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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:57 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Ducks Camp: Ducks see little need for additions to camp

ANAHEIM, Calif. –As opposed to previous years when they invited players on pro-tryout contracts, Ducks' camp is different this year.

There are no players on tryouts, and the competition is focused on the young forwards competing to fill out the third and fourth lines.

"Every player in our organization that we deemed has earned an opportunity for training camp – they're here," coach Randy Carlyle.

"We feel that there are people in this camp that are going to surprise (you) to make our hockey club. There are jobs open, and because you were here last year, it gives you an advantage to some degree. But don't think that that's going to pave the way for a spot that should be given."

The Ducks have also switched venues, from their Anaheim practice facility, to Honda Center for the first three days, and there is an urge to develop chemistry before they open the season Oct.7 in Helsinki, Finland.

"I think in the past few years we've gotten off to bad starts and maybe that's why we're switching things," forward Bobby Ryan said. "We've got a long time to come together before making that trip to Europe. I think this is a better way to do it. Instead of scrimmaging and battling against each other, we're actually playing together and getting used to one another."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:54 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Talbot ready to follow Pronger's lead

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Maxime Talbot doesn't anticipate a major change in how he must go about his usual business now that he'll follow the lead of Philadelphia Flyers captain Chris Pronger instead of captain Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh.
 
Pronger was named the 18th captain in Flyers history on Friday. Crosby has worn the 'C' in Pittsburgh since the start of the 2007-08 season.
 
"I guess yes and no," Talbot said. "Sid was a young leader, but such a mature leader. From the first day he put a shirt on with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was the leader of the team. It's been six years and he's not only been a young leader, he's a pretty mature leader. And Chris has been playing forever. It's going to be great to have a new captain."
 
Talbot, who signed a five-year deal worth $9 million with the Flyers in July, agrees with Pronger that leaders don't all have to wear a letters on their jersey.
 
"Yeah, it's just a letter," Talbot said. "You need leadership on this team even though some guys don't have letters. In this room, you need everybody pushing in the same direction. Chris doesn’t need to be captain to be a leader. He'd be the same guy if he didn't have the captain, so everybody's pushing in the right direction. That's how we’re going to win some games."






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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:52 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Ducks Camp: Visnovsky back after paying respects for Demitra

It was an understandably emotional opening day of camp for Anaheim Ducks defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who had returned after attending the funeral of fellow Slovakian and longtime friend Pavol Demitra.

Visnovsky flew into Orange County at 9 p.m. Friday night and was at practice 12 hours later.

"This last week was tough for me and my family and for people in Slovakia," Visnovsky said, his voiced tinged with emotion. "It's hard to say something. He was one of my best friends. I know his family. I know his kids and it's tough for the whole family. His wife is a very strong wife. Before I left I told her, 'I'll help you anytime.'"

Demitra was a member of the KHL team that died in a plane crash earlier this month. Visnovsky knew Demitra since he was 14 years old and his wife is good friends with Demitra's wife.

"I remember he was a very talented guy – one of the very best for his age," Visnovsky said. "It's unreal. It doesn't matter what he played – soccer or hockey – he was very talented. The last time I played with him was the world championship. He was our captain. I've got great memories of him."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:47 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Blackhawks Camp: Toews brothers face off

CHICAGO -- Fans in Chicago got their first chance to see not one, but two guys named Toews wearing Blackhawks gear as teammates on Saturday. Well, sort of.

Now that 21-year-old David Toews, younger brother of captain Jonathan Toews, are part of the same organization, they're teammates. However, they were put on different teams for Blackhawks training camp, with the siblings facing each other in the first official scrimmage of the 2011-12 season.

Jonathan's team won 3-1 with the Hawks captain scoring a goal against veteran goalie Ray Emery -- who's in camp on a tryout offer. David, whom the Hawks acquired in a Sept. 9 trade with the New York Islanders, has seen better days. He played well, but his team lost both scrimmages and scored just one goal in each --  which clearly bothered him.

He also had a potential scoring chance thwarted by his older brother, who skated down into low slot and lifted his stick before he could get a shot off. At least, that's Jonathan's side of the story.

"He had a good chance in the slot there and I'm like, 'I can't let him have this one,' " the elder Toews said. "He just hung onto it too long. You've got to get rid of it. So, I had the time to go down there and kind of lift his stick before he got the shot off – but it was a good start for him. It's good to see that hard work's paid off.”

David apparently has the same competitive fire as his older brother, however, and he refuted the stick-lift claim.

“I had a lot of time, I knew that,” he said. “I was waiting for the goalie to go down and I just bobbled it. I'm not going to give him the credit for getting the stick on me, because I think that was my fault for bobbling the puck. But I had a good chance there. The puck just wasn't going in today.”

After spending two seasons playing for North Dakota, where Jonathan starred, the younger Toews played last season with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League – scoring 20 goals and adding 28 assists in 60 games before adding two goals and tallying five assists in six playoff games.

Now he's got a new opportunity with a team that's led by a very familiar face.

“I'm excited to be here and be with my brother,” said David, who's staying at Jonathan's place while he's in camp. “It's an exciting time. When we leave the rink, we do stuff together all the time. Sometimes we get sick of each other and sometimes we have those brotherly battles, but when it's all said and done we love each other as brothers and family and we're always there to support each other.”
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:41 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Senators Camp: MacLean satisfied with first practice

KANATA, Ont. – A hoarse voice was an indicator that Paul MacLean had much to say to his new team on the first day of training camp with the Ottawa Senators. However, the head coach seemed pleased with the results Saturday.

"I enjoyed the day," MacLean said. "I might not be able to talk much tomorrow. Today was a good day; I thought it had great energy. The players were ready to go fast, and I think we did go fast. Sometimes (we did it) to the point of not executing as well as we wanted to, but the fact that we got up and down the ice and that the scrimmage went well, I was pleased with the whole day."

After the first day, both veterans and rookies stood out to MacLean.

"I thought [Daniel Alfredsson] was great," he said. "I thought [Milan] Michalek was too, but I expected them to be very good. I thought [David] Rundblad was good again today, as was [Mika] Zibanejad."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:21 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Senators Camp: Top pick Zibanejad impresses

KANATA, Ont. -- Mika Zibanejad is experiencing his first taste of training camp with the Ottawa Senators, and has yet to look out of place.

"The scrimmage was fun," Zibanejad said. "It was maybe the next level (compared to the Oshawa Rookie Tournament). It was really high-paced."

The young center confessed to having stars in his eyes while playing alongside one of his idols, Daniel Alfredsson. Zibanejad skated on the same line as the captain and Milan Michalek for both the practice and scrimmage.

"You have to pinch yourself in the arm every time you see him out on the same ice as you," Zibanejad said. "It was a dream come true, for sure."

Alfredsson admitted Saturday to being impressed with the 18-year-old.

"He's a powerful skater and strong on the puck," Alfredsson said.  "It's fun to be out there with him. He's quite a bit younger than I am, so I'm going to hopefully let him do the backchecking."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:17 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Islanders Camp: Nabokov returns

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Evgeni Nabokov looked at the tumult around him in the New York Islanders locker room and smiled.

Nabokov, the winningest goaltender in the history of the San Jose Sharks, is trying to re-start his NHL career at age 36 after a season that began in the KHL and ended with him signing with Detroit, being claimed on waivers by the Islanders and opting not to report.

The Islanders retained his rights for this season. Now he's one of six goaltenders – and easily the oldest – looking for a job. It's something he hasn't had to do for more than a decade, but he said the pressure to perform is nothing new.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:16 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Jets Camp: Voice aside, Noel relishes coaching opportunity

WINNIPEG -- Certainly Winnipeg Jets head coach Claude Noel had some obstacles to overcome on his first day guiding his club.

Noel has a new roster to learn, the distractions inherent in playing in a Canadian market, and a fan base that has 15 years of pent-up NHL energy to release.

After three on-ice sessions, Noel had a new obstacle -- his hoarse voice. The chatty Noel can fill a notebook, and the loud crowd on hand forced Noel to raise his voice to be heard.

"I thought (the players') work ethic, their attention to detail, their attitudes all looked real good," Noel said. "I know it's the first day and there hasn't been any adversity, but I thought it was a tremendous first day for us."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:15 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Bruins Camp: Rask ready after surgery

BOSTON -- The Bruins like to boast that they have two No. 1 goaltenders at their disposal.

To start this year's training camp, they at least have two healthy high-caliber netminders. In addition to Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas, Tuukka Rask is back and ready to go after offseason knee surgery.

Rask, who as Thomas' backup posted a .918 save percentage and 2.67 goals-against average in 29 games, had his meniscus scoped early in the summer and started off camp on a healthy note by getting through a 90-minute on-ice session without a problem.

"I feel good," he said. "It's a little, the range of motion is not perfect yet, but there's no pain. So that's a good sign."

There are no limitations on what Rask can do, so as long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks he should be ready for game action once the preseason schedule kicks off.

"I felt good out there. It's only one practice, but we'll see when game time comes how it goes," Rask said.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 4:14 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Flyers Camp: Jagr talks Flyers-Penguins rivalry

VOORHEES, N.J. -- So what does Jaromir Jagr remember most about the Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins rivalry when he played for 11 seasons in the Steel City?

"I remember I always had a tough time to play," Jagr told the media following the opening day of Flyers training camp at the Virtua Flyers Skate Zone on Saturday. "Nobody wanted to play the Flyers back then. You knew it was going to hurt to play against them -- that's what I remember. They had the big guys and they always drafted strong guys who played physical."

Jagr was asked if he feels he betrayed the fans of Pittsburgh by signing a one-year contract with the rival Flyers.

"First of all, when I was making the decision, I never thought the Pittsburgh fans would want me back," he said. "Every time I played there and touched the puck, they were booing me … I didn't think it was going to be such a big deal if I'm not going to sign with Pittsburgh.

"On the other side, it was my decision. I've only been a free agent twice and I had to do what is best for me. If I hurt somebody, I apologize because I didn't want to, but I don't understand why people can be that mad about my decision."
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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres