The Blue Jackets signed Jerry D'Amigo to a one-year, two-way deal.
D’Amigo, 23, was acquired by Columbus along with a conditional seventh round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Matt Frattin on July 1. D'Amigo had 20 goals and 13 assists (33 points) in 51 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) last season. In 22 games with the Leafs, he had three points (1G / 2A). He possesses a strong two-way game, but is unlikely to crack the Blue Jackets' roster out of training camp.
The Panthers and Jimmy Hayes avoid arbitration by minutes and agree to terms on a one-year, one-way deal.
After coming over from the Blackhawks, Hayes posted 11 goals and seven assists (18 points) in 53 games with the Panthers last season. Hayes will fight for a spot in the Panthers bottom-6 that has become increasingly crowded after a number of offseason signings.
Eric Staal underwent surgery to repair a "core muscle injury" and the Hurricanes expect him to be ready for training camp.
In 2013-14, Staal, 29, had his worst offensive season since his rookie season 10 years ago. His 61 points (21G / 40A) were nearly the same amount of points (53) that he posted in 48 games in the lockout shortened campaign. He is still considered a top-15 centre heading into this year, as long as this core muscle injury does not linger.
The Maple Leafs have signed Daniel Winnik to a one-year deal.
Winnik, 29, spent the last two seasons in Anaheim where he totalled 12 goals and 37 assists (49 points) in 124 games. Winnik is a solid bottom-6 forward that will make the Maple Leafs more difficult to play against. They spend the last few seasons with fighters on their fourth line, but this offseason they have inked a number of role players that bring more to the table than fighting.
The Red Wings have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with restricted free agent Tomas Tatar.
Tatar, 23, recorded 19 goals and 20 assists (39 points) in 73 games with the Red Wings last season. The Red Wings did virtually nothing in free agency, which means that young players like Tatar will take on bigger roles in 2014-15. He played in the top-6 for a large portion of last season because the Wings were ravaged by injures. He will likely start the year on the third line with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco, but with strong play could climb into the top-6 quickly. A 20-goal, 20 assist season should be Tatar's floor this year.
The Rangers and Derick Brassard avoid arbitration by agreeing to terms on a five-year, $25 million deal.
Brassard, 26, set a new career-high in goals (18) and finished the season fourth on the Rangers with 45 points in 81 games last year. In his first full season with New York, Brassard had one of his best seasons and cashed in big-time inking a $5 million dollar per year contract. He had a strong postseason as well, posting 12 points (6G / 6A) in the Rangers Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Expect Brassard to take another step forward as he looks to land a top-6 role and post his first 50-plus point season.
The Maple Leafs signed goaltender James Reimer to a two-year deal worth $4.6 million on Friday.
Reimer, 26, had a tough season in his first year of a timeshare with Jonathan Bernier. He finished the season 12-16-1 with a 3.29 GAA and .911 SV% which included a stretch of five straight losses when Bernier was injured--a time the Leafs really needed Reimer to step-up. Toronto does not look like the place for Reimer long-term so this deal gives the Maple Leafs a high-end back-up to start the season and the ability to trade him if the right offer comes along.
The Islanders have signed goaltender Kevin Poulin to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650K.
Poulin, 24, was 11-16-1 with a 3.29 GAA and .891 SV% in 26 starts and 28 appearances with the Islanders last year. He will start this season in the AHL and will not see playing time on Long Island unless Jaroslav Halak or Chad Johnson fall victim to injury.
The Flames have re-signed Joni Ortio to a two-year deal.
Ortio, 23, appeared in nine games for the Flames last season. He went 4-4- with a 2.52 GAA and .891 SV% in those contests. He will likely start the year in the AHL, but could be the goalie of the future for the Flames. If Jonas Hiller or Karri Ramo are to get hurt this season, Ortio will be the first netminder recalled from Abbotsford.
The Canadiens and Lars Eller avoid arbitration, agreeing to a four-year contract worth $14 million.
Eller, 25, scored 12 goals and added 14 assists (26 points) with a minus-15 rating in 77 games with the Habs last season. It was a less than stellar season when you consider the fact he put up four more points in the shortened season. At $3.5 million per season, the Canadiens will be expecting better production out of the Denmark native over the next four seasons.
The Flames and Joe Colborne have agreed on a two-year, $2.55 million dollar deal.
Colborne, 24, had 28 points (10G / 18A) in 80 games with the Flames last season. The 6-foot-5 forward had a minus-17 rating while he averaged 14 minutes a night. He will continue to see bottom-6 minutes with a little bit of power-play time, but probably won't be enough to make him fantasy relevant.
The Avalanche and Ryan O'Reilly avoid arbitration agreeing to terms on a two-year deal worth $12 million.
The Avalanche and O'Reilly have been working on a deal for awhile, and while it wasn't the long-term deal that O'Reilly was seeking, but the $6 million per year, is a huge raise for the 23-year-old. He had a great 2013-14 season, posting 28 goals and 36 assists (54 points) in 80 games. The most impressive thing for O'Reilly was he only took one minor penalty in the entire season. He will play a big role in the Avs' top-6 this season, where he will shoot for his first 30-goal season.
The Sabres signed Andre Benoit to a one-year contract at $800K.
Benoit, 30, had seven goals and 21 assists (28 points) in 79 games in his first full NHL season with the Avalanche last season. He joins a crowded, young D corp in Buffalo where he will serve as their sixth or seventh defenseman.
The Rangers signed Chris Kreider to a two-year deal worth $4.95 million.
With John Tortorella out, Kreider, 23 got a real shot to make an impact last season. The speedy winger registered 17 goals and 20 assists (37 points) and a plus-14 rating in 66 games in his first full NHL season. He will likely play on the top line with Derek Stepan and Rick Nash again this season, which makes him a 25-goal candidate this season.
The Penguins have signed Simon Despres to a two-year deal worth $1.8 million.
Despres, 22, split his time between the NHL and AHL in 2013-14. He had five assists in 34 games with the Penguins and 23 points (6G / 17A) in 36 contests with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Despres will battle Robert Bortuzzo for the Penguins sixth D slot in 2014-15.