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Absences of unsigned players and others stick out as NHL training camps open

Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 9:55 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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Absences of unsigned players and others stick out as NHL training camps open

TORONTO - Training camps are opening around the NHL this morning with players arriving to take physicals.

On-ice sessions won't start until Thursday, but today marks the unofficial start of the 2013-14 season.

"Finally. It officially starts," Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson said on Twitter. "I'm even so excited that I (woke) up half an hour earlier than usual. And that never happens."

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri is at camp after signing a two-year, $5.8-million deal Tuesday night. Leafs defenceman Cody Franson does not have a contract and will not report.

Other restricted free agents with no deals include St. Louis Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo, Senators defenceman Jared Cowan and New York Rangers centre Derek Stepan.

"Talks between the Blues and Alex’s camp have broken off for now and Alex will not be reporting for our camp today," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement.

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For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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