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Posted On Wednesday, 09.16.2015 / 11:38 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Penguins GM happy with Kessel's preparation: report

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he is very pleased with the way forward Phil Kessel prepared for his first season with the team.

"We had a good meeting in Toronto, and I've met with him a couple of times since," Rutherford told the Toronto Sun in remarks published Wednesday. "He's put in a good summer's work. He's done everything he's needed to do to be ready for camp."

Pittsburgh begins training camp on Thursday.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.16.2015 / 11:28 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Flames' Gaudreau doesn't fear sophomore jinx: report

Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau said he gained a few pounds this offseason and does not expect to suffer a sophomore jinx.

"Good weight, too; more muscle," Gaudreau told the Calgary Herald on Tuesday. "It's exciting to get a little more weight on me. ...

"It all comes down to how hard you work your own body. I think I did a really good job this summer."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.16.2015 / 11:49 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Rozsival, Visnovsky to attend Blackhawks camp

Veteran defensemen Michal Rozsival and Lubomir Visnovsky will attend training camp with the Chicago Blackhawks on professional tryouts.

The Blackahwks announced their camp roster Wednesday and it included forwards Jake Dowell and Daniel Paille, and defensemen Kyle Cumiskey and Jan Hejda.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.16.2015 / 10:54 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - Sept. 16, 2015

Here is the Sept. 16 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday in the Over the Boards blog during the 2015-16 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Do you think Derek Roy will make the Washington Capitals? With Eric Fehr leaving, we have an opening at 3C or 4C. Jay Beagle and Michael Latta also options. -- @CapRat82

It certainly is reasonable to think he can and will, especially because, as you mentioned, there is a need for more center depth in the bottom-six forward group. I know Roy has bounced around a lot (the Capitals would be his sixth team since the 2012-13 season), but he's only 32 years old and still has some offensive upside. He had 32 points in 72 games last season split between the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators. He had 37 points in 75 games with the St. Louis Blues in 2013-14. Fehr, as the Capitals' third-line center last season, had 33 points in 75 games. Roy's production would fall right in line with Fehr's. The difference is Roy doesn't play the penalty kill. Fehr averaged 1:23 of ice time on the PK last season.

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 10:54 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

After surgery, Capitals' Orpik eyes preseason game

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik said he feels encouraged by the progress he's made since having wrist surgery in July and hopes to play before the end of the preseason.

Orpik, who turns 35 on Sept. 26, is entering his second season with the Capitals after signing a five-year, $27.5 million contract in July 2014. He had 19 assists in 78 regular-season games and two assists in 14 games during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had surgery on his left wrist July 28.

"It feels pretty good," Orpik told CSN Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday. "I think that's kind of the dangerous thing, it feels good and you want to push it. They tell you to be patient with it. I think I'm at seven weeks [Wednesday since the surgery], and they told me 8-12 weeks; that's kind of a big gap there.

"They're really just [waiting to see] how it responds. They told me it looked good, the swelling was all down. It's just a range-of-motion thing. A lot of the healing has taken place, it's just getting the range of motion back."

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 10:35 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Blue Jackets top Red Wings to win Traverse City title

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Kerby Rychel said his team relished the role of underdog against the Detroit Red Wings in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament championship game Tuesday at Centre Ice Arena.

Rychel, a first-round pick (No. 19) in the 2013 NHL Draft, played like one by scoring a goal, contributing two assists and landing several big checks to lead the Blue Jackets' prospects to a 5-2 victory. Rychel's line, which included center TJ Tynan (2011 draft, No. 66) and right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (2013, No. 89), combined for two goals and six points to help Columbus win the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup.

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 10:13 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Lightning's Gudlevskis hurt in prospects game: report

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis sustained an upper-body injury Tuesday and will be re-evaluated Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Gudlevskis was injured playing in a prospects tournament game against the Florida Panthers. He was relieved by Adam Wilcox, who made 30 saves in a 4-1 victory.

"He's a little bit sore but he seems to be OK," Lightning prospects coach Rob Zettler told the newspaper. "You first see him go down and it's, 'Oh boy,' but after talking to him, he doesn't feel like it's anything crazy, but we'll wait to see what the [doctor] says."

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 4:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Flyers' Mason develops rapport with new goalie coach

PINE HILL, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason credits former Flyers goaltending coach Jeff Reese for helping him regain the confidence in his game.

Now Mason will have a new coach, Kim Dillabaugh, to help him try to take his play even further.

Dillabaugh was hired July 3 to replace Reese, who had a mutual parting with the Flyers on March 6. Dillabaugh had been the goaltender development coach for the Los Angeles Kings, where he worked with Flyers general manager Ron Hextall.

Hextall said he set up a meeting between Mason and Dillabaugh prior to hiring Dillabaugh, and based on that, he believes the relationship will be a positive one. Mason said he came to Philadelphia earlier than usual this summer to continue getting to know Dillabaugh.

"I was able to come in a little bit early and get a body of work and go out early on the ice with Kim, which has been great," Mason said Tuesday prior to taking part in the Flyers Celebrity Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club.

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 2:21 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Blue Jackets, Red Wings face off in Traverse City final

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- The host Detroit Red Wings and defending champion Columbus Blue Jackets will play in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament championship game for the right to raise the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup on Tuesday at Centre Ice Arena (7 p.m. ET).

Each team has been led offensively by its top lines. The Red Wings' trio of Dylan Larkin (selected with the 15th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft) centering left wing Andreas Athanasiou (2012, No. 110) and right wing Anthony Mantha (2013, No. 20) has totaled five goals and 12 points.

Columbus has been led by right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (2013, No. 89) alongside center TJ Tynan (2011, No. 66) and left wing Kerby Rychel (2013, No. 19). They have combined for six goals and 14 points. Bjorkstrand leads all tournament scorers with three goals and four assists.

Posted On Tuesday, 09.15.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Over the Boards blog

Backstrom thinks Capitals are in best position yet

TORONTO -- Nicklas Backstrom has been through this dance before, the waltz of trying to meet and, if at all possible, exceed the high expectations placed on the Washington Capitals from outside sources, including media and fans.

It never ends well. Or, at least, it hasn't yet.

The Capitals have a history of playing well in the regular season only to flame out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They haven't made it out of the Eastern Conference Second Round in 10 seasons with Alex Ovechkin despite winning their division five times and finishing second in it twice more, including last season.

They feel great, feel invincible, and fall. It's become the Capitals' M.O. They have lost in Game 7 in six of their seven playoff appearances in the Ovechkin era. It's happened three times in the first round, including in 2010, when they were the Presidents' Trophy winners.

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Quote of the Day

Jamie improves every game and every year. I've only been with him for two years, but as a player and as a person it seems like every week he's getting stronger and better, and becoming a better leader and better captain. He wants the team to be so successful that he's making himself better as a player.

— Stars forward Tyler Seguin on teammate Jamie Benn, the '14-15 Art Ross Trophy winner
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