The free-agent signing of physical defenseman Douglas Murray makes even more sense for the Montreal Canadiens, now that we know the healthy return of the equally-imposing Alexei Emelin (knee surgery) will probably be delayed. "It may be later than that", Habs GM Marc Bergevin answered when asked if Emelin was still due back by late November.
Reportedly fully healthy, forward Mikael Samuelsson claims to understand that a strong -- and again, healthy -- showing in camp is necessary if he's to have any chance of earning a roster spot with the Detroit Red Wings. Meanwhile, new addition Daniel Alfredsson is expected to slot in on either the Red Wings' top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, or alongside Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen on the second line. One way or the other, Alfredsson is pegged to play on the Wings' top power-play unit. Also, Darren Helm (nagging back injury) should be good-to-go for the start of training camp.
Unsigned restricted free agent Nazem Kadri and the Toronto Maple Leafs remain at a standoff, as far as a new contract is concerned. The prospect of Kadri sitting out the start of training camp is starting to form into a realistic possibility. TSN's Bob McKenzie suggests Kadri and the Maple Leafs aren't even in the "same ballpark" as far as $/term is concerned.
The Carolina Hurricanes will likely be without veteran defenseman Joni Pitkanen (broken heel bone) to start the regular season -- if not for a good while longer. While the injury happened in April, the 29-year-old has yet to put any weight on his left foot. Until the squad gets a better idea of Pitkanen's prognosis, look for the Hurricanes to invite one or more free-agent defensemen to camp on a tryout basis.