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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.

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.

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