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Jackets give Werenski $57.5M for 6 years

(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets signed defenseman Zach Werenski to a six-year, $57.5 million contract extension Thursday through the 2027-28 season,

The 24-year-old Werenski, from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and the University of Michigan, has 65 goals and 124 assists in 335 career NHL games, all with the Blue Jackets. He has four goals and nine assists in 29 playoff games.

"The city of Columbus has been so good to me, it's close to home and my family and as I thought about it, it was really a no-brainer," Werenski said in a statement. "I'm a Blue Jacket. I want to continue to be a Blue Jacket and do everything I can to bring a Stanley Cup here."

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Lightning add veteran Perry for 2 years

Veteran forward Corey Perry signed a $2 million, two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, replenishing some of the toughness they lost after winning the Stanley Cup back to back.

Perry faced the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final in each of the past two seasons. He was with the Dallas Stars in 2020 and the Montreal Canadiens this year.

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Blues sign F Saad for 5 years, $22.5M

The St. Louis Blues inked Brandon Saad to a five-year contract and the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Corey Perry for two years Thursday as the two recent Stanley Cup champions brought in more winning experience on the second day of free agency.

The 28-year-old Saad spent last season with Colorado, putting up 24 points during the regular season and scoring seven goals in 10 playoff games. The winger counts $4.5 million against the salary cap on his new $22.5 million deal signed Thursday. Saad won the Cup with Chicago in 2013 and 2015 and is heading to his fifth NHL organization.

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Stars sign 2 more in D Hakanpaa, F Raffl

FRISCO, Texas (AP) The Dallas Stars signed two more free agents Thursday, inking defenseman Jani Hakanpaa and veteran forward Michael Raffl a day after opening free agency with a flurry of moves.

Hakanpaa, who split last season between Anaheim and Carolina, signed a $4.5 million, three-year deal. The 29-year-old, 6-foot-5 Finn has played in only 62 career NHL regular season games, and got into 11 playoff games with the Hurricanes last season.

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Wild add veteran D Merrill to blue line

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild agreed to terms Thursday with defenseman Jon Merrill on a one-year, $850,000 contract, the third veteran they've added to the blue line in free agency.

The 29-year-old Merrill had five assists and 70 blocked shots in 49 games last season, with the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. He was traded from the Red Wings in April to the Canadiens, who used the Oklahoma City native in 13 postseason games during their run to the Stanley Cup finals.

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Granato fills out Sabres coaching staff

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato has hired his first staff, which will include long-time colleague Jason Christie.

Also hired as assistants on Thursday were Marty Wilford and Matt Ellis, who finished last year as an assistant after Granato was promoted to interim head coach following Ralph Krueger's firing in mid-March. Granato was hired on a permanent basis last month.

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Devils land D Hamilton for $63M, 7 years

Dougie Hamilton is joining the New Jersey Devils after getting the biggest contract handed out on the first day of NHL free agency.

Hamilton and the Devils agreed to terms Wednesday on a $63 million, seven-year deal that gives the rebuilding organization one of hockey's most prolific defensemen to add pieces around on the blue line.

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Kraken sign Grubauer for 6 years, $35.4M

There was a method to the Seattle Kraken's approach to preserve salary cap space while making their expansion draft selections.

After laying in wait, the Kraken made one of the biggest splashes in free agency by signing goalie Philipp Grubauer to a six-year, $35.4 million contract Wednesday. Seattle's roster is suddenly beginning to take form with the addition of one of the top players on the market.

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'Canes sign D DeAngelo, G Andersen

Tony DeAngelo says he's learned from mistakes that have dotted his career and even had the New York Rangers paying him to to go away.

The Carolina Hurricanes were willing to take a risk and find out if it's all more than just words.

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Kings sign C Danault for 6 years, $33M

LOS ANGELES (AP) As Phillip Danault established himself as a reliable contributor at both ends of the ice, he rarely got to play against the modern standard for two-way centers in Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.

When Danault was presented with the chance to play with Kopitar, he couldn't pass it up.

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