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Posted On Thursday, 12.04.2014 / 5:55 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Islanders at Senators

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators will be getting more than Daniel Alfredsson back in uniform Thursday.

Defenseman Marc Methot will make his season debut against the New York Islanders at Canadian Tire Centre. Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch (muscle strain) was placed on injured reserve.

Methot has missed the entire season with a leg injury.

Senators coach Paul MacLean said forward Bobby Ryan, who has missed the past two games with a broken finger, could return to the lineup, but the onus will be on Ryan to give an honest assessment of his ability to be effective.

"If he can't be the player Bobby Ryan is then he shouldn't be out there," MacLean said. "If he says he's ready to play he has to be able to shoot the puck to the back of the net."

Posted On Monday, 12.01.2014 / 6:38 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Power forward Crouse brings rough edge for Canada

MONTREAL – Hockey Canada wants older players at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

They obviously made an exception for center Connor McDavid, but they also made one for forward Lawson Crouse, who plays for the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.

Crouse and McDavid are the only two players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft who were invited Monday to take part in the Canada National Junior Team selection camp, slated to start Dec. 11 in Toronto.

McDavid is a returning player and expected to be a top-two pick in the next draft, so his invitation was a formality. But the inclusion of Crouse on the list stood out, because his name was the only other one besides McDavid’s without an NHL affiliated team next to it.

Hockey Canada director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski said a big reason Crouse is on the list is because he is built like a player considerably older than 17. That’s what set Crouse apart from some of the other draft-eligible players vying for a spot at the camp.

“Mitch Marner, Nick Merkley, Dylan Strome are all great players, they’re all very talented,” Jankowski said. “Lawson Crouse is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. We just think he has the ability to take the wear and tear of a tournament such as this. That’s not to discount the other guys, it’s just that Lawson is big, strong, plays a very straight forward game, he’s exceptional on the penalty kill and he’s got 12 goals now in the Ontario Hockey League, which for a big man at 17 is really good as well.

“Other guys are great players and I hope they don’t feel slighted, they’re going to get their opportunity, but in this case because of his size and his strength, and it being a big man tournament, we felt Lawson was a real credible guy for us.”

Posted On Friday, 09.26.2014 / 2:02 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - NHL Training Camps blog

Preseason debut extra special for Canadiens' Bozon

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Playing your first NHL preseason game is a special milestone for any hockey player. It will be extra special for Tim Bozon.

Bozon will be in the Montreal Canadiens lineup Friday when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City, five months after a bout with a rare form of meningitis put his life at risk.

"With what happened five months ago, I'm really excited," Bozon said. "It's an honor, I'm proud. I'm thinking of all my family right now that helped me to realize my dream to play one game in a Habs jersey. So I'm really excited for tonight's game."

Posted On Friday, 09.19.2014 / 3:43 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - NHL Training Camps blog

Parenteau gets chance to shine with Canadiens

BROSSARD, Quebec -- When Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau looked at his linemates during the first on-ice day of his first training camp with his hometown Montreal Canadiens, he had a slight case of déjà vu.

Parenteau was lined up alongside Montreal's top offensive pairing, with David Desharnais at center and Max Pacioretty on left wing, during the Canadiens' scrimmage Friday.

Desharnais and Pacioretty have been linemates essentially their entire professional careers; they played together with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League in 2010-11 and have stayed together off and on ever since.

It's not the first time in Parenteau's career that he's been asked to try and complement a well-established pairing.

Posted On Thursday, 09.18.2014 / 5:31 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - NHL Training Camps blog

Canadiens' Galchenyuk happy to get trial at center

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Alex Galchenyuk admits he is happy to hear his general manager say he will start Montreal Canadiens training camp playing his natural center position, something he is looking forward to trying at the NHL level.

But Galchenyuk is just as eager, if not more so, to justify Marc Bergevin's decision to take him with the No. 3 pick at the 2012 NHL Draft, and he hopes to do that no matter what position he plays this season.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 6:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

McDavid accomplishes goals at Canada's junior camp

MONTREAL -- Connor McDavid had humble goals for the Canadian national junior team's summer development camp that wrapped up Friday.

"Right now," McDavid said Sunday after the first practice of camp, "I'm just worried about making this team and leaving a good impression on these coaches."

Mission accomplished.

And then some.

McDavid scored a highlight-reel goal and was a threat just about every time he stepped on the ice in a 5-2 loss to the Czech Republic on Friday. McDavid, a center for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, was the youngest player at Canada's camp and the only one who has not been drafted by an NHL team. That will change next June, when McDavid is likely to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to be held in Sunrise, Fla.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 5:57 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Lack of discipline hurts Canada in loss to Czechs

MONTREAL -- Canada's biggest weakness at the IIHF World Junior Championship has generally been a lack of discipline, or at least an inability to adjust to the standards of international officials.

Coach Benoit Groulx has been clear throughout Canada's summer development camp this week that no one will make the team or get cut in August, but the final scrimmage of the camp against the Czech Republic on Friday might have hurt the chances of some players because of their inability to maintain discipline.

With the Czechs leading 5-2 in the third period, Canada took 11 minor penalties, one major penalty and four misconducts during the final 13:40 of the game in its only loss of the four-game exhibition tournament that also included Russia.

Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:32 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Fabbri leaves Canada game following open-ice hit

MONTREAL -- St. Louis Blues forward prospect Robby Fabbri left a Canadian national junior team scrimmage against the Czech Republic in the third period Friday after taking an open-ice hit from undrafted defenseman Marek Baranek.

Fabbri was skating through the neutral zone at 6:20 of the third when Baranek stepped up and laid an unpenalized hit on him. Fabbri lay on the ice for a few minutes as a scrum ensued and Canada trainers went out on the ice to check on him.

Fabbri eventually got up and needed help to reach the Canadian bench before departing immediately to the dressing room. He did not return to the game.

Canada coach Benoit Groulx had no update on Fabbri's status after the game, which the Czechs won 5-2 to hand Canada its lone defeat in four games of its summer development camp. However, Fabbri was seen using crutches when he left the Ed Meagher Arena on the Concordia University campus.

Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Ekblad leaves Canada's game vs. Czechs with injury

MONTREAL -- Defenseman Aaron Ekblad, taken by the Florida Panthers with the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, left a Canadian national junior team scrimmage against the Czech Republic late in the third period Tuesday after taking a heavy open-ice hit.

Wednesday morning, Ekblad was ruled out for the rest of Canada's evaluation camp, which runs through Friday, according to a report by TSN.

Ekblad was stickhandling through the neutral zone when he was met head-on at the Czech blue line by defenseman Lukas Klok and from the side by another Czech player. He was sandwiched, went down in a heap, wobbled as he got up and slowly made his way to the Canadian bench before leaving for the dressing room.

Posted On Monday, 08.04.2014 / 2:28 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - World Junior evaluation camps

Top picks to compete for Canada at camp

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Three of the top four picks from the 2014 NHL Draft are scheduled to be in action Tuesday when the Canadian national junior team begins the competitive component of its summer development camp.

Canada will be breaking its group of 41 players taking part in the camp at the Montreal Canadiens' training facility just outside Montreal into two teams for games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Czech Republic and Russia.

The first group scheduled to face the Czech Republic on Tuesday at Ed Meagher Arena on the campus of Concordia University in Montreal includes defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers) and forwards Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres) and Sam Bennett (Calgary Flames), the first, second and fourth picks in this year's draft.

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