Training camp is just a few days old for the veterans and a week old for rookies. Here are some early observations:
--Everyone is watching Tyler Myers
expecting him to push the veterans
on the blueline for a spot. So far, Myers has not disappointed with his play. He’s a smooth skater for his size and gets the puck up the ice. He’s also created problems for the forwards with his reach. I’m anxious to watch him in pre-season action against another team.
--Staying on defense, don’t forget about Mike Weber
. He was not only impressive with the rookies
, but also during scrimmage with the veterans. He’s done a nice job patrolling the back end and his size is also noticeable. Weber also brings some grit and is not afraid to mix it up. If Weber and Myers continue to impress, then some tough choices will have to be made.
--Glad to see Stafford showed up without a contract and things were quickly worked out
on a two-year deal. He appears to be in excellent shape with a few more pounds of muscle. His contract numbers that were reported in other media outlets seem extremely fair for a player with his past performance and immense potential.
--Stafford is not the only player who appeared to have more muscle. Clarke MacArthur is noticeably beefier and Ryan Miller
also looks to have a little more up top. Miller will need it with a demanding Olympic year.
--I liked how Thomas Vanek
was throwing checks during this past Sunday’s scrimmage. He was tough along the wall.
--Nathan Gerbe scored a stunning goal on Miller this past Sunday. Gerbe was on a breakaway with a trailer on him, but somehow managed forward-backhand-topshelf to Miller’s glove side. It was pretty. Now he needs to do that when he gets his shot(s) in the regular season.
--Chances are you’re going to like Steve Montador. Lindy Ruff likes to call it sandpaper and you can tell he has it just by looking at him.
--It’s good to have Mike Grier back in the room. The guy is affable, works hard, and reminds me of better days. I hope he brought osmosis with him.