Kostitsyn rewarded for big season

Andrei Kostitsyn skates during a Montreal Canadiens practice. (Eric Bolte/QMI AGENCY)

Andrei Kostitsyn skates during a Montreal Canadiens practice. (Eric Bolte/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:38 PM ET

Sergei Kostitsyn has avoided a salary arbitration hearing, signing a one-year contract Friday with the Nashville Predators worth $2.5 million.

Kostitsyn is coming off a breakthrough season. He had 50 points in 77 games with the Preds last season, including a team-leading 23 goals.

His goal total was just one shy of his output the previous three seasons combined with the Montreal Canadiens.

The 24-year-old left winger had 47 of his points during the final 59 games of the season.

He was acquired June 29, 2010 from the Habs for Dan Ellis and Dustin Boyd.

SAUER SWEET ON RANGERS

Michael Sauer, a restricted free agent coming off his rookie season, has signed a two-year, $2.5-million contract with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers also have signed centre Artem Anisimov to two-year contract worth $3.75 million.

Sauer, who had filed for salary arbitration earlier in the week, had three goals and 12 assists in 76 games with the Rangers last season and led the team with a plus-20.

Sauer was drafted 40th overall in 2005 by the Rangers but spent the next year in junior followed by three seasons in the AHL. He'll turn 24 on Aug. 7.

Anisimov, 23, played in all 82 games last season, getting 18 goals and 26 assists. He was at his best on a line with Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky, who are restricted free agents.

The Rangers' other remaining RFA is forward Brian Boyle.

WINGMEN FOR BABCOCK

The Detroit Red Wings announced the hiring Friday of two assistant coaches, including one who worked for Mike Babcock more than a decade ago.

Jeff Blashill and Bill Peters will join Babcock behind the Wings bench, replacing Brad McCrimmon, who has left for the Kontinental Hockey League, and Paul MacLean, the Ottawa Senators' new coach.

Blashill, 37, coached at Western Michigan University last season and was picked national coach of the year by two college hockey publications.

Peters, 43, coached the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL the past three seasons. He coached with Babcock when the two were in Spokane of the Western Hockey League during the late 1990s.

MODANO MULLS ANOTHER YEAR

ESPN Dallas Mike Modano expects to decide in "two to three weeks" whether he will return for a 22nd season NHL season.

Modano, in Dallas for a charity baseball event, told ESPN he has been taking it easy since the Detroit Red Wings season ended.

During a batting practice session for Saturday's 10th annual Reebok Heroes Celebrity Baseball charity event, Modano said "I've been on some vacations, kind of lying around playing some golf and not really in a rush to make a decision one way or the other about what's going to happen," the 41-year-old forward said.

Modano played for the Red Wings last season after spending the previous 20 with the Stars in Minnesota and Dallas.

ARBITRATION DATES SET

Twenty restricted free agents are set to plead their case at salary arbitration hearings in the coming weeks. Contract talks may continue until the hearings, which would then be cancelled.

Hearings are scheduled to open July 20, with Lauri Korpikoski (Phoenix), Teddy Purcell (Tampa Bay) and Viktor Stalberg (Chicago) booked. They will run through Aug. 4.

Here are dates for some prominent players:

July 28: Josh Gorges (Montreal), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers); Aug. 2: Shea Weber (Nashville); Aug. 3 Zach Parise (New Jersey).

SENS TAKE A SHOT

The Ottawa Senators have again dipped into the free-agent waters, pulling out a reclamation project.

Winger Mark Parrish, 34, signed a two-way contact with the Sens, it was announced Friday. The native of Bloomington, Minn., is almost a decade removed from his most productive season in the NHL, when he had 30 goals and 30 assists as a New York Islander in 2001-02.

Parrish hasn't been a full time NHLer since 2007-08, as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

Last season he played two games with the Buffalo Sabres and 56 with the AHL's Portland Pirates, where he had 17 goals and 34 assists.

The Senators also signed goalie Mike McKenna to a one-year, two-way contract. McKenna, 28, spent the past two seasons in the New Jersey Devils organization.

He has appeared in 15 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and two with the Devils, with a combined goals-against average of 3.49.

OTHER SIGNINGS

-- The Los Angeles Kings avoided arbitration with defenceman Alec Martinez, reaching agreement Friday on a two-year contract worth $737,500 annually. Martinez, who turns 24 on July 26, had five goals and 11 assists in 60 games with the Kings in 2010-11.

-- The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenceman Derek Joslin to a two-year contract worth $650,000 in 2011-12 and $750,000 in 2012-13. Joslin, 24, had two goals and seven assists in a career-high 34 games last season, 17 apiece with San Jose and Carolina.

-- Restricted free agent forward Brodie Dupont and the Nashville Predators agreed on a one-year, two-way contract, less than a week after the team acquired his rights from the New York Rangers. Dupont, 24, will get $550,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 in the AHL.

-- The Colorado Avalanche signed goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and forward Evan Brophey to one-year contracts.

Desjardins, 25, made his NHL debut in 2010-11, appearing in two games for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brophey, 24, also made his NHL debut in 2010-11, playing one game for the Chicago Blackhawks.

-- The San Jose Sharks have re-signed forward Benn Ferriero to a one-year contract. Ferriero had five goals and four assists in 33 games with San Jose last season.


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