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This This Dec. 8, 2009, file photo shows New York Islanders goalie Martin Biron watching the puck shot by Philadelphia Flyers' Jeff Carter in the third period of an NHL hockey game, in Philadelphia. Veteran goalie Martin Biron signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers on Thursday, July 1, 2010, less than one hour into the NHL's free-agent shopping season. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) (Matt Slocum/AP2009)
This This Dec. 8, 2009, file photo shows New York Islanders goalie Martin Biron watching the puck shot by Philadelphia Flyers' Jeff Carter in the third period of an NHL hockey game, in Philadelphia. Veteran goalie Martin Biron signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers on Thursday, July 1, 2010, less than one hour into the NHL's free-agent shopping season. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) (Matt Slocum/AP2009)

2010 NHL Free Agency blog Add to ...

The NHL's free agency is underway as of noon EDT. Refresh often for the latest updates and analysis below:

12 p.m. The Flyers have acquired defenceman Andrej Meszaros from the Lightning for a second-round pick in 2012. The deal frees up some considerable salary for Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay and may mean Philadelphia can't come to terms with RFA Braydon Coburn.

12:02 p.m. The Rangers have signed netminder Martin Biron to backup Henrik Lundqvist. No terms yet, but I'll have them when they come in. The goaltending market is expected to be incredibly crowded given all of the veterans available, and some guys are going to end up without a home. Tampa Bay and San Jose still need a starter. (Terms: Two years at $875,000 a season.)

12:15 p.m. Two rumours of note that I've heard. One, if the Devils aren't able to re-sign Paul Martin, they'll be pursuing Sergei Gonchar, who wants a fairly long-term deal given his age. Two, the Rangers could very well be an unexpected team in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes. New York would have to look seriously at demoting Wade Redden and his behemoth contract to the minors, but I'm told that's a possibility. (Other teams in the market for Kovalchuk include the Kings and Blues, with the Devils and Leafs potentially involved.)

12:20 p.m. So much for my Gonchar rumour. He's signed with the Senators, taking a three-year deal at $5.5-million a season and essentially replacing Anton Volchenkov on Ottawa's blueline. While getting up there, Gonchar is still an excellent defenceman, a No. 1 for now who can play the power play and penalty kill. Where that deal may be problematic is in its final year, but he's an underrated player and brings a more all-around game than Volchenkov. This is an upgrade.

Here's Dave Shoalts: "Stealing Gonchar away from the Penguins was a great move by Senators GM Bryan Murray. By throwing in the third year on a contract that Penguins GM Ray Shero was not willing to give, Murray got one of the best offensive defencemen in the league."

12:22 p.m. Hard to believe so many deals so soon. It's amazing teams can get things done so quickly.

12:25 p.m. And Coburn re-signs with the Flyers. That's a whole lot of defence in Philadelphia between Pronger, Timonen, Carle, Coburn and Meszaros. I'd imagine someone might be on the move there.

12:26 p.m. Alex Tanguay has reportedly signed back in Calgary, likely for a bargain given his struggles recently. Tanguay had a really tough time with the Lightning last year but could rebound with the Flames. (Terms: One year at $1.7-million.)

12:29 p.m. A reminder that our extensive list of the top 100 unrestricted free agents is available here. I'll update it later in the day to cross off those who are gone.

12:33 p.m. Globe Sports reporter Matt Sekeres on the Senators: "Heard they were in talks to re-sign centre Matt Cullen, but he has gotten to free agency and Ottawa is now shy on cap space."

12:37 p.m. Erik Christensen has re-signed with the Rangers. (Terms: Two years at just under $1-million a season.)

12:45 p.m. An important thing to remember as teams like Chicago, Philadelphia and others approach the salary cap: Teams are allowed to exceed the cap by up to 10 per cent in the off-season. So that means that on a $59.4-million cap, you can spend up to $65.3-million until after training camp. I expect a few teams to use that overage today.

12:51 p.m. The Hurricanes have signed defenceman Anton Babchuk out of the KHL. (Term: One year, $1.4-million.)

12:56 p.m. For breakdowns on where teams are against the cap, check out capgeek.com throughout the day. They're staying on top of all the latest signings as they come in.

1 p.m. Martin St. Louis has signed a four-year extension with the Lightning for an average of $5.625-million a season. Busy day for Yzerman so far. A goalie's likely on his list next.

"Today is a great day for the Lightning organization," Yzerman said. "Marty means so much to this franchise, both on and off the ice. His hard work and dedication are unsurpassed and we are thrilled that he will finish his career here in Tampa Bay."

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