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Seattle close to naming Ron Francis GM

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

SEATTLE (AP) Seattle's NHL expansion team is close to an agreement with Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis to become its first general manager, a person with direct knowledge tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team had not made an announcement.

The expansion Seattle franchise is set to begin play in the 2021-22 season as the NHL's 32nd team.

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Blackhawks trade F Anisimov to Senators

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Blackhawks traded Artem Anisimov to Ottawa on Tuesday in exchange for Zack Smith, a swap of 31-year-old forwards.

Anisimov played four seasons for the Blackhawks, scoring 77 goals and adding 78 assists in 291 games, including 15 goals and 22 assists last season. The Russian has also played with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets over 11 years in the NHL.

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Caps re-sign F Vrana to 2-year deal

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) The Washington Capitals took care of their biggest remaining offseason priority Tuesday by re-signing winger Jakub Vrana to a $6.7 million, two-year contract.

Vrana had been a restricted free agent and will count $3.35 million against the salary cap in each of the next two seasons. Locking him in at that price on a bridge deal could allow Washington to re-sign center Nicklas Backstrom and goaltender Braden Holtby before either core player becomes a free agent next summer.

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Wild re-sign Donato, Sturm, Soucy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The Minnesota Wild have re-signed three restricted free agents: forwards Ryan Donato and Nico Sturm and defenseman Carson Soucy.

Donato, a natural center who mostly played left wing after arriving from Boston, received a two-year, $3.8 million contract. He had four goals and 12 assists with 64 shots in 16 games for the Wild last season after the trade with the Bruins. The 23-year-old has 15 goals and 19 assists in 68 NHL games.

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D Del Zotto back to Ducks on 1-year deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Veteran defenseman Michael Del Zotto has agreed to a one-year contract to return to the Anaheim Ducks.

Centers Chase De Leo and Justin Kloos and defenseman Chris Wideman also signed Tuesday with Anaheim.

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Hurricanes re-sign D Fleury for 1 year

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a one-year contract worth $850,000.

The team announced the deal Tuesday. The 23-year-old skated in 20 regular-season games with the Hurricanes along with nine playoff games last season. He also saw significant action with the Charlotte Checkers in the American Hockey League.

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Suspended D Voynov signs with KHL team

MOSCOW (AP) Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov signed a one-year deal in the Kontinental Hockey League on Monday as he sits out the final months of his NHL suspension.

He is joining Russian KHL club Avangard Omsk after sitting out all of last season. His NHL suspension, imposed after the league determined he committed acts of domestic violence, will end midway through the season.

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Devils hope to convince Hall to stay

After the New Jersey Devils acquired P.K. Subban, Taylor Hall texted Ray Shero a green checkmark.

"Like, `Check that box off,'" Shero said. "I guess that's good."

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Hurricanes add F Dzingel on 2-year deal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Hurricanes and free agent center Ryan Dzingel have agreed on a two-year, $6.75 million contract.

The deal announced Friday by general manager Don Waddell will pay Dzingel $3.25 million this season and $3.5 million in 2020-21.

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Flyers president Holmgren steps down

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren has stepped down to become a senior adviser for the franchise.

General manager Chuck Fletcher becomes president of hockey operations in a related move. Fletcher reports directly to Comcast Spectacor Chairman and CEO Dave Scott.

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