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Handzus signs three-year deal with Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers: Center Michal Handzus avoided arbitration
and signed a three-year contract with the Flyers on
Friday. The deal is worth $2.8 million each season.

Handzus scored 20 goals and had a career-high 38 assists for the
Flyers last season. He has played in 195 straight games for the
team over the last two seasons.

"Michael has been an integral part of our team for the past two
seasons and will continue to be a key member in the future,"
Flyers General Manager Bob Clarke said in a statement Friday.

He was acquired with goalie Robert Esche in a deal that sent
goalie Brian Boucher and a draft pick to the Phoenix Coyotes.

In six NHL seasons with St. Louis, Phoenix and Philadelphia,
Handzus has posted 248 points and 269 penalty minutes in 436
regular season games.

Buffalo Sabres: Forward Jochen Hecht agreed to a one-year,
$2.1 million contract, re-signing with the Sabres and
avoiding arbitration.

The deal represents an $800,000 raise from last year and
includes a $50,000 bonus if he matches last season's career-high 52
points. An arbitration hearing had been set for Sunday.

"Statistically, he has proven that he is one of our top
forwards and is part of our leadership core of players," general
manager Darcy Regier said.

Agent Roland Thompson was seeking a longer deal, which the
Sabres declined citing the possible disruption to the start of this
season. The league's collective bargaining agreement expires Sept.
15. Hecht has signed to play in his native Germany in case there is
an NHL lockout.

Last year, Hecht had 15 goals and 37 assists in 64 games,
missing 17 with a broken arm. In 2002-03, he had 10 goals and 16
assists but missed 33 games because of injuries, including 20 from
a concussion. He also has played for Edmonton and St. Louis.

The Sabres have four players still scheduled for arbitration:
Martin Biron, J.P. Dumont, Daniel Briere and Brad Brown.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Goaltender Mikael Tellqvist and forward Clarke Wilm re-signed with the Maple Leafs on Friday.

Tellqvist, who is expected to be the backup to Ed Belfour, got a
deal worth $500,000. Wilm signed for $450,000.

Tellqvist played 11 games for Toronto last season and went 5-3-2
with a 2.87 goals-against average. He also played 23 games for St.
John's of the AHL and was 10-11-1 with a 2.68 GAA.

Wilm had 16 goals and 33 points for St. John's. He played 10
games for Toronto and didn't score a goal. Wilm has played in 395
NHL games for Calgary, Nashville and Toronto, tallying 89 points.

Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes signed rookie goalies Rob Zepp and Craig Kowalski after parting ways with veteran goaltenders Arturs Irbe and Kevin Weekes in the offseason.

Zepp, who helped the Florida Everblades to the ECHL finals last
season, signed a one-year contract. Kowalski, who had a 2.71
goals-against average with Northern Michigan, signed a two-year,
entry-level deal.

Zepp posted a 14-13-7 record and a 2.95 goals-against average in
35 games with the Everblades.

He had an 8-3 record and a 2.72 goals-against average in 12
games during Florida's run to the Kelly Cup finals. Zepp, who spent
three seasons with Florida, was a fourth-round pick by Carolina in
the 2001 entry draft.

Kowalski played in 37 games with Northern Michigan of the
Central Collegiate Hockey Association last season. He had four
shutouts while maintaining a .918 save percentage despite facing
the second most shots of any CCHA goaltender.

He played in 130 games over four years, setting a school record
for career shutouts (12).

Ottawa Senators: The Senators agreed to multiyear contracts
with defenseman Chris Phillips and forward Peter Schaefer.

Phillips set career highs with seven goals and 23 points last
season, and tied a career high with 16 assists. A seven-year
veteran, Phillips has 31 goals, 88 assists and 286 penalty minutes
in his career. He signed for three years at $2.3 million, $2.6 million and $2.9 million.

Schaefer set career highs with 24 assists and 39 points last
season. In five seasons with both the Senators and the Vancouver
Canucks, Schaefer has 57 goals and 80 assists. His contract calls for $1.2 million and $1.3 million the next two seasons.

Minnesota Wild: The Wild re-signed right wing
Richard Park to a one-year contract.

Park, who matched a career high with 25 points last season, had
13 goals and tied for third on the team with 142 shots. A
5-foot-11, 190-pound native of South Korea, Park served as team
captain last December.

A restricted free agent who was eligible for arbitration, Park
was given a qualifying contract offer of $880,000 earlier this
summer.

Park, a second-round draft pick of Pittsburgh in 1994, was
signed by the Wild as a free agent in 2000. He has played in parts
of eight NHL seasons for Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Philadelphia and
Minnesota.

Florida Panthers: Left wing Ryan Jardine signed a one-year
contract to return to the Panthers.

Jardine missed most of last season with a knee injury, limiting
him to six goals and one assist in 22 games with the Panthers' AHL
affiliate in San Antonio.

He had two assists in eight games with Florida in the 2001-02
season, his only NHL experience.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.