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Lightning signs D Pratt

The Lightning signed restricted free-agent defenseman Nolan Pratt, said Rick Dudley, senior vice president and general manager. Terms were not disclosed.

Pratt, 25, was acquired from Colorado for a 2001 sixth-round draft choice June 24.

A 6-foot-3, 200-pound native of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Pratt appeared in 46 games for the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche, recording a goal, three points and 40 penalty minutes. Originally drafted 115th overall in 1993, Pratt has appeared in 203 games during the past five seasons with Hartford/Carolina and Colorado, recording five goals, 26 points and 275 penalty minutes.

"Nolan is a hard-nosed young defenseman who supplies the type of tenacity around the net we've been looking for, so we're happy to have him under contract," Dudley said in a news release.

BLACKHAWKS: Right wing Steve Thomas signed a free-agent contract. Thomas played for Chicago from 1987-91.

BLUES: The team re-signed left wing Cory Stillman to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.

CANUCKS: General manager Brian Burke said he's embarrassed by the "crazy money" some teams are spending this off-season. "I have never been more embarrassed to work in the NHL as I was on July 1 and July 2," Burke said Wednesday, referring tomultimillion-dollar deals signed during the first days of free agency. "I know we can't support the salaries. I know that some of the teams who have spent that money are doing it without the financial capability to pay the money. I'm going head-to-head with people who are crazy, as far as I'm concerned."

The team re-signed defenseman Murray Baron and goalie Dan Cloutier.

FLYERS: The team denied a report it traded Eric Lindros to the Edmonton Oilers, and the Oilers are saying they no longer are in contention to acquire the oft-injured center. The New York Times reported Wednesday that Philadelphia had reached a tentative deal with the Oilers that would send Lindros to Edmonton. Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe released a statement saying: "Unless there is some unforeseeable development, the Oilers are out of the Lindros sweepstakes."

MAPLE LEAFS: Having re-signed captain Mats Sundin for six years at $52.5-million, the team will turn its attention to goalie Curtis Joseph. Sundin's deal includes a no-trade clause. He will get $7.5-million for 2001-02, the same as last season, and $9-million in each of the following five years. Joseph, one of the league's best goaltenders, is under contract for $6.5-million for the final year of his existing contract, and can become an unrestricted free agent next July.

PANTHERS: Defenseman John Jakopin signed a one-year contract.

PENGUINS: Mario Lemieux said the league should consider a salary cap. "Some teams are losing $10-million, $15-million, $20-million a year," the team's owner said at a celebrity golf tournament in Quebec.

The team re-signed right wing Jason MacDonald.

STARS: Right wing Cameron Mann signed a one-year contract.

THRASHERS: Atlanta re-signed forward Per Svartvadet and defenseman Brett Clark.

WILD: Minnesota's leading scorer, Marian Gaborik, is scheduled for surgery for an abdominal strain Friday. Gaborik, 19, is expected to be healthy for training camp, the team said.