Roundup of the latest NHL signings and news in today’s collection of NHL headlines. 

Winger Jiri Hudler is among the few notables still available via free agency.

Winger Jiri Hudler is among the few notables still available via free agency.

 BLEACHER REPORT: Kris Russell, Jiri Hudler and Brandon Pirri are among the best players still available in the NHL unrestricted free agent market. 


MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers re-signed right wing Reilly Smith to a five-year, $25-million contract. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith is the third notable young player the Panthers re-signed in as many days, having also re-upped defenseman Aaron Ekblad and center Vincent Trocheck.

The 25-year-old Smith was acquired last summer from the Boston Bruins and wasted little time making himself an invaluable part of the Panthers roster, netting 25 goals and 50 points. He was also their leading scorer in the 2016 playoffs, with four goals and eight points in six games.

Should Smith continue putting up those type of numbers, he’ll more than earn his $5 million annual cap hit. 


WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets signed winger Patrik Laine to an entry-level contract. Laine was their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s NHL Draft.


SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Laine is expected to make the Jets roster this coming season. If he plays up to his potential, he’ll be among the candidates for the 2017 Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenseman Matt Tennyson to a one-year, two-way deal worth $675K at the NHL level.


DALLAS MORNING NEWS:  The Stars signed right wing Adam Cracknell to a one-year, two-way contract.


EDMONTON SUN:  Oilers winger and first-round pick (fourth overall) Jesse Puljujarvi is still recovering from recent minor knee surgery. He’s expected to be good to go in time for the start of the 2016-17 campaign