News: Daniel Cleary says his knee problems are behind him and he's ready for a bounceback campaign after his worst season with the Red Wings, MLive.com reports. Analysis: Daniel Cleary signed for less to stay with Detroit but didn't end up doing much, with only eight points in 52 games. Cleary was a fairly strong producer for the Red Wings for several years, but at 35, is more of a veteran depth winger.
News: Riley Nash will center the second line between Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm in the Canes' first preseason game Sunday against Columbus, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: This looks to be a temporary assignment for now, as coach Bill Peters has decided to rest Eric Staal against the Jackets, meaning second- and third line centers Jordan Staal and Riley Nash move up in the pecking order. Once the regular season begins, Nash is more likely to be back centering the third line with the likes of Nathan Gerbe and either Patrick Dwyer or Zach Boychuk.
News: Eric Staal will be held out of the Canes' first preseason game as a precaution, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. Analysis: According to coach Bill Peters, Eric Staal is not injured, and has not not missed any practice time in camp. However, Staal did have surgery for an abdominal injury this summer, and it sounds like Peters is just being cautious with his star center in the early going. For now, this does not appear to be something that will affect Staal's preseason fantasy value, but it's worth keeping an eye on nonetheless.
News: Derek Stepan has a foot contusion after blocking a shot in practice, and is considered day-to-day, Andrew Gross of The Record reports. Analysis: Derek Stepan's day-to-day injury designation indicates that this is a minor injury, and should be ready start the regular season. Provided he does return to action soon, this injury should not affect Stepan's fantasy value.
News: The latest contract offer from the Ryan Johansen camp, rejected by the Blue Jackets on Thursday, is reportedly for two years and $12 million, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: That's down a million from their last proposal, which is some sign of progress, but it's still double the Jackets' offer of two years and $6 million. With multiple KHL teams inserting themselves into the mix, including a one year, $5 million offer from CSKA Moscow, things could get very interesting over the next few weeks.
News: With Ryan Johansen not in training camp due to a contract dispute, Boone Jenner will play center rather than left wing in the Blue Jackets' first exhibition game on Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Boone Jenner was an excellent faceoff man in the junior ranks, so Johansen's absence will be a golden chance for the sophomore to prove he shouldn't be playing on the wing.
News: Jarret Stoll, who had offseason hip surgery, has been a full participant in training camp so far, the LA Kings Insider reports. Analysis: Jarret Stoll's expected to fill a checking line role again for the Kings this season.
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 9. 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: Joe Thornton took issue Friday with general manager Doug Wilson's offseason comments about the Sharks rebuilding and becoming a "tomorrow team," reports the San Jose Mercury News. "That's Doug's opinion," said the big center. "I think if you'd ask anybody in here I don't think they have the same feeling." Analysis: There have been plenty of rumors about Wilson doing all he can to push Jumbo Joe into a place where the center either demands a trade or the situation becomes ripe to ship him out of town. There seems to be a bit of a ripple starting in San Jose -- we'll see how far it goes.