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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:33 PM

By Jerry Brown - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Coyotes GM not happy with absent Ekman-Larsson

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney was happy that the long-awaited first day of training camp arrived Wednesday with player physicals at Arena.

But the fact that one of the team's top players, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, was not in Arizona made for some furrowed brows and head-shaking.

Ekman-Larsson apparently forgot to get his immigration papers in order in time for training camp. He is working on his visa, but will miss at least a few days and Maloney indicated there would be some action, possibly a fine assessed for the oversight.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:11 PM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Holmgren still expects Cleary at Flyers camp

Despite a report that Daniel Cleary will not join the Philadelphia Flyers, general manager Paul Holmgren told reporters at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday that he still expects the veteran forward to report to training camp Thursday.

"Until I hear it from the horse's mouth ..." Holmgren said to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the report that Cleary would not be with the Flyers.

CBC's Elliott Friedman tweeted Wednesday afternoon: "Not exactly sure why, but it appears as if there is some complication between Daniel Cleary and [Philadelphia]. Told he will not be joining Flyers."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:09 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

New-look Jets determined to be better

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets retained their coaching staff this summer, but it will have a new look.

The Jets coupled a 30th-place showing on the power play last season with the penalty kill's 24th-place finish. The organization has made retooling the club's special-teams play a top priority.

To that end, coach Claude Noel announced that assistant coach Pascal Vincent will focus on the power play, while veteran assistant Perry Pearn will work on fixing the club's penalty kill, with help from Charlie Huddy.

"We have to be better," Noel said.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 4:01 PM

By Staff -  / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Hurricanes' Pitkanen ruled out for season

The Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday announced defenseman Joni Pitkanen will sit out the 2013-14 season because of a broken left heel sustained last season.

"It's unfortunate," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford told the Raleigh News and Observer. "Joni is a good player who was able to play a lot of minutes for us and he will be missed. We'll now have to deal with it and move forward. We'll explore all options and decide on how we'll proceed."

Pitkanen sustained the injury during a game against the Washington Capitals on April 2, when he fell into the boards trying to touch the puck on an icing play.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 3:57 PM

By Louie Korac - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Blues' Pietrangelo to miss start of training camp

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- There was no common ground to be found between the St. Louis Blues and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, despite the fact the two sides met well into the night Tuesday.

So when the Blues open training camp on Thursday, Pietrangelo will be a noticeable absentee from camp.

That's the news general manager Doug Armstrong gave Wednesday on the fourth pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, who is represented by Don Meehan of Newport Sports.

"He's not in training camp," Armstrong said of the 23-year-old Pietrangelo. "We've worked in earnest with his representatives trying to get him into training camp. We've talked about a lot of different options as far as a number of years.

"[Tuesday] night, we gave it a last-ditch kick at the can around eight or nine o'clock at night and it didn't hold. So from this point forward, he's not in camp and we treat him like an injured player. ... If he misses a week, a month, a year, we're not really sure, but he's not here now and we have to move forward."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 3:55 PM

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

Canadiens' Plekanec moves past tragic week

BROSSARD, Quebec – Tomas Plekanec has always been one to find his summers a little bit too long, particularly since his Montreal Canadiens have not made the Stanley Cup Final once in his eight seasons with the club.

He is a hockey junkie, and is always itching to play.

But this year, Plekanec wanted to spend a little extra time at his home in Kladno, Czech Republic because, for one of the few times in his life, hockey had to take a back seat to something more serious.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 3:48 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Boyes ready for new beginning with Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Veteran forward Brad Boyes arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday, on the eve of the Florida Panthers' first training camp practice.

He's hoping his stay is an extended one and the Panthers turn his professional tryout into a contract.

"I am looking forward to it," Boyes said. "The opportunity should be there, so that will be exciting. I know a few guys on the team, guys I've played with before, so I'm looking forward to that too. It's something that for me it's an opportunity and I want to make the most of it."

Boyes, who turned 31 in April, played last season with the New York Islanders, but remains unsigned as an unrestricted free agent. He said the Islanders offered him the opportunity to attend their training camp as a tryout player, but he didn't want to go that route. Boyes also said he had a couple of other tryout offers.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 3:33 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Lightning coach Cooper has big head start

TAMPA, Fla. -- He had 16 games behind the bench to finish last season, but Jon Cooper opened his first training camp as the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Cooper, who joined the Lightning from the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, went 5-8-3 with a team hurt by injuries and which finished 14th in the Eastern Conference, but there is no discounting how much that brief spell leading the team has proved invaluable for him.

"Just getting to know the landscape helped," Cooper said. "The travel, the day-to-day operation, everything that goes on in the League, meeting the media on a daily basis, just things that you don't plan for to take up your time and all of a sudden your day is gone and you don't know what happened with it. That was big for me in the month I was here.

"The second big thing was getting the relationship with the players, being able to find out, in anticipation of this year, who could play where. Moving in, I just have a better grasp on the team."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 3:24 PM

By Patrick Williams - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Noel: Improved depth improves Jets' playoff hopes

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets reported to MTS Centre on Wednesday for physicals, but the real work of answering a long list of questions will begin when they take the ice Thursday to prepare for their first season in the Western Conference.

While the Jets gave coach Claude Noel a one-year contract extension this summer, there will be considerable pressure on him, in his third season, to take the organization into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2007, when the franchise was located in Atlanta. Another postseason miss could leave Noel’s future behind the Winnipeg bench in jeopardy.

"I'm certainly ready to go," Noel told reporters in his season-opening address. "I'm anticipating some very good things this year."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 2:46 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - Training Camp 2013 blog

Sans Lecavalier, Lightning ready for youth movement

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday opened their first training camp without Vincent Lecavalier since 1998, and the emphasis definitely is on youth and the future.

Lecavalier, now with the Philadelphia Flyers, had his absence noted, but for many his departure is viewed as a mixed blessing.

"Not having Vinny here is a little weird," veteran forward Ryan Malone said, "but we recognize it as a business decision."

It is a new day in Tampa Bay, and the door is open for an enthusiastic collection of members of the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, to make their mark.

"We've had to absorb some big losses on our roster, but that's the door opening for some of the young talent, and a lot of this talent has won before," Lightning coach Jon Cooper, starting his first full season with the team, said. "They have it in them. They know what it takes. This is just another little step they have to take. There will be some battles and I'm pretty excited to see which ones grab the torch."

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Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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