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NHL teams were busy making moves before opening of free-agent market

TORONTO - Free agency is officially open around the NHL, but plenty of action happened in the hours and days leading up to July 1.The Chicago Blackhawks stunned the league Tuesday by trading restricted-free-agent Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets because they couldn't sign the 22-year-old forward.Negotiations to sign him were ongoing, and Saad brushed off the notion of an offer sheet from another team."I'm going to wait to hear from my agent on getting a deal done with the Blue Jackets," Saad said.On Wednesday morning, the Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks were busy locking up their players for next season, and in some cases beyond.With trade options gone, the Flames re-signed goaltender Karri Ramo to a US$3.8-million, one-year deal.Nashville re-signed centre Mike Ribeiro to a $7-million, two-year deal after his impressive 62-point performance.The Ducks, who traded a second-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Kevin Bieksa, agreed to terms with the defenceman on an extension worth $8 million for two more seasons.Bieksa is under contract through 2017-18.---Follow @SWhyno on Twitter

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