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2013-2014 Season Preview

30 in 15: Canadiens excited by Tinordi in camp

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

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

The biggest moment of Jarred Tinordi's hockey life wasn't announced to him. He was left to figure it out on his own.

When the Montreal Canadiens cut center Gabriel Dumont and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu following their final preseason game Thursday night, Tinordi was able to conclude that he had achieved a lifelong dream.

"They didn't mention anything to me, but I saw the cuts that were made and I didn't have a meeting, so it was kind of clear that I was sticking around for a little while at least," Tinordi said. "It was obviously a good feeling, I called my parents right away."

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Blackhawks' Nick Leddy still has lots to learn

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 10:37 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The last thing that most people remember about Nick Leddy from the 2012-13 season is the dramatic reduction in his ice time during the Stanley Cup Final.

That cut in ice time raised some red flags about the lofty expectations that were heaped on his shoulders before the age of 20, when legendary coach Scotty Bowman -- a senior adviser for the Chicago Blackhawks -- compared him to a young Phil Housley.

Those questioning the 22-year old Leddy's ability, however, should probably talk to his teammates on the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks first.

"He's good at both ends of the rink and I don't think there's anyone in the League who can chase him from behind the net and keep up with him," Andrew Shaw, a 21-year old second-year center, told NHL.com. "Whenever I'm on the ice with him, I just give it to him and yell, 'Skate!' ... because why should I have to skate with it when he can easily go through three guys?"

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30 in 15: Luongo, Torts among Canucks' storylines

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Mike Battaglino - 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 Vancouver Canucks have so much going on that the contract status of not one but two franchise icons can seem like an afterthought.

Trying to move on from an all-consuming goalie controversy into training camp under a demanding and at times cantankerous new coach, with a cornerstone player coming off back-to-back declining seasons, a top-six forward who just can't stay healthy, after being swept out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs …

Well, the long-term future of captain Henrik Sedin and twin brother Daniel Sedin barely gets first-line treatment in the conversation.

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30 in 15: Capitals still believe in defenseman Orlov

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - 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.

From Mike Green to Karl Alzner and John Carlson, the Washington Capitals have drafted and developed some quality defensemen in the past decade.

Dmitry Orlov has shown flashes of being the next impact player at the position for the franchise, but a bit of a lost season and a logjam at the position has his future in a state of flux.

"He can be a really good player," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "He has great skill, can skate, make good passes. He has to take his chances."

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30 in 15: Capitals again work toward playoff success

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The ending felt all too familiar in 2012-13 for the Washington Capitals, but the journey to that point was a little different than most seasons in this recent era.

Washington won the final edition of the Southeast Division, securing a fifth division title in six years. The Capitals also lost to a lower-seeded team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, and were on the wrong end of a decisive Game 7 at Verizon Center for the fourth time since 2008.

The Capitals began the season with a new coach and the early returns were nearly disastrous. A second-half surge pushed Washington to the top of the division and Alex Ovechkin to a third Hart Trophy. A 15-2-2 run to end the season offered a glimpse of what the Capitals could be with Adam Oates in charge, but the first-round exit, which included a 5-0 drubbing in Game 7, left familiar feelings of frustration lingering through the offseason.

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30 in 15: Will full camp help Capitals?

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Corey Masisak - 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.

By the end of last season, Alex Ovechkin was an MVP, Nicklas Backstrom was among the League's assists leaders and Mike Green had more goals than any other NHL defenseman.

The Washington Capitals were back on top of the Southeast Division after a one-year hiatus, and the team's stars were healthy and productive again. There are questions, from debating the strength of the opponents the Capitals ripped through to reach the postseason to another playoff failure, but the base from which Washington builds from appears to be back intact.

There also are questions about where everyone fits in the lineup, but the collection of talent alone should make the Capitals playoff contenders again. Reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs no longer is a given considering the new division and new playoff format, but should Washington qualify again, the questions about past performance can wait.

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30 in 15: Lack ready to take backup reins in net

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Mike Battaglino - 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.

Eddie Lack is ready to take over one of the most talked about positions in the NHL: backup goalie for the Vancouver Canucks.

"I always put the most pressure on myself," Lack told the Vancouver Sun. "I have done two-and-a-half years in the minors now. I feel ready to step into the backup role here and be a support for Roberto."

That's Roberto Luongo, who could use some support. The former starter-turned-backup turned starter again after Vancouver traded Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils at the NHL Draft.

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Pens' visit to West Point puts hockey in perspective

Friday, 09.27.2013 / 11:40 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The comment from Army hockey coach Brian Riley consisted of 13 words. It left the 26 players that the Pittsburgh Penguins brought to the United States Military Academy speechless.

"I don't like to lose games," Riley told the Penguins upon their arrival at the West Point campus Friday, "but my greatest fear is losing players."

He didn't mean to injury. He meant in war, and it has happened to Riley and the Cadets' hockey program twice in the past eight years.

Derek Hines, member of the Class of 2003, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005. Tom Kennedy, a 2000 graduate, was killed in action in Afghanistan last year, reportedly a victim of a suicide bomb.

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Thomas excited to be a part of Panthers' fresh start

Friday, 09.27.2013 / 2:00 PM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- It's a time for fresh starts around the Florida Panthers. It's certainly the case for the franchise, whose sale became official Friday, and it also applies to their new veteran goaltender.

Tim Thomas' NHL career officially was reborn Thursday when he signed a one-year contract with the Panthers after joining the team during training camp on a professional tryout.

"I'm very excited to be a Florida Panther,” Thomas said after practice Friday. "I'm very excited to be part of an organization that's in the middle of a new start, looking to grow and get better being part of a group that's headed in the same direction."

The signing of Thomas came after he spent time with new owner Vincent "Vinnie" Viola on Thursday.

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Hurricanes' season rests on Ward's knees

Friday, 09.27.2013 / 9:00 AM / 2013-2014 Season Preview

Kurt Dusterberg - NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Every NHL player would like to start the season under ideal circumstances, healthy and refreshed after a promising season, for example.

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward won't have the luxury of that mindset. He will have to dig a little deeper.

Ward's 2012-13 season ended March 3 when he suffered a third-degree sprain of his medial collateral ligament against the Florida Panthers. At the time, his game was on the rise after a slow start in which he allowed four goals in six of his first 11 starts.

Fast forward to training camp, where Ward had to find his game all over again.

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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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