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Flyers give Couturier two-year deal, small raise

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PHILADELPHIA Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has done a lot of thinking about the future recently.

First he got rid of Ilya Bryzgalov in favor of younger goalie Steve Mason.

Next, he extended his captain, Claude Giroux, for the next eight years.

On Saturday, he locked up 20-year-old Sean Couturier to a two-year contract extension worth $3.5 million.

The $1.75 million cap hit is friendly for the Flyers, who always have to think about the salary cap thanks in part to Giroux's $8.275 million cap hit starting in the 2014-15 season. It's a slight raise for Couturier, who had a hit of $1.375 million on his entry-level contract.

Couturier had a superb rookie season, but his offensive production dropped to four goals and 15 points in 46 games. He had 13 goals and 27 points in 77 games in the 2011-12 season.

Blues, Stewart reach deal

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues and forward Chris Stewart avoided arbitration and agreed to terms on a two-year contract.

The 25-year-old Stewart was a restricted free agent after leading the team in scoring. He played in all 48 games and had 36 points, including 18 goals. Stewart was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing on Monday that now isn't necessary.

Stewart has 100 goals and 202 points in 319 career NHL games, including 48 goals and 89 points in 153 games with the Blues. Stewart was acquired by St. Louis with defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk from the Colorado Avalanche in 2011 for former No. 1 overall pick Erik Johnson.

Blue Jackets sign pair

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenceman Blake Parlett and forward Spencer Machacek to one-year, two-way (NHL/AHL) contracts.

The 24-year-old Parlett was acquired from the New York Rangers along with Marian Gaborik and Steven Delisle on April 3, 2013, in exchange for Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard, John Moore and a sixth-round draft pick in 2014. In 76 AHL games last season, he had eight goals and 24 assists.

Machacek, also 24, was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets on March 10, 2013, for forward Tomas Kubalik. Atlanta's first pick, 67th overall, in the 2007 NHL draft, he had two goals and seven assists in 25 career games with the Jets/Thrashers franchise. The right-winger has also appeared in 359 AHL games, scoring 98 goals with 141 assists.

Coyotes pick up Yip

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes have signed forward Brandon Yip to a one-year contract.

Yip played 34 games for Nashville, scoring three goals with five assists. In parts of four NHL seasons with Nashville and Colorado, the 28-year-old has played in 172 games, with 29 and 27 assists. He has also three goals and three assists in 16 playoff games.

Terms of the deal announced Friday were not disclosed.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 21, 2013 B4

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