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2010 Offseason News

Kadri confident he can play with the big boys now

Thursday, 09.02.2010 / 1:17 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Nazem Kadri has a distinct memory from his first and only game as a Toronto Maple Leaf last season, and it's not a good one.

The wide-eyed 19-year-old center glided toward the center-ice dot at Air Canada Centre to take the opening faceoff against San Jose Sharks star Joe Thornton. But before Kadri knew what was happening, Thornton had won the draw -- easily -- and the game was under way.

"I was just in awe. I didn't know what to think. I wasn't exactly ready to go," Kadri said this week. "I'm pretty sure he won the faceoff all the way back to his goalie."

It didn't get much better for Kadri that night. He was held without a shot in 17:26 of ice time and finished minus-1 in a 3-2 loss.

Pens' Staal not ready yet, but hopeful for opener

Thursday, 09.02.2010 / 1:12 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal will miss the beginning of the team's training camp with a foot injury, but should be ready to go to open the regular season on Oct. 7, Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero announced Thursday.

"The fact that Jordan came back and played with this injury during the playoffs is a testament to his toughness and competitiveness," Shero said. "He has experienced some setbacks due to infection, but is now on the road to recovery. We believe he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season in October."

Staal, a first-time Selke Trophy finalist last season after finishing with 21 goals, 49 points, 121 hits and 41 takeaways, suffered a lacerated tendon in his foot in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens on April 30. His recovery was delayed when the area developed an infection, but the setback should not affect his readiness for the beginning of the 2010-11 regular season.

Oilers' young trio try to block hype and make team

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 2:08 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle are well aware of the expectations swirling around them. They are being touted as the saviors who will return the downtrodden Edmonton Oilers to their 1980s glory -- but that's not something they're concerned with right now.

It's not that they aren't aware of all that hype, but the only thing Hall, 18; Paajarvi, 19; and Eberle, 20, are focused on right now is simply making the team out of training camp.  

"With the history they have with their team, and the passion they have in that city as far as hockey, it's an exciting town to go into and hopefully I get an opportunity to play there," said Eberle, who will be attending his third training camp with the club. "I'm just going to focus on making the team first. That's my main goal, to secure a spot on that team. From then, it's obviously turning it into winning."

Sharks President and CEO Greg Jamison Stepping Away from Day-to-Day Operations

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 1:58 PM / 2010 Offseason News
Long-time San Jose Sharks President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Jamison announced today he has decided to step away from his position and the day-to-day operations of the highly-successful and well-respected National Hockey League franchise on October 1. The process of finding a replacement will begin shortly.

Moving forward, Jamison will continue to be involved with the franchise. He remains a member of the ownership group and serves as the franchise's Governor to the NHL as well as on the League's ten-person Executive Committee, a position he was elected to by the NHL's Board of Governors in 2007. In addition, he will remain active in his position as president of the Sharks Foundation.

Predators acquire Grant Lewis from Atlanta

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 1:35 PM / 2010 Offseason News
The Nashville Predators have acquired defenseman Grant Lewis from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for forward Ian McKenzie.

Lewis, 25, split the 2009-10 season between the AHL’s Chicago Wolves and Hershey Bears, and appeared in one postseason contest during the Bears’ run to the 2010 Calder Cup. Lewis also played on the Wolves’ 2008 Calder Cup-winning team, has posted 44 points (3g-41a) and 145 penalty minutes in 133 AHL contests since turning pro in 2007. He has also appeared in one NHL game with the Thrashers on March 3, 2009 vs. Florida.

Healthy Weight eager to get Isles' season started

Wednesday, 09.01.2010 / 12:10 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Things haven't gone quite as smoothly as Doug Weight expected they would when he first joined the New York Islanders in the summer of 2008.

Sure, he was given the honor of being named the team's captain after Bill Guerin was traded to Pittsburgh in 2009, but injuries have limited the 39-year-old to just 89 games during the last two seasons.

Year 2 was worse than Year 1 for Weight, who tore the rotator cuff and labrum in his left shoulder in November and then attempted to play through it before undergoing season-ending surgery in March. He had just 1 goal and 16 assists in 36 games.

"My first 16 years (in the League) were relatively healthy," Weight told after signing a one-year deal with the Isles on Tuesday. "It's been pretty disappointing with all the injuries I've had. The shoulder's been kind of nagging me since I became an Islander. When I got hurt in November, that's kind of the reason I rehabbed it. I tore my labrum completely. But I didn't know if I was going to have another chance to play.

Turco aiming to add to Blackhawks' success

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 7:44 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – Sitting behind a microphone and next to his new boss, Marty Turco smiled while watching his own highlights play on a nearby television screen.

The setting was the Stadium Club inside Chicago's United Center Tuesday, where Turco was officially introduced as the Chicago Blackhawks' new No.1 goaltender.

Turco took questions about everything from his decision to sign with the Hawks, to his own desire win a Cup, to his noteworthy puck-handling skills. Turco talked about how happy and excited he was, but speaking for him more than words was the smile he wore along with a gray tie and pinstriped navy blazer.

"The opportunity to come to Chicago and play for a winner was the most important thing," Turco said, while seated next to Hawks General Manager Stan Bowman. "These kids looked like they had some fun last year and I want to be a part of it. I look forward to the opportunity to stand in my crease in the 'Madhouse on Madison' and get the chance to make some saves and get the people up on their feet, hopefully like on those highlights."

Lundqvist says fewer starts will mean more wins

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 4:08 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Despite starting 72 games last season, mostly without a safety net since the Rangers didn't have a real suitable backup for him, Henrik Lundqvist said he didn't feel a twinge of exhaustion as he packed up for the long summer following Game No. 82 of the regular season.

Was his pride crushed? Yes. Was he angry? Of course. But, Lundqvist felt strong and was ready to continue on into the spring if he and the Rangers had just won that last-day shootout in Philadelphia.

But looking back on his 2009-10 season, and particularly his workload, Lundqvist admitted Tuesday in an interview with that starting 72 regular-season games nowadays is not smart if you want to keep up your hopes of playing into June.

Esposito looks for a role with the Thrashers

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 3:29 PM / 2010 Offseason News

John Manasso - Correspondent

DULUTH, Ga. -- Angelo Esposito spent most of his summer in the heat of Atlanta -- but far from the beach where most 21-year-old native Montrealers would expect to be during the off months of the hockey calendar.

However, life has not offered the expected to the once-highly rated Thrashers prospect. In December, Esposito needed surgery on the ACL in his right knee for the second time within a year -- meaning that in the last 12 months, he has only 12 games of American Hockey League action to show for in the way of a budding career.

Amid that hardship, Esposito has shown a resiliency that he will need to continue to draw upon to arrive at his ultimate destination. By the end of July, he was skating hard for the first time in more than seven months, and more recently he has participated in informal workouts at the Thrashers' suburban practice facility with other players the team has under contract.

Chelios, 48, hangs up skates after 26 seasons

Tuesday, 08.31.2010 / 2:28 PM / 2010 Offseason News

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

After a playing career that lasted nearly three decades, Chris Chelios finally is hanging up the blades.

The 48-year-old, who appeared in 1,651 NHL games (the most by a defenseman), accepted a position with the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday to become an Advisor to Hockey Operations. A three-time Norris Trophy winner as the League's best blueliner, Chelios was a part of three Stanley Cup championship teams -- one with Montreal (1986) and two with Detroit (2002 and 2008).

Chelios finished his career with 185 goals and 763 assists. He also racked up 2,891 minutes in penalties. In 266 playoff contests, Chelios had 31 goals, 113 assists and 423 penalty minutes.
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