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Training Camp Buzz: Dumba, Koivu back with Wild after surgeries

Clutterbuck ready to go for Islanders; Theodore reveals cancer diagnosis

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Welcome to the 2019 preseason! Camps are open with players hitting the ice Friday. This is a busy time, with rookies looking to make a name for themselves and veterans looking to lock down roster spots. Each day, we will have all the updates of note right here.

Here is the training camp news for Thursday:

 
Dumba, Koivu set to skate for Wild

Matt Dumba and Mikko Koivu are expected to be on the ice for the Minnesota Wild on Friday, coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Dumba, a 25-year-old defenseman, had surgery for a ruptured right pectoralis muscle in his chest Dec. 26, 2018. He was injured against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 15.

"I'm very excited (to be back)," Dumba said. "It's been a long time coming. I've gone through a lot, so to be here now is all that much more rewarding with all that hard work that got me here." 

Koivu is ready to practice but likely won't play the first couple of preseason games. The 36-year-old forward and Wild captain had surgery Feb. 18 to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee sustained three days earlier.

"(Koivu's) going to be the one to let me know his comfortability level to know whether to go in right away or to practice a little bit longer before he goes in," Boudreau said. "As soon as he gives me and the trainers give me the OK to participate, he'll participate."

Jessi Pierce

 

Clutterbuck ready to start camp with Islanders

Cal Clutterbuck will skate with the New York Islanders on Friday after recovering from offseason back surgery.

"I think that was the general expectation after I came out of surgery and seeing how I responded," the 31-year-old forward said. "Before I went in, there was some question, but I knew if the surgery was successful that I would be ready to go." 

Clutterbuck said his back began bothering him in February. He did not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round on May 3, a 5-2 loss that eliminated the Islanders from the Stanley Cup Playoffs

"It was one of those things where I was putting a lot of work in just to be able to go on the ice," Clutterbuck said. "Now when I get out of bed, I stand up and don't think twice about it. But it was a long enough time where I just got used to feeling that way. I got off surgery, I kind of stood up and walked around. Just the relief from the pain that I was feeling was a great feeling. That was enough positivity to get me through the first three or four weeks of laying around."

Brian Compton

 

Theodore at Golden Knights camp after recovery from surgery for testicular cancer

Shea Theodore revealed in an article in The Players Tribune that he's "made a full recovery" from offseason surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

The Vegas Golden Knights defenseman said the cancer was diagnosed after a blood test administered at the IIHF World Championship, where he played for Canada. He's being monitored for any recurrences and said he will donate to early detection causes for every point he has this season.

"What happened to me really feels like a miracle," he wrote.

Theodore did not say whether he would miss any time. He is included on the Golden Knights training camp roster. Vegas will have its first on-ice workout Friday and plays its first preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.

The 24-year-old had 37 points (12 goals, 25 assists) in 79 games for the Golden Knights last season.

Video: Shea Theodore announces testicular cancer diagnosis

 

Rantanen still RFA, not with Avalanche

Mikko Rantanen remains a restricted free agent and did not report to the Colorado Avalanche for the opening of training camp.

"Certainly, he's a great player for us and we'd love to have him in camp," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said of the 22-year-old forward. 

"He's obviously not here, so the focus for me and our team shifts to the guys who are here and in our locker room that can help us prepare for the first day of regular season (and) establish the habits we need to go through training camp and into the regular season. We're certainly hopeful that he'll join us at some point. As of now we have a job to do to get ready for the season, and that's the way I look at it."

Bednar said Andre Burakovsky, acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on June 28, and Joonas Donskoi, who signed a four-year contract as an unrestricted free agent July 1, are the top candidates to replace Rantanen on the top line with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

Rick Sadowski

 

'Still work to be done' with Laine, Connor, Jets GM says

Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are not expected to be with the Winnipeg Jets when training camp opens Friday. 

"Again, we're at a stage here where there's still work to be done," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said of the restricted free agent forwards. "And we'll continue to work at that. That's pretty much the basis of the most comments I'll give on negotiations, other than we'll continue to work at them and hopefully everything works out sooner rather than later."

Tim Campbell

 

Hyman, Dermott need more time to recover for Maple Leafs

Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott will not be ready to start the regular season for the Toronto Maple Leafs after offseason surgeries.

Hyman, a 27-year-old forward, won't participate in main scrimmages throughout camp. He had surgery to repair a torn ACL on April 29 and was projected to need six months to recover.

"It's definitely day by day, but I'm skating now so that's great," Hyman said. "You have to make sure you're only pushing yourself so far, so you don't have a setback. Everything has been good, so I'm optimistic about it. As fast as I want to come back, you have to respect the timeline so that when I do, I'm faster, stronger and a better player."

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said he expects Dermott to not play the first 12-14 games of the season. The 22-year-old defenseman had shoulder surgery May 10 and his expected timeline was a minimum of six months.

"I'm just trying to stay on the schedule the doctors have for me, keep focused on that and then once they think I'm good enough, hopefully get the green light," Dermott said.

Dave McCarthy

 

Canucks won't rush to name captain

The Vancouver Canucks are in no hurry to name their next captain.

The Canucks didn't have a captain last season after Henrik Sedin retired following 2017-18, his eighth season as captain. Instead, coach Travis Green relied on four alternates: forwards Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter, and defensemen Alexander Edler and Christopher Tanev.

"After [Henrik] retired, I didn't think we were ready to have a captain," Green said Thursday. "I like the leadership group in our room, especially with the new players we've added. But being captain for an NHL team is a big honor, it's a big decision. It's nothing you need to rush into. You need to make sure you make the right decision, and we don't have to decide today."

Horvat, the popular pick, said Wednesday he's ready to take that step. But Green said he first wants to see how the dynamic has changed after adding defensemen Tyler Myers and Jordie Benn, and top-six forwards Micheal Ferland and J.T. Miller through trades and free agency.

"I want to see how everything looks on the ice, in the locker room, around the guys and we'll make a decision," Green said. "We're definitely closer to naming one than we would have been last year."

 

Kevin Woodley

 

Senators to have three alternate captains

Mark Borowiecki, Ron Hainsey and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were named alternate captains for the Ottawa Senators this season.

Borowiecki, a 30-year-old defenseman, has played eight NHL seasons, all in Ottawa. Hainsey, a 38-year-old defenseman, signed a one-year contract July 1 after two seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pageau, a 26-year-old forward, has been an alternate captain the past two seasons.

The Senators have not had a captain since defenseman Erik Karlsson was traded to the San Jose Sharks on Sept. 13, 2018.

 

Kempny getting better, eyes playing in Capitals opener

Michal Kempny won't participate in the first practice of training camp Friday, but the Washington Capitals remain hopeful the defenseman will be ready for the regular-season opener at the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 2. 

"I feel like I'm getting better every day," said Kempny, who isn't sure if he'll be play in any of Washington's six preseason games. "I'm getting more comfortable on the ice. I know that I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I'm doing everything I can to make it (for the opener)."

Kempny is recovering from surgery to repair a torn right hamstring. He has been skating at MedStar Capitals Iceplex for more than two weeks.

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said defenseman Alexander Alexeyev, the No. 31 pick in the 2018 NHL draft, and forward Kody Clark, the Capitals second-round pick (No. 48) in 2018, also will likely not practice at the start of camp after each sustained an upper-body injury during the 2019 NHL Prospects Showcase at Nashville.

Tom Gulitti

 

Ladd to be placed on injured reserve by Islanders

Andrew Ladd is progressing after tearing his ACL on March 24, but the New York Islanders will place him on injured reserve until he's ready to return.

The 33-year-old forward will skate on his own while the Islanders hold their first on-ice session of training camp Friday. Ladd, who has four seasons remaining on the seven-year contract he signed July 1, 2016, had 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 26 games last season; he missed more than three months after sustaining a lower-body injury Nov. 13, 2018.

"Everything's right on track, maybe a little bit ahead, so I think with something like this, when I'm ready, I'm ready. I don't think we're going to put a timetable on it," Ladd said. "It's going to progress the way it's going to progress. We're not going to force the issue."

Islanders coach Barry Trotz said he's confident Ladd can be effective whenever he does return.

"Right before both times he got hurt, he was playing probably as well as I've seen Andrew play," Trotz said. … "Both [injuries] were sort of random, freakish things that just unfortunately happen."

Brian Compton

 

Raanta, Kuemper to compete in goal for Coyotes

Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper will have an open competition in goal for the Arizona Coyotes.

"I think it's going to be every single night," Coyotes general manager John Chayka said. "I think both goalies are at a stage of their careers where we know they're going to be good goaltenders. It's about finding the right balance in terms of workload."

Raanta started in 2018-19 until a lower-body injury ended his season Nov. 27. Kuemper went 22-9-6 with a 2.05 goals-against average and .933 save percentage after Jan. 1.

"I'm going to try to do my best and see where that takes you," Raanta said. "Obviously, Darcy was really good last year, so I need to prove myself again. That's pretty much been my last six years. Every year, there's going to be new challenges."

Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet suggested it's not necessary to end camp with a designated starter.

"We have two guys that have a starter's mentality," Tocchet said. "They're very tough mentally and that's what you have to be as a goalie. They're going to have to continue that. Somebody might have to carry the ball for a while and the other guy's got to stay strong mentally."

Alan Robinson

 

Backes will face competition to win spot on Bruins

David Backes has a place in the lineup with the Boston Bruins if can raise his game, coach Bruce Cassidy said.

"So the message to David was essentially that there's competition on that side of the ice," Cassidy said on the first day of training camp at Warrior Ice Arena. "But if he gets back to a level that we feel he can get to, then he'll have a spot."

The 35-year-old forward, who has two years remaining on a five-year contract he signed with the Bruins on July 1, 2016, was a healthy scratch for nine games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and had five points (two goals, three assists) in 15 postseason games. He submitted his eight-team trade list, as was his right, but said he never requested a trade from the Bruins. Boston decided to keep him.

Now he wants to win a job. 

"Starts first shift of the first drill in practice and going to give it everything I got," Backes said. "Until they tell me I'm done playing, then that's the way I've always been. I'm going to be regardless of training camp, regular season, training all summer, that's my mindset."

Matt Kalman

 

Kreider excited, in good place with Rangers

Chris Kreider is entering the final year of a four-year contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020. The New York Rangers seem content with Kreider's current status for now.

"I'm not going to get into contractual discussions here, it's just not right, but we'll see how it goes," Rangers president John Davidson said. "He's a very good hockey player. I hope he has a tremendous year and then everything is going to go in the right direction for everybody."

Davidson said he got positive reports about Kreider's optimism after the 28-year-old forward had lunch with coach David Quinn two weeks ago. He also said Kreider came into his office after reporting for training camp Thursday and could tell how excited Kreider was to be back with for another season.

"I'm telling you he's just a positive guy right now," Davidson said. "That's what you want coming into camp. We'll just see where it all goes."

Kreider tied his NHL career high by scoring 28 goals last season and his 52 points were one fewer than his best set in 2016-17. He was the subject of trade speculation throughout the offseason.

Dan Rosen

 

Josi arrives to Predators camp without extension

Roman Josi has yet to sign a contract extension with the Nashville Predators and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020. 

The Predators have been negotiating with Josi and his representatives throughout the offseason. The 29-year-old defenseman acknowledged it will be a topic of conversation.

"I understand that," Josi said. "Obviously it's a topic. You knew the longer the summer goes, the more it becomes a topic. That's just part of it."

Josi has one season remaining on a seven-year, $28 million contract he signed June 10, 2013.

"I think for me it's the same as every year," he said. "You're excited for the season, you're getting ready for training camp. That's all I can do and let my agent deal with the rest."

Robby Stanley

 

Rangers waiting on DeAngelo

Tony DeAngelo was the only player to not report to training camp for the New York Rangers, who are working daily toward trying to sign the restricted free agent defenseman.

"It's up to Tony," Rangers president John Davidson said. "He's welcome to join us any time he wants. He has every right in the world to not come to camp and so far he's not coming to camp. We're worried about who we have in camp and that's the way we're going to go."

Davidson acknowledged the salary-cap crunch the Rangers face after signing forward Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract and defenseman Jacob Trouba to an eight-year, $56 million contract might be part of the holdup in signing DeAngelo. 

"I'm comfortable with where we are," Davidson said. "It's a salary-cap world, we have to deal with it. [The cap] a little lower this season [$81.5 million] than we had expected, but with signing the two players that we feel are good players we've got to deal with it. It's pretty black and white."

The Rangers agreed to terms with forward Brendan Lemieux on a one-year contract Wednesday. The 23-year-old forward was a restricted free agent.

Dan Rosen

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