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NHL notebook

Blackhawks make a big splash, land Campbell, Huet

BRIAN CAMPBELL Top defenseman on market BRIAN CAMPBELL Top defenseman on market
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Associated Press / July 2, 2008

Brian Campbell is bringing some defense to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Campbell, the top free agent defenseman available yesterday at the start of the open market season, signed an eight-year deal with the Blackhawks - a youthful team that already features young star forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

In addition to Campbell, the Blackhawks signed goalie Cristobal Huet to a four-year deal.

"We had to make a statement," said general manager Dale Tallon. "We have created a buzz here in this market. We're starting to sell more and more tickets, more and more sponsorships. We decided that we'd try and make an impact today to continue that momentum."

Campbell, who spent most of his first eight seasons with the Sabres before being dealt to the Sharks at last season's trade deadline, has 35 goals and 160 assists in 411 regular-season NHL games.

After two seasons with the Kings, Huet went to Montreal for most of three years before being traded to the Capitals last season. He has a career 83-61-11 record with a 2.43 goals-against average.

Kolzig a Lightning

The Lightning signed veteran goalie Olie Kolzig, 38, to a one-year contract. Kolzig likely will share time in goal with incumbent Mike Smith. The signing could mean Karri Ramo, who served as a backup for part of last season, will start next season in the minors. Kolzig has spent his entire NHL career with the Capitals, playing in 711 games. He has 301 wins, which ties him for 22d place on the career list. The team also signed free agent right wing Adam Hall to a three-year contract . . . The Avalanche signed former Bruins goalie Andrew Raycroft and forward Darcy Tucker, who both had their contracts bought out by Toronto last week . . . The Red Wings signed former Bruins defenseman Brad Stuart to a four-year contract, and former University of New Hampshire goalie Ty Conklin to a one-year deal. The Red Wings obtained the 28-year-old Stuart from the Kings at the trade deadline last season. Conklin, 32, was 18-8-5 with a 2.51 goals-against average in 33 games last season with the Penguins. The team also re-signed defenseman Andreas Lilja to a two-year contract . . . Anaheim signed Corey Perry, its second-leading scorer from last season, to a five-year, $26.6 million contract . . . The Penguins signed forward Pascal Dupuis to a three-year contract at $1.5 million per season and gave enforcer Eric Godard a three-year deal . . . The Devils re-signed impending free agents Jay Pandolfo and Bryce Salvador, but declined an option on forward Sergei Brylin. Pandolfo, a former star at Boston University from Burlington, signed a three-year deal in which he will earn $2.5 million per season. Salvador will be paid $2.9 million for each of the next four seasons. The Devils also signed centers Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik. Rolston, a former Bruin, agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract, and Holik signed on for one year at $2.5 million . . . The Rangers went for big defensemen, reaching deals with Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden. Rozsival gets a four-year, $20 million deal, while Redden signed one for six years worth $6.5 million per season . . . Goalie Curtis Joseph returned to the Maple Leafs with a one-year, $700,000 deal . . . The Panthers signed forward Cory Stillman, 34, to a three-year, $10.6 million deal. Stillman collected 24 goals and 41 assists last season with the Senators and Hurricanes . . . The Capitals rewarded Mike Green, the NHL's top scoring defenseman, with a four-year, $21 million contract. Washington also added free agent Jose Theodore, signing the former Montreal goalie and 2002 NHL MVP to a two-year, $9 million contract . . . Journeyman goalie Patrick Lalime signed a two-year, $2 million contract with the Sabres to become the backup behind Ryan Miller . . . The Canadiens agreed to terms with rising star Andrei Kostitsyn on a three-year, $9.75 million deal. The restricted free agent forward will receive $3.25 million per season . . . The Islanders signed defenseman Mark Streit to a five-year contract worth $20.5 million . . . The Canucks signed a three-year, $7.5 million offer sheet with St. Louis restricted free agent forward David Backes.

Hurricanes deal Cole

The Hurricanes traded forward Erik Cole to the Oilers for defenseman Joni Pitkanen. The 29-year-old Cole had 22 goals and 29 assists in his seventh season with the Hurricanes and helped lead them to the Stanley Cup title against the Oilers two years ago, becoming one of the team's most popular players after he returned from a broken neck to skate in Game 6 of the finals. But he was deemed expendable as he enters the final year of a contract that will pay him $4 million next season. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes agreed to a deal that will bring back defenseman Anton Babchuk for one year at $1 million . . . The Kings acquired veteran defenseman Denis Gauthier and a second-round pick in the 2010 draft from the Flyers for defenseman Patrik Hersley and forward Ned Lukacevic. The Flyers also signed unrestricted free agent forward Nate Raduns and defensemen Ossi Vaananen and Sean Curry . . . The Wild acquired defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Predators for forward Ryan Jones and a second-round pick in next year's draft. The team also signed veteran left winger Andrew Brunette to a multiyear contract, bringing the hard-nosed forward back from the Avalanche for another tour in Minnesota . . . The Blue Jackets acquired winger Raffi Torres from the Oilers for promising center Gilbert Brule. Columbus also signed free agent defenseman Mike Commodore.

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