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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 ...

1:02 p.m. Here's Matt Sekeres on a sentiment that applies to all of the top teams in the Western Conference: "Already a good free agency day for the Canucks and their fans. In fact, Vancouver doesn't have to do anything on July 1 and it will be a good day for the franchise. Why? The weakening of the Chicago Blackhawks, of course. Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Ben Eager, Brent Sopel. All gone. The Blackhawks may be beasts in a few years when all their new prospects - Nick Leddy, Jeremy Morin, Kevin Hayes - blossom, but for the moment, the Canucks have to feel like they stack up a little better against the Stanley Cup champs."

1:05 p.m. Blues sign RFA centre Vladimir Sobotka on a one-year deal worth $750,000. St. Louis picked up Sobotka from Boston in a trade last week.

1:12 p.m. The Penguins have signed defenceman Zbynek Michalek, filling the roster spot for Gonchar for the moment. Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero is keen on upgrading his blueline for next season and may add another defenceman. Michalek is young and good defensively but hasn't produced a lot of offence. Kris Letang is likely taking over power play quarterbacking duties in Pittsburgh. (Terms: Five years at $4-million a season.)

1:27 p.m. Here's Eric Duhatschek on the Lightning's moves so far: "Yzerman, is seriously showing his chops today - two important moves already, one of shed the organization of a contract it couldn't afford by sending Andrej Meszaros to the Philadelphia Flyers and getting a second-round in return; then by locking up Martin St. Louis on a four-year contract extension. St. Louis had made it clear that he would only stay on in Tampa if he got a clear signal that the organization was serious about winning. Something Yzerman told him during their one-on-one sit down must have convinced him that they were serious about getting it turned around, within the next couple of years. Also: Guess that potential for discord because Yzerman didn't pick St. Louis for the Olympic team was overblown."

1:29 p.m. Montreal signs Alex Auld to a one-year, $1-million contract. Given all of the goaltenders available today and so few jobs for them, they could have gotten a better netminder at that price. It's now clear that Carey Price will be the No. 1 next season.

1:34 p.m. The Leafs have signed winger Colby Armstrong for three years at $3-million a season. The contract is a bit high given he doesn't offer a ton of offence, but he should be able to play a role on the penalty kill and in the locker room. Armstrong was the player at the top of Toronto's list today.

1:37 p.m. Sharks sign Antero Niittymaki as their netminder for $2-million a season for two years. That's a solid choice given the way he played with the Lightning and frees up some serious salary to replace Rob Blake on defence. Expect San Jose to be major players for Paul Martin.

"Antero is a proven goaltender who has been the most valuable player in both the Olympics and the Calder Cup playoffs," said Sharks GM Doug Wilson. "We feel that he can be extremely successful with our style of play and that he will be a perfect compliment to any of the goalies that are currently in our system."

1:47 p.m. The Blues have re-signed RFA Alex Steen on a four-year deal.

1:50 p.m. Canucks have signed defensive centre Manny Malhotra on a three-year deal for $2.5-million a season. Big raise from what he made last year when no team wanted him until the fall. Malhotra had a great season in San Jose.

1:53 p.m. Defenceman Sean O'Donnell has signed a one-year, $1-million deal (plus bonuses) with the Flyers, who now have far too many defencemen. Philadelphia has to be close to being over the cap, too.

2 p.m. Defenceman Derek Morris is back in Phoenix, signing for four years at $11-million total. The Coyotes really wanted to keep Michalek but weren't able to meet his asking price. Tough when your budget is so far under the cap. Morris has played some good hockey for them over the years, however.

2:10 p.m. Kris Versteeg is speaking with the Leafs media at 3 p.m. and we'll have a story on that on the home page shortly after that.

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