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James O’Brien

  1. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Islanders set to add Mark Eaton for two-years, $5M

    Jul 2, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    The New York Islanders are reportedly on the verge of signing former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton to a two-year, $5 million contract according to Nick Kypreos. The 32-year-old defenseman produced his best career point output last season, scoring 16 in 79 games for the Penguins. He brings a decent mixture of defensive-minded play and…

  2. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Panthers sign Chris Higgins to one-year, $1.6M deal

    Jul 2, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

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    New GM Dale Tallon continues to show that the Florida Panthers are looking to be an aggressive team in free agency, trades and the draft. While Chris Higgins is far from a big impact player, the three-time 20-plus goal scorer could come cheap. Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that the speedy, two-way winger will…

  3. Penguins rank high, Maple Leafs in the doghouse of ESPN's fan treatment polls

    Jul 2, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    The Chicago Blackhawks may have won the Stanley Cup this year, but an ESPN The Magazine poll found that the Pittsburgh Penguins are the gold standard in fan relations – not just among NHL teams, but in all of sports. Here’s more from the team’s site. The Pittsburgh Penguins are ranked No. 1 in Fan…

  4. After failing to find trade partner, Oilers put Sheldon Souray on waivers

    Jul 2, 2010, 12:40 PM EDT

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    The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Sheldon Souray on waivers, reports TSN. The Edmonton Oilers are giving the NHL’s 29 other teams a chance at acquiring Sheldon Souray, as the team placed the veteran defenceman on waivers on Friday. Souray signed a five-year contract in 2007 that was supposed to see him in Edmonton through the…

  5. Flyers' arena undergoes name change from Wachovia to Wells Fargo Center

    Jul 2, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    The Wachovia Center – home to the Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers – will now be known as the Wells Fargo Center. This marks the fourth name given to the Flyers’ humble abode. Frank Seravalli provides the details. Wachovia, which owned the building’s naming rights, was bought out by Wells Fargo Corporation effective…

  6. Jason Spezza expected to stay in Ottawa … for now

    Jul 2, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

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    A year after Dany Heatley forced a trade out of Ottawa – but only to the teams he wanted to play for – it looked like disgruntled center Jason Spezza might follow a similar path. After all, Senators fans booed the talented but defensively questionable forward during the team’s first round loss to the Pittsburgh…

  7. Lebron James, Ilya Kovalchuk make us wait, but Kovalchuk might want to change course

    Jul 2, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    While July 1 was “Lebron James Day” for many sports fans, hockey-crazed people thought they’d finally get some answers about the NHL’s big free agent fish Ilya Kovalchuk. Thursday was supposed to be a day of closure regarding the two soon-to-be-huge-earners, but both basketball and hockey fans will have to wait to see the end…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Lightning bring back Pavel Kubina with two-year deal

    Jul 2, 2010, 10:11 AM EDT

    This is just the beginning of Steve Yzerman’s time as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but so far, it seems like he’s introducing all kinds of new things to the franchise (like, say, “competence”). There are certainly some winds of change blowing through Tampa, but if Bolts fans were hoping for a…

  9. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Ducks, Bobby Ryan struggle to find common ground on extension

    Jul 1, 2010, 8:28 PM EDT

    For the most part, NHL teams and their players are allies. The one notable exception, though, is when a team goes into contract discussions with its players and their agents. It seems like the talks between restricted free agent Bobby Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks are getting a little contentious, as Eric Stephens of the…

  10. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Minnesota signs Eric Nystrom to three-year, $4.2M contract

    Jul 1, 2010, 8:03 PM EDT

    The Minnesota Wild signed former Calgary Flames forward Eric Nystrom to a three-year, $4.2 million contract according to Bob McKenzie. At age 27 with a career-high of 19 points last season, it’s hard to say that Nystrom justified the Flames’ decision to make him the 10th pick of the 2002 draft. He’s a gritty player,…

  11. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Blackhawks exodus continues as Oilers sign Colin Fraser

    Jul 1, 2010, 7:48 PM EDT

    NHL teams are raiding the lower depths of the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster like an alcoholic burns through a hotel mini-bar. The latest departure is marginal center Colin Fraser, whom the Edmonton Oilers signed to a two-year, $1.65 million contract. Fraser played in 70 games for Chicago during the 09-10 season, putting up seven goals and…

  12. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Minnesota hands Matt Cullen three-year, $10.5M deal

    Jul 1, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT

    To me, Matt Cullen evokes the old saying, “Jack of all trades, but a master of none.” Cullen seems like a good character guy, is an adequate defensive player, is well above average when it comes to face-offs and can put the puck in the net on occasion. Rarely would you say that he’s the…

  13. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Stars nab former Blackhawk Adam Burish

    Jul 1, 2010, 6:36 PM EDT

    The raid on the Chicago Blackhawks’ depth players continues as the Dallas Stars snagged fringe forward Adam Burish with a two-year, $2.3 million deal according to Nick Kypreos. While the Dallas Stars feature a nice collection of productive forwards, they could use a little more elbow grease. Adam Burish could flourish if he’s the “dirty…

  14. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Saku Koivu won't retire, signs two-year deal with Ducks

    Jul 1, 2010, 6:20 PM EDT

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    The Anaheim Ducks are now bating .500 with their aging, potentially-retiring players. While Scott Niedermayer decided to hang up his skates for good (well, allegedly … some people think he’ll “pull a Brett Favre”), Saku Koivu just signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the team. While it’s good news for the team to retain…

  15. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Devils sign Johan Hedberg to ease Martin Brodeur's burden

    Jul 1, 2010, 5:48 PM EDT

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    Johan Hedberg will (or at least should) always hold a special place in the hearts of Penguins fans as “The Moose” came out of nowhere to help the team make a deep playoff run during Mario Lemieux’s amazing comeback from retirement. Despite that Cinderella run, though, Hedberg has just been a borderline NHL goalie since…

  16. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Rangers in talks with the 'other' Russian winger Alex Frolov

    Jul 1, 2010, 5:23 PM EDT

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    While Ilya Kovalchuk gets all the attention as this summer’s high-profile goal scoring Russian left wing (that’s a mouthful), former Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Frolov mostly slips under the radar. He shares a lot in common with Kovalchuk although he’s certainly nowhere near as dynamic, consistent or productive. Mean folks might even call him…

  17. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flames sign Olli Jokinen to two-year, $6M contract

    Jul 1, 2010, 4:56 PM EDT

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    Perhaps the most giggle-worthy rumor is now fact; the Calgary Flames signed erstwhile forward Olli Jokinen to a two-year, $6 million contract according to Darren Dreger. Should Jokinen be called the Prodigal Center? I’ve already discussed how silly the reunion really is, but to review, Jokinen spent a chunk of one unsuccessful season with the…

  18. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Devils lock up shot blocker Anton Volchenkov for six years

    Jul 1, 2010, 4:40 PM EDT

    The New Jersey Devils lost key defenseman Paul Martin today, but they’re trying to fill the void by committee with the additions of Henrik Tallinder and former Ottawa Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Volchenkov’s agent Jay Grossman just Tweeted that the Devils are on the verge of signing the Russian shutdown D for a six year…

  19. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Oilers land Kurtis Foster for two years, $3.6 million

    Jul 1, 2010, 4:21 PM EDT

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    Kurtis Foster went from a sad story to an impressive comeback player over the last few years. The Edmonton Oilers will reward him with a bit of security. They signed the once-hobbled defenseman to a two year, $3.6 million deal today, according to sources including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. When you consider all the big deals…

  20. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flames reportedly flirting with Olli Jokinen reunion

    Jul 1, 2010, 3:56 PM EDT

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    For years, Glen Sather was the annual leader in head-scratching deals for GMs. It seems like Darryl Sutter is trying to give him a run for his money, as various sources (including Darren Dreger and Bruce Garrioch) indicate that the Calgary Flames might bring back fledgling center Olli Jokinen. Dreger reported that the deal could…

  21. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Canucks reportedly the 'frontrunners' for Hamhuis right now

    Jul 1, 2010, 3:37 PM EDT

    With the Penguins and Flyers seemingly out of the Dan Hamhuis sweepstakes, Craig Custance claims that the Vancouver Canucks might be the frontrunner for perhaps the most desirable free agent defenseman remaining. Vancouver sports a pretty crowded defensive group, cap hit-wise, but GM Mike Gillis is on record about the team’s interest in mixing up…

  22. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Ducks sign Toni Lydman to three-year, $9M contract

    Jul 1, 2010, 3:05 PM EDT

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    Just as TSN had an interview with recently retired Hall of Famer-to-be Scott Niedermayer, the Anaheim Ducks will decide to move on with … Toni Lydman. OK, that’s not completely fair, but they surely paid a pretty big price for a largely nondescript defenseman. Bob McKenzie reports that the Ducks signed Lydman to a three-year,…

  23. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Rangers bring 'The Boogeyman' to Broadway

    Jul 1, 2010, 2:48 PM EDT

    Just moments ago, I expressed shock that the Philadelphia Flyers signed Jody Shelley for more than $1 million per year. Perhaps the New York Rangers and Glen Sather felt left out of the mockery, as the team signed Derek “The Boogeyman” Boogaard to a dopey four-year deal worth $1.65 million per season according to Larry…

  24. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flyers surprisingly give Jody Shelley 3-year, $3.3M contract

    Jul 1, 2010, 2:31 PM EDT

    The Philadelphia Flyers signed rugged forward Jody Shelley to a stunning three-year, $3.3 million deal according to Bob McKenzie. Uh, what? Look, I know the Flyers enjoy living in the stone age at times, re-living their Broad Street Bullies days over and over again. Shelley won’t bring many (if any) points to the table, so…

  25. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Derek Morris signs four-year, $11M contract with Coyotes

    Jul 1, 2010, 2:17 PM EDT

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    How, exactly, does Derek Morris keep making so much money? The Boston Bruins gave him a one year, $3.3 million deal last year and now the Phoenix Coyotes signed him to a ridiculous four-year, $11 million deal according to HNIC’s Jeff Marek. That’s about $2.75 million per year for the 31-year-old defenseman who can bring…

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