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2011-2012 Season Preview

Aebischer happy for another NHL opportunity

Monday, 09.19.2011 / 2:06 PM / 2011-2012 Season Preview

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

"I came here hoping to play somewhere in North America. I'm happy to be here and have a chance to play in North America again. Right now I have a chance to come here and have a tryout and see what happens." -- David Aebischer

WINNIPEG -- David Aebischer could have continued to live the good life in Switzerland, but the lure of the NHL has proven difficult to resist for the veteran goaltender.

The 33-year-old is in camp with the Winnipeg Jets with no guarantee beyond an opportunity to earn his way back into an NHL organization.

It has been 14 years since Aebischer has found himself in an NHL training camp without a contract, but he is willing to take his chances. Aebischer could find a spot in the Winnipeg organization in a depth role at the American League level, plus there are 29 other NHL organizations with eyes to open and impress this preseason.

Nylander hopes to be reunited with Jagr in Philly

Monday, 09.19.2011 / 2:01 PM / 2011-2012 Season Preview

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Michael Nylander has been trying to resurrect his partnership with Jaromir Jagr for a few years now. In Philadelphia, he might get the chance.

The Flyers signed Jagr to a one-year contract on July 1, and on Aug. 17 signed Nylander to tryout contract and invited him to training camp.

"We've been talking for a couple years about that we want to play together, when he was in Russia and I was everywhere else," Nylander told NHL.com. "Finally this opportunity came up. I am excited about that. We'll see how it goes."

For Nylander, about anything would be an improvement over the last few seasons. He had spent 15 seasons in the NHL with seven teams, but following a 2008-09 season that saw him total just 9 goals and 24 assists in 72 games with the Washington Capitals, the Caps waived Nylander and ended up loaning him to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League and Jokerit Helsinki in Finland. 

Preseason opens Monday with four games

Monday, 09.19.2011 / 10:39 AM / 2011-2012 Season Preview


It's been three months since the puck was dropped on an NHL game, but that will all change Monday.

The preseason gets under way with four contests, the first of which will take place at 3 p.m. between the Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers. In a first for the League, the teams will meet in the second half of a doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. With training camp getting started only a few days ago, both teams have enough players available to play two games. It's not expected that anyone will play in both contests.

Two more games will start at 7 p.m. -- the Buffalo Sabres will host the Carolina Hurricanes and the Ottawa Senators will tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Avs, Blues ready to forget last year's disappointments

Monday, 09.19.2011 / 8:52 AM / 2011-2012 Season Preview

Dan Rosen and E.J. Hradek - NHL.com Staff Writers

Seven teams in the Western Conference didn't make the playoffs. That, of course, happens every season, but usually some of them break from that bottom-feeder pack the following season and surprise everyone with a move into the elite eight.
Let's call them the dark-horse teams.
Anaheim was the only dark horse to do it last season, but Phoenix, Los Angeles, Colorado and Nashville made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2010 after missing the previous season. Four teams also made the jump in 2009 after suffering through a long offseason in 2008.
Which team or teams make the move in 2012? We've got our ideas on the topic:
Colorado Avalanche
Yes, the 2010-11 season was Colorado's worst since the franchise relocated from Quebec. And, yes, the Avalanche have many of the same players back from the team that won only 30 games and garnered just 68 points, good for No. 14 in the Western Conference.
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Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets