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On the Edge of Free Agent Madness

Though open season on NHL free agents didn't start until Noon today, there were a number of preliminary deals over the past 24 hours to whet your appetite: ↵

↵The Sedin twins are reportedly staying in Vancouver. ↵

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↵The Rangers dealt Scott Gomez and his huge contract to Montreal. The major pieces coming back to New York include winger Chris Higgins and defenseman Ryan McDonagh, a former first round draft pick of the Habs. Montreal gets a playmaker to replace Saku Koivu, while New York gets some cap flexibility that they're sure to use. ↵

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↵Dany Heatley rejected a deal that would have sent him to Edmonton in exchange for Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislav Smid. ↵

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↵Jay Bouwmeester signed a five-year deal to stay in Calgary. ↵

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↵The Penguins got a head start on defending their Stanley Cup title by re-signing two of their late-season acquisitions, Bill Guerin and Craig Adams. ↵

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↵Rob Blake will play in San Jose one more year. ↵

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↵So what should you expect the rest of the day? As I pointed out earlier this week, there won't be any real growth in the salary cap this season, so expect a number of teams to sit back and wait, especially considering the state of the economy. Given those conditions, there may be an opportunity for some bargain shopping once the big names get snapped up. For all the news in real time, check in with my colleague, Craig Custance. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.