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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders depending on rookies Nelson, Donovan

NEWARK, N.J. -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano said he was asking for just one thing from rookies Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan on Friday at Prudential Center.

"To play like experienced guys," Capuano said Friday morning in advance of the Islanders' season opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Sounds like a lot, especially for a pair of rookies who between them have a total of four games of NHL experience and just one in nearly 18 months. Donovan played three games late in the 2011-12 season and Nelson made his NHL debut in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I know that those guys are going to make mistakes, and it's a game of mistakes, but I want them to play confident, I want them to play poised," Capuano said. "They're here to help us win hockey games. If we didn't think it was that situation then they wouldn't be here."

Donovan will open the game on the third defense pair with Brian Strait, while Nelson will be the third-line left wing, skating with Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 2:40 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Capitals' rookies ready for opening night

CHICAGO ­-- Washington Capitals rookie Connor Carrick scrounged up 10 tickets for friends and family to see him make his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at United Center.

"I don't think it's going to be enough," the 19-year-old defenseman said.

It probably won't be because Carrick is from nearby Orland Park, Ill., which is approximately a 30- to 35-minute drive from downtown Chicago. He used to attend games at United Center when he was a kid, and now he gets to play his first NHL game in the same building.

Capitals rookie center Michael Latta, 22, is doing the same thing, and 19-year-old right wing Tom Wilson is making his regular-season debut after appearing in three games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring.

Carrick is playing ahead of Steve Oleksy, while Latta is in instead of Jay Beagle. Wilson is playing because the Capitals cleared a roster spot Sunday by trading Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 12:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Hossa, Handzus join Sharp on Blackhawks' No. 2 line

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus will join Patrick Sharp on the Chicago Blackhawks' second line Tuesday night despite not playing a game in the preseason. The Blackhawks open the season against the Washington Capitals at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

"Hopefully we don't slow Sharpie down," Hossa told NHL.com.

Hossa had an undisclosed upper-body injury that prevented him from playing in any of Chicago's six preseason games. The injury is believed to be related to his back injury that he sustained in the Stanley Cup Final last season.


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Posted On Friday, 09.27.2013 / 4:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

No timetable on Vokoun; Penguins stick with Zatkoff

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins won't know how long goaltender Tomas Vokoun will be out until he visits with his doctors early next week, general manager Ray Shero said Friday. Vokoun had emergency surgery last week because of a blood clot in his pelvis.

Vokoun's agent, Allan Walsh, wrote on his Twitter account Friday that the goalie is expected to start light workouts next week.

"I met with Tomas [Thursday] and we'll have more of an update probably next week," Shero told NHL.com. "Fortunately for him he dodged a bullet. Luckily he was at the rink and we got him to the hospital so the procedures went well. We'll just have to wait and see what the next steps are going to be and go from there. Our concerns are just with him and his health, but it was good to see him [Thursday]."


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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers captain Callahan likely to start on IR

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Ryan Callahan's rehab from offseason shoulder surgery is going as planned, but that means the New York Rangers captain likely will have to start the regular season on injured reserve.

Callahan and Rangers forward Carl Hagelin each had shoulder surgery in late May after the Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hagelin also is not expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 3:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers’ Brassard puts past with Arniel behind him

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard and assistant coach Scott Arniel have a rocky and controversial past, but they both insist any animosity that may have been lingering from their time together in Columbus was buried in early July, when Arniel was hired and Brassard called to talk to him.

“It's in the past and I'm looking in front of me," Brassard said. "I talked to Arnie when he got hired. I called him. No hard feelings."

Brassard and Arniel got embroiled in controversy early in the 2011-12 season when Arniel was the coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Brassard was their struggling center. Arniel made Brassard a healthy scratch seven times in 10 games from mid-November to early December both because Brassard was struggling and the Blue Jackets decided to test out their center depth.

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 2:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Biron back with Rangers, but Hedberg sticking around

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Even though Martin Biron reported to training camp Friday after missing the first two days because of personal reasons, the New York Rangers did not release Johan Hedberg from his professional tryout and coach Alain Vigneault said the two goalies are going to compete for the job as Henrik Lundqvist's backup.

"In an Olympic year I need a backup goaltender that can play games for us, whether that number is 15 to maybe 20," Vigneault said. "With the number of four games in six nights that we have to play and the number of three games in four nights, we need a backup goaltender that can play and win us some games. That's part of the equation to get into the playoffs and to be able to have a goaltender come playoff time that has got some energy and jump in his legs. Martin is aware of that. I had that discussion when he first got here. If we brought in Hedberg it was obviously to give him a chance."

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers' McIlrath eyeing big jump to NHL

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Defenseman Dylan McIlrath is well aware of the challenge he'll have to overcome if he is to make the New York Rangers' opening-night roster.

"They've got a lot of veteran [defensemen], a lot of guys with a lot of years, and if I'm going to make this team I'm going to have to beat a good player out," McIlrath said Friday. "That's going to be a lot of hard work, but I just want to make the coaches and the management have a tough decision at the end of the day."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault and general manager Glen Sather would like to see the team's first-round pick (No. 10) in the 2010 NHL Draft make the jump, but with at least six veteran defensemen ahead of him on the depth chart at the start of training camp, McIlrath still seems like a longshot to make the club.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Capitals' Johansson to make best of 'bridge contract'

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Marcus Johansson arrived in the Washington D.C. area Tuesday, roughly 72 hours after signing his two-year, $4 million contract and in time to be at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday for the start of training camp.

Johansson is aware that there are still some restricted free agents who aren't in training camps as they continue contract negotiations, but he never envisioned himself becoming one of them.

"I was always hoping and thinking I would be here when [training camp] started," Johansson said. "That's where everybody is, but if it would have come to that I would have dealt with it. It worked out and I'm really happy it did. It's just a great feeling to be here."


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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 3:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Visa issues delay Grabovski from joining Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski was not able to report to training camp on time because he is in Toronto awaiting his Visa issues to be resolved.

The Capitals are hoping Grabovski will be able to report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for training camp as soon as possible, but there is no timetable as to when he will.

"I'll let you know when we know," Capitals general manager George McPhee said. "I can't seem to put a finger on what's going on up there, but hopefully that's another day or so at the most."

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Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players