News: Zbynek Michalek signed a two-year, $6.4 million contract with the Coyotes on Wednesday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: Just months after dealing Zbynek Michalek away to the Blues prior to the trade deadline, the Coyotes will bring the defenseman back in what marks his third stint with the organization. Michalek isn't a big name in fantasy circles after totaling four goals and eight assists across 68 games in 2014-15, but his abilities as a shot blocker won't be overlooked by the Coyotes. He'll likely settle back into a top-four role on a suddenly improving blue line.
News: Steve Downie agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Coyotes on Wednesday, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Steve Downie showcased an ability to pitch in as a depth scorer (14 goals, 28 points in 72 games) and ruffle the feathers of the opposition (a league-leading 238 PIM) last season with Pittsburgh, attributes that should earn him increased ice time in the desert. The Coyotes don't have much depth to speak of at either of the wing spots, which could potentially result in Downie settling into a second- or third-line role.
News: Brad Richardson (ankle) signed a three-year contract with the Coyotes on Wednesday, John Shannon of Sportsnet reports. Analysis: The Coyotes might have the worst collection of forwards in the league, and while Brad Richardson's addition likely won't dramatically improve matters, he at least gives the team additional depth. Skating mostly as the Canucks' third-line center last season, Richardson produced eight goals and 21 points in 45 games. He could be ticketed for a top-six role with his new club.
News: Anders Lindback signed a one-year, $875,000 contract with the Coyotes on Wednesday, ArizonaSports.com reports. Analysis: Anders Lindback, who has posted a career .905 save percentage and 2.83 goals against average in 111 NHL appearances to date, is now in line to back up Mike Smith next season. In his new team context, Lindback figures to be a hit-or-miss fanasy option when he is called upon by the Coyotes to start.
News: Blake Comeau signed a three-year, $7.2 million contract with the Avalanche on Wednesday, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reports. Analysis: The Avalanche will plug in Blake Comeau to replace the departed Jamie McGinn, who was dealt to the Sabres prior to last week's NHL Entry Draft. The 29-year-old Comeau tallied 16 goals and 31 points in 61 games while briefly seeing time in the Pens' top-six ranks last season.
News: Michal Neuvirth signed a two-year deal with the Flyers on Wednesday worth $3.25 million, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Analysis: Michal Neuvirth, who played in 32 games last season for the Sabres and Islanders, compiling a 2.98 GAA and .914 save percentage in the process, is thus slated to serve as a backup to starter Steve Mason in Philly. He's essentially replacing veteran netminder Ray Emery in that role.
News: Paul Martin signed a four-year contract with the Sharks on Wednesday, Curtis Pashelka of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Analysis: Paul Martin will provide the Sharks with a left-shot, minutes-eating defenseman with a penchant for physicality. He'll likely slot behind Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the Sharks' second pairing. The 34-year-old contributed three goals and 20 points in 74 games last season for the Penguins.
News: Scott Harrington was acquired along with prospect Kasperi Kapanen and a future draft pick in exchange for forward Phil Kessel, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reports. Analysis: Kapanen is the better prospect of the two players the Leafs are receiving in return, but Scott Harrington provides the team with a solid building block on defense. The 22-year-old has a limited offensive ceiling, but possesses the ability to advance the puck while playing responsibly in his own zone. Those traits could be enough for him to claim a full-time role with Toronto out of training camp.
News: The Maple Leafs traded Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and 2016 second-round pick to Pittsburgh on Wednesday in exchange for Nick Spaling, Kasperi Kapanen, Scott Harrington and a pair of draft picks, 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.