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Former UMD hockey players re-sign contracts

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Former Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey teammates J.T. Brown and Travis Oleksuk each re-signed contracts Wednesday with their current NHL teams.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed Brown, a right winger, to a two-year, one-way contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brown, who scored 40 goals and added 44 assists in two seasons with the Bulldogs, scored four goals and had 15 assists in 63 games played for the Lightning last season.

After finishing his sophomore season at UMD in March 2012, Brown made his NHL debut with the Lightning before being sent to their AHL affiliate.

Like Brown, Oleksuk was part of the UMD team that won the NCAA Division I championship in the 2010-11 season. The 25-year-old left winger, who had 45 goals and 70 assists in 134 career games at UMD, re-upped with the San Jose Sharks on a one-year, two-way, $550,000 deal, according to published reports.

He had 19 goals and 21 assists for the Sharks’ Worcester AHL affiliate last season.

Kings sign Gaborik to 7-year contract

The Los Angeles Kings signed forward Marian Gaborik to a seven-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but ESPN.com reported an average annual value of $4.875 million.

Gaborik, 32, helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup by leading the NHL with 14 goals in the Stanley Cup playoffs and ranked fourth with 22 points. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Gaborik, who was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline on March 5, had 11 goals in 41 regular-    season games, including five goals in 19 games with the Kings.

Gaborik, the third pick in the 2000 draft by the Minnesota Wild, has 347 career goals, 13th among active players. He also has 704 points in 810 career regular-season games for the Wild, Rangers, Blue Jackets and Kings. He has 32 goals and 57 points in 80 playoff games.

Gaborik was an All-Star in 2003, 2008 and 2012, and was named All-Star MVP in the 2012 game. He has scored at least 40 goals on three occasions and at least 30 goals four other times.

Around the League

The Pittsburgh Penguins named Mike Johnston as their next coach, the team announced Wednesday.

The Penguins have been without a coach since firing Dan Bylsma on June 6.

Johnston’s coaching resume includes eight seasons as an assistant / associate coach in the NHL. The 57-year-old was assistant / associate coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 1999 to 2006 and associate coach of the Los Angeles Kings from 2006 to 2008. For the past six seasons, he has been head coach and general manager of the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League.

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets traded defenseman Nikita Nikitin to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the teams announced Wednesday.

Nikitin, 28, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Oilers signed him to a two-year contract, reportedly for $9 million. The 6-foot-4, 223 pound Nikitin, of Omsk, Russia had two goals and 15 points in 66 regular-season games this season and was scoreless in five Stanley Cup playoff games.

Edmonton has three picks in the fifth round this year; Columbus will receive pick No. 137, which originally belonged to the Blue Jackets but was traded to the Oilers for defenseman Nick Schultz at the trade deadline in March.

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning signed forward Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract, the team announced Wednesday.

The Lightning also announced they have used their second, and final, compliance buyout, as allowed by the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, on forward Ryan Malone.

According to ESPN.com, Callahan’s deal is for a total of $34.8 million — an average of $5.8 million per season — and also includes a partial no-trade clause. Callahan will receive $6 million next season, $6.4 million in 2015-16, $6.5 million in 2016-18 and $4.7 million in the final two seasons of the deal.

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