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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 7:20 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Avalanche captain Landeskog expects better season

DENVER -- Gabriel Landeskog expects his second season as Colorado Avalanche captain to go more smoothly than his first. Named captain by coach Joe Sacco before the lockout-shortened season started, Landeskog missed 12 games with a head injury, slumped to nine goals and 17 points, and the Avalanche missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third year in a row.

"Last year was a little weird, to say the least, coming in after a lockout and having the 'C' on my jersey for just a few months," said Landeskog, who won the Calder Trophy in 2011-12 after scoring 22 goals and 52 points in 82 games. "It was a little weird. Now I know more what to expect. I'm not saying I'm the perfect captain, but it takes a while and there are a lot of great guys around here who are going to help me.

"(New Avalanche coach) Patrick (Roy) knows what it's like to be a leader in the dressing room, and I'm going to talk to him a lot. We're looking forward to having a little bit of a fresh start."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 7:17 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Downie cleared to return to ice for Avalanche

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche right wing Steve Downie has recovered from the torn anterior cruciate knee ligament he sustained in the second game of last season and will take part in on-ice workouts Thursday.

Downie, 26, is expected to skate on the third line this season with rookie center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Jamie McGinn.

"He's cleared to play," Roy said of Downie. "I met him in June and he took [his rehabilitation] very seriously, and I'm very proud of him. He really worked hard and he's ready to play. He's an important player for us. His game is something that this team needs."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 6:02 PM

By Craig Merz -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Gaborik ready for Columbus, unclear for Horton

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets who are recovering from surgery are progressing as planned, or even better, but that still means forward Nathan Horton will miss a sizable chunk of the season.

There is better news about Marian Gaborik, who will be ready when training camp opens Thursday. Gaborik, acquired from the New York Rangers on April 4, underwent abdominal surgery in early May.

"Gaborik's going to be healthy to start the training camp," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He's feeling great. He's excited about the year, the full year, and getting a fresh start."

Horton had shoulder surgery shortly after signing a seven-year, $37.1 million contract with the Blue Jackets on July 5. The team knew about the injury, sustained during the Stanley Cup playoffs while playing for the Boston Bruins, at the time of signing.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 5:11 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Kings' Brown, Williams, Stoll all say their healthy

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – One by one, key veterans of the Los Angeles Kings popped their heads out the door of their practice facility locker room a day before training camp opened.

Captain Dustin Brown, Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll all pronounced themselves ready to go Wednesday after offseason medical issues. The scariest was Stoll's seizure incident at his home in July. Stoll said he underwent evaluations for three weeks and has since felt fine.

"Everything looks normal, 100 percent," Stoll said. "Just for peace of mind, I guess - I feel good. I feel healthy."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Ankle keeping Booth off ice at Canucks camp

VANCOUVER -- David Booth skated with his Vancouver Canucks teammates during informal practices late last week, so it surprised some to hear new coach John Tortorella say Wednesday that the power forward still hadn't been cleared medically to start training camp.

"Day to day," Tortorella said, jumping in on a question directed toward general manager Mike Gillis sitting next to him before both said it wasn't a surprise to them that Booth isn't ready. "We want to try and keep him healthy, so we want to be careful here."

Booth injured his groin during on-ice fitness testing last season and missed the first month of the season. He returned and scored one empty-net goal in 12 games before badly spraining his ankle in an awkward fall March 16, an injury that required surgery six days later.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:45 PM

By Derek Van Diest -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Hall could be option at center for Oilers

EDMONTON — With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins unavailable to the Edmonton Oilers until November, the club is looking at their best player to possibly fill the void.

Heading into training camp the Oilers will experiment, moving Taylor Hall to center over from his usual left-wing position. Hall, 21, led the Oilers in scoring with 16 goals and 50 points last season.

"The Taylor Hall experiment, I don't want it to get blown out of proportion here, it's not like I'm going to ask this guy to play right defense," Oilers first-year coach Dallas Eakins said. "He's played center before, it may be an option for us. But maybe [Mark] Arcobello is going to step up and going to jump into that hole. Maybe one of the other centers is going to take a bigger role on the third or fourth line and we can bump [Boyd] Gordon up."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:33 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Coyotes GM not happy with absent Ekman-Larsson

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney was happy that the long-awaited first day of training camp arrived Wednesday with player physicals at Jobing.com Arena.

But the fact that one of the team's top players, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, was not in Arizona made for some furrowed brows and head-shaking.

Ekman-Larsson apparently forgot to get his immigration papers in order in time for training camp. He is working on his visa, but will miss at least a few days and Maloney indicated there would be some action, possibly a fine assessed for the oversight.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:11 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Holmgren still expects Cleary at Flyers camp

Despite a report that Daniel Cleary will not join the Philadelphia Flyers, general manager Paul Holmgren told reporters at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday that he still expects the veteran forward to report to training camp Thursday.

"Until I hear it from the horse's mouth ..." Holmgren said to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the report that Cleary would not be with the Flyers.

CBC's Elliott Friedman tweeted Wednesday afternoon: "Not exactly sure why, but it appears as if there is some complication between Daniel Cleary and [Philadelphia]. Told he will not be joining Flyers."

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:09 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

New-look Jets determined to be better

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets retained their coaching staff this summer, but it will have a new look.

The Jets coupled a 30th-place showing on the power play last season with the penalty kill's 24th-place finish. The organization has made retooling the club's special-teams play a top priority.

To that end, coach Claude Noel announced that assistant coach Pascal Vincent will focus on the power play, while veteran assistant Perry Pearn will work on fixing the club's penalty kill, with help from Charlie Huddy.

"We have to be better," Noel said.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:01 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Hurricanes' Pitkanen ruled out for season

The Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday announced defenseman Joni Pitkanen will sit out the 2013-14 season because of a broken left heel sustained last season.

"It's unfortunate," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News and Observer. "Joni is a good player who was able to play a lot of minutes for us and he will be missed. We'll now have to deal with it and move forward. We'll explore all options and decide on how we'll proceed."

Pitkanen sustained the injury during a game against the Washington Capitals on April 2, when he fell into the boards trying to touch the puck on an icing play.

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There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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