Ladislav Smid
Flames Expecting Smid Back For Training Camp
Ladislav Smid, D, CGY
8/27/2015
News: The Flames' front office believes Ladislav Smid (neck) will be ready to skate during the team's first on-ice session at training camp in September, the Calgary Sun reports.
Analysis: Ladislav Smid's season came to an end last January when he required surgery on his neck, but his communication with the Flames to this point in the offseason suggests he has recovered well from the procedure. If healthy, Smid will compete in camp with Deryk Engelland for a spot as Calgary's sixth defenseman.

Dmitry Orlov
Orlov A Candidate For Caps' Third Pairing
Dmitry Orlov, D, WAS
8/26/2015
News: Dmitry Orlov is a candidate to open the season as a regular member of the Capitals' third defensive pairing.
Analysis: Since making a splash with the Capitals in his NHL debut season of 2011-12 with three goals and 19 points in 60 games, Dmitry Orlov has known nothing but frustration since then. Due to the 2012-13 lockout and complications from May 2014 wrist surgery, Orlov has logged just 59 games with the Capitals in the last three years, with none of those coming last season. Now finally healthy and still just 24 years old, Orlov is a potential breakout candidate for the Capitals, who are hoping he can assume some of the offensive burden left by Mike Green's offseason departure.

Mark Giordano
Flames' Giordano Signs Six-Year Deal
Mark Giordano, D, CGY
8/25/2015
News: Mark Giordano (biceps) signed a six-year, $40.5 million contract extension with the Flames on Tuesday, NHL.com reports.
Analysis: Mark Giordano, an All-Star last season, led all defensemen in scoring (11 goals, 37 assists) through 61 games before a biceps injury ended his 2014-15 campaign in late February. The 31-year-old is expected to be at full strength when the start of the upcoming season rolls around, and he projects as one of the top fantasy defensemen in most formats.

Sergei Gonchar
Pens Sign Gonchar To PTO
Sergei Gonchar, D, MON
8/24/2015
News: Sergei Gonchar has agreed to a professional tryout offer with the Penguins, Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: Now 41 years old, Sergei Gonchar will try to stave off retirement by returning to the team he skated for from 2005-06 through 2009-10 and led to two Stanley Cup Finals appearances. Routinely a 50-point scorer for the Penguins in those days, Gonchar has slowed down considerably with age, and was limited to just one goal and 13 points in 48 games split between the Stars and Habs last season. However, with the Penguins breaking in several young defenseman into the lineup in 2015-16, Gonchar may be able to claim an Opening Night roster spot if the prospects prove too green during training camp.

Matt Carkner
Isles Sign Carkner To PTO
Matt Carkner, D, NYI
8/24/2015
News: Matt Carkner signed a professional tryout contract with the Islanders on Monday.
Analysis: The 34-year-old never appeared in a game for the Islanders last season after suffering a back injury during training camp that required surgery. Matt Carkner was later activated from IR in mid-February and sent to AHL Bridgeport, where he spent the remainder of the 2014-15 campaign. Carkner's rough-and-tumble style has historically lent itself to high PIM totals, but the blueliner will face too difficult a battle to see regular ice time with the Islanders, much less win a roster spot this season.

Christian Ehrhoff
Ehrhloff Signs One-Year Deal With Kings
Christian Ehrhoff, D, LA
8/23/2015
News: Christian Ehrhoff signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Kings on Sunday, Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register reports.
Analysis: The 33-year-old was very likely hoping to retain a salary close to his $4.5 million figure from last year, so this is likely a disappoint for him. He was limited by injuries last season, but could re-establish value with a solid 2015-16.

Marek Zidlicky
Isles Showing Interest In Zidlicky
Marek Zidlicky, D, DET
8/12/2015
News: There is mutual interest between the Islanders and Marek Zidlicky, Newsday's Arthur Staple reports.
Analysis: Should the Islanders consummate a deal with Marek Zidlicky, an unrestricted free agent, it could result in top defensive prospect Ryan Pulock opening next season at AHL Bridgeport. If he signs, Zidlicky would provide the Islanders with a boost at one of the points of their power play, an area where the team struggled near the end of last season.

Jonathon Blum
Wild D-Man Blum Signs With KHL Club
Jonathon Blum, D, MIN
8/9/2015
News: Jonathon Blum signed a one-year contract with the KHL's Admiral Vladivostok on Friday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Analysis: The Wild extended Jonathon Blum a qualifying offer to keep in the organization as a restricted free agent, but the defenseman chose not to agree to a deal with the club. Blum will presumably take home a greater payday in heading over to Russia, and with a solid season, he could earn a one-way contract at the NHL level in 2016-17.

Viktor Svedberg
Blackhawks and Svedberg Agree To One-Year Deal
Viktor Svedberg, D, CHI
8/5/2015
News: Viktor Svedberg agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Blackhawks on Wednesday, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Analysis: Viktor Svedberg spent all of the 2014-15 playing for AHL Rockford, posting 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) and a plus-14 rating with 41 penalty minutes over the course of the season. He'll likely begin the 21015-16 season in a similar situation, but could be a borderline NHL player if the Blackhawks suffer injuries.

Brennan Evans
Evans Signs With Texas Stars
Brennan Evans, D, DET
8/4/2015
News: Brennan Evans signed an AHL contract with the Texas Stars on Tuesday, 100 Degree Hockey reports.
Analysis: Brennan Evans is a veteran of the AHL, where he's spent a total of 12 seasons without ever getting an opportunity at the NHL level. Unsurprisingly, the defender is expected to mentor the younger talent with Texas and isn't expected to receive a promotion at any point during the 2015-16 season.

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