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by Phil Coffey /

Doug Weight has been paying more attention to his appearance with the influx of young talent on the St. Louis Blues this year.
The new season remains in its infancy, but notebooks already are being filled with all sorts of goodies. Here is a sampling of the chatter around the NHL thus far.


“It’s forced me to change what kind of jeans I wear every day. You gotta look cool with these guys ... you’ve got to try to hang with the trends.”

-- St. Louis greybeard Doug Weight on keeping up with all the kids on the Blues’ roster.


"Sure, it's important to get off to a good start. But a good start is only good if you can follow it up with consistency. I think we need to strive for consistency. We need to be good all season."

-- Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake, who’s as peeked ahead at the long regular season.


"The streak will end at some point. Whenever it happens, it happens. Right now, to me, it's not a big deal. When you look back on it, it might be a neat thing but, like I've said all along, it's amazing what not going into corners can do."

-- Vancouver Canucks’ ironman Brendan Morrison on appearing in his 513th straight game to start the season.


"John's not afraid to throw things around, so we'll see. It doesn't matter, to be honest. I enjoy playing with Spezza and Heatley, and with Vermette and Fisher. They're different challenges, so it doesn't matter."

-- Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is nonplussed by coach John Paddock’s penchant for changing line combinations.


"This is professional sports. You're not running at 45 percent pressure at any point in time, or at 80 percent. You're at 100 percent, and most people who are in this long enough are very good at the 100-percent line."

-- Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice on dealing with pressure.


“There are a lot of great young players in Pittsburgh. Those kids are going to be scary for a long time.”

-- Colorado’s Joe Sakic is going to beware of the Penguins.


“It’s our job to make it happen. The organization has given us something every player dreams about, playing in a new building. It’s a price to pay.”

-- New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur isn’t too worried about the Devils’ nine-game road trip to start the regular season. The reward will be playing in the spanking-new Prudential Center.


“Something like chemistry is huge. A player might be a great player on the ice, but he might be a misfit off it. It has to be a good fit. ... It is a real consideration for us. We draft that way. We go after free agents that way. And when we make deals or trades, we have the same thing in mind. There are a lot of common denominators there from a group perspective.”

-- Rangers coach Tom Renney on team-building


"It's amazing how fast it's gone since coming down here from Minnesota. I remember being in the League six or seven years looking at guys who were 34 or 35 and saying; 'You won't see me around here when I'm that old.' Now we had guys in camp with us that were born the year I was drafted."

-- Dallas Stars center Mike Modano on being one of the NHL’s elder statesmen


“Highly motivated. Focused. He knows what he’s got to do. He’s consistent in what he does, and it’s translated to the ice.”

-- Minnesota Wild goaltending coach Bob Mason on Niklas Backstrom.


"Last year, everything was new for me. This year, I'd say I'm more relaxed, more aware of what's going on, better prepared. Now I know what I need to do, where I'm going. Last year, I spent two months getting ready for training camp. This year, it was a lot easier. I'll react a little differently, I'll do some things differently than I did last year."

-- Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau, heading into his second season behind the Habs’ bench.


"I think this is going to make the team even better, to have two lines that are, hopefully, going to put some points on the board. Both me and Pav want to play center, and this is probably the first year we can. Last year, we had Langer, who was a center, so this is a great opportunity for us to really show that we can have me and Pav as centers. I'm really excited to get it going here, and I think Pav is, too."

-- Henrik Zetterberg on he and Pavel Datsyuk playing on different lines to start the season.


"My level of optimism is very high. Our expectations are extremely high. Our goal, our purpose for being here is to win the Stanley Cup."

-- Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette, who coached the ‘Canes to the Cup in 2006


"We have a number of veteran guys on this team that can stand up and say something. It doesn't always have to come from the captain and it shouldn't. Much like last year. Scotty didn't have to say an awful lot. We've got a lot of guys that can stand up and speak up in the locker room."

-- New Anaheim captain Chris Pronger says the Ducks will not suffer in the leadership department despite the absence of Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne.


"His ice time we can distribute, and his leadership will get distributed amongst us. But there's no replacement. I told (Mellanby) after Game 3 (of the playoffs). I told the players – you guys are very lucky to have a captain like this. I played for a long time, and he's one of the top people I've played with."

-- Bobby Holik, the Atlanta Thrashers’ new captain, on the team’s previous captain, the retired Scott Mellanby.


"Yeah, I am on the team. But that doesn't mean I am finished. It all starts here. This is an opportunity. I have to improve every shift, every game. It's up to me now ... that's life."

Bruins rookie David Krejci on making the team’s roster for the start of the season.


"I don't think anybody in this organization is questioning whether he's capable of playing again how he played for us last year. He was great for us. Dom proved not just that he was excited to be here and play, but that, physically, he is capable of playing the load and playing at a high level."

-- Detroit’s Kirk Maltby anticipates another big season from Dominik Hasek.

"He's everything you want in a captain. He's approachable, probably a little more vocal than Gator (Jason Smith) was ... he was just an obvious choice."

-- Oilers forward Shawn Horcoff is pleased with the appointment of Ethan Moreau as Edmonton’s captain.


“He doesn’t look out of place. You look at him and he looks like he’s (got) 20 years of coaching. He’s got that self-confidence in what he’s teaching and what he’s saying, and how he pays attention to detail. He’s a guy that did his homework. It’s not like he’s lost out there.”

-- New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur on new coach Brent Sutter.


“I think the greatest thing is that we have the options. And I think that right now, that line with Chris and Jags and Straka looks like it could be really dangerous. ...To start it off, I like to pass it and (Shanahan) likes to shoot it.”

-- Rangers center Scott Gomez on opening the season on a line with Brendan Shanahan.


"When you're a player, everything you eat, everything you drink, the way you plan your day, whether or not you take an aspirin or consider taking medication for a cold – it's all geared on maximizing your performance in the game. I think that's the mindset I still have.”

-- Stars coach Dave Tippett


"There's not going to be any battles between the GM and coach. At least there shouldn't be.”

-- Panthers captain Olli Jokinen on Panthers GM-coach Jacques Martin.


“I’ve gotten smarter. Everybody talks about how hard I work out. Maybe the first two, three years here with the Wild I was so scared of going to Houston I would make sure I was the fittest guy in the league. Now, as you get older, you have to be smarter. I’m not killing myself in practices, and I’m not driving myself into the ground on the treadmill after games.”

-- Minnesota Wild veteran forward Wes Walz has learned a lot during his NHL career

Material from personal interviews, wire services, newspaper, and league and team sources was used in this report.

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