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Posted at 04:26 PM ET, 07/01/2011

NHL free agency updates: Washington Capitals trade Semyon Varlamov to Colorado; sign Joel Ward, Roman Hamrlik, former captain Jeff Halpern

The 2011 NHL free agent market is open for business. We’ll be posting notable updates from the Capitals and around the league as they happen (posted in reverse-chronological order), so join the conversation in the comments section below.

--Update: Capitals General Manager George McPhee and Coach Bruce Boudreau will be speaking to the media shortly, so we’ll have more to come soon on today’s moves.

--Update, 5 p.m.: Former Capital Tomas Fleischmann has signed in Florida — which hasn’t stopped making moves all day, it seems — for four years and $18 million, according to McKenzie.

--Update, 4:31 p.m.: The Capitals/Bears have made two more moves today. According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie: “WSH signs Ryan Potulny to 2 yr deal. 1st yr is 2-way, $525K/$105K. 2nd yr is $525K on one-way deal. Big-time AHL scorer”

They also added right wing Matthew Ford, reports Tim Leone. Ford scored a career-high 26 goals last season with Lake Erie.

Details on both signings can be found here.

--Update, 4:15 p.m.: Winger Marco Sturm, whom the Capitals picked up off of waivers two days before the trade deadline, has reportedly signed with Vancouver, according to ESPN’s Steve Levy.

Sturm, who was limited by knee problems much of the season, played in nine playoff games for Washington and had a goal and two assists in those games. He made $3.5 million last season and will make $2.25 million in a one-year deal with the Canucks, reports Nick Kypreos.

--Update, 3:22 p.m.: The Capitals have signed right wing Joel Ward to a four-year deal worth $3 million per year. They have also signed defenseman Roman Hamrlik to a two-year deal worth $7 million, via JF Chaumont. Much more to come soon in this expanded blog post.

--Update, 3:20 p.m.: Per TSN's Gord Miller, Steve Sullivan has signed a one-year deal with the Penguins worth $1.5 million.

--Update, 3 p.m.: The New York Rangers have signed veteran forward Mike Rupp to a three-year deal worth $4.5 million, according to Nick Kypreos.

--Update, 2:55 p.m.: Another backup goalie on the move. Peter Budaj heads to Montreal for two years and $2.3 million.

--Update, 2:50 p.m.: More goaltenders are moving into the Southeast as the Carolina Hurricanes have signed Brian Boucher to a two-year deal worth $1.9 million, reports Frank Seravalli from the Philadelphia Daily News.

--Update, 2:30 p.m.: The Flyers have signed Max Talbot to a five-year deal worth $9 million, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

--Update, 2:02 p.m.: The Capitals have traded goalie Semyon Varlamov to Colorado for a first-round pick in the 2012 draft and a second-round pick in 2012 or 2013. Much more to come soon in this expanded blog post.

--Update, 1:53 p.m.: Gordon's agent said the centerman did have an offer from the Capitals, but he's looking forward to a new challenge in Phoenix.

--Update, 1:51 p.m.: Veteran Ed Jovanovski, 35, returns to Florida on a monster four-year deal worth $16.5 million.

--Update: Here’s a separate entry on the addition of Halpern and the departure of Gordon, with more to come.

Other recent signings: Scottie Upshall has signed with the Florida Panthers, a four-year deal at $14 million.

Phoenix has signed Raffi Torres to a two-year deal at $1.75 million per year and goaltender Mike Smith to a two-year deal worth $2 million per season.

Radek Dvorak goes to the Dallas Stars for one year at $1.5 million.

--Update, 1:29 p.m.: Jaromir Jagr has ended the drama surrounding his whereabouts and NHL future, signing a one-year, $3.3 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Capitals center Boyd Gordon, meantime, is headed to Phoenix. The Capitals’ longest-tenured player signed with the Coyotes for 2 years -- $1.3 million next season and then $1.35 million in 2012-12, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

--Update, 1:21 p.m.: The Capitals have signed free agent center and former captain Jeff Halpern to a one-year deal. The 35-year-old Potomac, Md., native played 438 games for the Capitals from 1999-2006 and captained the team during the 2005-06 season.

--Update, 1:17 p.m.: Veteran defensesman Sean O'Donnell, 39, who was most recently in Philadelphia, has signed a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Chicago Blackhawks.

--Update, 12:57 p.m.: Former Capital and Wild goaltender Jose Theodore has signed a two-year deal worth $1.5 million per season with the Florida Panthers.

--Update, 12:53 p.m.: TSN's Bob McKenzie has reported that the Edmonton Oilers have signed tough guy Ben Eager to a three-year deal worth $1 million in 2011-12, then $1.1 million and $1.2 million in the final season.

--Update, 12:43 p.m.: Tampa Bay, which re-signed Dwayne Roloson earlier in the week, has added another goaltender to the mix. The Lightning have signed Mathieu Garon to a two-year deal worth $1.3 million per season, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

--Update, 12:37 p.m.: Puck-moving defenseman Andy Greene has re-signed with the New Jersey Devils for four years, according to Tom Gulitti of The Record.

--In one of the ongoing sagas of the last few weeks, both Pittsburgh and Detroit have said they will no longer try to sign winger Jaromir Jagr, who may still return to the NHL if anyone can actually find out where he is. There’s already been one notable signing today prior to the noon start of free agency, with defenseman James Wisniewski agreeing to a six-year deal worth $33 million with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis, meantime, said on his blog this morning that Washington will “make several offers today in an attempt to change up our lineup.” Stay tuned.

By  |  04:26 PM ET, 07/01/2011

 
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