NHL free agency: Latest news, rumblings and signings

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Free agency is on! Here are the biggest deals that contributed to the record value of deals:

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July 2 updates

1:26 p.m. ET: The Florida Panthers have continued overhauling their blue line by signing puck-moving defenseman Jason Demers to a five-year contract. A source tells ESPN's Pierre LeBrun the deal is worth $4.5 million per season. "We are excited to sign Jason and we are thrilled that he chose Florida," said Panthers GM Tom Rowe. "He will play an integral role on our blue line and will help our transition game and special teams." Demers had seven goals and 16 assists in 62 games for the Dallas Stars during the 2015-16 regular season and recorded three assists in 13 postseason games. The 28-year-old will be one of several new faces on defense for the Panthers next season. Florida has already traded for and signed Keith Yandle, traded away Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov, let Brian Campbell leave in free agency and acquired Mark Pysyk.

July 1 updates

5:09 p.m. ET: Mikkel Boedker has signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the San Jose Sharks, a source told Pierre LeBrun. Boedker was the top remaining unrestricted free-agent forward on the market. From Scott Burnside: "It is a calculated risk for San Jose GM Doug Wilson because the 26-year-old Boedker has never hit the 20-goal plateau. But the eighth overall pick in 2008 is blessed with terrific speed and the hope is he will develop into a top-six forward." From Craig Custance: "Penguins speed gave the Sharks fits in Stanley Cup finals. Boedker helps address that issue. Still just 26 too."

3:44 p.m. ET: Thomas Vanek has signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings, sources tell Pierre LeBrun. From Craig Custance: "Low-risk deal there for Red Wings." Vanek told TSN he thinks the Red Wings' style of play is a good fit for him, especially their depth down the middle. He said he's not sure why it didn't work out for him with the Wild, but he gave it his best shot because he considers Minnesota to be home, even though he was born in Austria (he played for the University of Minnesota).

3:36 p.m. ET: Winger Matt Martin has signed a four-year, $10 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Martin, who has spent his entire career with the New York Islanders, leads the league in hits since 2010. From Joe McDonald: "I like this move by the Maple Leafs. Martin will add grit on and off the ice for Toronto." From Scott Burnside: "The 27-year-old was considered part of the leadership group with the Islanders. ... No doubt that was a key factor in Toronto pursuing him, given the youthful nature of the rebuilding Leafs, who last week drafted center Auston Matthews with first overall pick in the draft." Martin told TSN: "I'm very excited to join such a prestigious organization as the Leafs." He added it was tough to leave an organization that he grew up with, saying there were two prestigious teams he had to choose between.

2:02 p.m. ET: Michael Grabner has signed a two-year, $3.3 million deal with the New York Rangers.

1:50 p.m. ET: Dan Hamhuis has signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Dallas Stars. From Pierre LeBrun: "Love the Hamhuis signing in Dallas. Has more hockey left in him. Motivated player. Still a top-four blueliner." From Craig Custance: "Dallas likes its young defensemen on the way in the system, but this gives the Stars veteran presence on defense and insurance if kids aren't ready."

1:45 p.m. ET: Alexander Radulov has signed a one-year deal worth $5.75 million with the Montreal Canadiens. From Scott Burnside: "A tumultuous week for the Canadiens took an even more bizarre turn Friday. ... Radulov, 29, was once famously suspended by the Nashville Predators during the 2012 playoffs for missing curfew. The captain of that Nashville team was Shea Weber, who was earlier this week acquired by the Canadiens for former Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban." From Pierre LeBrun: "Montreal and Detroit weren't the only two teams in on Radulov. Several teams and a few two-year offers on the table, but Radulov wanted Montreal." GM Marc Bergevin told reporters during a media conference that Radulov was looking for a longer term but Bergevin said he wanted only a one-year deal. "We're taking a risk but hopefully the reward is good."

1:34 p.m. ET: Left winger Shawn Matthias has signed a two-year, $4.25 million deal with the Winnipeg Jets.

1:03 p.m. ET: Right winger Dale Weise has signed a four-year, $9.4 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. Weise told TSN that he didn't get much of a significant offer from the Montreal Canadiens, a team he was very interested in signing with. He also said getting a four-year deal was important to him and helped tip the scales in favor of the Flyers.

12:56 p.m. ET: Defenseman David Schlemko has signed a four-year, $8.4 million deal with the San Jose Sharks.

12:46 p.m. ET: Jamie McGinn has signed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

12:45 p.m. ET: Center Eric Staal has signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Minnesota Wild. Staal told TSN that the idea of getting significant minutes -- in other words, not being relegated to being a role player -- attracted him to the Wild. He added that having a new start with a coach, Bruce Boudreau, who was also new to the team was appealing.

12:40 p.m. ET: Right winger Chris Stewart has signed a two-year, $2.3 million deal with the Minnesota Wild.

12:36 p.m. ET: Defenseman Ben Lovejoy has signed a three-year deal worth $8 million with the New Jersey Devils, Pierre LeBrun reports. Lovejoy was a major contributor in the playoffs for the Pittsburgh Penguins and earned $1.1 million last season. Due to cap constraints, the Penguins could not re-sign him. In 334 career regular-season games with the Penguins and Anaheim Ducks, Lovejoy has 15 goals and 62 assists for 77 points.

12:36 p.m. ET: Left winger Jason Chimera has signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the New York Islanders.

12:22 p.m. ET: Forward Troy Brouwer has signed a four-year, $18 million deal with the Calgary Flames. Brouwer told TSN that it was a family-related decision -- he wanted his children to grow up near relatives. Brouwer is from Vancouver but has built an offseason home in Calgary.

12:21 p.m. ET: Forward Kyle Okposo has signed a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Buffalo Sabres. Okposo, 28, had spent his nine-year career with the Islanders. He is a three-time 20-goal scorer. He scored 64 points during the 2015-16 season and put up two goals and six assists in the playoffs as the Islanders won a postseason series for the first time since 1993. In Buffalo, Okposo immediately becomes a top-line forward on a team that has spent the past two years rebuilding through youth. From Pierre LeBrun: "Okposo contract breakdown: $25 million in signing bonuses and $17 million in salary."

12:19 p.m. ET: Center David Backes has signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the Boston Bruins. Backes told TSN he was interested in playing on the same team with top forwards David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron.

12:18 a.m. ET: Brian Campbell has signed a one-year, $2.25 million deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. Campbell's deal is a $1.5 million base salary, plus a $750,000 bonus for playing 10 games. Campbell told TSN he was looking forward to returning to Chicago, which is where his wife is from. From Craig Custance: "The Florida Panthers were willing to do a one-year deal worth $4.75 million to keep Campbell. But the lure for him & his wife to return to Chicago was too strong."

12:17 p.m. ET: Forward Loui Eriksson has signed a six-year, $36 million deal with the Vancouver Canucks. Eriksson spent the past three seasons in Boston, scoring 62 goals with 85 assists. Eriksson, 30, a native of Gothenburg, Sweden, will have a chance to play with fellow countrymen Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. Eriksson, who was originally drafted by Dallas and played seven seasons for the Stars, was traded to Boston on July 4, 2013, as part of the Tyler Seguin trade. He has 212 goals and 292 assists for 504 points in 725 career games.

12:11 p.m. ET: Forward Frans Nielsen has signed a six-year deal worth $5.25 million per season with the Detroit Red Wings. Nielsen told TSN a lot of good teams were interested in him but it came down to wanting to try something new, a new environment and a new city.

12:06 p.m. ET: Forward Andrew Ladd has signed with the New York Islanders. Ladd's deal is worth $5.5 million annually, according to Scott Burnside. Ladd had 25 goals and 21 assists in 78 games this past season.

12:02 p.m. ET: Winger Milan Lucic has signed a seven-year, $42 million deal with the Edmonton Oilers, Pierre LeBrun reports. Lucic tallied 20 goals and 35 assists in 81 games last season with the Los Angeles Kings. The move reunites Lucic with general manager Peter Chiarelli. The two won a Stanley Cup together with the Boston Bruins in 2011. Lucic, in a media conference in Edmonton, thanked the Kings players and management for helping him get through a difficult time in his life. His No. 1 reason for signing with the Oilers? "Connor McDavid." He quickly added his relationship with Chiarelli was also a big factor.

12:02 p.m. ET: Goalie James Reimer has signed a five-year, $17 million deal with the Florida Panthers.

11:21 a.m. ET: Barring a last-second change, sounds like both St. Louis Blues forwards David Backes and Troy Brouwer headed to free agency at noon. Both players provide size, physicality and playoff experience. Will be plenty of interest when the market opens, Craig Custance writes.

10:42 a.m. ET: As many have speculated, Brian Campbell has made his decision and it's going to be a return to the Chicago Blackhawks. Likely a one-year deal around $2 million, according to Pierre LeBrun.

10:24 a.m. ET: With just a couple hours to go before free agency opened up, the Detroit Red Wings got a deal done Friday with center Darren Helm. The 29-year-old forward signed a five-year deal worth $3.85 million per season to stay in Detroit, a league source told Craig Custance.

9:22 a.m. ET: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad and the Florida Panthers have agreed to an eight-year, $60 million extension. The news was first reported by the Miami Herald and confirmed by ESPN's Craig Custance. The final details are still being worked out and the deal likely won't be official until next week, the source told Custance. The extension will not kick in until the 2017-18 season, following Ekblad's final year of the three-year entry-level deal he signed after being the top overall pick in the 2014 draft.


Wednesday: A head-swirling span that saw a swap of two premier defensemen -- P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators -- and included the trade of a No. 1 overall draft pick, Taylor Hall, to the New Jersey Devils was followed by the news that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos re-signed with the team for the next eight years. With the moves, the East got much better, according to Scott Burnside.