Free-agent signings: Frenzy on the fly

Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils is the top free agent available to NHL general managers...

Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils is the top free agent available to NHL general managers today. (AFP PHOTO/ALEXANDER NEMENOV)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:05 PM ET

The pool of unrestricted free agents isn't deep, with journeymen pluggers and over-the-hill former stars dominating the marker. But there are a number of big-name, high-end players available to the highest bidder, including Russian sniper Ilya Kovalchuk.

SIGNINGS

CANADIENS: Montreal has locked up the "other" piece of the Sergei Kostitsyn for Dan Ellis trade. Restricted free agent Dustin Boyd signed a one-year deal with the club worth $650,000.

WILD: Eric Nystrom's days with the Calgary Flames are done. The winger has signed a three-year deal wirth $4.2-million to play with the Minnesota Wild.

WILD: Minnesota was able to pluck away Matt Cullen from the Senators by signing the forward to a three year contract at $3.5-million per year. Cullen was one of the few bright spots for the Senators in their short playoff run this year. He tallied eight points in six post-season games.

STARS:

Dallas added some depth to their defence today by signing Adam Burish to a two-year deal worth $2.3-million.

DEVILS:

As if he really needs one, Martin Brodeur now has some help in net for New Jersey. The Devils picked up Johan Hedberg for $1.5-million including bonuses, and a no trade clause.

THRASHERS: Atlanta has found their new starting goalie in Chris Mason. A solid backstop for the sub-par Blues the past two seasons, Mason should provide consistent goaltending for the new-look Thrashers. He'll be making $3.7-million over a two-year period.

FLAMES: Calgary continued with their theme for the day, bringing back another former Flame who was run out of town. Just hours after Alex Tanguay agreed to rejoin the Flames, Olli Jokinen inked a two-year contract with Calgary that will pay him $3 million a season. Calgary traded Jokinen to the New York Rangers last February with Brandon Prust, getting Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik in return.

DEVILS: Anton Volchenkov has jumped from the Ottawa Senators to the New Jersey Devils, signing a reported $25.5-million, six-year contract that includes a no-trade clause. He had four goals and 10 assists for the Sens in 2009-10. The rugged 28-year-old Russian is one of the best shot-blockers in the NHL. The addition of Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder should help compensate for the loss of Paul Martin to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

CANUCKS: Vancouver has won the Dan Hamhuis sweepstakes, signing the mobile defenceman to a six-year contract that will pay him $4.5 million per season. The 27-year-old former first-round draft pick had five goals and 19 assists with the Nashville Predators last season. He's a six-year veteran with 247 regular-season games under his belt.

OILERS: Edmonton has added some punch to their blue line. Kurtis Foster -- the second-highest scoring UFA defenceman from last season -- has signed $3.6-million two-year deal with the club.

DEVILS: New Jersey has filled the hole voided by Paul Martin. They've added Henrik Tallinder to their defence corps. for $3.375-million a year over four years.

CANADIENS: Montreal appears to be collecting back-up goalies. After adding Alex Auld earlier in the day, the Canadiens inked Curtis Sanford to a one-year, two-way deal worth $550,000. Sanford split last season between the Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose of the AHL.

COYOTES: Phoenix locked up forward Ray Whitney with a two-year contract that pays him $3-million per season. Whitney had 21 goals and 37 assists for the Carolina Hurricanes last season. The Coyotes will be 38-year-old Whitney's seventh NHL team.

DUCKS: Defenceman Toni Lydman shuffled out of Buffalo to sign a three-year contract with Anaheim. Lydman will get $3M per year. He had four goals and 16 assists in 67 games with the Sabres last season, his fifth in Buffalo.

PREDATORS: Nashville has brought in forward Jonas Anderson from Sweden for one year at $675,000.

PENGUINS: Pittsburgh has signed one of the prized defencemen in this year's free agent crop. Paul Martin is now a Penguin after signing a 5-year, $25-million contract.

RANGERS: Out goes one enforcer, in comes another. After losing Jody Shelley to the Flyers, the Rangers have signed tough-guy Derek Boogaard to police the ice in Madison Square Gardens. He'll be making $1.65-million a year for the next four seasons.

LIGHTNING: After his rights were acquired by the Montreal Canadiens two days ago, goaltender Dan Ellis went unsigned into free agency and has been picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The deal is for two years at $1.5-million per year.

MAPLE LEAFS: The Maple Leafs have signed free agent prospect Joey Crabb on a two-way contract at $525,000 over $200,000 in the AHL. During the 2008-09 season, Crabb had 9 points in 29 games with the Atlanta Thrashers.

FLYERS: Philadelphia has added to their Broad Street Bully armada with the signing of Jody Shelley at 3 years for $1.1-million each. Shelley accumulated 115 PIM last season including 13 fights.

CANUCKS: Forward Manny Malhotra, known more for his defensive prowess than scoring touch, has left the San Jose Sharks to sign a three-year, $7.5-million contract with Vancouver. The deal also includes a no-trade clause, according to TSN.

FLYERS: Defenceman Sean O'Donnell, credited with helping young Los Angeles Kings blueliner Drew Doughty mature quickly, has signed a one-year contract with Philadelphia. No terms have been disclosed.

CANUCKS: File this under the "Who Cares" file unless you're a die-hard Canucks fan. Vancouver has signed forward Joel Perrault, who played two games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season, to a one-year contract. Perrault, 27, has played just 89 NHL games during his pro career.

MAPLE LEAFS: The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed forward Colby Armstrong to a $9-million, three-year contract. Armstrong spent last season with the Atlanta Thrashers.

CANADIENS: Montreal has added depth in goal by adding veteran puck-stopper Alex Auld to a one-year, $1 million contract. Auld split the 2009-10 season with the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers, going 9-7-0.

PENGUINS:Pittsburgh ponied up $20 million over five years to get defenceman Zybenek Michalek. The 27-year-old Czech had three goals and 14 assists with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009-10, his fifth full season in the NHL.

FLAMES: Forward Alex Tanguay is heading back to Calgary, his home from 2006 until 2008. The Flames signed Tanguay away from the Tampa Bay Lightning, inking the 30-year-old to a one-year, $1.7 million contract. Tanguay had 10 goals and 17 assists last year, his lowest season point total for his entire 10-year NHL career.

SENATORS: Defenceman Sergei Gonchar, perhaps the most-coveted free-agent blueliner available despite his advanced age (he's 36), has reportedly signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Senators. Gonchar will be paid $5.5 million per year under the contract, which includes a no-trade clause. Gonchar has played for the Pittsburgh Penguins the last five seasons.

RANGERS: Goaltender Martin Biron has left the New York Islanders to sign a two-year contract with the New York Rangers. Reports say Biron will make just under $900,000 per season on the new deal.

RE-SIGNINGS

A number of players have also re-signed with their previous team, including Braydon Cobourn with the Philadelphia Flyers. Terms of the deals are in the list below:

ANA - Saku Koivu, $2.5-million/year, 2 years

TBL - Mitch Fritz, 2 years

PHO – Derek Morris, $2.75-million/year, 4 years

STL - Alex Steen, 4 years

SJS - Antero Niittymaki, $2-million/year, 2 years

TBL – Martin St. Louis, 4 years

CAR – Anton Babchuk, $1.4-million, 1 year

PHI – Braydon Cobourn, $3.2-million/year, 2 years

NYR – Erik Christensen, 2 years

BOS – Dan Paille, $1.075-million/year, 2 years

OTT – Jesse Winchester, $750,000/year, 2 years


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