News: The Canucks re-signed Alex Biega to a one-year, two-way contract Tuesday, the Province reports. The deal is worth $600,000 at the NHL level. Analysis: Alex Biega, who notched a goal in seven games with the big club in 2014-15, spent most of the season with AHL Utica, where he recorded 19 points in 62 games. The 27-year-old is thus slated to reprise his role as a depth blueliner for the Canucks' organization.
News: Drew Stafford signed a two-year, $8.7 million deal to remain with the Jets on Tuesday, Sportsnet.ca's Elliotte Friedman reports. Analysis: The 29-year-old Drew Stafford, who was acquired from Buffalo in February, finished up the 2014-15 season with 18 goals and 43 points in 76 games overall, but his production picked up with the Jets (19 points in 26 games), earning him a nice two-year payday with the team in advance of free agency. He'll likely be ticketed for a second- or third-line role this coming season.
News: Dougie Hamilton signed a six-year, $34.5 million deal with the Flames on Tuesday, Yahoo! Sports reports. Analysis: Dougie Hamilton came over from Boston in a trade last week, and it appears he's viewed as a key part of the Flames' future. The 22-year-old, who showed flashes of promise as a member of the Bruins, notched 42 points in an average of 21:20 of ice time per game last season.
News: Karl Stollery has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Sharks. Analysis: Karl Stollery appeared in a total of 10 NHL games last season between the Avalanche and the Sharks, but functioned primarily as AHL depth for both squads. He's slated to fill a similar role in 2015-16.
News: GM Brian MacLellan said last week that he is hopeful Nicklas Backstrom (hip) will be ready to play by the start of the coming season, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. "He should be [ready] more than likely...he'll start the year, I'm counting on [it]," McLellan said. "I think his hip surgery went well. He'll be close to starting the year, it looks like...I know [from] talking to the trainer and the doctor that everything's gone well, they expect the rehab to go well. Optimistically, I'd say I'm hoping he's coming back for training camp." Analysis: It's good to see that the Capitals are publicly expressing a positive outlook on Nicklas Backstrom, but the center's availability for the start of the season appears questionable nonetheless. Historically, arthroscopic hip surgeries have produced wide-ranging timetables for hockey players, with most recovery periods lasting 3-to-4 months. Moreover, it typically takes further time beyond that for players to regain their pre-surgery strength, making Backstrom something of a risky investment heading into 2015-16. The Capitals should have more concrete updates regarding Backstrom's health as training camp approaches, but the Swedish center might be best avoided for those in leagues with early draft dates.
News: Ryan White re-signed with the Flyers on Tuesday on a one-year, $800,000 contract, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: After inking a two-way deal with the Flyers last summer, Ryan White was upgraded to a one-way contract following his respectable showing with the squad. In 34 games, White tallied six goals and six assists, while piling up the hits in a bottom-six role. He's unlikely to raise his offensive outputs in the seasons to come, but White's blend of physical play and complementary scoring should make him a lineup fixture most nights.
News: Mike Angelidis re-signed with the Lightning on a one-year, two-way contract. Analysis: At 30 years old, Mike Angelidis is past his expiration date as a prospect, but he's been a competent organizational depth piece for the Lightning the last several seasons. He appeared in 64 games at AHL Syracuse in 2014-15, logging 20 goals, 18 assists, and 138 PIM.
News: Artem Anisimov and the Blackhawks are close to agreeing to a contract extension, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. Analysis: After the Blackhawks weren't able to come to terms on a new deal with restricted free agent Brandon Saad, the team shipped him to Columbus earlier Tuesday, with Artem Anisimov representing one of the five pieces the team received in return. While Anisimov won't be expected to fill the offensive void created by Saad's departure, he should provide a decent impersonation of Antoine Vermette, an unrestricted free agent who the Stanley Cup champs weren't expected to retain. Look for Anisimov to center the Blackhawks' third line this season and offer solid contributions in most phases of the game, though nothing that will likely result in him becoming a high-end fantasy commodity.
News: Sheldon Souray (wrist) wrote on his personal Twitter account that Tuesday would mark his "last day on an NHL roster." Analysis: The 38-year-old Sheldon Souray has missed the last two seasons due to a wrist injury that appears to have compromised his ability to shoot the puck. With his three-year, $11 million contract with the Ducks expiring at midnight Wednesday, it looks like Souray will head for retirement. He'll leave the game with four 35-plus point campaigns on his resume in a 13-year NHL career that included stops in New Jersey, Montreal, Edmonton, Dallas, and Anaheim.
News: Kevin Bieksa was traded to the Ducks on Tuesday in exchange for a 2016 second-round draft choice. Analysis: The Ducks weren't expected to reach terms on a new deal with Francois Beauchemin before free agency opened Wednesday, so they opted to plug the hole in their defensive ranks by acquiring Kevin Bieksa. Though Bieksa provided just four goals and 14 points in 60 games last season, he's a proven shot-blocking maven who isn't afraid to get his nose dirty on the back end. He'll provide a good counterbalance to the more offensively inclined Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm