Stafford signs long-term deal; Moulson staying in Belfast

Among several long-term deals signed Wednesday was an important part of the Zurich Lions. Drew Stafford, 30, who scored a career-high 71 points last season for the Lions, signed a three-year deal worth $4.5 million per year. Zurich has shipped out a few talented forwards in the last year, including Patrick Kane this month, and they dearly wanted to retain Stafford, who once scored 36 goals for the Swiss team. He and Jakub Voracek, who was acquired in the Kane trade with Minsk, will compete for the right to skate with Patrice Bergeron on the Lions’ top line.

Matt Moulson liked skating with the EURO Cup so much, he agreed to a $5.5 million pay cut to stay with the Giants. On the depth chart, he is a third-liner with Matt Duchene and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Dennis Wideman, 32, accepted Geneva’s offer of $4.3 million for two years. Wideman would have been one of the highest rated defensemen available for free agency had he decided to test the market. Karel Rachunek also re-upped with the Generals.

St. Petersburg re-signed two important Finnish stars in Antti Niemi, 32, and Valtteri Filppula, 31. Each agreed to contracts of $5 million per year for two years plus a player option.

Munich made a long-term commitment to 35-year-old Henrik Sedin, while Helsinki did the same with Jerome Iginla, 38, who stipulated that he doesn’t have to come back and play in the defensive zone. Joe Thornton, 36, is another big name who stays with his current team, Lisbon, and 41-year-old wonder Tim Thomas signed a one-year deal to stay in Dublin.

President’s Trophy-winning Moscow retained the services of a somewhat unsung forward, Alexei Kalyuzhny of Belarus. In three seasons, Kalyuzhny has scored between 36 and 41 points for Moscow and he has more takeaways than giveaways. He will be paid $3.3 million for 3 years with a player option.

Paris made two-year commitments to defenseman Jason Krog and forward Clarke MacArthur.

Several other players signed with the teams Wednesday. For a complete list, go to the Websim Journal tab and click Contracts.

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