Smith-Pelly has agreed to a two-year, $1.6 million deal to return to the Anaheim Ducks.
Analysis: Smith-Pelly has scored 23 points in 75 games over the past three seasons with the Ducks, bouncing between the NHL and Anaheim's AHL affiliates. He had two goals and eight assists in 19 games last year for the Ducks. Smith-Pelly solidified his Anaheim roster spot with an outstanding postseason last spring, leading the Ducks with five playoff goals.
The Minnesota Wild have signed Niederreiter to a three-year contract. The Wild announced the deal Thursday.
Analysis: Minnesota had been negotiating with Niederreiter all summer and time was running short with training camp set to begin next week. But the two sides finally got the deal done, ensuring that the 22-year-old Niederreiter will remain with the team that helped jumpstart his career after it began with the New York Islanders. Niederreiter came to Minnesota in a trade last summer and had 14 goals and 22 assists to help the Wild to the playoffs.
Ovechkin says the right knee he injured at the hockey world championship is fine and he's been working out for the past month or so.
Analysis: The three-time NHL MVP says: "Everything feels fine and 100 percent." He says it took about two months for his knee to heal after he took a hit at the world championship in May. Asked whether he would play left wing or right wing under new Capitals coach Barry Trotz, Ovechkin replied: "Ask him about it. He's the coach and he's going to make the decision."
The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Sonny Milano, the club's first pick in the 2014 NHL draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Analysis: The 18-year-old left wing was the 16th overall pick in June's draft. A member of the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers, he is among 25 players representing the Blue Jackets at the annual NHL prospects tournament from this weekend in Traverse City, Michigan.
Longtime Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu has retired.
Analysis: The NHL players association announced on Wednesday that the Finnish star would call it a career after 18 seasons, all but five of which were spent in Montreal. He won four Olympic medals with Finland in the Winter Olympics, including a silver medal in their 2006 loss to archrival Sweden in the final.