News: Stephane Robidas (upper body) was cleared for contact in August and is expected to be a full participant when the Maple Leafs open training camp, Lance Hornsby of the Toronto Sun reports. Analysis: Stephane Robidas' first season in Toronto was an injury-riddled mess, as he was limited to just 52 games before being shut down in mid-March with a sore shoulder and nagging pain in his ankle. It was later determined that Robidas was also dealing with a torn bicep, but the 38-year-old defenseman now seems to be fully recovered from the myriad ailments that plagued him in 2014-15. As the elder statesman on the Toronto roster, Robidas will be counted on to provide leadership along the blue line, though his actual fantasy contributions figure to be minimal. He scored just seven points while averaging only 17:04 of ice time last season, a number that could plunge further if the rebuilding Leafs decide to make room for more of their younger options on defense.
News: Zdeno Chara, who is bouncing back from the displaced fracture of his left fibula that he dealt with late last season, pronounced himself healthy in advance of the coming season, csnne.com reports. Analysis: Zdeno Chara finished the 2014-15 campaign with a modest total of 20 points in 63 games, to go along with 42 PIM, while averaging a career-low 23:21 of ice time. Injuries, including a torn PCL in his left knee that forced him out of action for more than a month, contributed to his dip in production, but a bounce-back could be in order now that he is healthy again. While hardly an up-and-comer at the age of 38, Chara is nonetheless being counted on heavily by the Bruins, especially with fellow blueliner Dougie Hamilton having been traded to the Flames. Ample ice time and a key role on the team's power play should thus provide Chara with an opportunity to re-establish his fantasy utility in 2015-16, in the absence of further injury setbacks.
News: Jay Rosehill signed a one-year, AHL-only contract with the Flyers' affiliate in Lehigh Valley, Dave Isaac of the South Jersey Courier-Post reports. Analysis: Jay Rosehill will stick around in the Flyers organization for a fourth straight season, but expect him to skate exclusively with Lehigh Valley, as was the case for all of 2013-14. As an enforcer with limited offensive ability, Rosehill is becoming an increasingly poor fit in the modern NHL, and could very well have played his last minute in the league.
News: Cody Eakin agreed to a four-year, $15.4 million contract extension with the Stars on Friday, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: The 24-year-old was a solid producer for the Stars in 2014-15, registering 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) in 78 games with the team. He will likely return to his role centering the Stars' third line this season, and should produce similarly barring significant injury.
News: Elias Lindholm signed a two-year, $5.4 million contract extension with the Hurricanes on Thursday. Analysis: Elias Lindholm was a solid contributor in his first full NHL season in 2014-15, registering 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 81 games with the team. He will return to his role as a top-six forward with Carolina this season, and should have a great shot at improving upon his offensive numbers from a year ago as he continues his development as an NHL forward.
News: Patrik Berglund aggravated a dislocated right shoulder while working out and is set to undergo surgery Friday, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He'll require at least four months of recovery time. Analysis: Patrik Berglund first dislocated the shoulder in 2013-14, and required surgery last offseason to address the issue. The center was able to recover in time from that procedure to play on Opening Night last season, but given how late in the offseason calendar the setback occurred this time around, it looks like Berglund won't take the ice again until the calendar flips to 2016. His extended absence could allow prospect Robby Fabbri to claim third-line center duties out of training camp, with veteran Scott Gomez also in the mix if coach Ken Hitchcock prefers a more experienced option for that role.
News: Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer with the Blues on Thursday, Andy Strickland of FOX Sports Midwest reports. Analysis: After failing to garner a contract in free agency for the second straight offseason, Scott Gomez will again head to training camp on a PTO, as he did last season in New Jersey. Though he wasn't able to crack the Devils' Opening Night roster, he continued to work out with the team after the tryout period ended and was eventually signed to the team when injuries opened up an opportunity in late November. Gomez would end the season as one of the more productive contributors on the offensively challenged Devils, finishing third on the team with 34 points. The Blues boast a far deeper roster of forward talent, but with the news surfacing after Gomez's signing that Patrik Berglund would miss at least four months following shoulder surgery, an opening on the third line could exist for the 35-year-old.
News: Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said recently that Max Pacioretty (knee) remains on schedule in the rehabilitation process, Arpon Basu of LNH.com reports. Analysis: Max Pacioretty sustained the knee injury while working out in Florida in early July, and was given a projected recovery timetable of 10-to-12 weeks. Given the length of the timetable, Pacioretty is expected to sit out all of training camp, and while his availability for the Oct. 7 regular-season opener in Toronto remains possible, he'd likely be subjected to limited minutes in the early going as he looks to build endurance. Once back to full health, Pacioretty should reemerge as the Habs' most dangerous offensive option after he potted 37 goals and a career-high 67 points in 2014-15.
News: The Flames' front office believes Ladislav Smid (neck) will be ready to skate during the team's first on-ice session at training camp in September, the Calgary Sun reports. Analysis: Ladislav Smid's season came to an end last January when he required surgery on his neck, but his communication with the Flames to this point in the offseason suggests he has recovered well from the procedure. If healthy, Smid will compete in camp with Deryk Engelland for a spot as Calgary's sixth defenseman.
News: Coach Mike Johnston said earlier this week that Sidney Crosby is expected to play next to Phil Kessel to begin training camp, CBS Sports reports. Analysis: The Penguins have cycled in a number of right wingers next to Sidney Crosby throughout his career, and while Patric Hornqvist proved capable in that capacity last season, he's not nearly as prolific at finding twine as Kessel, a five-time 30-goal scorer. With his health concerns beginning to fade away after missing only seven games over the last two seasons, Crosby once again looks like a reasonable choice at No. 1 overall in fantasy drafts, even after scoring only 28 goals in 2014-15, his lowest total in any year he's suited up for at least 60 contests. Crosby probably won't come close to approaching the 51-goal peak he reached in 2009-10, but a slight uptick in his anomalous 11.8 shooting percentage coupled with the likely increase in assist opportunities with Kessel blitzing the net could make a return to 100 points conceivable.