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Allison a Maple Leaf

Former Bruins center Jason Allison, who missed most of the 2002-03 season and all of the following year with the Kings because of a neck injury and concussion, signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday.

Allison, 30, set career highs in the 2000-01 season with 36 goals and 59 assists in 82 games. He was third in the NHL in power-play points, fifth in points, and seventh in assists.

In his last full season in 2001-02, Allison topped the league with 32 power-play assists and was second with 55 overall assists.

Allison led the Bruins in scoring three times (1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01) and the Kings once (2001-02). He played in the 2001 All-Star Game and won back-to-back gold medals with Canada at the world junior championships in 1994 and '95.

Allison has played 486 career NHL games for Washington, Boston, and Los Angeles, recording 137 goals and 288 assists.

Kariya a Predator

Paul Kariya signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Nashville Predators. ''They showed a commitment to me that I was the guy they wanted to bring to Nashville, and I was very excited about their hockey club," Kariya said in a teleconference. The 30-year-old forward spent his first seven NHL seasons with Anaheim, helping the Mighty Ducks reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2003. Then he joined up with former teammate Teemu Selanne, and the pair signed free agent deals with Colorado for the 2003-04 season. He said he chose Nashville because the Predators started courting him the instant free agency opened. In 10 NHL seasons, the former University of Maine star has 311 goals and 705 points in 657 games . . . Free agent goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who won the 2003-04 Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, signed a four-year, $27 million contract with the Blackhawks. Khabibulin, 32, played in 55 regular-season games for the Lightning during 2003-04, posting a 28-19-7 record with three shutouts, a 2.33 goals-against average, and a .910 save percentage. The Blackhawks also signed free agent center Jim Dowd to a one-year, $525,000 deal . . . Former Vancouver forward Brad May signed a two-year deal with the Avalanche. The 33-year-old rugged left winger had five goals, six assists, and 137 penalty minutes in 70 games with the Canucks in 2003-04 . . . The Oilers agreed to terms with goaltender Jussi Markkanen (two years) and defenseman Igor Ulanov (one year) . . . Center Brendan Morrison, a restricted free agent, re-signed with the Canucks for three years. Morrison, 29, was Vancouver's second-leading scorer with 60 points in 2003-04 . . . Alexander Ovechkin, the No. 1 pick in last year's NHL draft, agreed to a three-year contract with Washington. The 19-year-old left winger opted out of a deal with a Russian club . . . Sidney Crosby, the No.1 pick in last weekend's draft, will skip the Canadian junior national team development camp next weekend to attend the Penguins' rookie camp. Crosby would have to miss part of the season in December to play for the Canadian team. But there seems little chance the Penguins would part with their prized draft pick during a peak attendance period.

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