Kopecky signs with Panthers … Leafs almost acquire Talbot’s rights … Pens...

Kopecky signs with Panthers … Leafs almost acquire Talbot’s rights … Pens could sign Jagr today … Rangers to buyout Drury … Pitkanen re-sign with Canes, their other UFAs may not … Canucks options

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  • Damien Cox via twitter: “PITT negotiated Talbot’s neg rights to Leafs for a 5th rounder; Talbot wasn’t interested in around $1.7 mil per.”
  • Mike Brophy via twitter: If Jaromir Jagr signs with the Penguins today, Brophy hearing it could be for $2.1 million.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Chris Drury’s buyout from the NY Rangers will become official today. Drury decided against applying for a medical exception for his back knee. Drury will get $3.333 million from the buyout. If Drury decided to apply for the medical exception, the Rangers wouldn’t have been able to buy him out, and his cap number would have applied over the summer.

    “It was a great honor and privilege to be a New York Ranger for the past four years, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to fulfill that childhood dream,” Drury said in a statement that was sent to The Post by e-mail. “The Rangers are a first-class organization with great people in the hockey, public relations, team services and community relations departments.

  • Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Joni Pitkanen re-signed with the Hurricanes for 3 years at $4.5 million per season. They also signed Patrick Dwyer to a 2 year deal worth $1.25 million. Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is now becoming pessimistic about re-signing Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose. “I’m very, very disappointed,” Rutherford said Tuesday. “It does not look good.” Two years ago both Cole and LaRose tested free agency then re-signed with the Hurricanes, but not this time. “I don’t think we will cross that bridge twice,” he said. “We’ve made substantial offers.”
  • Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun: Canucks GM Mike Gillis now has to decide if he wants to replace Christian Ehrhoff from within or through free agency. He indicated that he may not jump into the limited free agent pool. “We’ll take it as it comes,” commented Gillis. “I’m unsure if there is going to be a defenceman out there who can help us. We’ll see what’s there and what’s available.” They currently have under contract, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Alex Edler, Keith Ballard, Aaron Rome and Chris Tanev, and are close on bringing back Sami Salo. Jason Botchford via twitter: Gillis and Salo’s agent will talk today.
  • Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun: The Canucks are looking to rebuild their bottom 6 forwards again. Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins, Tanner Glass and Jeff Tambellini are all UFAs. 5 forwards that might intrigue the Canucks are: Joel Ward (Nash), Tyler Kennedy (Pit), Tomas Fleischmann (Col), Anthony Stewart (Win) and Sean Bergenheim (TB).
  • John Vogl of the Buffalo News: The Buffalo Sabers have about $15 million that they can spend on free agency starting Friday. The Sabres would like to add a forward and defenseman. They currently have 15 players under contract for $51.8 million. They have $3.9 committed to 6 RFAs, and are left with $8.6 million in cap room. The $15 million comes from the ability to go over the cap by 10% during the summer. The Sabres and Tim Connolly’s side haven’t exchanged offers, and plan to have a chat soon.

    “We haven’t gotten into the stage of making offers to each other,” Barry said by phone. “We’re just talking about whether or not there’s a chance and whether or not it makes sense for them and for us to do something.”