Eric Lindros' quest to stay with his boyhood team appears to be through.
League sources told the Fort Worth Star Telegram last night that the Dallas Stars will announce today or Monday that they've signed the free agent after his one year with the Maple Leafs, likely to a one-year deal worth around $1.2 million to $1.5 million US. The Stars are one of the teams the 33-year-old Lindros lined up after it became clear Toronto would not take him back, at least at last year's price of $1.55 million. He suffered a December wrist injury, in a game against the Stars, part of a long history of medical problems dogging his NHL career.
While not confirming the signing last night, Lindros told a reporter he had been to Dallas for a battery of tests on Wednesday and that the wrist held up nicely after late-season surgery. He had 22 points in 33 games with the Leafs and was their top producing forward after an early season orbital bone injury to Mats Sundin.
The first player chosen in the 1991 draft by the Quebec Nordiques, Lindros made no secret of his desire to one day join the Leafs. He signed as a free agent in 2005.
BRYZGALOV SAYS HE'S NO. 1
Ilya Bryzgalov says the Anaheim Ducks want him to be their first-choice netminder for the coming season rather than veteran J.S. Giguere.
Last season the rookie goaltender battled with Giguere for the No. 1 job in the Anaheim net, helping the Ducks the Western Conference final.
In the process, Bryzgalov set a modern-day NHL record by posting three consecutive shutouts in the playoffs.
"I got a call from the club and they told me that they see me as their number one goaltender," the Russian told Sovietsky Sport newspaper. "They (Anaheim) also want to trade Giguere but no one wants him."
Asked about his relationship with Giguere, Bryzgalov said: "I don't want to say anything about him because we play on the same team and I can't say anything bad about him."
The Washington Capitals got three of their top young players under contract by re-signing defenceman Steve Eminger and forwards Kris Beech and Boyd Gordon.
Also, the Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed forward Ryan Craig after a solid rookie season and also agreed to contract terms with forward Eric Healey.
The San Jose Sharks, meanwhile, were busy agreeing to terms with seven of their Group II restricted free agents, including centre Marcel Goc and defenceman Doug Murray.