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Peltonen's Return

VilleThe Panthers plan to announce today that winger Ville Peltonen has agreed on a new contract. Don't know years or numbers, but Pelts made $795,000 last season so expect a bit of a raise (and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a two-year deal).

Peltonen had a very productive season with the Panthers. After spending five seasons in Europe, Peltonen -- who once played in Nashville -- set career highs with 17 goals and 20 assists.

Will have more on this at MiamiHerald.com when it comes available. JM says he's going to address the local media later this afternoon. Ville is in Finland preparing for the World Championships that start later this week in Russia.

Ville still has some legal things going on after the Nikki Beach incident on South Beach earlier this month, but my people tell me he's going to plead out and take a first-time offenders deal. As long as he stays out of trouble, this thing is over.

-- The good folks at the NHL pass along this little tidbit from the Elias Sports Bureau: In their seven-game victory over Dallas, Vancouver only led for 45 minutes and 55 seconds (9 percent) of the 512:15 of that game. The first-round lead-time figures for the other Conference Semifinalists (by percentage of total playing time): New York Rangers 166:00, 69.2%; Ottawa Senators 179:09, 59.7%; Buffalo Sabres 171:54, 57.3%; Anaheim Ducks 153:18, 51.1%; New Jersey Devils 173:55, 46.6%; San Jose Sharks 147:46, 45.0%; Detroit Red Wings 154:39, 40.2% .

The Rangers trailed only 7:11 (or 3%) of the 240 minutes in their first-round sweep of the Atlanta Thrashers.

-- Also from the NHL: With the retirement of Scott Mellanby, Vancouver's Trevor Linden (1,323 regular-season games) becomes the tenured player still looking for his first Cup. Anaheim's Teemu Selanne (1,041) is next.