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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 6:44 PM

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

Oilers camp opens with excess defensemen

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers have too many defensemen for too few roster spots.

Heading into training camp, the Oilers are counting on competition enhancing performance with nine defensemen under NHL contract.

That doesn’t include Oscar Klefbom, the highly touted Swede the club took in the first round (No. 19) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

"There's only 23 roster spots, and after you get to the 13 forwards that you're going to carry for sure, the numbers start going the other way for the defensemen," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "There is going to be a very, real battle there, I suspect between four or five of them.

"These exhibition games, staying healthy and every second of practice are going to be important times for those men."

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 6:35 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Havlat, Stuart sidelined as Sharks open camp

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks forward Martin Havlat has been skating on his own for weeks but he wasn't cleared to practice Thursday when the team opened training camp and there is no timetable for his return.

Havlat had bilateral pelvic floor reconstruction surgery in early June. He was injured in the first period of the Sharks' Stanley Cup Playoff opener against the Vancouver Canucks. Havlat came back for Game 3 in the next round against the Los Angeles Kings but was reinjured in the first period, ending his season.

Havlat said he's feeling pretty good but doesn't know when he'll be cleared to practice.

"We'll see," Havlat said. "Right now we're working together with the medical team. We're doing everything as fast as we can [to] be back with the boys again."

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 6:22 PM

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

Ducks see Beauchemin's recovery ahead of schedule

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Francois Beauchemin hardly looked like he was easing back into hockey on the first day of training camp for the Anaheim Ducks.

Most players take part in one of three on-ice sessions, but the defenseman was in back-to-back hour-long skates and did all the drills, without taking contact. It was Beauchemin’s call, and he made coaches a little nervous when he bumped up against Emerson Etem.

"They said 'OK, back off, back off,'" Beauchemin said. "But I just wasn't going to let him beat me wide."

Beauchemin is less than four months removed from May 16 surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, an injury that can take up to six months to heal. He said his goal is to play in the season opene

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 5:17 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Calgary has new captain; Flames not naming names

CALGARY -- Bob Hartley knows who will be the next captain of the Calgary Flames.

He's just not telling.

Searching for a replacement after dealing franchise face and longtime captain Jarome Iginla in the days leading up to the trade deadline last season, Hartley's got the "C" firmly stitched on the jersey of one of his players.

"I want to make it clear, we're not thinking of someone, our choice is made up a long time ago," Hartley said after the coach watched his team hit the ice for the first time in training camp.

"We sat last year, we went through the individual meetings, we talked with the players, I sat down and talked with Jay, I talked with management, I even talked with ownership and our choice was clear-cut. We have some very good prospects to be captains, to be assistant captains. All our meetings were done and basically we were coming up with one name.

"It was basically unanimous that it was the one guy."

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 5:10 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Price begins first Canadiens camp with Waite

BROSSARD, Quebec -- A new relationship began to be built Thursday when Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price spent his first on-ice session with his new coach, Stephane Waite.

"He's got an excellent resume; he's had success with other goaltenders," Price said of his new mentor. "I'm looking forward to rounding my game with him."

Waite's resume includes winning the Stanley Cup twice in four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, helping first Antti Niemi then Corey Crawford backstop their teams through the grind of the playoffs.

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:59 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Forward spots available at Wild training camp

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Chuck Fletcher was named general manager of the Minnesota Wild in May 2009, there was plenty of work to be done to rebuild a franchise whose foundation was crumbling.

Minnesota had little in the way of a prospect cupboard and its most popular player in franchise history, Marian Gaborik, was weeks away from signing with the New York Rangers.

With the Wild entering their fifth training camp with Fletcher at the helm, there should be legitimate competition for roster spots between a number of veterans and young players who gained experience last season. Among the top six, only left wing Zach Parise, center Mikko Koivu and right wing Jason Pominville are guaranteed much of anything.

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:28 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Salvador excited by Devils' acquisition of Schneider

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador is looking forward to the start of the season after one of the more interesting offseasons in his six seasons with the team.

"I think it was a very interesting offseason for our organization," Salvador told NHL.com. "A lot of things happened. Now it's time to put last season behind you and look forward. We got great acquisitions to fill some of the holes, and I think we're ready to surprise some people."

One acquisition that certainly had Salvador grinning ear-to-ear was that of goaltender Cory Schneider.


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Capitals' Johansson to make best of 'bridge contract'

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Marcus Johansson arrived in the Washington D.C. area Tuesday, roughly 72 hours after signing his two-year, $4 million contract and in time to be at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday for the start of training camp.

Johansson is aware that there are still some restricted free agents who aren't in training camps as they continue contract negotiations, but he never envisioned himself becoming one of them.

"I was always hoping and thinking I would be here when [training camp] started," Johansson said. "That's where everybody is, but if it would have come to that I would have dealt with it. It worked out and I'm really happy it did. It's just a great feeling to be here."


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:16 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Pominville comfortable in first Wild training camp

MINNEAPOLIS -- With a combination of skilled veterans and experienced youngsters, most observers believe this season's edition of the Minnesota Wild is perhaps the most talented group the franchise has ever brought to a training camp.

One of the key pieces to the Wild's puzzle this season is veteran winger Jason Pominville, acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at last season's trade deadline and now in his first camp with Minnesota.

A second-round pick of the Sabres in 2001, Pominville was in the midst of his ninth season with Buffalo when he was traded for the first time in his career last April.


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:13 PM

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

Oilers' Nugent-Hopkins skates, return still unclear

EDMONTON — Ryan Nugent-Hopkins skated with the Edmonton Oilers in a non-contact jersey on Thursday.

Just having the third-year center on the ice was good news for the club after undergoing shoulder surgery in April.

"It feels good, it's nice to able to be on the ice skating with the guys right now," Nugent-Hopkins said after the Oilers first on-ice session of training camp. "I'm involved quite a bit, so it's good. There has been a lot of rehab and stuff, but it feels good so far."

Nugent-Hopkins is not expected to be ready by the first game of the regular season. Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said the first pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, probably would not be available until November.

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