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Wild sign Eric Staal while Okposo, Backes go to Buffalo and Boston

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Free agency is off to a solid start for the Minnesota Wild with a pair of signings:

  • Eric Staal, center
  • Alex Stalock, goalie

Staal is 31 years old and coming off the third season in his 12-year career with fewer than 20 goals. He spent 11 years with the Carolina Hurricanes before being traded to the Rangers at the deadline last year. He finished the 2015-16 season with 13 goals and 26 assists.

He's getting a three year, $10.5 million contract, the Wild announced.

"I feel like he's a guy that really has got a lot to prove," NHL champ Matt Cullen said on KFAN radio Thursday. "He's going to play with some attitude. I think he still has that fire, and to me, if he still has that, he's got the physical skill-set to be a difference maker. I have a lot of confidence that he's going to have a big year next year, I really do."

Stalock played at Minnesota Duluth and at 28 years old he's coming to Minnesota as the third goalie, behind Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper, according to Michael Russo.

The Wild have also reportedly brought back tough guy Chris Stewart, who was on the roster during Minnesota's 2014-15 playoff run.

https://twitter.com/andystrickland/status/748916766374453252

Meanwhile, two names that were linked to the Wild – Kyle Okposo and David Backes – have reportedly signed with the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins, respectively.

https://twitter.com/Russostrib/status/748919639535562752

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