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James O’Brien

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flyers sign Sean O'Donnell to one-year, $1M deal

    Jul 1, 2010, 2:04 PM EDT

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    The Philadelphia Flyers’ defense now looks complete thanks to the signing of veteran D Sean O’Donnell. The team signed him to a one-year, $1 million contract according to Broad Street Hockey. O’Donnell is your typical grizzled veteran. He was a member of the Cup-winning Anaheim Ducks (so chances are he might be pals – or…

  17. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Sharks sign Antero Niittymaki to two-year, $4M deal

    Jul 1, 2010, 1:49 PM EDT

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    The San Jose Sharks signed Antero Niittymaki to a two-year, $4 million contract according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. In case you really hate simple division, his salary cap hit will be $2 million per year. I have to admit, this deal is a little surprising. It’s obviously not an enormous amount of money, but it…

  18. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Habs sign backup Alex Auld to one-year, $1M deal

    Jul 1, 2010, 1:36 PM EDT

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    The Montreal Canadiens reportedly signed career backup Alex Auld to a one-year, $1 million contract. (Source: TSN’s James Duthie) Auld’s presence adds credibility to the rumors that Dan Ellis will probably put on a different team’s sweater next season (although, considering the fact that Carey Price is also waiting for an extension as a restricted…

  19. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Tampa Bay signs Martin St. Louis to 4-year, $22.5M extension

    Jul 1, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    Martin St. Louis looks like he’ll be a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning for five more years. New GM Steve Yzerman is making some nice moves today, ridding the team of an excessive contract in Andrej Meszaros and now inking the pint-sized St. Louis to a four-year contract extension. The four-year deal is worth…

  20. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Hurricanes bring back Anton Babchuk … again

    Jul 1, 2010, 12:59 PM EDT

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    The Carolina Hurricanes continue their on-again off-again love affair with Anton Babchuk, signing the big defenseman to a one-year, $1.4 million contract according to Kevin Allen of USA Today. Babchuk has had an odd career, ping-ponging back and forth from the Hurricanes to Omsk Avangard in Russia every other year. Last season, he played in…

  21. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flyers re-sign Braydon Coburn to two-year, $6.4M extension

    Jul 1, 2010, 12:31 PM EDT

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    Even without signing Dan Hamhuis, the Philadelphia Flyers look to have one of the most expensive defensive units in hockey. They traded for Andrej Meszaros moments ago and now re-signed RFA defenseman Braydon Coburn to a two-year, $6.4 million contract according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Here’s the breakdown of what their defensemen will be making…

  22. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Rangers sign Martin Biron to back up Henrik Lundqvist

    Jul 1, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

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    The New York Rangers are giving all-world starter Henrik Lundqvist a little support in the form of one-time starter Martin Biron, whom they signed to a two-year deal with the team for about 900K per season (according to Darren Dreger and other sources). Biron did not play very well for the New York Islanders last…

  23. Paul Martin primed to test free agent market

    Jul 1, 2010, 11:50 AM EDT

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    For some reason, I just assumed that the New Jersey Devils would re-sign Paul Martin. The team and the blueliner seemed tethered together because New Jersey is a little shallow in its own end while Martin never really lit up the world from a scoring standpoint. Then again, GM Lou Lamoriello is also known for…

  24. Poll: Which team will land Ilya Kovalchuk?

    Jun 30, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    Earlier today, I discussed the five NHL teams I think have the best chance of landing Ilya Kovalchuk … plus the very real possibility he might take the big bucks in the KHL. Ultimately, I listed the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Still, these are just gut reactions…

  25. Flyers stick with goaltending formula, sign Michael Leighton to two-year, $3.1 M deal

    Jun 30, 2010, 4:40 PM EDT

    Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher will be the Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltending duo for the 2010-11 season. Nick Kypreos just reported that Leighton signed a two-year, $3.1 million contract with the team. With that approximate $1.55 million cap hit, the team will spend about $2.5 million in net next season. Year after year, the Flyers go…

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