Shattenkirk joins Rangers as NHL free agency opens

New York (AFP) – Veteran NHL defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk signed a four-year deal with his hometown New York Rangers as free agency began for the 2017-18 NHL season.

The contract, worth a reported $26.6 million, was among the top deals as major off-season moves began, with Shattenkirk having netted 13 goals and set up 43 more for St. Louis and Washington last season.

Washington, which had the NHL’s best regular-season record last season but lost to eventual NHL champion Pittsburgh in the second round of the playoffs, also parted ways with forward Justin Williams, who signed a two-year deal with his former club, the Carolina Hurricanes.

He had 81 goals over five seasons with Carolina and netted 24 in 80 games last season for the Capitals.

Washington also lost defenseman Karl Alzner, who inked a reported five-year, $23.125 million contract with Montreal.

Forward Patrick Sharp, 35, signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, returning the to club where he played for 10 seasons and won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015 before spending the past two campaigns in Dalls. Sharp netted 239 goals in 679 games for the Blackhawks.

Anaheim signed goaltender Ryan Miller to a two-year deal worth a reported $4 million. Miller went 18-29 with six overtime losses for Vancouver last season with a 2.80 goals-against average and .914 save percentage over 54 games.

Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh lost two free agents as forward Nick Bonino signed a four-year deal worth $16.4 million with Nashville, the team the Penguins beat in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Former Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz, a four-time Stanley Cup winner, signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay. Kunitz scored in double overtime of the deciding semi-final series game against Ottawa to send the Penguins into the NHL Final.