The New York Rangers signed head coach Colin Campbell to a two-year contract extension, a move that could help the team’s efforts to keep free-agent captain Mark Messier.
His current contract, which paid the 44-year-old Campbell $475,000 this season, was set to expire after the 1997-98 campaign. His new pact runs through the 1999-2000 season.
Having signed Campbell to a new contract, Rangers general manager Neil Smith will now focus on Messier, who today became an unrestricted free agent and may be seeking a new contract for more than the $6 million he received this year.
The New York Islanders signed free-agent forwards Mike Hough and Jim Storm and goaltender Wade Flaherty as the National Hockey League free agency period began.
The Boston Bruins signed veteran enforcer Ken Baumgartner.
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