(Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Roundup: Panthers, Penguins, Ducks, Stars sign prospects, depth players

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We have a handful of depth and prospects signings to bring to your attention…

The Anaheim Ducks are reporting that goaltender Frederik Andersen has signed a two-year, entry-level contract. He had an impressive 1.67 GAA and .941 save percentage in 39 Swedish Elite League games last season, but the big question is if he can make a smooth transition to North American hockey.

— Josh McFadden and netminder Michael Houser have agreed to entry-level contracts with the Florida Panthers, according to the team’s website. Houser had a 2.47 GAA and .925 save percentage in 62 games with the OHL London Knights. As a defenseman, McFadden had 15 goals and 41 points in 47 contests with the OHL Sudbury Wolves.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced the signings of Carl Sneep and Keven Veilleux to one-year, two-way contracts. Both are eligible to make $525,000 if they can spend the 2012-13 campaign in the NHL. Neither player is likely to make the team out of training camp, but you might see them as injury replacements before the season’s over.

The Dallas Stars announced that they’ve inked Troy Vance and Brett Ritchie to three-year, entry-level deals. Ritchie and Vance were taken by the Stars in the second and fifth rounds of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft respectively.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?