News: The Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel to Pittsburgh on Wednesday in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington and a draft pick, Sportsnet.ca reports. Analysis: Phil Kessel, who is coming off a season in which he notched 25 goals and 61 points in 82 games with the Leafs, to go along with a minus-34 rating, should benefit greatly from the change of scenery. While some may question his level of fitness and tenacity at times, Kessel remains a premier sniper at the NHL level and given his new team context, a 2015-16 bounce-back seems like a probable outcome for the 27-year-old, a dynamic talent when he is on top of his game. Contract-wise, Kessel is in the second year of an eight-year deal that carries an average salary cap hit of $8 million per season.
News: Kasperi Kapanen was acquired by the Leafs along with defenseman Scott Harrington and a future draft choice in exchange for forward Phil Kessel, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reports. Analysis: Kessel is the headliner of the deal and should be able to provide an immediate impact for the Penguins, but the 18-year-old Kasperi Kapanen provides the rebuilding Leafs with another talented forward to construct their future around. The Pens' first-round choice in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Kapanen arrived in North America late last season after tallying 11 goals and 21 points in 41 games for KalPa Kuopio of the Finnish Elite League. Had he remained with the Penguins, Kapanen was a candidate to make the club out of training camp this coming season, and he could be destined for a similar fate in Toronto. Center William Nylander, the Leafs' first-round choice last season, and Kapanen could become one of the NHL's more lethal combinations a few years from now.
News: Andrej Sekera signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Oilers on Wednesday, TSN's Aaron Ward reports. Analysis: It's a steep price to pay for a defenseman likely entering the back end of his career, but the Oilers have been desperate for help on the back end for years, and Andrej Sekera certainly qualifies as an upgrade. He struggled to make an impact for the Kings last season after coming over in a trade from the Hurricanes prior to the deadline, resulting in him finishing the season with a rather pedestrian total of 20 points in 73 games. The Oilers won't count on Sekera to be a driving force of their offense, but he'll provide a stabilizing presence in the team's top-four defense ranks to accompany Oscar Klefbom and Justin Schultz.
News: Thomas Hickey signed a three-year deal with the Islanders worth $6.6 million on Wednesday, NHL.com reports. Analysis: Thomas Hickey missed just one game over the past two seasons, but his fantasy utility is restricted to deeper formats, given his modest output on offense and in the PIM category. Hickey is coming off back-to-back 22-point campaigns, a span in which he accumulated 60 penalty minutes.
News: Matt Hunwick signed a two-year, $2.4 million deal with the Maple Leafs on Wednesday, TSN.ca reports. Analysis: Matt Hunwick, who notched two goals and nine assists to go along with a plus-17 rating in 55 games for the Rangers this past season, adds veteran depth to a Leafs' blue line that also has Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Stephane Robidas, Roman Polak and Tim Erixon under contract for the 2015-16 season, but he remains off the fantasy radar in most formats, despite the change of scenery.
News: Taylor Chorney signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Capitals on Wednesday, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: The one-way nature of the contract was probably the most important factor for Taylor Chorney, who couldn't receive that guarantee from the Penguins. The 28-year-old Chorney totaled 19 points and 42 PIM with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season, but he'll aim to stick around in a depth role with the Capitals, who are bidding a due to a number of defensemen in free agency this summer.
News: Stanislav Galiev re-signed Wednesday with the Capitals on a two-year, $1.15 million contract, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: Stanislav Galiev's contract will be a two-way deal for the upcoming season, and a one-way pact for 2016-17. The 23-year-old Russian left winger raised his stock at AHL Hershey last season after tallying 25 goals and 45 points in 67 games, and could be given the chance to compete for a roster spot with the Capitals in training camp. He ended up skating in two games for the parent club in 2014-15, notching his first career goal in an April 8 match against the Rangers.
News: Yannick Weber signed a one-year deal to remain with the Canucks on Wednesday, the Vancouver Sun reports. Analysis: Yannick Weber, who recorded 11 goals and 21 points in 65 games for the Canucks this past season, is slated to earn $1.5 million this coming season. He should continue to remain on the fantasy radar this coming season in his return to Vancouver, on the heels of recording a career-high five power play goals for the team in 2014-15.
News: Matt Halischuk re-signed Wednesday with the Jets on a one-year, two-way contract, Sara Orlesky of TSN reports. The deal is worth $750,000 at the NHL level. Analysis: Matt Halischuk only produced three goals and eight points in 47 games last season while averaging less than 10 minutes of ice time per contest in a bottom-six role. Coach Paul Maurice likes Halischuk's ability to play both left and right wing, but that versatility isn't likely to translate into an notable offensive production this coming season.
News: Adam Pardy (shoulder) re-signed Wednesday with the Jets on a one-year, $1 million contract, Aaron Ward of TSN reports. Analysis: The Jets' current roster is a bit overloaded on blueliners, but Adam Pardy's cheap contract will enable the team to keep him around as a depth defender. The 31-year-old, who is coming off April shoulder surgery, should be healthy for training camp, but projects as little more than a bottom-pair or No. 7 defenseman. He appeared in 55 games for the Jets last season, scoring no goals and notching nine assists.