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New York Rangers open NHL free agency by reaching deal to re-sign D Stu Bickel

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The New York Rangers have agreed to a contract with Stu Bickel to re-sign the defenceman.

The hard-hitting Bickel had nine assists in 51 games as a rookie last season. He had no points in 18 playoff games with the Rangers.

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He was an unrestricted free agent after his contract expired after this season. The Rangers acquired Bickel in a trade with Anaheim in November 2010.

The team announced the agreement on its Twitter account Sunday afternoon shortly after the NHL’s free-agency period opened.