Adam Pelech
Islanders' Adam Pelech: Grabs four-year extension
Adam Pelech, D, NYI
7/24/2017
News: Pelech agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with the Islanders on Monday.

After playing in just 44 games last season, Pelech is expected to take on an expanded role this year -- likely on the Isles' third pairing. When the 22-year-old was in the lineup during the 2016-17 campaign, he averaged a mere 16:50 of ice time but still tallied 10 points. With more outings and minutes potentially coming his way, the blueliner stands a decent chance of doubling his point total in the upcoming season.

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Johnny Oduya
Senators' Johnny Oduya: Finds new home
Johnny Oduya, D, CHI
7/24/2017
News: Oduya secured a one-year, $1 million deal with Ottawa on Monday.

Oduya's contract includes performance bonuses that could earn him another $1.25 million over the course of the season. For a 35-year-old player that logged a mere 52 outings last year -- split between Dallas and Chicago -- it makes sense to have an incentive laden deal. The blueliner has cracked the 20-point threshold just three times in his career -- and just once since 2008-09 -- so fantasy owners probably shouldn't be expecting an offensively dominate campaign out of him.

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Brian Dumoulin
Penguins' Brian Dumoulin: Secures long-term deal
Brian Dumoulin, D, PIT
7/24/2017
News: Dumoulin (hand) signed a six-year, $24.6 million contract with Pittsburgh on Monday.

Locking Dumoulin in for six years will allow the Penguins to continue pairing the shutdown defender with the offensively-minded Kris Letang (neck). The 25-year-old Dumoulin only registered 15 points last season -- along with a zero plus/minus rating -- but his contributions won't show up on the scoresheet as he is frequently tasked with going up against opposing teams' best players. Fantasy owners won't be scrambling to add the Maine native to their lineups -- nor should they be -- but Pittsburgh fans will be happy to have Dumoulin under contract through the 2022-23 campaign.

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Dennis Cholowski
Red Wings' Dennis Cholowski: On correct path in development
Dennis Cholowski, D, DET
7/23/2017
News: Cholowski has a long way to go before he'll be in the NHL, but he's committed to getting stronger and will be taking cues from offseason acquisition Trevor Daley in training camp, The Detroit News reports.

Detroit's first-round (20th overall) draft pick from 2016, Cholowski is said to have a determined mindset; the young defenseman wants to know what he can do to improve his game, and that's impressed Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff, who suggested the prospect takes note of Daley and how he "uses his speed and poise with the puck." Cholowski added one goal and 11 assists with St. Cloud State of the NCHC last season and also made a cameo appearance with AHL Grand Rapids. At this point, his destination for the upcoming season is still unknown.

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Tom Gilbert
Tom Gilbert: Jettisons for Germany
Tom Gilbert, D, WAS
7/21/2017
News: Gilbert reached a deal with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers of Germany's DEL on Friday, theScore reports.

Gilbert's racked up the frequent flyer miles over the years, as he's been associated with seven different NHL organizations. His final appearance at hockey's highest level came with the Kings last season, and he made a brief run with AHL Ontario before skipping over to Washington's minor-league affiliate in Hershey. A mobile minute-munching defenseman in his heyday, Gilbert's NHL career included 198 points (45 goals, 178 assists) in 655 games.

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Colton Parayko
Blues' Colton Parayko: Settles prior to hearing
Colton Parayko, D, STL
7/20/2017
News: Parayko agreed to terms with St. Louis on a five-year, $27.5 million deal Thursday, Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Parayko avoided the sophomore slump by registering 35 points -- two more than his rookie numbers. The blueliner averaged 21:12 of ice time which includes minutes on both the power play and penalty kill. The 24-year-old has performed well with the man advantage -- all four of his goals came with the extra attacker -- and he should continue to expand this role heading into the 2017-18 campaign.

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Nate Schmidt
Golden Knights' Nate Schmidt: Could avoid arbitration
Nate Schmidt, D, LV
7/19/2017
News: Schmidt's agent is hopeful that Schmidt and the team can get a deal done prior to his scheduled arbitration hearing in early August, Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The rearguard made $875,000 with the Capitals last season, recording three goals, 17 points and an impressive plus-22 rating in 60 games. Considering Schmidt's production came in a career-low 15:29 of ice time and would amount to 23 points over a full season, he's definitely due for a raise -- especially given his status as Vegas' de facto top defenseman. He was extended a qualifying offer prior to the expansion draft in June, but the offer came from Washington. Nonetheless, the two sides will have until Aug. 3 to come to terms on a new deal before Schmidt's pending arbitration hearing takes place.

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Mikhail Sergachev
Lightning's Mikhail Sergachev: Ready to earn NHL roster spot in camp
Mikhail Sergachev, D, TB
7/18/2017
News: Sergachev believes he's ready for the NHL, reports TSN.ca, and is confident he will win a spot on the blue line by Opening Night.

Sergachev knows he needs to earn the spot, but he's confident in his abilities. "I have to have a good summer; first of all, I have to be stronger," the young defender said. "I have to be faster to play in the NHL overall to be successful. ... I played a lot in juniors and I learned a lot from Windsor ... so I think I'm ready for the NHL." Sergachev will face stiff competition, as the Bolts currently have seven defenders who saw ice time with the squad last year under contract.

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Duncan Siemens
Avalanche's Duncan Siemens: Re-ups for one-year
Duncan Siemens, D, COL
7/18/2017
News: Siemens agreed to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with Colorado on Tuesday.

Selected 11th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft, Siemens has managed just four games with the Avs thus far. Given the two-way nature of the 23-year-old's deal, he could spend the bulk of the 2017-18 campaign in the minors. In four years in the AHL, the blueliner has never approached the offensive numbers he put up in juniors -- 43 points during the 2010-11 season -- and is close to being labeled a bust, if he isn't already.

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Dillon Simpson
Oilers' Dillon Simpson: Secures one-year deal
Dillon Simpson, D, EDM
7/17/2017
News: Simpson signed a one-year contract with Edmonton on Sunday.

Simpson spent the majority of the 2016-17 season with AHL Bakersfield, where he tallied three goals and eight helpers in 53 outings. The defenseman did get to make his NHL debut last year -- appearing in three games in which he averaged 10:53 of ice time, but was held off the scoresheet. The Oilers have some depth on their blue line which could make it difficult for the 24-year-old to secure regular minutes. Until his role with the team is more clearly defined, fantasy owners in all but the deepest of formats may want to hold off on utilizing Simpson for their lineups.

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