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Posted On Friday, 09.27.2013 / 10:20 AM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Panthers' Thomas enjoys first game back in NHL

Tim Thomas is back in the NHL.

Thomas played the first half of the Florida Panthers' preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Estero, Fla., on Thursday, a few hours after agreeing to a one-year contract with the team.

The 39-year-old allowed one goal on 10 shots in his first action since April 2012 before being replaced by Jacob Markstrom in a game the Panthers lost 3-2 in overtime.

"It felt good for being the first time in a game-like atmosphere for 15 months," Thomas told the Miami Herald. "I think it was a necessary step for me. I thought it was good not to wait. We're running out of preseason games. I feel ready now."

Posted On Friday, 09.27.2013 / 8:43 AM

By Thatcher Demko -  Special to / - Thatcher Demko blog

Demko enjoyed time with fellow top U.S. prospects

Thatcher Demko is a goaltender playing his freshman season with Boston College. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder played his minor hockey in southern California before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program last season. He's excelled for the United States at the under-18 level and could earn a spot on the U.S. team for the 2014 World Junior Championship. Demko has offered to maintain a monthly blog for that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft.

Hi fans!

Well, I have some good news. Team Mark Johnson, the team I played for at this year's All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh, earned a 5-2 win over Team Joe Mullen.

It was really an exciting game and I was so glad to have the opportunity to participate. Playing in front of 200 NHL scouts is something to take back and learn from. I know there's going to be scouts at all the games this year too, so hopefully that can carry over and I'll learn from the experience. Playing with a bunch of elite American prospects is always fun. We're always rooting for the Americans in the draft so it's good to meet some of these guys early on before the season starts.

Posted On Friday, 09.27.2013 / 8:37 AM

By Seamus Malone -  Special to / - Seamus Malone draft blog

Malone thankful for AAPG experience

Left wing Seamus Malone is in his second season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound left-handed shot, who was born in Naperville, Ill., is a "B"-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list from the USHL. Regarded as a skilled forward, Malone had six goals, 27 points and a plus-12 rating in 50 games for the Fighting Saints in 2012-13. Committed to the University of Wisconsin for the fall of 2015, Malone has offered to maintain a blog while at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospect's Game in Pittsburgh.

Hi everyone!

Well, the All-American Prospect Game is over and I can honestly say I really had a great time.

The first period was a little shaky out there since everyone was getting their first shift out of the way in the first period. But once the second period got going, everybody picked it up a notch and you could tell the guys wanted to make the best of it. I thought the second-period pace really started to pick up, but it really went full throttle in the third [when the teams combined for six goals].

I felt, overall, I did pretty well in the game. There are a lot of talented players out there. I had some chances at the net and drove with the puck when I could and played pretty well defensively. I was happy with my game, but there's always room for improvement.

Posted On Friday, 09.27.2013 / 1:38 AM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers' Ryan Callahan cleared for contact

New York Rangers' captain Ryan Callahan has been cleared for contact but won't be ready for opening night, according to coach Alain Vigneault.

"Cally took contact this morning at practice, has been cleared for contact, and that's the final step in coming back," Vigneault said after New York's 5-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Callahan is coming back from offseason shoulder surgery.

Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 11:41 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Tinordi and Bournival make Canadiens' roster

MONTREAL - Defenseman Jarred Tinordi and center Michael Bournival will start the season with the Montreal Canadiens, coach Michel Therrien announced Thursday night.

Center Gabriel Dumont and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu were Montreal's final cuts of training camp and will report to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Dumont must clear waivers before reporting.

Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 11:31 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - All-American Prospects Game blog

Team Johnson wins All-American Prospects Game

PITTSBURGH -- The instant chemistry between Dylan Larkin of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program and Keegan Iverson of the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks was on display at the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.

As linemates for Team Mark Johnson, Larkin, of Waterford, Mich., and Iverson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., each had a goal and an assist to lead their team to a 5-2 victory against Team Joe Mullen on Thursday before an energetic crowd at Consol Energy Center.

Iverson, a "C" rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list form the Western Hockey League, was presented the Gillette Player of the Game Award.

Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 8:39 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - All-American Prospects Game blog

Dylan Larkin scores only goal of 2nd period

PITTSBURGH -- Dylan Larkin of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program scored the only goal of the second period to give Team Mark Johnson a 1-0 lead over Team Joe Mullen in the second CCM/USA Hockey All-American Top Prospects Game at Consol Energy Center.

Larkin, who was given an "A" rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list from the United States Hockey League for the 2014 NHL Draft, connected 37 seconds into the period to give Team Johnson the lead.

Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 7:54 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - All-American Prospects Game blog

Goalies sparkle in opening period of Prospects Game

PITTSBURGH -- The goalies certainly stole the show in the opening period of a scoreless tie in the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All American Prospects Game on Thursday at Consol Energy Center.

Ed Minney of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program was kept busy throughout in the opening 20 minutes, turning aside 16 shots for coach Joey Mullen. Minney was called upon to stop several attempts from in close, as well as a few rockets from the point.

Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 5:57 PM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Nicklaus to drop first puck for Blue Jackets' opener

Jack Nicklaus, golf's all-time leader in major championship victories, will drop the ceremonial first pick for the Columbus Blue Jackets' opening game against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 4.

Nicklaus, a Columbus native, owns 73 official PGA Tour victories, including a record 18 major championships. He will be on hand following the conclusion of the second day of play at the 2013 Presidents Cup tournament, which is being held at Nicklas' Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Posted On Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 5:53 PM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Hurricanes' Skinner likely to miss rest of preseason

Forward Jeff Skinner is likely to miss the remainder of the Carolina Hurricanes' preseason schedule with a lower-body injury.

Skinner did not take part in the morning skate at PNC Arena prior to Thursday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They also host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night. Coach Kirk Muller said Skinner won't play Thursday and is doubtful for Friday.

“We just want to be smart and not push him right now with these exhibition games,” Muller said.

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Quote of the Day

He's only 17 but he can see the ice so well and he moves the puck and goes to the open ice all the time, so I just think he's a player that is ready to play in the NHL. I'm really looking forward to coaching someone like this.

— U.S. National Junior Team coach Ron Wilson on Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft