- Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs got things rolling on Saturday when the club reached an agreement with free-agent castoff forward Clarke MacArthur on a one-year $1.1 million deal.  MacArthur, whom we highlighted here earlier this offseason, was awarded a hefty raise from the Atlanta Thrashers via arbitration.  The Thrashers walked away from the $2.4 million ruling, thus allowing MacArthur to become an unrestricted free agent.

- Free agent winger Lee Stempniak probably did himself a favour, as well as – insert fan base here – by electing to re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes on a 2-year deal reportedly worth $1.75 million per.  Stempniak was skating in and around Ron Wilson’s doghouse last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was sent packing to Phoenix at the trade deadline.  Stempniak scored 14 of his 28 goals in just 18 games with the Coyotes.  There will be expectations for Stempniak in Phoenix, but they’ll be tempered compared to what he may have faced elsewhere.

- The Edmonton Oilers came to terms with restricted free agent Sam Gagner on a 2-year deal that will see the 21-year old come in at a cap hit of $2.275 million per season.  Gagner’s name will effectively be removed from on-going trade speculation (at least we think it will), and now the skilled centre will be looked to for more production, consistency, and bigger minutes as the youthful Oilers move forward.

- Not to be outdone by anyone throwing money around, Glen Sather has reportedly brought Tim Kennedy into the fold with the New York Rangers.  The Kennedy signing just creates more questions around the club’s apparent ambivalence towards restricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal.

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