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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:50 PM

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

Flyers Camp: Who will replace Ville Leino?

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is making no promises. In other words, just because Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell have played together the last two season, doesn't necessarily mean they'll be together to start the 2011-12 campaign.

Briere and Hartnell had much success on a line with Ville Leino the past two seasons in Philadelphia. Leino signed with the Buffalo Sabres in the offseason, however, leaving a hole on one of the team's most prolific units. Laviolette was asked who has the best shot at replacing Leino.

"I wouldn't assume that Briere and Hartnell will be together to open the season and I truly believe that everything is open and Hartnell may be a fit with somebody else," Laviolette said following the opening day of training camp Saturday. "I think Paul Holmgren said it best to the players, nobody should really assume anything. It's wide open with regard to what we're looking at and that's why to ask about one person (Jakub Voracek) being with two guys who have been together … it's going to shake up.

"We're going to take a look at different options and see what we see out here."

Briere and Hartnell actually opened the first day of camp on a line with offseason acquisition Voracek.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:49 PM

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

Jets Camp: Scheifele relishes first NHL practice

WINNIPEG -- It is fair to say Winnipeg Jets first-round pick Mark Scheifele was nervous for his first on-ice NHL practice?

"Very, very nervous," Scheifele admitted. "But once you get on the, it kind of went away."

It is also OK to say Scheifele's smile won't be going away anytime soon.

"Probably not," he said. "It won't wear off for a while."

Winnipeg selected the 18-year-old Scheifele with the seventh pick at the NHL Entry Draft in June, and the centerman has impressed in the early going. After a busy summer spent in the gym building upon his 6-foot-2, 181-pound frame, he was among Winnipeg's best players at the prospects tournament in Penticton, B.C., earlier this week.

But now Scheifele, who recorded 22 goals in the 2010-11 season with the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts, is competing against NHL veterans. He anticipated a far quicker pace once the NHL veterans joined him on the ice, and they more than confirmed that expectation.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:40 PM

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

Bruins Camp: Chara back after mourning Demitra

BOSTON -- It seems like Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is always providing another example of why he's among the hardest workers in the entire NHL.

Despite getting back from Pavol Demitra's funeral in Slovakia yesterday, Chara still took part in the Bruins' second on-ice session today on the first day of training camp at TD Garden.

Chara worked a little on a defense pair with Bruins 2011 first-round draft pick Dougie Hamilton.

Other interesting combinations in the second group of players:

* Chris Kelly centered second-year forward Jordan Caron and free-agent invitee Chris Clark -- maybe that is a preview of the team's shutdown third line?

* Zach Hamill, the Bruins' thus-far-disappointing 2007 first-round pick, between freshly re-signed Brad Marchand and first-year pro Tyler Randell. This is going to be a big year for Hamill, who's now in his fourth year as a pro. Perhaps some of Marchand's insight into what it takes to make it can rub off.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:34 PM

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

Senators Camp: Alfredsson shows off wheels

Kanata, ON -- Training camp kicked off Saturday for the Ottawa Senators, with three teams taking the ice at the Bell Sensplex for practices and a scrimmage.

Daniel Alfredsson headed up Team Kyte (each squad is named after an Ottawa alumnus) and appeared to be skating well after recovering from off-season back surgery.

"I felt good," Alfredsson said. "I felt better than I expected, so that's good. It was a good first day and I'm real happy with it."

The Senators' captain demonstrated that he still has wheels in the Team Kyte practice, when he blew past defenceman Sergei Gonchar in a two-on-one drill. Stephane Da Costa, who showed his own speed during the Oshawa Rookie Tournament, also struggled to keep up with the 38-year-old veteran.
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:30 PM

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

Islanders Camp: Tavares says its time to grow up

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- John Tavares has cast his lot with the Islanders, committing himself through the 2017-18 season after signing a six-year contract this week.

He's glad to have all the hubbub about his future out of the way.

"I'm excited about it," he said after the first day of training camp at Iceworks, "but it's kind of nice to put it all behind me and move on, get ready for the season. It was an emotional week; there was a lot going on. It's nice to kind of catch up on some rest and get ready for the season."

After four years of missing the playoffs, he also feels it's time for one of the NHL's youngest teams to start turning talent and promise into results.

"We have to approach it that way," he said when asked about the importance of moving ahead after back-to-back 13th-place finishes in the East. "There's only so long when you can gain experience and go things and feel like you can make mistakes and learn from them.

"Obviously it's still going to happen -- we're still growing in a lot of ways. But it's time to move on and really use training camp to get us ready for the season. We need to be more consistent and put it together for 82 games."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Rangers Camp: Anisimov relieved knee is OK

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Rangers center Artem Anisimov didn't need the doctors to tell him Friday he needed an MRI. Anisimov wanted to go get one just to be sure there was nothing structurally or otherwise wrong with his left knee, which didn't bother him when he was skating but did hurt a bit when he walked.

Anisimov on Saturday expressed his relief when he found out that the MRI was negative, that his knee was clean and that he could resume his normal routine, which included getting on the ice with his group for the day’s round of fitness testing.

"I don't understand what the doctor was saying, but he just said, 'You're alright, you can skate and go,' " Anisimov said with a smile. "I had some concern, but I feel fine."

Asked what he wants to show coach John Tortorella in this training camp and preseason, Anisimov talked about confidence. He was only semi-happy with how he played last season (44 points in 82 games) and he wants to improve on everything in what should be his third full season.

"I want more points, more ice time," he said. "I need to show it on the ice. I can talk forever, but I need to show it on the ice."
 

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:26 PM

By Alan Robinson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Penguins Camp: Can Neal reach 30 goals?

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins forward James Neal doesn't have to convince coach Dan Bylsma he can be a 30-goal scorer in the NHL. Persuading the Penguins' fans might take a little while longer.

Neal, acquired from Dallas late last season to add a reliable scorer to the Sidney Crosby line, never got to play alongside Crosby because of the concussion that sidelined the Penguins' captain during the second half of the 2010-11 season. Neal, pressing to prove to Pittsburgh that he could be the scorer he was in Dallas, wound up with only one goal in 20 regular season games and another in the playoffs after producing 21 goals in 59 games with the Stars.

Regardless, teammate Jordan Staal said, "I think personally Neal is going to do some great things this year."

Some of those once-skeptical fans must feel the same way, as they gave Neal a warm ovation during the first day of training camp on Saturday.

Staal believes that going through an entire training camp and season with the Penguins will prove far less stressful to Neal than making a hasty switch in teams and conferences late in a season. Bylsma concurs.

"He scored more goals than Tyler Kennedy last year, and Tyler Kennedy had a breakout year," Bylsma said, referring to Kennedy's 21-goal season. "To our fans, the feeling isn't the same because we didn't see him score those goals in our jersey.  James Neal is a plus 20-goals scorer and we think he can get to 30."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:15 PM

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

Blackhawks Camp: Sharp takes aim for season-opener

CHICAGO -- Patrick Sharp wasn't made available to speak with the media during Friday's media day prior to Chicago's training camp, but the injured Blackhawks forward was feeling good enough to speak with fans during Saturday's sold out Training Camp Festival.

He was interviewed over the public-address system by Hawks TV analyst Ed Olczyk, who emceed the annual event --  which features practice sessions and two scrimmages fans bought $5 tickets to attend.

"I'm feeling good," said Sharp, who underwent an emergency appendectomy this past Monday after feeling ill at a Hawks charity golf outing. "I wish I could be out there with the guys."

Sharp was told by doctors that he'd likely be out three-to-four weeks recovering from the procedure, which places his eventual return near the start of the regular season. When does he plan to return?

"Hopefully as soon as possible," Sharp told the crowd. "The timeline was three-to-four weeks, so right around the start of the season. I don't want to miss any games, so I'm pushing to play the first game of the season."
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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:14 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Super Saturday

Rangers camp: Gaborik skating with last group

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Marian Gaborik was scheduled to skate with the first group on the ice here Saturday, but he was instead doing some off-ice testing to catch up from missing all of Friday's activities. The Rangers star right wing, who said he feels good and is ready to go, is instead skating with the last group that will do the on-ice fitness testing Saturday.

Gaborik returned to New York on Friday after spending six days in Slovakia to attend the funeral for his good friend and former teammate, Pavol Demitra, who was killed in the Central Russia plane crash that wiped out the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team on Sept. 7.

"To get back with the guys, with the group and to get this skating and testing done and jump right back into the preseason games -- hopefully I'll recover from the jet lag as quick as I can and be ready," Gaborik said.


Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 2:13 PM

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

Islanders Camp: Whole new world for Rolston

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- At age 38, Brian Rolston is starting over -- and he's doing it with one of the NHL's youngest teams.

Rolston is one of the new faces on Long Island this fall after being acquired from New Jersey in an offseason deal. After one day of camp, he likes what he sees.

"There's so much talent here," he said. "It's a matter of guys taking that talent and taking a leadership role and moving forward. (Matt) Moulson, (John) Tavares -- you can go around the whole room. There are skilled young players. It's time to take that next step; really take control and be leaders on the ice.”

General manager Garth Snow brought Rolston to the Island partly to provide some veteran leadership -- Rolston's career includes a Stanley Cup with New Jersey and success internationally with Team USA.

"Guys have really embraces having me here," Roslton said.

But Rolston doesn't feel he's the only leader.

"We can all be leaders and move this franchise forward," he said. "We want to compete for the Stanley Cup, and we have to take that one game at a time. That should be our goal."
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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season