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Second-round preview
NHL 320 ((Getty Images))
The Stanley Cup Playoffs have eight survivors now. Evan Berofsky breaks down the four series and picks conference finalists and Conn Smythe race. Full Story
Related Links:
• Second-round CBSSports.com predictions
Rankings
 
Most Added Players
Player% ±
1Steven Stamkos, TB, C1
Most Dropped Players
Player% ±
1Dennis Wideman, CGY, D-1
2Chris Kunitz, PIT, LW-1
3Jason Spezza, DAL, C-1
4Bryan Little, WPG, C-1
5Chris Kreider, NYR, LW-1
6Carey Price, MON, G-1
7Nick Leddy, NYI, D-1
8Brendan Gallagher, MON, RW-1
9Semyon Varlamov, COL, G-1
10Frederik Andersen, ANA, G-1
Projections
 
 
Player News
Alex Biega
Biega Signs With Canucks
Alex Biega, D, VAN
7/1/2015
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.

Drew Stafford
Jets Retain Stafford
Drew Stafford, RW, WPG
7/1/2015
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.

Dougie Hamilton
Flames' Hamilton Signs Six-Year Deal
Dougie Hamilton, D, CGY
7/1/2015
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.

Patrick Wey
Caps Prospect Wey To Retire
Patrick Wey, D, WAS
5:49 PM
News: Patrick Wey has elected to retire after suffering two successive concussions with AHL Hershey last season.
Analysis: Patrick Wey's two-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals was set to expire July 1, and though he likely could have earned another contract with some organization, he decided to put his health at the forefront. The 24-year-old, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Capitals in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, previously appeared in nine games for the parent club in 2013-14.

Lauri Korpikoski
Coyotes Send Korpikoski To Edmonton
Lauri Korpikoski, LW, ARI
5:25 PM
News: Lauri Korpikoski was traded to the Oilers on Tuesday in exchange for center Boyd Gordon.
Analysis: Lauri Korpikoski was often miscast as a second-line player during his time with the Coyotes, but he should settle into a more natural third- or fourth-line role with Edmonton. The winger recorded six goals and 21 points in an injury-plagued 69 games in the desert last season.

Boyd Gordon
Oilers Ship Gordon To Arizona
Boyd Gordon, C, EDM
5:18 PM
News: Boyd Gordon (back) was traded to the Coyotes on Tuesday in exchange for forward Lauri Korpikoski.
Analysis: Boyd Gordon annually ranks as one of the best performers in the faceoff circle, as illustrated by his 55.9 percent winning rate in 2014-15. However, that's about where his fantasy value begins and ends, as he's never been a big scorer or hitter, even by the standards of a fourth-line player. Additionally, his plus/minus rating remained a regular risk during his tenure with a bad Oilers team, and that figures to remain the case in 2015-16 with the Coyotes projected to be one of the league's worst units.

Mike Richards
Report: Border Stop Why Kings Terminated Richards
Mike Richards, C, LA
5:13 PM
News: Mike Richards had his contract terminated by the Kings on Monday after he was allegedly stopped by police June 17 and questioned about illegal presciption drugs near a Canadian border crossing, according to a report from TMZ Sports.
Analysis: Mike Richards reportedly wasn't charged with a crime during the police stop, but was asked about the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. It's not clear from the report if Richards was even carrying the drug in question at the time, though the Kings evidently determined from the evidence that the incident represented a "material breach" of the forward's contract with the team. The Kings were thought to be pursuing a buyout of the remainder of Richards' 12-year, $69 million contract, so the timing of the report will likely lead the NHLPA to investigate the situation closely. Regardless of the outcome, Richards is officially an unrestricted free agent and will be free to sign with any team.

Bryan Lerg
Sharks Re-Sign Lerg
Bryan Lerg, LW, SJ
4:59 PM
News: Bryan Lerg re-signed with the Sharks on Tuesday to a one-year, two-way contract, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Analysis: The 29-year-old Bryan Lerg had an impressive NHL debut with the Sharks in April, scoring a game-winning goal on a team-high eight shots against the Oilers, but he isn't expected to parlay that performance into a meaningful role during the upcoming season. Instead, he's likely to open with AHL Worcester, where he registered 13 goals and 41 points across 68 games in 2013-14.

Karl Stollery
Sharks Extend Stollery One Year
Karl Stollery, D, SJ
4:49 PM
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.

Nicklas Backstrom
Caps Hopeful Backstrom Ready For Start Of Season
Nicklas Backstrom, C, WAS
4:41 PM
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.

 
 
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