News: Nick Johnson signed with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League on Thursday. Analysis: Nick Johnson spent most of the past season at AHL Providence, where he compiled 18 goals and 24 assists over 51 games. The 28-year-old has struggled to find a permanent place in the NHL despite 113 career games at the level, so he opted for the stability of Sweden rather than another year slumming it in the minors.
News: Pierre-Marc Bouchard signed with EV Zug of the Swiss National League A on Wednesday. Analysis: The 30-year-old Pierre-Marc Bouchard saw action in 28 games with the Islanders last season, logging nine points and 12 penalty minutes. In heading back overseas to resume his career, it wouldn't be surprising if Bouchard never logged another NHL minute.
News: Steve Ott (abdomen) re-signed with the Blues on a two-year, $5.2 million extension on Thursday, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Steve Ott was a disappointment for the Blues after coming over in a deadline deal last season with the Sabres, totaling only three points in 23 games. However, the Blues apparently view him as a key cog on the second- or third-line, after Vladimir Sobotka decided to resume his career overseas. Ott underwent surgery to repair his abdominal area after the season ended, but should be fully healthy by the time training camp commences.
News: Jerome Samson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Lightning on Thursday, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports. Analysis: Jerome Samson spent all of the 2013-14 campaign at AHL St. John's last season, totaling 56 points and 49 penalty minutes in 68 games. He'll give the Lightning some depth on the wing at AHL Syracuse.
News: Eddie Pasquale has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Capitals, NHL.com reports. Analysis: Eddie Pasquale, who was acquired from the Jets on June 28, slots in as a depth goalie for the Caps behind Braden Holtby and Justin Peters. Out of the gate this season, look for Pasquale to split time at AHL Hershey with Philipp Grubauer.
News: Tomas Hertl said the tenderness in his knee that he first experienced in Tuesday's practice isn't anything to worry about, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Analysis: Tomas Hertl said that he only felt the sensation in his knee because he had been off the ice for more than a month. He'll likely take the next couple days off to rest before continuing his offseason workouts again.
News: Dany Heatley has signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Ducks, TSN.ca reports. Analysis: The 33-year-old Dany Heatley -- who notched 12 goals and 28 points in 76 games with the Wild this past season -- isn't the elite goal-scorer he once was, but he'll provide the Ducks with an experienced option at left wing. Keep an eye on who he ends up skating with in training camp, as Heatley could see increased production with Anaheim if he ends up on a scoring trio.
News: GM Jim Rutherford acknowledged Wednesday that Crosby is dealing with a right wrist injury, but indicated that it has yet to be determined whether the star center will require a procedure to address the issue, the team's official site reports. "Sidney Crosby has been undergoing treatment on a right wrist injury that he suffered during the season," Rutherford noted Wednesday. "Sid is continuing to get medical advice to determine the best path moving forward, including the possibility of arthroscopic surgery." Analysis: While there had been reports that Sidney Crosby was slated to have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist in the next few days, Rutherford indicated that a final decision on that front has yet to be made. With that in mind, Rutherford added that the team expects to have a decision on how to handle Crosby's injury "by early next week."
News: Cory Schneider signed a seven-year, $42 million extension with the Devils on Wednesday, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: After entering his first season in a timeshare in goal with franchise icon Martin Brodeur, Cory Schneider quickly established himself as the Devils' No. 1 netminder of the present and future. He finished with elite ratios (1.97 GAA, .921) and likely would have garnered more Vezina buzz had a middling Devils attack not stuck him with a so-so 16-15-12 record. With Schneider set to enter his age-29 season, the Devils will likely have him for the peak years of his goaltending abilities during the life of his contract.
News: Patrick Kane has signed an eight-year contract extension with the Blackhawks that runs through the 2022-23 season, NHL.com reports. Analysis: Along with Patrick Kane, the Hawks inked teammate Jonathan Toews to a deal with the same terms, with TSN.ca reporting that the duo's contracts carry an average annual value of $10.5 million, starting next season. The 25-year-old Kane, who is coming off a season in which he recorded 29 goals and 69 points in 69 regular season games, remains one of the league's most dynamic wingers and Wednesday's signings ensure that the Hawks' organization will continue to roster one of the league's top forward duos for the long haul.