News: Preds GM David Poile addressed Ryan Ellis' contract situation Saturday, saying the main stumbling block continues to be money, according to the Tennessean. "Unfortunately at this time we have not agreed what they think and what we think is fair compensation," Poile said. "We want [Ellis]. We are not trading him, we really like him. We really like the way he played last year. It's just a disagreement on dollars." Analysis: Ryan Ellis, who has missed the first two days of training camp so far, played in 80 games last season for and finished with 27 points - his highest full season total to date. And while there is still plenty of time left to get a deal done before the start of the season, the clock is ticking. Not only is he missing out on conditioning drills and scrimmages, the more Ellis misses of training camp, the greater the chances of some other defenseman impressing the coaching staff and grabbing a roster spot that might otherwise go to Ellis. Bottom line, we think Ellis will get signed by the start of the regular season, but what his role on the team will be is anybody's guess. He's a risky fantasy pick right now, until all of the above gets sorted out.
News: Jon Merrill missed the second day of Devils' training camp on Saturday due to a head injury he suffered after colliding with teammate Ruslan Fedotenko during Friday's practice, Rich Chere of NJ.com reports. Analysis: Luckily for Jon Merrill, the Devils' first regular season game isn't until October 9th. While head injuries are never a good thing, the promising young defender should have ample time to get healthy before the regular season kicks off.
News: Ryan Callahan could start the season on the top line with Steven Stamkos and Ondrej Palat, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The trio was together at camp on Friday and head coach Jon Cooper was quick to tell reporters, "I don't think there's an open audition," to play with Stamkos. Analysis: Ryan Callahan didn't really spend a lot of time with Stammer last season, so he's the likely odd man out if there's juggling. But Palat had great success beside Stammer late in 2013-14. Stamkos himself liked the trio: "Obviously you want a mix of everything on a line," Stamkos said. "You want a guy who can distribute the puck, a guy that can shoot, and a guy that can go into a corner and get it. With the guys I was playing with (Friday), we had a good combination of that."
News: Ondrej Palat practiced with Steven Stamkos and Ryan Callahan on Saturday and Lightning coach Jon Cooper expects the trio to start the season together, reports the Tampa Bay Times. "We've got a group that has some success with him last year, and why wouldn't we go back to that again? At least at the start of the year," said the coach. Analysis: Ondrej Palat was a finalist for the Calder trophy and was a two-way revelation for the Bolts last year. He can dish the puck and did that well last year when he skated with Stammer late in the year. Palat's star is on the rise -- push him up your draft list. His two-way sensibility should insulate him against a sophomore slump.
News: Steven Stamkos opened training camp on a line with Ryan Callahan and Ondrej Palat, according to the Tampa Bay Times, and while the players were told not to read much into their line mates in camp, coach Jon Cooper was quick to suggest this trio would start the season together. "We've got a group that has some success with him last year, and why wouldn't we go back to that again? At least at the start of the year." Analysis: Steven Stamkos spent a lot of time with Palat and center Tyler Johnson near season's end last year. The Stamkos-Callahan-Palat combo is a nice mix of sniping, mucking and distributing. It looks like a good combo to us.
News: Jonathan Drouin was held out of practice Saturday and will miss Sunday's scrimmage due to an upper-body injury, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "This is not a long-term thing," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Saturday. "By no means is this serious. He'll for sure be back (this) week at some point." Analysis: Cooper indicated that Jonathan Drouin got "nicked up a bit" in a freak injury during rookie camp which opened Sept. 11. Drouin will return to action this week and be able to play in an exhibition match. The injury shouldn't impact his ability to make the team out of camp.
News: Jonathan Quick was able to practice Saturday but said that his wrist is still not 100 percent, ESPN reports. Analysis: Jonathan Quick is trying to work his way back to health, but the early news from Los Angeles continues to note that his season might get off to a slow start. While the injury doesn't seem to have long-term determinants, he's still a viable option for fantasy squads.
News: P.A. Parenteau scored two goals in an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday, Hockey Inside Out reports. He skated on a line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. Analysis: P.A. Parenteau, who was acquired in the offseason from Colorado, will be part of a few line combinations during the preseason to see where he fits best, so we're not jumping to any conclusions because he skated on the Habs' top line. Head coach Michel Therrien said he was pleased with Parenteau's conditioning, something he and general manager Marc Bergevin talked to Parenteau about when he was acquired.
News: Mark Stuart is dealing with a minor muscle issue, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports. Analysis: Mark Stuart is apparently improving and is considered day-to-day at this point. The injury doesn't appear as though it will cost him any regular season time.
News: Jordan Staal has been skating with Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty so far in training camp, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. Analysis: Although it's early and new coach Bill Peters will likely experiment with various line combinations before the start of the regular season, Jordan Staal could really benefit from inheriting his brother Eric's linemates from the last two seasons. Semin and Tlusty are two reliable, scoring wingers who are used to playing on the same line together, something Staal has often lacked since joining the Canes two seasons ago. One thing is for certain - Staal will once again open the season as the Canes' second-line center, so it's really just a matter of who will be his wingers at this point - likely some combination of Semin, Tlusty, Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm.