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(Page 13 of 17)
2013-2014 Season Preview

30 in 15: Beck looking for breakthrough with Predators

Wednesday, 09.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

It's hard to believe how far left wing Taylor Beck has come since sustaining a concussion in November 2012 following a violent crash into the boards while playing for the Nashville Predators' American Hockey League team in Milwaukee.

The 2009 third-round pick (No. 70) would rejoin the team less than three weeks after the incident and pick up where he left off, finishing the season with 11 goals and 41 points in 50 games. He'd score 16 games with the Predators, producing three goals and seven points.

Beck's first NHL goal came March 23 against the Columbus Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky off a wrist shot from the right circle. Bobrovsky won the 2013 Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie.

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30 in 15: Sabres to let camp battles determine roster

Wednesday, 09.18.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The rebuild officially is underway in Buffalo.

Over the past eight or so months, the Sabres fired coach Lindy Ruff and hired Ron Rolston; traded captain Jason Pominville and veteran defensemen Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold and Andrej Sekera; and recommitted to a youth movement that has seen the organization select 20 players during the past two NHL drafts.

That youth will define the Sabres for the foreseeable future. With the departures last season, Buffalo's roster became the League's youngest, with an average age of 26.41 years. In all, 37 of the 60 players invited to training camp were born in 1990 or later, making the bulk of Buffalo's potential roster a mix of explosive talent and massive inexperience.

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Seven 2013 draft picks who could stick this season

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Now that NHL training camps have officially kicked off throughout North America, one question that will continue to surface in the coming weeks is which of the first-round draft picks selected in June will ultimately have a significant impact with their team right now.

This year's draft was considered one of the deepest in recent memory and each of the 30 teams can rest assured that if their choice isn't producing this season, there should come a time down the road when his name is mentioned prominently in game roundups.

"Steven Stamkos is one of the more gifted goal scorers this League has ever seen and he's already been in the League five seasons," Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper told NHL.com. "But, as an 18-year-old No. 1 draft pick, even he didn't play every single game and it took some time before he started to take off."

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30 in 15: O'Reilly in new role at Avalanche camp

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Training camp opened last week for the Colorado Avalanche, with the annual Burgundy/White Game played Sunday in Colorado Springs and the preseason schedule set to get underway at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

It's difficult to imagine a franchise whose fans are more eager to see hockey back on the ice, with the offseason changes made to the coaching staff and front office, the drafting of center Nathan MacKinnon with the No. 1 pick at the 2013 NHL Draft, and the desire to get last season's bad taste out of their mouths.

As the next several weeks leading up to the Oct. 2 regular-season opener (also against the Ducks) play out, here are three things to look for at Avalanche training camp:

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30 in 15: Hurricanes' Gerbe out to prove himself

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Nathan Gerbe has spent most of his life trying to prove people wrong.

Usually that revolves around his size; he's listed at 5-foot-5, 178 pounds. Now, though, he's out to prove to one specific group of people, the decision-makers with the Buffalo Sabres, that buying out the final year of his contract was a mistake.

Gerbe spent three weeks in July looking for a job, finally signing a one-year, two-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes that will pay him $550,000 if he's in the NHL.

"Nathan has had success on the NHL level and should compete for a job with the Hurricanes during training camp," Ron Francis, vice president of hockey operations, said in announcing the deal.

Gerbe has plans on doing more than just competing for a job. He's planning on winning one and making the most of his chances in Carolina.

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30 in 15: Young Avalanche seek next step under Roy

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

After the Colorado Avalanche finished at the bottom of the Western Conference standings in 2008-09, the outlook didn't seem especially promising for the following season.

Though pundits weren't expecting much from Colorado, the team regrouped in a hurry. Buoyed by a draft that saw the addition of center Matt Duchene with the No. 3 pick and a brilliant season in goal by Craig Anderson, the Avalanche claimed a Stanley Cup Playoff berth on the strength of a Duchene shootout goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the final week of the regular season.

The three seasons since have seen Colorado fail to return to the postseason, and following a 15th-place showing in 2012-13, sweeping changes were made. The Avalanche have a new coach, Patrick Roy, and another high draft pick, Nathan MacKinnon. Expectations may be low outside Denver, but that won't be the case inside the team's dressing room.

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30 in 15: Downie poised to make impact for Avalanche

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Brian Hunter - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Entering his fifth NHL season, center Matt Duchene sees a lot to be excited about the 2013-14 Colorado Avalanche.

On a team with plenty of young offensive talent, however, one player in particular flies under the radar. He's skated 22 games in an Avalanche jersey since being acquired at the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline, but if he can stay healthy, Steve Downie offers an exciting combination of skill and snarl.

Over the summer, new coach Patrick Roy projected Downie to play right wing on the third line with 2013 No. 1 draft pick Nathan MacKinnon as his center. At practice Tuesday, he was skating on the top line with Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly. Regardless of Downie's linemates, he could be poised for a career season.

"[Downie], losing him last year was a huge blow. People don't really realize what a huge blow that was," Duchene told NHL.com earlier this month at the Player Media Tour in New York. "It's almost like we traded for a player now, getting him back."

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30 in 15: Hurricanes after consistency, health

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

March 3, 2013 served as a line of demarcation for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Before that day, they were a first-place team in the Southeast Division, already eyeing a Stanley Cup Playoff spot for the first time since 2009.

But during the second period of a game against the Florida Panthers, defenseman Justin Faulk fell and collided with Cam Ward, knocking down the goalie and leaving him with a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Ward's season was over, and for the most part so was the Hurricanes'. They won seven of their final 27 games and finished 13th in the Eastern Conference.

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30 in 15: Hurricanes look to piece together defense

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2013-14 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

When the Carolina Hurricanes were healthy last season, things were going well. They were scoring goals and rose to the top of the Southeast Division.

Then came that night in early March when goalie Cam Ward injured his knee, and things went downhill from there. Injuries and losses piled up in equal numbers, and the Hurricanes missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons since winning the Cup in 2006.

The hope is enough of the injured bodies have healed and there's a plan is in place for a return to the postseason. Here are three things to watch in training camp to see if the Hurricanes are on the right path:

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30 in 15: Dvorak could lend experience to Hurricanes

Tuesday, 09.17.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- On the first day of Carolina Hurricanes training camp, there was no mistaking Radek Dvorak's on-ice smarts.

In one drill, the veteran forward picked up a loose puck, drifted back toward the faceoff circle and laid a pass on Jeff Skinner's tape in the slot. Moments later, Dvorak won a one-on-one battle in the corner and then schooled a minor-league defenseman by backing in for a shot on goal, which rang off the post.

Dvorak has not made the team -- at least not yet. At 36, he is at Carolina's camp on a professional tryout. His 1,200-game NHL career speaks to his consistency, but it also identifies the fine line he cuts with every stride down the ice: Is he the ideal savvy veteran? Or is he a forward whose game is diminishing in the twilight of his career?

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Quote of the Day

What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp