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					               SPORT-SCAN                                                         DAILY BRIEF
                                                                        NHL 9/27/2011

         Anaheim Ducks                                                                     Edmonton Oilers
579901   Deslauriers good insurance for Ducks                                     579936   Oilers send defenceman Plante, 10 more hopefuls back to
579902   Ducks assign Sexton, six others to minors                                         AHL's Barons, Marincin returns to WHL's Cougars
                                                                                  579937   Oilers' Hemsky returns to action for first time since March 1
         Boston Bruins                                                            579938   Oilers options in net
579903   Tuukka Rask time on increase                                             579939   Teubert still groggy
579904   Joe Corvo plans to let it fly                                            579940   Hemsky is ready
579905   Bruins score pair of PP goals to beat Canadiens
                                                                                           Florida Panthers
         Buffalo Sabres                                                           579941   Florida Panthers’ Scott Clemmensen undergoes minor knee
579906   Kotalik, Morrisonn assigned to Rochester                                          surgery
579907   Rochester Amerks' Brennan aims to make Sabres take                       579942   Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen undergoes
         notice                                                                            surgery
579908   Kotalik, Morrisonn assigned to the Amerks
                                                                                           Los Angeles Kings
         Calgary Flames                                                           579943   Leiweke eager for Doughty's return to Kings but backs GM
579909   Oilers burn Flames 3-0 in Calgary preseason shutout                               Lombardi
579910   Butler's numbers talk of trade                                           579944   Chemistry needed, and Pens’ lineup
579911   Juniors, prospects axed from Flames                                      579945   Westgarth, Muzzin updates
                                                                                  579946   Third-line spot up for grabs?
         Carolina Hurricanes                                                      579947   Camp cuts officially announced
579912   Ward, Canes shutout Jets
                                                                                           Minnesota Wild
         Chicago Blackhawks                                                       579948   Staubitz suspended for the first 3 games
579913   Blackhawks to try Kane on center stage                                   579949   Aaron Boogaard allowed to join Houston farm team
579914   Blackhawks forward Sharp 'progressing'                                   579950   Q&A with Wild GM Chuck Fletcher: 'We needed to make
579915   Blackhawks reduce roster to 33                                                    some dramatic changes'
579916   Experiment on: Patrick Kane may be Blackhawks’ new                       579951   NHL suspends Wild's Brad Staubitz for first three games of
         centerpiece                                                                       regular season
579917   Blackhawks’ Kane will give it a shot at center
579918   Hawks will get best from Kane at wing                                             Montreal Canadiens
579919   Blackhawks' Kane willing to give center a shot                           579952   Bruins rally past Canadiens
579920   Sharp continues to make progress, skates on own                          579953   Diminutive Gallagher makes big impression with Habs
                                                                                  579954   NHL Monday: Bruins edge Habs 2-1 at Bell Centre
         Colorado Avalanche                                                       579955   Gallagher's best impresses at Montreal Canadiens camp
579921   Stefan Elliott's scoring ability could earn him job with Avs             579956   Montreal Canadiens sign defenceman Chris Campoli
579922   Colorado Avalanche sends Stoa, Holos, Gaunce down to                     579957   Canadiens' tickets are hot sellers
         Lake Erie Monsters                                                       579958   Tougher than expected
579923   Avs reassign Holos, Gaunce and Stoa                                      579959   Habs ink Campoli

         Columbus Blue Jackets                                                             Nashville Predators
579924   Blue Jackets' Wisniewski to sit eight games                              579960   Blake Geoffrion on mend, eager to return to ice
579925   Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 1: Final auditions are under way                579961   Preds' Colin Wilson hopes to use minimal 2011 playoff role
579926   Michael Arace commentary: 5-7 Atkinson could loom large in                        as motivation
         Jackets’ future
                                                                                           New Jersey Devils
         Dallas Stars                                                             579962   Devils Will Retire Niedermayer's Number
579927   Future looks bright for Stars' minor league goaltending pair             579963   Devils will retire Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 on Dec. 16
                                                                                  579964   Devils looking at a Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora line
         Detroit Red Wings                                                        579965   Devils' Travis Zajac: I won't rush back from Achilles surgery
579928   Red Wings GM Ken Holland: Jan Mursak to miss three                       579966   Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora on Devils' line with Zach Parise
         months                                                                   579967   Devils to retire Scott Niedermayer's number on Dec. 16
579929   Injury to Red Wings' Jan Mursak opens opportunity for                    579968   Scott Niedermayer will have No. 27 retired by New Jersey
         Fabian Brunnstrom                                                                 Devils at December game vs. Dallas Stars
579930   Red Wings' success relies on key players to step up                      579969   Devils to retire Niedermayer's No. 27 on Dec. 16
579931   Wings' Jan Mursak has broken ankle, could miss three
         months                                                                            New York Islanders
579932   Red Wings show improvement in special teams against                      579970   Nielsen could get shot on power-play unit
         Blackhawks
579933   Rosters for Red Wings Red & White game Tuesday in Grand
         Rapids
579934   Red Wings' Jan Mursak out closer to three months
579935   Grand Rapids hockey fans eager for Red Wings' Red-White
         game at Van Andel Arena
         New York Rangers                                                        Washington Capitals
579971   Rangers Land in Winter Classic, Then in an On-Ice              580018   Washington Capitals look for a contender to stand out in
         Controversy                                                             competition for final roster spot
579972   NHL Winter Classic to feature NY Rangers & Philadelphia        580019   Capitals claim first preseason victory, 3-1 over Blue Jackets
         Flyers - GM Glen Sather guarantees win, Cup                    580020   Statistical analysis: Is Alex Ovechkin an elite scorer or just a
579973   Sather predicts Rangers, Yanks titles                                   good shooter?
579974   Avery: Fighting Flyer took homophobic shot at me               580021   Ted Leonsis: ‘Alex isn’t fat. I’m fat’
579975   Rangers-Flyers in Winter Classic                               580022   Capitals claim first preseason victory, 3-1 over Blue Jackets
579976   Gross: Sather hopeful regarding Staal's return                 580023   Experiments continue in Capitals' first preseason win
579977   Sather heats up Winter Classic rivalry
579978   Sean Avery accuses Wayne Simmonds of homophobic slur                    Websites
                                                                        580033   ESPN / Pageantry of the Winter Classic
         Ottawa Senators                                                580034   ESPN / Canadiens sign Chris Campoli
579979   Sens set to trim roster to 26 players                          580035   NBCSports.com / Sean Avery accuses Wayne Simmonds of
579980   Senators shuffle lines for Hockeyville game                             making homophobic remarks during preseason game
579981   Cheapseats: Cole at home ... Sens doc on road                  580036   Sportsnet.ca /Veterans cast aside
                                                                        580037   Sportsnet.ca /A big hit
         Philadelphia Flyers                                            580038   USA TODAY / NHL suspends James Wisniewski, Brad
579982   NHL Winter Classic: It's Broad Street vs. Broadway                      Staubitz
579983   Home of the Phillies to host NHL Winter Classic                580039   YAHOO SPORTS / Lightning star Steven Stamkos: No pain,
579984   It's official: Flyers-Rangers in Winter Classic                         no gain
579985   Now 'Classic' cameras roll
579986   Rinaldo in fight for Flyers roster spot                                 Winnipeg Jets
579987   Jagr scores two goals as Flyers top Rangers                    580024   REPLAY: Jets down Senators 3-1 in Newfoundland
579988   Jagr, Bryz, Rinaldo a laughfest                                580025   Clock ticking as players fight to make Jets
579989   Jagr scores twice as Flyers top Rangers                        580026   It's not whether Jets win or lose...
579990   NHL Winter Classic: It's Broad Street vs. Broadway             580027   Bodie scores big goal, goes bare-knuckles with Neill
579991   Flyers to host Winter Classic                                  580028   Scheifele shines again
579992   Flyers' Hartnell sidelined with elevated heart rate            580029   No fixed address no fun for Festerling
579993   Read making a good impression                                  580030   HIGHLIGHT REEL Jets 3 / Senators 1
579994   It's official: Philadelphia to host Winter Classic             580031   Lure of NHL irresistible / Well-travelled Aebischer wants one
579995   Avery accuses Simmonds of slur                                          last shot at glory between pipes
579996   Prospect Rinaldo using preseason to grow                       580032   Jets Snapshots: Scheifele stepping up
579997   Stage set for Flyers-Rangers Winter Classic                                    SPORT-SCAN, INC. 941-284-4129
579998   Winter Classic will be heavily hyped affair

         Phoenix Coyotes
579999   Phoenix Coyotes next 2 games will help shape roster

         Pittsburgh Penguins
580000   Penguins' goal on 'D' is 200 or fewer goals
580001   Penguins' Orpik still recovering from surgery
580002   LW Neal is feeling all right in move

         San Jose Sharks
580003   San Jose Sharks notebook: Coach rewarding Tommy
         Wingels' strong play with a move to third line

         St Louis Blues
580004   Blues welcome back Perron
580005   Timetable for Perron return still unknown
580006   Nichol expected to be cleared soon
580007   Elliott, Bishop battle to be backup goaltender
580008   Perron says he is happy to be back

         Tampa Bay Lightning
580009   Lightning's Boucher wants intensity in final preseason games
580010   Tampa Bay Lightning to enjoy team-building activities on
         Canada trip

         Toronto Maple Leafs
580011   NHL's concussion victims ready to face future
580012   Leafs key battles coming into focus
580013   Which Leafs will be left standing? 0
580014   Brown looks to get into game shape 0

         Vancouver Canucks
580015   The Max factor may not help Duco's chances with the
         Canucks
580016   Vigneault keeping an eye on Canucks' pre-season workload
580017   Kuzma: Is rest the best medicine for Canucks?
579901     Anaheim Ducks


Deslauriers good insurance for Ducks


By ERIC STEPHENS


Jeff Deslauriers, who signed this summer largely because of a goaltending
situation that had deteriorated in Syracuse, is showing himself to be a
potentially solid insurance policy.
Deslauriers went the distance for the first time in the exhibition season and
put together a strong performance against a Kings team full of regulars as
he made 32 saves in the Ducks' 3-1 victory Sunday night at Staples Center.
In a little over 6 1/2 periods of action spread over four games, Deslauriers
has stopped 64 of 69 shots for a .927 save percentage.
Jonas Hiller and Dan Ellis are expected to be the Ducks duo to start the
season, but Coach Randy Carlyle praised Deslauriers' work in camp and
wants Edmonton's 2002 second-round pick to push the other two
netminders.
SEVEN CUT
The Ducks further cut down their training camp roster by assigning seven
players to Syracuse of the American Hockey League, including forwards
Dan Sexton, Kyle Palmieri and Peter Holland.
Also assigned to the Crunch was center Nick Bonino, left wing Nicolas
Deschamps and defensemen Mat Clark and Sean Zimmerman. Sexton and
Zimmerman will need to clear waivers before reporting to Syracuse.
Some of the notable players still competing for spots on the 23-man roster
are wingers Andrew Gordon, Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly,
veterans Jean-Francois Jacques and Brian McGrattan and defensemen
Nate Guenin and Bryan Rodney.
Gordon's impressive training camp was a likely factor in Palmieri and
Sexton being moved out as the former Washington Capitals farmhand
outplayed the two. Palmieri figured to be a strong contender for a third-line
spot on the wing after leading Syracuse with 29 goals and 51 points last
season.
Meanwhile, Sexton has had trouble regaining the form that he showed
when he first came up with the Ducks early in the 2009-10 season. Sexton
is on a two-way contract with the Ducks this season which turns into a one-
way deal for next.
Orange County Register: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579902     Anaheim Ducks


Ducks assign Sexton, six others to minors


posted by Eric Stephens, Staff writer


The Ducks further cut down their training camp roster by assigned seven
players to Syracuse of the American Hockey League, including forwards
Dan Sexton, Kyle Palmieri and Peter Holland.
Also assigned to the Crunch was center Nick Bonino, left wing Nicolas
Deschamps and defensemen Mat Clark and Sean Zimmerman. Sexton and
Zimmerman will need to clear waivers before reporting to Syracuse.
Some of the notable players still competing for spots on the 23-man roster
are wingers Andrew Gordon, Patrick Maroon and Devante Smith-Pelly,
veterans Jean-Francois Jacques and Brian McGrattan and defensemen
Nate Guenin and Bryan Rodney.
Gordon’s impressive training camp was a likely factor in Palmieri and
Sexton being moved out as the former Washington Capitals farmhand
outplayed the two. Palmieri figured to be a strong contender for a third-line
spot on the wing after leading Syracuse with 29 goals and 51 points last
season.
Meanwhile, Sexton has had trouble regaining the form that he showed
when he first came up with the Ducks early in the 2009-10 season. Sexton
is on a two-way contract with the Ducks this season which turns into a one-
way deal for next.
Orange County Register: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579903     Boston Bruins                                                          Boston Herald LOADED: 09.27.2011


Tuukka Rask time on increase


By Stephen Harris / Bruins Notebook | Tuesday, September 27, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


MONTREAL — Tuukka Rask made his second start of the preseason last
night against the Canadiens in the Bruins’ fourth game. That’s a 50 percent
workload for last year’s backup netminder.
It may just be the job he’ll be asked to do during the upcoming season.
“Tuukka is going to have to carry a little bit more of the load,” coach Claude
Julien said before Rask stopped 31-of-32 shots in the B’s 2-1 victory
against their old pals. “We’re fortunate to have a goaltender who can do
that. It was a long season for everyone, certainly Tim (Thomas) included.
So we plan on seeing Tuukka play a little bit more this year.”
This was a fairly tame affair in comparison to so many B’s-Habs battles
here over the decades, with mostly angry words — Milan Lucic got mad at
Gabriel Dumont for a high stick, and Shawn Thornton got really, really mad
at Josh Gorges for an elbow to the head.
Veteran winger Chris Clark, set up on a sweet goalmouth, backhand feed
from Max Sauve, snapped in the game-winner with 6:45 left. Earlier, Tyler
Seguin found a loose puck and ripped it by Carey Price.
Seguin winging it
Seguin’s natural position is center, and that is where he will likely spend
most of his NHL career. Last season, for understandable reasons, he
mostly played the wing.
Until last night, he’d been in the middle and looked quite comfortable. In this
one he skated on right wing next to David Krejci and Lucic, and later,
Jordan Caron.
The B’s are well set at center with Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and
Gregory Campbell, but are they thinking it’s time for Seguin to make the
switch to the middle?
“That’s where we’ve had him in camp, and he’s played well in the middle,
he looks comfortable,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “It gives us
options. We’ve got some games left. As I’ve said before, we’ve got guys
who can interchange, center and wing, as he can.”
The issue for a young center usually involves down-low defensive duties.
The B’s want to see Seguin more involved there.
“Better stops and starts are important for him,” Chiarelli said.
“Down low, he knows he’s a culprit of turning; he’s got to stop and start.
That’s what he’s been doing better. Right now we’re watching to see how
he does down low and on faceoffs.”
Caron looks solid
Caron appears to have earned a spot on the roster with a solid camp. He
worked hard on improving his explosiveness, quickness and first step.
“He picked up his skating a little bit,” Chiarelli said. “He’s a guy who has to
keep moving his feet all the time. He just keeps making those good little
plays along the boards and around the net. He’s got a good release. He’s a
second-year pro and there’s an example of a guy maturing.
“He’s had a strong camp. He can play both sides, he can kill penalties, he
protects the puck really well.”
Line ’em up
The B’s had Rich Peverley at center between Sauve and Clark, Kelly with
Caron and Jamie Arniel, and Campbell centered Thornton and Lane
MacDermid. .?.?.
The battle for the seventh defenseman’s spot remains tight, with Steve
Kampfer (assist on the winning goal), Matt Bartkowski, David Warsofsky
and Colby Cohen all playing well. The betting here is it’s Kampfer. .?.?.
The Bruins host the Senators on Thursday, then close the preseason in
Bridgeport, Conn., Saturday against the Islanders.
579904     Boston Bruins                                                         What always seemed on Kaberle’s mind was making one more pass, often,
                                                                                 one too many. He was popular with his teammates during his brief time in
                                                                                 Boston, and they generally defended his play.
Joe Corvo plans to let it fly                                                    However, Chara talked about the need for shots.
Blueliner may be power source                                                    “It’s pretty much the rule that if you have a lane, if there’s traffic in front, you
                                                                                 have to take the shot, whether you have the time to take a big slapper or
                                                                                 just put the puck down in that area where we have traffic,” said Chara. “But,
By Stephen Harris | Tuesday, September 27, 2011 |                                yeah, you have to be willing to shoot the puck. You have to shoot. You have
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins                                      to find the right balance between shooting and passing.”
                                                                                 With Kaberle, that balance always seemed to be askew.

MONTREAL — Bruins fans were driven mad last season by Tomas                      Corvo fully grasps the old Wayne Gretzky axiom: You miss 100 percent of
Kaberle’s strange refusal to shoot the puck.                                     the shots you don’t take.

Again and again during his 49 games here, including playoffs, Kaberle,           Corvo will let it fly.
acquired at a hefty cost to improve the team’s impotent power play, had
shots from good scoring areas, but instead opted to pass.                        Boston Herald LOADED: 09.27.2011

The defenseman took just 64 shots and scored one goal. That’s an average
of 1.3 shots per game. In contrast, Zdeno Chara averaged 3.1 shots.
The Bruins, with a power-play success rate of 16.2 percent (20th-best) in
the regular season and 11.4 percent (14th of 16 teams) in the postseason,
defied the odds to win the Stanley Cup championship without a viable
power play.
But B’s fans should be delighted by the words and play of Kaberle’s
replacement, Joe Corvo, who is going to be everything his predecessor was
not. One thing you can be sure of: He will shoot the puck.
“Coming back to the bench after you pass up shots, you should hear it from
the coach, because you should take every opportunity to shoot,” Corvo said
recently. “I mean, it’s nice to be unselfish, but when you don’t take those
open shots, it ends up hurting the team in the end.
“You’ll talk to any hockey person and what they’ll say when the power play
is struggling is, ‘Shoot more, shoot more, get pucks to the net.’?”
The early impression from Corvo is that he is going to be an enormous
upgrade over Kaberle. This guy competes very hard, defends well, can
make good breakout passes and looks to jump up ice and join the attack He
may not be quite the puck-mover that Kaberle is, but he’s pretty close.
And when he’s teeing it up in the offensive zone, well, that’s where he could
make the biggest difference. He’s aware of the team’s power-play woes last
season, but isn’t going to heap some enormous weight on his shoulders to
fix last year’s most glaring problem.
“I’ll maybe take the other approach to it: that it only has room for
improvement,” he said. “I think I just have to focus on what I need to do in
terms of structure and system, getting pucks into the zone and moving the
puck around. Those are the things you have to focus on, not on things like
percentages.
“Naturally, the power play needs to win you games. You need to score a
goal or two on the power play when needed. If you win a game 5-2, no one
is going to say, ‘Ah, your power play was 0-for-4.’ You need to score those
power-play goals when they count. That’s what people look at.
“My philosophy is I’m just trying to get myself into a position where, when
the puck comes to me, I can rifle it. First and foremost on the power play,
you need to get shots early in the game. That opens up plays later in the
game.”
Getting the puck at the point of the power play, Corvo is notably very good
at moving laterally, very quickly, toward the center of the blue line. In this
way, he finds open shooting lanes and rarely has shots blocked by penalty-
killing forwards.
“When the puck comes around the boards, it’s key for the defenseman to
get to the middle,” said Corvo, who has 36 career power-play goals.
“Because then you’re making their team make decisions on who’s going to
cover you, whether they’re going to switch, or what. That’s when you can
take advantage of them. You try to keep your head up and get to the middle
as fast as you can.
“I’ve always had fast feet, and that’s what’s always on my mind on the
power play: Get to the middle, get to the middle, and that will open things
up.”
579905     Boston Bruins


Bruins score pair of PP goals to beat Canadiens


By Associated Press | Monday, September 26, 2011 |
http://www.bostonherald.com | Boston Bruins


MONTREAL - Tyler Seguin and Chris Clark scored power-play goals in the
third period to lead the Boston Bruins to their second straight preseason win
over the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1 on Monday night.
Seguin drew Boston even at 1 with his second preseason goal 4:17 into the
third off a rebound in front of Carey Price. Clark put the Bruins ahead with
his first goal at 13:15.
Michael Cammalleri gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead with his third goal 15:33
into the second. Cammalleri, who didn’t play in Montreal’s 7-3 loss to
Boston on Sunday in Halifax, Nova Scotia, had a pair of power-play goals in
the Canadiens’ 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Saturday.
Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for the reigning Stanley Cup champion
Bruins (3-0-1). Price went the distance and made 30 saves.
Boston Herald LOADED: 09.27.2011
579906     Buffalo Sabres                                                          *
                                                                                   The Sabres Foundation and Alumni Association are teaming up for a fall
                                                                                   wine festival from 6:30-10 p.m. Nov. 10. The event will feature wineries and
Kotalik, Morrisonn assigned to Rochester                                           restaurants from Western New York and Southern Ontario.
                                                                                   Sabres legends and their wives will attend the business-attire event, and
By Mike Harrington                                                                 they donated items for a silent auction. Tickets are $75 at Sabres.com, the
                                                                                   arena box office or by calling 855-4468. Proceeds benefit breast cancer
                                                                                   care centers.

The Buffalo Sabres' summer over the salary cap is over.                            John Vogl, News Sports Reporter, contributed to this report.

Forward Ales Kotalik and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn cleared waivers               Buffalo News LOADED: 09.27.2011
Monday and were assigned to the Rochester Americans, relieving the
Sabres' team cap figure of the $5,075,000 the pair is owed this season.
Kotalik, who was re-acquired over the summer from Calgary, will make $3
million this season, Morrisonn has a cap hit of $2,075,000 in the second
year of the two-year deal he signed in August, 2010.
The Sabres have been unable to work a trade for either of them to date.
They would collect their salary if they end up playing in the American
Hockey League but not count against the cap.
Getting cap relief by stashing players in the AHL is something former owner
Tom Golisano refused to do in previous years but Terry Pegula has given
the go-ahead on that issue if a trade was not made.
The Sabres are now about $930,000 under the cap, taking away Kotalik
and Morrisonn but counting a $425,000 bonus owed Tyler Myers. They had
been about $3.6 million over with the NHL's top payroll. They are now third
in cap payroll at about $63.3 million, behind Washington ($65.1 million) and
Philadelphia ($64.1 million). The Capitals are the only team over the cap.
Kotalik and Morrisonn were among 16 players sent to the Amerks Monday,
although many of them were not there in time for the team's first practice at
Blue Cross Arena.
The biggest names sent to Rochester were forwards Zack Kassian, Marcus
Foligno and Corey Tropp; defensemen T.J. Brennan, Brayden McNabb and
Dennis Persson and goaltender Drew MacIntyre.
Also assigned to the AHL were forwards Jonathan Parker, Michael Ryan,
Colin Stuart, Phil Varone and Derek Whitmore; and defensemen Joe Finley
and Drew Schiestel.
The Sabres said MacIntyre, Persson, Ryan and Stuart have each been
assigned pending waivers. Assuming he clears, MacIntyre is expected to
report to Rochester, then return to Buffalo to serve as third goalie on the
European trip.
The Sabres were off Monday and return to practice today in First Niagara
Center. They are 4-1 in preseason with two games left, Friday night in
Washington and next Tuesday in Mannheim, Germany against Adler
Mannheim.
*
 The Sabres are holding a free night scrimmage Wednesday in the Center.
Starting at 4:30 p.m., the first 3,000 fans to enter will be able to participate
in an autograph session with players and prospects. Fans will be given a
ticket to line up at one of the tables placed throughout the concourses on all
levels of First Niagara Center.
Concession stands will be open. The team will take the ice at 7 p.m.xleg
*
The Sabres' "Power Play Luncheon" series will return for the third straight
year, with the first installment to take place at noon Oct. 13.
Speakers for the debut will include coach Lindy Ruff and General Manager
Darcy Regier. Players and coaches will dine at a table with attendees.
The remaining luncheons will be Dec. 2 and Feb. 17, with guest speakers
announced at a later date.
Tickets, which benefit the Sabres' foundation, are $40 for an individual for
one luncheon or $325 for a table of 10. Packages are also available, with
$100 getting an individual a seat at all three events, while a $750 corporate
deal includes a table of 10 for all three luncheons.
Contact First Niagara Center account services at 855-4444. Free parking is
included.
579907     Buffalo Sabres                                                           Democrat and Chronicle LOADED: 09.27.2011


Rochester Amerks' Brennan aims to make Sabres take notice


Kevin Oklobzija


T.J. Brennan and Brayden McNabb made the ride from Buffalo to
Rochester together on Monday.
The two defensemen — Brennan the "grizzled" veteran with all of two years
experience, and McNabb the rookie — were among 29 players assigned to
the Rochester Americans by the parent Sabres.
The most striking impression during the trip: the time it took. Barely 75
minutes, rink to rink.
"It's a little different than the nine-hour drive to Portland," Brennan said,
referring to Buffalo's most recent American Hockey League home in Maine.
Now comes the trick: To make the drive in reverse order.
"I think it will be a lot faster on the way up," he joked.
Brennan, 22, begins his third season in the Sabres organization. If you've
never played an NHL game, then Year 3 is often statement time. It's the
final year of the entry-level contract, so proving there is still great potential
is imperative.
"I'm one of the old guys now," he said. "I have to do something and make a
name for myself."
Since Amerks coach Ron Rolston is new to the AHL, he's still learning
about many players on the roster. But he knows Brennan from USA Hockey
events. Rolston coached five years with the National Team Development
Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Brennan lives in Morristown, N.J., and was
invited to select camps.
"He's gotten better from when I saw him three years ago; miles better,"
Rolston said after practice on Monday.
The Sabres aren't concerned about what he can do with the puck. With the
Portland Pirates last season, Brennan scored 15 goals, 24 assists and 39
points in 72 games. But he hasn't established himself as a lockdown
defender.
Rolston said he'll let the players determine their roles by what they show in
practice and in games. The season starts Oct. 8 at Hamilton.
Asked if Brennan could be the guy he turns to in the last minute of a tight
game, he said, "I think he can be. He's big (6-foot, 204 pounds) and strong.
He's got a good stick. They'll prove to us in practice situations."
A year ago, Brennan was hoping to make the instant splash. He matured
over the course of his rookie season, 2009-10, finishing strong. He figured
he would play even better in the 2010-11 season.
He could hear that voice in his head, "You have to, you have to, you have
to."
"I think I put too much pressure on myself," said Brennan, a second-round
draft pick (31st overall) in 2007.
He's hardly old. The Sabres very much prefer to use the AHL as a learn-
and-grow development home.
Marc-Andre Gragnani needed four AHL seasons before the Sabres deemed
him NHL ready.
Mike Weber played three AHL seasons before earning a full-time NHL job
last season.
And there are worse places to be while improving. Brennan said the players
already know about the rejuvenation felt by hockey fans in Rochester.
"There's so much buzz around here, I couldn't be more excited," he said. "I
know my dad's trying to get tickets, he wants to come to all the home
games. I told him he better hurry."
For Brennan himself, there isn't so much a rush as there is a sense of
urgency to make things happen.
579908     Buffalo Sabres


Kotalik, Morrisonn assigned to the Amerks


Posted by Kevin Oklobzija •


Word just down from Buffalo that the Sabres have indeed assigned left
winger Ales Kotalik and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn to the Rochester
Americans.
So the three biggest questions based on that news:
1) Will they show desire and a willingness to compete?
2) Will Shaone Morrisonn become the most misspelled Amerk name since
Daren Puppa?
3) Have two players with the same birth date (Dec. 23, 1978 for Kotalik,
1982 for Morrisonn ever been assigned on the same day).
Kotalik ($3 million one-way salary) and Morrisonn (a touch over $2 million)
have been full-time NHLers for quite some time now. Kotalik earned his
promotion from Rochester in 2002-03. Morrisonn has been up full-time
since 2005-06.
Kotalik, 32, scored 6-16-22 in 25 AHL games with the Abbotsford Heat after
he was demoted by the Calgary Flames. He said in camp that he
understood his role, that he knew what it was like for him when he was a
rookie with the Amerks so he wanted to be a good veteran leader with the
Heat. The Sabres obviously hope he has that attitude here.
Morrisonn, 28, was by no means awful for the Sabres last season (1-4-5,
minus-2), but he became the definitive spare part after the acquisition of
Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff.
*
5:22 p.m.: Just an FYI for practice on Tuesday. The Amerks will skate at 1
p.m., giving players on waivers (Michael Ryan, Colin Stuart, Drew
MacIntyre) a chance to clear and report.
The time for Wednesday will revert to 10:30 a.m., which Rolston said
should be the normal time during the season.
Democrat and Chronicle LOADED: 09.27.2011
579909     Calgary Flames


Oilers burn Flames 3-0 in Calgary preseason shutout


By Joanne Ireland,


CALGARY - In between his off-season workouts in the gym, which pumped
out a leaner, stronger Jordan Eberle, the slick-handed sophomore worked
on his shot. He was determined to be quicker with his release.
He’s certainly as effective.
Eberle scored his third goal in as many pre-season games on the power
play in the Edmonton Oilers’ 3-0 win Sunday over the Calgary Flames.
That kind of production is good enough to take Eberle to the top of the NHL
pre-season goal-scoring leaderboard. Heading into Sunday’s games,
Evgeny Grachev of the St. Louis Blues, Chris Mueller of the Nashville
Predators and James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers also had
three goals.
Throw in Eberle’s assist on Linus Omark’s goal, and the Oiler sniper has
four points in three games, one back of the league leaders.
“The puck and Jordan Eberle are user friendly. No doubt about that,” head
coach Tom Renney said after the Oilers improved to 3-2 with back-to-back
wins over their Alberta foes.
Edmonton also won 2-1 on Saturday in Rexall Place.
“Jordan likes the responsibility of the puck, he likes the responsibility of the
moment and that’s a player that we had hoped and promised our fans
would grow up in front of their eyes,” Renney continued. “There’s a certain
mental capacity a player has to have to deal with the moment and Jordan
just has that knack ... He has that great intangible.”
Devan Dubnyk, who turned away 30 shots to earn the shutout, faced eight
shots in the first 20 minutes, got a break when David Moss hit the post in
the second period and got some offensive support when Shawn Horcoff put
away Omark’s rebound. It was the captain’s first point in his second pre-
season game.
Midway through the second period, Calgary starting goaltender Henrik
Karlsson was replaced by veteran Miikka Kiprusoff, who also played 30
minutes against the Vancouver Canucks last week.
Kiprusoff had just barely entered the game when Omark snapped in a
power-play goal after with a cross-crease feed from Eberle for a 2-0 lead.
“Any time you’re scoring, you get some confidence,” said Eberle, who is a
year older and a season wiser. “You can take that into the regular season.
“I worked a lot on my shot. That was the one big thing I noticed last year,
was that I had to get my shot away a lot quicker. These goalies are so good
up here that you have to be a little more accurate.”
“If he wants to take all the cameras and stardom, that’s fine,” Dubnyk, the
six-foot-six netminder said tongue-in-cheek. “As long as I get wins, I really
don’t mind.”
Dubnyk went into the game with a 1.94 goals-against average.
“Any time you play well,” he said, “you’re going to feel that confidence roll
over into practice and into the following game. It’s important to ride that
momentum.”
Calgary Herald: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579910      Calgary Flames


Butler's numbers talk of trade


By STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency


CALGARY - The only numbers that really matter for Calgary Flames
newcomer Chris Butler are the ones he puts up for the team this NHL
season.
Ones like points — his own and the ones the team earns for victories.
But when the former Buffalo Sabres blueliner arrived in Calgary, he had a
feeling something just wasn’t right with the number he was assigned.
Skating informally with his new teammates at the Westside Recreation
Centre last month, there was a 28 decorating the back of his helmet
courtesy of equipment manager Mark DePasquale.
“When I got into town and had a chance to talk to DePo (DePasquale)
about numbers, the only things that were really open were 28 and 19,”
explained Butler, who was dealt to the Flames in the Robyn Regehr trade
on the weekend of the NHL Entry Draft. “He gave me 28 right away
because 19 is not really a d-man number.”


By the time training camp opened, Butler was sporting Stefan Meyer’s No.
44, with Meyer making the switch to 19.
“I felt it probably wouldn’t be right for me to wear Reggie’s number, just
because of what he meant to the team and to this city for such a long time,”
Butler said.
“Not that I felt I would disrespect it or anything, but
I felt it was kind of his number and maybe leave it that way for a little while
so people can remember it that way.”
Expected to start the season alongside Jay Bouwmeester on the Flames
blueline, there’s a lot to like about Butler, who so far appears to be a solid
presence with a bright future.
But the American product is smart enough to realize the kind of talk that
could come with wearing the number of a veteran franchise cornerstone for
whome he was directly traded.
“They may have (made comparisons),” said Butler, a native of St. Louis. “It
may have been a little too much right off the bat.
“I’ve always liked wearing numbers with a four in it somewhere. Stef was
nice enough to let me wear 44. He didn’t have any ties to it.
“It kind of worked out better for both of us.”
For Meyer, making the switch was a no-brainer.
“For him, I’m sure he would have worn it no problem,” said Meyer, who
played 16 games with the Flames early last season wearing 44.
“I just kind of realized what was going on, and I talked with the trainers, and
we figured that not only is it a number he wanted, also he was slated to put
on Robyn’s number. As an organizational teammate, I felt like it was my
duty.
“I played quite a few games last year with the club, but that number really
had more of a significant value to him than it did to me. I let him have it.
“It’s just a respectful thing to do.”
Meyer, who was reassigned Monday to the AHL Abbotsford Heat, will have
to wait for a call-up to debut with the Flames in No. 19, but he’s hopeful he’ll
get the opportunity.
“I know I can play in the NHL. I think I proved it last year,” added the native
of Fox Valley, Sask. “My job is just to make sure that I work hard, and when
the time comes to make sure I show them what I can do again.”
Calgary Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579911      Calgary Flames                                                         “It’ll be different next year.”
                                                                                   steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca
Juniors, prospects axed from Flames                                                Calgary Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011


By STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency


CALGARY - Their future with the Calgary Flames appears bright.
That didn’t take away the sting of being sent back to the junior ranks for
either of the team’s blue-chip prospects, Sven Baertschi and Max Reinhart.
“It’s tough,” said Baertschi, the 18-year-old Swiss winger drafted 24th
overall by the Flames this summer.
The disappointment in his voice comes through clearly through the phone
as he prepared to hop on a plane.
“I was hoping I would get the chance to start the season with them. But it’s
their decision,” Baertschi continued. “One thing is for sure, they want to
start with the best team available. If I don’t fit in, it’s not their fault.”
It’s not his fault, either.
Despite showing the kind of skills and hustle that will one day make him an
excellent professional, Baertschi simply isn’t big enough yet. He put up a
good fight but wasn’t able to win enough battles along the boards in his pre-
season action to prove he was ready to make the jump from the WHL’s
Portland WinterHawks to the NHL.
“I’m 18, so I don’t have the body of Jarome Iginla,” said Baertschi, still a
little stunned his camp has come to an end. “I was really happy with all the
exhibition games.”
He played in all of them following a three-game stint in the Young Stars
tournament in Penticton, B.C., and suited up in another exhibition clash
against the University of Calgary Dinos, and you could see Baertschi’s
intelligence and talent shine through.
But you could also see his strength wasn’t at a level necessary for the grind
of a long season against the world’s elite.
“I kind of expected to maybe play the next two exhibition games and maybe
get a shot there in a regular-season game,” Baertschi said. “But if it doesn’t
work, it doesn’t work.”
Because of an illness, Reinhart only got into one exhibition game after the
prospects tourney, but the 19-year-old has the organization and its fans
equally excited about his potential.
“I accomplished most of what I wanted to accomplish this year in camp,”
said Reinhart, who’s being shipped back to the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. “I
showed them that last season wasn’t just a fluke. I actually developed.
“It’s tough being sent back, but at the same time, gaining the expereince
that I did, I understand there are a few parts of my game that I need to work
on. I’ll take that back to Cranbrook with me and improve on them this
season.
“It’s not such a bad thing to go back to junior. It’s an extra year to put on
weight, get stronger and really develop my game.”
Heading to join the AHL Abbotsford Heat are forwards Carter Bancks,
Stefan Meyer, Greg Nemisz, Gaelan Patterson and Ben Walter,
defencemen T.J. Brodie, Chris Breen, Brendan Mikkelson, Clay Wilson and
Joe Piskula and goaltenders Leland Irving and Joni Ortio.
Any of them could be called up this season. For the junior kids, though,
there’s no coming back until next fall.
Neither of them want to let that next opportunity slip.
“There’s a long way to go, but that’s what my goal is. I want to be able to
say I’m ready to make that next step,” Reinhart said. “A lot of that will be
determined by how I play this year.”
“They told me, too, that I’m very close. It’s just little things that make the
difference,” Baertschi said. “I really try to work on those little details, so I
can make sure I’m ready.
“I’ll just try to make sure next year, when I come into camp, there’s just one
goal — and that’s to make the team.
579912     Carolina Hurricanes                                                   The Canes bobbled a few pucks in their end but their puck movement
                                                                                 showed improvement from the Preds game.
                                                                                 "It was definitely better than it was the other night and we needed it to be,"
Ward, Canes shutout Jets                                                         Maurice said.
                                                                                 Hurricanes 4, Jets 0
By CHIP ALEXANDER - Staff writer                                                 Winnipeg


CHARLOTTE -- As exhibitions go, the Carolina Hurricanes couldn't have            0
scripted it any better.
The Hurricanes needed a preseason win and got it Sunday, topping the
Winnipeg Jets 4-0.                                                               0
But the Canes wanted to do more than win a game. This was their first visit
to Charlotte and Time Warner Cable Arena, home to the Charlotte
Checkers, the Canes' American Hockey League affiliate.                           0

The Hurricanes looked at it as a showcase game, and as if on cue, former
Checkers forwards Zac Dalpe, Jerome Samson and Riley Nash scored                 --
goals. Add in a shutout by Cam Ward, and this game could not have
worked out any better for the Canes, or Checkers.
"I guess the Checkers know how the bounces go in this rink," Dalpe said,         0
smiling. "We seemed to be in the right place at the right time to get some
goals, and gave the fans what they wanted in Charlotte."                         Carolina

Dalpe noted that with the NFL's Carolina Panthers playing a home game
Sunday afternoon, the Canes weren't sure how many fans would find their
                                                                                 2
way into the arena for hockey. But the crowd was large and loud, with a
turnout of 10,433.
Dalpe had the fans roaring at 6 minutes 43 seconds of the first period,          2
taking a pass from Jiri Tlusty and scoring on a breakaway. Samson and
Nash had second-period goals - Samson with a sharp-angle shot after
winning a puck battle and Nash off a rebound.
                                                                                 0
Ward got what he wanted - 60 minutes in goal and some quality work. He
stopped 36 shots and made some strong saves, once robbing the Jets'
Randy Jones with a nifty glove save.                                             --
"It was just a solid game by our team," Ward said. "It was a fun atmosphere,
too. It's a credit to the Charlotte fans for the atmosphere they created. They
made it a fun game.                                                              4

"You could tell we were a lot crisper with our passes and had a strong           First Period--1, Carolina, Dalpe 1 (Faulk), 6:43. 2, Carolina, Harrison 1
effort. It's nice to throw a win in the column and feel good."                   (Stewart, Nash), 7:52.

The Hurricanes dropped their first two exhibitions, most recently losing 3-2     Second Period--3, Carolina, Samson 1, 13:05. 4, Carolina, Nash 1
to the Nashville Predators on Friday at the RBC Center in Raleigh. The           (R.Murphy, Ponikarovsky), 18:34 (pp).
Canes had most of their top players in Sunday's game while the Jets went
with a younger lineup.                                                           Third Period--None.

This game had a "who-wants-it" feel to it for the Canes. Dalpe, Samson and       Shots on Goal--Winnipeg 6-9-11--26. Carolina 7-12-6--25. Goalies--
Nash helped the Checkers reach the playoffs last year but are fighting for       Winnipeg, Aebischer. Carolina, Ward. A--0 (6,800). T--2:25.
NHL roster spots. On the back end, Ryan Murphy and Justin Faulk keep             News Observer LOADED: 09.27.2011
playing well enough to earn more playing time - the two teenage
defensemen will be in the lineup again Wednesday in Winnipeg, Canes
coach Paul Maurice said.
Jay Harrison, who scored on a shot from the point in the first period, was
paired defensively with Murphy, the Canes' first-round draft pick this year.
Faulk was paired with Tomas Kaberle.
"Going into training camp I would have said forward is where the
competition is," Maurice said. "I'm not sure that by the end of camp we
won't say all the competition turned out to be on our back end."
In the first period, Murphy lost the puck to Jets forward Eric O'Dell behind
the Canes' net, only to swipe it back and use his quickness and skating skill
to zip down ice and into the Jets' end. Murphy finished plus-3 and Faulk
plus-2 in the game.
Maurice liked the play of forward Anthony Stewart, praising his decision-
making in the Canes' end and the way the 6-foot-3, 230-pound winger used
his size on the forecheck. Maurice noted Tlusty didn't score but did some
"man things," planting defenseman Zach Bogosian into the boards with a
big hit.
Dalpe, who seems to have secured a roster spot, was used at times on Eric
Staal's line with Alexei Ponikarovsky. Nash centered Jeff Skinner and
Stewart, filling in for injured center Tuomo Ruutu.
579913      Chicago Blackhawks                                                       Chicago Tribune LOADED: 09.27.2011


Blackhawks to try Kane on center stage


Chris Kuc


It has been tried before.
Three years ago, to be exact.
On the night of Sept. 26, 2008, Patrick Kane sat in the corner of the
Blackhawks' dressing room and shook his head while discussing the failed
experiment to move him from right wing to center.
"Understanding where to be in your own zone really takes some time and
development to learn," Kane said quietly after the Hawks had played the
Wild in an exhibition game the then-19-year-old started at center.
The move lasted one period during which Minnesota raced out to a 3-0
lead. To open the second, Kane shifted back to right wing, where he'd
played the prior season and had won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top
rookie.
Since then, Kane has roamed the right side — until Monday's practice,
when he centered a line with veterans Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette.
Afterward, Kane was again in the corner of the Hawks' room discussing the
potential move.
"I guess it's something they wanted to try," said Kane, who practiced
without the splint he'd been wearing on his left wrist as he recovers from
July 19 surgery to repair a scaphoid fracture. "I don't know, (we'll) try it for a
couple of games and see how it goes. It's preseason, so why not? I'm
willing to try it out, I guess. I'm going to try to do my best there and see what
happens."
What likely will happen is what occurred in '08 and Kane will return to the
right wing and be there when the Hawks open the regular season Oct. 7 in
Dallas. But for a team that has been searching for more than a couple of
seasons for a legitimate second-line center — Patrick Sharp has been
playing there despite his natural position being left wing — giving Kane a
look there makes sense.
Coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman have the
same vision as then-coach Denis Savard and the GM at the time, Dale
Tallon. It's one that has Kane streaking up the center of the ice and using
his playmaking skills and unique vision to create scoring chances for
himself and teammates.
The first instinct is to say the Hawks should let Kane be and allow him to
flourish the way he has in becoming one of the NHL's top right wings. He's
a point-per-game player there and has the potential to surpass that mark.
But with few options for a No. 2 center on the roster — the likes of Marcus
Kruger, Ben Smith, Michael Frolik and Brandon Pirri don't appear to be
ready to step into that role — moving Kane would fill the void and also allow
Sharp to play where he plays best. As the Hawks' best passer and playing
in Quenneville's system, Kane could find a niche.
"To me, it's not that big of an adjustment from the wing," Quenneville said.
"(With) how we play our team game, a lot of times the guys forward have
the same responsibilities as the centermen. You want guys who want the
puck and guys who have good patience with it and anticipate what their
wingers are up to. They see plays before they actually happen and that's
one of (Kane's) strengths. Him with the puck is a pretty good thing."
How Kane plays without the puck is what may ultimately decide where he
lines up. No matter the system, centers have more defensive
responsibilities than wingers. Defense has been something Kane has
worked to improve, but is it to the level needed to play center?
"I don't know — you hope so," Kane said. "I think my defense has definitely
developed over the past three years. I feel pretty confident in my own end.
Obviously, center is a whole different position, but it's something you have
to work on."
For now, at least, consider Kane to be working on it until further notice.
"If it works, it works," he said. "If not, I guess they'll probably try something
else."
579914     Chicago Blackhawks


Blackhawks forward Sharp 'progressing'


By Chris Kuc


Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp has begun skating as he
recovers from an emergency appendectomy performed Sept. 12.
The veteran skated by himself Sunday and is expected to do so again the
next two days before the Hawks can get an assessment on when he will
join practices with teammates.
"(Sharp's) progressing," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think he’s feeling
good. He was out there a little bit (Sunday) and will do the same (Monday)
and (Tuesday) and we’ll get a better indication after that how close he is to
jumping on with us."
Quenneville said the Hawks were "hopeful" Sharp will be in the lineup when
the regular season kicks off Oct. 7 against the Stars in Dallas.
If he does, Sharp could line up at wing. After playing center much of the last
few seasons, Quenneville said the veteran could move back to his natural
position of wing.
"We'll probably likely start (Sharp) on the wing," Quenneville said.
With that in mind, Patrick Kane practiced at center during Monday's practice
with Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette as his wingers.
"I didn’t mind it," Quenneville said of Kane's move from right wing. "They all
have good anticipation, good patience with the puck, see plays, can make
plays and finish in that tight area. We’ll see how that works itself out. We’ll
try it in a game or two. Hopefully that could work."
ONE-TIMERS: The Hawks placed center Brett McLean on waivers. ... Rob
Klinkhammer (injury) and Daniel Carcillo (illness) missed practice.
Chicago Tribune LOADED: 09.27.2011
579915     Chicago Blackhawks


Blackhawks reduce roster to 33


By Chris Kuc, Tribune Reporter


The Chicago Blackhawks' training camp roster stands at 33 players after
they assigned forwards Kyle Beach, Jimmy Hayes, and Peter LeBlanc and
defensemen Brian Connelly and Joe Lavin to Rockford of the American
Hockey League on Monday.
The Hawks' roster now includes 21 forwards, nine defensemen and three
goaltenders.
ONE-TIMER: Winger Daniel Carcillo is not on the United Center ice for
practice. The veteran tweeted that he has a fever. Patrick Kane is practicing
as a center with Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette as his wingers.
Chicago Tribune LOADED: 09.27.2011
579916     Chicago Blackhawks


Experiment on: Patrick Kane may be Blackhawks’ new centerpiece


By Adam L. Jahns


The mere sight of Patrick Kane at center ice lined up against Jonathan
Toews and flanked by Marian Hossa and Andrew Brunette looked odd.
But there was one of the best right wings in the NHL playing center Monday
at practice. The experiment is on.
“I’m willing to try it out, I guess, see if it works or not,” said Kane, who
practiced for the first time without a splint on his surgically repaired left
wrist. “I’m going to try to do my best there and see what happens.”
The Blackhawks are hoping Kane, already established as a premier passer
and playmaker, could become a bigger threat at center. Kane has talked
often this preseason about taking his game to the next level. Perhaps this is
a way to do that.
“He can see the left, and he can see the right,” Hossa said. “He can make
the forehand, backhand passes. I think the middle is great for him.”
But does it feel strange?
“[Patrick Sharp] is right now missing, so Kane is playing in the middle,”
Hossa said. “I think the coaches are going to make the right decision where
Kane is going to be. But I think he’s going to be on the right anyway, but
you never know.”
Coach Joel Quenneville insisted the move had little to do with Sharp, who
just has started skating on his own after his Sept. 12 appendectomy.
Quenneville also said Sharp should start the season at wing.
Kane said that general manager Stan Bowman approached him about
center in the summer.
“He didn’t really tell me why,” said Kane, who has 303 points in 317 regular-
season games. “He just said it was something they wanted to try.”
Other than faceoffs, there are many challenges facing Kane at center,
mainly defensive responsibilities. But even Kane’s teammates say he has
improved defensively.
“Anything you can put your mind to, especially defensively, you’ll be able to
do it,” said Kane, who had a brief stint at center under Denis Savard three
preseasons ago. “I feel pretty confident in my own end.”
Center also is a thin position, with Marcus Kruger not panning out and
veteran Brett McLean on waivers. But Quenneville doesn’t think there is a
significant adjustment from wing to center in the Hawks’ system, saying “we
just counted the number of guys that could potentially play center, and I
think we almost got it to 10.” Sharp, Michael Frolik, Jamal Mayers and Ben
Smith were mentioned.
“We think that no matter who is in there, they can play center,” Quenneville
said. “A lot of the time, the forwards have a lot of the same responsibilities
as the centermen do in a lot of situations, so it’s not that big of a change in
their game.”
Kane already leads breakouts up the middle often. It’s also possible he
could play more if he excels.
“All of sudden, you line up Toews, Kane and [Dave] Bolland, one, two, three
down the middle,” Quenneville said. “It could be a pretty good one, two,
three lines.”
Right now, it’s just an experiment.
NOTES: Jeremy Morin (concussion) hasn’t been cleared for full contact.
Daniel Carcillo (flu) and Rob Klinkhammer (undisclosed injury) didn’t
practice. Kyle Beach, Jimmy Hayes, Peter LeBlanc, Brian Connelly and Joe
Lavin were sent to Rockford.
? The Montreal Canadiens signed former Hawks defenseman Chris
Campoli to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.
Chicago Sun Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
579917     Chicago Blackhawks                                                    “There’s some signs that he’s going to play. But he really enhanced the
                                                                                 depth chart organizationally and being able to play and fulfill a need for us
                                                                                 in the middle of the ice.”
Blackhawks’ Kane will give it a shot at center                                   “I’m just trying to make an impression in the coaching staff’s mind,” Pirri
                                                                                 said. “There’s so much depth here. You try to almost make them take you.

By Brian Miller                                                                  “You don’t want to leave anything out there so that they have it in the back
                                                                                 of their mind that he didn’t play his hardest, or anything like that.”
                                                                                 Dave Bolland lauded the play and energy of newcomers such as Pirri and
Looking for consistent offensive production, the Blackhawks have decided         Brandon Staad, who worked with Jonathan Toews and Viktor Stalberg on
to address their needs at the center position with a little creativity.          the top line Monday.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman approached right wing Patrick             The Hawks assigned forwards Kyle Beach, Jimmy Hayes, Peter LeBlanc
Kane during the summer about playing center, a position Kane played while        and Brandon Segal to the Rockford IceHogs, and also sent defensemen
making his way up the minor-league ranks.                                        Brian Connelly and Joe Lavin to the AHL affiliate.

“We’ll see if it works or not, but I’m going to do my best there and see what    The Hawks also announced they have loaned goaltender Cristobal Huet to
happens,” Kane said following Monday morning’s practice at the United            HC Fribourg-Gotteron SA of the Swiss National League A.
Center.
                                                                                 The roster now stands at 32 active players.
“I’ve played center for a lot of my life and obviously I’m pretty comfortable
on the wing, but it’s preseason so might as well try it and see if it works.”    Daily Herald Times LOADED: 09.27.2011

Kane played in the middle of a line with Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa
during practice.
There were never any faceoffs for Kane, matched opposite captain
Jonathan Toews. Kane admitted he needs to show his defense has
improved enough to match up with bigger, physical offensive centers
around the league.
“Anything you can put your mind to, especially defensively, you can do,” he
said. “But I think my defense has definitely developed over the past three
years and I feel pretty confident in my own end.
“Obviously center is a whole different position, but it’s something you have
to work on, I guess.”
An NHL all-star the past two seasons as a wing, Kane is understandably
understated with his level of excitement on making the possible switch.
But he’s willing to do anything to help solidify the team to make it back to
another Stanley Cup Finals.
Coach Joel Quenneville said he believes Kane has welcomed the
challenge.
“His anticipation, his hockey sense of the puck area is good,” Quenneville
said. “I think that’s the way we want to play, with a quick stick and position
of being strong.
“He’s got a real good feel for it there. The offensive end, I think with a
commitment in that area he could be fine down low. … He doesn’t have to
move bodies around, just make sure you’re looking to kill plays and looking
to get the puck. I think that’s what he can do.”
While center Patrick Sharp recovers from an appendectomy, Quenneville is
more than content to keep center Dave Bolland on the checking line with
his success at disrupting the other team’s top line, as well as his ability to
put the puck in the net.
Quenneville believes as many as 10 players could play the center position if
needed. If the Kane experiment doesn’t work out, the Blackhawks still feel
good about what they have, but they’ll try to make the this experiment pay
off.
“(Kane) should be able to adapt to that situation, but we’ll watch it from the
luxury of having several guys that could be in the middle as well,”
Quenneville said. “But him with the puck is a pretty good thing.”
Roster cuts:
The Hawks trimmed their roster following Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to
Detroit. One of the youngsters who made it through was 20-year-old center
Brandon Pirri, who had 2 goals and an assist in the game.
“He was here today, so that was a good sign based on his game last night,”
Quenneville said. “He’s had a real good camp.
“He had a real good camp last year and we thought he made good progress
over the course of last season (at Rockford). It’s nice to see the growth in
his game. …
579918      Chicago Blackhawks                                                        Is Beach too slow, too uninterested, too undisciplined, too irresponsible on
                                                                                      the ice defensively?
                                                                                      Maybe all of the above?
Hawks will get best from Kane at wing
                                                                                      Big suspension:
                                                                                      The NHL laid the hammer to Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski on
By Tim Sassone                                                                        Monday night, suspending the former Hawk for the rest of the preseason
                                                                                      and the first eight games of the regular season for a deliberate head shot
                                                                                      on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck last week.
Let’s flash forward to a week from Friday when the Blackhawks open the
regular season at Dallas.                                                             New league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said Wisniewski’s history of
                                                                                      head shots played a factor in the length of the suspension, part of which
Will Patrick Sharp be in the lineup?                                                  was his cheap shot on Brent Seabrook two years ago.

There’s no way of telling at this point. The Hawks hope Sharp is there, but           Not only will Wisniewski lose $536,000 in salary, he has let down the Blue
he has missed all of training camp after undergoing an emergency                      Jackets, who spent huge bucks on him as a free agent.
appendectomy and only resumed skating by himself Sunday.
                                                                                      Campoli signed:
Will Patrick Kane be playing center?
                                                                                      Former Hawks defenseman Chris Campoli finally landed on his feet
If I were a betting man, I would say there’s no chance of that.                       Monday when he signed a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens
                                                                                      worth $1.75 million.
All coach Joel Quenneville said following Sunday’s exhibition game in
Detroit was that he planned to at least look at Kane at center in the finals          Campoli had been a free agent since the Hawks walked away from his
days of training camp.                                                                $2.75 million arbitration ruling during the summer.

That’s it. He didn’t say he was moving Kane to center, or that the Hawks              Daily Herald Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
had a serious problem down the middle, because they don’t.
How is a team with Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland and Sharp considered
thin at center?
The Hawks would prefer to play Sharp at wing, that’s a given, but he has
proved to be a terrific center when asked to play there.
Michael Frolik can play center. So can Jamal Mayers. Rookies Ben Smith
and Marcus Kruger are still in the mix. Kruger is a natural center, and Smith
has experience there.
“We just counted the guys that could potentially play center,” Quenneville
said. “I think we almost got it to 10. You’ve got a number of guys. There’s
options there. We’re trying things at this stage. We think that no matter who
is in there they can play center.”
This still is the preseason, remember, when the opportunity is there to try
things. That’s all Quenneville is doing with Kane at center.
Kane is willing to try it, although his heart didn’t seem to be in it when asked
about the potential switch Monday.
“I’m willing to try it out, I guess, to see if it works,” Kane said. “With it being
something they wanted to try, it’s preseason, so why not?”
Kane is a two-time all-star at right wing, a guy the Hockey News just ranked
the sixth best at the position behind only Corey Perry, Martin St. Louis,
Jarome Iginla, Rick Nash and teammate Marian Hossa.
Kane is a star right wing and wants to be a right wing. Remember when the
Hawks wanted Kane to try left wing last season? That experiment didn’t last
long.
“Obviously, I’m pretty comfortable on (right) wing,” Kane said. “The biggest
thing is you’ve developed so many different plays and become comfortable
in a position that I played for the last seven years of my life.”
The Hawks are deep enough and talented enough to get by with what they
have at center for now.
Don’t forget general manager Stan Bowman has about $3.4 million in cap
space, and sooner or later a very good center will become available. Trust
in Bowman to fill that void at No. 2 center for the playoffs before the trade
deadline.
Beach bounced:
With former No. 1 draft pick Kyle Beach being among the players cut and
sent to Rockford on Monday, it’s fair to wonder if he should still be
considered one of Hawks’ top prospects.
It certainly doesn’t feel like it.
There’s obviously something about Beach the Hawks don’t like, even if Stan
Bowman will tell you the 11th pick in the 2000 draft still is a young guy, only
a second-year pro, with a strong upside.
579919      Chicago Blackhawks


Blackhawks' Kane willing to give center a shot


By Tracey Myers


Patrick Kane is comfortable at the right wing. That's where he feels he's at
his best. But general manager Stan Bowman approached him about playing
some center this summer and Kane said he'll give it a go.
Kane was between Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa on Monday, as the
Blackhawks resumed their training camp practices at the United Center. It
was a different look, for sure, and certainly not one set in stone. But the
Blackhawks want to take a look at it and Kane, who had his first practice
without a splint on his left wrist, went to the middle.
"I'm willing to try it out, I guess," said Kane, who did this center experiment,
albeit briefly, a few years ago. "I'll do my best there and see what happens.
It was something they wanted to try (a few years ago); they kind of knew in
the back of their minds it wouldn't work. It didn't last long. But they're willing
to try again."
Kane played center plenty coming up through the ranks, although he admits
he's more comfortable at right wing. The results there show for themselves.
But coach Joel Quenneville said the change shouldn't be that drastic.
Quenneville said Kane's usually bringing the puck up anyway, seeing
several plays before they happen, so why not try him at center?
"To me the move over there is not that big of a change from how we play
our team game," he said. "He's not adapting, it's not like a forward going
back to the point. He should be fine."
It's worth a look, and right now that's all it is. Quenneville rattled off several
other players who could fill in a center spot -- Michael Frolik, Ben Smith
Jamal Mayers to name a few. It's not a necessary move -- it's not about
Patrick Sharp's injury -- it's just a potential one. And there's no way the
Blackhawks are moving Dave Bolland from that checking-line center spot.
He's too good at that spot, too good at shutting down opponents' No. 1
lines.
It comes down to how much Kane's defensive game has developed. Kane
said he feels he's getting there in that capacity but it's always something on
which he can work. Hossa, who knows how strong a passer Kane is, is fine
with him at center and with Kane's development defensively.
"I told him he's much better down low already than he was last year," Hossa
said with a laugh. "He's doing excellent job in practice. He's creative
passing the puck. The coaches will make the right decision where Kane is
going ot be. I think it's going to be on the right anyway, but you never
know."
Kane didn't sound overwhelmed with the idea of moving over to center and
out of his comfort level. He's a team guy, so he'll try it. It's an experiment
and right now nothing more.
"I'm gonna try my best at it," Kane said. "If it works it works. If not they'll
probably try something else."
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 09.27.2011
579920     Chicago Blackhawks


Sharp continues to make progress, skates on own


By Tracey Myers


Patrick Sharp skated on his own Sunday and again on Monday, as the
Chicago Blackhawks forward continues to make progress from the
emergency appendectomy he had two weeks ago.
It's good news for Sharp, who was slated to make a full recovery in three to
four weeks from the Sept. 12 surgery. Coach Joel Quenneville said they'll
keep an eye on him to see when he can join his teammates on the ice.
Quenneville is also "hopeful" that Sharp returns for the season opener on
Oct. 7 in Dallas.
And while Sharp is another guy who can and has played center,
Quenneville said he probably won't start the season there.
"Right now we'll likely start him on the wing," he said. "I think whether he's
at center or wing he's useful in a lot of ways. Having the flexibility of having
several guys who can jump in the middle is an asset of our team."
Youngsters remain
The Blackhawks assigned several players to Rockford on Monday but two
of their brightest young stars remain at camp: Brandon Saad and Brandon
Pirri. Both have been strong from the start, and Pirri is the latest to shine
with two goals and an assist in the Blackhawks' 4-3 shootout loss to Detroit
on Sunday.
"He made progress over the course of last season," Quenneville said of
Pirri. "He enhanced our depth chart organizationally of being able to play
and fulfilling a need for us."
Quenneville said either or both could play Wednesday against Detroit.
Briefly
The Blackhawks sent five players to Rockford on Monday: forwards Kyle
Beach, Jimmy Hayes, Peter LeBlanc and defensemen Brian Connelly and
Joe Lavin.
Jeremy Morin continues to practice with the Blackhawks but Quenneville
was not certain if Morin would play any preseason games. The forward has
not yet been cleared for contact.
Rob Klinkhammer (injury) and Daniel Carcillo (flu) did not practice on
Monday.
11:56
Forward Brett McLean was placed on waivers this afternoon.
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 09.27.2011
579921     Colorado Avalanche                                                      If the season began today, Elliott probably would be among the top seven
                                                                                   defensemen, and unquestionably be an asset on the power play.
                                                                                   "I'm just trying to get my feet wet here," Elliott said. "I'm getting more
Stefan Elliott's scoring ability could earn him job with Avs                       comfortable every game."
                                                                                   Duncan Siemens, whom the Avs selected No. 11 in the June draft, was
By Mike Chambers                                                                   Elliott's D-partner last season at Saskatoon. Siemens, 18, was returned to
                                                                                   the Blades last week after participating in Colorado's training camp and one
                                                                                   preseason game.

"I think he's going to have a tremendous career in the NHL. He's the type of       "He's a pretty special player offensively," Siemens said of Elliott. "He's got a
player who elevates his game to the level of competition." - Saskatoon             quick release, real hard snap shot. He's good at opening up lanes for
coach Lorne Molleken, on Stefan Elliott, who scored 241 points during his          himself and he doesn't miss too many times. He continuously gets himself
four full seasons with the Blades (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post )                 open.

Stefan Elliott's development over the past four years has gone from                "Obviously, it takes a little getting used to at the next level. But if that's his
impressive to awesome. The Avalanche's rookie defenseman was an                    mind-set, and I know it is, I know he can do it."
immediate major-junior star who became the Bobby Orr of the Western
Hockey League, producing points like a power forward.                              Mike Chambers: 303-954-1357 or mchambers@denverpost.com

There is a big difference, however, between major-junior stardom and               Stefan Elliott by the numbers
producing at both ends of the ice in the NHL at age 20.                            12 and 62 — Led the Western Hockey League with 12 game-winning goals
Avs coach Joe Sacco and club management will continue taking their time            and a plus-62 rating last season for the Saskatoon Blades
evaluating the 6-foot-1, 190-pound standout from Vancouver.                        16 — His age when he began his first full season in the 20-under WHL and
"We believe he has the makeup to have that same kind of career in this             led Saskatoon defensemen in assists (31) and points (40)
league that he had in junior," Sacco said of Elliott, who produced 31 goals,       26 — His goals total in 2009-10, most among WHL defensemen
81 points and was plus-62 for Saskatoon last season. "Will it take some
time? We'll see."                                                                  31 — His goals total last season, most among WHL defensemen
Elliott played the past four seasons for the Blades, finishing as the              241 — Career points for Saskatoon, most among defensemen in team
organization's all-time leading scorer among defensemen, with 241 points           history
in 282 games, breaking the 37-year-old franchise record of 239 points.
                                                                                   Denver Post: LOADED: 09.27.2011
"I think he's going to have a tremendous career in the NHL," Saskatoon
coach Lorne Molleken said. "He's the type of player who elevates his game
to the level of competition. He's one of the smartest players I've ever
coached. He's uses his stick very well and is real good as far as body
position on the defensive side of the puck."
The Avs drafted Elliott in the second round (49th overall) in 2009. Since
then, he has averaged more than a point per game and scored 57 goals.
Most of his goals have come on wrist shots. He rarely takes slap shots.
He's a marksman who sets up his shots with extraordinary puck-handling
skills.
"The kid can really play with the puck," Sacco said. "He's got good instincts
offensively. Defensively, we'll continue to work with him on that side of the
puck, but time will tell. He certainly has the makeup."
Elliott is getting every opportunity to make Colorado's Oct. 8 opening-night
roster that will face Detroit at the Pepsi Center. In two preseason games,
he's been paired with a shutdown defenseman at even strength and played
one of the points on the power play.
He has two points, both assists, and is even in plus-minus rating.
The Avs will keep seven or eight defensemen.
"It's my job just to make their decision tough," Elliott said of making the
team. "Better players, better goalies, but at the same time I'm getting better
every time I step on the ice. Every game I get more comfortable, so I'm
optimistic."
The Avs on Monday reassigned three players, including two defensemen,
leaving 10 blue-liners — eight healthy — on the roster heading into
Wednesday's preseason game against the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
The Avs' revamped defense is focused on size, with the free-agent signings
of 230-pounders Jan Hejda and Shane O'Brien joining similar-sized Erik
Johnson and Ryan O'Byrne. But with the offseason trade that sent John-
Michael Liles to Toronto for a second-round draft pick in 2012, there is a
need for an offensively skilled, slick-skating defenseman.
Elliott is in the running with fellow 20-year-old rookie/major-junior star Tyson
Barrie. Veterans Matt Hunwick and Kyle Cumiskey are excellent skaters,
but don't have the offensive punch of Elliott and Barrie.
The oft-injured Cumiskey is on a two-way contract and has yet to play in a
preseason game. Hejda (knee) and Ryan Wilson (thumb) haven't played
any preseason games because of injuries.
579922     Colorado Avalanche


Colorado Avalanche sends Stoa, Holos, Gaunce down to Lake Erie
Monsters


Mike Chambers, The Denver Post


Twenty-year-old rookies Stefan Elliott and Tyson Barrie survived another
cut Monday and are among the Avalanche's eight healthy defensemen and
10 overall on the preseason roster.
Elliott and Barrie are vying for an Oct. 8 opening-night roster spot along with
rookie forwards Gabriel Landeskog (18 years old) and Brad Malone (22).
The Avs trimmed their roster to 31 by reassigning defensemen Jonas Holos
and Cameron Gaunce and forward Ryan Stoa to the club's American
Hockey League, the Lake Erie Monsters.
Denver Post: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579923    Colorado Avalanche


Avs reassign Holos, Gaunce and Stoa


By Mike Chambers


The Avalanche today reassigned defensemen Jonas Holos and Cameron
Gaunce and forward Ryan Stoa to its American Hockey League affiliate, the
Lake Erie Monsters.
The reduction leaves Colorado with a 31-player roster heading into
Wednesday's fourth preseason game, against the Los Angeles Kings at the
Pepsi Center.
The Avs are carrying 10 defensemen, including impressive 20-year-old
prospects Stefan Elliott and Tyson Barrie. With off-season free-agent
signee Jan Hejda (knee) and veteran Ryan Wilson (thumb) out with injuries,
Elliott or Barrie could make the Oct. 8 opening-night roster against the
Detroit Red Wings.
The Avs will keep seven or eight defensemen.
Kyle Cumiskey, who plays a similar, offensive-minded style as Elliott and
Barrie, signed a two-way contract this month but has yet to play in the
preseason.
Denver Post: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579924      Columbus Blue Jackets


Blue Jackets' Wisniewski to sit eight games
Defenseman handed ‘harsh’ suspension for his hit on Wild’s Clutterbuck


By Aaron Portzline


WASHINGTON — Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski was
suspended for eight regular-season games and the remainder of the
preseason by the NHL last night for a blow to the head of Minnesota’s Cal
Clutterbuck at the end of an exhibition game on Friday.
The suspension, handed down by NHL vice president of player safety
Brendan Shanahan, will keep Wisniewski out of the lineup until Oct. 25
against the Detroit Red Wings in Nationwide Arena. It also will cost him
$536,585.36, the equivalent of his salary for eight games. The money goes
to the NHL players emergency assistance fund.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson spoke with Wisniewski shortly
after the decision. “He’s distraught,” Howson said.
Wisniewski did not travel with the Blue Jackets for a 3-1 exhibition loss last
night to the Washington Capitals. He did not return messages from The
Dispatch seeking comment, nor did his agent, Bill Zito.
The Blue Jackets signed Wisniewski to a six-year, $33 million contract on
July 1. Now he’s lost for roughly 1/10th of the season.
“It was harsh,” coach Scott Arniel said. “It was very harsh. I thought it was a
lot harsher than I was expecting.”
On Friday, Wisniewski took exception to a Clutterbuck hit on Blue Jackets
defenseman Fedor Tyutin in the final minute of regulation. He immediately
knocked Clutterbuck to the ice and challenged him to a fight, but when
Clutterbuck declined, play continued until time expired.
At that point, Cluttebuck was skating directly toward Wisniewski, and when
the two met, Wisniewski launched his elbow or shoulder into Clutterbuck’s
head, sending him hard to the ice.
“Wisniewski engaged Clutterbuck in defense of his own teammate by
knocking Clutterbuck to the ice,” Shanahan said. “While that may have led
Wisniewski to believe that he potentially had to defend himself (after the
final buzzer), this is not a justification for intentionally hitting a player in the
head.
“If Wisniewski feels threatened, he must choose a different way to defend
himself. In my review of the video, Clutterbuck shows no intent to hit
Wisniewski.”
Shanahan pointed to NHL rule No. 48, which covers blows to the head.
“Wisniewski’s suspension history weighed heavily into my decision,”
Shanahan said, “as well as the fact that he intentionally targeted a
defenseless player when play had ended.”
Shanahan said Wisniewski has been suspended four times since March
2008.
Early last season, Wisniewski, then with the New York Islanders, was
suspended for two games after making an obscene gesture at the Rangers’
Sean Avery. During the 2009-10 season, he was suspended eight games
after a retaliatory hit on Chicago’s Brent Seabrook and two games for a
forearm blow to the head of Phoenix’s Shane Doan.
In March 2008, Wisniewski was suspended one game for a cross-check to
the neck of Detroit’s Mikael Samuelsson.
The Blue Jackets can appeal the suspension, but that seems unlikely.
“I think it’s too much,” Tyutin said. “I understand the league is trying to take
a stand, but I didn’t think it was that bad, and I was right there (next to him
on the ice). It’s a big loss for us. We could already see what he was
meaning to us in terms of leadership. This is bad for us.”
Columbus Dispatch LOADED: 09.27.2011
579925     Columbus Blue Jackets


Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 1: Final auditions are under way


By Aaron Portzline


WASHINGTON — The Blue Jackets sent a roster full of “bubble boys” into
one of the NHL’s toughest environments last night. This was by design, as
the time to make difficult roster decisions is near.
A 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals before an announced crowd of
18,025 in the Verizon Center was less about winning or losing and more
about settling the close calls that remain on the Jackets’ third and fourth
forward lines, the third defensive pair and as backup goaltender to Steve
Mason.
“We put three defensemen in there who are all competing,” coach Scott
Arniel said. “We put in three or four forwards who are all competing for
spots. We just wanted to trying them against a really good team, to see if
they could do it.”
The Blue Jackets had six players in the lineup who could be called locks for
the regular-season roster: forwards Derick Brassard, Vinny Prospal,
Antoine Vermette and Jared Boll, and defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Marc
Methot.
The rest were veterans trying to hang on to an NHL dream or youngsters
dying to begin one.
Arniel said there will be significant cuts today.
Left winger Maksim Mayorov has arguably been the best performer in
training camp. Rookie center Ryan Johansen, 19, has not stood out in any
of his three games, but he has not appeared overmatched, either. Cam
Atkinson has afforded himself as an offensive threat.
“Every day I’m here now, it’s just a fight to prove I deserve to be on the
team,” said Johansen, who along with Mayorov is tied for the team lead with
two goals.
Cody Bass and Dane Byers have earned long looks, too, with their physical
play.
Injuries have not helped the situation. Center Derek MacKenzie (knee) and
winger Matt Calvert (groin) are out, and right winger Tomas Kubalik just
returned to full duty yesterday. All three came to camp in the hunt for jobs
lower in the lineup.
“We’ve had a big push by a lot of guys,” Arniel said. “They’ve made it hard
on us, and that’s what you want to see.”
The defense is only slightly less cloudy.
Veteran Aaron Johnson and rookies Nick Holden, John Moore and David
Savard have been competing for the No. 7 job. Now, two of them are likely
to earn a spot after the eight-game suspension handed to James
Wisniewski.
A ankle injury to backup goaltender Mark Dekanich, who is expected to
miss one month, has opened the door for veteran Curtis Sanford. He made
32 stops against a Capitals roster than included at least 15 regulars.
“I came to camp looking for a long-term job,” Sanford said. “This was a big
game for a lot of guys, but there’s pressure to perform every game.”
Sanford gave up six goals in his debut Sept. 20 at Winnipeg, but he’s likely
the backup.
“Sanford has to get his minutes,” Arniel said. “I haven’t decided what I’ll do
this coming weekend yet, but I thought he was real strong (tonight).”
Columbus Dispatch LOADED: 09.27.2011
579926     Columbus Blue Jackets                                                   Cam Atkinson is among a group of young forwards the Jackets are keeping
                                                                                   a close watch on.
                                                                                   In the nomenclature of junior hockey, the Mite level is for 7- and 8-year-
Michael Arace commentary: 5-7 Atkinson could loom large in Jackets’                olds. Cam Atkinson was told he was too small to play Mite. Think about that
future                                                                             for a second. How can you be too small for Mite?
                                                                                   “Obviously, I was the littlest guy,” Atkinson said. “The jersey went down to
Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski was suspended for eight                   my ankles.”
regular-season games and the remainder of the preseason by the NHL                 Atkinson was the squirt of squirts, the pee-wee of pee-wees, the runt of
tonight for his end-of-game blow to the head last Friday on Minnesota Wild         bantams and the midget’s midget. Too small. He heard it in prep school,
forward Cal Clutterbuck.                                                           heard it when he was drafted in the sixth round in 2008, heard it in college.
The suspension, handed down by NHL vice president of player safety                 “It got to a point where I heard it so many times, it either fed my motivation
Brendan Shanahan, will keep Wisniewski out of the lineup until Oct. 25 vs.         or rolled right off,” he said. “I was like, ‘Get a new line already.’?”
the Detroit Red Wings in Nationwide Arena. It also will cost Wisniewski
$536,585.36, the equivalent of his salary for eight games. The money goes          Over his last two seasons at Boston College, Atkinson scored more goals
to the NHL players emergency assistance fund.                                      — 61 in 71 games — than any person of any size in college hockey. Those
                                                                                   are Archie Griffin numbers.
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson spoke with Wisniewski shortly
after Shanahan’s decision was rendered. “He's distraught,” Howson said.            Atkinson led BC to a national title in 2010. He was a Hobey Baker finalist
                                                                                   (as the nation’s best player) in 2011. He forewent his senior year to sign
Wisniewski did not travel with the Blue Jackets for last night’s 3-1 exhibition    with the Blue Jackets, joined the Springfield Falcons — and had three goals
loss in Washington against the Capital. He did not return messages from            and five points in five American Hockey League games last spring.
The Dispatch seeking comment; nor did his agent, Bill Zito.
                                                                                   Here he is now, still in Jackets camp. He is still 5 feet 7 (as listed by the
The Blue Jackets signed Wisniewski to a six-year, $33 million contract on          team) and 173 pounds (as listed by the team). He is 22 years old and looks
July 1. Now he’s lost for roughly 1/10th of the season.                            much younger, like maybe he is Ray Whitney’s cousin. He has Whitney’s
“It was harsh,” Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. “It was very harsh. I        brand of confidence; judge him by appearance at your own risk.
thought it was a lot harsher than I was expecting.”                                “It’s amazing to see some of the young kids who look younger than they
On Friday, Wisniewski took exception to a Clutterbuck hit on Jackets               really are, with those baby faces,” captain Rick Nash said. “I was one of
defenseman Fedor Tyutin in the final minute of regulation on Friday in St.         those guys once. (Atkinson) has definitely surprised me. He has been one
Paul, Minn. He immediately knocked Clutterbuck to the ice and challenged           of the best players in camp.”
him to a fight, but when Clutterbuck declined play continued until the             Atkinson remains a long shot to make the big club, but he will get some
regulation buzzer.                                                                 games in Columbus this season. Mark it down. He may not be quite as
At that point, Cluttebuck was skating directly toward Wisniewski, and when         quick as, say, Martin St.?Louis. He may not have all the wares of, say,
the two met Wisniewski launched his elbow and/or shoulder into                     Brian Gionta. But he is fast, he is strong on the puck and he can flat-out
Clutterbuck’s head, sending him hard to the ice.                                   shoot it.

“Wisniewski engaged Clutterbuck in defense of his own teammate by                  “He has got a great shot,” goaltender Steve Mason said. “I can tell you
knocking Clutterbuck to the ice,” Shanahan said in his explanation video on        that.”
NHL.com. “While that may have led Wisniewski to believe that he                    As a kid, Atkinson had a Russian figure-skating coach as a power-skating
potentially had to defend himself (after the final buzzer), this is not a          instructor. He learned early how to use the four edges of his skates, and his
justification for intentionally hitting a player in the head.                      low center of gravity, to remain upright in harsh traffic, and along the walls.
“If Wisniewski feels threatened, he must choose a different way to defend          And unlike most Canadian juniors, as a collegian he was afforded time to
himself. In my review of the video, Clutterbuck shows no intent to hit             train with weights. He was fully sculpted once he turned pro.
Wisniewski at this moment.”                                                        His best attribute may be his nose for the puck. It loves him. He loves it.
Shanahan pointed to NHL rule No. 48, which covers blows to the head.               They tend to come to each other. Bigger men have tried to break that bond
                                                                                   and, to this point, they have been largely unsuccessful.
“Wisniewski’s suspension history weighed heavily into my decision,”
Shanahan said, “as well as the fact that he intentionally targeted a               “I was born this way, and there’s no changing it,” he said. “I work with what
defenseless player when play had ended.”                                           I’ve got. There are some benefits.”

Wisniewski has been suspended four times since March 2008.                         Atkinson is among a group of young, skilled forwards on whom the Jackets
                                                                                   are keeping a close watch. The group also includes center Ryan Johansen,
Early last season, Wisniewski – then a New York Islander – was suspended           Matt Calvert, Tomas Kubalik and high-scoring minor-leaguer Alexandre
for two games after making an obscene gesture at New York Rangers’                 Giroux, among others.
agitator Sean Avery.
                                                                                   They figure into a bigger plan, as coach Scott Arniel is toying with the idea
During the 2009-10 season, he was suspended for eight games following a            of assembling three scoring lines. The more talent he has in the pipeline,
retaliatory hit on Chicago’s Brent Seabrook and two games for a forearm            the better the chance he has at doing this, sooner or later.
blow to the head of Phoenix’s Shane Doan. In March 2008, Wisniewski was
suspended one game for a cross-check to the neck of Detroit’s Mikael               “We’ve talked about nine top-end guys going, spreading out the offense and
Samuelsson.                                                                        using the last three (forwards) in a shut-down role,” Arniel said. “You need
                                                                                   grit, but if you can put skill out there. … You look at the top teams, and
The Blue Jackets can appeal the suspension, but that seems unlikely.               they’re pretty deep.”

“I think it’s too much,” Tyutin said. “I understand the league is trying to take   If Atkinson or one of the other young guns can, at some point, crack the top
a stand, but I didn’t think it was that bad, and I was right there (next to him    six, it will be much easier to lubricate this system. Think of it: R.J. Umberger
on the ice."                                                                       is a top-six forward, but he can play anywhere and maintain a threat on
                                                                                   special teams — so, how dangerous would the Jackets look with him on the
                                                                                   third line?
-- Aaron Portzline                                                                 No small thought, that.


By Michael Arace

                                                                                   Four Check
Summertime views
With the first preseason game less than a week away, here’s a look at
some of the key news in CBJ Land during the offseason:
1. If someone had said at the end of last season that the Jackets would
head into 2011-12 with Steve Mason as the undisputed No. 1 goalie, it
would have been a shocker, given how Mason has played the past two
seasons. But that’s where the Jackets find themselves. If Mason doesn’t
rebound, all of the other retooling that has taken place will be insignificant.
On the plus side, if Mason does struggle, the reaction from a newly
aggressive management will likely be different than before. Veteran goalies
can always be had if you're willing to make a trade or spend some money.
Blue Jackets
Cannon Fodder Podcast
Tune in for lively discussions with Dispatch beat writers about the Blue
Jackets and the rest of the NHL.
Columbus Dispatch LOADED: 09.27.2011
579927     Dallas Stars


Future looks bright for Stars' minor league goaltending pair


By MIKE HEIKA


Goaltending depth has never really been a problem in the Stars’
organization.
Back in 1998-99, future NHLers Marty Turco and Manny Fernandez tended
the minor league twine while Ed Belfour won the Stanley Cup. Then in
2005-06, future NHLers Dan Ellis and Mike Smith split minor league time
while Turco ranked third in the NHL with 41 wins.
Now, 2011-12 has the look of a similar type of season.
While Kari Lehtonen is in great shape as the No. 1 goalie, and Andrew
Raycroft appears a solid veteran backup, the Stars could have two future
NHLers in the minors. Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany are
coming off strong AHL seasons.
“It’s been so fun watching them the last couple of weeks,” said Stars
goaltending coach Mike Valley. “Bachs is just so quietly consistent. He’s in
the right place all of the time, and he just lets the puck hit him in the chest.
It’s more than that, obviously, but he doesn’t try to make things more
difficult than they are. If he reads the play and he’s in the right position, he’s
probably going to make the stop.
“And Besko,” Valley continued, “he’s 6-5, and he’s phenomenal. His work
ethic, his technique, his talent … the whole package is coming together
right now.”
Bachman lost a 3-0 game Sunday at Colorado, facing 31 shots, but at age
24, he has the full faith of the organization. Bachman was 28-19-5 with the
Texas Stars last season and had a 2.25 GAA with a .927 save percentage.
Listed at 5-10, he is the rare “small” goalie in today’s game.
“You look at Richard Bachman, he was in the top four of every category of
goaltending statistics in the American Hockey League last year,” said new
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan, who coached the Texas Stars last season.
“That’s pretty impressive.”
As for Beskorowany, he is only 21 and a few years behind Bachman in his
development. However, he posted a 7-8-1 mark in the AHL last season with
a 2.58 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. Plus, he’s been
arguably the team’s best goalie in training camp.
“I definitely think those two will push each other down there, but I also think
they’re pushing the guys up here, too,” Valley said. “There’s a real feeling of
camaraderie there, and you can feel they all are pulling for each other. It’s a
really nice situation to have right now.”
Briefly: The Stars fell to 3-1-0 in the preseason. Dallas was outshot, 31-16,
and went 0-for-5 on the power play, but it played a roster missing most of its
high-end skill players. … Dallas is expected to practice Monday in Frisco
and then will resume its preseason schedule Tuesday in Florida. …
Gulutzan said the team might delay its first big roster cutdown until after
Tuesday’s game.
Dallas Morning News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579928     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings GM Ken Holland: Jan Mursak to miss three months


By HELENE ST. JAMES


What: Red vs. White scrimmage
When: 6 tonight.
Where: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids.
White headliners: Forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas
Holmstrom; defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Ian White; goaltender Jimmy
Howard.
Red headliners: Forwards Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula and Danny
Cleary; defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart; goaltender Ty
Conklin.
Fabian Brunnstrom already has impressed Red Wings management, and
now he might have gotten just the break needed to secure a spot.
General manager Ken Holland said Monday the news on injured forward
Jan Mursak was even worse than the two-month recovery first announced
when Mursak suffered a broken left ankle Sunday: It's more like three
months. Holland said Mursak has several non-displaced fractures, as well
as stretched ligaments; it won't be known for a few days whether Mursak
will need surgery.
With Mursak decommissioned through December, there's an opening for at
least one of the two players on a tryout: Brunnstrom or Ryan Johnson.
Neither is scheduled to play in tonight's Red vs. White scrimmage in Grand
Rapids.
"Brunnstrom and Johnson have both played well," Holland said. "Both are a
little different-type players. Johnson we know has been around the league,
kills penalties, brings speed, brings energy, is a shot blocker, good on
draws -- those are some of the areas we weren't very good on last year, on
penalty killing draws. Brunnstrom is a 26-year-old player that we pursued
hard three years ago. He had 17 goals in the NHL one year. He's played
well. So far the guys coming in here have stated their case pretty good."
There's a lot of intrigue surrounding Brunnstrom. He's young, he's adept at
using his 6-foot-1, 205-pound body to protect the puck, and he has got a
nice set of hands. The Wings recruited him in the spring of 2008 only to see
him sign with Dallas and then pump 17 goals into 55 games his rookie year.
Brunnstrom spent the past two seasons playing his way out of the NHL, and
then asked the Wings if he could come to their camp this summer. He's far
from the first guy who's needed several years to establish himself in the
NHL; he is, in fact, the exact same age at which top-line winger Danny
Cleary came to Detroit on a tryout in 2005.
Holland said he isn't likely to decide on whom to offer a contract until after
this weekend's exhibition games. The Wings could sign Brunnstrom and
then send him to the minors, as he has said he'd go, but that would mean
exposing him on waivers. Even though he was unemployed this summer, it
doesn't mean another team wouldn't take a flier on him now. Johnson said
that he isn't interested in the minors.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
579929     Detroit Red Wings


Injury to Red Wings' Jan Mursak opens opportunity for Fabian Brunnstrom


By HELENE ST. JAMES


Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said this morning that
injured forward Jan Mursak likely won't be back before Christmas.
Mursak fractured his left ankle during Sunday's exhibition against the
Chicago Blackhawks, and while surgery may not be necessary, the damage
is extensive.
"I think closer to three months is what we're looking at," Holland said.
"We're going to wait for the swelling to go down and then assess him. He's
got a broken ankle. He's got some other broken bones, stretched ligaments.
"I don't think he needs surgery -- nothing is displaced, everything seems to
be in place -- but they're going to see if they need to put pins in or anything.
We'll know more in, say, a week."
This is very unfortunate news for Mursak, who was looking at his first full
season of NHL action. He likely would have been a regular on the fourth
line and would have been a part of the penalty-killing units, too.
On the other hand, this opens up a window for Fabian Brunnstrom. Much as
coach Mike Babcock has said Cory Emmerton is competing with Ryan
Johnson for the fourth-line center spot, Emmerton has a spot on the team
because he can't be sent down without being exposed on waivers.
Brunnstrom and Johnson are the two guys who are with the Wings on
tryouts, so they stand to benefit the most from the opening created by
Mursak's injury.
Brunnstrom, 26, is the more intriguing player over Johnson, 35. Johnson is
a solid, veteran defensive forward who can help out the PK and is good on
face-offs, but Brunnstrom is a big, young winger who can skate, score and
protect the puck. He's also said he'll go to Grand Rapids to start the
season, if needed, but that would mean the Wings would have had to
expose him on waivers (after giving him a contract). In this scenario, that no
longer is necessary.
Holland said he won't decide on who gets a contract until after the Wings
have gotten through all their exhibition games. They play three in three
nights Friday through Sunday.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
579930     Detroit Red Wings                                                     He fell off to two goals and nine assists in 44 games the next season before
                                                                                 his demotion to the Texas Stars in the AHL. Toronto acquired him last
                                                                                 season, but he played for the Marlies.
Red Wings' success relies on key players to step up                              In 80 AHL games over two seasons, Brunnstrom scored 16 goals.
                                                                                 But on Monday, when asked who has impressed him, Holland mentioned
Gregg Krupa/ The Detroit News                                                    Brunnstrom's name first, along with Nyquist, a 22-year-old Swede who
                                                                                 played for the University of Maine last year, and Filppula.
                                                                                 He also added Ryan Johnson, the well-traveled, 35-year-old center who
Detroit — The perception around the Red Wings is that for 2011-12 to             played 34 games last year with the Blackhawks. Johnson is a bit of a mirror
become a special sort of NHL season, a couple players, at least, need to         image of the 41-year-old Draper, who retired last summer and is now
step up in a big way to surpass their past performances.                         Holland's assistant.

The Red Wings are evermore reliant on the improvement of a few veterans          "I think Brunnstrom and Johnson have both played well," Holland said.
and the development of younger ones within their system. The fate of the         "They are both different kinds of players.
best franchise in the league over the last two decades is increasingly
determined by both the salary cap, which has made the talent of all 30           "Johnson has been around the league. He's killed penalties. He brings
franchises a lot more equal, and the perennial lack of high draft picks, which   speed. He's a shot blocker. He's good on draws. Those are some of the
results from all of the Red Wings' success.                                      areas we weren't very good on last year, penalty-killing draws."

"One of the things we talked about in training camp on the first night was,      Both Brunnstrom and Johnson are skating on a tryout basis, and not signed
we don't have top-five picks in the draft," said Red Wings general manager       to play for the Red Wings. But it would not be a surprise if both are signed
Ken Holland. "You know, we're a team that picks late.                            after the exhibitions Friday and Saturday against the Maple Leafs.

"And our players, because they are late-round picks, obviously, they are not     Whether they would stay in Detroit or begin the year in Grand Rapids is less
impact players right off the bat," Holland said. "We think they can be good      certain.
players; it's a process."                                                        The Red Wings are hoping that one of their other top defensive prospects,
That puts the onus on several players — like Niklas Kronwall, Valtteri           Brendan Smith, would push Ericsson, Kindl and the newly acquired veteran
Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl — who have been         Mike Commodore for playing time along the blue line. But Smith may not be
Red Wings for several years to "take the next step," as both Holland and         quite there yet.
coach Mike Babcock like to say.                                                  Babcock has talked about the 22-year-old's need to learn from Nicklas
Meanwhile, younger players who have been in Grand Rapids, like Cory              Lidstrom to "keep things simple."
Emmerton, Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar, or older guys who are                   And Holland noted a big turnover by Smith in the exhibition against the
offseason pickups, like Fabian Brunnstrom and Ryan Johnson, must                 Blackhawks.
establish themselves as significant contributors.
                                                                                 While Red Wings fans might hope for a quick NHL debut as a regular by the
If a couple players, perhaps one from each category of more veteran Red          former Wisconsin Badgers star, the training of an NHL defenseman can be
Wings and newcomers, excel this season, it might be sufficient to make for       a long process.
an interesting May and June around Hockeytown.
                                                                                 "I think Smith had done lots of good things," Holland said. "Unfortunately,
In fact, their superior performances might be necessary for the Red Wings        he turned over the puck last night. But, I think that's a process for a
to play deeper than the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, where          defenseman, a young defenseman, to make that jump."
they have finished their Stanley Cup runs twice in a row after consecutive
appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals.                                           Detroit News LOADED: 09.27.2011
It is all the more crucial given the departures of veterans in the offseason.
"When you look at our team, with the loss of (Brian) Rafalski, with the loss
of (Mike) Modano, (Chris) Osgood, (Kris) Draper, it's an opportunity for the
20-somethings who have been patient," Holland said.
"You know, Nick Kronwall has been patient behind Rafalski, and Val
Filppula and (Jonathan) Ericsson and (Jacob) Kindl and Hudler. I think
there's an opportunity there for the 20-somethings — I mean 24-to-29 and
30 — to take a little bit of a step," he said.
"Now, it's impossible for everyone to take a step, because there's not
enough ice time. But in the early going here, I think, Hudler's had a good
camp. I think Filppula's had a real good camp. I think Ericsson's had a real
good camp. I think Kindl's had a real good camp."
Hudler disappointed last season.
While the Red Wings brass talked about the possibility he could score 30
goals, Hudler seemed unaccustomed to the speed of the NHL after a
season in Russia. Late in the year, Hudler candidly admitted he was
disappointed in his conditioning.
Among the things they have seen so far, Holland and Babcock say they are
pleased with Hudler.
"Hudler's come into camp in real good shape," Holland said.
The new player mentioned most frequently by Red Wings management and
players as the biggest revelation so far in the preseason is Fabian
Brunnstrom, the 26-year-old Swede the team desired three years ago
before losing the bidding to the Stars.
In 2008-09, Brunnstrom debuted with a hat trick before scoring 17 goals
and tallying 12 assists in 55 games. But "Bruno," as his teammates call him,
never has been quite the same since then.
579931     Detroit Red Wings


Wings' Jan Mursak has broken ankle, could miss three months


Gregg Krupa/ The Detroit News


Detroit— The news on the injured Jan Mursak, the young forward who
played well in a brief NHL stint with the Red Wings last year, got worse
Monday, and there was a general sense in the dressing room the so-called
hockey gods were particularly unkind to him.
Mursak suffered a broken ankle during an exhibition last weekend against
the Blackhawks, catching it between his body and the boards as he slid with
considerable force.
As television replays made clear, ankles are simply not intended to bend
that way.
After the game, coach Mike Babcock was willing to hazard a guess Mursak
might be lost through about Thanksgiving.
By Monday morning, it was clear it might well be at least Christmas.
"I think closer to three months is what we're looking at," said Red Wings
general manager Ken Holland.
"You know, he's obviously got a broken ankle, some other broken bones,
some stretched ligaments. I don't think he needs surgery. Nothing is
displaced. But they're going to see if we need to put pins in, or anything.
"We'll know more, I'd say, in a week."
The Red Wings brass and players made plain that while they are
disappointed because Mursak likely was to have a greater impact on the
team than he had in 20 games in 2010-11, they are more concerned about
the personal setback for a young player who was probably about to make
his mark on the team.
"I'm disappointed for Jan because this was really his first chance," Holland
said.
Bittersweet trip
Immediately after practice Monday, Babcock headed to Toronto for a task
that mixes happiness and sadness.
He will present the NHL alumni's Ace Bailey "Award of Courage" to the
family of Earl Cook , a 23-year-old friend and fan of the Red Wings who
died this month after a long fight against cancer.
Cook also was born prematurely with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Babcock began developing a close relationship with Cook after a CBC
broadcaster called him to say that, in an interview, Cook had said Babcock
was his favorite NHL coach.
Babcock called Cook, and they began to speak almost every day.
"The greatest gift of cancer, in my opinion, is it allows you to prepare people
for your death," said Babcock, whose mother, Gail , died of cancer when
Babcock was 28. "It allows you to say goodbye.
"Earl will continue to live on in my life and in my family's life, and in the Red
Wings organization, because of the kind of person that he was and the way
he touched us. I thought he was a real sense of inspiration. It puts things in
perspective of what's important."
Garnet "Ace" Bailey played two seasons for the Red Wings in the 1970s.
Terrorists murdered him on Sept. 11, 2001, when the plane on which he
was flying slammed into the World Trade Center in New York City.
Detroit News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579932     Detroit Red Wings                                                       played 58 games with the Red Wings in 1972-73 and 1973-74 during a 10-
                                                                                   year NHL career. Terrorists murdered him on Sept. 11, 2001, when the
                                                                                   plane on which he was flying slammed into the World Trade Center in New
Red Wings show improvement in special teams against Blackhawks                     York City
                                                                                   Detroit News LOADED: 09.27.2011

Gregg Krupa/ The Detroit News


Detroit— The Red Wings' power play looked good Sunday against Chicago,
with two goals in a total of 15 seconds that electrified the crowd and
perhaps the team, a bit, too. But they were back working on it, hard, at
practice Monday morning.
"We've been practicing the power play every day, and we practice it every
day all year," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "The specialty teams
are important."
Against the Blackhawks, the Wings were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty
kill, with some strong performances in the faceoff circle.
"Our penalty kill wasn't good enough last year, especially at home. Our
power play was very good on the road and good at home. We need both
specialty teams to be fantastic."
During the 2010-11 regular season, the Wings ranked fifth in the NHL on
the power play, converting 22.3 percent of the time. But they were in the
bottom half of the league, 17th, on the penalty kill, with an 82.3 percentage.
There was a decline in their efficiency on both special teams in the playoffs,
and some improvement would have helped in the close seven-game series
against San Jose, which the Wings lost. In the playoffs, the Wings ranked
10th of the 16 teams on the power play, converting 18.6 percent of the time.
They were 13th on the penalty kill, with a 76.1 percentage.
"Penalty killing is goaltending and a scheme and guys battling hard and
blocking shots and winning faceoffs," Babcock said. "And power play is a
good scheme and a good net-front presence and shooting the puck and
sticking to it and not trying to be too cute and making sure you get pucks to
the net.
"And that's what we're focused on, and trying to get better."
With Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Nicklas Lidstrom
and newcomer Ian White forming the top power-play unit against Chicago,
the Wings were 2-for-6. Most impressive was their lightning-quick attack,
converting in eight seconds on the first Chicago penalty and in seven on the
fourth.
Filppula and Lidstrom scored the goals and Franzen occupied a lot of space
in front of the Alexander Salak, the Blackhawks' goalie.
Bittersweet trip
Immediately after practice, Babcock headed to Toronto for a task that mixes
happiness and sadness.
He will present the NHL alumni's Ace Bailey "Award of Courage" to the
family of Earl Cook, a 23-year-old friend and fan of the Red Wings, who
died this month after a long fight against cancer.
Cook, of Winnipeg, often made the long trip to Detroit where the Wings
welcomed him at games, practices and in the dressing room as their guest.
Among all of the charitable work done by the team, Cook was a prominent,
heartfelt presence.
"The greatest gift of cancer, in my opinion, is it allows you to prepare people
for your death," said Babcock, whose mother died of cancer. "It allows you
to say 'goodbye'. So Earl will continue to live on in my life and in my family's
life, and in the Red Wings' organization, because of the kind of person that
he was and the way he touched us."
In 2007, doctors diagnosed Cook with a cancerous bone tumor. But his
positive approach to life inspired Babcock and the Wings.
"He touched a lot people, and maximized his years," Babcock said. "Yet
with all of the things that he had to go up against, he always found a way to
have a good day just about every single day.
"I thought he was a real sense of inspiration to me, to my family and to this
team. It puts things in perspective of what's important." Garnet "Ace" Bailey
579933     Detroit Red Wings


Rosters for Red Wings Red & White game Tuesday in Grand Rapids


By Ansar Khan


DETROIT -- Here are the rosters for the Detroit Red Wings' Red & White
game Tuesday at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids (6 p.m.):
Red Team
Forwards: Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Danny Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi,
Jiri Hudler, Joakim Andersson, Chris Conner, Louis-Marc Aubry, Francis
Pare, Adam Estoclet, Landon Ferraro, Trevor Parkes.
Defensemen: Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Travis Ehrhardt, Bryan
Rufenach, Greg Amadio, Brian Lashoff.
Goaltenders: Ty Conklin, Jordan Pearce.
White Team
Forwards: Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, Justin
Abdelkader, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Andrej Nestrasil, Jamie
Johnson, Willie Coetzee, Mitchell Callahan, Brent Raedeke.
Defensemen: Nicklas Lidstrom, Ian White, Garnet Exelby, Logan Pyett,
Sebastien Piche, Gleason Fournier, Nick Oslund.
Goaltenders: Jimmy Howard, Thomas McCollum.
Here is a list of some of the players not slated to participate: Darren Helm,
Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Fabian Brunnstrom, Ryan Johnson, Jonathan
Ericsson, Mike Commodore, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Doug Janik, Joey
MacDonald.
Here are the line and defense pairings they skated with today. This is the
main group. The second group, featuring mostly Grand Rapids Griffins,
skated later:
Hudler-Datsyuk-Cleary
Filppula-Zetterberg-Franzen
Brunnstrom-Abdelkader-Bertuzzi
Conner-Emmerton-Eaves
Miller-R. Johnson-Holmstrom
Lidstrom-White
Kronwall-Stuart
Ericsson-Kindl
Smith-Commodore
Howard
Conklin
Helm did not practice. Coach Mike Babcock said he is not injured, just
taking a personal day.
Michigan Live LOADED: 09.27.2011
579934    Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings' Jan Mursak out closer to three months


By Ansar Khan


DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, providing an
update today on Jan Mursak, said the speedy, young forward will be out
closer to three months after suffering a fractured left ankle in Sunday's
preseason game against Chicago.
Doctors will wait 2-3 days for the swelling to go down and re-assess his
condition, but Holland does not believe surgery is required.
"He's got some other broken bones, stretched ligaments,'' Holland said.
"Nothing's displaced, everything seems to be in place. They're going to see
if they need to put pins in. We'll know more in a week.
“Obviously, it's disappointing. He's a young kid that played (19) games last
year (with Detroit) and played well. Love his speed. We thought he was
going to bring some energy, give us some good depth, but with Ryan
Johnson and (Cory) Emmerton, (Fabian) Brunnstrom, (Tomas) Tatar, we've
got some guys that can continue to push and give us depth.''
Holland said he's likely to wait until after this weekend's preseason games
to decide whether to offer contracts to Brunnstrom and/or Johnson. The
Red Wings host Toronto Friday, visit the Maple Leafs on Saturday and host
Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Emmerton might have made the team anyway, but Mursak's injury probably
assures him of a spot.
Michigan Live LOADED: 09.27.2011
579935      Detroit Red Wings                                                          "One of the best things about being a Detroit affiliate is the fact that fans
                                                                                       can see our players playing here on a Tuesday and playing up in Detroit on
                                                                                       a Thursday," he said. "You can watch a Wings game, tune in on any night,
Grand Rapids hockey fans eager for Red Wings' Red-White game at Van                    and you’re going to see a significant number of players that potentially
Andel Arena                                                                            spent years in the development phase of their careers in Grand Rapids.
                                                                                       That’s cool. That’s awesome to feel that sense of connection."
                                                                                       It also has fans in West Michigan excited to welcome the Red Wings back
Michael Zuidema                                                                        to town.
                                                                                       "Frankly, it’s been too long since they’ve been here," Gortsema said. "I think
                                                                                       it’s always kind of cool when, in your own back yard, you can see these
GRAND RAPIDS -- Amy TerMors has been a fan of the Detroit Red Wings                    hockey players and the people you like to watch on TV up close and
for more than 16 years, and with good reason -- it was a requirement when              personal."
she first met her husband, Joseph.
                                                                                       Michigan Live LOADED: 09.27.2011
The Grand Rapids residents also have attended Grand Rapids Griffins
games for about five years and have been season-ticket holders for the
past two, so one can imagine how excited they are to attend Tuesday
night’s Red-White game at Van Andel Arena.
It will be the Red Wings’ first visit to Van Andel Arena since a 2007 practice,
and their first intrasquad game since 2003.
"I’m thrilled, I can’t wait," Amy said. "In fact, opening night is like a holiday at
this house. We’re pretty excited.
"I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s fabulous that we can just run down the
street and see them."
But how would they feel if Detroit no longer was the NHL affiliate for the
Griffins?
"Don’t even play, because that’s not funny," Amy said. "No, but we’d
probably still go. Hockey is hockey."
Paul Utcai of Grand Rapids agreed. He also is a Griffins season ticket
holder and will attend Tuesday’s game, and said he still would go to games
even if Grand Rapids couldn’t call itself Hockeytown West.
"It wouldn’t be as fun if New York or somebody else was here, but I would
still go anyway," Utcai said. "It’s a good arena and a good time."
The affiliation agreement between the Red Wings and Griffins is set to
expire at the end of the 2011-12 season, but there’s almost no chance it
gets to that point.
Griffins senior vice president of business operations Tim Gortsema and Red
Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said an extension likely will be
reached soon.
"I think both parties clearly realize that it’s in our mutual best interests to
extend the agreement," Gortsema said. "Just from geography, proximity,
marketing value, all of that, both parties genuinely want the deal to be
extended and continued."
The teams met several times over the summer and again Sept. 19 during
training camp in Traverse City. The talks went well, and they are in the
process of working through some of the smaller details, such as who is
responsible for different costs and clarifying roles and responsibilities for the
two sides, some of which have been altered since Griffins GM Bob
McNamara left the team in June.
But none of those minor issues should stand in the way of an agreement.
"There will be something done," Nill said. "It’s been a great affiliation, and it
will continue to be."
After serving as the minor league affiliate of the Ottawa Senators for three
seasons, the Griffins and Red Wings announced they would join forces Jan.
24, 2002.
Since then, more than three dozen players have graduated from Grand
Rapids to Detroit, including No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard, defensemen
Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson and forwards Darren Helm, Justin
Abdelkader and Valtteri Filppula.
Current prospects such as Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar and Gustav
Nyquist now are biding their time in Grand Rapids before getting a shot with
the Red Wings.
That’s one reason it makes too much sense for a deal not to get done,
Gortsema said.
579936     Edmonton Oilers                                                        The Oilers should have some definitive word on Sam Gagner Tuesday after
                                                                                  his MRI exam Monday.
                                                                                  Gagner has an ankle sprain on his left foot after he was driven into the
Oilers send defenceman Plante, 10 more hopefuls back to AHL's Barons,             boards during Saturday's pre-season game against the Calgary Flames at
Marincin returns to WHL's Cougars                                                 Rexall Place.
                                                                                  If it's a high-ankle sprain, he could be out for some time, although he did
By Jim Matheson,                                                                  play through the same thing with hi right foot a couple of years ago.
                                                                                  Whitney more upbeat

EDMONTON - Defenceman Alex Plante continues to be a work in progress              Whitney skated on Monday after taking two days off to rest his repaired
after the 2007 first-round draft pick was sent to the Oklahoma City Barons        right ankle.
of the American Hockey League on Monday.                                          "I took some anti-inflammatories," said Whitney, who was discouraged last
Plante did not make it to the final group of 11 blue-liners who remain on the     Friday that he couldn't fight his way through the scar tissue buildup after
Edmonton Oilers training camp roster.                                             having January surgery to fix a dislocated tendon.

It's one more speed bump on Plante's winding road to the NHL, which has           His frustration level then was "10 out of 10," but he was in better spirits
seen him play eight games the last two years in brief call-ups. He has failed     Monday. He's no ready to play a game as pre-season wears down, but
to knock the socks off the coaching staff at camp, and played two games           more upbeat.
this pre-season.                                                                  "I haven't played since January. You see guys like (Zdeno) Chara and
"I would like to see Alex deliver the puck with a little more authority, more     (Nick) Lidstrom playing exhibitions. They need them. So do I," he said.
pace, more decisiveness," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. "He's                Teubert 'on the outside'
capable of that, but that's confidence and you have to be playing to get
that."                                                                            Teubert took part in Monday's practice, but there was no contact for him. He
                                                                                  hasn't played in three weeks since suffering a concussion after a fight with
Instead, farmhand Taylor Chorney and impressive Princeton University              Vancouver Canucks prospect Adam Polasek.
grad Taylor Fedun, are still in camp, along with off-season free-agent
signee Corey Potter.                                                              "I've been on the outside for a while, but that's the way it goes sometimes,"
                                                                                  said the defenceman.
Colten Teubert has yet to play as he gets over a concussion, while veteran
blue-liner Ryan Whitney might not get into pre-season action to rest his          He hopes to play at least one of the last three pre-season games. Teubert's
healing right ankle. Tom Gilbert, Andy Sutton, Ladislav Smid, Theo                destined for Oklahoma City, but he would be one of the first recalls if there
Peckham, Cam Barker and Jeff Petry are the other defencemen among the             are injuries.
35 players who are still in camp. Potter, Chorney and Fedun could be
auditioning for the No. 7 spot.                                                   Khabibulin to start

The Oilers also sent centre Chris VandeVelde, who played 12 games last            Veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will start against the Phoenix Coyotes
season, forwards Tyler Pitlick, Tanner House, Philippe Cornet, Ryan               Tuesday night, but Yann Danis, the likely No. 1 goalie in Oklahoma City in
Martindale and Milan Kytnar (ankle sprain) to their AHL affiliate. Martindale     2011-12, may get a peek before he reports to the AHL club, which started
will likely be signed rather than go back to major junior for a fifth year with   its camp Monday with only 12 players.
the Ottawa 67s.                                                                   Off Monday's practice, Eric Belanger will centre a line with Taylor Hall and
The six-foot-three Martindale was one of the Ontario Hockey League's              Ryan Jones against the Coyotes.
leading pointmen last season. He could be more physical, but he's got the         Anton Lander will probably play with Finnish rookie Antti Tyrvainen and
size the Oilers are looking for in the middle.                                    maybe Ryan Keller or Josh Green on the other wing. Because the players
Edmonton also sent defencemen Ryan Lowery and Kirill Tulupov, and                 who suited up in Calgary on Sunday were excused from practice Monday,
goalie Olivier Roy to the Barons.                                                 it's hard to know what other forwards will dress. You can expect to see
                                                                                  Andy Sutton, Tom Gilbert, Taylor Chorney and Jeff Petry on the back end
Tulupov, who knocked Ben Eager out with a concussion in the Joey Moss             Tuesday, but the other two blue-liners are up in the air. Maybe Fedun and
Cup earlier this month and showed some promise while here on a tryout,            Potter.
may be signed to an AHL contract. A former New Jersey Devils third-
rounder, he's a hitter and justified his training camp invite at the behest of    Petrell impresses coaches
his agent, Igor Larionov                                                          Finnish winger Lennart Petrell again caught the attention of the Oilers
The Oilers sent defenceman Martin Marincin back to the Prince George              coaching staff in Calgary on Sunday as the 27-year-old, 209-pound forward
Cougars. He had 56 points in 65 games with the Western Hockey League              tries for a fourth-line spot.
team last year.                                                                   "I like that junk-dog mentality, the second and third effort. His opportunities
VandeVelde did a very nice job in his late season call-up last year. His          aren't over yet," said Renney.
footspeed has to be better, but he's a dogged worker. For now, they like          "We could use some heaviness in our lineup."
Ryan O'Marra more as a fourth-line centre prospect.
                                                                                  If Petrell was sent to the Barons, there is likely a provision for him to return
"He's a really good two-way player, but has to be responsible for some            to Finland to play for IFK, but only after several months if he's not recalled
offence, too," said Renney.                                                       by the Oilers.
Roy has refined his game with goalie coach Fred Chabot - fewer acrobatics,        And ...
being more calm in the net - and had a very good camp. He'll likely be the
No. 1 goalie in Stockton, the Oilers' East Coast Hockey League affiliate          Former Oilers winger Patrick O'Sullivan leads the Coyotes in pre-season
because Yann Danis and fellow veteran David LeNeveu signed with the               scoring with four points in three games. He was signed to a two-way
team.                                                                             contract this summer after finishing up with the Houston Aeros, the
                                                                                  American Hockey League affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, last spring. "I
"Oklahoma City is obviously where he wants to stay, but he'll have to make        played 300 straight games in the NHL, then all of a sudden I come to a
his mark there. He has to play," said Renney.                                     cross-roads in my career. I had to go down and play in the AHL," O'Sullivan
The Oilers likely see Pitlick as an NHL winger because they could use a big       told the Coyotes' website. He will play tonight at Rexall Place.
body rather than a centre, which is the position he played with the WHL's         Former Oilers forward Ryan Potulny is on waivers after the Washington
Medicine Hat Tigers last season.                                                  Capitals sent him down to the minors. Local product Brendan Mikkelson,
Gagner to get result Tuesday                                                      who spilled Sam Gagner into the boards on Saturday in the Flames game,
                                                                                  was also sent to the minors Monday.
Green was the only Oilers forward in an orange sweater at practice on
Monday. It wasn't a "don't hit me" jersey. "I'm cleared for contact,"
deadpanned Green, who has two goals in two pre-season games, but found
himself as an extra, swingman forward at practice.
Defenceman Theo Peckham has played the most pre-season games for the
Oilers. Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Linus Omark, Taylor Hall, Tom
Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Darcy Hordichuk, Jeff Petry, Petrell, Teemu
Hartikainen, Cam Barker and Pitlick have played three games.
Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579937     Edmonton Oilers                                                         the first or second line, playing with Smyth, Hall and Eberle and now
                                                                                   Hemsky on his wings.
                                                                                   The kid can already knot a tie to go with his game suits, and has the
Oilers' Hemsky returns to action for first time since March 1                      humble side of the game down pat, in interviews. He's respectful of his
Will lace up Tuesday night against Phoenix Coyotes                                 elders.
                                                                                   "Nuge can do whatever he wants out there. He's better than me," said
                                                                                   Hemsky.
By Jim Matheson,
                                                                                   Renney will use Hemsky on the power play, on the half wall, feeding people
                                                                                   against the Coyotes. That has been his bread-and-butter for years,
                                                                                   threading passes, but Renney would like Hemsky to not only "give the puck
EDMONTON - We're not sure if Ales Hemsky will need directions to get               up, but want to get it back."
from the dressing room to the Rexall Place ice surface on Tuesday when
the Phoenix Coyotes are in town, but it has been seven months and one left         Let's see if the Smyth-RNH-Hemsky line has either three, six or 10 shots
shoulder surgery since we last saw No. 83 in an Edmonton Oilers sweater.           against the Coyotes.

Hopefully, Hemsky will get in and out of the corners in one piece in his first     Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 09.27.2011
NHL game since March 1.
He'll be on the right side, with rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who will be
playing his fourth pre-season game, at centre and his old buddy Ryan
Smyth on the left side.
Will it be all passing on that line?
Smyth may have scored 10 goals during his NHL career more than 10 feet
away from the net. RNH is a playmaker, first. Hemsky? He had 100 shots in
47 games last season before heading to the operating room. All he's heard
for years is how he should be more selfish, how he should be more like
Czech countryman Milan Hejduk of the Colorado Avalanche, for example.
Same soft hands, but Hejduk thinks shoot- first. He has long been deadly
stick-side on goalies, a couple of feet off the ice.
"I think I'm the shooter on this line right now," said Hemsky, who has 114
career goals and 281 assists in 490 NHL games.
"I'll be the one going to the net and I'll shoot those ones (rebounds) in," said
Smyth.
How many times does Oilers' headcoach Tom Renney yell at Hemsky to
make the goalies make a save?
"We encourage Hemmer to shoot. He's made an adjustment to his stick. He
doesn't have a hard shot, but he's got an accurate shot. Great release,"
said Renney, who liked the Hejduk comparison.
Hemsky, who turned 28 in August, has 963 shots in his 490 games, if
you're keeping count.
He has had his right and left shoulder repaired the last couple of years, has
been practising for some time, but hasn't had any real thumping to see how
the body-shop work holds up.
"Practise sometimes is way harder than playing the games. You practise for
two hours and I'm getting every bag skate," he said, jokingly. "The shoulder
is healed enough to take a hit."
Hemsky is accustomed to seeing captain Shawn Horcoff as his linemate,
and that's built up a comfort level, but he's looking forward to getting a shot
with Nugent-Hopkins after Jordan Eberle got a couple of pre-season games
with the 18-year-old centre.
"Me and Horc have played a long time together and we know what to
expect. He knows where I go. But with Nuge (Nugent-Hopkins), you don't
have to play with him too long because he's so smart. He's got a great
sense for the game," he said.
"Playing with him for the first time was pretty cool. But I've been fortunate to
have some really good linemates (in the NHL pre-season)," said Nugent-
Hopkins.
Nugent-Hopkins is under the microscope considerably more than Hemsky
was when he was a teenager trying to make the Oilers lineup.
"I didn't have Nuge's talent when I was 18. Probably not, 100 per cent not. I
wasn't the first pick overall," said Hemsky, who went 13th overall in the
2001 NHL entry draft.
"There was pressure on me at my first camp, but not like this. Look at
Taylor (Hall), too, last year, all the hype for both. I hope they enjoy it."
Hemsky said he won't have any advice for Nugent-Hopkins, who has three
assists in his first three exhibition games as he tries to crack the roster on
579938     Edmonton Oilers                                                      "I have not given a lot of thought to that just yet. I'll let the performance
                                                                                dictate what I decide."
                                                                                There's one other conversation going on out there that is going to get
Oilers options in net                                                           louder the closer it gets to opening day.
                                                                                If you can only keep one, do you keep Anton Lander, Linus Omark or
By TERRY JONES, QMI Agency                                                      Teemu Hartikainen?
                                                                                Ask if he anticipates having to make that decision, Renney said other things
                                                                                may come into play.
EDMONTON - Is there anyone in Edmonton who doesn't think Devan
Dubnyk should be starting in goal on opening night and be declared No. 1        "There's mitigating factors. There's RNH and Sam's situation," he said of
netminder for the season and for the future?                                    the decision on Nugent-Hopkins returning to junior for another year and the
                                                                                MRI Sam Gagner was to have Monday to determine the extent of a leg
From this perch in the press box, it's real simple.                             injury.

Dubnyk (12-13-8, 2.71, .916) won the job over Nikolai Khabibulin (10-34-4,      Dubnyk's No. 1. Keep RNH for nine. Keep Lander if Gagner's out, otherwise
3.40, .890) last year. And all he needed to do was to show in the fitness       Hartikainen for his size.
tests that he'd made himself stronger in the off-season and thus able to
handle the No. 1 netminder work load and to prove that he was primed to         Any time, Tom.
proceed, picking up where he left off last year.                                Edmonton Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011
Dubnyk has shown he's stronger and has stopped 68 of 70 shots (.971
save percentage) so far. He's earned it.
"Are you aware of the incredibly high percentage of the population which
wants to see Devan Dubnyk opening the season in goal and being No. 1
this season?" your correspondent asked head coach Tom Renney.
"Pretty aware," responded Renney.
"And your thoughts?"
"I'm the coach. I'm aware of that, too."
OK, then, moving right along ...
"I've noticed a difference physically," said Renney of the 6-foot-6, 202-
pound goalie who the Oilers delayed development on by not having a farm
team one year and by having a three-goaltender system another.
"He's deeper in the chest and looks stronger and more powerful up there.
There seems to be more strength and power in his game on top of that. So
maybe there's a level of confidence, too, that makes
you feel you can endure most anything. Beyond that he's very efficient and
in control and just maturing as a goaltender."
Khabibulin will start the next one and likely give way to Yann Danis who will
get another look before he heads to his season as starting goaltender in
Oklahoma City. Both Dubnyk and Khabibulin will play one of the remaining
two away games.
The Oilers finally cut a dozen more players to get down to a still bulky 35,
including injuries. With tonight's game against Phoenix and away games in
Minnesota and Vancouver left on the pre-season schedule before the Oilers
spend four days team-building in Jasper, Renney made one thing a little
more clear going forward.
Don't expect the final cuts after the Vancouver game. He'll take a few extra
almost-Oiler players for the bonding bit of business..
But now that he's getting down to the players who are going to be in the
conversation, can we start having the conversation?


Starting with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?
Surely with what the No. 1 pick in the NHL Entry Draft has shown so far,
he'll be going to Jasper. And surely he can't be more than a strong
performance against a lineup involving actual NHLers away from getting
himself the first nine games of the season to further prove if he can proceed
with his rookie season in the NHL?
"I'm looking at playing him two of the three if I can," said Renney, who will
have a look at him with Ales Hemsky against Phoenix and probably give the
Burnaby kid the game in Vancouver.
He said the next two looks he wants to put him against NHLers as often as
possible.
"That's important," he said. "I think we should see that from here on in.
As for starting the first nine games, Renney won't go there yet.
579939     Edmonton Oilers


Teubert still groggy


By DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency


EDMONTON - Colten Teubert has been back on the ice skating with the
Edmonton Oilers for a few days now, but he has yet to shed the no-contact
red jersey.
The defensive prospect has not been fully cleared after suffering a
concussion in a fight against Vancouver Canucks prospect Adam Polasek
at the YoungStars tournament in Penticton.
"I felt good (Monday), I felt ready and I'm just hoping to get in a game,"
Teubert said following practice. "I'm not sure if I'll be able to get into a
game. That'll be up to the coaches. Obviously, I've missed a lot and
whatever their decision is, I'm going to have to respect it."
Teubert had an appointment with the Oilers team doctor following practice
and hopes to be cleared, allowing him to play in at least one exhibition
game.
The prospect, acquired in the Dustin Penner trade last year won't play
Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes, but could be inserted into the lineup
later this week against the Minnesota Wild or Vancouver Canucks.
"If I get the opportunity to play, I'm just going to try and play my game,"
Teubert said. "I can't be fancy and I have to keep it simple. I just want to be
in the lineup."
ROSTER TRIMMED
The Oilers trimmed their roster on Monday, assigning 11 players to their
AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City and sending defenceman Martin Marincin
back to his junior team in Prince George.
Defencemen Ryan Lowery, Alex Plante, Kirill Tulupov forwards Philippe
Cornet, Tanner House, Chris VandeVelde, Milan Kytnar, Curtis Hamilton,
Ryan Martindale, Tyler Pitlick and goaltender Olivier Roy are off to
Oklahoma City.
Martindale and Tulupov will be looking to earn professional contracts with
the club, while Roy will be battling for a starting spot with the Barons.
"Olivier has to play, I think him seeing the pro shot and the pro attack is
important for him," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. "He's going to
have to make his mark at training camp in Oklahoma City and we want to
put him in a spot that's going to get him the most ice time."
GAGNER GETS MRI
Sam Gagner underwent an MRI on his ankle on Monday to determine the
extent of the damage. The Oilers centre was injured in Saturday's game
against the Calgary Flames when he was ridden into the end boards.
Edmonton Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579940     Edmonton Oilers                                                        "He's got great vision and all kinds of courage," said Renney. "We just want
                                                                                  to see him keep moving, moving around, putting himself in position to
                                                                                  receive passes for one-timers on the power play and off the rush naturally.
Hemsky is ready                                                                   "But he's not alone, we need to shoot more as a team. Even in a drill this
                                                                                  morning, it was a passing derby in the three-on-one and you hope that's not
                                                                                  going to happen in the game."
By DEREK VAN DIEST, QMIA gency
                                                                                  Edmonton Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011


EDMONTON - Ales Hemsky figures he may be the shooter by default
playing on a line with the two Ryans Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tends to be a set-up man, while Ryan Smyth usually
doesn't shoot beyond a three-foot radius of the net.
So Hemsky, who is expected to play his first exhibition game Tuesday, may
look to the net more than usual.
"Yeah, I think I'm the shooter on the line right now," Hemsky smiled.
"Smytty doesn't shoot the puck too much, so I'll have to be the guy
shooting. We'll see tomorrow."
Hemsky has not played a game since March and came into training camp
unable to take part in any contact due to off-season shoulder surgery.
The Oilers winger, who is going into the last year of his contract, wanted to
get into at least a pair of exhibition games before the start of the regular
season. He was cleared to play late last week.
"I feel really good, the shoulder is feeling great," said Hemsky. "I haven't
had any troubles in practice, so it's been pretty good."
Following Tuesday's encounter, the Oilers will have two more exhibition
games before commencing their regular season on Oct. 9 when they host
the Pittsburgh Penguins.
They'll finish off by travelling to face the Minnesota Wild on Friday and then
the Vancouver Canucks Saturday.
For Hemsky, getting into a least two of the next three encounters has more
to do with getting his timing back than conditioning.
"I've been skating a lot and practice sometimes is a lot harder than the
games," Hemsky said. "We've been practicing for two hours sometimes and
it's been a hard week for me. I've done every bag skate you can get, so I
think I should be ready for the game."
Hemsky is looking forward to playing with Nugent-Hopkins, who has so far
made a good account of himself, collecting an assist in each of his three
exhibition games.
Hemsky expects playing along side Nugent-Hopkins to be different than
playing with his regular centre, Shawn Horcoff, who is more of a triggerman.
"I've played with Horc for a long time, so we know what to expect from each
other," Hemsky said. "He knows where I go and I know where he's going to
be.
"With Nuge, you don't have to play with him that long to know where he's
going to be. He's so smart and he's a great hockey player. He has a great
sense of the game and he knows where he has to go. He's a very good
centre."
Oilers head coach Tom Renney is hoping to get plenty out of production out
of the line against the Coyotes. And if Hemsky has to be the finisher, so be
it.
"I've yelled at him a fair amount to shoot the puck," said Renney.
"Obviously we encourage him to shoot. He seems like he's more willing to
now, he's made an adjustment with his stick and he feels comfortable with
that. Hopefully he'll be shooting. It's not necessarily a hard shot, but he has
accuracy and you know the goalie is going to have to make a good save
when he takes it."
Prior to getting hurt, Hemsky had 14 goals and 28 assists last season.
Despite just playing 47 games, he still finished just a point back of Jordan
Eberle for the team scoring lead.
It was only the second time since 2006 that Hemsky didn't finish as the
team's scoring leader or tied for the scoring lead.
579941     Florida Panthers                                                        • The Panthers waived forwards Steven Reinprecht and Michal Repik on
                                                                                   Monday; they have until Tuesday to clear waivers. The two will likely be
                                                                                   reassigned to AHL San Antonio once they do.
Florida Panthers’ Scott Clemmensen undergoes minor knee surgery                    Reinprecht is in the final year of a three-year deal he signed with the
                                                                                   Panthers in 2009. He has a one-way contract, meaning he will be paid more
                                                                                   than $2 million whether he plays in Florida or San Antonio. Reinprecht
By George Richards                                                                 cleared waivers last season but was loaned to a team in Germany instead
                                                                                   of the AHL.
                                                                                   • The Panthers sent defenseman Colby Robak to the Rampage AHL camp
Scott Clemmensen’s strong training camp was derailed Monday when the               in San Antonio on Monday, trimming the roster to 30 (counting
Panthers goalie had what the team described as minor knee surgery.                 Clemmensen being on injured reserve). Florida is expected to carry 22
                                                                                   when the season starts.
Clemmensen, who had the surgery at Doctors Hospital in Miami, is
expected to miss four to six weeks. Coach Kevin Dineen said he had a               • Florida will play its final home exhibition game at 7:30 Tuesday against the
similar procedure three weeks ago, and that his knee feels great.                  Stars. Dineen didn’t want to reveal his lineup, but expect most of the
                                                                                   remaining prospects to get playing time as Florida’s evaluation time is
The Panthers open the regular season Oct. 8 against the host New York
                                                                                   coming to a close. “We’re almost there,’’ Dineen said. The Panthers are
Islanders. Clemmensen, the backup to Tomas Vokoun the past two
                                                                                   expected to be close to finalizing their regular-season roster after playing in
seasons, was playing well enough that he was thought to be the front-
                                                                                   Dallas on Thursday.
runner to start over Jose Theodore.
                                                                                   Miami Herald LOADED: 09.27.2011
The competition for Florida’s starting goalie is over. For now.
Clemmensen apparently discovered swelling in the knee during the
weekend and scheduled an MRI for Sunday. Clemmensen led the Panthers
to a 4-3 win over Nashville last week, the only victory for Florida (1-3) in the
preseason.
“There’s amazing medical technology right now, so I’m very encouraged
that he’ll come back 100 percent healthy,’’ Dineen said. “As far as a
timetable goes, it could be as long as a month. People heal at different
rates. We’ll see how he is when he comes out of this. ... I know he’s
disappointed right now, but the month of October will slide right by and he’ll
be back before we know it.’’
With Clemmensen out for at least the first few games, the Panthers need to
find a backup to Theodore.
Rookies Tyler Plante and Jacob Markstrom will get the chance. Both
goalies were expected to start the season with Florida’s AHL affiliate in San
Antonio, although this recent development means things have changed.
“Mr. Opportunity is knocking on the door,’’ Dineen said. “They have to
scratch and claw and try to earn the right to stay here with the Panthers for
the next stretch.’’
Plante could start Tuesday’s home exhibition finale against Dallas as
Clemmensen was scheduled to start that game. Plante started Florida’s
preseason opener against Nashville, giving up one goal.
If Plante is selected, he would likely make his NHL debut sometime in
October.
“I don’t think this changes anyone’s mind-set,’’ Plante said Monday. “Every
player comes to camp with the hopes and aspirations of making the big
club. Everyone in this room has the same hopes and dreams. It’s definitely
something that sits in the back of your mind, but you can’t think about it too
much. It can work a reverse effect.
“Every day you’re here is a special day. Every day you don’t get a plane
ticket down is a day with a smile on your face. No complaints from me.’’
Markstrom, Florida’s “goalie of the future,’’ struggled at times during
Florida’s loss to Tampa Bay on Friday night. Markstrom, who made his NHL
debut last year in New Jersey after replacing Clemmensen, had season-
ending knee surgery in March.
Markstrom got off to a rough start for Florida’s then-AHL affiliate in
Rochester, N.Y., last season but was playing well when he was injured. The
Panthers would like him to get in a groove early and want him to play.
Markstrom will get the chance to play every night in San Antonio, an
opportunity that wouldn’t be there if he’s backing up Theodore for the first
month.
In Friday’s loss to the Lightning, Markstrom gave up five goals on 33 shots.
“Since the first day I came here, when rookie camp started, my main goal
was to play here,’’ Markstrom said. “I can’t help it if someone gets hurt, I
don’t affect that. But I just focus on my game, my job and play as well as I
can. Sometimes this happens, and it’s unfortunate for Scott. But I want to
play here, that’s what I’m here for.’’
579942     Florida Panthers


Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen undergoes surgery


By Anthony Chiang and Harvey Fialkov


Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen underwent a minor surgery on
his knee Monday at Doctors Hospital in Miami and will not be ready for the
season opener in two less than two weeks.
Coach Kevin Dineen expects the injury to keep him out for about a month,
but a full recovery is expected.
"I hate to put a timeframe on it because you just don't know," Dineen said.
"People heal at different rates, but we'll see where he is when he comes
back."
With Clemmensen out for the near future, goalie Jose Theodore will be
looked upon to carry the load. Theodore struggled in his Panthers debut
Saturday, giving up five goals against the Lightning in a 5-3 preseason loss.
Tyler Plante and Jacob Markstrom, who were not expected to make the
team's opening day roster, will battle it out to determine who will fill in for
Clemmensen as the Panthers' backup goaltender when the regular season
begins on Oct. 8. Markstrom, 21, has been the team's projected goalie of
the future since being drafted in the second round in 2008.
"I look at it like Mr. Opportunity is knocking on the door," Dineen said. "That
opportunity will be given to Plante and Markstrom to go out and scratch and
claw to try to earn that right to stay with the Panthers for the next stretch."
Also, forwards Steve Reinprecht and Michal Repik were placed on waivers.
If neither is claimed by Tuesday then they will be expected to report to San
Antonio, the Panthers affiliate in the AHL. Repik, 22, had 15 points,
including seven goals, in 55 games last season. He is still on his entry-level
deal which is a two-way situation.
Reinprecht, 35, who was waived last New Year's Eve, and decided to play
in Germany rather in Rochester, then the Panthers' AHL affiliate, was
making a strong bid to stick on this season's roster, however, the strong
play of Tim Kennedy and Jack Skille, as well as seven offseason pickups of
forwards, left very few roster spots up for grabs.
"We're disappointed. Steve and I felt he could still help that team," said
Stephen Bartlett, Reinprecht's agent. "He's the consummate pro and
hopefully we'll find a good landing spot."
If no team claims Reinprecht, the Panthers could put him on re-entry
waivers which would mean that teams could get him for half of his $2.08
salary with the Panthers paying the other half
Clemmensen, 34, had offseason surgery on the other knee in the
offseason. In two seasons with the Panthers, Clemmensen has played in 54
games and is 17-19-9 with two shutouts.
"I think he has come in here and has worked hard all summer, and I know
he's disappointed right now," Dineen said. "But I know the month of October
will slide right by and he'll be back before we know it."
Dineen did not disclose the identity of his starting goalie for Tuesday's
preseason game against the Stars.
"It's unfortunate for Scott, but I want play here," Markstrom said. "That's
why I'm here and I'm just trying to go out there in practice and play my best
to try to prove I can play up here."
Sun Sentinel LOADED: 09.27.2011
579943     Los Angeles Kings


Leiweke eager for Doughty's return to Kings but backs GM Lombardi


By Helene Elliott


As a fervent fan, Tim Leiweke is eager to see Drew Doughty wearing a
Kings uniform again.
As chief executive of AEG, their parent company, Leiweke said he supports
General Manager Dean Lombardi in not exceeding an average annual
salary of $6.8 million for the unsigned defenseman because the Kings must
save salary cap space for upgrades and allocate money to retain the
nucleus of a promising young group.
Doughty's absence is becoming crucial as the Kings assemble their lineup
and prepare for an exhibition game next week and regular-season contests
in Germany and Sweden. Leiweke called the 21-year-old "the cornerstone
of our organization," and said the Kings' offer reflected their high regard for
him and his potential.
"From my standpoint, I want Drew to come back. Please, Drew, come back.
We love you," Leiweke said Monday. "He needs to get back in here. And
we need to get him ready to go to Europe. He should not miss that trip. It
would mean that we would begin to move on without him, and that's a bad
thing."
The Kings' offer, believed to be for six to eight years, would put Doughty
and center Anze Kopitar on par atop the team's salary scale and make
Doughty the fourth-highest-paid defenseman in the NHL this season.
Compromising on a five-year deal is unlikely because the Kings don't want
Doughty and Kopitar to become unrestricted free agents at the same time.
"When I look at that, I think there either has to be a miscommunication or
Drew's a 21-year-old and probably hasn't done what he may need to do
here, which is stand up and take charge of the decision," Leiweke said.
Don Meehan, Doughty's agent, didn't respond to a request for comment.
Leiweke said it's Lombardi's call whether to raise the offer but that's
unlikely.
"More importantly, tell me which player we're now starting to carve this
$300,000 or $400,000 out of," Leiweke said. "We're carving it out of
someone's salary next year and it's no secret we've got some restricted and
unrestricted free agents that we have to deal with in the next two years."
Leiweke said the Kings intend to stand firm. "If someone's whispering in
Drew's ear that ownership is going to get impatient and blink, they're
wrong," he said.
LA Times: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579944       Los Angeles Kings


Chemistry needed, and Pens’ lineup


Posted by Rich Hammond


First, here’s the roster that the Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to send to
Kansas City for tomorrow’s game against the Kings…
FORWARDS
10-Mark Letestu; 11-Jordan Staal; 12-Richard Park; 14-Chris Kunitz; 18-
James Neal; 25-Eric Tangradi; 27-Craig Adams; 28-Nick Johnson; 33-Steve
MacIntyre; 46-Joe Vitale; 48-Tyler Kennedy; 71-Evgeni Malkin.
DEFENSEMEN
2-Matt Niskanen; 5-Deryk Engelland; 6-Ben Lovejoy; 7-Paul Martin; 37-
Brian Strait; 70-Joseph Morrow; 78-Scott Harrington.
GOALIES
29-Marc-Andre Fleury; 39-Brad Thiessen.
As previously noted, the Kings will go with something of an unconventional
set of lines and pairs tomorrow, even though after practice today, Terry
Murray stressed the need for improved chemistry among the players. It’s
not as though there won’t be more opportunities, though. The Kings play
Wednesday in Denver, Friday and Anaheim and Saturday in Las Vegas, so
it’s certain that most-established lines will be in place later in the week.
Here’s what Murray said about last night’s game and the need for
improvement…
MURRAY: “I kind of look at it as a lack of chemistry right now, looking at our
top lines trying to get together and trying to become good lines. With
Kopitar, Penner and Williams, I’m looking at two players who were injured
at the end of the year and I’m looking at Dustin Penner, who came to us
late in the season and is trying to go through almost a complete makeover
in the offseason. So I’m looking for something good to happen off of that
look. The same with Gagne, Richards and Brown. These are three players
that haven’t played together before. Gags and Richards have, but you’ve
got to get the line going. You’ve got to see them instinctively play the game,
and I think we’re really out of sorts right now, when it comes to those plays
that have to happen with good lines. So you have to work through it. You’ve
got to go through difficult times and situations like last night, where maybe
you’re
just out of kilter a little bit.”
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579945     Los Angeles Kings


Westgarth, Muzzin updates


Posted by Rich Hammond


Here’s what Terry Murray said today about the status of Kevin Westgarth
and Jake Muzzin. Westgarth left last night’s game after his fight with
Anaheim’s Brian McGrattan — he took a big punch — while Muzzin has
been out of action since he went face-first into the glass after hit from
behind by Phoenix’s Mikkel Boedker.
MURRAY: “Westgarth, he’s not going to skate for a couple days. He took
that punch to the head, as you saw. We’re just going to hold him off the ice
and let him settle for a couple days before getting him going him again.
“(Muzzin is) not OK or he would be out there practicing with the team. No,
he’s not doing good. He took a pretty big hit on that play. He banged his
head. You can see the mark on his face, where he went into the glass.
Again, it’s a lot of precaution. We want to do the right thing and give the
players an opportunity to recover and be ready to go at the right time.”
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579946     Los Angeles Kings


Third-line spot up for grabs?


Posted by Rich Hammond


The Kings entered training camp with the idea that Scott Parse would hold
down the third-line right-wing spot and play alongside Kyle Clifford and
Jarret Stoll. Now, less than 10 days into camp, Terry Murray has expressed
continued displeasure with Parse’s play. Could that spot be up for grabs?
Could a player such as Brad Richardson or Ethan Moreau, or perhaps
tryout winger Trent Hunter, step up and claim that spot? I asked Murray
today whether he would say that there is now competition for that third-line
spot…
MURRAY: “There’s always competition for those positions. I’m putting him
in a situation with Stoll and Clifford and trying, and giving him some time,
with some understanding that he missed the whole year last year, playing
four games and a couple games in the playoffs. So I’m trying to give him a
lot of time. There’s a little more compassion, I guess, with what I’m looking
at, but at the same time, after a couple games I need more. I need more
work. I need more skating. I need to see him moving his feet, just to show
that, `Yeah, it’s starting to come, I’m starting to get my confidence, I want to
handle the puck, I want to do the right things,’ and solidify this position on
this line. He’s reluctant to grab ahold of it right now. So he’s not going to
play in the game tomorrow, as we move into Kansas City. There will be a
couple other guys getting some opportunities. That’s what our training camp
is about now, to see where the other guys are going to fit.”
Hunter, in camp on a pro-tryout agreement after spending the summer
recovering from a serious knee injury, has played in one preseason game
already and will be in the lineup when the Kings play Pittsburgh in Kansas
City on Tuesday, on a high-profile line with Dustin Penner and Mike
Richards…
MURRAY: “I want to play him. I want to give him some more games and
give him a fair opportunity. We’re moving him up in the lineup tomorrow,
with the look that he will have, and he might play two, three more games
out of these four games that we have left. I like what he’s done. He has
come in and worked very hard. He’s coming off, obviously, an injury that
took away most of last year from him. He put a lot of time in in the
offseason. His conditioning is good. He’s a big-bodied guy that can
establish himself in front of the net. He’s got good hands to score some
goals, and that’s the reason we invited him to the training camp, to see how
that might fit. We’ll see how he is in the next few days.”
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579947    Los Angeles Kings


Camp cuts officially announced


Posted by Rich Hammond


The Kings announced an official set of roster cuts, with goalie J.F. Berube
and forwards Robert Czarnik, Justin Johnson and Rob Mignardi assigned to
Manchester, defensemen Michal Cajkovksy, Colin Miller and Alex Roach
assigned to their respective junior teams and defenseman Shaun Heshka
released from his pro-tryout agreement. Also, forwards Marc-Andre Clich,
Rich Clune and David Meckler will need to clear waivers tomorrow at 9 a.m.
before they can be assigned to Manchester. [update: Cam Paddock must
also clear waivers.] That takes the Kings down to the following in camp…
FORWARDS (19)
Justin Azevedo, Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Colin Fraser, Simon Gagne,
Trent Hunter, Dwight King, Anze Kopitar, Trevor Lewis, Andrei Loktionov,
Ethan Moreau, Jordan Nolan, Scott Parse, Dustin Penner, Mike Richards,
Brad Richardson, Jarret Stoll, Kevin Westgarth (injured), Justin Williams
DEFENSEMEN (10)
Andrew Campbell, Davis Drewiske, Matt Greene, Thomas Hickey, Jack
Johnson, Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell, Jake Muzzin (injured), Rob Scuderi,
Slava Voynov.
GOALIES (3)
Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Jeff Zatkoff.
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579948     Minnesota Wild


Staubitz suspended for the first 3 games


Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO


The NHL will be enforcing a stricter standard when it comes to boarding
penalties this season.
Brad Staubitz learned this the hard way Monday, and physical Wild
teammate Cal Clutterbuck is now paying even closer attention to the video
tutorial the league sent to all 30 teams to open training camp.
Staubitz was suspended the final three preseason games and the first three
regular-season games for a boarding major against Columbus Blue Jackets
forward Cody Bass in an exhibition game Friday. He'll lose more than
$9,300 in salary.
"I was on the forecheck, and it's obviously not the outcome I wanted from
the hit. I say I play hard but not dirty," Staubitz said after his hearing with
NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday morning. "You've just got to
be conscious all the time of what you're doing. It's tough. You've got to play
hard, especially in the role that I'm in. It's a narrow line.
"You've got to be in control. You've got to really pick your spots. I don't
know. I'm still learning too ... obviously."
Staubitz accepted his punishment "as long as there's consistency with
[suspensions] now." He'll be eligible to return Oct. 13 against Edmonton.
"Start of the new year, I want to be playing, I want to be in the mix," he said.
I want what's fair, though."
In an effort to better protect the players, the NHL is trying to crack down on
checks from behind.
Two weeks ago, the league sent a DVD to each team with examples of
legal and illegal hits near the boards.
If a player checks or pushes a defenseless player in such a manner that it
causes the opponent to impact the boards violently or dangerously, a
boarding penalty can be called as long as the referee deems the player hit
didn't put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or
simultaneously with the hit.
The onus is always on the checker to ensure the opponent is not in a
defenseless position, and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact.
Clutterbuck has studied the videos.
"So much of hitting is anticipation and timing," said Clutterbuck, who's led
the NHL in hits in each of his three seasons. "If you wait for a guy to turn
around, your timing kind of goes out the window. At the same time, if I saw
a guy in a vulnerable position before, I've usually found another way to
bump him or push them a certain way.
"Obviously, you really have to be careful. I think for the most part, you just
have to use common sense, and if your intentions are right, which usually
mine are, I think you'll be OK."
The NHL's become a fast, sometimes violent game, especially since
defensemen are no longer allowed to obstruct oncoming forecheckers such
as Staubitz. This is a wake-up call for Staubitz, although he worries if the
crackdown will hinder his effectiveness and players like him.
"It's going to be tough for guys because playing like that is why they're
there; not playing dirty, but the physicality part," Staubitz said. "So you stray
away from that and then you're digging through your toolbox saying, 'What
else can I do?'"
Star Tribune LOADED: 09.27.2011
579949     Minnesota Wild                                                          to prove themselves. Their situations can change from day to day -- good or
                                                                                   bad."
                                                                                   Star Tribune LOADED: 09.27.2011
Aaron Boogaard allowed to join Houston farm team


Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO ,


Aaron Boogaard still is mourning the death of his older brother, Derek, but
on Monday, Boogaard was overjoyed to be back in a safe haven.
Boogaard, a former Wild draft pick, arrived in Houston for the start of Aeros
training camp. If all goes to plan, Boogaard should receive a work visa by
Friday and sign a two-way contract with the Wild's American Hockey
League affiliate.
"A couple months ago I thought I'd probably never play again," said
Boogaard, 25, a tough guy who has played four minor-league seasons. "Me
and my family couldn't be more ecstatic. It's almost a starting point for us.
After all this court stuff, I don't think any of us have had an opportunity to
grieve the loss of Derek yet."
Derek Boogaard died May 13 because of a toxic mix of alcohol and the
painkiller, Oxycodone. In July, Aaron Boogaard was charged with a felony
count of third-degree sale of a controlled substance and interfering with a
death scene, which is a gross misdemeanor.
Boogaard still faces charges, but Friday, he says a judge signed off to allow
him to leave Minnesota. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 6.
Earlier this month, Aaron brother, Ryan, told the Star Tribune that Derek
never overcame an addiction to painkillers despite twice going to rehab.
"People can think what they want about me, but you have to live it to have a
weird understanding of things," Aaron Boogaard said Monday. "If you don't
have to deal with someone who has an addiction, you're fortunate. This was
a little brother trying to protect a big brother, but at the end of the day, you
look at your big brother like he's your Superman, like your idol.
"It's unfortunate that I had to ride shotgun to the selfishness of my brother's
addiction."
Aeros GM Jim Mill, who doubles as the Wild's assistant to the GM, said the
Wild's trying to be compassionate to a beloved former player's brother.
"We want to give Aaron an opportunity to continue his hockey career," Mill
said. "We're trying to help him out."
Boogaard tried out for the Aeros last season before spending 53 games
with Laredo in the Central Hockey League.
"If that happens again, that's fine. I just can't say enough things for what the
Wild's done," Boogaard said. "It just shows what a class organization the
Wild are. They are filled with good people who want to push people in the
right direction."
Etc.
• Veteran defenseman Nick Schultz will make his preseason debut Tuesday
against St. Louis after suffering from post-concussion syndrome this
summer.
Schultz says he's now symptom free.
"It was a couple months where I couldn't do anything," Schultz said. "We
talked to some doctors and we thought it would be good to ease back into it
and get some practices under my belt."
• Defenseman Mike Lundin is having a frustrating start to his Wild career.
The former Apple Valley High School star suffered back spasms right from
the first scrimmage and has been held off the ice for more than a week.
"It's gotten a little worse each day," he said. "We're taking some time to
make sure it's something that doesn't hang around all season. You work all
summer to be in the best shape you can be, and now you're sidelined."
• With Brad Staubitz suspended, coach Mike Yeo said Brett Bulmer will play
against the Blues.
Yeo said every day that roster hopefuls Bulmer, Casey Wellman, Marco
Scandella, Justin Falk and Nate Prosser "come to the rink is an opportunity
579950     Minnesota Wild                                                         A: If you're implying I want to bring in my players, I don't think that's the
                                                                                  case at all. There are a lot of players that were here - Koivu and (Niklas)
                                                                                  Backstrom and (Nick) Schultz, they're all huge parts of this team. There've
Q&A with Wild GM Chuck Fletcher: 'We needed to make some dramatic                 been players that we've moved that were big parts of this team, but you
changes'                                                                          move them for different reasons, to accomplish different goals. It's the
                                                                                  nature of the game. You take a 24-month snapshot, there's a lot of change
                                                                                  on every team.

By Bruce Brothers                                                                 Q: Do you like what you see so far in training camp?
                                                                                  A: I like the way our team came into camp in terms of attitude and physical
                                                                                  conditioning. A lot of players sent a message to me with their attitudes and
Chuck Fletcher is remolding the Wild.                                             their conditioning levels that they were ready to come to camp and put the
                                                                                  last few seasons behind us.
Sometimes by choice.
                                                                                  Q: Is there a different atmosphere surrounding this team?
Sometimes by necessity.
                                                                                  A: (Thursday's exhibition win at St. Louis) was indicative of that. We had a
Gone this season are Brent Burns, Andrew Brunette, Martin Havlat, Antti
                                                                                  preseason game last year in Montreal where we were just outworked and
Miettinen, John Madden, Chuck Kobasew, Cam Barker, James Sheppard,
                                                                                  outskated, and they hammered us. That was just a real disappointing game.
Jose Theodore and even coach Todd Richards.
                                                                                  We had a more unproven lineup than St. Louis, yet guys were diving in front
They join the likes of Marian Gaborik, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kurtis Foster,        of pucks and blocking shots....There were second and third efforts all over
Eric Belanger, Owen Nolan, Kim Johnsson, John Scott, Benoit Pouliot,              the ice. There's just a very competitive spirit right now in camp.
Derek Boogaard and others who have left - or come and gone - since the
                                                                                  Whether it's the returning players coming into sort of an energized room
Doug Risebrough regime.
                                                                                  right now or players from Houston or young prospects coming in and seeing
The new look of the Wild includes Mike Yeo as coach and former San Jose           a new coaching staff...there certainly is a positive energy around our team
Sharks Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi surrounding center Mikko Koivu            right now.
on the No. 1 line. It's a look Fletcher hopes will return the team to the
                                                                                  Q: You made some aggressive moves over the summer. Does that put the
playoffs after a three-season absence, the past two during his tenure as
                                                                                  GM on the line?
general manager. He sat down recently to discuss that and more with the
Pioneer Press.                                                                    A: It's not about me. It's just making the moves you feel you need to make
                                                                                  to make the franchise better. We've been caught on a treadmill here for
Q: You were quoted on one of the websites that at the end of last season
                                                                                  awhile, in my opinion. I think we charted out a slightly different direction,
you really realized you needed to make some changes; the team wasn't as
                                                                                  and to me we're aggressively going in that direction. Maybe the last two
competitive as you wanted it to be. Is that accurate? Something needed to
                                                                                  seasons we've tried to be a little bit of everything, and now we've
be done?
                                                                                  aggressively decided the path we're going to go down. It's just about getting
A: It's no fun fighting for that eighth spot every year. We just felt we needed   better and making the organization better.
to make some dramatic changes to become the team we want to become
                                                                                  I think now we have a stable of prospects that will make us competitive in
over the long term.
                                                                                  the future, and I think we have a pretty good mix of players here now that
Q: How do you make that happen?                                                   will make us competitive in the present.

A: We've been doing it for a few years. We've drafted very well. You go           We've acquired some good, talented pieces over the last 12 months, and
back a                                                                            I'm very optimistic about the future of this franchise.

few years, and the year before I was here (we got) Tyler Cuma and Marco           Q: Specifically, what is that path?
Scandella in the first two rounds. Colton Gillies is a good hockey player.
                                                                                  A: We had to add more young assets. The best teams in this league all
Two drafts ago with (Mikael) Granlund and (Brett) Bulmer and (Jason)
                                                                                  have quality young assets. When you're not making the playoffs and you
Zucker and even Johan Gustafsson, the Swedish goaltender, all of them
                                                                                  look at some of the teams that are making the playoffs and they have better
are very much prospects 16 months after being selected.
                                                                                  prospects than you do, it's a pretty humbling scenario. We've added some
We felt we were starting to infuse some talent into the system, but we            good players for this year's team, but again, every player we added we feel
wanted to be even more aggressive over the summer. If you look, over the          can help us over the next two, three, four, five seasons.
past two
                                                                                  Matt Hackett, he's not far away. He's a quality goaltender. Look at
drafts, we have added four first-round picks and four second-round picks.         defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella and some of the young
We think that will really accelerate the building of this organization, and it    forwards we have and the kids we have in college and Europe right now -
should hopefully give us a lot of depth in the future and some quality            there are a lot of quality assets. I still think of Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who
players that should compete for a long time.                                      hasn't hit the prime of his career, and Devin Setoguchi, who is just
                                                                                  scratching the surface of what he can become. There are a lot of good
Having said that, we feel we went out and addressed some of our needs for         things happening, but again, we have a lot of work to do. This is just a start.
this present team. Dany Heatley's under contract for three years. Devin           We're going to face some adversity and we're going to have to deal with
Setoguchi is 24 years old and hasn't even hit the prime of his career. Darroll    things, but we're going to get better.
Powe and Mike Lundin are just entering the primes of their careers.
Everything we did, we wanted to have some impact, not just on now but on          Pioneer Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
the future as well.
Q. Heatley and Guillaume Latendresse had "down years," at least for them,
last season. Do you expect almost a windfall from them if they bounce
back?
A: You look at a lot of players on our team, and we had very few who had
career years last season. I think we have a lot of players who can bounce
back and have better seasons than they had last year....I think that's where
there's some excitement around the team. There are a lot of players who
are in a position, assuming they stay healthy, to have good seasons. That's
where you see your team growing and improving.
Q: A lot of guys are gone. Do you have a vision about how you want to
mold the team?
579951     Minnesota Wild


NHL suspends Wild's Brad Staubitz for first three games of regular season


By Bruce Brothers


With forward Brad Staubitz suspended and forward Matt Kassian sidelined
by injured fingers, the Wild will go into their exhibition game against the St.
Louis Blues at 7 p.m. today at Xcel Energy Center lacking a typical
"enforcer."
Shouldn't be a big problem, coach Mike Yeo said, because he expects
everyone on the roster to be physical.
"We definitely want that 'pack of wolves' mentality," Yeo said Monday.
Staubitz, who was called for checking from behind after he knocked Cody
Bass of the Columbus Blue Jackets into the boards during the Wild's 4-3
overtime win Friday, was suspended for the remainder of the exhibition
season and three games into the regular season, NHL discipline czar
Brendan Shanahan announced Monday afternoon.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, he will forfeit
$9,324.33 in salary, which will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance
Fund. Staubitz will not be eligible to return to the lineup until Oct. 13 when
Minnesota plays host to the Edmonton Oilers.
"It's the start of a new year; I want to be in the mix," he said, adding that as
long as the league metes out punishment on a consistent basis, he can live
with it. "I want what's fair."
Staubitz, who talked with Shanahan by phone Monday morning, said
checking players must walk "a narrow line" because the NHL is attempting
to clamp down by focusing on illegal hits.
"You've just got to be conscious all the time of what you're doing and be
responsible for
yourself," he said. "It's tough. You've got to play hard, especially in a role
like I'm in."
Acquired from San Jose for a future draft pick before the 2010-11 season
and expected to be a checking forward, the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder had four
goals, five assists and a team-high 173 minutes in penalties last season.
He was suspended for one game three seasons ago when he played for
San Jose for an illegal check on an icing call.
Staubitz said he was simply forechecking when he hit Bass.
"I play hard; I don't play dirty," he recalled telling Shanahan.
With the NHL focusing on big hits, "it's going to be tough for guys," Staubitz
said, "because playing like that is why they're there. Not playing dirty, but
the physicality part. I'm still learning, obviously."
Yeo said that even though the Wild currently lack an enforcer, "we definitely
want people to feel that if they're going to come in here and try to take
liberties, they're going to have to answer the bell. We don't have a guy like
that right now in our lineup, so some other guys are going to have to step
up for us physically."
Staubitz and the Blue Jackets' James Wisniewski were suspended by
Shanahan for illegal hits Friday night. Wisniewski, who was called for an
elbow to the head of Cal Clutterbuck, will miss the rest of the exhibition
season and the first eight games of the regular season.
Briefly: Rookie Brett Bulmer is expected to play against the Blues tonight,
Yeo said, and defenseman Nick Schultz is expected to make his first
appearance in an exhibition game after recovering from a concussion he
suffered at the end of last season.
Pioneer Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
579952     Montreal Canadiens                                                       Clark, on a tryout with the Bruins, put the visitors ahead just after a Boston
                                                                                    power play, finishing off a passing play with Steve Kampfer to Maxime
                                                                                    Sauve.
Bruins rally past Canadiens                                                         The win improved the Bruins' pre-season record at 3-0-1. The Canadiens
                                                                                    meanwhile, finishing off a stretch of six games in seven nights, fell to 1-5-0
                                                                                    with the loss.
MONTREAL- The Canadian Press
                                                                                    Notes: DeSimone, a close friend of Max Pacioretty's, was among five
                                                                                    Canadiens cuts following the game. He'll join the Hamilton Bulldogs along
                                                                                    with forwards Brock Trotter, Alain Berger and Philippe Lefebvre.
Tyler Seguin has played at centre, on the wing, and has been put into               Defenceman Jarred Tinordi will return to his OHL club, the London
numerous line combinations this pre-season.                                         Knights...
The young forward welcomes all the experimentation.                                 Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 09.27.2011
Seguin and Chris Clark each scored in the third period to lead the Boston
Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens in pre-season action
Monday.
"It's good. I can't say I've played with every guy on the team, but it's good.
It's a long season and there's going to be injuries, so it's good to see what
chemistry can be there," Seguin said.
The second-year forward has also been moving around between centre and
wing. He spent most of his rookie season on the wing and split the two
positions in the back-to-back pre-season matchup against the Canadiens.
While a natural centre, he's happy to line up in either spot.
"Yeah, at the back of my mind I'm curious to see where am to start the
season. I want to be good at both positions," he said. "Last year I got more
experience on the wing where I didn't have previous experience and I feel
comfortable at both positions now."
Tuukka Rask made 30 saves for the win, improving to 1-0-1 in exhibition
play.
"I thought we played good in the first and third and the second wasn't our
game. We gave them too much room. But overall, it was a pretty good
effort," Rask said.
Montreal goaltender Carey Price made 30 saves in his strongest
performance of the pre-season.
Michael Cammalleri scored the lone goal for Montreal, his third of the pre-
season at 15:33 of the second period.
Despite another loss on their pre-season record, the Canadiens focused on
the positives.
"We were going against a pretty solid lineup on the other side and we had a
lot of young kids in, and I thought (the young guys) played exceptionally
well," said Price, who was named the game's second star.
The Canadiens goaltender was especially strong with a couple of big saves
in the third period. After allowing 10 goals in his first three appearances,
he's feeling more comfortable as the season approaches.
"I'm getting better. Like I said, it's a process from the start and I'm coming
along right on track," Price said. "As a group, actually, I thought we played a
lot better than the previous game and I think everything's coming along on
track."
One of the young Canadiens gettign good reviews is Brendan Gallagher. A
fifth round pick in 2010, Gallagher has opened plenty of eyes since the start
of camp. He continued that trend against the Bruins by nearly scoring in the
second period, his shot beating Rask but not the post.
"I thought I beat the goalie and then I saw it go by him and go out the other
side," Gallagher said. "My initial reaction was frustration but ... I realized if
I'm getting those chances, I must be doing something right."
Winger Philip DeSimone, at camp on an amateur tryout, got the Canadiens'
scoring play started coming up the right wing before letting a shot go. Rask
made the initial save, but the rebound bounced out to Cammalleri who was
waiting out in the slot.
Cammalleri now leads all Canadiens with three goals in exhibition play.
Seguin tied the game on the power play early in the third. Defenceman Matt
Bartkowski's shot got lost in the crowd before the puck found its way to
Seguin, who had a wide-open net to Price's right.
579953     Montreal Canadiens                                                     "First I have to earn a contract, that's my main goal right now. ... Once you
                                                                                  get that you can start thinking about making the team," Gallagher said last
                                                                                  week.
Diminutive Gallagher makes big impression with Habs                               The Canadiens have 47 out of the maximum 50 players a team can have
                                                                                  under NHL contracts. No one should be surprised if that number increases
                                                                                  before Oct. 6.
sean gordon
                                                                                  Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 09.27.2011


He's a small fellow who has left an impression nearly as big as the toothy,
aw-shucks grin that constantly adorns his face.
Though physically unimposing, Montreal Canadiens prospect Brendan
Gallagher has stood out by dint of his strong preseason play and infectious
personality.
"I've been told maybe I smile too much," Gallagher said before a recent
game, flashing a broad smile as he spoke. "But I love what I do."
Having played in three of the Habs' past four preseason games - including
back-to-back dates with the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins on
Sunday and Monday - Gallagher may be the most-discussed 19-year-old
forward to pull on the CH sweater since former Habs prospect Guillaume
Latendresse.
"Gallagher, for as small as he is, he's really impressed me. His work ethic,
the way he competes in games - he's hit a few posts, he's missed the net a
couple of times, I mean he should have three or four goals already,"
defenceman Josh Gorges said Monday.
Gallagher, whose father is the strength coach for his junior hockey team,
said, "I know everyone's watching," and his play is that of a kid who's not
cowed by the limelight.
And it has been focused squarely on him and fellow prospect Nathan
Beaulieu.
In a lot of ways, training camp this year has been a microcosm of last
season - injuries to key regulars have provided opportunities for the Habs to
showcase their youth.
"There are a lot of players who are getting more of an opportunity. ... It lets
us see where are kids are, and I think it's a good experience for them,"
coach Jacques Martin said. "The one thing that stands out in [Gallagher's]
case is that in every game he's created scoring chances."
At last count, there are 15 players on the injury list, and though there are
precious few jobs up for grabs, the continued absence of regulars Lars
Eller, David Desharnais and Ryan White means a player like Gallagher or
19-year-old Michael Bournival survived the roster cuts Monday.
The knock on Gallagher, a pugnacious winger who has scored 85 goals in
his past two seasons with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey
League, is that his foot-speed might not be adequate given he is built on a
Brian Gionta scale (he is generously listed at 5 foot 9).
But Gallagher hasn't looked off the pace in the preseason, where he has
regularly played with veteran centre Scott Gomez.
"I feel a lot faster out there, I worked a lot on my skating this summer, and I
think it's been paying off," he said.
Realistically, Gallagher, Bournival (who missed the early part of camp
because of injury) and junior-aged players Beaulieu and Olivier
Archambault are two or three years from a legitimate shot at being full-time
NHLers - the latter two both returned to junior Monday after playing in a 7-3
exhibition loss to Boston on Sunday.
And that illustrates one of the Habs' organizational deficiencies.
While players such as Max Pacioretty, Eller, and Desharnais have
graduated to the NHL, there are few bona fide offensive prospects in the
Habs' minor-league system beyond former first-round pick Louis Leblanc,
who is expected to join the pro ranks this season.
The Canadiens' short-term options are limited to inconsistent minor
leaguers like Aaron Palushaj and Brock Trotter - unless a historically
conservative organization is willing to shake off past practice and start the
free-agent clock running on a teenager.
The possibility remains remote, but the Habs aren't putting Gallagher
through the paces just for fun.
579954     Montreal Canadiens


NHL Monday: Bruins edge Habs 2-1 at Bell Centre


By Pat Hickey


MONTREAL - The skinny: Chris Clark scored on a pass through the crease
by Steve Kampfer to snap a 1-1 tie as the Boston Bruins defeated the
Canadiens 2-1 at the Bell Centre Monday. The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead
on a goal by Michael Cammalleri at 15:33 of the second period but Tyler
Seguin beat Carey Price with a power-play goal from the slot at 4:17 of the
third period. The loss left the Canadiens with a 1-5 record in the preseason.
Where's the beef? The Canadiens performance was all the more
impressive because Montreal came up short of the minimum 10 NHL
players required for exhibition games. The Canadiens dressed eight NHL
players if you include backup goaltender Nathan Lawson. The lineup also
included nine players who have never played a regular-season NHL game.
The Bruins dressed 12 NHL players.
Desimone helps cause: Philip Desimone, who was granted a tryout on
friend Max Pacioretty's recommendation, moved closer to a contract when
he drove hard to the net to earn an assist on Cammalleri's goal. The
Canadiens have filled 48 of their 50 contract spots with the addition of
defenceman Chris Campoli Monday but Desimone will probably be offered
an American Hockey League deal.
Trotter heading to Hamilton: When the players hit the ice Tuesday morning,
Brock Trotter probably will be with the Hamilton Bulldogs as they open their
camp. Trotter, who was expected to challenge for one of the few vacant
forward spots on the Canadiens, wasn't among the seven players assigned
to Hamilton Monday because he first had to clear waivers.
Price is right: This was, by far, goaltender Carey Price's best performance
of the preseason. Price, who came into the game with a 4.96 goals-against
average and an .831 save percentage, stopped 30 of 32 shots. Tuukka
Rask was a shade better with 31 saves


Missed call? There were only four penalties called in the game but Kevin
Pollock and Marcus Vinnerborg, the NHL's first Swedish referee, appeared
to miss one in the third period when Gregory Campbell ran over Price.
Cammy, Beliveau share spotlight: Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau
received one of the loudest ovations of the night when he presented the
Jean Beliveau Trophy to Cammalleri prior to the game. The award
recognizes Cammalleri's commitment to charitable endeavours and
community involvement. Cammalleri was honoured for his work with the
Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation and with Cammy's Heroes,
which honours Canadian Forces personnel. The award carries a $25,000
donation from the Canadiens' Foundation to be presented to a charity of
Cammalleri's choice.
What's next: Phase three of the training camp begins with two days of
intensive practice Tuesday and Wednesday. The Canadiens close out their
preseason schedule when they meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in a pair of
games Thursday at the Bell Centre and Saturday at Le Colisee in Quebec
City.
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 09.27.2011
579955     Montreal Canadiens


Gallagher's best impresses at Montreal Canadiens camp


By PAT HICKEY,


For many, Brendan Gallagher has been the biggest surprise of the
Canadiens' training camp.
But coach Jacques Martin and Gallagher himself are among those who
aren't surprised to see the 5-foot-8 teenager make a bold bid for a job with
the Canadiens.
"He's played well every game he's played and he's helped his linemates,"
Martin said Monday after the Canadiens dropped a 2-1 decision to the
Boston Bruins.
"I'm not surprised because he had a good junior season (with the
Vancouver Giants) and a good world junior camp."
It was also a day for the Canadiens to start trimming the roster for Phase 3
of the camp and, while five players including first-round draft choices
Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi were returned to their junior teams,
Gallagher and Michael Bournival are among the 40 remaining players in the
main camp.
"They've played well enough to be there," said Martin.
"I'm not surprised," the confident Gallagher said when asked about his play
in camp. "I had a good summer working on things like my skating. I didn't
come in with any goals except to do my best."
His best has convinced Gallagher that he's "not far away from playing at
this level. I've been given an opportunity to play with good linemates but I
also believe that I had to earn that.
"I came in here with the idea of taking it day by day and I'm still here," he
said.
Gallagher's only disappointment is that he hasn't scored a goal in any of the
four exhibition games he has played, but he has come close. He hit two
posts Sunday night in Halifax and another one Monday.
Philip Desimone was among 11 players reassigned to Hamilton, but was
pleased with his performance after he picked up an assist on the lone
Montreal goal by Michael Cammalleri.
Desimone came into camp on a tryout basis and he still doesn't have a
contract, but he has moved closer to an AHL deal with Hamilton.
"I'm starting to get the confidence I had when I played in college," said
Desimone, who was a standout at the University of New Hampshire.
"Coach (Randy) Cunneyworth told me to drive to the net more and that's
what I did tonight."
Desimone swept past Milan Lucic - "He looks a lot bigger on the ice than he
does on TV," Desimone noted - and tried to jam the puck past Tuukka Rask
on the Montreal scoring play.
"I took the shot and (Michael) Cammalleri was there to bury the rebound."
The play drew an admiring tweet from Max Pacioretty. He was Desimone's
teammate in the USHL and they have remained close friends over the
years.
Goaltender Carey Price played his best game of the preseason and said he
wasn't surprised that it took him a few games to get back into the groove.
"Last year was a long season and I took more time off in the summer than I
usually do," said Price. 'I wasn't worried because I knew how much time I
had in camp and I'm getting back into it."
Price found himself dumped in the crease by Boston's Gregory Campbell
but said he didn't know whether there should have been a penalty on the
play.
"I really don't know what happened," he said. "All I saw was a Boston logo
and I was on the ice."
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 09.27.2011
579956     Montreal Canadiens


Montreal Canadiens sign defenceman Chris Campoli


By Pat Hickey,


MONTREAL- Depth on defence was supposed to be the Canadiens'
strength going into training camp, but general manager Pierre Gauthier said
he wasn't going to pass on the opportunity to add yet another D-man.
The Canadiens announced Monday that they have signed veteran free-
agent Chris Campoli to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million.
The move indicated that (a) the Canadiens aren't sure when Andrei Markov
will return to the lineup and/or (b) they miscalculated when assessing the
talent of the players they brought in during the offseason.
But Gauthier insisted it was simply a matter of adding some experience.
"Last year showed us that you need seven or eight defencemen on your
NHL team," said Gauthier. "Mr. Campoli has played nearly 400 NHL games
in a variety of roles."
The Canadiens have the bodies to reach that quota. They have Markov,
P.K. Subban, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Jaroslav Spacek, YannickWeber and
now Campoli signed to one-way contracts. They have two Europan
prospects in Alexei Yemelin and Raphael Diaz. And they have two other
players with NHL experience in Jeff Woywitka and Alex Henry.
Markov will be the key to how the defence lines up. He continues to skate
on his own, but Gauthier insisted that there has been no setback in the
player's rehabilitation from his second major reconstructive surgery on his
right knee.
The reality? It's unlikely Markov will be in uniform for the season opener on
Oct. 6 in Toronto and you can start asking: How many games will he miss?
The acquisition of Campoli is not good news for the Swiss pair of Weber
and Diaz. The latter was probably going to start the season in Hamilton
while he continues his adjustment to the North American game. There was
a spot for Weber, if only on the power play, but he has struggled in the
preseason.
Campoli became available when the Chicago Blackhawks walked away
from a $2.5 million arbitration award in the offseason. Last season, the
defenceman earned $1.4 million. He told the Toronto Star last month that
he was continuing to train as if he had a contract and that he was confident
that he would land a job in the NHL.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Campoli has played 397 NHL games with the New
York Islanders, Ottawa and Chicago. He has scored 33 goals and added
102 assists. He has a goal and four assists in 18 playoff games. Gauthier
also announced that 10 players have been reassigned, bring the number of
players in camp to 45.
Forwards Alexander Avtsin, Andrew Conboy and Dany Massé, defencemen
Mark Mitera and Joe Stejskal and goalies Peter Delmas and Robert Mayer
were assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Three other players were returned
to their junior clubs - Olivier Archambault (Drummondville), Morgan Ellis
(Cape Breton) and first-round draft choice Nathan Beaulieu (Saint John).
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 09.27.2011
579957     Montreal Canadiens


Canadiens' tickets are hot sellers


By PAT HICKEY, The Gazette September 27, 2011 3:02 AM


My friend Kevin Moynihan is a diehard Canadiens fan.
The basement of his Halifax home contains what the Montreal native
describes as his shrine to the Canadiens, highlighted by a stick signed by
the members of the 1957 Stanley Cup champion team.
But Moynihan was disappointed when he was unable to buy a ticket for
Sunday's exhibition game between the Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.
When Moynihan went to buy his tickets several months ago, he discovered
they were sold out.
Tickets went quickly despite what columnist Chris Cochrane of the Halifax
Chronicle-Herald described as "relatively high" prices. In this case, the
tickets were scaled from $64 to $94, which may seem like a lot for fans who
are accustomed to paying a top price of $17.50 to watch the Halifax
Mooseheads junior team.
But there are a lot of Canadiens fans who would be ecstatic at the prospect
of paying $94 for an exhibition game. Season-ticket holders are required to
pay for five exhibition contests as part of their season-ticket packages and
they pay NHL prices.
When the Canadiens and the Bruins staged a rematch at the Bell Centre
Monday night, there were a few family zone tickets in the $20-41 range, but
the top price for a platinum seat was $249. Fans in the Club Desjardins
section paid $206, but they were also able to stuff themselves with hot dogs
and soda.
It should be noted that the fans received a bit of break because the
Canadiens are one of the growing number of teams which have adopted a
sliding scale of ticket prices and fans are required to pay a premium for
certain games. For example, when the Bruins play at the Bell Centre on
Feb. 15, the top ticket will cost $406. The whites - think nosebleed territory -
start at $120.
And what did the fans get to see for their money? A hybrid Canadiens
lineup with more hopefuls than established NHLers.
While the requirement for season ticket holders to buy the exhibition games
may seem like gouging to some, the reality is that the market for Canadiens'
tickets is a classic example of the law of supply and demand.
The Canadiens can charge those prices because there are people lined up
to pay them.
The National Hockey League has seen its revenues increase each year
since the lockout. Those increases have been fuelled in large part by the
success of the Canadian franchises and an increase in the value of the
looney. The Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets will have some of the priciest
tickets in the NHL, with an average in the $82 range.
But they fall far short of the Toronto Maple Leafs, with an average of $117.
But the success of the Canadian franchises presents some problems when
you look at the big picture. An increase in revenue has led to an annual
increase in the salary cap.
That's good for the teams that are making money.
But there has been a corresponding increase in the floor - the minimum a
team must spend on its payroll. It's hurting the have-nots, which is why
you'll hear a lot about this problem when negotiations begin on a new
collective agreement.
Montreal Gazette LOADED: 09.27.2011
579958     Montreal Canadiens                                                      "If Tremblay couldn't win it the way he played, he'll never win it," Richard
                                                                                   suggested.
                                                                                   Said defenceman Ted Harris: "It's a joke. What's a guy supposed to do to
Tougher than expected                                                              win it?"
                                                                                   One way, as it developed, was for a close friend of defenceman Tremblay
By RED FISHER, The Gazette September 27, 2011 3:02 AM                              to organize a dinner at a downtown Montreal hotel several weeks later
                                                                                   honouring a half-dozen Canadiens who had excelled in the playoffs. The
                                                                                   first prize was a car donated by a Montreal dealer.

Eighteen years have passed since the Canadiens won their 24th - and last -         Surprise! Tremblay was declared the winner.
Stanley Cup. Red Fisher has covered 17 of the Canadiens' championship
teams. In this 10-part feature series, he counts down the best teams he has        Montreal Gazette LOADED: 09.27.2011
covered en route to the Stanley Cup. Today it's No. 8:
The Stanley Cup-champion Canadiens were back in familiar territory in
1965-66 - on top of the standings with 90 points in their 70-game schedule,
eight ahead of Chicago and 11 more than No. 3 Toronto.
The Detroit Red Wings were well back in the last playoff spot with 74 - long
shots to advance in their semifinal against a Chicago team led by Bobby
Hull and Stan Mikita, who had finished 1-2 in the scoring race. Hull had 54
goals among his 97 points in 65 games.
The Maple Leafs were no match for the Canadiens, losing in four games
while being outscored 15-6. But a funny thing happened to the high-scoring
Blackhawks on what they felt would be an easy trip to the Stanley Cup final:
they fell in six games to the Red Wings, during which they were outscored
22-10. Hull was held to two goals, Mikita to one.
All of which sent the No. 1 Canadiens into the Cup final as heavy favourites
to bring home the Cup for the seventh time in 11 seasons against a team
with 16 fewer points during the regular season. The Canadiens could taste
it, and so did their fans.
What they got instead was a rude awakening in Game 1 at the Forum,
falling to the Wings 3-2.
Worse: the dream became a nightmare in a 5-2 Game 2 loss.
You've lost the first two games at home with the next two in Detroit. What
was supposed to be a walk in the park had become a high mountain to
climb in terms of winning a second consecutive Stanley Cup.
There was no reason to panic, but by the time the Canadiens arrived in
Detroit for Game 3, head coach Toe Blake had decided to overhaul his
team's top two lines. Furthermore, more help came from an unexpected
source when the Canadiens arrived in time to see a Detroit newspaper
carrying a photo of several Red Wings at the racetrack the day before,
wearing broad grins and smoking cigars.
Gump Worsley, who was to post an astonishing 1.99 goals-against average
in 10 playoff games, held off Detroit 4-2 in Game 3.
A 2-1 victory sent the teams back to the Forum with the series tied, where
the Canadiens won Game 5 by a score of 5-1.
And when the Canadiens swept into a 2-0 lead on goals from Jean Béliveau
and Léon Rochefort in Game 6, it appeared another Cup was assured -
until the Wings got a second-period goal from Norm Ullman and a tying goal
from Floyd Smith midway through the third.
Both teams had opportunities to put this one away in regulation, but Henri
Richard brought home the Cup with a disputed goal only 2: 20 into
overtime.
"Somebody else who had a better series should have scored it," Richard
said. "It was a fluke. (Dave) Balon let go this shot from the left boards and I
tried to deflect it in with my stick. That's when I was tripped. The puck hit my
leg and the next thing I knew I was in the net and so was the puck."
Detroit goaltender Roger Crozier was backing in when the puck came
across the crease.
He appeared to carry the puck in with him after it struck Richard. Red
Wings players had another view of the Cup winner, claiming Richard had
intentionally directed the puck into the net with his elbow.
Losing goaltender Crozier was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy and a car
after posting a 2.34 goalsagainst average and one shutout in 12 playoff
games - much to the dismay of several Canadiens, who had expected it
would go to defenceman J.C. Tremblay.
579959    Montreal Canadiens


Habs ink Campoli


By QMI Agency


Free agent blueliner Chris Campoli signed a one-year contract with the
Montreal Canadiens Monday.
The deal is worth $1.75 million, according to TSN.ca.
Campoli finished last season with the Chicago Blackhawks after being
traded by the Ottawa Senators but couldn't come to terms on a new deal
with the 'Hawks, who walked away from a $2.5 million arbitration ruling.
The Mississauga native had four goals and 17 assists in 77 games last
season.
Montreal Sun LOADED: 09.27.2011
579960     Nashville Predators                                                       In 78 games for the Admirals last season, Thang registered 41 points (14
                                                                                     goals, 27 assists).
                                                                                     Tennessean LOADED: 09.27.2011
Blake Geoffrion on mend, eager to return to ice


Staff


Predators forward Blake Geoffrion, whose right wrist was sliced open during
a preseason game earlier this month, skated with a stick for the first time
Monday.
If he continues to make progress, Geoffrion hopes to make up some of the
ground he lost in training camp and play in the final two preseason games,
Friday at Winnipeg then back home Saturday against Carolina.
"I hadn't been skating at all with a stick and it felt OK," the Brentwood
resident said. "It's getting better every day. If I can get back in time to play
in those two games, that would be awesome."
Geoffrion was scheduled to see a doctor later Monday to have his progress
evaluated.
"With the nerve cut, my thumb is still pretty numb, and holding a stick is a
little different," said Geoffrion, a left-handed shooter. "It's something I'm
going to have to get used to."
During a Sept. 19 game at Florida, a skate blade found the small opening
between Geoffrion's glove and elbow pad.
It was the first time he had suffered a sliced wrist. He said he realized the
injury could have been more serious than it was.
X-rays showed the skate missed cutting a tendon in his wrist by a quarter of
a millimeter.
"It was pretty close to doing a lot more damage," Geoffrion said. "That
would have a taken a lot longer to heal."
Geoffrion is eager to get back on the ice, with the regular season beginning
on Oct. 7.
"It's kind of disappointing, and I've just got to get back and play some
games," he said. "When I do get back in the lineup, I've got to show them
that I can play in this league.
"You face adversity all the time in your life and in your career, and you've
just got to keep battling through it and hopefully good things will come out of
it."
Geoffrion played in 20 games for the Predators last season and posted
eight points (6 goals, 2 assists). He appeared in 12 playoff games, posting
two points.
Coach Barry Trotz said the experience Geoffrion gained at the end of the
season would help offset the time he's missed.
"I don't think he's fallen back that far," Trotz said. "The biggest thing is, he's
played in the playoffs and in the end of the season. That has a lot of weight
when you're looking at the whole process.
"Hopefully, he can get back in the fold towards the end of this week and
he'll be fine."
On the defense: Several of the coming roster cuts will affect the defense.
There currently are five defensemen - Jack Hillen, Ryan Ellis, Mattias
Ekholm, Tyler Sloan and Teemy Laakso - competing for three spots.
"I can't make a bad decision there because they're all playing pretty well,"
Trotz said. "As we start to ramp it up, there are some guys that will fall off
by just a hair.
"Doesn't mean that they can't play, but instead of having six guys all
bundled up, there's four that are starting to fall in there. It shakes down
between the games and the practices."
Thang to Milwaukee: The Predators assigned Ryan Thang to Milwaukee of
the American Hockey League on Monday, leaving 18 forwards on the
roster.
In three preseason games, Thang scored one goal.
579961     Nashville Predators                                                   definitely going to learn from it and it's a privilege to be in the lineup. You
                                                                                 can't take it for granted.
                                                                                 "...Even though I did get in, it didn't matter. Bottom line: The coach took me
Preds' Colin Wilson hopes to use minimal 2011 playoff role as motivation         out of the lineup. Yes, he put me back in but I still take that very hard."
                                                                                 That was not news - nor was it unwelcome - to Trotz, who reviewed the
By David Boclair                                                                 situation with Wilson during season-ending exit interviews and again
                                                                                 throughout the summer when he and his assistants made regular calls to
                                                                                 Wilson, as they did with every other player on the team.

Thoughts and words.                                                              Suter responded the season after his playoff benching with eight goals (still
                                                                                 his career-high) and 24 points - a 50 percent improvement over the
Typically they are identical. What pops into one's mind comes out of the         previous season. A fixture in the lineup ever since, he has played every
mouth for all the world to hear.                                                 game in three of the past five seasons and has missed just 16 total over
                                                                                 that span due to injury.
Then there are those instances that require a filter, or perhaps a dam in
order to contain words capable of damage. Never mind that the mind               "I think, for [Wilson], he just has to reset and just be ready to go from Game
generates the same thought over and over and over.                               One," Suter said. "It's so easy to get sidetracked. He just has to stay
                                                                                 focused and know that he's good enough. If he plays well, it's all forgotten."
If anyone knows the mind of Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson as
the 2011-12 season approaches it is Ryan Suter, his roommate on the road         Until then, some anger remains. It's natural.
for all of last season as well as a fellow first-round draft pick.
                                                                                 "I think that's a good emotion to have," Wilson said. "A player who gets
The commonality of their experiences includes the ignominy of being              healthy scratched and then is ... very carefree about it, that's when you
benched during the postseason. It happened to Wilson back in the spring,         have a problem. ... Experience is getting healthy scratched and is going
when he made just three appearances during the Predators' longest playoff        through a drought of 15 games without a goal and learning to deal with that.
run ever, just as it did to Suter, when he sat out an entire five-game
postseason series with San Jose at the end of his rookie season.                 "Going through all of that is just going to make me better for this season."

"I know it's easy to say learn from it," Suter said. "I feel like part of what   Sounds good. And it is probably best he does not say what he really thinks.
helped me is it pissed me off. That next summer I worked my butt off to get
better, and I came in here with the mindset ... I wasn't public with it but      Nashville City Paper LOADED: 09.27.2011
inside I was like, 'Screw you guys. I deserve to play, and I'm going to be out
here playing.' "
With fewer than two weeks before the start of the regular season, Wilson
has said all of the right things. Just as important - if not more so - he has
done the right things.
"I like the fact that some of the things we asked him to look at and change,
he put a real conscious effort in the summer to do that," coach Barry Trotz
said. "We said, 'We're going to rely on you to produce offensively.' He's
starting to do that."
Wilson scored Nashville's first goal of the preseason in a 5-3 victory in the
first half of a doubleheader at Florida. The next day against Washington he
added an insurance goal in the third period of a 2-0 victory.
Before he was sent to the bench in the playoffs, the seventh overall pick in
the 2008 draft actually played all 82 games during the regular season and
scored 16 goals, which was twice the number he had during his rookie
season.
Thus, Wilson did not know what to think the first couple times he was not
included in the lineup. He said the only time in his life he ever had been
benched was as a young boy - when his father did it to him. His coach at
Boston University, where he was the 2009 USA Hockey College Player of
the Year and a Hobey Baker Award finalist, threatened it a couple times but
never
followed through.
After years of being a star player at every level, Wilson admitted he had
never even considered getting pulled was a possibility.
That's when he turned to Suter.
"He was my roommate throughout the whole playoffs and throughout the
whole year," Wilson said. "Every time we got back in the room after a game,
we'd obviously talk about the team. Then we'd talk about how it is. He told
me, 'Don't worry about it, you're going to get back in.' And sure enough I got
back in."
He appeared in the last three games of the second-round series against
Vancouver after having not dressed for a single contest in the first-round
victory over Anaheim.
His role was minimal. He played no more than 13:34 and as few as 8:01 in
those appearances, did not have a goal or an assist and got just two shots
on goal.
"I was really happy with, when I came back and played those three games,
how I did," he said. "I thought I bounced back pretty well. Yeah, I'm
579962     New Jersey Devils


Devils Will Retire Niedermayer's Number


By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Devils will raise defenseman Scott
Niedermayer's No. 27 to the rafters on Dec. 16.
Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cup championships across 12
seasons in New Jersey, will be the third player to have such an honor, and
they all played the same position. New Jersey also retired defensemen Ken
Daneyko's No. 3 and former captain Scott Stevens' No. 4.
An Edmonton native, Niedermayer will have his ceremony prior to a game
vs. the Dallas Stars. Niedermayer and the Devils defeated the Stars in 2000
to win the franchise's second Stanley Cup.
Niedermayer retired in June 2010 after 17 NHL seasons, and finished his
career with the Anaheim Ducks. He won his fourth and final Cup with the
Ducks in 2007.
"You don't really think about it, but then when you do get that call and you
do have the time to think about it, it means a lot," Niedermayer said. "I was
in New Jersey for a long time and had a lot of great things happen to me
there.
"It's a special honor, for sure."
The third overall pick by New Jersey in 1991, Niedermayer, 38, is one of
five individuals to play on all three of Devils' Stanley Cup championship
teams (1995, 2000, 2003).
Niedermayer served as the Devils' captain from Jan. 9, 2004 through the
end of that season. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable
player of the playoffs in 2007 with Anaheim, and won two Olympic gold
medals with Team Canada.
New York Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
579963     New Jersey Devils


Devils will retire Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 on Dec. 16


By Rich Chere/


The Devils will retire Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 on Dec. 16 when the
Dallas Stars visit the Prudential Center.
The smooth-skating defenseman played on all three Stanley Cup
championship teams with the Devils. Between 1991-92 and 2003-04,
Niedermayer scored 476 points (112 goals, 364 assists) in 892 regular
season games.
In 146 playoff games he had 17-47-64.
"Scott Niedermayer's talent and leadership played significant roles in each
of our three Stanley Cup Championships," Devils general manager Lou
Lamoriello said in a statement released by the club. "We look forward to
welcoming the Niedermayer family back to New Jersey as we retire Scott's
no. 27."
Niedermayer, who was one of just five individuals to play on all three of
New Jersey's Stanley Cup Championship teams, announced his retirement
as a player on June 22, 2010. His 17-season National Hockey League
career included 12 years with New Jersey from 1991-92 through 2003-04,
and five seasons with Anaheim from 2005-06 through 2009-10.
Niedermayer served the Devils as captain from January 9, 2004, through
the end of the 2003-04 season. He captained the Ducks to the 2007
Stanley Cup Championship, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as most
valuable player.
"You don't really think about it, but then when you do get that call and you
do have the time to think about it, it means a lot," Niedermayer said in a
statement. "I was in New Jersey for a long time and had a lot of great things
happen to me there. It's a special honor, for sure."
No. 27 will join Nos. 3 (Ken Daneyko) and 4 (Scott Stevens) as retired
Devils numbers.
Next to be retired will likely be Martin Brodeur's No. 30.
Star Ledger LOADED: 09.27.2011
579964      New Jersey Devils                                                     Lines
                                                                                  Cam Janssen-Tim Sestito-Stephane Veilleux
Devils looking at a Zach Parise, Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora line                   Stephen Gionta-Steve Zalewski-Vladimir Zharkov-Matt Anderson
                                                                                  Chad Wiseman-Brad Mills-Steve Bernier
By Rich Chere/                                                                    Defensemen -- Jay Leach, Alex Urbom, Matt Taormina, Matt Corrente,
                                                                                  Peter Harrold
                                                                                  Goalies -- Keith Kinkaid, Jeff Frazee
The team that Devils coach Pete DeBoer put on the ice for today's first
practice session looked very much like it could be an opening night lineup.       The Devils will retire Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 on Dec. 16.
Among the missing were Bryce Salvador and Dainius Zubrus, both resting            Star Ledger LOADED: 09.27.2011
lower body injuries, as well as players such as Matt Taormina, Matt
Corrente, Alex Urbom, Cam Janssen and Stephane Veilleux.
Most intriguing was the line of Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora.
"I was actually nervous," an excited Sykora said after the workout. "I had
too much fun today. I can't wait until practice tomorrow. Patty and Zach are
two skilled players. You can see those two guys find holes. The little one-
touch plays are there."
Elias was a bit more reserved.
"They're going to try different guys," he said. "We had fun."
And his thoughts about Sykora?
"Just a little bit older," Elias said. "I got younger.
"Chemistry is a big thing and we always had that."
Parise is anxious to see where it goes.
"(Sykora) is a good player. He's had a good camp," Parise said. "I'm
anxious to try it outin a game."
So is Sykora, who remains focused in an effort to make the team on a
tryout.
"This is something special for me, to be on that line with those two guys,"
Sykora said. "I'm going to do whatever I can to stay there. Nothing changes.
I still have a long way ahead of me. Just show up tomorrow."
Sykora looks revitalized.
"I know the scoring is going to be there," Sykora said. "I know if I get a few
shifts I'm going to be involved in scoring chances."
Parise, of course, is working his way back into top shape after missing most
of last season. It is mostly timing now.
"I wouldn't say I'm completely sharp," Parise said.
When I said to coach Pete DeBoer said the Devils' first practice group today
looked like a potential opening night lineup, he said: "We're close. We're
going to move some guys in and out of that group. You'll have a couple of
different faces tomorrow. We're definitely starting to get the group together
and get some practice time with them."
On putting Elias and Sykora together, DeBoer explained: "Just moving
some things around. We didn''t generate a ton of offensive chances
(against the Islanders). Petr has come in and created some offense and
hasn't really had the opportunity to play with some of the elite guys yet. So I
thought it was the right thing to do, so I put him with those guys."
Their past chemistry was a factor.
"A little bit. It was a long time ago," DeBoer said. "Sure, it's something I
think plays into it with a comfort level and a communication level that is real
good."
DeBoer on Bryce Salvador and Dainius Zubrus: "Both guys are just lower
body maintenance, so to speak. I expect them both on the ice tomorrow
and hopefully they''ll be able to practice with us."
Finally, DeBoer sad the next few days will be used to get the NHL group
working together at an NHL pace.
"I'm confident this team is going to score goals and the power play is going
to be better," he said.
In the Devils' second session:
579965     New Jersey Devils                                                       The Devils visit Winnipeg again to face the former Atlanta Thrashers on
                                                                                   Jan. 14. Zajac expects to be ready by then.
                                                                                   "I would hope so," he said.
Devils' Travis Zajac: I won't rush back from Achilles surgery
                                                                                   Oddly enough, he may not even be in Winnipeg when the Devils visit the
                                                                                   first time.
Rich Chere/                                                                        "I'm not sure. Once I see the doctor we'll have more of a game plan of
                                                                                   where we'll start rehabbing," Zajac said. "I'm sure I'll be in New Jersey
                                                                                   sooner rather than later."
Devils' No. 1 center Travis Zajac remains at home in Winnipeg recovering
from Achilles tendon surgery.                                                      There is no timetable yet for when he can start skating.

The shock has worn off. Now comes the hard part.                                   "Right now I'm not sure. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Friday.
                                                                                   It's a week by week thing right now," he said. "As soon as I get some
With training camp half over and the Devils' regular season opener rapidly         strength and range of motion I can think about skating.
approaching on Oct. 8, injured center Travis Zajac is coming to terms with
the fact that his iron man streak of 401 consecutive games will come to an         "I know skating is a lot easier on the Achilles than running or something like
end and he probably won't be able to play until after Christmas.                   that, because you are in a (skate) boot. So I guess that's a positive."

Zajac, 26, tore his Achilles tendon on Aug. 17 while doing offseason training      With the season getting closer, Zajac will soon start to experience what
in his hometown of Winnipeg. He underwent surgery the next day.                    close friend Zach Parise went through last season when he underwent knee
                                                                                   surgery and could only watch.
Although the Devils have suggested a three-month recovery period, Zajac
knows it will more likely be 4-6 months.                                           "Definitely. Obviously you want to be out there," Zajac said. "Coming off the
                                                                                   season we had last season, I wanted to come back into this season and
"It's anywhere from just over three months to six months," Zajac told me via       prove something, show that we are a playoff team. I would've liked to have
telephone from Winnipeg. "I guess it depends on a lot of things. Being an          started out the season, contribute and be a part of that.
athlete and being young, I think I should be on the lower end of that time
frame. But I'm definitely not going to rush back."                                 "I guess right now I'm as s good as I can be. I'm starting physio this week.
                                                                                   My guess is it will be some stretching to loosen or strengthen my Achilles.
Zajac said he can deal with seeing his games-played streak come to an              I'm still in a boot so it's just getting some range of motion."
end. He last missed a game in his rookie season on Oct. 24, 2006,
eventually breaking Ken Daneyko's iron man streak of 388 games on Mar.             Star Ledger LOADED: 09.27.2011
17 last season in Ottawa.
"It's disappointing, but everyone goes through a major injury in their career.
For whatever reason, this is when it happened to me," Zajac said. "I guess
it's something where, in the end, I'll come back stronger and healthier. It's
hard to tell now, but I don't see why it won't get back to 100 percent."
Zajac will be examined by his surgeon on Friday in Winnipeg. That will give
him a better idea of how the Achilles is progressing five weeks after
surgery.
"Right now I can't do much. At first it was keeping the leg elevated in bed
and watching a lot of movies and TV shows," he said. "I can get around a
little bit now, but there's still not a lot I can do. Watching hockey on TV and
trying to follow what's going on."
He watched one Devils preseason game against the Rangers and has kept
in touch with teammates.
"It's early to tell how everything is going to pan out, but from talking to guys
everyone really likes the new coach and the system," Zajac said. "From
what I hear, they are pretty excited to get the season started."
Without their No. 1 center.
Zajac knew something was wrong immediately in what seemed like a
harmless training exercise.
"We were doing some plyometrics and during some of the hopping I felt the
pain in my Achilles. I knew something wasn't right. I knew I wasn't
supposed to have that kind of soreness or pain," he recalled. "It turned out
to be a case of where I tore my Achilles. The best option was to have
surgery.
"I guess it's kind of a freak accident because you don't hear too many
hockey players getting Achilles injuries. It was just a case of maybe overuse
or some kind of fault in my Achilles. It's not unheard-of. The doctor also said
I have a small Achilles for a guy my size, which is genetics."
He was looking forward to playing in his hometown on Dec. 3 when the
Devils meet the Jets. Zajac hasn't completely ruled it out, but admits it
would be a long shot.
"I don't know. It's a long way away when you think about it now. That would
be a good goal to set," he said. "I think when you have an injury it's
important to set a goal and push yourself. Would I like to play in that game?
Absolutely, but I'm going to make sure that when I do come back I'm
healthy and well enough to play and make an impact."
579966     New Jersey Devils


Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora on Devils' line with Zach Parise


By Rich Chere/The Star-Ledger


Rookie defenseman Adam Larsson skated on his own before practice.
Rookie defenseman Adam Larsson skated on his own and shot pucks well
before the Devils held their first practice sxession today at AmeriHealth
Pavilion.
Larsson worked hard, firing pucks and skating in tight circles, as well as
stops and starts.
The first practice group included a line with Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora
together with Zach Parise at left wing.
Defenseman Bryce Salvador was not in the first group, which was primarliy
comprised of veterans. And Dainius Zubrus remains out with a lower body
injury.
The Devils say Zubrus and Salvador are both "resting" lower body injuries.
Goalies
Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg
Lines
Ilya Kovakchuk-Jacob Josefson-Nick Palmieri
Zach Parise-Patrik Elias-Petr Sykora
Mattias Tedenby-Adam Henrique-David Clarkson
Eric Boulton-David Steckel-Rod Pelley
Defensemen
Larsson, Anton Volchenkov, Henrik Tallinder, Anton Stralman, Andy
Greene, Mark Fraser, Mark Fayne
Star Ledger LOADED: 09.27.2011
579967     New Jersey Devils


Devils to retire Scott Niedermayer's number on Dec. 16


By TOM GULITTI


Scott Niedermayer didn't end his NHL career as a Devil and he isn't the last
player to wear No. 27 for the team.
Niedermayer did wear that number for 12 seasons with the Devils, however,
and won three Stanley Cups and a Norris Trophy while doing so.
So, on Dec. 16, No. 27 will become Niedermayer's forever.
The Devils announced Monday that they will retire Niedermayer's jersey
number that night during a ceremony prior to their game against Dallas. He
will become the third player in team history to have his number retired.
Team president Lou Lamoriello said it was "an organizational decision" to
have Niedermayer's No. 27 join Scott Stevens' No. 4 and Ken Daneyko's
No. 3 in the Prudential Center rafters.
"What he brought while he was here and the significant role he played in
the Cup success warranted it," Lamoriello said. "You have to have all day to
talk about all the things that he's done. But he's deserving of having it
retired."
Although Niedermayer played the final five seasons of his NHL career in
Anaheim - and won a fourth Cup there in 2007 - after signing as an
unrestricted free agent Aug. 4, 2005, Lamoriello says that he will always be
a Devil.
"I don't think there's any question in my mind that he's a Devil," Lamoriello
said.
Niedermayer, who retired following the 2009-10 season, is one of five
players who were members of all three of the Devils' Stanley Cup winning
teams (1995, 2000, 2003). He served as captain from Jan. 9, 2004 through
the end of the 2003-04 season while Stevens was recovering from a
concussion. He won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman that
season as well.
Drafted third overall by the Devils in 1991, Niedermayer played in 892
regular-season games for the team, trailing only Daneyko (1,283) and
Stevens (956) among defensemen in franchise history. His totals of 112
goals, 364 assists and 476 points all rank first in Devils history for
defensemen.
"It's pretty neat for me to be included with those two guys," Niedermayer
said of Stevens and Daneyko. "I looked up to those two guys my whole
career really, especially as a rookie breaking in with those guys being there.
So, it's pretty neat to be included with those two for sure."
Niedermayer's number will be the first retired in a ceremony at Prudential
Center, which opened in 2007. Stevens' No.Ÿ4 (Feb. 3, 2006) and
Daneyko's No.Ÿ3 (March 4, 2006) both were retired at the Meadowlands.
BRIEFS: David Clarkson, Barry Tallackson and Mike Mottau wore No. 27
for the Devils after Niedermayer's departure. The number has remained
vacant since Mottau wasn't re-signed following the 2009-10 season. ...
Devils RW Dainius Zubrus and D Bryce Salvador did not practice Monday
with what coach Pete DeBoer called "lower-body maintenance."
"I expect them both on the ice [today] and, hopefully, they'll be able to
practice with us." DeBoer said.
Bergen Record LOADED: 09.27.2011
579968     New Jersey Devils


Scott Niedermayer will have No. 27 retired by New Jersey Devils at
December game vs. Dallas Stars


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


The New Jersey Devils will raise defenseman Scott Niedermayer's No. 27
to the rafters on Dec. 16.
Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cup championships across 12
seasons in New Jersey, will be the third player to have such an honor, and
they all played the same position. New Jersey also retired defensemen Ken
Daneyko's No. 3 and former captain Scott Stevens' No. 4.
An Edmonton native, Niedermayer will have his ceremony prior to a game
vs. the Dallas Stars. Niedermayer and the Devils defeated the Stars in 2000
to win the franchise's second Stanley Cup.
Niedermayer retired in June 2010 after 17 NHL seasons, and finished his
career with the Anaheim Ducks. He won his fourth and final Cup with the
Ducks in 2007.
"You don't really think about it, but then when you do get that call and you
do have the time to think about it, it means a lot," Niedermayer said. "I was
in New Jersey for a long time and had a lot of great things happen to me
there.
"It's a special honor, for sure."
The third overall pick by New Jersey in 1991, Niedermayer, 38, is one of
five individuals to play on all three of Devils' Stanley Cup championship
teams (1995, 2000, 2003).
Niedermayer served as the Devils' captain from Jan. 9, 2004 through the
end of that season. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable
player of the playoffs in 2007 with Anaheim, and won two Olympic gold
medals with Team Canada.
New York Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579969     New Jersey Devils


Devils to retire Niedermayer's No. 27 on Dec. 16


Staff


The Devils will raise defenseman Scott Niedermayer's No. 27 to the rafters
on Dec. 16.
Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cup championships across 12
seasons in New Jersey, will be the third player to have such an honor, and
they all played the same position. The Devils retired defenseman Ken
Daneyko's No. 3 and former captain Scott Stevens' No. 4.
An Edmonton native, Niedermayer will have his ceremony prior to a game
vs. the Dallas Stars. Niedermayer and the Devils defeated the Stars in 2000
to win the franchise's second Stanley Cup.
Niedermayer retired in June 2010 after 17 NHL seasons, and finished his
career with the Anaheim Ducks. He won his fourth and final Cup with the
Ducks in 2007.
"You don't really think about it, but then when you do get that call and you
do have the time to think about it, it means a lot," Niedermayer said. "I was
in New Jersey for a long time and had a lot of great things happen to me
there.
"It's a special honor, for sure."
The third overall pick in 1991, Niedermayer, 38, is one of five individuals to
play on all three of Devils' Stanley Cup championship teams (1995, 2000,
2003).
Niedermayer served as the Devils' captain from Jan. 9, 2004 through the
end of that season. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable
player of the playoffs in 2007 with Anaheim, and won two Olympic gold
medals with Team Canada.
New York Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
579970     New York Islanders


Nielsen could get shot on power-play unit


By ARTHUR STAPLE


Frans Nielsen's value to the Islanders at even strength and on the penalty
kill is immense. The 27-year-old center has long taken pride in his
defensive play, but he earned plenty of notice for his offensive skills last
season.
That comes from the league-leading seven shorthanded goals and his 5-
for-8 performance in shootouts. So Nielsen's presence on the first power-
play unit for the Islanders on Saturday wasn't much of a stretch; he has the
ability.
The bigger question, with the season 11 days away, is whether one of the
Isles' most important forwards could handle playing on both special teams
while also entrenching his reputation as a shutdown defensive center.
"If I want to be out there against the other teams' top lines, I can't be tired,"
Nielsen said Monday after the Isles' practice at IceWorks in Syosset. "You
just have to be smart. If they want me on the power play and it's not working
or something, you just get off the ice and let someone else have a shot at it.
You can't overdo it."
Jack Capuano might be sorely tempted if a top power-play quintet with
Nielsen on it performs as well as Saturday's did. It's the preseason, of
course, but the 3-for-6 results for the power play, including a pretty goal by
Nielsen, could have Capuano trying to get Nielsen as much ice time as
possible.
"When he first became a pro, he took so much pride in the defensive side of
the puck," said Capuano, who coached Nielsen at Bridgeport for two
seasons. "But for us, we want speed, we want explosiveness, and I have no
doubt that Fransie brings that to whatever role he has."
Nielsen's importance also is a part of talks on a new contract, as his four-
year, $2.1-million deal expires after this season. General manager Garth
Snow and Marc Levine, Nielsen's agent, have had very preliminary
discussions, but nothing more.
"I think it could be a big distraction to worry about that," Nielsen said. "I
want to be here for sure. It would be great to be here through the rebuilding
and then, hopefully, be here when we win a Stanley Cup."
Notes & quotes: G Evgeni Nabokov was part of the 20-player contingent
that traveled to Calgary Monday for Tuesday night's preseason game
against the Flames. It will be Nabokov's first NHL game since May 23,
2010.
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579971     New York Rangers                                                         unclear how long it will take him to recover from what seem like classic
                                                                                    postconcussion symptoms.
                                                                                    But Sather said there was still some question as to what is bothering Staal.
Rangers Land in Winter Classic, Then in an On-Ice Controversy                       "You can look at migraines, you can have slipped disks, you can have
                                                                                    pulled muscles, you can have a hundred different things," he said.

By JEFF Z. KLEIN                                                                    Sather said that there were "mixed feelings" within the Rangers about
                                                                                    allowing HBO full access for the "24/7" series and that although he would
                                                                                    "welcome" the crew, "there are some spots where we'll be a little bit
                                                                                    careful."
PHILADELPHIA - Monday was a busy day for the Rangers: a lunchtime
visit to Citizens Bank Park here for the announcement of the Jan. 2                 Rangers Coach John Tortorella, known for occasional explosive outbursts
Rangers-Flyers Winter Classic and the HBO "24/7" series leading to it; a            at players, reporters and fans, said that the Rangers would "have a little say
final preseason game before a late-night flight to Europe and a hectic series       about what's put on that TV" and that he wanted to make sure the show
of matches crisscrossing that continent; and new questions about the status         contained "no embarrassing things, especially to the players."
of defenseman Marc Staal.
                                                                                    Rick Bernstein, the executive producer of HBO Sports, said he was not
But it wound up in controversy over a first-period exchange between the             concerned that neither the Flyers nor the Rangers had marquee players at
Rangers' Sean Avery and the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds in which Simmonds                the level of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, or that the headline-
apparently directed a homophobic epithet at Avery.                                  generating Avery might not be on the Rangers' roster when the series is
                                                                                    shot. "In the end, it's the characters, it's the stories," he said.
The exchange took place in the first period of Philadelphia's 5-3 victory,
after the Flyers' Tom Sestito ran the Rangers' Andre Deveaux into the               New York Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
boards from behind. The play will almost certainly result in a multigame
suspension for Sestito.
In the aftermath, Simmonds and Avery tangled, and on television and video
replays, Simmonds seemed to make the comment to Avery. Avery said yes
when asked whether Simmonds had used a slur and denied saying
anything to warrant it.
Last summer, Avery, himself a figure of controversy for his actions on the
ice and words off it, urged the New York State Legislature to pass a law
legalizing same-sex marriage.
Simmonds, who is black, was himself the subject of an apparent racial taunt
in London, Ontario, last week, when a fan threw a banana peel on the ice.
"To be here now and to have to answer questions about what he did is
disappointing for me, disappointing for him," Avery said.
"Kobe Bryant got fined a hundred grand, " he said, referring to a fine Bryant
received for uttering a homophobic epithet. "It's an issue people are dealing
with and trying to overcome. Ten years ago, maybe it wasn't so much of an
issue, but it's certainly an issue politically, with people in the game, and just
in life in general."
Simmonds said he did not remember the words used in the exchange with
Avery but did say he used "a couple swear words."
"I felt that he sucker-punched me," Simmonds said. "We went back and
forth the rest of the game, and we both exchanged words with each other. I
don't recall every single word I said to him."
Asked if Avery had said anything to touch him off, Simmonds said, "Things
get said out there - I'm not really going to say what he said." Later he said,
"Come on, it's Sean Avery - who knows what comes out of his mouth." But
still did not characterize any of the words used.
Earlier in the afternoon, Rangers General Manager Glen Sather said that he
was "not exactly sure" whether Staal had postconcussion symptoms and
that he expected Staal to join the Rangers in Europe on Thursday or Friday.
"Marc practiced yesterday; he looked great," Sather said. "His condition
was terrific. In every test that we've had, he's been one of the top guys on
the organization, so I'm not concerned about that at all."
This would seem like an optimistic take on Staal, who sustained a knee
injury against Carolina last Feb. 22 and a head injury later in the game
when he was clobbered on a legal check by his brother Eric. He missed the
next three games.
Staal soon developed headaches, which neither the Rangers nor Staal
revealed publicly until a little over a week ago. He wound up missing two
games in March because of the headaches but returned to play his usual
workhorse role after five days off.
Staal played out the rest of the season and the playoffs, but during the
summer he developed stronger headaches that worsened with exertion. He
has skated with the Rangers in training camp but has not scrimmaged.
He did not accompany the Rangers to Philadelphia. Staal was also not
expected to accompany the team to Europe on Monday night, and it is
579972     New York Rangers


NHL Winter Classic to feature NY Rangers & Philadelphia Flyers - GM Glen
Sather guarantees win, Cup


By Jesse Spector


PHILADELPHIA - In finally announcing Saturday that the Rangers and
Flyers will play in the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park, NHL
commissioner Gary Bettman admitted that it was "one of the-worst kept
secrets in sports." That left the door open for Glen Sather to steal the show.
The Rangers' president and general manager speaks publicly only a few
times a year, and he made the most of this one, first by playfully
guaranteeing to a crowd of Flyers fans not only a Rangers victory in the
NHL's signature outdoor game on Jan. 2, but that "at the end of the year,
we will be carrying the Cup, just like the Yankees are going to win the world
championship."
That proclamation drew the boos that Sather was looking for, and he
admitted that he was playing to the crowd.
On a more serious note, though, Sather said he believes All-Star
defenseman Marc Staal will be ready for the season opener on Oct. 7 in
Stockholm, even though Staal did not skate Saturday morning and would
not be ready to make the trip to Europe with the rest of the Blueshirts after
Friday night's preseason game with the Flyers, which the Blueshirts lost 5-
3.
"Marc practiced yesterday, he looked great and his conditioning is terrific,"
Sather said. "I think he's tested, in every (conditioning) test that we have,
he's been one of the top guys in the organization. I'm not concerned about
that at all. (He will join the team in Europe) probably Thursday or Friday."
Sather also suggested that Staal's headaches may be related to something
other than the concussion he suffered in February, saying, "There are a lot
of things that cause headaches. You can have a migraine, you can have a
slipped disc, you can have pulled muscles, you can have a hundred
different things. Trying to diagnose exactly whether it's a concussion or
something else that's bothering a player, that's what you really have to find
out first. That's been complicated. He's had MRIs, .X-rays, examinations by
different people, and (the headaches) come and go."
Sather's candor will be particularly interesting when HBO begins production
in earnest on the "24/7" series that will follow the Rangers and Flyers during
their preparations for the Winter Classic. The show proved popular last year
as it chronicled the Penguins and Capitals leading up to their New Year's
Day clash in Pittsburgh, and the Rangers have a veteran of the show
among them now in former Pittsburgh forward Mike Rupp.
"Rupper said you notice them at first," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said.
"But after a while, they do a pretty good of blending themselves in, and you
get used to them. I think there'll be an adjustment period at first, obviously,
having a camera in your face 24/7, and having to do a bit more, interview-
wise. But I think it'll be great for the fans to see what we're like off the ice
and kind of behind the scenes. I think it's good for the game, and good to
promote the New York Rangers, too."
New York Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579973     New York Rangers                                                          Ah, Yankee Stadium, which will be home to the 2011 World Series
                                                                                     Champions just as the Garden will be home to the 2012 Cup champs.
                                                                                     Sather, after all, guaranteed it.
Sather predicts Rangers, Yanks titles                                                Good for the Old Rascal.
                                                                                     New York Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
By LARRY BROOKS


PHILADELPHIA -- The sound of Flyers' chairman Ed Snider, other semi-
dignitaries and the mayor of this fine town droning on incessantly about the
greatness of the franchise and of the city's pro sports' clubs was just too
much for Rangers general manager Glen Sather to bear.
And so, tired of having his team and city serve as little more than props for
the NHL at the press conference yesterday for the announcement that the
Rangers and Flyers would meet in the 2012 Winter Classic on Jan. 2 in the
Phillies' ballpark, Sather issued twin guarantees for the Blueshirts and the
Yankees.
"At the end of the year, we are going to be carrying the Cup just like the
Yankees will have the World Championship as well," Sather said after first
guaranteeing victory in the outdoor game.
Mark Messier would have been proud. So certainly would have George
Steinbrenner.
"I just couldn't let Snider go on and on like that," Sather told The Post up the
first-base line, minutes after the formal proceedings had ended. "I mean,
we're here, too, you know."
Rangers head coach John Tortorella all but recoiled when asked if he would
second the GM's notion -- surprise, surprise -- but both Yankees manager
Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman told the Post's George
King they hope Sather is clairvoyant.
"I hope he is right; I hope he is really, really smart," said Girardi, no relation
to Blueshirts' defenseman (Lt.) Dan Girardi.
"I hope he is right," said Cashman, whose AL East champions are
scheduled to open the playoffs Friday at the Stadium.
That "we" to whom Sather referred included Tortorella, Ryan Callahan,
Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, who were on stage during the
announcement. While at the podium, Sather had also referred to another,
"we," those the 1985 and 1987 Oilers, in saying: "I'm sorry we kicked the
hell out of you twice in the Stanley Cup [Finals]."
Snider, who will certainly need multiple surgeries for the shoulder
dislocations he must have incurred from his ceaseless pats on his
franchise's own back, couldn't resist reminding everyone that Sather's
reference was to Edmonton and not to the New York, returning to the
podium to boast: "I remember kicking the hell out of the Rangers on the way
to our Cups."
Cue the footage of Dave Schultz watched on Dale Rolfe in Game 7 of the
1974 semifinals while the rest of the Blueshirts on the ice meekly watched
the defenseman absorb the horrific beat-down in what became a 4-3
elimination defeat.
The Flyers have been one of the NHL's most successful franchises
economically since joining the NHL for 1967-68. Much of that success, as in
much of the financing for the arena into which they moved in 1996 across
the parking lot from the Spectrum, was built on the shoulders of Eric
Lindros, something Snider never seems to remember to report.
But the fact is the Flyers have not won a Cup since Gerald Ford was in the
White House, their 1975 repeat championship being their last.
The fact is 15 franchises have captured 35 Cups since Bernie Parent,
Bobby Clarke and their teammates skated laps with the chalice around the
old Aud in Buffalo on May 27, 1975, with eight of the winners in cities that
weren't even in the league at the time. Only six franchises are enduring
longer droughts than the Flyers.
Yet Snider and his franchise hold disproportionate sway over NHL policy.
Even concerning the Winter Classic, they will be the second team to play
twice in the five-year-old Winter Classic, joining the Crosbys in that
distinction. And they get the game at home in a nice, but hardly iconic
ballpark, while New York apparently will not be considered as a stage until
and unless Yankee Stadium becomes available.
579974     New York Rangers


Avery: Fighting Flyer took homophobic shot at me


By LARRY BROOKS


PHILADELPHIA -- The NHL will be under the gun to take action against
Wayne Simmonds following an early first-period incident in a preseason
game here last night in which the Flyers' winger appears to have called
Sean Avery a homophobic epithet.
Avery confirmed after the match that he was called the ugly slur by
Simmonds following a scrum in which the Rangers' winger punched the
Flyer in the face while both were down on the ice.
Though Simmonds implied Avery had provoked him through words of his
own, the Flyer did not deny the charge, stating repeatedly that he could not
remember exactly what words were exchanged early in Philadelphia's 4-3
victory.
A year ago, then Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski was suspended
for two games after repeatedly making gestures imitating oral sex toward
Avery during a game at the Coliseum on Oct. 11.
"It's been said [to me] for years, but it's different now," said Avery, who
played a prominent public role in New York State's adoption of its Marriage
Equality Act in June. "It certainly is an issue politically, for people in the
game and in life in general, and it's an issue people are working to
overcome.
"It's really disappointing. Who would [say] that?"
Simmonds, who is black, was the target in a racially tinged incident last
week at an exhibition game in London, Ontario, when a fan threw a banana
onto the ice at him.
"Avery said some things to me that I didn't like," Simmonds said. But
Simmonds never claimed there was anything particularly inflammatory
about the exchange.
"Come on, he's Sean Avery," said Simmonds, adding, "I can't recall
everything that was said," when asked directly if the Ranger had crossed an
uncrossable line."
Rangers' coach John Tortorella said he did not hear what had been said.
"I'm sure Sean Avery isn't going to lie about it," Tortorella said.
Avery said, "It's disappointing for me," to be asked if he had crossed the line
to provoke the slur from Simmonds. Avery, who noted that the Los Angeles
Lakers' Kobe Bryant had been fined $100,000 for delivering that slur
against a referee, deferred comment when asked if he believed the NHL
should take action against Simmonds.
"I don't want to say anything [to invite] a backlash that is unknown," Avery
said. "I don't want to put the team in a position where they will have to deal
with that."
It is the NHL that will have to deal with the aftermath.
New York Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
579975     New York Rangers


Rangers-Flyers in Winter Classic


By ANDREW GROSS


PHILADELPHIA - If Glen Sather's scene-stealing prognostications Monday
are any indication, the Rangers are going to provide plenty of entertainment
on HBO's "24/7" leading up to their Winter Classic matchup with the Flyers
at Citizens Bank Park on Jan. 2.
"We're going to come to Philadelphia and we're going to win," the Rangers
general manager said, addressing Flyers' fans in attendance during the
NHL's news conference to announce this season's outdoor game. "At the
end of the year we'll be carrying the [Stanley] Cup, just like the Yankees are
going to win the World Series."
Sather wasn't right Monday night as the Flyers won 5-3, at the Wells Fargo
Center in the Rangers' final North American preseason game.
Told of Sather's predictions, coach John Tortorella sarcastically added,
"that surprises the hell out of me."
Later, Sather acknowledged his trash-talking was all in good fun. During the
press conference he also pointed out his Oilers' teams in the 1980s twice
beat the Flyers in the Cup final, to which Flyers chairman Ed Snider said, "I
remember kicking the hell out of the Rangers on the way to our Cups [in
1974-75]."
HBO will air the first of four "24/7" episodes Dec. 14 at 10 p.m.
"I like it because I think what it does is it exposes the players to a lot of
different aspects of their life that people don't normally see," Sather said. "I
think there has to be a little mystery left behind. I don't want it to be a real
reality show."
"I think it's good to get people and the general public to know what kind of
work we do," right wing Marian Gaborik added.
Sather also said he'd like to see New York eventually host a Winter Classic
and cryptically said choosing a venue - Yankee Stadium is currently
unavailable due to a college football bowl game - is not the real issue.
Asked if the Rangers retained veto power over any footage, Sather said,
"With Torts being involved in this, are you kidding?"
However, the often-fiery and occasionally profane Tortorella didn't shy away
from his responsibilities with the show.
He said he saw only one episode of last season's acclaimed Penguins-
Capitals "24/7" and admitted there were scenes he cringed at because of
the accessibility.
"It'll be a balancing act," Tortorella said. "There's a lot of things that happen
as you go through emotions and games and situations. I just want to make
sure there's no embarrassing things. And I don't think we'll have a problem."
BRIEFS: Defenseman Mike Sauer left the game with a right shoulder injury
after Zac Rinaldo knocked him into the boards at 3:41 of the first period. ...
The Flyers' Wayne Simmonds, who had a banana thrown at him on the ice
in London, Ont., on Thursday, was caught on video seemingly yelling a
homophobic slur at Sean Avery in the first period. ... The Flyers' Jaromir
Jagr scored twice against his old team. ... John Mitchell and Brian Boyle
had power-play goals for the Rangers. ... Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves
in a game that featured a combined 75 penalty minutes.
Bergen Record LOADED: 09.27.2011
579976     New York Rangers


Gross: Sather hopeful regarding Staal's return


The Record


The Rangers can only hope Glen Sather's optimism is well-founded.
Beyond his trash-talking predictions of a Stanley Cup for his team and a
World Series championship for the Yankees, the general manager sounded
a hopeful note on All-Star defenseman Marc Staal.
During Monday's news conference at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia to
announce officially the Rangers and Flyers facing off in the Winter Classic
on Jan. 2, Sather talked about Staal's availability and whether the
headaches he's experiencing actually stem from a concussion.
Staal did not accompany the team on its charter flight to Prague, Czech
Republic after Monday night's preseason game against the Flyers. But
Sather believes Staal could join the team in Europe on Thursday or Friday
and possibly be ready for the season opener against the Kings on Oct. 7 in
Stockholm, Sweden.
"There are a lot of things that can cause headaches," Sather said. "You can
look at migraines, you can have a slipped disk, you can have pulled
muscles, you can have a hundred different things. We really have to find
that out first. That's been complicated."
Staal passed baseline neurological tests both in March and prior to the start
of this month's training camp after receiving a vicious check from his
brother, Eric, of the Hurricanes on Feb. 22.
"He's had MRIs, X-rays, examinations by different people and [the
headaches] come and go," Sather added.
"We think we've got a handle on it now, so we're going to know in the next
couple of days exactly. I've heard that it may not be [a concussion], but it's
such a fine area of trying to define what's causing the problem."
Figuring out what's wrong with Staal - and getting their No. 1 defenseman
back in the lineup - is paramount to the Rangers' blueprint for success.
Staal averaged 25:44 of ice time last season as coach John Tortorella
relied heavily on him and partner Dan Girardi. Tortorella tends to use his
top four defensemen - including second-year pros Ryan McDonagh and
Mike Sauer - in heavy rotation.
But if Staal is out, the pairs probably will be juggled, and Tortorella will be
forced to give more ice time to players he trusts less.
That would conflict heavily with Sather's bold prediction of lifting the Cup.
Bergen Record LOADED: 09.27.2011
579977     New York Rangers


Sather heats up Winter Classic rivalry


By STEVE ZIPAY


PHILADELPHIA -- Leave it to Rangers president and general manager
Glen Sather to put some sizzle in the cheesesteak.
At the gathering for the announcement of the Winter Classic between the
Rangers and Flyers at Citizens Bank Park Monday, after hearing Phillies
president Dave Montgomery, Flyers chairman Ed Snider and Mayor
Michael Nutter praise their teams to the fans wearing orange jerseys in the
front rows, Sather fired back.
First, he complimented Snider's long tenure, then added, "But we're going
to come to play and we're going to win."
When the fans booed, Sather responded: "That's more like it . . . I knew I
could get a rise out of you sooner or later . . . I've respected the fans in
Philadelphia all the years we've been in . . . We kicked the hell out of you
twice in the Stanley Cup and we'll do that on Jan. 2 and, at the end of the
year, we'll be carrying the Cup just like the Yankees are going to win the
World Series."
In his Stanley Cup reference, Sather was alluding to his years coaching the
Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s. Snider reminded him that the Flyers "kicked
the Rangers' butts" on their way to their first Cup in 1974.
Sather also welcomed the opportunity for a national showcase on NBC and
HBO, which will embed camera crews with the team for its four-part 24/7
series, which begins Dec. 14.
"I was a little bit concerned about what I saw last year [on HBO]," Sather
said. "It wasn't all wine and roses, but I think you can figure a way. We've
got probably one of the youngest teams in the league this year; the
pressure, the exposure, the atmosphere is going to help a lot of these guys
develop."
Said John Tortorella about the coverage: "If you're asking a coach, 'Are you
thrilled about cameras all over the place?' No," he said. "There's a lot of
things that happen as you go through emotions and games and situations. I
just want to make sure there's no embarrassing things, especially to the
players, that don't need to be out there. And I don't think we'll have a
problem.''
Jagr scores pair. Jaromir Jagr scored two power-play goals and added an
assist against his former team as the Flyers beat the Rangers, 5-3, Monday
night. Andres Thuresson, John Mitchell and Brian Boyle scored for the
Rangers, who left after the game for a four-game exhibition schedule and
two regular-season games in Europe.
Staal back soon?Sather said he expects Marc Staal (headaches), who has
been seeing specialists and did not accompany the team to Europe, to
rejoin the club in four or five days.
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579978     New York Rangers


Sean Avery accuses Wayne Simmonds of homophobic slur


By Steve Zipay


Part of the fallout from the chippy affair here in Philadelphia was the post-
game questioning after a video of a first-period scrum clearly showed
Wayne Simmonds mouthing a homophobic slur at Sean Avery, preceded by
an f-bomb.
In the Rangers dressing room, Avery, who has been a public supporter of
gay marriage, said that Simmonds did in fact use the term.
"It's disappointing for me and the sport," said Avery. "Kobe Bryant got fined
100 grand. Everything's different now. It's an issue that people are dealing
with and trying to overcome; ten years ago maybe it wasn't so much an
issue. It's certainly an issue politically, with people in the game and life in
general."
Down the corridor, Simmonds, who was acquired from Los Angles in the
Mike Richards trade, said "we were going back and forth. I don't recall
every thing I did say to him, but he said some things to me I didn't like, I
guess I said some things he didn't like...It was a scrum, I thought he sucker-
punched me. We were going back and forth for the rest of the game,
emotion runs high, we both exchanged words with each other."
Asked if Avery said something to prompt a homophobic slur, Simmonds
said:
"He's Sean Avery. Who knows what comes out of his mouth. He definitely
said some things to me I wasn't too happy about. I can't recall every single
word he said. I'm not going to add it up."
Rangers coach John Tortorella said that although he didn't see the video, "I
don't think Sean Avery's lying."
Last week, Simmonds was answering questions about another sensitive
matter, an act of bigotry. In London, Ontario, a fan threw a banana from the
stands at him.
"It's really disappointing," Avery said. "When I saw that I thought, who would
do that and why would you do it? It's such an unnecessary thing."
The next step? The league will likely question on-ice officials to verify....
Newsday LOADED: LOADED: 09.27.2011
579979     Ottawa Senators                                                        He happened to be behind the counter when I walked in to replenish the
                                                                                  cash supply. One thing led to another and to an unexpected bit of
                                                                                  serendipity.
Sens set to trim roster to 26 players                                             Greene returned home this spring after finishing his degree at the University
                                                                                  of Ottawa.

By Allen Panzeri                                                                  OLD HOME WEEK, PART II: Another oddity was that there seemed to be
                                                                                  almost as many Senators with a connection to Winnipeg and the Jets.
                                                                                  MacLean and Boschman, of course, had the best days of their careers with
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - With the Binghamton Senators set to begin camp                 the Jets, and Ottawa goalie Alex Auld toiled there for four years from 2001-
Tuesday morning in Ottawa, the Senators will cut the roster to between 25         02 and 2004-05 while shuffling between the Vancouver Canucks and the
and 27 players with a "legitimate shot to make the team," said coach Paul         Manitoba Moose.
MacLean.
                                                                                  "Obviously, in the four winters I spent there, you could see the passion they
Those who figure to be sent down include goalies Mike McKenna, Brian              love they still had for the Jets," he said.
Stewart, and Robin Lehner; defencemen Tim Conboy, Bob Raymond, Josh
Godfrey, Craig Schira, Patrick Wiercioch, Mark Borowiecki, and Eric Gryba;        "It was tough some nights. We'd be having a tough night and the 'Go Jets
and forwards Mike Hoffman, David Dziurzynski, Derek Grant, Corey                  Go' chant would start. That was a little discouraging for us.
Cowick, Corey Locke, Mark Parrish, Darren Kramer, Jim O'Brien, Patrick            "But it's pretty exciting. I was hopeful for a couple of years with all the talk
Cannone, Francis Lessard, Wacey Hamilton, Jack Downing, Maxime                    about (getting a team), and now it's there."
Gratchev, Louie Caporusso, and possibly Andre Petersson.
                                                                                  THE LOCAL BOY: No one was more popular on Monday morning than
That would leave the main camp with 26 players, including the injured             Ottawa left wing and St. John's native Colin Greening. He spent Sunday
Jesse Winchester.                                                                 evening having dinner with his parents at home, and then hit the interview
For the rest of the way, the most interesting battles will be between Mika        circuit once the Senators were finished with their Monday morning skate.
Zibanejad and Stephane Da Costa up front, and Jared Cowen and David               For an interview with CBC, he was joined by his father Fred, a retired CBC
Rundblad on defence.                                                              reporter and producer.
HOCKEYVILLE EXCITEMENT: Daniel Alfredsson was able to play before a               The excitement around the game didn't surprise Colin.
home crowd in Gothenburg three years ago when the Senators opened the
season in Sweden, so he knows the excitement an NHL game can                      "It's big - hockey here is huge," he said.
generate.
                                                                                  "I know sometimes you forget about Newfoundland because we're so far
He didn't really need the 2 -hour flight here or the 1 -hour time different. He   east. We have our time zone. But hockey's big here. Everyone here is born
could have invoked the captain's prerogative and stayed in Ottawa. After          on skates.
all, he's 38 and coming off back surgery that has put a question mark over
his season.                                                                       "We're proud Canadians, so it's great to have Hockeyville here and to get
                                                                                  another AHL team."
But the Kraft Hockeyville game is also important because it helps keep the
players in touch with the roots of the game: the smaller cities that support      Ottawa Citizen LOADED: 09.27.2011
and nurture hockey players and faithfully turn on their televisions on
Saturday nights.
"I've been in Canada for a long time and it never ceases to amaze me," said
Alfredsson. "You can tell how excited everyone is. It's a big deal and it's fun
to be here. Hopefully we'll put on a good show."
Coach Paul MacLean, who is from Antigonish, N.S., said it's nice to see the
NHL come to his part of the world.
"For me, being a Maritimer, it's a great experience," he said.
"I love coming to St. John's. It think this is a way to give back to the minor
hockey community and the game of hockey and also to give the guys a little
experience of the Maritimes.
"I think we touch a lot of bases by being here."
BACK TO SCHOOL: Brian Lee and Peter Regin travelled with the Senators
but didn't play. Instead, they made school appearances in Conception Bay
South, which won the Kraft Hockeyville grand prize, on behalf of the team.
They each visited two elementary schools, with Sparty in tow, fielded
questions about life in the NHL, and took group photos with the students.
OLD HOME WEEK: St. John's has been awash with former Senators for
the last three days.
Laurie Boschman, Shaun Van Allen, and Patrick Lalime were here for a
couple of days signing autographs and running clinics.
Rob Zamuner was here helping out on behalf of the National Hockey
League Players' Association' Association' Association, for which he now
works as a liaison between the players and the association, and Shane
Hnidy was here as the colour analyst for the Winnipeg Jets.
Finally, in another episode that shows just how small Canada is, former
Gee-Gee defenceman Tim Greene was discovered working at a TD branch
on Water St. in downtown St. John's.
579980     Ottawa Senators


Senators shuffle lines for Hockeyville game


By Allen Panzeri, Ottawa Citizen September 26, 2011


ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland - Alex Auld will be in goal for the entire game
as the Ottawa Senators play the Winnipeg Jets in the annual Kraft
Hockeyville game on Monday afternoon.
For many on Ottawa's roster, this will be their final NHL pre-season game
before being shipped to the Binghamton's camp, which opens Tuesday in
Ottawa.
Senators coach Paul MacLean said by Tuesday morning the roster will be
down to between 25 and 27 players with a "legitmate chance to make the
team."
For the game against Winnipeg, Ottawa's forward lines will look like this:
Mika Zibanejad between Daniel Alfredsson and Colin Greening, Zack Smith
between David Dziurzynski and Chris Neil, Corey Locke between Mike
Hoffman and Bobby Butler, and Derek Grant between Corey Cowick and
Mark Parrish.
On defence it will be Jared Cowen and Erik Karlsson, Chris Phillips and
David Rundblad, and Eric Gryba and Matt Carkner, but MacLean said these
pairings will be fluid.
Note that the game starts at 4 p.m. Eastern and will be on CBC with St.
John's native Bob Cole doing the play-by-play.
Ottawa Citizen LOADED: 09.27.2011
579981     Ottawa Senators                                                      "I felt like Jacques Plante," he said.
                                                                                I was impressed he knew who Jacques Plante was.
Cheapseats: Cole at home ... Sens doc on road                                   Ottawa Sun LOADED: 09.27.2011


By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


ST. JOHN'S - In Bob Cole's 40-plus years of NHL play-by-play, his shortest
commute to work was about two hours - by air.
He set a personal record Monday: 12 minutes. By car.
For the first time in his career, the veteran CBC announcer worked a home
game as he broadcast the Senators-Winnipeg Jets Kraft Hockeyville game
at Mile One Centre from the pressbox that bears his name as a tribute.
"I was at home, showered, got dressed and was thinking, 'Something's
wrong,' " said Cole during the first intermission. "It was very different."
Cole was honoured in 2001 when he had his name placed on the press box
in a ceremony before a Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white game, back
when the Leafs had their AHL farm team here.
It wound up being a quite a night for Cole: Calling an NHL game for the first
time in his hometown in a pressbox that bears his name.
"I was kind of uptight. I had more butterflies than normal. I always have
them before a game and that's good. I think it shows you're passionate and
involved. It's a pleasure working the job that I do. I love the game. It's a
great game. I'm working in the best league in the world and when I get
going, I feel like I'm part of it."
Cole worked his first NHL game for CBC Radio in the spring of 1969 and
worked 40-something finals until one of those wonky decisions that the
CBC has become famous for saw him shuffled off a couple of years ago.
"I never dreamed of this," said Cole of calling a game from the Bob Cole
Media Centre. "It's all a bit weird, actually."
HEAR AND THERE
In what is a wonderful story in the NHL, Senators physician Dr. Don Chow
was on the road with the club.
Why's that significant? A year ago, he was in the intensive care unit in an
Ottawa hospital, his body mangled and close to death after a motorcycle
accident.
This was his first road trip since the accident.
In a truly remarkable comeback, he has just recently been given the green
light to assist in the operating room.
"Nice seeing you, Doc," I said when our paths crossed at Mile One Centre
Monday.
"Nice being seen," he said with a big smile.
JUST WONDERING
News just came down about Chris Campoli signing with the Montreal
Canadiens. First reaction was that Andrei Markov's knee isn't coming along
so well. Second thought: Neither are Yannick Weber nor Alexei Yemelin ...
I'd be surprised if Mika Zibanejad is not with the Senators to start the
season. The club's top pick last summer made a nice backcheck to break
up a Jets' chance in the second period.
JUST SAYING
The return of the Jets to Winnipeg couldn't have come at a better time for
Neepawa, Man., native Shane Hnidy. The defenceman retired from the
Bruins after they won the Stanley Cup and boom, the Atlanta Thrashers,
one of his former teams, moved to Winnipeg. Now he's an analyst on the
Jets' radio broadcasts. "The Sheriff," as he was known for his enforcement
work in the NHL, wasn't the most skilled guy, but he showed his timing can
be pretty good.
THE LAST WORD
My favourite Ondrej Pavelec moment (yes, I have one) was him stopping a
shot after losing his mask against the Senators a couple of years ago.
579982     Philadelphia Flyers                                                       Snider, whose club was in the Winter Classic at Boston's Fenway Park two
                                                                                     seasons ago, said he was thrilled to host the event. "I never dreamed it was
                                                                                     possible," he said.
NHL Winter Classic: It's Broad Street vs. Broadway                                   Pronger, who was at the news conference with teammates James van
                                                                                     Riemsdyk (a Rangers fan growing up in Central Jersey), Hartnell and Matt
                                                                                     Carle, said the game was more than a novelty.
By Sam Carchidi
                                                                                     "I wouldn't call it a novelty. It's two points and a chance to showcase the
                                                                                     game of hockey and obviously the city of Philadelphia and Citizens Bank
                                                                                     Park - and what Philadelphia is all about," Pronger said. "It's a chance for
At an on-the-field Citizens Bank Park news conference Monday in which the            the city to show itself off and also for us to show off the game to the rest of
Flyers' 78-year-old chairman playfully took verbal jabs at the New York              the country and to non-hockey people . . . that actually watch the game."
Rangers' general manager, the NHL announced what its commissioner,
Gary Bettman, called the "worst-kept secret" in North America: The Flyers            "Broad Street vs. Broadway" is how Bettman described the fifth Winter
will face the Rangers in the Winter Classic.                                         Classic.

The game will be held Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park at 1 p.m.                         Last season's Classic between Pittsburgh and Washington was the most-
                                                                                     watched regular-season NHL game in 36 years with an average of 4.5
The real secret: How can fans purchase tickets?                                      million viewers.
The NHL announced that Winter Classic souvenirs were available, but that             Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
it would not know the ticket availability for several weeks - after it figures out
the exact site configuration and how many seats the ballpark can hold for
hockey.
Jamey Horan, an NHL spokesman, said he expected tickets to sell in the
$50-to-$350 range. BargainSeatsOnline.com was selling tickets Monday
between $581 to $813, while it had a 16-person suite available for $48,861,
which included three parking passes.
A Flyers official said the team is waiting for the NHL to "manifest the
building" - that is, determine how many seats can be added - and set ticket
prices before they move forward. It is expected that about 50,000 people
will be able to fit in the hockey-created stadium.
The official said Flyers season-ticket holders will get first crack at tickets.
The Flyers are waiting to hear from the NHL on how many tickets will be
allotted to the Flyers, Rangers, Phillies and the league. (Dave Montgomery,
the Phils president, said his club will get about 1,400 tickets for its suite
holders and will also be given "a small number" of other tickets to sell. The
Phillies on Monday sent season-ticket holders a notice about the "potential
of a ticket-drawing opportunity.")
When the Flyers get information from the league on the number of tickets
available, they will announce how they will be sold.
After Flyers' season-ticket holders are accommodated, partial season-ticket
holders would be next in line.
It seems likely a lottery will be held for some tickets, though the Flyers'
executive said nothing is definite at this point.
The rink will run from around first base to third base and go into shallow
parts of left, center and right field (See a video of the rink set-up on
Philly.com.) The best seats will be the ones up high.
The Flyers and Rangers will play an alumni game at Citizens Bank Park on
Dec. 31, and the AHL Phantoms will play Hershey there on Jan. 6. The
Flyers also said collegiate and high school games will take place at the
park.
In addition, HBO announced it will follow the Flyers and Rangers for 24/7,
which will debut on Dec. 14.
The highlight of the news conference was when Ed Snider, the Flyers
chairman, verbally attacked Glen Sather, the Rangers GM.
Sather talked about how the Rangers have had success against the Flyers
and that they were "going to come to Philadelphia and win."
Startled, Snider jumped out of his seat and raced to the microphone in one
of the event's few unscripted moments.
"I remember kicking the hell out of the Rangers on the way to our Cups!"
Snider cracked.
Flyers winger Scott Hartnell kidded he thought Snider "was going to drop
the mitts there."
"That's the passion we love to see from him," defenseman Chris Pronger
said, "This is his baby, his team, and he loves it. It's great to see when your
owner gets that passionate about a press conference."
579983      Philadelphia Flyers                                                       one captures the imagination like nothing else. Happy New Year to the
                                                                                      world."
                                                                                      Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
Home of the Phillies to host NHL Winter Classic


By JEFF JANICZEK


THE LAST thing Philadelphians expect to see upon entering their beloved
South Philly ballpark is a frozen pond engulfed by a sea of orange and
black.
But that's exactly what they'll get on Jan. 2, when the Flyers host the New
York Rangers in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank
Park.
Beginning in the last week of December, the home of the Phillies will be
transformed into a winter wonderland that can best be described as a both
a festival of hockey and a celebration of all things Philly.
"Our special-events people will do a great job of integrating all of
Philadelphia into what we represent here and what the place looks like all
dressed up for hockey," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. "You'll
come in here, and it will feel like hockey belongs here, as bizarre as that
may sound. I can't tell you how exactly we're going to do that yet. You'll
have to be surprised on Jan. 2."
At the ballpark yesterday, the NHL gave a sneak peak of what fans can
expect to see.
There was an outline of the main ice rink stretching from just beyond the
first-base line across the infield to the third-base line. Second base will rest
almost directly under center ice.
"With this layout, we take advantage of the rightfield grandstand being at
one end of the ice and the other high grandstand at the opposite end,"
Phillies president Dave Montgomery said. "We also tried to set it up in a
way that utilizes our fan-o-vision scoreboard as much as possible."
In the outfield, just beneath the 7,372 square-foot HD video screen, there
will be a secondary ice rink the Flyers will use to host many of the week's
ancillary events, including youth games and public skating.
"This sort of 10 days of activity is probably more available in a baseball
facility than a football facility, given [the Eagles still will be playing] at that
time," Montgomery said. "And there will be all the usual baseball amenities
open, plus."
So, fans still can count on finding their favorite cheesesteak despite the
cold, and given the enormous popularity of the Winter Classic since it was
first held in 2008, the NHL is expecting a sellout of the 43,500-seat (plus
standing room) ballpark. That capacity is more than double what the
neighboring Wells Fargo Center holds for a typical Flyers game.
"Walking in and seeing that many fans for a hockey game is not normal,"
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "It's very loud because there's a lot more
people."
Laviolette is certainly no stranger to the Winter Classic. In 2010, the Flyers
faced the Boston Bruins in front of a crowd of more than 40,000 at Fenway
Park, home of the Red Sox. The game at Citizens Bank Park will be very
similar to the one at Fenway in terms of layout.
"The setup seems to be about the same with regard to the field. It's not like
we played on a football field last time, so we have a little bit of knowledge
about what we'll be walking into," Laviolette said. "The fans were terrific in
Boston in our first experience, and I'm sure they will be terrific here."
Obviously, weather is always the greatest challenge in hosting an open-air
hockey event of this magnitude, but all fans can do is hope Mother Nature
gives them the cold shoulder. With any luck, Ashburn Alley will be coated
with frost, and falling snow will mask the distant skyline. Last year's event in
Pittsburgh between the Penguins and Capitals was actually moved from
Jan. 1 during the day to Dec. 31 at night because of unseasonably warm
weather.
"We've had people tell us that [this game] can be compared to the Super
Bowl in terms of the atmosphere and what it does to the city," Bettman said.
"People in Philadelphia and watching on television around the world will get
a special treat. This is one game in 1,230 regular-season games, but this
579984     Philadelphia Flyers                                                       "Seconds," is how long Luukko estimated it would take for the event to sell
                                                                                     out.
                                                                                     The Winter Classic will not be only a 1-day event. The AHL's Phantoms will
It's official: Flyers-Rangers in Winter Classic                                      battle Hershey on Jan. 6 at CBP. Penn State's men's hockey team,
                                                                                     transitioning to Division I, will face off against Aston's Division III Neumann
                                                                                     University, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 4.
By FRANK SERAVALLI
                                                                                     Malvern Prep and La Salle High will face each other at Citizens Bank Park
                                                                                     on a date yet to be set. The Flyers also will hold public skating sessions on
                                                                                     the Winter Classic ice.
FORGIVE Glen Sather. Though he's been in charge of the New York
Rangers since 2000, he's still stuck in the glory days of the 1980s                  More important, the Flyers and Rangers alumni will play each other on Dec.
Edmonton Oilers dynasty.                                                             31. No word on whether Dave Schultz and Dale Rolfe will reunite, or which
                                                                                     jersey Eric Lindros will wear. No player appearances have been confirmed.
"We kicked the hell out of you twice in the Stanley Cup," Sather said. "And          Tickets to all side events will be sold at deep discounts.
we're going to do the same thing on Jan. 2. And we will carry the Cup at the
end of the year. Just like the Yankees will win the world championship.              "The whole idea is to really get everyone in the marketplace to be able to
                                                                                     see a game outdoors," Luukko said. "There's nothing better than that."
"We're going to come to Philadelphia. And we're going to win."
                                                                                     For the Flyers, who have only nine players remaining on the roster from the
And so it began yesterday, as Sather added fuel to a fire that needed none,          2010 Winter Classic, playing outdoors never gets old.
when the NHL formally announced the Flyers and Citizens Bank Park as
the hosts for the 2012 Winter Classic against the Rangers, to be played on           "To be able to walk out of the dugout with a packed house, it's sometimes
Jan. 2 at 1 p.m.                                                                     hard to imagine," Matt Carle said. "As many fans as the Flyers had at the
                                                                                     [Fenway] game, I think it's going to be magnified even more, being a home
Kidding or not, Flyers chairman Ed Snider wasn't about to let Sather's warm          game for us. I think if you would have asked a lot of guys, to be a part of the
memories put a dent in Philadelphia's proud moment.                                  Winter Classic once would be a dream come true. To do it twice is really
                                                                                     something special."
Snider, 78, bolted back to the podium - after he had already given his
remarks - and stood up for the franchise he built.                                   Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
"When he says we kicked the hell out of you in two Stanley Cups, he wasn't
talking about the Rangers," Snider interjected. "I remember kicking the hell
out of the Rangers on the way to our Cups."
Yesterday's news conference, which featured a makeshift rink dashed
across the bases, was less of a newsmaking venture than the first public
celebration of a unique event that is a little more than 3 months away. NHL
commissioner Gary Bettman called this season's matchup the "worst-kept
secret in sports."
The NHL's fifth annual outdoor game is coming to Philadelphia only 2 years
after the Flyers and Bruins played in Boston's Fenway Park in 2010.
"All 30 teams have expressed interest in participating in the event, even if
they are in a climate that would prohibit hosting the event," Bettman said.
"We knew that the Rangers had yet to participate. The Flyers put on a great
show in Boston.
"As big a deal as this event is, this will only be our fifth one. It's a testament
to what the event represents. People tend to lose sight of the fact that this
event has gotten this large in an incredibly short period of time."
The NHL has been committed to keep the Winter Classic a rare spectacle -
one game per season, so as not to dilute the buildup or make it a gimmick -
despite its rating and monetary success.
The fact that it will be played in Philadelphia - where each of the major four
sports franchises has reached the finals over the past 10 years - is a
testament not to the climate but the Flyers' fan base.
Pittsburgh's Heinz Field hosted last season's game on Dec. 31, 2010,
moved up from New Year's Day because of weather concerns. Boston's
Fenway Park (2010), Chicago's Wrigley Field (2009) and Buffalo's Ralph
Wilson Stadium (2008) also hosted the game in the past. No Canadian
team has ever participated or hosted the event. The game has instead
helped grow the sport in the United States.
"I think it's a real tribute to where hockey has come in this marketplace,"
Flyers president Peter Luukko said. "In 1967, when Ed started the team,
there were probably a couple of rinks and a handful of players. Today, there
are 51 rinks in the area, 71 sheets of ice, and over 35,000 kids registered to
play hockey in the Philadelphia market. We are a hockey town."
It's only fitting that the Flyers will face the Rangers, their division opponent
since 1974. They are the closest geographic rivals to compete in the game.
They are also the Flyers' most common opponent in the regular season
(261 games) and Stanley Cup playoff series (10).
Ticket information for the 43,500-seat ballpark has not yet been released,
though Flyers season-ticketholders will have the option to purchase as
many tickets as seats they own. New York fans will have an option to
purchase tickets through the Rangers, and all remaining fans will be able to
enter a lottery to purchase tickets.
579985     Philadelphia Flyers


Now 'Classic' cameras roll


By FRANK SERAVALLI


THE CAMERAS already have started rolling for HBO's 24/7
"Flyers/Rangers Road to the Winter Classic," and the Flyers already have
started asking new teammate Max Talbot for advice.
Talbot, who signed as a free agent on July 1, was one of the stars of last
winter's hit reality show as HBO goes behind the scenes to document the
lead-up to hockey's only outdoor game of the season. He played for the
Penguins in the Dec. 31 Winter Classic against Washington at Pittsburgh's
Heinz Field.
The innovative miniseries, which has captured 14 sports Emmy Awards, will
debut in prime time on Dec. 14 at 10 o'clock.
"It will be weird getting used to having cameras around all the time,"
defenseman Matt Carle said. "Talbot has a lot of insight in what to expect
from those guys.
"I've joked around with my buddies in the summertime that I'd have to
change my personality drastically to get noticed on the show."
Cameras will follow the Flyers and Rangers as they prepare for the Winter
Classic, cutting all of their monthlong footage - which includes time on the
road, at practice and even at home with the players, coaches and their
families - down to four episodes, which will appear Dec. 14, Dec. 21, Dec.
28 with a finale on Jan. 4.
The 24/7 series, from executive producer Rick Bernstein, is the most
honored sports series over the past 4 years.
They won't be short on personality this year, with Chris Pronger likely
dueling with Scott Hartnell or Rangers coach John Tortorella for face time.
"It's a great lead-up to the game, a great way to promote the sport," Pronger
said. "I guess I've got to show 'em something new. I'll have to bring out my
'A' game."
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579986       Philadelphia Flyers


Rinaldo in fight for Flyers roster spot


By FRANK SERAVALLI


ZAC RINALDO may have cemented a spot on the Flyers' opening-night
roster on Oct. 6 in Boston because of circumstances beyond his control.
The Flyers will be without enforcer Jody Shelley through the first five games
of the season, thanks to a stiff suspension handed down from new
discipline czar Brendan Shanahan last week.
Now, next-fighter-in-line Tom Sestito may be joining Shelley on the sideline.
Just 23 seconds after Sestito watched Rinaldo, his main competition for a
spot, pound the daylights out of Rangers defenseman Dale Weise in a fight,
Sestito flew in practically from New Jersey to nail Andre Deveaux from
behind on the boards.
"He was trying to make this team and, in my opinion, he probably got a little
overzealous," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "That's unfortunate for
him."
Now, Sestito will wait to hear from Shanahan today - just 24 hours after
Columbus' prized acquisition James Wisniewski was suspended for the first
eight games of the regular season.
"I don't consider myself a dirty player," Sestito said after the Flyers beat the
Rangers, 5-3, in preseason action at the Wells Fargo Center last night. "It's
definitely not what I wanted to do, to sit and watch when I wanted to show
them that I can play. Hopefully it wasn't that bad."
Rinaldo, just 5-11 and 169 pounds, bloodied Weise - who is 3 inches taller
and 45 pounds heavier - in a clean TKO. It was Rinaldo's first fight of the
preseason.
"I hadn't fought in a while," Rinaldo said. "I was kind of itching for it. I felt
bad for the first guy who was asking for it."
For Rinaldo, the circumstances don't matter. He just wants to be an NHLer.
And Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said Rinaldo had an opening to make the
team either way.
"I think I've set myself up in a good position," Rinaldo said. "It's not me this
time, I'm not suspended. I'm being safe, I'm letting up on a lot of hits. I feel
positive. They're giving me a chance to play hockey and I've ran with it."
Schenn hurt
Flyers forward Brayden Schenn left the game with 5:02 remaining in the
second period with what's being labeled as an upper-body injury, according
to general manager Paul Holmgren.
"We don't think it's anything serious," Holmgren said. "I would say he's
probably questionable for our next game and then we'll see after that."
Slap shots
Jaromir Jagr may have been the Flyers' most impressive player on the ice,
posting back-to-back power-play goals and an assist in his Wells Fargo
Center debut. Jagr now has five points in two preseason games . . . The
Flyers were 3-for-8 on the power play overall . . . Less than a week after a
banana peel was thrown at Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds in London,
Ontario, Rangers agitator Sean Avery accused Simmonds of using a
homophobic slur against him, which was also caught on camera. Avery has
been campaigning for gay marriage in New York . . . After the game, the
Rangers flew to Europe to begin a six-game stretch abroad, which includes
four preseason games and two regular- season games as they open the
season in Sweden.
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579987      Philadelphia Flyers


Jagr scores two goals as Flyers top Rangers


By Sam Carchidi


Winger Jaromir Jagr scored a pair of power-play goals, Wayne Simmonds
was involved in controversy with Sean Avery, and center Brayden Schenn
suffered an upper-body injury in the Flyers' lively 5-3 exhibition win over the
New York Rangers on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Jagr, 39, has a total of three goals in two games. He figures to bolster a
power play that was 19th among 30 teams with a 16.6 percent success rate
last season. The Flyers' power play was 3 for 8 Monday.
"With G at center," Jagr said, referring to Claude Giroux (three assists), "it's
a lot easier to play. He's a genius."
Asked whether Giroux reminded him of anyone, Jagr smiled.
"[Me] when I was younger," he said, later calling Giroux "a little Mario
Lemieux."
Schenn, battling for a roster spot, was injured in the third period, and
general manager Paul Holmgren said he didn't think it was serious.
Holmgren said Schenn may sit out Thursday's exhibition game against New
Jersey.
There were 23 penalties in the fight-filled game.
"It seems like there's going to be lots of murders," said goalie Ilya
Bryzgalov, when asked of his impression of the Flyers-Rangers rivalry.
"Make sure we have enough ambulances."
Simmonds and Avery got into a scrum and shouting match in the first
period. Afterward, Avery said Simmonds called him a homophobic name.
Simmonds declined to say what Avery said he called him, but said the
Rangers forward called him something "I wasn't too happy about."
Winger Zac Rinaldo, meanwhile, may start the season as the Flyers'
enforcer. By default.
Jody Shelley will miss the season's first five games because of a
suspension, and his expected replacement, Tom Sestito, could be
suspended after getting a five-minute boarding penalty against Andre
Deveaux in the first period Monday.
Matt Read (power-play goal, one assist) continued to impress, and Danny
Briere had three assists.
Hartnell update. Scott Hartnell said he was "not very concerned" about the
elevated heart rate that caused him to miss the third period of Friday's
exhibition in Detroit.
Hartnell said he has been "working out the last couple of days and feeling
fine." The winger will visit a cardiologist Tuesday.
"I don't know if it was kind of a freak thing," he said of the heart beat, "but I'll
have a stress test and see what's going on."
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579988      Philadelphia Flyers


Jagr, Bryz, Rinaldo a laughfest


Posted by Sam Carchidi


  Suddenly, the Flyers’ locker room has become filled with quote machines.
 There was colorful, laugh-out loud stuff coming from the team after
Monday’s 5-3 exhibition win over the New York Rangers.
  And Chris Pronger, the mouth that roared, wasn’t even there.
 There was Jaromir Jagr, who had two goals and an assist, responding to a
question about teammate Claude Giroux.
  “Does Giroux remind you of anyone?” he was asked.
“(Me) when I was younger,” said a smiling Jagr, who had two power-play
goals and an assist.
He later called Giroux (three assists) “a little Mario Lemieux.”
 There was new goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who was asked his impressions of
the Flyers-Rangers rivalry.
 “It seems like there’s going to be lots of murders,” Bryzgalov said. “Make
sure we have enough ambulances.”
There was rookie winger Zac Rinaldo, who may become the team’s
enforcer by default because of a suspension to Jody Shelley and a
probable suspension of Tom Sestito.
 Asked about his first-period bout in which he pounded Dale Weise, Rinaldo
said, “I haven’t fought for a while, actually. In the playoffs I didn’t fight at all,
and in the summer I’ve been itching for it. So I kind of felt bad for the guy
who first asked me” to fight.
Yes, it’s going to be an entertaining season.
*The Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds and the Rangers’ Sean Avery got into a
scuffle and shouting match in the first period.
Avery said Simmonds called him a homophobic name. Simmonds said
Avery called him
“something I wasn’t happy with,” but wouldn’t elaborate.
In his previous game, Simmonds had a banana thrown at him in London,
Ontario, an action that was believed to be racially motivated. Simmonds is
one of the league’s few black players.
*Breakaways. Brayden Schenn, who suffered an upper-body injury in
Monday’s third period, will probably miss Thursday’s exhibition for
precautionary reasons. GM Paul Holmgren says the injury isn’t
serious…..Matt Read had a goal and an assist and leads the Flyers with six
preseason points……D Matt Walker was plus-2 and blocked three
shots….Sean Couturier won eight of 12 faceoffs….Giroux won 14 of 19 (74
percent) faceoffs, and Danny Briere won 10 of 14 (71 percent) (67
percent)….Briere had three assists….The Flyers, winners on 65 percent of
the faceoffs, are 3-1-1 on the preseason.
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579989      Philadelphia Flyers


Jagr scores twice as Flyers top Rangers


By Sam Carchidi


Winger Jaromir Jagr scored a pair of power-play goals, Wayne Simmonds
was involved in controversy with Sean Avery, and center Brayden Schenn
suffered an upper-body injury in the Flyers' lively 5-3 exhibition win over the
New York Rangers on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
Jagr, 39, has a total of three goals in two games. He figures to bolster a
power play that was 19th among 30 teams with a 16.6 percent success rate
last season. The Flyers' power play was 3 for 8 Monday.
"With G at center," Jagr said, referring to Claude Giroux (three assists), "it's
a lot easier to play. He's a genius."
Asked whether Giroux reminded him of anyone, Jagr smiled.
"[Me] when I was younger," he said, later calling Giroux "a little Mario
Lemieux."
Schenn, battling for a roster spot, was injured in the third period, and
general manager Paul Holmgren said he didn't think it was serious.
Holmgren said Schenn may sit out Thursday's exhibition game against New
Jersey.
There were 23 penalties in the fight-filled game.
"It seems like there's going to be lots of murders," said goalie Ilya
Bryzgalov, when asked of his impression of the Flyers-Rangers rivalry.
"Make sure we have enough ambulances."
Simmonds and Avery got into a scrum and shouting match in the first
period. Afterward, Avery said Simmonds called him a homophobic name.
Simmonds declined to say what Avery said he called him, but said the
Rangers forward called him something "I wasn't too happy about."
Winger Zac Rinaldo, meanwhile, may start the season as the Flyers'
enforcer. By default.
Jody Shelley will miss the season's first five games because of a
suspension, and his expected replacement, Tom Sestito, could be
suspended after getting a five-minute boarding penalty against Andre
Deveaux in the first period Monday.
Matt Read (power-play goal, assists) continued to impress, and Danny
Briere had three assists.
Hartnell update. Scott Hartnell said he was "not very concerned" about the
elevated heart rate that caused him to miss the third period of Friday's
exhibition in Detroit.
Hartnell said he has been "working out the last couple of days and feeling
fine." The winger will visit a cardiologist Tuesday.
"I don't know if it was kind of a freak thing," he said of the heart beat, "but I'll
have a stress test and see what's going on."
Medical experts say the heart may start beating faster for several reasons,
including dehydration, stress, excessive caffeine consumption, or as a
reaction to certain medications
Hartnell, 29, said he had a cup of coffee when he awoke from his pregame
nap Friday at 3:30 p.m. and another when he got to Joe Louis Arena.
"I talked to the doctors, and they said it would have been out of your system
in about a half hour or so, and it [the elevated heart rate] happened at about
9:30. So it's not like I was popping eight Sudafeds or drinking 10 cups of
coffee or anything like that because I don't do that kind of stuff anyway."
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579990     Philadelphia Flyers                                                       Snider, whose club was in the Winter Classic at Boston's Fenway Park two
                                                                                     seasons ago, said he was thrilled to host the event. "I never dreamed it was
                                                                                     possible," he said.
NHL Winter Classic: It's Broad Street vs. Broadway                                   Pronger, who was at the news conference with teammates James van
                                                                                     Riemsdyk (a Rangers fan growing up in Central Jersey), Hartnell and Matt
                                                                                     Carle, said the game was more than a novelty.
By Sam Carchidi
                                                                                     "I wouldn't call it a novelty. It's two points and a chance to showcase the
                                                                                     game of hockey and obviously the city of Philadelphia and Citizens Bank
                                                                                     Park - and what Philadelphia is all about," Pronger said. "It's a chance for
At an on-the-field Citizens Bank Park news conference Monday in which the            the city to show itself off and also for us to show off the game to the rest of
Flyers' 78-year-old chairman playfully took verbal jabs at the New York              the country and to non-hockey people . . . that actually watch the game."
Rangers' general manager, the NHL announced what its commissioner,
Gary Bettman, called the "worst-kept secret" in North America: The Flyers            "Broad Street vs. Broadway" is how Bettman described the fifth Winter
will face the Rangers in the Winter Classic.                                         Classic.

The game will be held Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park at 1 p.m.                         Last season's Classic between Pittsburgh and Washington was the most-
                                                                                     watched regular-season NHL game in 36 years with an average of 4.5
The NHL announced that Winter Classic souvenirs were available, but that             million viewers.
it would not know the ticket availability for several weeks - after it figures out
the exact site configuration and how many seats the ballpark can hold for            Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
hockey.
Jamey Horan, an NHL spokesman, said he expected tickets to sell in the
$50-to-$350 range. BargainSeatsOnline.com was selling tickets Monday
between $581 to $813, while it had a 16-person suite available for $48,861,
which included three parking passes.
A Flyers official said the team is waiting for the NHL to "manifest the
building" - that is, determine how many seats can be added - and set ticket
prices before they move forward. It is expected that about 50,000 people
will be able to fit in the hockey-created stadium.
The official said Flyers season-ticket holders will get first crack at tickets.
The Flyers are waiting to hear from the NHL on how many tickets will be
allotted to the Flyers, Rangers, Phillies and the league. (Dave Montgomery,
the Phils president, said his club will get about 1,400 tickets for its suite
holders and will also be given "a small number" of other tickets to sell. The
Phillies on Monday sent season-ticket holders a notice about the "potential
of a ticket-drawing opportunity.")
When the Flyers get information from the league on the number of tickets
available, they will announce how they will be sold.
After Flyers' season-ticket holders are accommodated, partial season-ticket
holders would be next in line.
It seems likely a lottery will be held for some tickets, though the Flyers'
executive said nothing is definite at this point.
The rink will run from around first base to third base and go into shallow
parts of left, center and right field (See a video of the rink set-up on
Philly.com.) The best seats will be the ones up high.
The Flyers and Rangers will play an alumni game at Citizens Bank Park on
Dec. 31, and the AHL Phantoms will play Hershey there on Jan. 6. The
Flyers also said collegiate and high school games will take place at the
park.
In addition, HBO announced it will follow the Flyers and Rangers for 24/7,
which will debut on Dec. 14.
The highlight of the news conference was when Ed Snider, the Flyers
chairman, verbally attacked Glen Sather, the Rangers GM.
Sather talked about how the Rangers have had success against the Flyers
and that they were "going to come to Philadelphia and win."
Startled, Snider jumped out of his seat and raced to the microphone in one
of the event's few unscripted moments.
"I remember kicking the hell out of the Rangers on the way to our Cups!"
Snider cracked.
Flyers winger Scott Hartnell kidded he thought Snider "was going to drop
the mitts there."
"That's the passion we love to see from him," defenseman Chris Pronger
said, "This is his baby, his team, and he loves it. It's great to see when your
owner gets that passionate about a press conference."
579991      Philadelphia Flyers


Flyers to host Winter Classic


Posted by Daily News staff


It’s official: The Flyers will host the Winter Classic against the New York
Rangers at 1 p.m. Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the event today, which he
called the worst-kept secret in sports, at a news conference at the Phillies’
ballpark. The Daily News reported back in April that the Flyers and Citizens
Bank Park would host this game.
An outline of the rink was set up. The rink runs from right above first base
across the infield to third base. Center-ice looks to be at about second
base.
"This is the fifth time I've had the pleasure of making one of these
announcments," Bettman said. "There will be a hockey rink on this field.
There will be two very excited teams playing in front of a sellout crowd."
“So let me make it official in what is the worst-kept secrets in sports,”
Bettman said in announcing the game.
“The Rangers-Flyers rivalry rival is one of our very best. It’s only a relative
short distance between Broadway and Broad Street.
“Last year’s game was the most watched regular-season game since 1975.
This has become one of the most anticipated events on the sports calendar.
“It is the ultimate in reality TV.”
Bettman also confirmed that the NHL and HBO are teaming up for another
“24/7” series. “Philadelphia will be the center of the hockey universe,” he
said.
Phillies president David Montgomery said: “We’re honored as an
organization to host the 2012 Winter Classic. We’re honored to join Wrigley
Field and Fenway Park as the baseball venues to host this event.
“We’re going to be honored to watch. Apparently I’m going to be in charge
of weather [Bettman said Monty had promised snow].”
“The Phillies and Flyers have a wonderful relationship going all the way
back,” Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider said. “We hope, hope we’re
playing this game after another World Series win.”
The Flyers and Rangers alumni will play at 1 p.m. on New Year's Eve at
Citizens Bank Park.
The American Hockey League's Adirondack Phantoms, formerly of
Philadelphia now based in Glens Falls, N.Y., will be part of a week-long
celebration of hockey when they play the Hershey Bears at Citizens Bank
Park on Jan. 6.
 "This is an extremely exciting day for the Phantoms organization and
Phantoms fans everywhere," Phantoms president Rob Brooks said. "A
hockey celebration and atmosphere unlike anything the AHL has ever seen
will happen at Citizens Bank Park. We are extremely grateful to [Comcast-
Spectacor president] Peter Luukko for helping make this truly great event a
reality."
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
579992     Philadelphia Flyers                                                   hold a news conference at Citizens Bank Park Monday at 1:30 p.m. to talk
                                                                                 about the Jan. 2 Winter Classic between the Flyers and Rangers.
                                                                                 Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 09.27.2011
Flyers' Hartnell sidelined with elevated heart rate


By Sam Carchidi


Flyers winger Scott Hartnell had an elevated heart rate during the team's
last exhibition game and will see a cardiologist Tuesday, general manager
Paul Holmgren said after Sunday's practice in Voorhees.
Hartnell's heart rate has since gone down, Holmgren said, but the Flyers do
not want to take any chances, and the 29-year-old forward will sit out
Monday's exhibition against the visiting New York Rangers as a precaution.
In Friday's 3-1 win in Detroit, Hartnell picked up an assist, but he did not
play in the third period because of an elevated heart rate between the
second and third periods, Holmgren said.
Holmgren said he did not know if something happened in the game to
cause the elevated rate.
"It wouldn't go down, even after rest," said Holmgren, referring to Hartnell's
condition on Friday night. He said it took an "abnormal" amount of time for
the rate to settle.
According to righthealth.com, the heart may start beating faster for several
reasons, including exertion, dehydration, stress, anger, blood-sugar
fluctuation, excessive caffeine consumption, or as a reaction to certain
medications.
Holmgren and coach Peter Laviolette both used the word scary to describe
what happened Friday.
Hartnell underwent some preliminary testing on Saturday, Holmgren said.
The Flyers were "mildly concerned because he's a young guy," Holmgren
said, adding that Hartnell had some "twitching in his arms" Friday and that
trainer Jim McCrossin examined him and discovered the high heart rate.
"We'll continue to monitor it and run some tests on him and get to the
bottom of it," the general manager said.
Before Holmgren addressed reporters, Hartnell downplayed the reason he
had missed Sunday's practice and never revealed the heart problem.
"Just a maintenance day, just a little sore," he said. "Soreness everywhere.
First couple weeks of the season, everyone is having a tweaked muscle
here and there, and it's better to be safe than sorry."
Hartnell had 24 goals and 25 assists while playing last season on the
Flyers' best line, along with Danny Briere and Ville Leino.
Vets released. The Flyers released veteran forwards Michael Nylander and
Adam Mair from tryout contracts on Sunday.
Counting players placed on waivers and two injured prospects, the Flyers
have 29 players left in camp. They figure to open the season with 22.
Because of a groin injury, Nylander, who had been Jaromir Jagr's linemate
with the Rangers and Washington, never played in any games in camp.
Mair played one game.
Nylander, who will turn 39 next Monday, is now healthy, but the Flyers want
to take a longer look at young prospects like Sean Couturier, Brayden
Schenn, Matt Read, Zac Rinaldo, and Tom Sestito.
Mair, 32, played in just one exhibition.
"At the end of the day, we're at [the maximum] 50 contracts," Holmgren
said, "and I don't see how we can move a guy out right now and make room
for either one of those guys. We're quite happy with the way some of these
other young kids are playing."
Holmgren said he was exploring the option of having Nylander "play at a
lower level."
Breakaways. Defenseman Chris Pronger, rehabbing from back surgery,
skated with the team longer on Sunday than at any point in camp. . . . Matt
Walker and Erik Gustafsson, candidates to make the roster on defense, are
expected to play Monday against the visiting Rangers. . . . The NHL will
579993     Philadelphia Flyers


Read making a good impression


By Wayne Fish


PHILADELPHIA — Every camp has its Cinderella Kid. This year's model
goes by the name of Matt Read.
The 25-year-old right wing is a little long in the tooth to be called a rookie,
but that's what he is. And, while this guy might be fairly new to pro hockey,
he seems to know what he's doing.
In the Flyers' Monday night's preseason game, he came up with his second
goal of the campaign and looked comfortable playing on a line with Daniel
Briere.
Read, an Ilderton, Ontario, native, spent the past few years playing college
hockey for tiny Bemidji State in Minnesota. He was in no rush to leave that
atmosphere but finally did last year and played briefly for the Adirondack
Phantoms.
This September, he's been one of those training camp darkhorses who's
probably going to make it to the final roster cut next weekend.
For now, his performances, like the one in a 5-3 win over the New York
Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center, are speaking for themselves.
"I just try to go out and do the best I can and in a week or two we'll find out,''
Read said after the game. "I'd love to be here.''
Coach Peter Laviolette is using Read everywhere, including the point on the
power play. Also some penalty kill time.
"I don't know if he trusts me or if he's just giving me an opportunity,'' Read
said. "I just want to make the best of it and see where I can be if I do make
the team, what positions I am.''
Jaromir Jagr scored twice and added an assist as the Flyers held off the
Rangers. Jagr now has three goals in his first two preseason games and a
total of five points in those contests.
Playing with Claude Giroux, he said, helps.
"Tonight it was a little easier (than Game 1) because of all the power plays,''
Jagr said. "It was a little bit better than the first game. With ‘G' (Giroux) at
center, it's a lot easier. He's that good. He's got a good future here. He's a
genius.''
Jagr scored both goals on the power play, the first coming at 9:25 of the
first and the second coming at 4:54 of the second.
Braydon Coburn's goal at 6:35 of the third period broke a 3-3 tie and
goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov held on from there.
Suspension for Sestito?
Rookie Tom Sestito picked up a five-minute boarding major in the first
period (Andre Deveaux), the same penalty that resulted in a five-game
suspension for Jody Shelley last Wednesday. General manager Paul
Holmgren did not comment.
Schenn injured
Rookie Brayden Schenn left the game with an undisclosed injury after
playing only 11-plus minutes. Holmgren said he doesn't think the injury is
serious but Schenn might have to miss Thursday's game against New
Jersey.
Short shots
Scott Hartnell is scheduled to be tested by a cardiologist today after
experiencing an elevated heart rate in Friday night's game at Detroit. ... The
Flyers have two games left on their preseason schedule, a home-and-home
set with New Jersey starting Thursday night in Philadelphia and ending
Saturday night in Newark, N.J., at the Prudential Center.
Burlington County Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
579994     Philadelphia Flyers                                                   “Yeah,’’ van Riemsdyk said. “He got pretty fired up there. Just goes to show
                                                                                 how much passion he has for the team. That was great to see. Both sides
                                                                                 got a pretty chuckle out of the comments he made.’’
It's official: Philadelphia to host Winter Classic                               Added captain Pronger: “That’s the passion that we love to see from him.
                                                                                 This is his baby, his team. It’s great to see when your owner gets that
                                                                                 passionate about . . . a press conference.’’
By Wayne Fish
                                                                                 Also of note: HBO will begin production of one of its patented 24/7 shows
                                                                                 on the game. The hockey series began last year with a pre-look at the
                                                                                 Washington Capitals-Penguins game in Pittsburgh. It will be a four-episode
PHILADELPHIA — Only the promise of an outdoor hockey game in a                   behind-the-scenes look. It will begin to air on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 10 p.m.
baseball park, against the Rangers no less, could get Flyers owner Ed            on HBO.
Snider to jump out of his chair, grab New York general manager Glen
Sather around the shoulders and set the record straight.                         The game itself will be broadcast live on NBC in the U.S. and CBC in
                                                                                 Canada.
After Sather said he recalled beating the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals
twice (with Edmonton in 1985 and 1987), he added: “And now we (the               Burlington County Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
Rangers) are going to come to Philadelphia and win.’’
Snider rushed over to Sather, put his arm around him and told the gathering
at Citizens Bank Park: “He wasn’t talking about the Rangers — I remember
kicking the hell out of the Rangers on the way to our two Stanley Cups (in
the early 1970s)!’’
And with that, the game — the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic on Jan. 2
at the Bank — is officially on.
Yes, after months of waiting to confirm the midseason event, all hands were
on deck at the ballpark Monday to seal the deal.
The Flyers will host the New York Rangers on the first Sunday of 2012 at 1
p.m.
Every seat in the place will be sold. Tickets are expected to be put on sale
in a few weeks and will go very quickly.
“I think within seconds,’’ Flyers president Peter Luukko said. “I think the
demand is going to be incredible.’’
The ballpark holds about 43,500 for baseball. The hockey game will have
room for a few thousand more seats, according to a league source.
The Flyers got a taste of all this ballyhoo on Jan. 1, 2010 when they took on
the Boston Bruins in Fenway Park, losing a memorable 2-1 game in
overtime.
Now the Flyers get a second chance for a victory against one of their
closest and oldest rivals.
“The Rangers-Flyers rivalry is one of our very best,’’ NHL commissioner
Gary Bettman said. “It is only a short distance from Broadway to Broad
Street and over the years, these not-so-neighborly teams have provided an
assortment of memorable games.
“I have every expectation that the Classic will provide more great moments
to remember.’’
In addition to Bettman, Snider, Luukko and Sather, the podium included
Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren,
Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette and New York coach John Tortorella.
Flyers players included Chris Pronger, James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell
and Matt Carle. Rangers in attendance were Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan
and Marian Gaborik.
Hartnell says he has some fond memories from the Fenway game and
expects the Citizens Bank game to be equally exciting.
“You hear the skate marks on the ice, you hear the pucks going off the
glass,’’ Hartnell recalled. “You hear all the hockey sounds that you don’t get
in a big-time building. And the fans are right on you.’’
Snider, the man who started the Flyers in 1967, adds this showcase game
to a portfolio that includes the Stanley Cup, the Soviet Red Army game, the
World Cup and NHL All-Star Games.
“The Winter Classic is arguably the biggest game played during the NHL’s
regular season and it’s a wonderful platform to feature our great sport,’’
Snider said. “It’s an honor to serve as ambassadors for the NHL.’’
The Snider-Sather exchange caught the eyes and ears of the players and
produced a few smiles.
579995     Philadelphia Flyers


Avery accuses Simmonds of slur


TIM PANACCIO


This time, Wayne Simmonds finds himself on the other side of the fence.
Last week in London, Ont., a fan threw a banana at the Flyers forward, an
obvious racial gesture to Simmonds being a black Canadian hockey player.
On Monday night during the Flyers' 5-3 preseason win over the Rangers,
Simmonds was sucker-punched by Sean Avery in the first period and the
two exchanged words.
Avery told reporters after the game that Simmonds threw a slur at him.
Asked if the slur was homophobic, Avery said, ‘Yes,' it was.
Neither Flyers coach Peter Laviolette nor general manager Paul Holmgren
were aware of what was said by either player.
“First of all, who would do that?” Avery said. “And why would you do it? It
just such an unnecessary thing. It’s something that’s not even an issue with
us or our sport. So to be here now and having to answer your questions
about what he did is disappointing for me.
“I mean Kobe [Bryant] got fined 100 grand. Everything is different now. You
know, it’s an issue. It is an issue that people are dealing with and trying to
overcome. And I guess 10 years ago, maybe it was not such an issue. But it
is such an issue politically with people in the game and just in life in
general.”
Bryant was fined by the NBA last April for a gay slur.
Simmonds would not get specific on what happened, saying it was between
the two players.
“In the scrum … I felt he sucker-punched me and we were going back and
forth for the rest of the game and emotions ran high,” Simmonds said. “We
both exchanged words with each other.”
Asked specifically about uttering a slur, Simmonds replied, “I don’t recall
every single thing I said to him. He said some things to me I didn’t like and I
said some things he didn’t like.”
Simmonds reiterated what’s on the ice is between players, not the media.
Avery told reporters that nothing he said to Simmonds should have
prompted such a slur.
“He didn’t think he said anything?” Simmonds replied. “That’s Sean Avery
there. Who knows what comes out of his mouth?”
Asked whether Avery crossed the line, Simmonds said he couldn’t recall all
that was said and would not “rat” Avery out to the media.
Asked whether he crossed the line with Avery, Simmonds said, “I don’t think
so. It just got heated, like I said before."
Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 09.27.2011
579996     Philadelphia Flyers                                                     “If I have to do it, I’m not scared,” Rinaldo said. “But I’m not going to look to
                                                                                   go out and fight the heavyweights. [Not] looking to fight every game. But if it
                                                                                   comes up, it’s part of hockey.”
Prospect Rinaldo using preseason to grow                                           Yes, Matt Walker can fight but he would be a seventh defenseman if he
                                                                                   makes the team.

TIM PANACCIO                                                                       Still, Rinaldo could find a spot by pushing someone else out the door or
                                                                                   perhaps as a 13th forward. The Flyers are so deep at forward, the scouting
                                                                                   staff is almost dizzy with happiness.

His hockey coach in Mississauga once called him “fearless.”                        Rinaldo spent the entire off-season training in the area. It shows. He’s
                                                                                   leaner, lost the puffiness in the face, dropped some weight, too.
At least one member of the Flyers refers to him as “a ticking time bomb.”
                                                                                   “The main thing was to stay in shape,” Rinaldo said. “Come back and be in
Neither of which would surprise you, given the kind of game Flyers prospect        the best shape that you have been in. I did a really good job of that over the
Zac Rinaldo plays.                                                                 summer. I lived in Philly all summer. I trained with [Ian] Laperriere. He was
                                                                                   a huge help with my off-ice testing and fitness. I feel great. I’m in shape.”
Or why he’s tried to refine his game so people don’t lump him into the Jesse
Boulerice category.                                                                Rinaldo went down from 208 pounds to between 185-190 – “I fluctuate,” he
                                                                                   said – and lost some body fat.
“I learned from my own mistakes,” said Rinaldo, who is making a serious
bid to earn a Flyers’ roster spot.                                                 “My body fat last year wasn’t very cool,” Rinaldo said. He was well over 13
                                                                                   percent and is now done to 12 percent.
Rinaldo played 7:24 in Monday night’s 5-3 exhibition win over the Rangers
at Wells Fargo Center.                                                             Laviolette played him in two playoff games against Boston last spring. Even
                                                                                   though his ice time wasn’t enough to freeze a snow cone, Laviolette liked
“I think, over the years, the OHL and the first year in the AHL, I learned my
                                                                                   what he saw.
lesson the hard way,” he said. “People in the organization showed me video
and said, ‘This is what’s wrong, this is what’s right.’                            “It never panned out because in both those games we went down 3-0 at
                                                                                   the 15-minute mark of the first period,” Laviolette said. “There went the
“I only need to be shown once. I know what’s wrong and what’s right. I
                                                                                   game plan and use of him. We needed to score four goals and I had to
learned my lesson.
                                                                                   double shift guys who could put the puck in the back of the net.
The wrong: things like 191 penalty minutes his first year in the OHL. Or a
                                                                                   “He had a year where he grew as a player. He stayed here this summer. He
whopping 331 minutes last year as a Phantom vs. just nine points in 60
                                                                                   made a commitment. He worked really hard. He is in terrific shape. I like his
games.
                                                                                   physical presence.”
What the Flyers have tried to show Rinaldo is that there can be so much
                                                                                   The six minutes of total playoff ice time whet Rinaldo’s desire to play at the
more to his game if he loses the lunkhead mentality and employs some of
                                                                                   NHL level and get out of the minors.
the skill he has. Even Dan Carcillo had an offensive side to him. Rinaldo
might offer more.                                                                  “It made me 10 times more hungrier,” he said. “Coming in now from last
                                                                                   year’s camp, I kind of switched it around in a sense. A different outlook, not
Which is why when the fiery Italian scored a goal for the Flyers in Toronto
                                                                                   only on hockey itself, but my play.”
last week, coach Peter Laviolette said it was no accident. The coaching
staff had been pushing Rinaldo to use his talents for something other than         Rinaldo admits he often went looking for trouble in the past. Although he
just agitating on the ice.                                                         likes to fight, he said he discovered that if he exercised some patience, the
                                                                                   fights would come to him anyway.
Rinaldo went flying up the left wing, took a nifty pass from Jakub Voracek,
then went forehand/backhand on Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer to                  “I don’t pinpoint any particular thing,” Rinaldo said. “I want to go in and play
score.                                                                             all-around hockey. I want to hit, I want to shoot, I want to fight, I want to
                                                                                   score. I sometimes find when I don’t go out looking for it, it finds me even
“We tried to tell Zac to play some hockey,” Laviolette said. “Literally, we told
                                                                                   more.”
him to go down the wing and score a goal. Cycle the puck like we do in
practice. Play good defense, block some shots.                                     Rinaldo went looking for it early in the first period against the Leafs in
                                                                                   Toronto and actually goaded veteran Phil Kessel into taking a dumb
“He did all of that along with bringing a physical element to his game. He
                                                                                   roughing call. That’s what the Flyers would like to see from him. Drawing
was in control. It was a good showing by him.”
                                                                                   penalties, not taking them.
And here’s the kicker. The 21-year-old says he knows he could score more
                                                                                   It might surprise you, but off the ice, Rinaldo is laid back.
often if he put his mind to it.
                                                                                   “On the ice, for sure, I’m crazy,” he said. “Off the ice, I’m completely
“I got that move,” Rinaldo insisted when it was suggested he surprised
                                                                                   different. It’s a 50-50 lights on and lights off switch. I’m a normal, regular
Reimer. “It’s always there, but I am never put in position to use them.
                                                                                   guy. I’m not wild or crazy off the ice. I’m humble.”
[Tuesday], I got put into position and I ran with it.
                                                                                   His idea of a good time? Not at the bar, but lounging around at home with
“I would have liked to get a few more hits out there. My goal was a
                                                                                   some friends.
presence and I tried to work on more than one dimension. I want to show
everybody I’m not just a guy who runs around and hits everybody. I can put         And believe it or not, Rinaldo is one of the few younger players who wasn’t
the puck in the net.”                                                              into “Entourage.”
He said he needs to adapt to the NHL rules to be a better player.                  “No hobbies, no TV show, no “Entourage”, nothing,” Rinaldo said.
That’s the best way Rinaldo can make this team. He needs to show more              Just a quiet, shy guy, eh?
than just his ferocity, which was on display Monday night against the
Rangers. Rinaldo cleaned up on Rangers forward Dale Weise early in the             Schenn Injured: Brayden Schenn incurred an upper body injury late in the
first period.                                                                      game.

Rinaldo loves to fight, but the bottom line is at 5-11, 169 pounds, he’s not a     General manager Paul Holmgren said he did not think it was serious and
heavyweight in Jody Shelley or Tommy Sestito’s category. He can’t – and            that Schenn would be re-evaluated on Tuesday. He also said that Schenn
won't – replace a Shelley.                                                         was questionable for Thursday.

Given that Sestito probably earned a suspension Monday night for his hit           Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 09.27.2011
from behind on the Rangers’ Andre Deveaux, the Flyers may have no
choice but to keep Rinaldo on the roster at season’s start. He is the club’s
only legit fighter, even though he’s not in the heavyweight division.
579997     Philadelphia Flyers                                                   “This is a happening to have ice in Citizens Bank Park and have as many
                                                                                 people experience that,” Montgomery said. “That’s as good as it gets.”
                                                                                 Snider concurred.
Stage set for Flyers-Rangers Winter Classic
                                                                                 “When I started the team in 1967, I couldn’t dream that I would be standing
                                                                                 here today talking about an outdoor game at Citizens Bank Park,” Snider
TIM PANACCIO                                                                     said. “It’s a real thrill for me. And it’s a real great event for our city.”
                                                                                 Back in the 1980s when Edmonton was winning five Stanley Cups, then
                                                                                 NHL President John Ziegler once told Sather that an outdoor game would
The Winter Classic trash talk between the Flyers and Rangers is already off      never work.
to a good start. 9/26/11
                                                                                 Slats chided Ziegler for his lack of “foresight” and praised current league
Glen “Slats” Sather threw down the gauntlet Monday afternoon at Citizens         Commissioner Gary Bettman for making the Winter Classic a reality.
Bank Park.
                                                                                 This will be the 5th Winter Classic and the Flyers' second appearance. The
The longtime former coach and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers             Flyers were last in the event two years ago at Fenway Park against the
and current Rangers’ GM tossed it right under Ed Snider’s feet at a news         Boston Bruins.
conference to announce the Jan. 2 Winter Classic between the Rangers
and Flyers.                                                                      “This will be as big an event as this city’s seen,” Bettman said. “We’ve
                                                                                 heard people tell us how this compares to Super Bowls, in terms of
Sather, who fired a number of playful shots at the bows of various people,       atmosphere and what it does to a city or the World Series.
boldly asserted that his Rangers are “going to come to Philadelphia and we
are going to win.”                                                               “People in Philadelphia, in particular, and people watching on television
                                                                                 throughout the world are really gonna once again get a special treat ... This
Flyer fans in attendance booed.                                                  one game captures the imagination like nothing else.”

“Now that’s more like it,” Sather snapped back at sea of orange jerseys,         So does HBO’s 24/7, which begins daily filming of the events leading up to
who initially clapped at his introduction with such politeness that Snider       the game on Dec. 4.
chided fans for letting their guard down.
                                                                                 Rick Bernstein is the executive producer of HBO Real Sports. He was the
Sather then added, “We kicked the hell out of you [in Edmonton] twice in         guy behind last year’s compelling look at the Penguins-Capitals. Nothing
the Stanley Cup.”                                                                short of superb, 24/7 provided so candid a look that it scares Rangers
                                                                                 coach John Tortorella.
More taunting from Slats … “At the end of year we are going to be carrying
the Cup just like Yankees will [win] the World Championship.”                    “I just want to make sure there is no embarrassing things to the players,”
                                                                                 Torts said. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem.”
More boos. Even louder.
                                                                                 Asked what he thought about last year’s show, he said the candor in one
When Sather was finished, Snider dashed to the podium from his front row         episode made him “cringe.”
seat to come back at “Slats.”
                                                                                 That’s what people want. That’s hockey. That’s reality.
Now the fans were urging Snider to give it to Slats.
                                                                                 “What will be different is what we don’t know,” Bernstein said. “We start with
“When he says we kicked the hell out of you in two Stanley Cups, he wasn’t       a blank canvass. We have no idea what the stories are which are going to
talking about the Rangers,” Snider quipped. “I remember kicking the hell out     unfold. I’m sure again, it will be compelling, and entertaining and exciting.”
of the Rangers on the way to our Cups.”
                                                                                 Caps coach Bruce Boudreau stole the show last year. Tortorella, moreso
Slats shouted back, “It’s nice to see you haven’t lost your edge.”               than Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, has the potential to do the same
                                                                                 because “Torts” often loses his cool in public and on carmera.
That apparently is how it’s going to play out between these two teams. The
history, the legacy, the games.                                                  Laviolette is always under control and would rather implode than explode
                                                                                 publicly.
They don’t like each other. Even during news conferences.
                                                                                 “I grew up in Alabama,” Bernstein said. “I didn’t grow up as a hockey fan. I
Flyer captain Chris Pronger, sitting behind Snider on the dais, said even
                                                                                 had no idea what to expect with this series. The access we got is what
though he’s played nearly all his career in the Western Conference, he
                                                                                 made it that much better. It exceeded all of our expectations.
sensed that the Flyers-Rangers rivalry had a nasty edge to it.
                                                                                 “I don’t think there’s ever been a time when any major sport has allowed a
Pronger loved how Snider came back at Sather.
                                                                                 television entity inside their domain as the NHL has with this show.”
“When you’re owner gets into it over details, you get a rude awakening
                                                                                 Tickets go on sale in the weeks ahead, as will information about the
pretty quickly,”
                                                                                 community events that will encompass that week in Philadelphia.
Pronger said. “He’s a stickler for details and he straightened things out
                                                                                 “As important as the game is, the environment is what it’s all about,” Luukko
quickly. I was getting ready and he popped up and I said, ‘all right.’ ”
                                                                                 said. “To see players skating here and be in the stadium in the winter, that’s
The roots of the Winter Classic coming here were planted last spring even        what it’s about.”
though Snider and Flyers’ president Peter Luukko both said Monday they
                                                                                 Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 09.27.2011
didn’t think it would happen because the Flyers had already been to one
Winter Classic and Pennsylvania had already hosted it last year.
Phillies president Dave Montgomery got a call from Luukko last April about
Citizens Bank Park possibly hosting the event at the Linc.
Montgomery admitted he knew something about the Winter Classic and
what Flyer hockey means to Philadelphia.
“Peter asked us to partner with him and it was an easy answer for us to say
yes,” Montgomery recalled. “The advantage of doing it in a baseball facility
is the reality [that] we can extend events for a 10-day period rather than try
to cram it into a few days in [a football stadium.].”
Indeed, CBP made perfect sense because there will be high school, college
and AHL hockey – Phantoms – plus a Flyers’ Alumni Game and public
skating before and after the event takes place.
579998     Philadelphia Flyers                                                  value can mess with your mind. (Remember when HBO’s Hard Knocks
                                                                                convinced everyone the Cowboys were going to win Super Bowl XLIII?
                                                                                Oops.)
Winter Classic will be heavily hyped affair                                     That figures to be a good portion of the fun for the Winter Classic. HBO will
                                                                                no doubt elevate the anticipation and heighten the attendant drama. But
                                                                                even if HBO wasn’t involved, you’d still have two long-time rivals from cities
JOHN GONZALEZ                                                                   that don’t like each other very much (or at all) playing outside on the day
                                                                                after New Year’s. That ought to be enough to get people around here
                                                                                excited. If not, Sather would probably be happy rile everyone up.
The best events always have slick salesmen. Don King. P.T. Barnum. Ed           On Monday, after telling the assembly that he had “nothing but respect” for
Snider and Glen Sather.                                                         Snider and the Flyers and the fans, Sather couldn’t resist getting in one
                                                                                more shot.
Sather is in his 11th year as president and general manager of the New
York Rangers. Before that he put together five Stanley Cup championship         “We’re going to come to Philadelphia,” he promised, “and we’re going to
teams in Edmonton. Snider, of course, brought hockey -- and two titles -- to    win.”
Philadelphia. Still, if the pair ever leaves the sport, they’d make excellent
promoters.                                                                      Sather was like a pro wrestling heel, a bad guy who pokes the crowd to get
                                                                                a reaction. Just like in the WWE, the fans were in on the whole thing and
On Monday at Citizens Bank Park, Sather and some of the Rangers joined          happily obliged by booing.
a host of dignitaries -- including, among others, Snider, NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman, Mayor Michael Nutter, Paul Holmgren, Peter Laviolette,            “Now that’s more like it,” Sather said. “I knew I could get a rise out of you.”
Chris Pronger, Scott Hartnell and James van Riemsdyk -- to officially
announce that the 5th Annual Winter Classic will be held in Philadelphia on     Comcast SportsNet.com LOADED: 09.27.2011
January 2. As Bettman said, it was the “worst kept secret in sports.” It was
also ushered in with a thorough, if somewhat dull and protracted, press
conference on a soupy day in South Philadelphia. Dull, that is, until Sather
and Snider did an extemporaneous two-man standup routine.
A handful of Flyers fans were seated in the stands just behind the Phillies
dugout for the announcement. They clapped politely, if not enthusiastically,
when Sather walked to the microphone to address the crowd. Sather
thanked them for the surprisingly warm welcome -- then gave them a
friendly verbal forecheck into the proverbial boards.
“We kicked the hell out of you twice in the Stanley Cup,” Sather said with a
smirk, “and we’re going to do the same thing on [January] 2nd.”
He was referring to the Edmonton Oilers, not the Rangers. Didn’t matter.
The boos came, and Sather smiled.
“At the end of the year,” Sather went on, “we will be hoisting the Cup…”
Dramatic pause…. “just like the Yankees are going to win the World
Championship.”
More boos. Sather beamed.
Snider got up from his chair, threw his arm around Sather, and
commandeered the dais.
“When he says ‘we kicked the hell out of you in two Stanley Cups,’” Snider
said, “he wasn’t talking about the Rangers. I remember kicking the hell out
of the Rangers on the way to our Cups.”
The crowd roared. Sather and Snider laughed. And so it began.
The Winter Classic is an annual spectacle -- a big deal for hardcore hockey
fans and casual observers alike. (Last season’s event was the NHL’s most-
watched regular season game in 36 years.) Part of that is owed to the fact
that the league hasn’t diluted the concept. For a game where there’s always
serious demand for tickets but never enough supply, where upper-level
seats in baseball and football stadiums have historically gone for around
$400, there had to be some temptation for the NHL -- a league still trying to
grow its brand and television ratings -- to hold more than one outdoor clash
per season. And yet the league smartly resisted that urge. If there were
three or five or 20 of these games a year, they wouldn’t be all that classic.
As Bettman said, there will be other “ancillary events” associated with this
season’s Winter Classic. An alumni game is scheduled for December 31,
and the Phantoms will play at Citizens Bank Park on January 6. If Monday's
announcement was any indication, the run-up to this year’s game might
make it the most-hyped and highly-anticipated yet.
HBO will once again chronicle the participants throughout the season with a
newly-produced 24/7 series. That’s good news for loyal puck heads, as well
as less-committed fans. HBO has gotten really good at selling players and
teams while twisting sports from football to boxing into first-class
entertainment. Not long ago, the 24/7 HBO did in advance of the Floyd
Mayweather/Ricky Hatton boxing match convinced me to purchase the
fight. It also had me believing that Hatton had a shot to defeat Mayweather
and blemish his undefeated record. Then Hatton got embarrassed. As a
longtime fight fan, I should have known better. Hell, I did know better. But
you’d be surprised how a regular television series with good production
579999      Phoenix Coyotes


Phoenix Coyotes next 2 games will help shape roster


By Jim Gintonio –


With the Coyotes' roster down to 31, this week's preseason games will
determine the fate of several who are fighting for the final few spots.
The Coyotes play Tuesday night in Edmonton, Thursday in Calgary then
return home for the final preseason contest Saturday against San Jose.
Goalie Mike Smith is expected to play the entire game Tuesday night.
"These two games (Edmonton and Calgary) are very important in our
evaluation, and you get to the point late in camp where you're starting to
structure people in lines that you think can build some chemistry," coach
Dave Tippett said.
"It's still an evaluation process for some people that are trying to make our
hockey club, so they'll get opportunities to do that the next couple of games.
And the last game, we'd like to get down to close to our roster and play for
the last game."
Tippett said the roster will be "whittled down a little more" Friday.
One player who has acquitted himself well in camp is Kyle Chipchura, a
role-playing left wing who played 40 games with Anaheim last season.
"He's a real solid pro, where he understands the game," Tippett said. "His
work ethic is top-notch, he understands his role in the game and his role as
a fourth-line checker, penalty killer, he does it very well. He takes a lot of
pride in it, so he's been a guy that certainly hasn't hurt himself so far."
Center Andy Miele still is clinging to the hope that he will stick with the
Coyotes, and this week's games loom large for last season's Hobey Baker
Award winner. The smallest player in camp - he is listed at 5 feet 9 and 175
pounds - has hit a little bump but is on the radar after solid efforts in the first
two preseason games.
"It's getting tougher for him because you're getting teams that are playing
more veterans," Tippett said. "He'll be a guy we'll watch close this week."
Playfair chips away
Associate coach Jim Playfair breaks down the game into little things, and
that goes a long way toward improvement during the course of the season,
said Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who played for Calgary (2007-09)
during the time Playfair was an assistant there.
"He breaks it down into simple little things. He doesn't really overdo it,"
Aucoin said. "I've played for some coaches who try to break down every
play; he really just makes it simple.
"He worries a lot about positioning, and from there everything kind of takes
care of itself. He'll just kind of chip away at little things all year long and just
keep reminding you."
Arizona Republic LOADED: 09.27.2011
580000      Pittsburgh Penguins


Penguins' goal on 'D' is 200 or fewer goals


By Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW


The Penguins have a magic number for this season, but it's not specific.
Anything less than 200 goals allowed will do.
"Last year, that was something we looked at a lot in our room, on our
coaching staff," coach Dan Bylsma said Monday after a controlled
scrimmage divided practice sessions at Consol Energy Center.
"We wanted to keep the number under 200."
They did at 196, tied for the sixth fewest goals surrendered by any team,
and the Penguins' lowest total of the post lockout era.
They pulled that off despite playing the opening 41 games without center
Jordan Staal, inarguably their top defensive forward, and the final 10 minus
left wing Matt Cooke, arguably second to Staal in that distinction. Also, their
big-bucks defensemen — Paul Martin ($5 million) and Zbynek Michalek ($4
million), each signed during 2010 free agency — were learning a new
system.
Staal is confident the Penguins can do better, his faith fortified by the
anticipated return of centers Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. The former
is expert in the art of takeaways, the latter an elite faceoff artist.
A trait Staal, Cooke, Malkin and Crosby — not to mention the likes of
Pascal Dupuis, Tyler Kennedy, Chris Kunitz and Craig Adams — share
among Penguins forwards is speed, which was the icing on the defensive
cake baked by the Penguins last season.
When considering the potential for the Penguins' team defense, don't
discount their forwards, defenseman Ben Lovejoy said.
"Look at our line rushes," he said. "We play a style that's incredibly
aggressive and makes it tough for other teams to get in our zone."
Good thing, too, because the Penguins rated bottom-10 in blocked shots
(24th) and takeaways (29th).
The Penguins' team defense, whether at even strength or shorthanded, is
not reliant on individual brilliance, head-standing goaltending or puck
devouring defensemen.
"How we're tough to generate offense against is something we focus on no
matter what that situation is, and that's a lot of how we approach it," Bylsma
said.
The approach taken by the forwards — a group that could include two
former scoring champions and eight others who have tallied at least 15
goals in a season — should again prove the Penguins' secret defensive
weapon.
"It's a lot of skating for the forwards and it's very difficult," Staal said. "It's
jumping on reads, and when a guy does that he has to have the other guys
support him. You want to be aggressive together, and when you have guys
doing that — it's tough to go through five guys defensively."
Not impossible, as the skilled forwards for Tampa Bay proved in Round 1 of
the Stanley Cup playoffs last season by posting 22 goals over the final six
games after a Game 1 shutout loss.
Noteworthy, though, is that the Penguins lost that series in seven games
that were played without Malkin, Crosby and Cooke, and with a limited top
defensive pairing because of Brooks Orpik's abdominal injury.
No excuses from the Penguins, though — just a thought from Staal about
the possibility of finishing this season as the best defensive team.
"I would hope so," he said.
Tribune Review LOADED: 09.27.2011
580001     Pittsburgh Penguins


Penguins' Orpik still recovering from surgery


By Rob Rossi, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW


Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik did not practice Monday at Consol
Energy Center, and there is at least some uncertainty within the
organization about his status for the regular-season opener at Vancouver
on Oct. 6.
"I'm not one way or the other right now," coach Dan Bylsma said. "I'm still
preparing like he could be there for us at the start of the season."
Orpik is recovering from offseason abdominal surgery, though he has had
limited participation during training camp. He was not available to speak per
team policy regarding injured players.
>> Center Sidney Crosby (concussion) participated in a controlled
scrimmage for a second consecutive day, though he has yet to be cleared
for contact drills. Crosby, who continues to wear a white helmet signifying
his non-contact status, engaged in extended individual drills after a practice
session that lasted about an hour.
>> Right wing Arron Asham did not practice. Bylsma said he was given a
"maintenance day," which is Penguins code for rest.
>> Bylsma suggested the exhibition game Tuesday against Los Angeles at
Kansas City would likely feature a final audition for on-the-bubble players to
win consideration for a roster spot. He said there would "probably be two"
rounds of cuts before selection of the season-opening roster and that
weekend games at Chicago and Detroit would be used to determine line
combinations for regulars. The Penguins expect to make another round of
cuts Thursday.
>> After topping 100,000 Twitter followers in the summer, the Penguins hit
the 1,000,000 plateau on Facebook, another popular social media site.
They are one of three NHL teams with as many Facebook followers, joining
Detroit and Boston.
Tribune Review LOADED: 09.27.2011
580002     Pittsburgh Penguins                                                     "I think I did that last year," he said. "When you put on that added pressure,
                                                                                   you kind of grip your stick a little harder and do things you don't want to do.
                                                                                   If you can stay confident and stay calm, [scoring goals] will happen."
LW Neal is feeling all right in move                                               Neal doesn't mind that he might be getting some of them from the other
                                                                                   side of the ice in 2011-12, partly because he'd had occasional work on the
                                                                                   right side before joining the Penguins.
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
                                                                                   "Anytime you come off your off-wing and are able to shoot the puck, it's an
                                                                                   advantage," he said. "So I'm looking forward to playing there."

James Neal, looking to regain his offensive touch                                  •NOTES -- Crosby participated in a controlled scrimmage for the second
                                                                                   day in a row. He reported no problems, but said he has not yet been
It is, of course, far too early to declare this experiment a success.              cleared for contact. ... Right winger Arron Asham did not skate Monday, but
                                                                                   Bylsma said Asham was given a "maintenance day" and that "he should be
The sampling is too small to reach any serious conclusions.
                                                                                   fine." ... Defenseman Brooks Orpik, coming off abdominal surgery, has not
Still, that doesn't mean the Penguins can't be encouraged by what they've          taken part in the past several practices, but Bylsma said he has not been
seen from James Neal since he was shifted to right wing at the start of            ruled out of the season-opener Oct. 6 in Vancouver: "We're still preparing
training camp.                                                                     like he could be there for us at the start of the season."

"I think the best he's looked in camp is when he's been on the right side,"        Post Gazette LOADED: 09.27.2011
coach Dan Bylsma said Monday. "At times, he's done very well out there."
Neal played left wing, his customary position, after being acquired from
Dallas in February, but the coaching staff decided in the offseason to move
him.
Neal is expected to get some more work on the right side when the
Penguins face Los Angeles at 8 tonight in Kansas City, although the lineup
for that game has not been announced.
"We're going to get more examples of [Neal on the right side] here in the
next three games," Bylsma said. "[It's] not a real concern at this time."
The long-term plan is to use Neal on a line with Sidney Crosby and Chris
Kunitz, but the uncertainty of when Crosby will return from a concussion
has prevented them from playing together in exhibition games.
Consequently, whether that group will develop the chemistry the coaching
staff expects, and which is needed to be a productive unit, is conjecture.
"Who knows who I'm going to play with, but we do drills together in practice
and stuff," Neal said. "I'm sure there will be a little feeling-out process, but
hopefully we'll be ready to get going as soon as [Crosby] is ready to go.
"But at the same time, whoever I get a chance to play with, I'm more than
happy to."
Regardless of whether Neal ends up playing alongside Crosby and Kunitz,
Evgeni Malkin and Steve Sullivan or, for that matter, Marc-Andre Fleury and
a fire hydrant, the Penguins will be counting on him to generate a minimum
of 20 goals, and they'd prefer something a lot closer to 30.
There's nothing unreasonable about that, considering that Neal has scored
21 or more in each of his three NHL seasons.
Neal's touch deserted him after he joined the Penguins, however. He got
one goal in 20 regular-season games, and one more in seven games
against Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs.
He still played the power-forward game that convinced the Penguins to part
with defenseman Alex Goligoski to acquire him, but did not fill the void for a
goal-scoring winger that was one of the Penguins' major weaknesses.
It wasn't a matter of scoring chances, even though Crosby and Malkin had
season-ending injuries before Neal arrived; rather, it was that a staggering
number of his shots either hit goalies or missed the net, and that's no way
to pad one's personal statistics.
Neal was credited with 52 regular-season shots after joining the Penguins.
That's a shooting percentage of 1.92, which looks a lot more like a Vezina-
worthy goals-against average.
Cruel statistical truths aside, Neal does not believe he has to make
significant adjustments to his game. He might be getting a new position, but
that's the only major change he's anticipating this fall.
"I was getting chances last year," he said. "Hopefully, the bounces will start
going in. I just need to play the right way. If you're doing the right things,
playing physical and shooting the puck, you're going to get those
opportunities to score."
Although Neal said he won't put additional pressure on himself until the
goals start going in as often as expected, he acknowledged doing just that a
few months ago.
580003      San Jose Sharks                                                      minor surgery to remove a cyst, said he hoped to be able to practice with
                                                                                 his teammates for the first time later this week.
                                                                                 The Sharks reassigned four players Monday to Worcester: Brandon
San Jose Sharks notebook: Coach rewarding Tommy Wingels' strong play             Mashinter, Nick Petrecki, Tyson Sexsmith and Thomas Heemskerk. Thirty-
with a move to third line                                                        five players, including those out with injuries, remain in camp.
                                                                                 San Jose Mercury News: LOADED: 09.27.2011
By David Pollak


Two-thirds of the way through their exhibition season, the Sharks are one of
only two NHL teams without a loss.
But here's a reality check: The only previous San Jose team to finish with a
perfect preseason lost six of the first nine games that mattered in 2005-06,
then stumbled through a 10-game losing streak in November. It took the
Joe Thornton trade to turn things around.
Which is why coach Todd McLellan was keeping things in perspective
Monday.
"Are we on a four-game winning streak? I guess we are, but I don't think of
that," said McLellan, who gave his players the day off after a crammed
schedule that had them playing four games in five nights. "It's the way we
play, it's what we're seeing in our game, it's what we're getting from guys --
that's how we're evaluating our team."
One player about to benefit from the evaluation process is forward Tommy
Wingels, a second-year pro who will be elevated to the third line for
Tuesday's practice.
McLellan stressed that's not because Wingels, who played five games with
San Jose and 69 with Worcester last season, happens to lead the team
with three preseason goals.
"Tommy has come into camp and understood what we're looking for, and
he's played toward that," McLellan said. "He's been in on the forecheck,
he's turned a number of other team's pucks over off of that. He's worked
hard back through the neutral zone and into the d-zone and been
responsible there."
"And when
given the opportunity," McLellan added, "he's shot a few pucks in the net."
While Wingels, 23, will get a chance to show what he can do on the third
line, it's not as if he is a lock to start the season there.
"It can change quickly," McLellan said.
At the start of training camp, McLellan knew he had about a half-dozen
holes in his lineup that needed to be filled by the Oct. 8 start of the NHL
regular season.
Michal Handzus and Torrey Mitchell were expected to occupy two spots on
the third line as the Sharks appear to be establishing a more traditional
checking unit. Jamie McGinn has been the third player on that line until
now.
On the fourth line, all three spots have been up for grabs, but McLellan has
stuck with three players -- tryout Brad Winchester, Andrew Desjardins and
Andrew Murray -- and the coach said he is pleased with what he's seen.
Desjardins took the center job away from Scott Nichol during the playoffs,
and McLellan indicated that the newcomers have fit in.
"If you go back to the menu of what we wanted from those players,"
McLellan said of Murray, who played four seasons with the Columbus Blue
Jackets, "he's played to it and he's been a very good penalty killer so far."
Winchester has chipped in two goals in four games, and McLellan didn't
seem very troubled by the three penalties he took in Sunday night's 4-3 win
in Vancouver.
"He has to play with an edge. He is a big man and will end up taking some
penalties," the coach said. "We can address that as time goes on, but I'm
not overly concerned about that right now."
Even though the fourth line has been stable, McLellan said he likely would
mix things up to give other players a chance.
While other players stayed away from the rink, goalie Antti Niemi skated in
full pads with goalie coach Wayne Thomas. Niemi, who is recovering from
580004     St Louis Blues                                                         "I don't feel that I'm that far off in terms of the strength," he said, "but at the
                                                                                  same time, it's been nine or 10 months (since he trained regularly), so
                                                                                  there's going to be some strength to get back."
Blues welcome back Perron                                                         When he does return, Perron promised he wouldn't change his style of play.
                                                                                  "I don't think it will," he replied. "When you're back healthy, why would you
By JEREMY RUTHERFORD •                                                            do that?"
                                                                                  Never once during his recovery did Perron ever consider the injury career-
                                                                                  threatening.
As David Perron made the 20-hour drive to St. Louis this weekend from his
home in Sherbrooke, Quebec, he knew this trip was different.                      "If you know my path to the NHL, it's different than most guys," he said. "I've
                                                                                  had my back to the wall many times before that point. It was just another
Perron had made other visits here over the last 10 months to check in with        (hurdle)."
the Blues regarding his progress with post-concussion syndrome, but this
time he was bringing his dogs, Jack and Lucky.                                    The next hurdle will be getting into a Blues uniform. Then, getting a new
                                                                                  contract? Perron will be a restricted free agent after the 2011-12 season.
It may be a while before No. 57 is back in the Blues' lineup, but he is here
to stay.                                                                          "Actually, he told me today that he's going to play for free," Armstrong
                                                                                  joked.
"It's good to be back in St. Louis, seeing all the guys before practice,"
Perron said Monday after rejoining the team. "I'm looking forward to coming       "I don't care," Perron replied. "I just want to play hockey."
every day now and progressing."                                                   St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 09.27.2011
The symptoms from Perron's Nov. 4 concussion aren't totally gone. The
Blues don't have a timetable of when he'll be back in the lineup again. He
hasn't even passed his baseline test to clear him for advanced activity.
But after hearing the long-awaited news that Perron had made significant
strides in his recovery, and that his case is not considered career-
threatening, the relief throughout the organization and in the locker room
was plain.
"Great to see him back," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "He's still got a
ways to go, but he's one of us, so to get him back and see a smile on his
face, it's a positive step."
Just seven weeks ago, seven months after a hit by San Jose's Joe
Thornton led to his concussion, Perron was ruled out for the start of training
camp. But after a visit to Boston-based Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the
nation's top concussion specialists, Perron was cleared to begin light
skating about three weeks ago.
"It felt good to be back on the ice," Perron said. "I would mess around with
the puck and have some fun. It was just good to have the stick in my hand,
stick-handle the puck and shoot on the net and score a few goals."
Perron's once-a-month conversations with Blues general manager Doug
Armstrong grew into once-a-week updates.
"I would try and gauge through the tone of his voice on how he was feeling,"
Armstrong said. "We didn't want to get him to this point until he said he was
ready to get to this point."
Perron is not completely symptom-free, but said, "I feel pretty good. There's
going to be a few symptoms once in a while, but it's a process … the
symptoms are different than they were before. That's why I felt it was time
to move forward."
Before Perron can return to practice, he must follow the protocol set forth by
the NHL and the NHL Players' Association. That begins with a baseline test,
which will be administered later this week. Once he passes, Perron will
meet with the Blues' training staff to establish a progression plan.
That's why Armstrong on more than once occasion called Monday a
'starting point."
"I wish I could tell you that we expect him on the ice on this date, we expect
him to put the jersey on for practice on this date and to play this date,"
Armstrong said. "It's exciting to have his name back on the board, but we
know that he's not close to playing. Once he starts practicing with the tempo
of our players, I think that'll be a real good indicator where he is."
When asked about his personal timetable, Perron said he would heed
advice from teammate Andy McDonald, who missed one month last season
with a concussion.
"There's no secret recipe that will help him get back quicker," McDonald
said. "You just try and reassure him that ... he's going to get back on the ice
and everything is going to be OK. (But) in my experience, there is a little bit
of pushing through it. I think David feels the same way."
Before Perron can push through, he must regain his strength.
580005     St Louis Blues


Timetable for Perron return still unknown


By JEREMY RUTHERFORD |


A smiling David Perron made his long-awaited return to the Blues this
morning, but when the winger will be back on the ice with the club is yet to
be determined.
After suffering a concussion last November, Perron missed the final 72
games of the 2010-11 season, and he has been dealing with post-
concussion syndrome the past 10 months.
Perron began light skating and exercising about three weeks ago, but
before he can be cleared to practice, he must still pass a "baseline" test,
per the guidelines of the NHL and NHL Players’ Association.
"After David’s concussion last season, he’s been working very hard to get
back to the starting point, and that’s where we basically are today … the
starting point," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "David is
going to be back with us, but I want to stress, he’s back to square one.
"He’ll have to get a baseline test administered sometime this week. When
he passes that, he’ll go to the next step with our training staff. Then he’ll
progress to training in the room, training in the exercise room, then training
on the ice."
Armstrong said it’s too soon to know when Perron could be practicing with
the Blues, and he said its also too early to know whether Perron would
need a stint with in the American Hockey League before returning to the
lineup. But those concerns are to be shelved for another day because today
Perron was just happy to be back in the locker room.
"It’s good to be back in St. Louis, seeing all the guys before practice,"
Perron said. "I’m just excited to drive back to St. Louis over the weekend,
with my two dogs. Thanks to the organization, Army and (John Davidson),
they’ve been so patient with me. They haven’t given me any pressure to
come back. It’s been good."
Perron said he never thought his career was in jeopardy.
"No, not at all," Perron said. "If you know my path to the NHL, it’s different
than most guys. I’ve had my back to the wall many times before that point."
Perron is not completely symptom-free, but he said, "I feel pretty good.
There’s going to be a few symptoms every once in a while, but it’s a
process … I feel the symptoms I have once in a while are different than
what they were before. That’s why I felt it was time to move forward and
introduce some of the skating and training I’ve been doing."
After a recent visit to Boston to visit with Dr. Robert Cantu, who is regarded
as one of the nation’s top concussion specialist experts, Perron was given
the go-ahead for light exercise. He said he’s been skating for about three
weeks.
"It felt good to be back on the ice," Perron said. "I would mess around with
the puck and have some fun. I wasn’t going out there to do anything
specific. It was just good to have the stick in my hand, stick-handle the puck
and shoot on the net and score few goals."
Asked what level of shape he is in, and how long he believed it would take
to regain his conditioning, Perron said: "It’s tough to say. We’ll see when we
start progressing again. I hate to say that, but that’s what it is. I don’t feel
that I’m that far off in terms of the strength, but at the same time, (he hasn’t
played) in nine or 10 months, so there’s going to be some strength to get
back … endurance, cardio and stuff like that. It’s just the beginning."
The last item on either the Blues’ or Perron’s mind right now is Perron’s
contract status; he’ll be a restricted free agent after this season. But when
jokingly asked about the topic, Armstrong said: "Actually he told me today
that he’s going to play for free."
Perron replied: "I don’t care. I just want to play hockey."
St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 09.27.2011
580006     St Louis Blues                                                        be here. We may get another look at (Cheechoo), but at this point, guys
                                                                                 have to perform well to stay in this room right now."
                                                                                 St Louis Post Dispatch LOADED: 09.27.2011
Nichol expected to be cleared soon


By JEREMY RUTHERFORD


New Blues center Scott Nichol could see his first preseason action this
week.
Nichol is recovering from surgery this summer on a torn labrum in his left
shoulder. He has been practicing with the Blues since the start of training
camp Sept. 16, but he has yet to be cleared to participate in exhibition
games.
The Blues have three preseason games remaining, starting with Tuesday's
tilt in Minnesota.
"We expect (Nichol) to be ready to go at some point this week," Blues
coach Davis Payne said. "We'll wait and see. We'll announce that lineup
tomorrow. We'd definitely like to see him in there as soon as possible,
tomorrow being as soon as possible."
D'AGOSTINI UPDATE
Blues forward Matt D'Agostini practiced today for the first time since being
pulled from last Thursday's lineup with a lower-body injury.
D'Agostini has played in only one preseason game so far, scoring the
game-winning goal in a 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay last Tuesday.
"As far as we know, he should be in (the game) tomorrow," Payne said.
BACKUP GOALIE BATTLE
The competition between Ben Bishop and Brian Elliott for the backup goalie
job will resume Thursday night.
Payne said today that Jaroslav Halak will get the start tomorrow in
Minnesota and Bishop will be in net Thursday against Colorado at
Scottrade Center.
In the battle of the backups, there will be a lot riding on Bishop's second
start of the preseason. He made 21 saves in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay
Wednesday. Elliott has a record of 1-1 in the preseason and he isn't
expected to play in any of the Blues' final three exhibition games. Elliott
looked sharp in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay in his first outing last Tuesday,
but he was less spectacular in a 3-2 loss at Dallas Saturday.
"Right now, I think you're looking at an incomplete picture," Payne said.
"They each played one good game. The second game that Brian got in,
there was a goal there (that Elliott would like to have back).
"We've got to be patient about saying anything as to what our feelings are
until we've got all that information to make a decision. Until then, we'll go
over what we thought was positive, what we thought needed work and we'll
move onto the next day ..."
Payne said that in Elliott's case, a lot could still be derived in practice.
"He's got to continue to show the battle and stop pucks," Payne said.
"We're watching in these drills, too. I mean, shooters are still putting pucks
on net. It's important that they stay out. We've got some game simulation
stuff ... this is important. (Blues goalie coach Corey Hirsch) is paying
attention to who's doing what out there."
CHEECHOO ON WAIVERS
Forward Jonathan Cheechoo is practicing in Peoria today, as he waits to
find out if he's been claimed on waivers. It's extremely doubtful that he
would get claimed considering teams had a chance to sign him this summer
and none did.
The Blues assigned Cheechoo to the Rivermen on Sunday, after he totaled
just one point in three exhibition games.
"I thought the first couple of games, he was making some things happen ...
some good poise with the puck ... real, real good creativity," Payne said. "I
thought toward the end of the third game, the pace and the workload
started to catch up. But you know, he's close ... right now we want to get
down to this group (of 29). The guys that are in this group are deserving to
580007     St Louis Blues


Elliott, Bishop battle to be backup goaltender


By NORM SANDERS - News-Democrat


ST. LOUIS -- No clear favorite has emerged in the battle between Brian
Elliott and Ben Bishop for backup goaltender behind St. Louis Blues starter
Jaroslav Halak.
"Right now, you're looking at an incomplete picture because they each
played one good game and played very well," Blues coach Davis Payne
said Monday.
Bishop was a 4-3 winner at Tampa Bay against a Lightning team with a
pretty solid roster, stopping 21 of 24 shots. Elliott stopped 22 of 23 shots in
the season-opening 3-1 home win over Tampa Bay, then wasn't as strong
in a 3-2 loss at Dallas on Saturday, turning away 23 of 26 shots.
The Blues want Halak playing a lot, perhaps at least 60 games, so a
backup here must be effective without seeing a lot of regular work.
Halak will make his second start of the preseason tonight in Minnesota.
"We've got to be patient about saying about what our feelings are until
we've got all the information to make a decision on it," Payne said when
asked to assess the backup situation. "We're watching in these drills, too."
Notes
The Blues placed forwards Jonathan Cheechoo, T.J. Hensick and Brett
Sterling on waivers Monday along with defensemen Brennan Evans and
Danny Syvret.
What did Payne think of the training camp performance of Cheechoo, a
former 50-goal scorer trying to make it back to the NHL who had one assist
in three preseason games?
"I thought the first couple games he was making some things happen,"
Payne said. "Some good poise with the puck, real good creativity. Towards
the end of that (second) game, the pace and the workload started to catch
up. He's close, right now we want to get down to this group."
Payne said veteran center Scott Nichol, hoping to gain full clearance after
returning from offseason shoulder surgery, is close to a return.
"We expect him to be ready to go at some point this week," Payne said.
"We'd definitely like to see him in there as soon as possible, (Tuesday)
being as soon as possible."
Belleville News-Democrat LOADED: 09.27.2011
580008     St Louis Blues                                                        McDonald said he believes Perron is the one who will know best when it is
                                                                                 time to take the next step.
                                                                                 "He's not making a decision about if he's going to play tomorrow,"
Perron says he is happy to be back                                               McDonald said. "It's about getting back and being active again, getting on
                                                                                 the ice, going through the routine and getting himself closer to being in
                                                                                 game shape."
By NORM SANDERS - News-Democrat
                                                                                 Belleville News-Democrat LOADED: 09.27.2011


ST. LOUIS -- There was a smiling new face at St. Louis Blues training camp
Monday.
David Perron, who hasn't played since last Nov. 4 because of post-
concussion syndrome, is ready to resume training as he tries to regain full-
time status in the NHL.
There is no set timetable for Perron's return.
Perron said he has been doing light skating and weightlifting for three to
four weeks while in close contact with Boston-based Dr. Robert Cantu, one
of the nation's top concussion specialists.
Did Perron, who had trouble holding back his smiles during the news
conference, ever lose hope of playing with the Blues again?
"If you know my path to the NHL, I think it's different than most guys," said
Perron, the 26th overall pick in 2007 who made the jump from junior hockey
to the NHL. "I've had my back to the wall many times before that point, so
it's just another time."
Perron was happy to visit with his teammates and coaches again as he
prepares for the long comeback journey.
"Just the excitement coming to the rink. I was stressed more than probably
my first NHL game," Perron said. "I'm looking forward to coming here today
and progressing again. When I was 15 years old, I didn't play hockey for a
full year and at 19 I was in the NHL, so I'm not really worried about (the
extended absence)."
Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong stressed that Perron is still in the
early stages of a comeback. He must pass an initial concussion baseline
test per NHL and NHL Players Association guidelines before progressing to
further activity.
"He's been working very hard to get back to the starting point, and that's
where we are today is basically the starting point," said Armstrong, who has
remained in close contact with Perron and Perron's agent, Allan Walsh,
throughout the process. "David's been all across North America seeing
specialists from Vancouver to Boston, trying to get back on the ice. David is
going to be back with us, but I want to stress he's back to square one."
Perron said he began feeling better in the last month or so.
"The symptoms I have now are different than what they were before," he
said. "That's why I felt it was time to move forward and introduce some of
the skating and training I've been doing."
Perron began skating and light workouts last month in his native Quebec.
"It felt good to be back on the ice," he said. "After a couple weeks, I'd just
go back out there with some friends and mess around with the puck and
have some fun. It was just good to have the stick in my hand, stickhandle
the puck and score a few goals."
One of Perron's best friends during the extended absence has been
teammate Andy McDonald, whose previous concussions gave him
experience and knowledge to share.
"I was fortunate to have some people talk to me when I went through it,"
McDonald said. "It's kind of scary because sometimes there's not a lot of
answers for him. There's no kind of secret recipe that will help him get back
quicker.
"It's kind of a waiting game, so you try to reassure him that what he's going
through is kind of normal. He's going to get better and get back on the ice,
everything's going to be OK."
Blues coach Davis Payne said he looks forward to a potential lineup that
includes a healthy Perron.
"It's great to have him around, great to see him back," Payne said. "We've
still got a ways to go obviously, but he's one of us. Seeing him back and
seeing a smile on his face, that's a positive step."
580009     Tampa Bay Lightning


Lightning's Boucher wants intensity in final preseason games


By NICK WILLIAMS | The Tampa Tribune


Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher says he's not a very patient man
when it comes to work ethic.
So, when he feels his players aren't giving their all, it gets under his skin.
During the team's final two preseason games in Montreal this week,
Boucher expects to see an increased level of play from his team.
"We're far from where we were last year at the end of the year," he said.
"Work ethic, our relentlessness and our details are not there right now. We
have to get that, we have to solidify our identity and that's why those two
games are there."
If the players on the bubble expect to make the final roster, that's what they
need to show.
The team was scheduled to leave Monday afternoon and practice in Mont-
Tremblant, about 90 minutes north of Montreal, on Tuesday and
Wednesday before playing games against the Canadiens on Thursday in
Montreal and Saturday in Quebec City.
"One, the vets have to get their game and the new guys trying to make the
team are going to have to prove it," he said, "because there's only two
games left to prove it."
The team is expected to cut at least two players to reach the maximum of
23 before the season begins on Oct. 7.
Monday's practice was Boucher's first complete session with the full team.
He spent time working on the power play on Sunday.
"You still have that image, but in reality its not there," he said. "The guys
forget about everything, they forget about the details, they're not relentless
and that's not good enough. It's my job to make sure we get to that point."
Supporting the Rays
Boucher has paid close attention to the Rays playoffs push.
"(Monday) morning I was on the radio and I was saying we're certainly
behind them," he said. "Some guys have got their Rays caps and really
pulling for them."
Boucher said he was going to give Rays manager Joe Maddon a call
Monday.
"I'm going to be on the phone (Monday) and make sure I give him a word.
He doesn't need it. He's doing a great job and hopefully they can finish the
job."
Injury update
LW Ryan Malone (shoulder) will travel with the team to Montreal and play in
the final two preseason games, Boucher said. Defenseman Scott Jackson
will not travel and will continue to rehab his surgically repaired knee in
Tampa.
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 09.27.2011
580010     Tampa Bay Lightning


Tampa Bay Lightning to enjoy team-building activities on Canada trip


By Laura Keeley, Times Staff Writer


BRANDON — After quick visits to St. Louis, Orlando and Sunrise last week,
the recently downsized Lightning embarked on a weeklong trip to Canada
and plan to use the time before its game against the Canadians on
Thursday for team-building activities.
Or "guy time," as F Ryan Malone called it.
"It's always hard at home with everyone having their families and stuff going
on here, but in a bus or a plane or a hotel, you get to mess with each other
a little bit and have some fun," Malone said. "We'll do some team activities
and dinners and just kind of hang out and get to know the new guys."
Tampa Bay will stay at a secluded mountain resort in Mont-Tremblant until
Thursday afternoon. The location, far from downtown Montreal, is ideal for
eliminating distractions, coach Guy Boucher said.
"When you go on the road, that's the one thing to get, you're always
together," he said. "We're going to challenge them in all kinds of different
ways to try to push their minds and their bodies."
Boucher declined to divulge specific plans — "some things we try to keep
for ourselves," he said — but he did say that this trip, combined with the five
road games to open the season, gives the team and staff a "perfect
moment" to find their identity.
A few players are looking to use the trip to make one last positive
impression on the coaching staff. After Sunday's round of cuts, Tampa Bay
has 26 players on the roster and needs to reach 23 before the opener Oct.
7.
"Obviously, there's still one more step for me, but it's good to be here right
now practicing with the guys," said F Brett Connolly, last year's first-round
pick and a contender for the final few spots. "I'll just go out there and play
my game, and whatever happens, happens."
Rays fever: The Rays sent a stack of caps to the Lightning, and they were
available for players in the locker room. Most of the hats were gone by the
time the team finished its on-ice practice. Boucher said he wanted to call
Rays manager Joe Maddon later in the day.
"Every team that does well in our city, it just heightens the interest and
enthusiasm people have for sports," Boucher said. "It's a cycle that goes
around. The more people like their sports teams, and the more the teams
pull for each other, the better it is for the city."
Odds and ends: Boucher coached the full team from the ice for the first time
Monday. When asked what he saw, he said, "It just shows me how far we
are from the details I want." … C Dominic Moore was back practicing after
being held out over the weekend for what the team said was body
maintenance. … G Dwayne Roloson wore a new mask at Monday's
practice, and he will use that one going forward.
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 09.27.2011
580011     Toronto Maple Leafs                                                    "The one blessing I guess is I was able to be around my family as much as I
                                                                                  was. Typically, you're not there as much [during the season] and you kind
                                                                                  of see them grow up a little bit. That was the positive I can take out of it."
NHL's concussion victims ready to face future                                     In all, Lombardi didn't skate for more than 10 months, only getting back on
                                                                                  the ice in mid-August. His conditioning still isn't where he wants it, although
                                                                                  that didn't stop him from skating through all of an up-tempo, 2 1/2 hour
james mirtle                                                                      practice Monday.
                                                                                  The headaches are gone, however, making Lombardi one of the feel-good
                                                                                  stories of the NHL season, even before it begins.
After an off-season that contained wave after wave of bad news for the
NHL, events Monday finally brought in a trickle of good news.                     He has also become somewhat of an advocate for the league's new
                                                                                  crackdown on head shots and blind-side hits, as he applauded the 10-game
Three key players, all out eight or more months because of concussions,           suspension given to Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Jody Shelley last week
are now seemingly on the road to recovery with the season set to open a           for his hit on Leafs teammate Darryl Boyce.
week from Thursday.
                                                                                  Lombardi said he understands intimately what kind of damage those blows
In Pittsburgh, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby went full speed in another          can do and hopes the path he, Crosby and Perron have travelled the past
hit-free practice, proclaiming he's nearing the point of being able to take       year can be avoided more than it has in the past.
contact again.
                                                                                  "I got elbowed, blind-sided in the 2004 playoffs," Lombardi said. "Knocked
In St. Louis, promising 23-year-old winger David Perron, out of the game          out of the playoffs. So I've always thought like that, even before this injury. I
since an illegal hit by Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks last November,        haven't changed perspectives because I've had [this one] for a while on
held a press conference to announce he was ready to rejoin the team, with         those hits. I've been through it and I know what it's about. You want that out
his first light workouts set to come in the near future.                          of the game."
And in Toronto, Leafs newcomer Matt Lombardi was cleared for contact              Concussions take their toll
and banging bodies for the first time in nearly a calendar year.
                                                                                  349
All three may miss their team's opening night, but this was a good-news day
nonetheless.                                                                      Days out of NHL for Matt Lombardi, Toronto Maple Leafs, since Oct. 13,
                                                                                  2010
"You're hearing positive things come out of Pittsburgh with Crosby, Perron
in St. Louis is back after 10 months," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said, noting        327
all the slow but steady recoveries being made. "If you're patient with these
players, they'll [often] make a recovery. You just don't know how long it's       For David Perron, St. Louis Blues, since Nov. 4, 2010
going to be."                                                                     265
If anyone can serve as a role model for how unpredictable postconcussion          For Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, since Jan. 5, 2011
symptoms can be, it's Lombardi, who up until he was traded to Toronto last
July couldn't do much of anything in the way of physical activity.
But in the past few weeks alone, he's made remarkable progress, getting to        Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 09.27.2011
the point that he may now play in one of the Leafs' final exhibition games
this week - if only in a fourth-line role to start.
"I've definitely been thinking about this for a long time here," Lombardi said
after stepping off the ice Monday. "I'm getting excited. It's in the back of my
mind; I think about it when I go home. Obviously my first game's going to be
a big test. We'll see how it goes."
Lombardi, 29, added that his recovery has come even as the team has
advised him to take things slowly, trying to guard against any type of
relapse to the awful state he was in last fall while still with the Nashville
Predators.
The worst of it came soon after a seemingly innocuous collision into the
boards with Chicago Blackhawks centre David Bolland in the second game
of the season last October.
He finished his shift, but not the game, and was put on injured reserve a
few days later.
"When I first got hurt, I was honestly worried about missing one or two
games," Lombardi said. "I was choked about that. The next thing you know,
it's already a month gone by and I'm not better. Then sure enough,
Christmas comes and I'm still not better. The days just started building up.
"When recovery's so slow, it's just so hard to predict. I wasn't making
progress in the gym; I was maybe making some progress with everyday
life."
Struggling daily with headaches and neck pain, Lombardi wasn't able to
play with his two kids - a two-year-old and newborn - leaving most of the
childcare duties to his wife, Joannie, as doubts over whether his career was
over began to creep in.
"Honestly, I couldn't even be with my kids as much as I should have or
wanted to be," he said. "My wife put up with a lot with me for the last 11
months. She was unbelievable to be honest with you. You have your ups
and downs.
580012     Toronto Maple Leafs                                                    Assuming Lombardi and Brown are healthy, here's betting that Joey Crabb
                                                                                  and Matt Frattin are the odd men out. Based on some of the pairings and
                                                                                  lines we've seen in practice of late, that would leave this as a projected
Leafs key battles coming into focus                                               roster for opening night at this point:
                                                                                  MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin

james mirtle                                                                      Lupul - Connolly - Kessel
                                                                                  Kadri - Bozak - Armstrong

This is the week when NHL teams finally begin to take their shape, as             Lombardi - Boyce - Orr
preseason ends on Sunday and decisions are finally made.                          extra: Brown, Dupuis
In Toronto, there are only 29 players left for this final week of training camp   Gunnarsson - Phaneuf
and 23 jobs to be had. (Perhaps even 21 or 22 if they decide to carry fewer
extra players on the roster.)                                                     Liles - Schenn
That's going to prompt at least two or three hard calls for the Leafs brass,      Aulie/Gardiner - Franson
with many of those in the next round of cuts requiring waivers (and re-entry
waivers to come back) in order to be sent to the minors.                          extra: Komisarek

That complicates things a little bit. Often when those types get sent down,       Reimer
they stay there all year, as we saw with Mike Zigomanis last season.              Gustavsson
Here's who's left in camp for Toronto heading into Tueday's preseason             The biggest surprises so far in camp have been Lombardi's remarkable
game in Ottawa:                                                                   comeback from postconcussion symptoms and Gardiner's ability to play at
Goal (3): Reimer, Gustavsson, Scrivens                                            the NHL level. Other than that, Wilson has essentially ended up with the
                                                                                  group he expected when camp opened 10 days ago.
Defence (9): Phaneuf, Liles, Schenn, Franson, Gunnarsson, Aulie,
Komisarek, Gardiner, Lashoff                                                      Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 09.27.2011

Forwards (17): Kessel, Connolly, Lupul, Grabovski, MacArthur, Kulemin,
Armstrong, Bozak, Lombardi, Brown, Orr, Dupuis, Boyce, Kadri, Frattin,
Crabb, Rosehill
Of all those listed, only Ben Scrivens, Jake Gardiner, Keith Aulie, Nazem
Kadri and Matt Frattin don't require waivers to play in the AHL this season.
That makes it almost a lock, for example, that Jonas Gustavsson starts the
year as the team's backup despite the fact his .903 save percentage is well
off of Scrivens' .958 in preseason.
The organization's not ready, at this point, to simply waive Gustavsson and
lose him for nothing.
It's also likely that only one of Gardiner or Aulie will make the team, making
that one key battle to watch. The only way both make it is if Toronto decides
to carry eight defencemen, something that doesn't make a lot of sense
given both players are still developing.
Coach Ron Wilson made sure to point out at practice today that Aulie's in
one of those battles to make the team, even though he had a 40-game
audition with the Leafs last year - the majority of which came when the team
was winning.
"It's very competitive right now," Wilson said. "Last year, at the end, we
weren't very deep on the back end and he was able to get in there and play
well. Now we have to see can he play well when there's a little bit of
competition and pressure from other people. He's in a fight."
So there are two likely cuts: Scrivens and one of Gardiner or Aulie.
Matt Lashoff and Jay Rosehill also should be among those sent down in the
next wave given the lack of openings for their skill set.
That leaves two or three more bodies that won't make the team, with the
return to health of Matt Lombardi (who has now been cleared for contact)
and Mike Brown (who's on the road to recovery after off-season groin
surgery) adding a couple question marks.
"I can't predict when either one will be ready or available," Wilson said. "I
was hoping an exhibition game or something like that. I'm not really sure
although it's still a possibility."
Wilson spoke at length today about how he wants to get the players who
will be on the team into as much action as possible in the team's final three
preseason games.
"I told our team today we only have three games, we have 29 guys here,
part of my responsibility is to get the guys who I foresee being on our team
ready," Wilson said. "It's nice now until the season starts that we're down to
a manageable number and one group practises and they all hear the same
messages."
580013     Toronto Maple Leafs                                                      "Now we have to see if he can play well when there's a little bit of a
                                                                                    competition and pressure from other people.
                                                                                    "It's very competitive right now. Last year at the end (when Aulie was piling
Which Leafs will be left standing? 0                                                up big minutes), we weren't very deep and he was able to get in there and
                                                                                    play well."

By Rob Longley ,Toronto Sun                                                         That sounds like a challenge from Wilson and may well be. With a two-way
                                                                                    contract, the process of demoting Aulie is simple. That said, he was a 19-
                                                                                    minute a night guy and with that big reach and physical side, acquitted
                                                                                    himself well.
TORONTO -
                                                                                    Could he play his way off the team? Sure. But if he has a strong end to the
He can count to six and to nine just as quickly as the other defenceman still       pre-season, he should stick.
in Leafs training camp.
                                                                                    LUKE SCHENN
So there's no need to beat Keith Aulie over the head with an Easton to
remind him he's in for a battle to retain his starting job on the Leafs blueline.   Armed with his big, multi-year contract, Schenn will be looked upon as a
                                                                                    rock for the forseeable future.
With nine defenceman still in camp, as few as four or five of the starting six
jobs are anywhere near settled. Who gets a spot opening night is one of the         He's as solid as they come and should hold down the three or four spot for
big stories to be played out over the next 10 days.                                 the duration of his five-year deal.

"So far I just feel I've been okay," Aulie said after a two-hour practice           The intrigue here is who he will be partnered with. At times in camp he has
Monday at the Mastercard Centre. "I've felt really good, I'm just a half            been alongside Liles making for a nice mix of stay-at-home size and puck-
second late sometimes and haven't defended the way I want to.                       moving speed.

"You can't hide the fact that we have a lot of good D-men here and a lot of         JOHN-MICHAEL LILES
good D-men ready to play. Lots of guys are playing well and it's going to
make (management's) decision pretty hard.                                           Acquired on NHL draft day in June, Liles was brought to town essentially to
                                                                                    replace the role of Tomas Kaberle and if you've seen him in practice, you
"If you are in my shoes, I have to show them everything I got these last two        can see the potential and he will be a big part of the team's power play.
or three games."
                                                                                    "I think it's not a bad problem to have because it makes the team better and
He's not alone.                                                                     makes the player work that much harder," Liles said of the bustling blueline.
                                                                                    "Very rarely do you go through a season where there aren't injuries and you
From general manager Brian Burke to coach Ron Wilson, it's been                     are losing guys.
recognized as a good problem to have.
                                                                                    "One year in Colorado, we had so many injuries that four of our starters one
If there's anywhere in the organization that depth of NHL talent exists, this       night had a combined 11 games NHL experience."
is it. Many general managers believe a team needs eight NHL-ready
defencemen anyway to be prepared for injuries.                                      CODY FRANSON

The other obvious benefit of depth is the currency it provides on the trade         On Monday, Franson said he wants to be Wilson's go-to guy in every
market.                                                                             situation and he's got the tools for most of them.

Theories abound on what management should do though performance over                A strong skater armed with a heavy shot, he may be an option on the power
the final three pre-season games could help sort it out.                            play as well but can also play with an edge.

"We might have the easy job just going out there and playing," said                 Franson acknowledged that the final week of camp will be crucial not only
newcomer John-Michael Liles.                                                        to see who plays, but for what pairings work best.

"For sure it pushes you. There are a lot of guys who deserve to be here."           "We've definitely got some kinks to work out," Franson said. "Most of us
                                                                                    have only played two or three games and it takes a little bit of time to work
Here's a look at the nine D-men still around with some thoughts on their            those kinks out.
prospects to remain when the season opens on Oct. 6:
                                                                                    "It's still an audition for everyone."
DION PHANEUF
                                                                                    MIKE KOMISAREK
The captain isn't going anywhere, obviously, but that doesn't mean big
things won't be expected from him.                                                  There seems to be a not so silent majority that believes Komisarek should
                                                                                    be run out of town before he even gets a chance to start his third season
So far in training camp, Phaneuf has been playing with that edge that               with the Leafs.
signals he's at his feisty best.
                                                                                    A little hasty, we should think.
This will be his third season in Toronto and fans are still waiting to see that
big, booming shot translate in some offence. If he's paired with Liles on the       Has Komisarek struggled since he's been here? Sure he has, as his 10-12
power play, we may see a good deal of it.                                           minutes ice time much of last season will confirm.

There's also a sense that he's nicely settling into his role of captain which       But if he simplifies his game and commits himself to being the physical,
could be key in the young Leafs dressing room.                                      stay-at-home defenceman Burke brought him here to be, he can be a solid
                                                                                    No. 5 or No. 6 guy.
KEITH AULIE
                                                                                    He has looked quietly confident and efficient so far in camp. That said, a
If there has been a regular blue liner that has even come close to struggling       strong start is imperative, especially with the young depth behind him.
in training camp, it has been the big second-year man.
                                                                                    CARL GUNNARSSON
But a couple giveaways against Buffalo in a pre-season contest won't be
enough to sour the coaching staff, especially if he picks up his play in the        An obvious choice to be on the bubble, a less obvious choice to
next week.                                                                          immediately be sent to the Marlies.

That said, Wilson acknowledged Monday that Aulie may need to step it up.            Gunnarsson played his way into the lineup most nights last season and
                                                                                    continued to develop into an NHL-calibre defenceman.
"He's in a fight," the coach said. "He's got to keep himself grounded and not
take anything for granted.                                                          "Competition is always good, but if you are not playing well, you have to
                                                                                    push yourself," Gunnarsson said. "All nine D have played well so far. We've
                                                                                    got three more to show the coaches you want the job."
JAKE GARDINER
The darling of this year's camp, he has already developed a loyal following
that will surely be outraged if he is sent to coach Dallas Eakins with the
Marlies.
Of course, that might be the best thing for him.
Not to diminish what he's done, but Gardiner's impressive work thus far has
come against watered-down pre-season opponents. If he continues to
stand out this week, he'll really give his bosses something to think about.
Bottom line though is that even if he's determined to be NHL ready, more
seasoning in the minors can't hurt - with one caveat as articulated by Wilson
on Monday.
"Sometimes it's easier to play in the NHL on defence than it is in the
minors," the coach said. "Sometimes it can be really chaotic (in the AHL) if
you are a defenceman.
"Playing with an NHL defenceman, if he's a good solid veteran, can really
calm a young guy down."
MATT LASHOFF
He is still here in camp, but he would be the longest shot to stick, even for
press box duty.
It doesn't hurt having nine, bodies and if he lands with the Marlies, Lashoff
has a chance to work his way back up to the big club.
Toronto Sun LOADED: 09.27.2011
580014     Toronto Maple Leafs


Brown looks to get into game shape 0


By Lance Hornby ,Toronto Sun


Mike Brown is used to giving pain, not playing with it.
But the hard-hitting fourth-line winger with the handlebar moustache is
trying to come back from groin surgery complications in time for the Leafs'
first regular-season game on Oct. 6.
After starting training camp a week behind the rest of the regulars, Brown
has caught up the past few days, but is still not what he considers to be in
100% game condition.
"No matter what, I'll be having pain for a while," Brown said Monday at the
MasterCard Centre. "That's what I'm learning now, to play through that
when the time comes."
The team's longest workout of the year - two hours-plus on Monday - was
the best test Brown could ask for after the Leafs cut to 29 players.
"I can't complain," Brown said of the test. "But the doctors and coaching
staff know better than me. I'd like to play now if I could. But I want to do my
job the way I have to do it. Hopefully, I can get into a game (perhaps this
weekend's series against Detroit) and get the kinks out."
Brown wanted no part of taking it easy and sitting out Toronto's first two-
regular season games, which are followed by a full week off.
"I really just want to get in any game I can," he said. "We're playing with our
(full) squad now, so I'll get that competitive edge. I want to be back as much
as everyone else wants me back. As soon as I get the go-ahead, as soon
I'm just slightly OK, I'm sure I'd be ready."
BYTOWN BOUND
Toronto has three exhibition games remaining, starting Tuesday night in
Ottawa.
"We've got a couple of little minor injuries, so there will be some different
people playing," coach Ron Wilson said. "But I told our guys today, we have
29 guys here and part of my responsibility is to get the guys I foresee being
on the team


(Oct. 6) to be ready. Show us what you can do, pay attention to the different
concepts we're talking about, which are different than last year."
Wilson plans splitting the three games between the trio of goalies still in
camp, James Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens.
WORK BOOTS REQUIRED
As mentioned, Wilson and his three assistant coaches put the Leafs
through their toughest workout of the year, the first involving the main roster
of 29 players. The long day saw the Leafs get the MCC ice flooded, change
sweaters for special teams' rehearsals and end with skating drills.
The Leafs must be down to 23 players by opening night.
"It's nice that it's down to a manageable level," Wilson said of Monday's
numbers, noting that the top two centres, Tim Connolly and Mikhail
Grabovski, had not been on the ice in the same group for the previous eight
days.
LOOSE LEAFS
Brayden Irwin agreed to an American Hockey League contract Monday.
The big Toronto-born forward was not re-signed in the summer after a
shortened Marlies' season and was at camp on a professional tryout
contract. He comes from the famous Irwin Toy family ... Do you think the
Leafs and Sens are anxious to get their No, 1 power-play units into action
on Tuesday? The clubs were a combined 2-for-37 after the weekend ...
Tyler Bozak's two goals in pre-season have come on just three shots.
Toronto Sun LOADED: 09.27.2011
580015     Vancouver Canucks                                                     and also knew that Glass had moved on, signing with the Winnipeg Jets.
                                                                                 He knew coming to camp that there would be jobs available.
                                                                                 "I saw Tanner leave Florida, come here and get an opportunity so obviously
The Max factor may not help Duco's chances with the Canucks                      that is inspiring," he says. "Hopefully, I can do the same thing, but you
                                                                                 never know what they're thinking or what they want."

By BRAD ZIEMER,                                                                  Duco is part of an intense battle for a couple of fourth-line vacancies on the
                                                                                 Canuck roster. With the release of Owen Nolan and the shoulder injury
                                                                                 suffered to Steve Pinizzotto, Duco seems to be competing with Victor
                                                                                 Oreskovich, Aaron Volpatti, Mark Mancari and Todd Fedoruk for those
The biggest impediment to Mike Duco earning a job to skate alongside             spots.
Maxim Lapierre on the fourth line of the Vancouver Canucks just might be
Maxim Lapierre.                                                                  "He is what he is," a chuckling coach Alain Vigneault said of Duco after the
                                                                                 San Jose game. "Like a famous player once said, it is what it is. He goes
Duco and Lapierre have a lot in common. Maybe too much.                          out and brings that edge, that physical dimension. He is always walking that
                                                                                 fine line."
Both are on-ice agitators, chatterboxes who like to get under the skin of
opposing players. Two of those guys on one line may be one too many for          Duco obviously hopes he has done enough to stick, but knows there are no
the Canucks, who last season told players like Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler         guarantees.
and Lapierre, when he arrived at the trade deadline, that they wanted them
to stick to hockey.                                                              "I feel like I have performed really well," he says. "It's really out of my
                                                                                 control now. Whatever happens, happens, and I gave it my all. They gave
"Play between the whistles," was one of the team's mantras. Let your stick       me four games straight to show what I can do. Maybe they think I'm ready,
do your talking.                                                                 maybe they don't. We'll find out here soon."
That isn't exactly Duco's nature, although with a resume that includes only a    ICE CHIPS: The Canucks assigned Roussel and goalie Matt Climie to the
dozen NHL games, he's ready to do what he's told to get a chance to play         AHL's Chicago Wolves on Monday. Climie must clear waivers ... The
in the big leagues.                                                              Canucks had Monday off and will practise today in Vancouver before
                                                                                 heading to Anaheim, where they meet the Ducks on Wednesday night.
"I have never really been liked anywhere I have been," Duco says. "Usually
the home fans like me and the opposing team doesn't."                            Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011
That's been the case so far in the pre-season for Duco, a 5-foot-10, 195-
pound winger who was acquired this summer from the Florida Panthers for
the rights to Russian winger Sergei Shirokov.
In his four pre-season games with the Canucks, the 24-year-old Duco has
managed to stir the pot. Thursday night in Edmonton, for example, he
annoyed the heck out of Oiler forwards Taylor Hall and Ryan Smyth and
ended up under a pile of bodies.
"Still trying to figure out how I got the extra minor in that one," he says.
Saturday night, he fought Ryan Getzlaf after the big Anaheim forward took
exception to Duco running Ducks' goalie Jeff Deslauriers.
And Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks, Duco got a 10-minute
misconduct. Again, he was a little surprised.
"I thought I just got a roughing penalty, but I just saw Joe Thornton sticking
his stick between Ruce's [Antoine Roussel] legs and no one was seeing
what he kept doing, lifting and jabbing him from behind. So I just grabbed
him and the refs just gave me an instant 10."
Not his first misconduct and won't be his last. Duco has racked up the
penalty minutes wherever he has played. In his 12 NHL games, he has 60
minutes. He had nearly 400 minutes in his last three seasons with
Rochester of the American League and accumulated almost 500 minutes in
four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.
"I'll do whatever it takes, really, whether it's getting in someone's face or
finishing my checks," says Duco, who has 26 penalty minutes in his four
pre-season games with the Canucks. "Most people just don't like it when
you finish your checks on their better players. If that's what you need to do,
then I'll go out and do it."
But there's another side to Duco, one that he hopes might help him land a
job with the Canucks. He has shown the ability - at least at the junior and
minor-league pro levels - to chip in with some offence.
He potted 32 goals in his last year of junior and last year in Rochester he
scored 20 goals in 67 games.
Duco gave the Canucks a glimpse of his offensive ability Thursday night in
Edmonton when he broke down the right wing and scored on his own
rebound while Vancouver was short-handed.
"I proved that in the minors in Rochester, where I had 20 goals last year,
that I have some offence," he says. "I was getting a lot of opportunities. It
just comes with confidence, once you get some confidence you'll be fine
and settle in. Hopefully, that can happen here and we'll see where it goes."
Duco is excited to get a new chance with a new organization. He had seen
his former Rochester teammate Tanner Glass earn a spot with the Canucks
580016      Vancouver Canucks                                                         in the summer. I won the Calder Cup (2007) with Hamilton and that summer
                                                                                      was short, but I'm sure our guys are going to be ready. We've got so much
                                                                                      skill and it won't take long to get it back.
Vigneault keeping an eye on Canucks' pre-season workload                              "The more rest you get, the better it is."
                                                                                      Sturm has had two knee operations in the past three years and believes he
By Ben Kuzma, Postmedia News September 26, 2011                                       can return to 20-goal form, something the winger has accomplished eight
                                                                                      times in his career. He logged 19:02 on Sunday and you can see that he
                                                                                      has a head for the game and will be effective in a second or third-line role,
                                                                                      as long as the wheels are there.
VANCOUVER - When asked to assess an ailing player, Alain Vigneault
reminds the masses that he's not a doctor.                                            "He's starting to understand how we do things here and how we like to play,
                                                                                      said Vigneault. "I do think there's more there once he gets comfortable in
His father Maurice was. He practised pathology and the diagnosis of                   the environment."
disease is a metaphor for what the Vancouver Canucks coach is attempting
to cure.                                                                              Vigneault said he has a more clear picture as his club prepares for games
                                                                                      on Wednesday in Anaheim and Thursday in San Jose. Cody Hodgson and
There's no prescription for a Stanley Cup hangover. Plenty of rest might be           Jordan Schroeder will get a longer look, but the fourth line remains a
the best medicine following a long 107-game NHL season and a short                    mystery with Steve Pinizzotto suffering a shoulder injury Sunday and Mike
summer, but players don't always exhibit the same symptoms.                           Duco continuing to open some eyes. And the loss of Aaron Rome to a
                                                                                      broken finger Sunday might create a depth curiosity on the back end.
Some require little down time and want to play a lot and some prefer
playing as little as possible in the pre-season. That's why Vigneault is              However, as much as there are some roster questions, the preparation
hoping that a daily dose of hard practice, coupled with two or three                  query seems to have been answered. Vigneault has held his veterans back
exhibition games this week will properly prepare the veteran core for what            like a jockey pulling hard on the reins of a thoroughbred.
lies ahead.
                                                                                      He'll let them all run hard on Oct. 6 and if they get to the winner's circle at
Vigneault doesn't expect any side effects in the season opener on Oct. 6              the end of it all, you can call Vigneault a doctor of psychology.
against Pittsburgh after coming within a game of winning it all - like players
slow to adhere to the regular-season pace and being mistake prone.                    Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 09.27.2011

He will be down to six lines and 10 defencemen this week and the final
exhibition outing on Saturday against Edmonton should showcase his
regular-season lineup, minus the rehabbing Mason Raymond and Ryan
Kesler and with Manny Malhotra and Dan Hamhuis hoping to be up to
speed after their off-season procedures.
If it works, Vigneault will be lauded. If it doesn't, he'll be loathed.
"The way we've handled this and the quality practice time they've had and
the fact we've been able to basically kick their butts off the ice and give
them double sessions, I've got a feeling that they're really looking forward to
playing a game," said Vigneault. "I think we've achieved what we wanted to
achieve as far as getting them ready and excited to play.
"All of those guys are going play two of the last three (pre-season games)
which in my mind is more than enough to be ready to have a good start."
The focus for roster players lean on playing time last season has been
obvious. Get the timing back and the confidence up.
That's why Keith Ballard logged 24:46 on Sunday during a 4-3 loss to the
San Jose Sharks and has played three games. Same for Maxim Lapierre
and Marco Sturm and Victor Oreskovich, who's on the fourth-line bubble.
They've all played three pre-season games.


"I don't have the Sedin button," chuckled Ballard. "I like playing and I've got
no problem with it. It's a good way to get into it and it's hard to just turn it on
for Game 1 of the season. But everyone is different. Training camp is where
guys are trying to prove things or get their legs under them or make hits. My
playoff experience (10 games) was different than most guys and I don't feel
tired or that I need a rest, so why not play? It beats practising."
If Ballard can avoid another calendar year in which he had off-season hip
surgery, a concussion and knee ailment - to say nothing of losing
confidence of the coach - then he should form a solid third-line pairing with
Chris Tanev. He hasn't looked tentative, has dished out hits and moved the
puck quickly and accurately.
"I feel good and confident," said Ballard. "Especially early, I'm not trying to
complicate anything or do too much out there. I just want to get my game to
where I want it to be for the season."
It's the same for Lapierre and Sturm, who played for three teams apiece last
season. Acquired at the trade deadline from Anaheim, Lapierre's ice time
had dwindled to as little as three minutes per game. With the Canucks, he
got better down the stretch and the agitator appeared in all 25 playoff
games.
"I'm the kind of guy who needs to play as much as he can," said Lapierre,
who logged 12:07 on Sunday. "After three months off, the skills are not
there right away. I'm skating better and feeling better, but I didn't play much
580017      Vancouver Canucks                                                         Sturm has had two knee operations in the past three years and believes he
                                                                                      can return to 20-goal form, something the winger has accomplished eight
                                                                                      times in his career. He logged 19:02 on Sunday and you can see that he
Kuzma: Is rest the best medicine for Canucks?                                         has a head for the game and will be effective in a second or third-line role,
                                                                                      as long as the wheels are there.
                                                                                      "He's starting to understand how we do things here and how we like to play,
By Ben Kuzma, The Province September 26, 2011                                         said Vigneault. "I do think there's more there once he gets comfortable in
                                                                                      the environment."
                                                                                      Vigneault said he has a more clear picture as his club prepares for games
When asked to assess an ailing player, Alain Vigneault reminds the masses             on Wednesday in Anaheim and Thursday in San Jose. Cody Hodgson and
that he's not a doctor. His father Maurice was. He practised pathology and            Jordan Schroeder will get a longer look, but the fourth line remains a
the diagnosis of disease is a metaphor for what the Vancouver Canucks                 mystery with Steve Pinizzotto suffering a shoulder injury Sunday and Mike
coach is attempting to cure.                                                          Duco continuing to open some eyes. And the loss of Aaron Rome to a
                                                                                      broken finger Sunday might create a depth curiousity on the back end.
There's no prescription for a Stanley Cup hangover. Plenty of rest might be
the best medicine following a long 107-game NHL season and a short                    However, as much as there are some roster questions, the preparation
summer, but players don't always exhibit the same symptoms. Some                      query seems to have been answered. Vigneault has held his veterans back
require little down time and want to play a lot and some prefer playing as            like a jockey pulling hard on the reins of a thoroughbred. He'll let them all
little as possible in the preseason. That's why Vigneault is hoping that a            run hard on Oct. 6 and if they get to the winner's circle at the end of it all,
daily dose of hard practice, coupled with two or three exhibition games this          you can call Vigneault a doctor of psychology.
week will properly prepare the veteran core for what lies ahead.
                                                                                      Vancouver Province: LOADED: 09.27.2011
Vigneault doesn't expect any side effects in the season opener on Oct. 6
against Pittsburgh after coming within a game of winning it all - like players
slow to adhere to the regular-season pace and being mistake prone. He will
be down to six lines and 10 defencemen this week and the final exhibition
outing on Saturday against Edmonton should showcase his regular-season
lineup, minus the rehabbing Mason Raymond and Ryan Kesler and with
Manny Malhotra and Dan Hamhuis hoping to be up to speed after their
offseason procedures.
If it works, Vigneault will be lauded. If it doesn't, he'll be loathed.
"The way we've handled this and the quality practice time they've had and
the fact we've been able to basically kick their butts off the ice and give
them double sessions, I've got a feeling that they're really looking forward to
playing a game," said Vigneault. "I think we've achieved what we wanted to
achieve as far as getting them ready and excited to play.
"All of those guys are going play two of the last three [preseason games]
which in my mind is more than enough to be ready to have a good start."
The focus for roster players lean on playing time last season has been
obvious. Get the timing back and the confidence up. That's why Keith
Ballard logged 24:46 on Sunday during a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks
and has played three games. Same for Maxim Lapierre and Marco Sturm
and Victor Oreskovich, who's on the fourth-line bubble. They've all played
three preseason games.
"I don't have the Sedin button," chuckled Ballard. "I like playing and I've got
no problem with it. It's a good way to get into it and it's hard to just turn it on
for Game 1 of the season. But everyone is different. Training camp is where
guys are trying to prove things or get their legs under them or make hits. My
playoff experience [10 games] was different than most guys and I don't feel
tired or that I need a rest, so why not play? It beats practising."
If Ballard can avoid another calendar year in which he had offseason hip
surgery, a concussion and knee ailment - to say nothing of losing
confidence of the coach - then he should form a solid third-line pairing with
Chris Tanev. He hasn't looked tentative, has dished out hits and moved the
puck quickly and accurately.
"I feel good and confident," said Ballard. "Especially early, I'm not trying to
complicate anything or do too much out there. I just want to get my game to
where I want it to be for the season."
It's the same for Lapierre and Sturm, who played for three teams apiece last
season. Acquired at the trade deadline from Anaheim, Lapierre's ice time
had dwindled to as little as three minutes per game. With the Canucks, he
got better down the stretch and the agitator appeared in all 25 playoff
games.
"I'm the kind of guy who needs to play as much as he can," said Lapierre,
who logged 12:07 on Sunday. "After three months off, the skills are not
there right away. I'm skating better and feeling better, but I didn't play much
in the summer. I won the Calder Cup [2007] with Hamilton and that summer
was short, but I'm sure our guys are going to be ready. We've got so much
skill and it won't take long to get it back.
"The more rest you get, the better it is."
580018     Washington Capitals                                                     smaller in stature. The 23-year-old Swede has also won 16 of 25 faceoffs in
                                                                                   two preseason games. His skating leaves something to be desired, though,
                                                                                   and there are bound to be some growing pains as he adjusts to the North
Washington Capitals look for a contender to stand out in competition for           American game.
final roster spot                                                                  Then there’s Eakin, who can play all three forward positions. The Capitals
                                                                                   have been trying him out with different linemates at each forward spot. He
                                                                                   is attempting to make a sizable jump from juniors to the NHL.
By Katie Carrera,
                                                                                   “You can get away with doing some stuff against 17-year-old young men
                                                                                   rather than doing stuff against 28-year-old established players,” Boudreau
                                                                                   explained. “We’ve seen him get caught defensively a couple of times in the
Coach Bruce Boudreau entered training camp watching and waiting for one            wrong position, but at the same time, when we’ve showed him he’s picked it
of several hopefuls to assert himself in the race for the lone spot up for         up and he’s been able to correct it.”
grabs on the Washington Capitals’ roster. Through the first 11 days of the
preseason, he’s still waiting for a front-runner to emerge.                        Capitals notes: Laich, who left practice early Sunday after feeling “tight,”
                                                                                   according to Boudreau, did not skate Monday. Boudreau expected Laich
Monday night at Verizon Center, three of the four contenders for that              would be back on the ice Tuesday. . . . Jason Chimera, who hadn’t skated
position were in the lineup and played a key role in a 3-1 win over the            since Friday, was back on the ice and said he felt fine after precautionary
Columbus Blue Jackets, who dressed little of their NHL roster.                     rest.
Playing on a line together, Cody Eakin, Mathieu Perreault and Chris                Washington Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
Bourque recorded a goal, a goal and an assist and three assists,
respectively, helping the Capitals capture their first victory of the preseason.
The only problem is, each had a positive showing with the help of the
others.
“They all played really good,” Boudreau said, declining to single out any one
of the three forwards. “They all competed, they did their job, they played
defensively pretty well. It was a good game for all three of them.”
Over the weekend, the competition for the final spot was whittled down
when the Capitals assigned dark-horse candidates Ryan Potulny and
Christian Hanson to the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, leaving
Bourque, Eakin, Perreault and Mattias Sjogren to try and rise above each
other.
“We’re just waiting for somebody to say, ‘It’s mine and somebody take it
away from me,’?” Boudreau said earlier this week. “It’s out there. Guys
know it’s out there.”
There’s some uncertainty to precisely which spot the Capitals are looking to
fill, and part of that depends on where Boudreau slots more established
NHL players such as the multifaceted Brooks Laich. That said, whoever
remains when the regular season kicks off will likely serve as a depth
forward on the third or fourth line.
Even Boudreau has admitted that there’s not one particular trait the
Capitals are seeking.
“It’s the intangibles of size, strength, hockey sense, winning battles versus
losing battles,” Boudreau said. “That encompasses it. It’s not one thing, it’s
everything. .?.?. If there was one thing only, then automatically you’d have
one guy that would take it.”
Bourque and Perreault are familiar faces, established AHL forwards who
have spent time in Washington and are well known to the front office staff.
Both players would be required to pass through waivers if they were sent to
the minors.
Bourque, 25, returned to the Capitals with a one-year contract, focused on
sticking in the NHL after spending last season in Europe. A top-line scorer
at the AHL level, the undersize Bourque (5 feet 8, 174 pounds) hasn’t been
able to establish the same presence in the NHL. He believes he’s learned
more about how to make himself noticed here this time around, though.
“You want to reinforce what they know and show them that you’ve acquired
some other skills,” Bourque said. “I think I’m a lot better than when I was [at]
19 years old, 20 years old, so I think maturing is hopefully going to be
showing in my game. I want to show that I can bring a little extra to the
table.”
Perreault, 23, played a career-high 35 games last season in Washington
and recorded 14 points. The quick-skating center, however, struggles to
maintain a consistent level of play when the Capitals recall him.
“They know what I’m capable of doing,” Perreault said. “It’s just a matter of
doing it every night.”
Meanwhile, Eakin and Sjogren are looking to jump straight to the NHL as
they begin their professional careers in North America.
Sjogren, at 6-3, 220, has the most size of the group and would add a
different look down the middle, where the Capitals’ centers are slightly
580019     Washington Capitals


Capitals claim first preseason victory, 3-1 over Blue Jackets


By Katie Carrera


The three contenders for the Capitals’ one open roster spot who were in the
lineup – Chris Bourque, Mathieu Perreault and Cody Eakin – each had a
strong game Monday night. The three played on a line together.
Bourque recorded three assists, Perreault a goal and an assist and Eakin a
goal in the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“They all played really good,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said, declining to
single any one of the three forwards out as having distinguished himself.
“They all competed, they did their job, they played defensively pretty well. It
was a good game for all three of them.”
Boudreau said he opted to put the trio together to take some pressure off of
them. “I’ve found that you’re more comfortable playing with guys that you
don’t have to feel that you have to impress,” he explained.
To be certain, the Blue Jackets did not dress many players who will be on
their final NHL roster for the game at Verizon Center, but Eakin, Bourque
and Perreault had the best night of anyone in a Capitals’ uniform.
Part of the reason for their success may have been familiarity. Bourque and
Perreault were linemates in Hershey during the 2008-09 and 2009-10
Calder Cup Championship seasons, making it easy for the two to find a
rhythm together. Perreault also played with Eakin when the young center
joined the Bears following the conclusion of his junior season two years
ago.
Having the three together made for an interesting dynamic because one
doing well would inevitably help elevate the game of the others. But the
best combined effort from the trio was likely Eakin’s goal at the 15 minute
mark of the first period. Perreault won a battle for the puck down low and
sent it along to Bourque who made a nifty, backhand shovel pass from
behind the goal line out in front to Eakin, who blasted the puck home.
“We don’t really like to say that we’re competing against each other
because we’re all friends here,” Perreault said, “and we hope the best for
everybody and if we’re playing that good together we’re just happy for each
other.”
For all three, this was the type of preseason performance they were hoping
to put on for the Capitals’ management.
“I think it was a good game, good showcase for all three of us,” Bourque
said. “That’s the kind of game we need to be playing, energizing the team
and buzzing around in their zone creating scoring chances for ourselves
and capitalizing on them like we did. We were really bearing down on our
chances and it definitely showed.”
Capitals note: I’ll have more follow up from tonight’s game on Tuesday, but
one quick note:
Dennis Wideman said he’s fine after suffering a Charley horse in his leg
when Jared Boll ran him over in the corner to the side of the Capitals net in
the first period. It was the opposite leg from the one he suffered a
hematoma in last year.
Washington Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
580020     Washington Capitals


Statistical analysis: Is Alex Ovechkin an elite scorer or just a good shooter?


By Neil Greenberg


Alex Ovechkin has tallied the most goals (301) in the NHL since the lockout
and is already fifth all time in goals scored per game. He has also taken at
least 704 more shots than any other skater over that same time span. Does
that mean he's an elite scorer, does the Capitals captain just score a lot
because he puts a ton of shots on net?
One way to measure the effectiveness of a scorer is to look at the player’s
shooting percentage over a sufficiently large enough sample size to
minimize the influence of luck. In this case, we will look at the 80 forwards
who have taken at least 1,000 shots since the 2005-06 season.
For the most part, the differences in shooting percentage aren't that big,
although Ovechkin does find himself in the bottom third among the NHL’s
most prolific scorers.
But you may have noticed a problem here: Using the aggregate shooting
percentage as a method of evaluation doesn't account for shots taken
during even-strength versus those taken with the man advantage.
Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, for example, scores on 16 percent of his
shots overall. With the man advantage that number balloons to 19 percent,
meaning he has scored on one out of every five shots he takes on the
power play over the past three years. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby has
converted on 17.7 percent of his shots and is fairly consistent, whether
playing five-aside (18.2 percent) or with the man advantage (16.4 percent).
Compare that to Ovechkin, who, like Crosby, is consistent during even
strength (11.8 percent) and with the man advantage (10.2 percent).
However, unlike Crosby, Ovechkin is just slightly above the league average
of 9 percent.
There's another flaw with using the aggregate shooting percentage as a
method of evaluation: It doesn't account for where those shots originated.
Certainly a shot from the scoring area, loosely defined as the top of the
circle in and inside the faceoff dots, is a better scoring opportunity (thus
carrying with it a higher shooting percentage) than one fired from behind the
blue line.
Again, Ovechkin lags way behind his peers in terms of efficiency and is
barely better than the average NHL forward over the past three years.
Why is this important?
The Great Eight has seen his shots per game totals drop over the last few
seasons, bringing his goals per game average down along with it. Fewer
shots this year could mean fewer goals.
Let’s be clear, though: Creating the shot itself is a skill, and it is one that
Ovechkin has in abundance. Since his rookie season, Ovechkin has led the
NHL in shots on goal by a wide margin, averaging 64 more than any other
skater. Given that, we should expect his goal-scoring numbers to be
inflated. But if he continues to take fewer shots per game, his goal totals will
most certainly decrease because his finesse with those shots appears to be
only slightly better than average.
Washington Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
580021      Washington Capitals


Ted Leonsis: ‘Alex isn’t fat. I’m fat’


By Dan Steinberg


(Susan Walsh - AP) I print this not to make fun of anyone, or to be a mean-
spirited jerk, but because it’s a dang funny quote. This is Ted Leonsis, at
the Caps Convention, concerning the matter of Alex Ovechkin’s physical
fitness and such, via Michael Hoffman:
“You have to trust me,” Leonsis said. “Alex isn’t fat. I’m fat!”
Leonsis went on to challenge fans to find any blobby stuff on his star
player’s torso.
“When you see Alex today, tell him Ted said, ‘I’m allowed to pinch your
stomach.’ ” the owner said, via Chuck Gormley.
“No one tried,” Ovechkin later reported, also via Gormley. “They won’t find a
stomach.”
And in one final bit of fatness reportage, Hoffman said Leonsis spoke more
generally about his team’s weight.
“From what I’ve seen in terms of strength, endurance and body fat, this is
the best offseason we’ve had,” Leonsis said. “I think it’s maturity.”
Either that or Shake Weight.
Also, full disclosure: I’m bald.
Washington Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
580022     Washington Capitals


Capitals claim first preseason victory, 3-1 over Blue Jackets


By Katie Carrera


The three contenders for the Capitals’ one open roster spot who were in the
lineup – Chris Bourque, Mathieu Perreault and Cody Eakin – each had a
strong game Monday night. The three played on a line together.
Bourque recorded three assists, Perreault a goal and an assist and Eakin a
goal in the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“They all played really good,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said, declining to
single any one of the three forwards out as having distinguished himself.
“They all competed, they did their job, they played defensively pretty well. It
was a good game for all three of them.”
Boudreau said he opted to put the trio together to take some pressure off of
them. “I’ve found that you’re more comfortable playing with guys that you
don’t have to feel that you have to impress,” he explained.
To be certain, the Blue Jackets did not dress many players who will be on
their final NHL roster for the game at Verizon Center, but Eakin, Bourque
and Perreault had the best night of anyone in a Capitals’ uniform.
Part of the reason for their success may have been familiarity. Bourque and
Perreault were linemates in Hershey during the 2008-09 and 2009-10
Calder Cup Championship seasons, making it easy for the two to find a
rhythm together. Perreault also played with Eakin when the young center
joined the Bears following the conclusion of his junior season two years
ago.
Having the three together made for an interesting dynamic because one
doing well would inevitably help elevate the game of the others. But the
best combined effort from the trio was likely Eakin’s goal at the 15 minute
mark of the first period. Perreault won a battle for the puck down low and
sent it along to Bourque who made a nifty, backhand shovel pass from
behind the goal line out in front to Eakin, who blasted the puck home.
“We don’t really like to say that we’re competing against each other
because we’re all friends here,” Perreault said, “and we hope the best for
everybody and if we’re playing that good together we’re just happy for each
other.”
For all three, this was the type of preseason performance they were hoping
to put on for the Capitals’ management.
“I think it was a good game, good showcase for all three of us,” Bourque
said. “That’s the kind of game we need to be playing, energizing the team
and buzzing around in their zone creating scoring chances for ourselves
and capitalizing on them like we did. We were really bearing down on our
chances and it definitely showed.”
Capitals note: I’ll have more follow up from tonight’s game on Tuesday, but
one quick note:
Dennis Wideman said he’s fine after suffering a Charley horse in his leg
when Jared Boll ran him over in the corner to the side of the Capitals net in
the first period. It was the opposite leg from the one he suffered a
hematoma in last year.
Washington Post LOADED: 09.27.2011
580023     Washington Capitals


Experiments continue in Capitals' first preseason win


By: Brian McNally


Brouwer is on top line in victory over Blue Jackets
For now, results are secondary. It is the time of year for experimentation in
the NHL. And that is just fine with Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau, who
hates losing but loves tinkering with different line combinations.
With trade acquisition Troy Brouwer skating for the first time this NHL
preseason in Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets,
Boudreau was set for a firsthand look at a potential top line with center
Nicklas Backstrom and left wing Alex Ovechkin.
Brouwer, who had shoulder surgery over the summer, notched a power-
play assist in the first period to help Washington overpower an outmatched
Columbus squad 3-1 at Verizon Center. It was the Caps' first victory in four
preseason attempts.
"The young guys played really well for us," defenseman Dennis Wideman
said. "I think we didn't give them a whole lot, and when we did have a little
breakdown in our own zone, [goalie Michal Neuvirth] played really good for
us. It was closer to how we want to play, but we still have two or three steps
to go yet.
Brouwer's appearance at first-line right wing wasn't Boudreau's only move.
He also shifted Alexander Semin back to his natural left-wing position --
something rarely seen since Boudreau was named interim coach early in
the 2007-08 season. Veteran Mike Knuble, the right wing on that top line
the last two seasons, was instead at that position on the second line with
second-year center Marcus Johansson.
But the story of the game was the third line of rookie center Cody Eakin and
a pair of undersized forwards who have been with the organization for
several years yet never cracked the lineup consistently. Chris Bourque
seemed a long shot before training camp, but he had three assists,
including a pretty pass from behind that net that Eakin buried in the first
period.
Mathieu Perreault also played on that third line and contributed, too, with a
power-play goal in the second period. Perreault has 56 NHL games under
his belt over the past two seasons and is comfortable in Boudreau's system.
He added the secondary assist on Eakin's goal, winning a puck battle in the
corner before Bourque took over.
Bourque himself made the final roster in 2009 but had to go on waivers
soon after because of salary-cap issues. He was picked up by the
Pittsburgh Penguins before returning to the Caps later that season. That
odyssey was frustrating enough that Bourque spent last season in Russia
and Switzerland rather than returning to Hershey of the American Hockey
League. Now he's trying to make the most of a second chance in
Washington and battling his linemates for an NHL job.
"You can't control what line you're going to play with, how much you're
going to play or who you're playing against," Bourque said. "The only thing
you can control is how you play and giving it your best effort every shift out
there. I think that's what all three of us did tonight."
Washington Examiner LOADED: 09.27.2011
580024     Winnipeg Jets


REPLAY: Jets down Senators 3-1 in Newfoundland


By: Gary Lawless


ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. - Rookie Mark Scheifele got back to his scoring ways
and Portage native Troy Bodie scored his first of the pre-season as the
Winnipeg Jets downed the Ottawa Senators 3-1 at Mile One Centre.
Also scoring for Winnipeg was Ben Maxwell while Mika Zibanejad got the
lone Ottawa goal.
Jetes goalie Ondrej Pavelec was solid, turning away 27 of 28 shots.
Scheifele, who leads the Jets in pre-season scoring with three goals and
three assist,s scored on the power play, swatting a puck out of the air past
Alex Auld.
Bodie, who played in 50 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season,
jammed in the loose puck from the slot. The big winger then ended the
second period in a tussle with Chris Neil.
"I thought we were good early and our speed was evident and we were on
them hard. I thought we did a lot of good things we talked about detail wise
so I keep seeing our team listening and paying attention and I’m starting to
see some things that are good to me and it’s encouraging," said coach
Claude Noel. "It looks like our players want success."
Pavelec was pleased with the way his team played in front of him.
"We looked really good. We played with speed and the guys worked hard in
our end," said the goalie. "It's good to get a win and play like we can. It was
fun out there."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
580025     Winnipeg Jets


Clock ticking as players fight to make Jets


By: Gary Lawless


ST. JOHN 'S, Nfld. - Claude Noel is ready to see his team start to take
shape and the clock is ticking on players hoping to find work with the Jets.
The Jets will take on the Ottawa Senators on Monday here at Mile One
Centre and Noel will use the game to narrow down his focus in terms of his
regular season roster.
"We still have 50 some guys in camp and two groups with the other playing
last night in Carolina", said Noel, minutes after his team took its morning
skate. "Two groups and two teams. You'd like to win them all but what' s
more important right now is the assessment and were some pretty good
assessment on a lot of guys right now. "
Noel says team management will make major cuts as early as Tuesday.
"In our mind we re getting down in numbers but we' re not down in numbers
physically", he said. "We' re trying to determine who the bubble players are
going to be. Who are the guys that are gonna compete for jobs in our last
two pre-season games. We 'll see who can play with travel and who can
play on the road and some of the things we re looking for. Can checkers
play with skill guys. Because I don 't know these players as well as I 'd like
to and I' ve done all the studying I can do. We 'll pare down to somewhere
around 30 players shortly after we get home. "
Noel says he' ll open the season with 25 players on his roster.
"We' ll get down to the guys that are competing for jobs and then let 's go",
he said. "I 'll have 23 players on the opening roster with two other guys
injured", said Noel.
Rookies Paul Postma and Mark Scheifele need to provide results if they
want to get a longer look.
"They were the poster kids after the first game and everybody had them
pegged for the big club and then you saw a different game", said Noel.
"That puts the wild card in this game and let' s see what we' ve got. It 's a
man 's league and this isn 't even close to what it 's going to be. "
Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal for the Jets while Alex Auld gets the start
for the Senators.
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
580026     Winnipeg Jets


It's not whether Jets win or lose...


By: Tim Campbell


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you're caught up in the winning and losing in the
NHL's pre-season, you're missing the point.
Like it or not, evaluation has been the top priority while the Winnipeg Jets
have been taking a licking away from home this week.
The Jets were no match for the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon,
losers of a 4-0 decision for their third straight defeat away from the MTS
Centre.
Winnipeg has been outscored 13-4 in those outings, but no point in fretting,
all is not lost, said forward Tanner Glass.
"It's experience for a lot of these younger guys going into their first camps,"
Glass said after he and his teammates simply were no match for many of
the Hurricanes' top players at Time Warner Cable Arena, home of
Carolina's AHL farm team. "I remember when I was in my first camp in
Florida, it was fun to play against the big-name guys. As a young
organization, an organization with a lot of good prospects, I think it's good
for those guys to play against some of the top players in the game."
Carolina sent No. 1 goalie Cam Ward in for 60 minutes and he turned away
all 26 Wininpeg shots for the shutout.
Glass said the score wasn't all that mattered Sunday.
"It's right now about fine-tuning your game, getting your timing down and
your battle level up," he said. "It's a faster game out there than junior or
college, wherever you came from."
Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy, who was handling the bench with
fellow assistant Pascal Vincent while head coach Claude Noel was on his
way to Newfoundland for today's game, said there will come a time very
soon where the veteran players on his team will make more impact.
"I think we'll make that point," Huddy said. "And I think the veterans -- I've
been in that situation before -- you put enough out just to get by without
getting hurt and embarrassing yourself. They're just waiting.
"We've been practising a lot, and we really haven't had a day off, too. I think
some of the guys are a little tired. I know it's training camp, but I'm sure the
veterans will take it upon themselves the next couple of games. When we're
down to two games left, they know when they've got to get ready and I'm
sure Claude will get the point across.
"You just can't expect to turn it on when the first game rolls around and be
at full speed and full tempo."
Still, Huddy said the evaluation process must be completed.
"At the end of the day you get a good evaluation on guys," Huddy said.
"You always go in thinking you want to win the game, but they had a lot of
good, solid players in the lineup.
"Give them credit, they played a real solid game. They looked like they've
been at it for a while. They were all in the right spots and they had the
offence going and they were skating well."
The Canes led 2-0 and 4-0 through the first two periods with enough
scoring chances to make it double that.
"We just couldn't handle their speed in certain situations and we had
trouble, obviouisly, getting the puck out of our end," Huddy said. "Their
defence were pinching down a lot and our forwards had trouble making
some plays on the boards under pressure.
"That was a quick-paced game out there and we had a lot of young
forwards in the lineup."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
580027     Winnipeg Jets


Bodie scores big goal, goes bare-knuckles with Neill


By: Gary Lawless


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Portage native Troy Bodie needed a pick-me-up on
Monday night and he got it with a goal and a fistic triumph as he makes a
bid to stick with the Jets.
Bodie took a double minor for roughing on Saturday night in Nashville and
the Predators scored two quick goals en route to a win. Bodie's job is to
protect his teammates but not put them down a man due to penalties. It's a
fine line.
"Every game is big and they're only going to get bigger from here on out,"
said the 6-foot-4, 219-pound veteran of 107 NHL games. "I had a fight and
a goal and a good showing. Mixing it up is what I do. I have to play gritty
and get in there and take the body when it's there. I have to drop the mitts
when I need to and play solid defensively."
Bodie fought Ottawa agitator Chris Neil late in the second period.
"He just kind of blindsided me and knocked me down. I said, 'If you want to
fight, let's fight.' The ref said, 'We'll get you up if you want to fight and let
you go.' I said, 'Let's go then.' And then we fought," said Bodie.
Postma pushing
Defenceman Paul Postma is getting a very close look from management
and Monday night he was excellent.
"Teams are playing more guys and Ottawa played a pretty good lineup.
This was a good-paced game and close to what the regular season is going
to be like," said Postma. "I'm gunning to make this roster, but they have six
returning defenceman and it's going to be tough to crack."
Postma played most of the last two seasons with the Chicago Wolves and
has one NHL game under his belt.
"It's nice to see the coaches have confidence in me to get me on the ice in
all situations," he said. "The power play is my bread and butter but you
have to show you can play all facets."
Winters in Winnipeg
Former Moose goalie Alex Auld played the first two periods of Monday's
game for the Senators. Prior to the game Auld spoke fondly of his four
winters in Manitoba.
"You could feel the passion there then," he said. "It was such a learning
experience for me. Probably the most fun I had there was in the lockout
season (in 2004-05). We had a good group of guys and nobody was
worried about being called up.
"I closed one building there (Winnipeg Arena) and opened up a new one
(MTS Centre). The one thing I'll always remember is some nights when we
weren't going so well and they'd start to 'Go Jets Go.' That could be
frustrating."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
580028     Winnipeg Jets


Scheifele shines again


By: Gary Lawless


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The Winnipeg Jets are a long way from deciding
whether Mark Scheifele will make their opening-day roster.
But the club's first-round draft pick continues to tip the scales in that favour.
Scheifele scored his third goal of the pre-season to lead the Jets to a 3-1
win over the Ottawa Senators before a sold-out crowd of 6,275 at Mile One
Centre on Monday night. He leads the club in pre-season scoring with three
goals and three assists.
Scheifele was among Winnipeg's best players up front and young Paul
Postma stood out on the blue-line Monday as both continue to push
towards making the big club. "They were really good, yeah. I thought they
played well. Scheifele, I thought, played really intelligent," said Winnipeg
head coach Claude Noel, after watching his team win its second game of
the pre-season against three losses. "That's what you need to find out. I
think fatigue was a factor in the Nashville game. (Scheifele) looked tired.
But you need to see those things. Here he was smart. Good stick. And
Postma looked good too."
The Jets have 53 players in camp at this point and will likely be trimming
down to 30 or less sometime today. Noel wouldn't confirm that the two
prospects would avoid the axe, but hinted at it.
"I'd have to talk to management on that. But I did like them both though.
We'll talk on the plane and see where that goes," said Noel. "But, it looks
good there. We've got to get down to around 30 so it's coming. It's time to
get down to one group and get to work. I have to talk to Zinger and Chevy."
The Jets iced a veteran group and controlled the entire game, outshooting
the Senators 36-28 and only giving them much of an offensive window for a
stretch in the third period.
Winnipeg went ahead on Scheifele's second-period opening goal and then
took a 2-0 edge when Portage la Prairie's Troy Bodie scored later in the
middle frame.
Ottawa narrowed the lead to one goal when rookie Mika Zibanejad beat
starter Ondrej Pavelec in the third period. Jets winger Ben Maxwell made it
3-1 and then Pavelec shut down the Sens.
"I thought we were good early, our speed was evident and we were on them
hard. I thought we did a lot of good things we talked about detail-wise. I
keep seeing our team listening and paying attention and I'm starting to see
some things that are good. It's encouraging," said Noel. "It looks like our
players want success."
Noel challenged both Scheifele and Postma to raise their play earlier on
Monday and they responded.
"Making this team is my ultimate goal and I'm going to keep working hard to
do that," said Scheifele, who would need to sign a contract with the Jets if
they should want him to start the season in the NHL rather than return to
junior with the OHL's Barrie Colts.
"My goal coming in was to prove myself and show I was the right pick. I
think I was better in this game and played well with my teammates. I got to
the right spots."
Ottawa's lineup was a mix of veterans and youth and the Jets will likely see
a tougher group against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.
"I think I can adjust," said Scheifele. "I need to keep working hard and
adapting. The first few shifts I need to adapt to the speed. My body is
holding up. I worked hard this summer to be able to withstand the grind."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
580029      Winnipeg Jets


No fixed address no fun for Festerling


By: Ed Tait


If Brett Festerling had a closet in a place he could truly call home, it would
be filled with a collection of hockey sweaters that would rival any.
He's got two from his junior days in the Western Hockey League with the
Tri-City Americans and Vancouver Giants.
There are seven American Hockey League crests: Portland Pirates, Iowa
Chops, San Antonio Rampage, Toronto Marlies, Syracuse Crunch,
Hamilton Bulldogs and Chicago Wolves.
And he's got one from the Anaheim Ducks that he's worn 83 times over
parts of three seasons in the NHL.
But what the 25-year-old defenceman from Prince George covets more
than anything right now is a Jets' jersey he can wear regularly right here in
River City.
That and the chance to set up permanent shop.
It sure as heck beats having all his worldly possessions stuffed into a
hockey bag.
"It actually is a hockey bag," said Festerling after a Monday practice at the
MTS Iceplex. "It's an old leather hockey bag that you just learn to live out of
and pack up and get on the road in a hurry if need to be.
"I want an address, that's exactly what I want. It's funny, you go anywhere --
even to the hotel here -- and they ask you, 'What's your permanent
address?' I don't know. VISA called me the other day because somebody
was using my VISA in Vancouver and they said, 'OK, what address do you
have?' I'm like, 'I don't know. I've had nine addresses in the last four years. I
have no idea.'
"It's what I signed up for. It is mentally exhausting, but at the same time I'm
fortunate to do what I do. It's one of the cons, but the pros outweigh it big-
time."
Festerling, undrafted, was first signed by Anaheim then traded to Montreal,
and then to Atlanta in February for goaltender Drew MacIntyre. What he
has done effectively in his first camp with the Jets, including two pre-season
games, is exactly what the coaches preached to all the troops on the eve of
practices: play your game and do your thing.
"I've played solid, I've played well... that's what I've got to do," said
Festerling. "I'm not going to be too flashy, you're not going to notice me too
much. I'll play physical and solid and I think I've done that. I can't say I'd
change anything or do anything different."
The question is: where does that leave him among a defensive corps that
includes Dustin Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian, Mark Stuart, Toby Enstrom, Ron
Hainsey, Johnny Oduya, Randy Jones, Derek Meech and prospects like
Paul Postma and Zach Redmond?
Festerling can't go there. What he will do is continue to work and finish the
night with a mistake-free effort.
"It's really cliché, but I can only control what I can control... And I think I've
done that so far. I've done what I'm supposed to do."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
580030        Winnipeg Jets                                                     Power plays (goals-chances) -- Winnipeg: 1-1; Ottawa: 1-1.
                                                                                Referees -- Stephane Auger, David Banfield. Linesmen -- David Brisebois,
                                                                                Lonnie Cameron.
HIGHLIGHT REEL Jets 3 / Senators 1
                                                                                Attendance -- 6,275 (6,250).
                                                                                Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
By: Gary Lawless


At Mile One Centre, St. John's, N.L.
Big picture
Youngsters Paul Postma and Mark Scheifele needed to raise their games
to continue pushing for work and they did. Postma was Winnipeg's best
blue-liner and Scheifele added another goal and leads the Jets in scoring
through the pre-season.
Little picture
Goalie Ondrej Pavelec gave us a look into the future as he held off the
Sens in the third. Despite looking great in the first two periods, the Jets
seemed to tail off in the third and leave Pavelec on his own.
Game-breaker
Portage native Troy Bodie scored the winner as he went to the net and
jammed the puck past Ottawa's Alex Auld.
Neil still nasty
Ottawa's Chris Neil is still a nasty bit of business and backs up his edgy
play when asked. Neil fought Bodie at the end of the second period and
then took a bit of a run at Jets captain Andrew Ladd near the end of the
game. The Moose never had an answer for Neil when he was with the
Grand Rapids Griffins and the same might be said for the Jets.
Feel the love
Senators coach and former Jets forward Paul MacLean was all smiles
about the return of the NHL to Winnipeg and the AHL to St. John's.
"No one was more excited that the Jets were coming back and then calling
them the Jets again," said MacLean, who scored 35 or more goals four
times with the Jets. "I had a lot of great times in Winnipeg playing there in
the 1980s. It was a lot of fun. Winnipeg deserves a team and I know the
fans will be there to back them."
Free Press 'Ö'Ö'Ö
11122233
SUMMARY
FIRST PERIOD
No Scoring.
Penalties -- Hoffman Ott (slashing) 1:13, Carkner Ott (roughing) 19:20.
SECOND PERIOD
1. Winnipeg, Scheifele 3 (Stapleton, Meech) 1:19 (pp)
2. Winnipeg, Bodie 1 (Cormier, Little) 16:24
Penalties -- Maxwell Wpg (boarding) 9:51, Ladd Wpg (roughing), Neil Ott
(cross-checking, roughing) 13:47, Bodie Wpg, Neil Ott (fighting) 20:00.
THIRD PERIOD
3. Ottawa, Zibanejad 2 (Alfredsson, Karlsson) 5:45 (pp)
4. Winnipeg, Maxwell 1 (Oduya, Hainsey) 13:37
Penalties -- Meech Wpg (holding) 4:20, Cormier Wpg (instigating, fighting),
Gryba Ott (fighting) 10:08, Ladd Wpg, Smith Ott (fighting) 20:00.
Shots on goal by
Winnipeg 16 12 5 -- 33
Ottawa 6 5 14 -- 25
Goal (shots-saves) -- Winnipeg: Pavelec (W,2-0-0); Ottawa: Auld (L,1-1-
0)(28-26), McKenna (start third; 5-4).
580031     Winnipeg Jets                                                         Small consolation, perhaps, when every minute in the net, every save, is
                                                                                 essentially part of an audition.
                                                                                 "Yes, it is actually," Aebischer said. "I don't really go on the ice thinking
Lure of NHL irresistible / Well-travelled Aebischer wants one last shot at       about that, but it is that. I go out there and try to be good every day and
glory between pipes                                                              work hard every day. Right now my mindset is day to day."
                                                                                 Winnipeg Free Press LOADED: 09.27.2011
By: Ed Tait


David Aebischer pulled on a Winnipeg Jets practice jersey Monday
morning, punched the clock and went to work stopping pucks.
It's the only life Aebischer has known going on 14 years as a professional
goalie, a career that has taken him from Switzerland, to Stanley Cup glory
to hockey's unemployment line. Where his next stop might be -- Winnipeg,
St. John's, Lugano -- is a subplot to Jets' training camp that could be
answered today as the club slices down its roster, or later on this week after
the final two pre-season contests.
"I don't know anything right now," said Aebischer Monday after a workout at
the MTS Iceplex, when asked if he might see some playing time later this
week.
"I just try to give everything I have right now and see what's going to
happen."
Essentially, Aebischer -- a man who led Switzerland to a surprise bronze
medal at the 1998 World Junior Hockey Championship, twice wore his
country's colours in the Olympics and five times at world championships,
backed up Patrick Roy when the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup
in 2000-01 and started 62 games as the Avs' No. 1 netminder two years
later -- is trying to re-establish himself on the NHL radar screen.
His resumé glows. But working against him is his age -- 33 -- and the fact
he has played exactly one NHL game over the past five winters. He does
have a safety net in place as he does have a contract with his Swiss club,
HC Lugano, but...
"I don't really want to think about that," he said. "I could have stayed in
Europe and played there, but for me it was important to try again to play in
the best league in the world and that's why I'm here."
Aebischer could have stayed in Europe and finished up his career in the
Swiss League.
He's got the creds to make that last until he makes the choice to hang 'em
up.
But a fire still burns in his gut, he says, and the way his last NHL attempt
ended -- he was beaten out of work with Phoenix by Alex Auld and Mikael
Tellqvist and waived -- is fuelling his desire to give it one last go.
"The way it ended with my stint in Phoenix... that was a little bit
disappointing," Aebischer said. "I went to Switzerland out of necessity
because (the NHL) didn't really call on me. Of course, my goal was to play
one year there and come back over but it didn't happen that way.
"It's good to have goals in life. So now for me there is a big challenge ahead
of me and I'll try it again."
Aebischer, who compiled a 106-74-17 record with 2.52 goals against
average and .912 save percentage with Colorado, Montreal and Phoenix,
does give the Jets some interesting options and depth at the position.
With Ondrej Pavelec locked in as the top netminder and Chris Mason a
solid No. 2, Aebischer could provide a veteran presence in the organization.
Then again, having him on The Rock in St. John's might rob prospects like
Peter Mannino, Edward Pasquale or Chris Carrozzi of valuable minutes.
Then again, while Aebischer desperately wanted to return to the NHL, his
phone wasn't exactly humming this summer.
And so, when the Jets beckoned, he jumped. "I didn't have the luxury to
have 10 teams to choose from... I'm really happy to get a chance here," he
said.
This opportunity, as coveted as it is, does have an expiry date. Aebischer
was in net Sunday when the Jets fell 4-0 to the Carolina Hurricanes, but
was proud of how he battled after surrendering two early goals.
580032     Winnipeg Jets                                                          Winnipeg Sun LOADED: 09.27.2011


Jets Snapshots: Scheifele stepping up


By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency


Of all the qualities that Mark Scheifele has been showcasing this month as
we get to know the Winnipeg Jets 2011 first-round draft choice — and there
have been plenty to choose from — his ability to rise to the occasion has
been the most impressive of them all.
We’re still not ready to hand the seventh overall selection a spot on the
opening-night roster, but he’s sure doing his part to make a strong case for
inclusion.
Two days after a so-so showing against the Nashville Predators, Scheifele
answered the bell once again.
Scheifele had another nice goal but, more importantly, was one of the most
noticeable players on the ice Monday afternoon as the Winnipeg Jets
defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1 in St. John’s.
Right from the drop of the puck, Scheifele seemed determined to show that
Saturday’s mediocre showing was the exception and not the rule.
The 18-year-old centre was around the puck for most of the contest,
creating shots for himself and others and showed his nose for the net once
again.
On the first goal, Jets forward Tim Stapleton got a good shot away, goalie
Alex Auld couldn’t squeeze the puck and Scheifele was quick to bat it out of
the air and into the net.
Scheifele now has three goals and six points in three games and, heading
into games Monday night, he was the leading NHL scorer in the pre-
season. He was the first star in two of the three games.
With two more pre-season games to come, Scheifele has earned the right
to at least earn a longer look. Starting the season in The Show is also a
legitimate possibility.
When it comes to guys responding to the challenge, Troy Bodie fits the bill.
If you’ve forgotten, when we last saw Bodie on Saturday night, he was on
the unlucky side of a double minor for roughing after Predators forward
Zack Stortini opted against dropping the gloves after taking a run at Jets
defenceman Tobias Enstrom.
Fighting is part of Bodie’s job, as is coming to the defence of his
teammates.
Although he did the right thing on Saturday by trying to engage Stortini, the
result was the Predators scored twice on the power play, including the tying
and eventual game-winning goals.
When the game was over, Bodie stood at his locker and talked about what
happened on the play and shared some insight into what his thought
process was.
That in itself isn’t easy to do, but Bodie showed class in not losing his cool
with his questioners.
His teammates were also quick to jump to Bodie’s defence and, on
Monday, the big right-winger showed he can do more than fight, scoring a
nifty goal in which he created a lane for himself and buried a crisp pass.
Talk about good karma.
The more we see defenceman Tobias Enstrom, the more we like what he
brings to the table.
Enstrom is a smooth skater who is going to be fun to watch this season.
We realize he had 51 points last season, but Enstrom has mostly flown
under the radar during his NHL career and we have a feeling he’s about to
get the credit he deserves playing on a bigger stage in a Canadian market.
Scheifele has been the best of the 2011 draftees so far, but Ottawa’s Mika
Zibanejad is also off to a nice start. He scored a pretty goal against the Jets
Monday, reaching behind Ondrej Pavelec to tuck in a rebound.
580033     Websites                                                              “I was a little bit concerned about what I saw last year. I mean it wasn’t all
                                                                                 wine and roses; it was some crags of roses exposed that had some
                                                                                 pricklers on it too,” he said.
ESPN / Pageantry of the Winter Classic                                           To be sure, there were some raw moments captured by HBO during last
                                                                                 season’s four-part series. The Washington Capitals were in the midst of an
                                                                                 eight-game winless streak when the series began, and there were some
By Scott Burnside                                                                emotional, colorful exchanges involving head coach Bruce Boudreau and
                                                                                 some of the Caps.
                                                                                 But those moments made for dramatic television.
PHILADELPHIA -- For the longest time, the NHL’s often-complicated code
included this basic tenet: What happens in the locker room stays in the          It was raw and real.
locker room.
                                                                                 At one point during the filming, there were some in the Caps room who
Now, the truth of life in the NHL, at least as it applies to being included in   wanted the cameras gone. But the deal had been struck, and in the end,
the Winter Classic, is this: What happens in the locker room goes on             the series captured the start of what would be a Capitals turnaround that
television.                                                                      ultimately saw them win their division and finish at the top of the Eastern
                                                                                 Conference standings.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Monday that the fifth annual
Winter Classic game would be played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia        Ultimately, Sather said he thinks the experience will be good for his young
on the afternoon of Jan. 2 -- the commissioner acknowledged it was the           Rangers squad.
worst-kept secret in sport -- and also confirmed what had long been
assumed: that HBO cameras would be rolling in the weeks leading up to the        “I’d like the fans to get to know that these people are real. A lot of the
event after last season’s inaugural series "24/7 Road To The Winter              players other than their pictures in the program aren’t seen without their
Classic" proved to be such a wild success.                                       helmets off. And they’re all good people; they’re good guys and I think
                                                                                 those things will prove itself out,” he said.
Gary Bettman
                                                                                 We give Sather kudos for getting in the spirit himself Monday, apologizing
Gary Bettman is well aware how important the HBO series leading up to the        to fans in Philadelphia for having “kicked the hell out of you” twice in the
Winter Classic was last year.                                                    Stanley Cup finals when he was in Edmonton. Flyers chairman Ed Snider
                                                                                 jumped up and noted that it wasn’t the Rangers who’d done that.
Because it had never been done before in hockey circles, certainly not with
this kind of access, no one knew what the final product would look like. Big     “I remember kicking the hell out of the Rangers on the way to our Cups,”
picture, no one knew how that product, however it turned out, would play         Snider reminded Sather.
outside the hockey world itself.
                                                                                 One thing is clear moving forward: If you want to be a part of the Winter
Suffice it to say, the series that chronicled the lead-up to last season’s       Classic machine -- and make no mistake this event is now a giant revenue-
Winter Classic at Heinz Field between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the            generating machine producing record television ratings and sold-out
Washington Capitals made for wildly compelling television, regardless of         sponsorships -- then you’ve got to play the HBO game.
whether you knew the difference between a Bylsma and a Boudreau.
                                                                                 Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette watched last season's series with
The series won a Sports Emmy Award for outstanding edited sports special         his boys.
and was nominated in two other categories, while the NHL grabbed
monster exposure and became a talking point in circles that wouldn’t             Did he have to clap his hands over their ears for some of the raw stuff?
necessarily be talking the game.                                                 “You know my boys have been on the inside of our locker room, so there
The executive producer of HBO Sports, Rick Bernstein, acknowledged               was no hand-clapping over the ears necessary,” Laviolette said.
Sunday no one knew what to expect, but when they saw the result, they            He understands the challenges that will come with having cameras
wanted more.                                                                     everywhere for a month or so.
”As someone who grew up in Alabama, who didn’t grow up with hockey, I            “I don’t like being miked and I don’t like being taped,” Laviolette admitted.
had no idea what to expect, and speaking for myself and others who are
hockey fans, this well exceeded our expectations,” he told a small group of      But, “if the deal is that, in order to get a Winter Classic and to be so well
reporters Monday.                                                                represented like they were by HBO, the two teams and the National Hockey
                                                                                 League, I’m all for it, every day of the week,” Laviolette said.
“Just had no idea it was going to be this popular, this entertaining, this
compelling. To see a side of the sport that I guess no one’s ever seen           “I thought it was a special series, so we’re looking forward to that and
before, except for those who played the game,” Bernstein said.                   whether I like to be miked or not is irrelevant,” the coach said.
And hasn’t that always been the knock on the game -- the explanation             ESPN LOADED: 09.27.2011
thrown up for why it doesn’t always sell well in parts of the United States?
Not accessible. Sometimes that meant the game was too fast for the
uninitiated. Sometimes it meant the players with their helmets weren’t as
readily identifiable as other athletes.
After the lockout, one of the consistent promises made by the league and
the players was that they were going to open more doors, promote the
game’s stars, let people get a glimpse of the personalities underneath the
helmets.
Whether that goal has been widely achieved is an argument for another day
-- certainly problems with access during the playoffs and at events like the
All-Star Game remain sources of complaints from some members of the
media -- but the HBO series certainly sets the bar for revealing a rarely, if
ever seen, side of the game.
That’s not to say there aren’t reservations moving forward with Round 2.
New York Rangers GM Glen Sather, as traditional a guy as there is given
his long connection to the game as a player, coach and manager, said
Monday he had some “mixed feelings” about the Rangers being involved.
580034     Websites


ESPN / Canadiens sign Chris Campoli


By Pierre LeBrun


The Montreal Canadiens have signed veteran defenseman Chris Campoli
to a one-year contract worth $1.75 million.
Campoli was an unrestricted free agent after the Chicago Blackhawks
walked away from his $2.5 million arbitration award earlier this summer.
He had 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists) in 77 games last season with Ottawa
and Chicago.
"Mr. Campoli was in a difficult situation because by the time Chicago walks
away after arbitration you're almost into August, and then the market is a lot
different," Montreal general manager Pierre Gauthier said. "There are not
too many buyers, and if there are buyers you don't know what kind of
resources they have, so these things evolve but we're happy they evolved
with us today."
The Canadiens are awaiting the return of All-Star defenseman Andrei
Markov from a second knee operation in two years. Markov had a setback
in his rehabilitation and isn't expected to be ready for the beginning of the
regular season.
"He's progressing very well, the knee's in very good health and he keeps
moving along his rehabilitation," Gauthier said. "And so we'll see if he'll be
quite ready or not, but he shouldn't miss too many games."
Campoli, who began his career with the New York Islanders, has 135 points
in 397 NHL games.
Yannick Weber and former Dallas defenseman Jeff Woywitka are already in
the mix along with European rookies Rafael Diaz and Alexei Yemelin for
limited spots on the Montreal blue line, which already had five experienced
defencemen in place.
"All we're doing is adding a solid player to the group," Gauthier said. "As we
know from the past years, particularly last year, to carry seven or eight
defensemen on your NHL team at any time is the right thing to do."
The Canadiens made 10 cuts Monday to reduce their training camp roster
to 45 players. Prospects Olivier Archambault, Nathan Beaulieu and Morgan
Ellis were returned to their junior teams. Forwards Alexander Avtsin,
Andrew Conboy and Dany Masse, defensemen Mark Mitera and Joe
Stejskal and goalies Robert Mayer and Peter Dekmas were assigned to
Hamilton of the AHL.
ESPN LOADED: 09.27.2011
580035     Websites                                                              Jagr shines in an ugly game
                                                                                 The game was flat-out ugly through the first two periods, with the Rangers
                                                                                 tallying 38 PIM and the Flyers ending up with 39. That’s not to say that
NBCSports.com / Sean Avery accuses Wayne Simmonds of making                      there weren’t moments of beauty, though, as Jaromir Jagr made his home
homophobic remarks during preseason game                                         preseason debut a tantalizing one by scoring two goals and one assist in a
                                                                                 5-3 win.

James O'Brien                                                                    Chances are, that nice output will be forgotten long before the Simmonds-
                                                                                 Avery incident, though.
                                                                                 NBCSports.com / LOADED: 09.27.2011
People who follow the New York Rangers-Philadelphia Flyers’ rivalry should
be accustomed to games getting very contentious. That being said,
tonight’s preseason match featured more than just bad blood.
There were two incidents that will leave many shaking their heads, but the
headline-grabber involved Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds is
being accused of making some off-color remarks to Sean Avery less than a
week after he dealt with a disgusting display of racism from at least one fan
in London, Ontario. Simmonds didn’t really deny making the comments,
although he didn’t confirm them either.
Puck Daddy’s Ryan Lambert pointed to a video that indicates that
Simmonds made a homophobic comment to Avery. Various sources report
that Avery confirmed those rumors, while Simmonds vaguely said that
“language was exchanged.” Simmonds said he didn’t recall the specific
words he said, a response that left many rolling their eyes.
Here are some quotes from both sides. (For a full video of Simmonds’
comments, .)
“To be here now having to answer the questions about what he did is
disappointing for me. I’m disappointed for him,” Avery said.
(snip)
“Honestly, we were going back and forth for a while there,” Simmonds said.
“I don’t recall everything that I did say to him but he said to me some things
I didn’t like and maybe I said some things that he didn’t like. I can’t recall
every single word I said.”
The incident gains relevance because it was Simmonds and Avery
It’s naive to assume that these types of comments are uncommon in sports,
as sad as that might be. This case is more noteworthy because of the two
parties involved, though. Some might lose some respect for Simmonds after
tonight, especially after what happened last week. (That seems unfair since
Simmonds didn’t make a big deal about the awful banana-throwing incident,
but that won’t change the way some feel about this situation.)
Avery is also a notable recipient of that comment for two reasons.
1. Avery has been outspoken regarding the topic of gay rights, although it’s
hard to imagine that Simmonds allegedly made those remarks for that
reason.
2. On the flip side of the coin, Avery has been accused of troublesome
comments of his own in the past. Georges Laraque claimed that Avery
called him a “monkey,” although the Rangers pest denied that accusation.
Again, these kinds of comments might be commonplace in trash-talking, but
that doesn’t make the situation acceptable. The bottom line is that both
scenarios are extremely disappointing.
There’s some talk regarding whether or not NHL disciplinarian Brendan
Shanahan should take action. Some fans might insist that the league
shouldn’t intervene in trash-talking situations, but Avery’s six-game
suspension in 2008 is just one example of the NHL sidelining a player for a
remark or gesture rather than an ugly hit. It’s tough to speculate about what
might happen here – if anything at all – but there is some precedent to
players being suspended for words or gestures rather than actions.
A more straightforward issue
Speaking of handing out suspensions, the Rangers-Flyers game might
provide Shanahan with something a little less nebulous to deal with. As you
can see from this video, Tom Sestito caught Andre Deveaux with a check
from behind. In a twist that might seem fitting to some and stomach-
churning to others, Sestito essentially replaced Jody Shelley, a depth player
who received a hefty suspension for a check from behind. Sestito seemed
worried about a possible similar punishment, while Rangers head coach
John Tortorella said that the hit was even worse than the one Shelley
delivered.
580036     Websites                                                                 Or over the next 10 days, when teams begin to get their top players ready
                                                                                    for the season.
                                                                                    In Vancouver, none of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Dan
Sportsnet.ca /Veterans cast aside                                                   Hamhuis, Alex Burrows, Manny Malhotra, Kevin Bieksa or Alex Edler have
                                                                                    dressed for a pre-season game yet.

Mark Spector                                                                        “We played 107 games last season,” assistant GM Laurence Gilman told
                                                                                    Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun. “Our players aren't old, but they're
                                                                                    middle-aged. We want them to be fresh. Fresh emotionally, fresh physically.

There was a time that NHL teams got better by getting older. Those days             “We looked at a lot of teams that went to the finals and how they started off.
are ancient history.                                                                What came from that [analysis] was we really needed to keep everybody
                                                                                    fresh, both mentally and physically.”
“He can play in the National Hockey League.”
                                                                                    If you can’t find fresh on the open market, then the Canucks will try to keep
The speaker was Darcy Regier, that free-spending, bottomless money pit              those players they have as fresh as possible.
general manager of the Buffalo Sabres. The ‘speakee’ was Ales Kotalik, a
player whom — if you watched the Calgary Flames at all over the past                Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 09.27.2011
couple of seasons — you could not believe Flames GM Jay Feaster had
found a way to unload on another NHL team.
“We expect him to come into camp and compete for a position. We won’t
buy him out,” Regier said that day at the NHL draft, having swallowed
Kotalik in the Robyn Regehr trade, kind of the way you take the throwaway
husk with the sweet Taber corn.
And on Monday, long before Regier is to be tasked with his the real, tough
roster decisions, across our Blackberry came this news release from the
Sabres:
“Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that
forward Ales Kotalik and defenseman Shaone Morrisonn have cleared
waivers and been assigned to the Rochester Americans (AHL).”
The salient fact is that Kotalik is set to earn $3 million this season, while
Morrison is due $2.075 million. The Sabres were over the cap on Monday
morning, yet wake up Tuesday with almost a million dollars of wiggle room
after that dual transaction.
So money transpired against Kotalik. But what does that say for Owen
Nolan, who would have worked for peanuts in Vancouver, having compiled
career earnings of $43,387,276, according to the web site
hockeyzoneplus.com?
“This is the team I want to play for, and I’m going to give it my all to make
it,” Nolan had said in Vancouver, before softening his stance a bit. “If it
doesn’t work out here, my goal is to play in the NHL...
“Now, it’s coming down to the end, closer to retirement age. I feel like I still
have something in the tank, and could help a team.”
He’ll get that chance. The Canucks released him on Monday, after he had
strained a groin, missed a practice, and simply failed to convince
management he could be durable enough to help Vancouver down what
they hope will be the long road ahead.
Mike Modano recently retired after a discernable lack of interest among the
30 NHL GMs, with no zest out for giving a 41-year-old a chance to play
game No, 1,500. Modano call ‘er quits after 1,499 games.
Philadelphia released both Michael Nylander and Adam Mair on Monday,
sending 71 years in combined age out into the hockey wilderness. St. Louis
farmed out Jonathan Cheechoo on Monday as well.
There was a time when a team like the Dallas Stars would get better by
getting older. They would build a nucleus of players like Modano, Sergei
Zubov, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Derian Hatcher, and then simply add
whatever Mike Keanes, Kirk Mullers or Guy Carbonneaus became
available.
Those days, however, are ancient hockey history.
Today, even a former first-round pick with size — like Edmonton
defenceman Alex Plante — can’t play if he can’t keep up. He too was sent
to the farm in Oklahoma City on Monday, as we reach that point in the pre-
season where reality is setting in for young players who were hoped to be
ready soon.
Like Toronto’s Joe Colborne, who had only played one full season of pro
hockey. It was fair to hope that maybe, just maybe, Colborne would surprise
this fall and be ready for third-line duty. But it became increasingly clear that
Colborne wasn’t ready for the grind at this level, and if you can’t find
consistency at this time of year against largely AHL and junior opponents,
you’ll never have it through 82 games in the bigs.
580037     Websites                                                                  my first game will be a big test, too. You take a big bump and you feel good
                                                                                     which is great. It really helps your confidence."
                                                                                     Ever cautious, Lombardi will not commit to playing in the pre-season, even
Sportsnet.ca /A big hit                                                              when all signs are pointing that way. When you've been on the sidelines for
                                                                                     a year, that's how things work.

Mike Brophy                                                                          "If it happens, it happens," Lombardi said, "And I'll be happy. If I don't get a
                                                                                     game it's not a negative. It just means I'm not quite where I need to be to
                                                                                     play in a game. I need to be in the right frame of mind and I need to be
                                                                                     confident that my body needs to be in the right place. We'll see how this
Matthew Lombardi got hit Monday, and he'll be the first to tell you it felt          week goes and we'll have a better idea at the end of the week."
great.
                                                                                     One thing is for certain, a team looking for a little speed and experience up
Getting hit never felt so good!                                                      front - not to mention depth scoring and penalty killing - could sure use a
                                                                                     guy who is determined to make it back.
Matthew Lombardi, the erstwhile centre/left winger for the Toronto Maple
Leafs has been dreaming about getting drilled for a little while now.                Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 09.27.2011
Gradually, over the last seven days, he has increased his physical play in
hopes of soon being cleared to getting into a little pre-season action.
Lombardi suffered a serious concussion two games into last season as a
member of the Nashville Predators and hasn't played since. That was Oct.
13 against the Anaheim Ducks. Since then his career has been on hold.
So little wonder he was happy to be bouncing off teammates - new
teammates - Monday morning at MasterCard Centre.
"I actually started making contact last week during 5-on-5 coverage drills,"
Lombardi said. "Without forcing it you get bumped along the way and that
gives you confidence. It's just a matter of confidence. You get that first (hit)
in and you go from there."
Lombardi went full speed through drills Monday. If you haven't had the
pleasure of watching him skate at full speed, you don't know what you are
missing. This 29-year-old from Montreal is one of the fastest players to
have ever skated in the NHL. So fast, in fact, it has been said his hands had
a hard time keeping up with his feet. A third round pick (90th overall) of the
Calgary Flames in 2002, Lombardi had a great first NHL season with the
Flames in 2003-04 scoring 16 goals and 29 points in 79 games.
Injuries have bashed him along the way and outside of a 20-goal, 46-point
season in '05-06, he never really developed into the frontline forward the
Flames envisioned. That all changed upon a trade to Phoenix where he
played 19 games with the Coyotes in 2008-09 scoring five goals and 16
points. He followed that up with his best NHL season scoring 19 goals and
53 points in '09-10 before signing as a free agent with Nashville.
His time with the Predators was sort of like a sad country song. Two games
- kaboom! - goodbye. When Toronto came knocking about acquiring
defenceman Cory Franson, Lombardi was lumped into the deal.
It's a bit of a crap shoot; call it a calculated risk, taking on a player with two
years and $7 million remaining on his contract, but if Lombardi returns to
form he'll beef up the Leafs second or third line. And, the guy can kill
penalties. Toronto's penalty kill, in case you have been away from the
planet for a few years, has been woeful.
"He's kind of a pain in the butt to play against; especially when we were on
the powerplay and he was on the penalty kill," said defenceman John-
Michael Liles, who faced Lombardi often as a member of the Colorado
Avalanche playing in the Western Conference. "I tend to pride myself on my
skating and it felt like I wasn't even moving when he was out there checking
me. He's a smart player who uses his legs well. He's tough to play against;
not in the sense that he's running you, but he's always in your back pocket
making good reads and good plays.
"One of the strengths in his game is penalty killing. As far as how our
penalty kill unfolds, that's obviously not up to me, but I think he's a guy who
can definitely help a team's penalty kill for sure."
Lombardi is anxious to get into game action, but he's not about to rush
things. The Maple Leafs play in Ottawa Tuesday night and then in Detroit
Friday before hosting the Red Wings Saturday night at the ACC.
"Things keep progressing real well," Lombardi said. "My conditioning is
getting better and I'm getting some contact in. We'll see how I feel a little bit
later on, but things feel pretty good right now. With upping the intensity and
the contact you have to take it day-by-day and see how you feel. Hopefully
I'll continue to improve and progress and we'll see how I feel by the
weekend.
"It's hard to say what percentage I'm at. I could just make up a percentage
and tell you where I'm at, but I think this is a big test for me and obviously
580038     Websites                                                                 "It was good to have the stick in my hand and stickhandle the puck and
                                                                                    shoot on the net and score a few goals," he said.
                                                                                    Around the rinks
USA TODAY / NHL suspends James Wisniewski, Brad Staubitz
                                                                                    The New Jersey Devils will retire defenseman Scott Niedermayer's No. 27
                                                                                    on Dec. 16. Niedermayer, who won three Stanley Cup championships, will
By Mike Brehm, USA TODAY                                                            join defensemen Ken Daneyko (No. 3) and Scott Stevens (No. 4) in having
                                                                                    their numbers retired. … The Buffalo Sabres sent down veterans Ales
                                                                                    Kotalik and Shaone Morrisonn to get under the salary cap. The Sabres
                                                                                    went over the cap after acquiring Christian Ehrhoff, Robyn Regehr and Ville
The NHL came down hard again Monday, suspending James Wisniewski                    Leino in the offseason. Kotalik and Morrisonn have a combined cap hit of
for eight regular-season games and Brad Staubitz for three games.                   $5.075 million. … The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Chris
                                                                                    Campoli to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
The rulings by NHL senior vice president of player safety Brendan
Shanahan stemmed from a Sept. 23 game between the Minnesota Wild                    USA TODAY LOADED: 09.27.2011
and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Wisniewski will forfeit $536,585.36 in pay for his illegal hit to the head of Cal
Clutterbuck after the horn sounded. The Blue Jackets defenseman was
signed to a six-year, $33 million contract in the summer.
STORY: Flyers to host Winter Classic
"Since Clutterbuck never has the puck and time has expired, he should
have no reason to suspect that he would be checked," Shanahan said in a
video explaining his decision.
Shanahan noted that Clutterbuck had thrown a check on a Blue Jackets
player earlier in the same shift and Wisniewski checked Clutterbuck in
response.
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To get the latest sports news from USA TODAY, including game results,
columns and features, follow us on Twitter at @USATODAYSports.
"While this might have led Wisniewski to believe that he potentially had to
defend himself, this is not a justification for intentionally hitting a player in
the head," Shananan said. "If Wisniewski feels threatened, he must choose
a different way to defend himself. In my review of the video, Clutterbuck
shows no intent to hit Wisniewski at this moment."
The defenseman can return Oct. 25.
Wisniewski had been suspended last season for an obscene gesture,
making him a repeat offender. He also got eight games for a boarding
offense in 2009-10.
"The decision has been rendered and we will comply with the ruling made
by the league," Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said.
Staubitz, a Minnesota forward, was ejected in the third period for his hit on
Cody Bass.
"Staubitz drives hard through Bass' numbers and causes facial injury,"
Shanahan said in a video. "This factor weighed most heavily in my
decision."
Staubitz will forfeit more than $9,300 in pay and can return Oct. 13.
Shanahan, new to the job this season, has suspended five players so far
during the preseason. Last season, there were only two preseason
suspensions.
"Player safety has to be our No. 1 concern," St. Louis Blues general
manager Doug Armstrong said in a news conference to announce the
return of David Perron from a concussion. "These are the guys that our fans
want to see. We're going through a learning curve with Brendan right now,
but it's something that we're going to fully support because we don't want
any other players to go through what David is going through right now."
Perron returns to Blues
Though Perron returned to the Blues Monday, there's no timetable for how
soon he'll be in a game.
He will have a baseline test this week and slowly work his way into the
lineup. He has been out since Nov. 4.
"This type of injury, basically David is going to tell us where he's at and tell
us when he's ready to progress to the next level," Armstrong said.
Perron said he has talked to teammate Andy McDonald, who missed time
last season with concussion. Perron has been skating on his own for three
to four weeks with a few friends.
580039      Websites                                                             The Lightning also lost Simon Gagne, who had five goals and 12 points in
                                                                                 15 playoff games, then left as a free agent for the Los Angeles Kings. But I
                                                                                 failed to bring that up. Beside the point.
YAHOO SPORTS / Lightning star Steven Stamkos: No pain, no gain                   “OK,” St. Louis said. “So we lost one guy. I think you lose one guy, you can
                                                                                 collectively fill that, and I always feel in the playoffs there’s always a new
                                                                                 guy coming in. So this year it will be somebody else. … No disrespect to
By Nicholas J. Cotsonika,                                                        Bergie – Bergie was a great player for us – but we’re going to find a way.”
                                                                                 There are reasons to be skeptical of the Lightning. Virtually everything
                                                                                 Yzerman did as a rookie general manager worked out well, and even for the
The pain remains, and maybe that’s a good thing for Steven Stamkos. It’s a       best GMs it doesn’t always work out that way. The Bolts, who hadn’t made
reminder of where he’s been, of what it takes to get where he wants to go.       the playoffs three years in a row, won’t surprise anyone anymore in general,
Call it a growing pain for a kid who quickly became a superstar scorer, who      and opponents will be better prepared for coach Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1
is entering his fourth NHL season already at age 21 and feels ready to be a      system specifically. Goaltender Dwayne Roloson turns 42 on Oct. 12. St.
leader for the Tampa Bay Lightning.                                              Louis has already turned 36. The Eastern Conference could be tighter, with
                                                                                 several competitors making off-season upgrades.
Four months ago, the Bolts were playing in Game 7 of the Eastern
Conference final. Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk wound up               Even St. Louis acknowledges that. “It’s hard to get success,” he said. “It’s
and fired from the right point. The puck deflected off a stick, screamed past    harder to stay at that success level, and we know that. It’s going to be very
a leaping player and struck Stamkos smack dab on the nose.                       challenging for us this year.”
“It wasn’t fun,” Stamkos said. “I think that’s the kind of thing you fear as a   But Yzerman and Boucher aren’t the types to ease off after a little success,
hockey player, taking a slapshot to the face. But I guess I know what it feels   a common cause of sophomore slumps. Defenseman Eric Brewer, acquired
like now.”                                                                       before the trade deadline last season, will be in the lineup from the start.
                                                                                 Roloson has a new backup, former Edmonton Oilers teammate Mathieu
He laughed. He can laugh now. But at the time he immediately dropped his
                                                                                 Garon, who can pick up some of the workload. St. Louis still looks capable
stick and brought his hands up to his face. He fell onto his stomach and
                                                                                 of putting up big numbers in spite of the gray in his hair, and the rest of the
skidded to a stop as his right glove went flying. He got up before anyone
                                                                                 core is still intact – Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Victor Hedman.
could get to him, threw off his left glove and skated away holding his nose.
But that almost seemed worse because he obviously knew it was bad,               Asked if he thought his NHL roster was better than a year ago, Yzerman
flipping off his helmet and charging down the tunnel.                            paused for a moment. He generally dislikes labeling anything like that. But
                                                                                 he said changes happen every year for one reason or another, and then the
He missed less than six minutes. He returned to the bench with a thick red
                                                                                 first thing he mentioned was that “Stamkos is a year older.” That could be a
streak running down the right side of his swollen nose and a full metal cage
                                                                                 significant difference.
over his face instead of a plastic visor. No way was his going to miss any
more time than absolutely necessary.                                             “We like to think we’re going to be a better team this year,” Yzerman said.
                                                                                 “Whether we get to where we were last year or beyond that, I can’t say that
How could he? His general manager, Steve Yzerman, was legendary partly
                                                                                 now. But we like to think we’ll be a better team to start this season.”
because of how he had grinded on a bum knee as the Detroit Red Wings
won the Stanley Cup in 2002. His linemate Martin St. Louis had taken a           *Stamkos hardly could start better than he did last season. He scored 21
stick to the mouth in the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and       goals in his first 22 games, and the NHL was buzzing about his chances to
after having a double root canal and three damaged teeth cemented into his       score 50 in 50. The Hockey News put him on the cover with the headline:
mouth, he had told reporters: “It’s just teeth. It’s no big deal.”               “The NHL’s NEW BEST PLAYER.”
This was just a nose, and this was the biggest game of his life. He didn’t       “Without a doubt,” the magazine wrote, “Stamkos is the best offensive
want to let anyone down. He didn’t know when – or if – he would make it          player in the NHL right now.”
that far again.
                                                                                 Well, the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby got hot right about then, reclaiming the
“I was lucky,” Stamkos said. “In the playoffs, the doctors come on the road      best-player title before suffering a season-ending concussion, and Stamkos
with the team, so they were there and kind of snapped it back into place,        finished the season cold. He scored only four goals in his final 22 regular-
and off I went.”                                                                 season games.
He laughed. He can laugh now. But that night his nose wasn’t the only thing      The silver lining was that he learned – or at least had it reinforced – that
broken. The Lightning lost, 1-0. Stamkos called it “heartbreaking” after the     there is more to hockey than scoring. If you aren’t putting the puck in the
game, and it was gut-wrenching after that.                                       net, you have to win key faceoffs, win battles in the corners, win … well,
                                                                                 win. That’s the bottom line, by any means necessary.
For a week, his right eye was swollen shut. For two weeks, he had two
black eyes. In that same time frame, the Bruins – the team that had been         Stamkos is going to score like a star again. He already has enough of a
only one goal better in Game 7 – went on to upset the Vancouver Canucks.         track record to be confident in that – 23 goals as a rookie in 2008-09; 51 the
                                                                                 next season, tied with Crosby for the league lead; and 45 last season,
“It was emotional,” Stamkos said. “You work so hard to get there, and then
                                                                                 despite that cold snap. He is known for his off-season workouts with former
your season’s done. Just to lose that way … it was tough, and then to see
                                                                                 NHLer Gary Roberts, so it seems unlikely he’ll slack off.
them win the Stanley Cup knowing that could have been you was tough as
well. But it should motivate us for this year.”                                  But there is being a kid, and there is being a man. There is being a star,
                                                                                 and there is being a winner. It is a metamorphosis many great players have
Asked how his nose felt now, he reached up and patted it.
                                                                                 made, and Stamkos might have started to make it in the playoffs – and not
“It’s still a little tender if you touch certain areas,” he said.                because he had six goals and 13 points in 18 games.

He didn’t laugh.                                                                 He said he knew something was different when Penguins defenseman
                                                                                 Brooks Orpik drilled him on his first postseason shift, but it took him about
*Stamkos isn’t the only one still sensitive. I made the mistake of asking St.    halfway through the Bolts’ run “to really know what the game was all about
Louis about losing some key pieces to last season’s playoff run.                 and what you have to do to win at that level.” He showed his teammates he
                                                                                 was hardnosed before he took that puck in the face, before he came back
“Who’s not there?” St. Louis responded.
                                                                                 with that full metal cage, before teammate Ryan Malone called him “a
Sean Bergenheim, of course. He had nine goals and 11 points in 16 playoff        warrior.”
games, then cashed in as a free agent with a four-year, $11-million contract
                                                                                 “That’s the prime example, but he took some big hits in the playoffs early
from the Florida Panthers.
                                                                                 on,” St. Louis said. “I don’t think he felt like he was 100 percent, but he
“OK,” St. Louis said. “So who else?”                                             played through it. … You need that. It’s part of progression. It’s part of
                                                                                 maturing in this league. You have to experience that. Until you experience
                                                                                 that, you know, you’re just a good player in this league. [When] you go
                                                                                 through that and have success through it and go far, you get some badges
[of honor]. You reach a different level, and you’re able to take your game to
another level. You can’t duplicate that experience.”
Stamkos wants to be known for more than his wicked shot. “You don’t want
to be known as just an offensive guy,” he said. He talked about being a two-
way player. He talked about working his way up and earning the veterans’
respect. He talked about being a leader, whether it’s speaking up in the
dressing room or just leading by example on the ice or in the gym. He feels
he’s ready, and fresh from signing a five-year, $37.5-million contract in the
summer, he’s expected to be.
“He knows his place, and he knows that we’re leaning on him to take a
bigger role in that department,” St. Louis said. “But that’s just not given to
you. You earn that, that leadership. You need the respect from your
teammates, which he has, and you have to earn that every year, which he
will again this year. It’s part of maturing, and he’s on the right path.”
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