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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 1:24 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Islanders impressed by Barclays Center

BROOKLYN -- It won't technically be their home until the 2015-16 season, but after enjoying the first skate of their 2013-14 training camp at Barclays Center, the New York Islanders' players were impressed by what they saw from the new state-of-the-art facility, which will host the first-ever NHL game in Brooklyn when the Islanders play the New Jersey Devils in a preseason contest Sept. 21.

The Islanders take part in their first practice at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The Islanders take part in their first practice
at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
(Click to enlarge)

"It definitely feels really new. It will be an adjustment to make it feel comfortable and make it feel right at home. But it's a beautiful place," said captain John Tavares, who wasn't sure what the energy would be like for the upcoming preseason game. "I think it will feel like a neutral-site game, because the Coliseum is our home for a couple more years and we don't have a locker room here yet. But it will be nice to play the game for sure and get a feeling of what it will be like."

The team took a train together to the arena along the Long Island Railroad and seemed impressed by the amenities the new building offered. Holding 15,813 fans at full capacity, the building also features a new 32-foot-by-15-foot scoreboard that is among the biggest in North American arenas. And there will be even more awaiting the Islanders when they move into Barclays in 2015, as the arena is adding a new 11,000-square-foot campus offering full amenities for players and staff.

"It's great. We didn't really know what to expect. I hadn't seen the rink yet. I was looking forward to getting down here and seeing it. You can tell it's going to be a great atmosphere," forward Josh Bailey said. "The seats are right on top of you. It makes for a heck of an atmosphere. The fans are going to love it and the players are going to love playing here."

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Clutterbuck excited to find his place with Islanders

BROOKLYN -- Following his first time out on the ice as a member of the New York Islanders, right wing Cal Clutterbuck admitted that he was still getting to know most of his new teammates.

Taking a train on the Long Island Railroad to Barclays Center, which will host the team's Sept. 21 preseason game against the New Jersey Devils, gave him a unique chance to grow better acquainted with the team. But the 25-year-old, who spent his first five NHL seasons with the Minnesota Wild, said he was still getting used to being an Islander.

"It's a long way from St. Paul, Minnesota, that's for sure," Clutterbuck said. "Getting on a train and coming down to the station with that many people. You don't see that many people in an entire week down in Minnesota. It's a little different, but there's definitely some nervous energy when you get out there the first day. You get used to one thing for five or six years and then it's a lot different when it changes."


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 1:16 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Panthers prospect Bjugstad sidelined by concussion

CORAL SPRINGS -- Florida Panthers rookie center Nick Bjugstad missed the first practice of training camp because of a concussion.

Coach Kevin Dineen said Bjugstad was injured in the last game of the Panthers prospect tournament last weekend.

"Nick has been diagnosed with a concussion that started at rookie camp and he's going through the NHL concussion protocol right now," Dineen said. "It happened a little bit toward the end of the third game and he was feeling good. Unfortunately, that's the sport. He's under care by our medical staff and it's a daily evaluation. That's where he's at."


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 1:06 PM

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

Devils' Boucher hopes to follow in Henrique’s skates

NEWARK, N.J. -- At the time New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique was given a full-time shot in the NHL two seasons ago, he was coming off his most productive season as a professional in the American Hockey League.

Henrique, who led the Albany Devils with 25 goals and 50 points, seemed like the logical choice when Travis Zajac sustained an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss much of the season. The 2008 third-round draft pick (No. 82) would ultimately make the most of the situation, finishing as a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 2011-12.

The loss of wings David Clarkson (free agency) and Ilya Kovalchuk (retirement) in a span of seven days in July has presented the Devils with some tough choices entering the 2013-14 campaign. The team added forwards Jaromir Jagr, Michael Ryder, Ryane Clowe and Rostislav Olesz during free agency to help alleviate the offensive burden, but there's also a strong possibility that one or more of the organization's top prospects will spend considerable time with the big club as well.

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

Lupul, Orr among four Leafs missing from practice

The Toronto Maple Leafs took the ice for the second day of training camp without four of their players. Right wing Colton Orr is out with a leg bone bruise and won't skate for a week. Left wing Joffrey Lupul is day-to-day with back spasms.

Traded to the Leafs from the Anaheim Ducks in February 2011, Lupul missed nearly two months last season with a fractured forearm sustained just three games into 2012-13. Orr signed a four-year, $4 million contract with Toronto in 2009.

Coach Randy Carlyle said that Lupul experienced tightness on Tuesday and wasn't cleared medically to be on the ice, but doesn't believe the injury is serious.

"He's had some back issues before, so we don't think it's anything longterm," Carlyle said. "It's just precautionary measures to make sure he's 100 percent. Same thing with Colton Orr."

Prospects Kenny Ryan and Matt Finn, who sustained a shoulder injury at rookie camp, also were not on the skate list.

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:50 PM

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

Richards embracing fresh start with Rangers

On the first day of training camp Wednesday, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault declared a "clean slate."

Perhaps more than anyone on the Rangers, Vigneault's "clean slate, grab it" philosophy can be embraced by center Brad Richards. Considered a buyout candidate after the 2012-13 season, the Rangers center is embracing a fresh start under Vignealut after admitting to reporters on Thursday that he lost confidence in himself and former coach John Tortorella last season.

"He uses the clean slate thing, but he uses it especially with me that all is forgotten," Richards said. "In the end it's all up to me. It's a new season. I really put all of that in the past. I had a lot of time to get rid of those thoughts and what happened, and regroup. Hopefully this is a positive thing that will get me going in the right direction.

"I didn't sign here to play a year and a half of hockey. I wanted it to be here. I'm happy I'm here. I'm thrilled. I did not want to end my New York Ranger tenure as that. I'm grateful I am still here. Hopefully this is the start of something new and fresh, and get back on the track."


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:45 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Sekera, Khudobin settling in with Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes' first on-ice session of training camp featured two important newcomers.

Former Boston Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin and ex-Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera were out on the ice with the morning group.

Both players will play key roles in Carolina. Khudobin will provide insurance for goaltender Cam Ward, who missed more than half of last season with a sprained MCL. Although he has just 21 games of NHL experience, Khudobin's numbers have been eye-popping: a 2.03 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Ward is known for carrying a heavy workload, but the Hurricanes would like to rely on a backup who can shoulder enough games to take the heat off the starter.


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Hip flexor knocks Laich out of Capitals' practice

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich left the first official practice of the season on Thursday with a left hip flexor injury after skating for roughly 10 minutes. He is considered day-to-day, but Laich said he isn't overly concerned about it being a long-term issue.

"It should come back fairly quickly and once I start to feel really good off the ice I'll go back on the ice," Laich said. "We'll monitor it day by day and it should come back fairly quickly."

Laich said he "tweaked" his hip flexor last Thursday during his first workout after returning to the Washington D.C. area from his home in Saskatchewan. He was adamant in saying the new injury is unrelated to the lingering groin injury he had last season that kept him out for all but nine regular season games and eventually required surgery prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:04 PM

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

Canadiens offer possible glimpse at line combinations

BROSSARD, Quebec -- It was only the first scrimmage of training camp, but Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien may have given a little sneak preview Thursday as to the line combinations he'll use this season.

Canadiens new acquisition Daniel Briere was at right wing on a line with David Desharnais at center and Max Pacioretty on the left, two players who have spent basically the entirety of their professional careers together. With Briere and Desharnais both standing considerably less than 6 feet, it would be a combination lacking size but oozing with skill.

Another combination had Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque together at center and left wing, just as they were last season. But the right side was filled by prospect Christian Thomas in the absence of captain Brian Gionta, who is still recovering from a torn biceps muscle. Thomas was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers for Danny Kristo during the offseason.


Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 11:25 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Warm welcome for Islanders at Barclays Center

BROOKLYN -- The New York Islanders enjoyed a unique start to their 2013 training camp, as they boarded a Long Island Railroad train from Long Island. Their final destination Thursday morning was the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the building scheduled to become their new home in 2015. It will host the team's preseason game on Sept. 21 against the New Jersey Devils, the first-ever NHL game played in Brooklyn.

Upon their arrival in Brooklyn, the players and coaches received a particularly warm greeting.

"First and foremost, welcome to your new home. We're thrilled to have all of you with us today," Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark told the team. "Congratulations to you on a great last season. I'm sure you're going to replicate that effort this season."


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