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More minor moves: Coyotes add McElhinney, Oilers re-up Peckham, Flames close in on Babchuk

Jul 4, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

Curtis McElhinney AP

Apparently the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres’ GMs weren’t the only ones who decided to do something beyond flip burgers, grill hot dogs and set off fireworks today. (Then again, two of the teams involved in this post are Canadian. I wonder if they get today off too, with their version of Independence Day coming on July 1 instead.)

Teams haven’t been very forthcoming with financial details today, so we’ll just look at the term of deals unless otherwise noted.

  • The St. Louis Blues signed Brett Sterling to a one-year, two-way deal. The signing actually happened late last night/early this morning, so maybe you could say that the Blues took off today’s holiday anyway. Sterling will be a minor league forward for St. Louis with the potential to be a reasonably proficient player during fill-in work when Blues forwards are injured (not exactly uncommon if last season is any indication).
  • While the deal hasn’t been officially announced yet, Antnon Babchuk’s agent Jay Grossman announced that the Calgary Flames are close to signing the defenseman to a two-year contract. If that signing goes through, it would represent a rare run of stability for Babchuk. He experienced an almost comical in one year, out the other routine with the Carolina Hurricanes. Babchuk played the 2006-07, 08-09 and 10-11 seasons with the ‘Canes while bouncing back overseas in the years in between. Update: it’s a two-year, $5 million deal. Woof.

The appeal of Babchuk is quite simple: he has a flamethrower of a slap shot. He’s not very good in his own end but he scored 27 points in 65 games with Calgary after being traded there from Carolina and had 35 points in 82 games overall in 10-11.

  1. cshearing - Jul 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Our day off was Friday, July 1, known as Canada Day. Not sure why we would get a day off for American Independence :p

    • James O'Brien - Jul 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      Yeah, I figured Friday was off. But would Canada be bold enough to go for a FOUR day weekend? That would be something. :-)

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 4, 2011 at 9:38 PM

        I think North America as a whole should’ve had off Friday and Monday. Then we could all watch Free Agent Frenzy.

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