News: Jake Gardiner and the Leafs are closing in on a long-term contract extension for the defender, reports Paul Hendrick of Leafs TV. Analysis: Jake Gardiner is one of the Leafs' best young defenders, despite his many on-ice mistakes of youth. The guy can skate like the wind and jump into the play in the offensive zone like few can. He will be a fantasy force if he can harness his many talents and tools.
News: Matt Fraser, who underwent surgery on his right foot a week after the 2013-14 season concluded, is slated to start skating in early August, ESPN.com reports. Analysis: The report adds that the winger -- who is coming off a season in which he recorded 20 goals and 30 points in 44 AHL contests with Providence, along with two goals in 14 NHL contests -- expects to be 100 percent for the start of training camp in September. At that time, the 24-year-old is in line to make a run at a roster spot with the Bruins, given that the team needs to fill a couple of spots up front after bidding adieu to veterans Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton this offseason.
News: Peter Mueller has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Blues, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Peter Mueller spent last season in the Swiss league, scoring 24 goals and 46 points for Kloten. Although he carries concussion concerns, Mueller is a skilled winger that can provide nice depth for the Blues.
News: Justin Fontaine has agreed to a two-year contract to remain with the Wild, the Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Justin Fontaine played 66 games during his rookie season for the Wild last season, finishing the campaign with 13 goals and 21 points, including a hat trick in January. Now, the forward will continue his development with Minnesota and likely see more playing time in the upcoming season.
News: Eric Staal underwent successful hernia surgery and is expected to be ready for Hurricanes training camp in September, USA Today reports. Analysis: Eric Staal's procedure will likely allow him ample time to recover by training camp and be fully healthy by the time the regular season begins. The 29-year-old posted 21 goals and 61 points in 79 games last season, production lower than his usual output. Nonetheless, Staal has only missed 17 games during his 10-year career, so durability isn't really a concern in wake of his recent surgery.
News: Jimmy Hayes has agreed to a one-year contract with the Panthers, the team's official website reports. Analysis: Jimmy Hayes joined the Panthers after being dealt by the Blackhawks on Nov. 14 of last year. Ultimately, the forward played 53 games for Florida last season, scoring 11 goals to go with seven assists.
News: Michael Frolik has re-signed with the Jets on a one-year contract, The Globe and Mail reports. Analysis: Michael Frolik was reportedly in discussions over a long-term deal to remain in Winnipeg, but instead settled on just a one-year contract. The right winger finished last season with 15 goals, 27 assists, and 42 points for the Jets.
News: Jerry D'Amigo signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, the team's official website reports. Analysis: Jerry D'Amigo was acquired by Columbus earlier this month in a deal that sent forward Matt Frattin to Toronto. The 23-year-old D'Amigo made 22 appearances for the Maple Leafs last season, scoring one goal to go with two assists. He'll compete for a roster spot with the Blue Jackets during training camp.
News: Jason Williams agreed to a one-year contract with AHL Oklahoma City on Friday. Analysis: Jason Williams, 33, last appeared at the NHL level in 2011-12 with the Penguins. He spent the last two seasons with Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss Elite League, charting 34 goals and 30 assists over 79 total games. He'll attempt to parlay his AHL contract into a call-up to the Oilers, but his age will certainly work against him.
News: Nicolas Deschamps signed a one-year contract with Oulu Karpat of Finland's Liiga last week, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: Nicolas Deschamps was non-tendered by the Capitals earlier this offseason, after scoring 15 goals and adding 25 assists over 65 games with AHL Hershey last season. The 24-year-old cited a desire to avoid the uncertain nature of a two-way deal as his primary reason for heading overseas, but he does hope to return to North America at some point later in his career.