2010 NHL free agency: Thrashers sign Andrew Ladd

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andrewladd1.jpgThe Thrashers have again avoided arbitration with one of their new acquisitions from the Blackhawks obtained in the Great Chicago Fire Sale of 2010. This time it’s Andrew Ladd signing a one-year contract with Atlanta. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets the final details of Ladd’s deal.

Ladd signs one-year deal worth $2.35 million with Thrashers.

It’s a solid deal for Ladd who will instantly be a first or second line left wing with the team and likely pair up with the likes of Niclas Bergfors and Nik Antropov to give the Thrashers some scoring punch up front. With deals done for Ladd and for Ben Eager, the Thrashers free agency view for next year is all set. Those two players along with Dustin Byfuglien, who has one year on his contract, sets up both Ladd and Byfuglien to be restricted free agents next year while Eager will be unrestricted. Not a bad deal for Atlanta to get two young, talented and controllable players from Chicago. If things pan out well with those players, Rick Dudley’s mark on the rebuilding of the Thrashers will be made and it’ll be a much-needed turn of events in Atlanta.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.