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Boston Bruins

Stastny, Iginla and Miller sign in flurry of deals

  • FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, Boston Bruins' Jarome Iginla waves to the crowd before first period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, Boston Bruins' Jarome Iginla waves to the crowd before first period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Dallas Stars right wing Alex Chiasson (12) skates to the bench during a stoppage in play in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, in Dallas. Jason Spezza has been traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Dallas Stars. The Senators traded their captain to the Stars on Tuesday, July 1, 2014,  for  Chiasson, forward prospects Alex Guptill and Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in next year's draft. Dallas also receives forward prospect Ludwig Karlsson.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Dallas Stars right wing Alex Chiasson (12) skates to the bench during a stoppage in play in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, in Dallas. Jason Spezza has been traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Dallas Stars. The Senators traded their captain to the Stars on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, for Chiasson, forward prospects Alex Guptill and Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in next year's draft. Dallas also receives forward prospect Ludwig Karlsson. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2014 file photo, Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) looks on before a face off against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2014 file photo, Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) looks on before a face off against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, Montreal Canadiens' Josh Gorges (26) checks St. Louis Blues' T.J. Oshie during the third period of an NHL hockey game in St. Louis.c The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Josh Gorges in a trade with the Canadiens. In exchange, the Sabres gave up a second-round pick in the 2016 draft in a deal made Tuesday, July 1, 2014,  shortly after the start of the NHL's free-agency period.  (AP Photo/Bill Boyce, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, Montreal Canadiens' Josh Gorges (26) checks St. Louis Blues' T.J. Oshie during the third period of an NHL hockey game in St. Louis.c The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Josh Gorges in a trade with the Canadiens. In exchange, the Sabres gave up a second-round pick in the 2016 draft in a deal made Tuesday, July 1, 2014, shortly after the start of the NHL's free-agency period. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce, File)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland, left, celebrates his short handed goal as Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, right, looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto. The Florida Panthers agreed to terms with Bolland and Jussi Jokinen, plus goaltender Al Montoya shortly after hockey's free agent period started Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland, left, celebrates his short handed goal as Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, right, looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto. The Florida Panthers agreed to terms with Bolland and Jussi Jokinen, plus goaltender Al Montoya shortly after hockey's free agent period started Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette, File)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013 file photo, Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Niskanen (2) follows the play in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013 file photo, Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Niskanen (2) follows the play in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2013 file photo, New York Islanders' Thomas Vanek (26) drives the puck down ice to score a goal against Anaheim Ducks  during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Uniondale, N.Y. The Minnesota Wild have made another splash in free agency. Vanek, one of the top free agents available, agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Wild on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2013 file photo, New York Islanders' Thomas Vanek (26) drives the puck down ice to score a goal against Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Uniondale, N.Y. The Minnesota Wild have made another splash in free agency. Vanek, one of the top free agents available, agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Wild on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Carolina Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters (35) eyes the puck as a teammate clears during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Raleigh, N.C. The Washington Capitals opened free agency Tuesday, July 1, 2014,  by signing defenseman Brooks Orpik to a $27.5 million, five-year contract, and goaltender Justin Peters to a $1.9 million, two-year contract. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Carolina Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters (35) eyes the puck as a teammate clears during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Raleigh, N.C. The Washington Capitals opened free agency Tuesday, July 1, 2014, by signing defenseman Brooks Orpik to a $27.5 million, five-year contract, and goaltender Justin Peters to a $1.9 million, two-year contract. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker, File)

  • FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller blocks a shot against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

    FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller blocks a shot against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

  • FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur makes a save on a shot by the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

    FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur makes a save on a shot by the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

  • FILe - This is a Jan. 20, 2014 file photo showing Pittsburgh Penguins' Brooks Orpik (44) during an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh. The Washington Capitals opened free agency Tuesday , July 1, 2014, by signing defenseman Brooks Orpik to a $27.5 million, five-year contract, and goaltender Justin Peters to a $1.9 million, two-year contract. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    FILe - This is a Jan. 20, 2014 file photo showing Pittsburgh Penguins' Brooks Orpik (44) during an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh. The Washington Capitals opened free agency Tuesday , July 1, 2014, by signing defenseman Brooks Orpik to a $27.5 million, five-year contract, and goaltender Justin Peters to a $1.9 million, two-year contract. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • FILE - In this April 14, 2014 file photo, Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek stretches during the team's hockey practice in Brossard, Quebec. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)

    FILE - In this April 14, 2014 file photo, Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek stretches during the team's hockey practice in Brossard, Quebec. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)

  • FILE - In this April 14, 2014 file photo, Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek stretches during the team's hockey practice in Brossard, Quebec. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)

    FILE - In this April 14, 2014 file photo, Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek stretches during the team's hockey practice in Brossard, Quebec. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, Boston Bruins' Jarome Iginla waves to the crowd before first period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, Boston Bruins' Jarome Iginla waves to the crowd before first period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, Boston Bruins' Jarome Iginla waves to the crowd before first period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)
  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Dallas Stars right wing Alex Chiasson (12) skates to the bench during a stoppage in play in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, in Dallas. Jason Spezza has been traded from the Ottawa Senators to the Dallas Stars. The Senators traded their captain to the Stars on Tuesday, July 1, 2014,  for  Chiasson, forward prospects Alex Guptill and Nicholas Paul and a second-round pick in next year's draft. Dallas also receives forward prospect Ludwig Karlsson.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
  • FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2014 file photo, Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) looks on before a face off against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
  • FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, Montreal Canadiens' Josh Gorges (26) checks St. Louis Blues' T.J. Oshie during the third period of an NHL hockey game in St. Louis.c The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Josh Gorges in a trade with the Canadiens. In exchange, the Sabres gave up a second-round pick in the 2016 draft in a deal made Tuesday, July 1, 2014,  shortly after the start of the NHL's free-agency period.  (AP Photo/Bill Boyce, File)
  • FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2013 file photo, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland, left, celebrates his short handed goal as Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, right, looks on during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto. The Florida Panthers agreed to terms with Bolland and Jussi Jokinen, plus goaltender Al Montoya shortly after hockey's free agent period started Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette, File)
  • FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013 file photo, Pittsburgh Penguins' Matt Niskanen (2) follows the play in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
  • FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2013 file photo, New York Islanders' Thomas Vanek (26) drives the puck down ice to score a goal against Anaheim Ducks  during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Uniondale, N.Y. The Minnesota Wild have made another splash in free agency. Vanek, one of the top free agents available, agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Wild on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek, File)
  • FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Carolina Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters (35) eyes the puck as a teammate clears during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche in Raleigh, N.C. The Washington Capitals opened free agency Tuesday, July 1, 2014,  by signing defenseman Brooks Orpik to a $27.5 million, five-year contract, and goaltender Justin Peters to a $1.9 million, two-year contract. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker, File)
  • FILE - In this March 6, 2014 file photo, St. Louis Blues goalie Ryan Miller blocks a shot against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
  • FILE - In this July 1, 2014 file photo, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur makes a save on a shot by the Boston Bruins during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
  • FILe - This is a Jan. 20, 2014 file photo showing Pittsburgh Penguins' Brooks Orpik (44) during an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Pittsburgh. The Washington Capitals opened free agency Tuesday , July 1, 2014, by signing defenseman Brooks Orpik to a $27.5 million, five-year contract, and goaltender Justin Peters to a $1.9 million, two-year contract. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
  • FILE - In this April 14, 2014 file photo, Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek stretches during the team's hockey practice in Brossard, Quebec. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)
  • FILE - In this April 14, 2014 file photo, Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek stretches during the team's hockey practice in Brossard, Quebec. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz, File)
  • FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2013 file photo, Boston Bruins' Jarome Iginla waves to the crowd before first period NHL hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alberta. NHL teams can begin making deals with free agents Tuesday, July 1, 2014.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh, File)

NHL teams quickly snatched up the best players available in free agency, giving Paul Stastny, Jarome Iginla and Ryan Miller new homes in the league.

When the market opened yesterday, teams tried to make a splash to improve their rosters and fire up fans.

Stastny cashed in, signing a $28 million, four-year contract with the St. Louis Blues, leaving the Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche.

“It’s a tough decision, (but) I was in a good position,” Stastny, a St. Louis native, told the Blues’ website. “You almost have to take a step back and take all the emotions out of it and try to realize what’s best for me hockey-wise. Not just next year, but two or three or four years down the road.”

The Avs found someone to score in Stastny’s place, picking up an aging player who has proven he’s still got it.

Iginla was given a three-year, $16 million deal yesterday, his 37th birthday. The wing had 30 goals to tie for the most in Boston last season. The Bruins also lost forward Shawn Thornton to the Florida Panthers, backup goalie Chad Johnson to the New York Islanders and defenseman Andrej Meszaros to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Avs also acquired a veteran defenseman, Brad Stuart from San Jose. Colorado had quite a turnaround last season thanks in part due to 18-year-old Nathan MacKinnon, the Calder Trophy winner as top rookie.

After trading away Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider, the Vancouver Canucks gave goaltender Miller a three-year deal worth $18 million.

“I like to think that this team can get its mojo back, have a good attitude and push forward,” said Miller, 33. “From the top down I think they have the right attitude in place. I think it’s going to be exciting to play hockey here.”

The Washington Capitals also made a big splash – or at least spent the most money on a pair of players.

The Caps bolstered the blue line behind superstar Alex Ovechkin and gave defense-minded Coach Barry Trotz the pieces he sought to build a winner. Washington signed defenseman Matt Niskanen to a seven-year, $40.25 million contract soon after sealing a $27.5 million, five-year deal with defenseman Brooks Orpik. The Capitals also took a couple key players off the roster in Pittsburgh, a Metropolitan Division rival.

The Minnesota Wild signed forward Thomas Vanek to a $19.5 million, three-year deal, two summers after investing a lot in free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

Dallas got a jump on the competition before free agency began, acquiring high-scoring forward Jason Spezza in a trade with Ottawa, taking advantage of having space under the salary cap.

“A lot of the teams that are up against the cap, they can’t do anything,” Stars General Manager Jim Nill said. “We had lots of room. This worked out well for us. I look forward to Jason Spezza being a Dallas Star for many years.”

The 31-year-old Spezza, set to be an unrestricted free agent next summer, had asked for a trade and previously turned down a deal that would have sent him to Nashville.

Before the sun set on Day 1 of free agency, more than 10 teams had handed out contracts worth more than $4 million a season. Some franchises, though, stayed out of the fray and allowed other teams to perhaps overpay for the best players available.

The Buffalo Sabres, who had the fewest points in the NHL last season, and Florida Panthers, who were next worst, were very aggressive.

Florida invested tens of millions on free agents, adding centers Dave Bolland ($27.7 million, five years) and Jussi Jokinen ($16 million, four years), along with Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Willie Mitchell ($8.5 million, two years).

Buffalo infused its roster with veteran talent, giving forward Matt Moulson $25 million over five years and forward Brian Gionta a $12.75 million, three-year contract.

Sabres General Manager Tim Murray said he was “excited” about the number of quality players interested in signing with the franchise.

“I’ve thought that all along, but you’re never sure until the clock hits 12,” Murray said.

“One of the more desperate days of the hockey season,” Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos lamented. “A lot of our brethren are out running around trying to see how much money they can spend, and when the dust settles they’ll figure out whether or not they have a hockey team.”

Columbus, Toronto and Detroit invested a lot one year ago in some of the top free agents – Nathan Horton, David Clarkson and Stephen Weiss, respectively – and each team probably wishes it had spent that money on other players.

“There’s a lot of things that happen on free agency day that some teams look back and wonder why they did it,” Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson said. “There will be a time and place for us to be active in the free agent market, but it’s certainly not now while we’ve committed to our younger players, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning also were active, landing veteran defensemen Anton Stralman and forward Brian Boyle to give the team more grit after it was swept in the first round of the playoffs. Both helped the Rangers make the Stanley Cup finals, as did center Brad Richards, who signed with Chicago.

Tampa Bay also added goaltender Evgeni Nabokov after not having a backup capable of playing well when Ben Bishop was hurt in April.

The Rangers made up some of their losses after reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in two decades by signing veteran defenseman Dan Boyle, a highly coveted player with a right-handed shot from the point.

New York also added defensemen Matt Hunwick and Mike Kostka.

Mike Cammalleri signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the New Jersey Devils, giving them a desperately needed offensive boost.

Some notable players still available: Dany Heatley, Mike Ribeiro, Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Brodeur, the NHL’s all-time winningest goalie.

The Detroit Red Wings, who signed restricted free agent forward Riley Sheahan to a $1.9 million, two-year contract, await the 41-year-old Alfredsson’s decision whether to retire.

“If his back feels good in August, we’ll talk about a one-year deal with him,” General Manager Ken Holland said. “He’s not going to sign a deal with anyone else.”

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