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29Jul/150

Predators sign forward Wilson to four-year contract

Forward Colin Wilson signed a four-year, $ 15.75 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Monday, avoiding arbitration.

Wilson's hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in Toronto. The Predators also avoided arbitration with Craig Smith when the forward signed a five-year, $ 21.25 million contract on July 20.

"Certainly we were hopeful based on the [Smith] signing that [it] gave us a pretty clear position we felt where Colin could fit," Predators general manager David Poile told The Tennessean. "We did make the trip up here to Toronto. We met [Sunday] night with our lawyers to go over the brief and what have you, so we were ready to go to arbitration, but a couple of calls [Sunday] night and one [Monday] morning sort of solidified that we were both in the same place."

"That was my mindset going into the season; it's not the development stage anymore, I need to start reaching my potential," Wilson told the Predators website Tuesday. "It was nice to get my first 20-goal season last year, and I certainly want to build upon that with more consistency."

Nashville's first-round pick (No. 7) in the 2008 NHL Draft, Wilson has 77 goals and 178 points in 368 NHL games.

28Jul/150

Canucks acquire center Brandon Sutter from Penguins

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning is counting on forward Brandon Sutter to be a big piece of their foundation moving forward in the improved Pacific Division of the Western Conference.

Benning acquired the 26-year-old center, along with a conditional third-round pick at the 2016 NHL Draft, from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday for forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening and a second-round pick in 2016.

"When the games mean something that's when he's at his best," Benning said of Sutter. "We looked at the other teams in our division and they all improved from the end of last season to now, and I think this move makes our team deeper and it gives us a better chance to compete with the teams in our division and in our conference."

Benning, who said it was tough parting ways with Bonino and Clendening, added he wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on another trade if he believed it would upgrade his roster.

"If we don't do anything more, I'm happy with the group we've assembled right now," Benning said. "We've got some good competition among the forward group and our defense has become more mobile and will transition the puck faster. I like our team heading into the season."

28Jul/150

Oilers’ Talbot excited for chance to be No. 1 goalie

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot spent the past two seasons with the New York Rangers backing up Henrik Lundqvist, knowing full well starts would probably be few and far between.

"Getting to play behind a guy like Hank, you learn a lot and you get to see what it takes to be a No. 1 [goalie] in this League," Talbot said Tuesday at the Oilers Hockey School. "I took away a lot from watching him and being able to work with [Rangers goalie coach] Benoit Allaire in New York. It's going to be a great opportunity for me here, to be able to come in and work with a good young group of guys and obviously a group that's headed in the right direction. I'm happy to be a part of it."

Talbot, who went 21-9-4 with a 2.21 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage last season, said Lundqvist sent him a text message from Sweden when he learned of the trade to congratulate him on the opportunity to be a starting goaltender.

28Jul/150

Stars’ Seguin skating without knee brace: report

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin said his injured right knee is healing and he expects to open training camp without a brace.

"I want to go free," Seguin told The Dallas Morning News on Monday. "I'm sure you can use a smaller brace or a lighter brace, but they say that once you start relying on them, you never get off. I like skating without one, and I want to keep it that way."

Seguin, 23, missed 10 games in February and March, then had eight goals and 10 assists in 16 games after his return. In 55 games prior to the injury, he had 29 goals and 59 points, and was among the NHL's leading scorers.

27Jul/150

Stepan, Rangers $2M apart in arbitration offers: report

Center Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers are scheduled for their arbitration hearing Monday in Toronto.

Stepan is seeking a $ 7.25 million, one-year contract; the Rangers have offered $ 5.2 million for one year, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday.

Either salary would be a significant raise from the average annual value of $ 3.075 million in the two-year contract Stepan signed in 2013.

The 25-year-old had 16 goals, 55 points, 22 penalty minutes and was plus-26 in 68 regular-season games for the Rangers last season. He had five goals, 12 points, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-1 rating in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Stepan scored the winning goal in overtime of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Washington Capitals, but he did not have a point in the last four games of the Eastern Conference Final, which the Rangers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games.

26Jul/150

Soderberg excited by likely Avalanche linemates

Carl Soderberg was already planning to join the Colorado Avalanche, but when he heard who his linemates might be, he became even more intrigued.

Soderberg, who was traded to Colorado by the Boston Bruins on June 25 and the next day signed a five-year contract, is expected to center Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.

"They told me they wanted me to play centerman and they like my game. I'm a two-way centerman," Soderberg told the Denver Post in remarks published Friday. "And they had a thought of playing me with those two guys. I'm excited."

Soderberg will replace Ryan O'Reilly, who was traded to the Buffalo Sabres on June 27, two days after Colorado acquired Soderberg for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

O'Reilly had 17 points in 13 games in March last season, playing primarily with Landeskog and Alex Tanguay. MacKinnon was injured and did not play after March 4.

25Jul/150

Rutherford believes Leafs’ Lamoriello has leg up in making similar transition

Lou Lamoriello chose the challenge of being general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs over the cushy job with the New Jersey Devils that meant far less control than he's ever had before.

That the hockey lifer wanted to keep running a team wasn't shocking, and it's not unprecedented. Lamoriello follows the trail blazed by Jim Rutherford, who took the Pittsburgh Penguins' GM job a year ago after Ron Francis replaced him with the Carolina Hurricanes and he got bumped to the president role.

Rutherford said there was an adjustment going to a new team after 20 years with the Hartford Whalers/Hurricanes franchise and that Lamoriello is in a better spot because of his long-standing relationship with Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.

25Jul/150

Capitals sign goaltender Holtby to five-year contract

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Goalie Braden Holtby re-signed with the Washington Capitals on Friday, getting a five-year, $ 30.5 million contract.

"Since Day One I've wanted to be the guy in the Washington Capitals net, since I got drafted by them," Holtby, 25, said. "It doesn't change. I'm just happy to have the opportunity and like in the past I know I still have to prove it."

Holtby is the first Capitals goalie signed to a contract of more than three years since Olaf Kolzig's five-year, $ 31 million extension in August 2001.

Signing Holtby to a long-term deal is a big part of the greater goal for the organization, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said.

24Jul/150

Canadiens, Semin agree to terms on one-year contract

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens took a minimal risk to potentially reap a huge reward by agreeing to terms on a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent forward Alexander Semin on Friday.

Semin's contract with the Canadiens reportedly is worth $ 1.1 million. The Carolina Hurricanes bought out the final three years of his five-year, $ 35 million contract earlier this month.

The Canadiens finished last season 20th in the NHL in goals per game and 23rd in power-play efficiency, two areas the Canadiens hope Semin's arrival can address.

"Alex is a pure goal-scorer with a good shot," general manager Marc Bergevin said in a statement. "We believe his addition to our group of forwards will strengthen our offensive production and our power play. A veteran winger with size, Semin has reached the 20-goal plateau seven times since the beginning of his NHL career 12 years ago. His signing represents a great opportunity for the organization and for Alex's career."

24Jul/150

Lamoriello won’t be replaced as Devils president

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils won't look for a new president after Lou Lamoriello resigned from that position Thursday to become general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We don't really feel the need for a president, and we are very excited about our dialogue with [general manager] Ray [Shero] and moving forward," co-owner Josh Harris said.

Lamoriello, who turns 73 in October, was New Jersey president and general manager since 1987. He was replaced as GM in May when the Devils hired Shero. Lamoriello remained president until Thursday.

"When you're used to having absolute control of an organization. … Lou was obviously president and Ray was GM, and I think it was just a different situation for him," Harris said. "I think it's relatively easy to see why he might consider a great team like Toronto as an opportunity.