NHL ROUNDUP \ News and notes
Blue Jackets: Restricted free agent center Jiri Novotny signed a two-year contract. Novotny, 23, had six goals and 13 assists in 68 games as a rookie last year, totaling all six goals and seven assists in 50 games with the Buffalo Sabres and six assists in 18 games for the Washington Capitals.
Predators: Nashville signed goaltender Chris Mason to a $6 million, two-year contract extension. Mason played in 22 consecutive games for the Predators between Nov. 23, 2006, and Jan. 6 — the second-longest consecutive appearance streak in franchise history.
Hurricanes: Carolina agreed to terms for one-year contracts with forward Ryan Bayda, and defensemen Tim Conboy, J.D. Forrest and Wade Brookbank. Bayda will earn $475,000 at the NHL level or $100,000 at the American Hockey League level. Conboy will receive $495,000 in the NHL or $95,000 in the AHL, while Forrest will receive $475,000 in the NHL or $50,000 in the AHL. Brookbank, who can also play left wing, will receive $500,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL.
Canadiens: Bryan Smolinski agreed to a one-year deal worth $2 million, hours after Roman Hamrlik signed a four-year, $22 million deal. The 35-year-old Smolinski had 18 goals and 44 points in 82 games last season with Chicago and Vancouver.
Ducks: Forward Brad May decided to stay with the Stanley Cup champion. May, acquired from the Avalanche in February, signed a two-year, $1.2 million contract. The 35-year-old May had three assists in 10 games with Colorado and four assists in 14 games after being traded to the Ducks Feb. 27.
Wild: Minnesota re-signed center Wes Welz to a one-year deal and also added veteran center Eric Belanger and goaltender Nolan Schaefer. The 37-year-old Walz had nine goals and 15 assists for the Wild last year and is one of only two players on the team who has played with the Wild since the franchise’s inception in 2000. The 29-year-old Belanger had 17 goals and 35 points while playing for Carolina and Atlanta last season. The Wild signed Schaefer to a two-year deal to compete for the back-up job.
Devils: New Jersey signed forward Dainius Zubrus, two days after losing Scott Gomez to the Rangers. Primarily a right wing, Zubrus played center with the Capitals last season. Splitting the season between Washington and Buffalo, he had a career-high 24 goals and 36 assists.
Oilers: Edmonton complained to the NHL it had an agreement with free agent center Michael Nylander before he signed with the Capitals. The Oilers said in a statement Nylander had reached an agreement with them Sunday, only to then sign a $19.5-million, four-year contract with the Capitals the next day. The Oilers also signed unrestricted free-agent goaltender Mathieu Garon to a two-year contract.
Canucks: Vancouver signed free agent goalie Curtis Sanford and goalie Cory Schneider, their 2004 first-round draft pick. Vancouver also added free agent forwards Byron Ritchie and Brad Isbister, and re-signed defenseman Lukas Krajicek.