2010 NHL free agency: Sens, Lightning, Ducks and Habs get their signings on

dominicmoore.jpgA bevy of signings all went down this afternoon so we’ll get you caught up in quick-hit fashion. We would’ve called this the lightning round but considering they’re one of the teams involved in things we didn’t want to get too silly.

Dominic Moore signs two-year deal with Tampa Bay

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Steve Yzerman signs someone who was affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens organization last year. Crazy, right? Again, Yzerman strikes, this time landing a guy who will fit in great as a third or fourth line centerman and penalty killer for the Lightning. Moore won’t dazzle you, but he’ll just go about his job and do it well. Consider this one a savvy signing for the Lightning especially at a cost of $2.2 million over two years.

Chris Campoli avoids arbitration, re-signs with Ottawa

The Ottawa Senators have again avoided the tricky hand of the arbitrator by coming to a one-year contract agreement with restricted free agent defenseman Chris Campoli. Campoli’s deal will pay him $1.4 million next season.

For Campoli, the salary constitutes a pretty substantial raise as he made $625,000 last season and it’s tough to see why he’s getting a huge raise as his numbers last season were not inspiring (67 games, 4-14-18 and a -3 plus/minus rating).

James Wisniewski avoids arbitration, re-signs with Anaheim

SportsNet’s Nick Kypreos tweets that James Wisniewski has avoided arbitration with the Ducks and re-signs with the team for $3.25 million on a one-year deal. Wisniewski is a bit of an odd hybrid as a defenseman in that he provides some offensive touch (3 goals, 27 assists last year) as well as playing an edgy physical game. He plays an ideal game for the Ducks and gets a small raise on the $2.75 million he made last year.

Montreal signs defenseman Alex Henry to a two-year, two-way deal

Hey, even the Hamilton Bulldogs need love too. Henry provides them with depth along the blueline and he’s a guy they’re already very familiar with as it is. He’s a big boy at 6’6″ 231 pounds so if the Habs find themselves hurting for size in the defense and need a thumper, he’ll get the call. As for now, Hal Gill will take care of their thumping/getting-in-the-way needs.

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    Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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    After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

    Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

    The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

    Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

    Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

    Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

    Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

    Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

    Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

    Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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    It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

    After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

    Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

    Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

    The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.

    Islanders believe Boyle should be suspended for hit before OT goal

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    Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.

    In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.

    Many believe that hit was legal:

    The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:

    Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.

    You’re not going to believe this, but the Lightning disagree.

    Boyle clearly didn’t receive a penalty on that sequence, yet one would imagine that the league will at least take a look at that hit.

    Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

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    Brian Boyle was part of the fight before Game 3 even started … and then he ended it in overtime.

    In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.

    This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.

    Also fitting? Boyle landed a big hit on Thomas Hickey, the guy who sidelined Jonathan Drouin for a chunk of this contest.

    That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:

    (Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)

    Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.

    In some ways, this win feels like a microcosm of the Lightning’s season. They keep getting hit in the mouth with injuries and near-injuries, yet they just won’t stay down.

    The Islanders saw three leads disappear in this contest, but one would think that they won’t roll over, either.