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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 11:11 AM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers' McDonagh to Stepan: 'Stay positive'

The New York Rangers underwent on-ice conditioning tests on Thursday with center Derek Stepan remaining absent from the team.

A restricted free agent, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported Stepan to be seeking a five- or six-year contract worth around $5 million per season, while the Rangers are believed to be offering a two-year contract between $2.75-$3 million person.

Stepan led the Rangers in scoring last season with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists). Defenseman Ryan McDonagh had a message for his teammate: "Stay positive."

"It's a tough situation for him or anyone to be in," McDonagh said. "He's such a competitive guy and loves the game of hockey. You've got to go with what your agent, and yourself, and your family and your friends all feel. As soon as he gets back here, which we're confident he will, he's going to be welcomed and we’re going to utilize his talents for sure."

Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 9:44 AM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Cleary not present as Flyers take ice at training camp

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers held their first on-ice session of training camp Thursday minus one player from their announced roster.

Forward Daniel Cleary, previously announced as a camp invite on a professional tryout, is not with the team.

A Flyers spokesman said the team had no comment.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 10:48 PM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Penner to start on Ducks line with Getzlaf, Perry

The Anaheim Ducks will open training camp Thursday with a reunited top line of Dustin Penner, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Penner is back with Anaheim after playing the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. During the 2006-07 season, he, Getzlaf and Perry played together often during the Ducks' run to the Stanley Cup.

"I think I'll be given a bit more of an opportunity here, playing with guys that are more prone to cycling the puck and wearing down the opposition," Penner told The Associated Press on Wednesday at Honda Center. "For whatever reason, we clicked instantly when we were put together, and we all joined the Ducks, and even in the minors in Portland. We just have that unspoken bond when we're on the ice together."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 10:31 PM

By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Canucks' Luongo: 'Tough to do a complete 180 turn'

VANCOUVER -- Roberto Luongo was back in the media spotlight Wednesday, and again he was asked about his state of mind coming back as the No.1 goaltender for a Vancouver Canucks team that took that title away and tried to trade him for almost 18 months.

Except this time Luongo wasn't asked if he was happy about coming back to Vancouver after preparing to leave for so long, a question he danced around in previous interviews, but whether or not it was important. It certainly seems to be among the fan base.

"You guys [have to] understand, after what has happened over two years, it's a process and just kind of got to feel it out and see how it goes" Luongo said. "I am not saying I am unhappy. I am just saying right now I just want to be playing and then we'll see how things go. I think it's tough to do a complete 180 turn on something like this."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 8:23 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Bickell, Handzus OK for Blackhawks camp

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Injuries stemming from the Chicago Blackhawks' victory in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final appear mostly healed, and the team appears to be healthy for the official start of camp Thursday at the University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena.

Blackhawks vice president and general manager Stan Bowman said Wednesday he expects forwards Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus, who each needed surgical procedures this summer, to participate.

"We had our medicals today and to my knowledge everything is fine," Bowman said. "I talked to the doctor this morning and the players are on their way up here now, but I spoke to both of them and they all look ready to go. I think health-wise we're in a very good situation leading into camp. There's always some little things that pop up here and there, but no surprises."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 7:20 PM

By Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Avalanche captain Landeskog expects better season

DENVER -- Gabriel Landeskog expects his second season as Colorado Avalanche captain to go more smoothly than his first. Named captain by coach Joe Sacco before the lockout-shortened season started, Landeskog missed 12 games with a head injury, slumped to nine goals and 17 points, and the Avalanche missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third year in a row.

"Last year was a little weird, to say the least, coming in after a lockout and having the 'C' on my jersey for just a few months," said Landeskog, who won the Calder Trophy in 2011-12 after scoring 22 goals and 52 points in 82 games. "It was a little weird. Now I know more what to expect. I'm not saying I'm the perfect captain, but it takes a while and there are a lot of great guys around here who are going to help me.

"(New Avalanche coach) Patrick (Roy) knows what it's like to be a leader in the dressing room, and I'm going to talk to him a lot. We're looking forward to having a little bit of a fresh start."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 7:17 PM

By Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Downie cleared to return to ice for Avalanche

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche right wing Steve Downie has recovered from the torn anterior cruciate knee ligament he sustained in the second game of last season and will take part in on-ice workouts Thursday.

Downie, 26, is expected to skate on the third line this season with rookie center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Jamie McGinn.

"He's cleared to play," Roy said of Downie. "I met him in June and he took [his rehabilitation] very seriously, and I'm very proud of him. He really worked hard and he's ready to play. He's an important player for us. His game is something that this team needs."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 6:02 PM

By Craig Merz - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Gaborik ready for Columbus, unclear for Horton

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets who are recovering from surgery are progressing as planned, or even better, but that still means forward Nathan Horton will miss a sizable chunk of the season.

There is better news about Marian Gaborik, who will be ready when training camp opens Thursday. Gaborik, acquired from the New York Rangers on April 4, underwent abdominal surgery in early May.

"Gaborik's going to be healthy to start the training camp," general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He's feeling great. He's excited about the year, the full year, and getting a fresh start."

Horton had shoulder surgery shortly after signing a seven-year, $37.1 million contract with the Blue Jackets on July 5. The team knew about the injury, sustained during the Stanley Cup playoffs while playing for the Boston Bruins, at the time of signing.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 5:11 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Kings' Brown, Williams, Stoll all say their healthy

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – One by one, key veterans of the Los Angeles Kings popped their heads out the door of their practice facility locker room a day before training camp opened.

Captain Dustin Brown, Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll all pronounced themselves ready to go Wednesday after offseason medical issues. The scariest was Stoll's seizure incident at his home in July. Stoll said he underwent evaluations for three weeks and has since felt fine.

"Everything looks normal, 100 percent," Stoll said. "Just for peace of mind, I guess - I feel good. I feel healthy."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:52 PM

By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Ankle keeping Booth off ice at Canucks camp

VANCOUVER -- David Booth skated with his Vancouver Canucks teammates during informal practices late last week, so it surprised some to hear new coach John Tortorella say Wednesday that the power forward still hadn't been cleared medically to start training camp.

"Day to day," Tortorella said, jumping in on a question directed toward general manager Mike Gillis sitting next to him before both said it wasn't a surprise to them that Booth isn't ready. "We want to try and keep him healthy, so we want to be careful here."

Booth injured his groin during on-ice fitness testing last season and missed the first month of the season. He returned and scored one empty-net goal in 12 games before badly spraining his ankle in an awkward fall March 16, an injury that required surgery six days later.

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Well, for me this one's concerning, the way we performed. Because three games in, playing a desperate team on the road, I was expecting something else than this. Right now, I'm just disappointed. The other games, I thought we did some things that you can build off your game. There wasn't a lot accomplished in tonight's game.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards after a 4-2 loss to the Sabres on Monday dropped Columbus to 0-3-0
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