NHL Notes

MOORE SIGNS WITH TAMPA BAY
The Tampa Bay Lightning continued their active off-season on Friday afternoon when they signed unrestricted free agent Dominic Moore to a two year contract. Last season this six year veteran split the season between the Florida Panthers/Montreal Canadiens and ended up with 10 goals and 28 points. “Dominic’s skating ability, strength on face-offs and versatility will be a great addition to our line-up,” vice president and Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. “We’re pleased to welcome him to the organization.” This former New York Rangers third round selection in 2000 has participated in 374 career games for the Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Panthers and Canadiens. During that time he has scored 45 goals and 128 points.

ANTON STRALMAN AVOIDS ARBITRATION WITH THE PREDS
Literally moments before going to arbitration the Nashville Predators and defenceman Anton Stralman agreed to a one year contract extension. Stralman who is a former 2005 Toronto Maple Leafs draft choice had a breakthrough in his first year with Columbus where he scored six goals and 34 points. “We are pleased that we were able to come to a negotiated settlement,” Columbus general manager Scott Howson said. “We look forward to having Anton back on our blue line this season.”

CHRIS CAMPOLI BACK WITH OTTAWA
The Ottawa Senators were busy on Friday as they re-signed their unrestricted free agent defenceman Chris Campoli to a one year 1.4 million dollar contract. In only 67 games this 25 year-old scored four goals and 18 points in what was his fifth season.

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Frolov Will Play in New York, New York

Alexander Frolov will get a new lease on life this season playing with Marian Gaborik on the first line with the New York Rangers. This 28 year-old who is a former Los Angeles Kings 2002 first round draft choice didn’t have a lot of fun last season when he suffered through a below average season with 19 goals and 51 points and in the process being moved from the first to third line in Los Angeles. Heading into last season Frolov had an impressive track record with the Kings of scoring twenty or more goals in four seasons including two with over thirty but that didn’t stop him from getting into off -ice quarrels with Coach Terry Murray. As the season progressed Frolov not only got demoted to another line but he also frequently found himself a healthy scratch. With his yearlong feud with Murray it was not a huge surprise that this once prized prospect decided as an unrestricted free agent to sign elsewhere. According to Rangers management Frolov will get a look on the first line playing alongside Marian Gaborik. The deal is for only one year and will pay Frolov three million which is a million less than what he got last season in Los Angeles. In his career he has put together an impressive resume of 24 multigoal games which includes three career hattricks. Overall he has played in 536 regular season games and has scored 168 goals and 381 total points. ”Alex is a highly skilled player who we feel will play a key role in improving our offence and play in all situations,” Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. “He is a strong competitor and has the ability to play either wing position.” Frolov’s best season came in 2006/07 when he recorded 35 goals and 71 points

Trouble in Los Angeles Camp

Reading the comments made by Alexander Frolov’s agent Sergei Isakov it is quite evident that both he and his client are still very bitter with what happened last season with the Los Angeles Kings. Frolov who is a former 2000 first round Kings pick endured an inconsistent season on the ice along with a running feud off the ice with Coach Terry Murray. Frolov who had a career low 19 goals and 51 points last season was moved from the first to third line before on more than one occasion being a regular scratch. “Unacceptable play,” was how at one point Murray described Frolov’s play. On Monday it was reported that the seven year veteran was on the verge of signing with the New York Rangers. According to Isakov the Rangers are looking to sign his client to a one year deal. In this report which came out of SovSports from the Soviet Union Isakov accused the Kings of ruining Frolov’s season. He went on to say that the criticism from the Kings and way that they treated Frolov cost him millions of dollars. The contract being negotiated with the Rangers is said to be similar to the one that Maxim Afinogenov signed with the Atlanta Thrashers which was a one year deal worth $800,000.

Sami Salo Out for at Least Three months

Even in the off- season Sami Salo can’t seem to avoid the dreaded injury bug which has haunted him on many occasions during his 11 year NHL career. Salo who currently plays for the Vancouver Canucks has over his career suffered approximately 35 injuries which has led him to miss approximately 200 games. Over time he has injured his knee, shoulder, ankle, ribs, nose and even tore the gluteus muscle to name just a few. A new injury can now be added on the list as the 35 year-old defenceman recently tore an Archilles tendon while training for the upcoming season. According to the Canucks he is out indefinitely until a prognosis can be made by the team’s doctors. Last season Salo played in 68 games where he had nine goals and 27 points. He also helped the Finnish team win bronze at the Vancouver Olympics. Last year in the playoffs Salo also had an injury when hit in the groin by a Duncan Keith shot during Game five of their series against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was first reported as a ruptured testicle but that was quickly denied by Salo who came back for Game six. “The general was fine. The first battalion was down.” Salo said. Besides having an offensive touch Vancouver will miss his strong defensive play along with his ability to log approximately 20 minutes of ice time per game. He is entering the final year of his contract which will pay him US 3.5 million.

NHL NOTES

1. KALETA RE-SIGNS WITH SABRES
The Buffalo Sabres agreed to a two year contract with 24 year-old forward Patrick Kaleta who posted career numbers of 10 goals and 15 points last season. Originally this former 2004 sixth round draft choice was slated for arbitration later on this month. At this time terms of the contract was not announced.
2. FOLIGNO RE-SIGNS WITH SENATORS
A day after star forward Jason Spezza expressed his desire to stay in Ottawa fans got some more good news as Senators 2006 first round pick Nick Foligno agreed to a two year deal worth 2.4 million to stay in Ottawa. Last year this 22 year-old dressed in only 61 games where he registered nine goals and 26 points along with a +6 rating. In his career Foligno whose father Mike played in the NHL has scored 32 goals and 87 points in 187 career games.
3. NHL REJECTS KOVALCHUK DEAL
A day after the announcement was made New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello came out with a direct statement in response to the NHL rejecting the 17 year lucrative contract that Kovalchuk and the Devils agreed to. “We are extremely disappointed that the NHL has decided to reject the contract of Ilya Kovalchuk,” Lamoriello said. “The contract complies with the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will have no further comment until the process outlined in the CBA is complete.” The contract was worth a grand total of $102 million dollars

Jason Spezza Loves Ottawa

Jason Spezza came forward on Tuesday in clearing the air by announcing that at no time did he ever want out of the Ottawa Senators organization. This 27 year-old who has been playing for Ottawa since being drafted second overall in 2001 admitted to being upset about not only losing in the opening round to the Pittsburgh Penguins last spring but also being booed by the home fans. “At no point did I ever demand a trade,” Spezza who scored 23 goals and 57 points in 60 games this past season said. “I’ve seen a lot of what’s been written and talked about. At the end of the year I was pretty emotional and upset. I was upset at us losing, and I was upset at a bit of the response I got.” Spezza emphasized that while he enjoys playing in Ottawa he is fully aware of all the trade rumours being printed in newspapers and on the internet. He wants to stay in Ottawa but at the same time doesn’t want to hold GM Bryan Murray back from trading him if it would make his team better. “I talked to Bryan and I read the newspapers. I see every year there’s trade talk about me,” Spezza who has scored 171 goals and 475 career points said. “I just basically told him, if you want to move me, you can move me. I want to be here, but if he thinks it’s best for the team for me not to be here, and the city, then he can move me.” Spezza went on to add that Murray assured the young scorer that he was not going to be traded. “I want to win in Ottawa,” Spezza who is a Mississauga native said. “I have great friends here, we have great roots here, my family enjoys it, I’m close to home, I’m excited we’re moving forward with some of the moves we’ve made.” Hearing this has to be music to the ears for Sens management and fans alike as it was only one year ago that they had another superstar in Dany Heatley who desperately wanted out of Ottawa.

Simon Gagne a Bolt

Looking to free up some cap space to perhaps sign a goalie the Philadelphia Flyers have officially traded 10 year veteran forward Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Approximately three weeks ago it became evident that this former 1998 Flyers first round pick didn’t fit into their future plans as they approached him about waiving his no trade contract. This four time 30 goal scorer who has had his career slowed down by concussions will give the re- building Lightning some much needed veteran leadership. In exchange for the 30 year-old Philadelphia received defenceman Matt Walker and a fourth round pick in next summer’s draft. Gagne who is on the last year of his contract had a lingering groin injury last season that saw him play only 58 games. Still he did manage a very respectable 17 goals and 40 points. This trade is the second that newly appointed Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has made with the Flyers. Prior to this one he traded defenceman Andrei Meszaros to the Flyers for a draft pick on July 1. During his career Gagne, who won an Olympic Gold for Canada in 2002, has scored 259 goals and 524 points.