games with the AHL Penguins last season, Smith, 28, scored 54 points (23 goals, 31 assists). He appeared in one NHL games with the Penguins last season and failed to record a point.

-The Canadiens acquired forward/enforcer George Parros (right) from the Panthers in exchange for minor league forward Philippe Lefebvre and a seventh-round pick in 2014. Parros, 33, has one year remaining on a contract with a salary cap hit of $937,500 cap hit. A native of Washington, Pa., Parros appeared in 39 games last season and scored two points (one goal, one assist) while recording 57 penalty minutes.

-EN Says: The Canadiens needed to get tougher and there are few players in the NHL who are more intimidating than Parros, one of the true heavyweights in the league. After getting roughed up by the Senators in the postseason, the Canadiens had to add some beef to the lineup. This move more than accomplishes that.

-Montreal signed former Panthers forward Nick Tarnasky to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Bruins signed goaltender Chad Johnson and forward Nick Johnson, both former Penguins prospects, to one-year two-way contracts.

-According to the father of Stars forward Tyler Seguin, the Bruins traded his son to Dallas this past week due in part to his active social life.

-The Sabres re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Alexander Sulzer. Terms of the deal were not reported. In 17 games last season, Sulzer, 29, recorded four points (three goals one assist).

Southeast Divison

-The Lightning signed former Red Wings forward Valtteri (right) Filppula to a five-year contract worth a total of $25 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $3 million, Filppula's new deal will have a cap hit of $5 million. Filppula, 29, appeared in 41 games last season and scored 17 points (nine goals, eight assists).

-EN Says: After parting ways with Vincent Lecavalier, the Lightning needed another center to man the second line. Filppula is a pretty complete all-around player who has shown an ability to produce in the league. That said, considering the less-than-stellar season he had in 2012-13, he did receive a pretty hefty pay raise.

-Tampa Bay signed forward Jonathan Drouin, the third overall pick in this year's draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Lightning signed former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Geoff Walker to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Hurricanes signed former Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek to a one-year deal worth $700,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million, Komsiarek had the final year of his previous deal bought out by the Maple Leafs. Injuries limited him to four games and no points last season.

-EN Says: This is a low-risk high-reward venture for the Hurricanes. At one point, Komisarek was one of top young physical defensemen in the game. A shoulder injury in 2008-09 seemed to alter the course of his career and he was never the same again. If he can regain any thing close to his form before the injury, he could be a steal for Carolina.

-The Hurricanes signed former Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin (right) to a one-year contract worth a total of $800,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $875,00, Khudobin, 27, appeared in 21 games last season and had a 9-4-1 record along with a 2.32 goals against average, a .920 save percentage and one shutout.

-EN Says: After having a solid season as the backup to Tuukka Rask in Boston, it's a bit surprising that Khodobin didn't garner a little more attention as a free agent. Carolina brings on a player who will be an upgrade as a backup to Cam Ward.

-The Panthers re-signed restricted free agent forward Shawn Matthias to a two-year contract worth a total $3.5 million. Coming off a contract with cap hit of $851,625, Matthia's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.75 million. In 48 games last season, Matthias, 25, scored 21 points (14 goals, seven assists).

-EN Says: For a player who can be a solid two-way presence on the second or third line, this is a fair contract.

-The Panthers signed former Bruins defenseman Mike Mottau and forward Jesse Winchester to two-way contracts.

-The Jets acquired forward Devin Setoguchi from the Wild in exchange for a second-round pick in 2014. Setoguchi, 26, has one year left on a contract with a cap hit of $3 million. In 48 games last season, Setoguchi scored 27 points (13, goals, 17 assists).

-EN Says: The Wild needed to clear a little cap space and in order to that, it had to jettison a consistent but streak 20-goal threat in Setoguchi (right). The Jets give up a considerable asset in a second round pick but they made their team better in the immediate sense.

-The Jets signed former Sabres defenseman Adam Pardy to a one-year contract worth $600,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $2 million, Pardy, 29, appeared in 17 games last season and four assists.

-EN Says: Pardy is a tough physical defender but he's nothing more than a bottom pairing defenseman.

Central Division

-The Blue Jackets signed former Bruins forward Nathan Horton to a seven-year contract worth a total of $37.1 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $4 million, Horton's new deal will have cap hit of $5.3 million. Horton, 28, appeared in 43 games last season and scored 22 points (13 goals, nine assists).

-EN Says: What a gross overpayment. Horton is a fine player and offers an element as a scoring power forward the Blue Jackets need but this is too much money for an injury prone player approaching his 30s. Horton has suffered significan head and shoulder injuries in recent seasons. He has shown an ability to deliver in the clutch as he did quite often during Boston's Stanley Cup run in 2011, but this is a contract we could see eventually being bought out.

-Horton still requires surgery to repair a shoulder injury he suffered during the postseason. He will be sidelined four to six months.

-"This feels like home. They even have Tim Hortons here." - Nathan Horton (right) referring to the coffee/donut chain store.

-The Blue Jackets signed former Penguins forward Ryan Craig to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Red Wings signed former Panthers forward Stephen Weiss to a five-year contract worth a total of $24.9 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $3.1 million, Weiss' new deal will have a cap hit of 4.9 million. Injuries limited Weiss, 30, to 17 games and four points (one goal, three assists) last season.

-EN Says: While playing on some mostly rotten teams throughout his career, Weiss has shown an ability to be a pretty complete all-around top six forward as a center and has been a consistent 20-goal threat. This is a fair contract for what he can offer.

-The Blackhawks re-signed former Penguins defenseman Michal Rozsival to a two-year contract. Financial terms of the contract were not reported. His previous contract had a cap hit of $2 million. Rozsival, 34, appeared in 27 games last season and recorded 12 assists.

-Chicago re-signed forward Michal Handzus to a one-year contract worth a total of $1 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $2.5 million, Handzus, 36, appeared in 39 games last season and scored eight points.

-EN Says: Handzus was brought in near the trade deadline last season and served in a defensive role for Chicago. He's a aging but savvy veteran who knows the game and can do quite a few things to make life miserable for opposing forwards. This is a bargain.

-The Blackhawks re-signed former goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (right) to a one-year contract worth a total of $2 million. Coming off a contract with the Oilers with a cap hit of $3.75 million, Khabibulin appeared in 12 games last season and had a 4-6-1 record, a 2.55 goals against average, a .923 save percentage and one shutout. Khabibulin, 40, spent parts of four seasons with the Blackhawks before joining the Oilers in 2009.

-EN Says: This is a low-risk high-reward signing. Khabibulin is beyond being past his prime. Injuries derailed his career in Edmonton. He had success with Chicago and with smaller workload behind starter Corey Crawford, perhaps he can regain some of the form which made him a Stanley Cup winning goaltender as he was with the Lightning. Either way, with Ray Emery moving, the Blackhawks needed a replacement.

-The Predators signed former Wild forward Matt Cullen to a two-year contract worth a total of $7 million. He will have a cap hit of $3.5 million, identical to his previous contract. In 42 games last season, Cullen had 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists).

-EN Says: Cullen is a "Swiss Army Knife" type of player in that he can do quite a few things for your team. He's a strong two-way player who can work on the penalty kill while also manning the point on the power play. He is excellent in the faceoff circle as well. This is a shrewd signing for Nashville.

-The Predators signed former Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg to a four-year contract worth a total of $12 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $875,000, Stalberg's new contract will have a cap hit of $3 million. In 47 games last season, Stalberg, 27, had 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists).

-EN Says: This is a slight overpayment for a player who has only one 20-goal season on his resume and was kind of forced out of Chicago due to the salary cap, but for a team l ike Nashville, he fits their approach to offense.

-The Predators signed former Capitals forward Matt Hendricks (right) to a four-year contract worth a total of $7.4 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $825,000, Hendricks' new deal will have a cap hit of $1.85 million. In 48 games last season, Hendricks had eight points (five goals, three assists) and 73 penalty  minutes.

-EN Says: This signing adds an element of toughness. Hendricks is a pretty tenacious third-line player who will make Nashville's forecheck a lot tougher. Additionally, he's a surprisingly strong player in shootouts.

-The Predators signed former Stars forward Eric Nystrom to a four-year contract worth $10 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.4 million, Nystrom's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.5 million. Nystrom, 30, appeared in 48 games last season and scored 11 points (seven goals, four assists).

-EN Says: This is another signing which makes the Nashville forecheck a lot tougher. Nystrom isn't afraid to hit any defenseman in the corner and even has a little offensive touch.

-The Blues signed former Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.2. million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $1 million, Lapierre's new contract has a cap hit of $1.1. million. In 48 games last season, Lapierre had 10 points (four goals, six assists).

-EN Says: With Scott Nichol retiring, St. Louis needed someone to fill the void as bottom-six agitator. There are few better than Lapierre.

-The Blues signed former Islanders forward Keith Aucoin to a one-year contract worth $625,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $650,000, Aucoin, 34, appeared in 41 games last season and scored 12 points (six goals, six assists).

-EN Says: Aucoin established himself as a bottom-six forward last season. While didn't produce much offense, he has some scoring touch.

Northwest Division

-The Oilers signed former Penguins defenseman Andrew Ference (right) to a four-year contract worth a total of $13 million. Coming off a cap hit of $2.25 million, Ference's new deal will have a cap hit of $3.25 million. Ference, 34, appeared in 48 games last season and scored 13 points (four goals, nine assists).

-EN Says: Ference is exactly what the Oilers need, a veteran defensive defenseman with a ton of experience and knowledge of the game. That said, giving a big deal like this to an aging defenseman who has a history of injuries does have some question marks.

-The Oilers signed former Coyotes forward Boyd Gordon to a three-year contract worth a total of $9 million. Coming off a contract with salary cap hit of $1.325 million, Gordon's new deal is worth $3 million. Gordon appeared in 48 games last season and scored 14 points (four goal, 10 assists).

-EN Says: Gordon (right) is an excellent defensive center who makes the Oilers a tougher team up the middle. This is a shrewd contract.

-The Oilers signed former Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera to a one-year deal worth a total of $1 million. LaBarbera, 33, appeared in 15 games last season and had a 4-6-2 record, a 2.64 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

-EN Says: The Oilers have major issues in net and a journeyman like LaBarbera is not the answer.

-The Oilers re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Ryan Jones to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not reported. Jones, 29, appeared in 27 games last season and had seven points (two goals, five assists).

-Edmonton signed former Islanders forward Jesse Joensuu to a two-year contract. Terms of the contract were not reported. In seven games last season, Joensuu, 25, recorded two assists.

-The Flames acquired defenseman Kris Russell from the Blues in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2014. Russell, who signed as a restricted free agent with the Blues just prior to the trade, is on a one-year contract with a cap hit of $1.5 million. In 33 games last season, he had seven points (one goal, six assists).

-EN Says: Russell is a puck-moving defenseman who can log top four minutes. With modest size (5-foot-10, 173 pounds), he is hardly a physical defenseman however. This is a fair deal all around.

-The Flames signed former Lightning goaltender Karri Ramo to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.75 million. He will have a cap hit of $2.75 million. In 40 games with Avangard Omsk of Russia's KHL last season, Ramo, 27, had a 26-9-5 record along with a 2.00 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and four shutouts. He has spent the past four seasons with Avangard Omsk.

-EN Says: This is a large investment for a player who never really produced much when he was in the NHL. Additionally, with goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff expected to retire, the Flames need a better replacement in net.

-The Flames re-signed forward Greg Nemisz to a one-year two-way contract and signed forward Corban Knight to a two-year two-way contract.

-The Canucks re-signed forward Brad Richardson (right) to a two-year contract worth a total of $2.3 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $1.175 million, Richardson's new deal will have a cap hit of $1.15 million. In 16 games last season, Richardson, 28, scored six points (one goal, five assists).

-EN Says: This signing replaces some of the toughness the Canucks have lost among their bottom six forwards in recent seasons. Richardson doesn't offer much offensively but will offer a solid level of defense up front.

-The Canucks signed former Canadiens defenseman Yannick Weber, 24, to a one-year contract worth $650,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $850,000, Weber appeared in six games last season and recorded two assists.

-EN Says: This is a signing for organizational depth.

-The Canucks signed former Jets forward Mike Santorelli to a one-year two-way contract.

-The Avalanche signed former Senators defenseman Andre Benoit to a one-year contract worth $900,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $650,000, Benoit, 29, appeared in 33 games last season and scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists).

-EN Says: This is a depth signing. Benoit (right) is nothing more than a bottom-pairing defenseman who has some offensive touch. This is a fair deal.

-The Avalanche signed former Penguins defenseman and Hopewell native Nate Guenin to a one-year two-way contract.

-Colorado signed forward Colin Smith, a seventh-round pick in 2012, to a three-year entry-level contract.

-The Wild-re-signed restricted free agent Jared Spurgeon to a three-year contract worth a total of $8 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $526,667, Spurgeon's new deal will have a cap hit of $2,666,667. Spurgeon, 23, appeared in 39 games last season and scored 15 points (five goals, 10 assists).

-EN Says: There probably isn't anyone else on the Wild who is knows head coach Mike Yeo's system as well as Spurgeon. This is a solid signing for a player who just fits this team well.

Pacific Division

-The Sharks signed former Penguins forward Tyler Kennedy, a restricted free agent, to a two-year contract worth a total of $4.6 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $2 million, Kennedy's new contract will have a cap hit of $2.3 million. In 46 games last season, Kennedy, 26, scored 11 points (six goals, five assists).

-EN Says: After two pretty dreadful seasons, it's hard to imagine Kennedy getting a raise but he's a player who has the ability to be what the Sharks need, a third-liner who provides energy. 

-The Sharks re-signed defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year contract worth $1 million. Coming off a contract with the same cap hit, Hannan, 34, appeared in 33 games last season and recorded one assist.

-EN Says: Hannan is a stead bottom pairing defenseman who can block shots and provide a physical presence. This is a low-risk signing.

-The Sharks are expected to keep defenseman Brent Burns at a forward position next season.

-The Coyotes signed former Capitals Mike Ribeiro (right) to a four-year contract worth a total of $22 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $5 million, Ribeiro's new contract will have a cap hit of $5.5 million. In 48 games last season, Riberio, 33, scored 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists).

-EN Says: Ribeiro is an outstanding playmaking center who can create quite a bit of offense. Additionally, he had some success under head coach Dave Tippett when they were in Dallas. That said, he's approaching his mid 30s and he still seems to have a streak of immaturity as witnessed by his less than graceful exit from Washington. The Coyotes have limited financial resources to spend on players and they may have used too much on Ribeiro.

-The Coyotes signed former Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss to a one-year contract worth $750,000. Coming off two-way a contract with a cap hit of $587,500, Greiss, 27, appeared in six games last season and had a 1-4-0 record, a 2.53 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and one shutout.

-EN Says: Greiss has shown at time an ability to be a capable backup in the NHL. This could be a shrewd signing by the Coyotes.

-The Coyotes re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Michael Stone. Terms of the contract have not been reported. Stone, 23, appeared in 40 games last season and had nine points (five goals, four assists).

-Phoenix re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Kyle Chipchura to a multi-year contract. Terms of the contract were not reported. Chipchura, 27, appeared in 46 games last season and scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists).

-The Coyotes re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Chris Summers to a one-year contract. Terms of the contract were not reporter. Summer, 25, appeared in six games last season and failed to record a point.

-The Ducks re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Saku Koivu (right) to a one-year contract worth $2.5 million. Coming off a salary cap hit of $3.8 million, Koivu, 38, appeared in 47 games last season and scored 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists).

-EN Says: This is a nice deal for the Ducks. Koivu still produces a fair amount of offense while offering a pretty high level of defense at the same time. To retain his serives for a pretty signfinicant drop in cap hit is a steal for the Ducks.

-The Stars re-signed former goaltender Dan Ellis to a two-year contract worth a total of $1.8 million. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $800,000, Ellis' new deal will have a cap hit of $900,000. In 19 games last season with the Hurricanes, Ellis, 33, had a 6-8-2 record along with a 3.13 goals against average, .906 save percentage and one shutout. He spent part of one season with the Stars in 2003-04.

-EN Says: With the always fragile health of starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen, the Stars needed an upgrade on the backup role. Ellis provides that.

-The Kings signed former Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz to a one-year contract worth $700,000. Coming off a contract with a cap hit of $2.75 million with the Capitals, Schultz, 27, appeared in 26 games last season and had three assists.

-EN Says: After losing Scuderi, Schultz (right) is a low-cost attempt at a replacement.

Norris Division

-Former Predators/Canadiens forward Andrei Kostitsyn has joined Avangard Omsk of the KHL.

(Photos: Scuderi and Richardson-Harry How/Getty Images; Ebbett-Derek Leung/Getty Images; Clowe-Jen Fuller/Getty Images; Giroux, Khudobin, Hendricks, Benoit and Ribeiro-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Bouchard, Setoguchi and Koivu-Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Moore and Gordon-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Alfredsson-Photobucket; MacArthur-Abelimages/Getty Images; Bernier-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images; Parros-Joel Auerbach/Getty Images; Filppula-Kirk Irwin/Getty Images; Horton and Schultz-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Khabibulin-Dale MacMillan/Getty Images; Ference-Elsa/Getty Images)

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