In today’s morning headlines: Capitals defenseman Mike Green hopes for a bounce-back season…Rangers Marc Staal sidelined by post-concussion symptoms…Penguins winger James Neal hopes to retain his scoring touch…Ducks Cam Fowler a veteran at age 19…Devils sophomore center Josefson could center Ilya Kovalchuk…Fabrian Brunnstrom hoping to stick with Red Wings…Lightning need to rebuild farm depth.
WASHINGTON POST: reports Capitals defenseman Mike Green is hoping for a bounce-back performance after injuries sidelined him for half of last season, coming to training camp healed, leaner and more chiseled.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Green can stay healthy another 70-point effort isn’t out of the question, and the Capitals offensive attack should also show considerable improvement.
NEW YORK POST: reports Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is sidelined from the lingering effects of a concussion he suffered after being hit by his brother, Eric, in a game last February against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Rangers are taking a cautious approach with him, as Staal won’t be participating in training camp scrimmages or pre-season games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A wise decision by the Rangers not to rush Staal back, and I suspect we’re going to see much more of a cautious approach by other NHL teams with players suffering lingering post-concussion symptoms. The days of rushing players back from these type of injuries before they’ve made full recoveries are over.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: reports Penguins winger James Neal is hoping for a much better effort in his first full season with the club following his disappointing performance after joining the club in a late-season trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins will need Neal to recover his scoring touch, as the hope is he’ll fill that role of scoring winger Sidney Crosby has been lacking on his line for some time.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: reports Anaheim Ducks blueliner Cam Fowler, though only 19, enters this season as the league’s most experienced defenseman, and he enters this season more experienced and better prepared.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fowler last season played the kind of minutes ordinarily given to a more seasoned defenseman. If he can avoid the sophomore slump, he could have a Norris-worthy season.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: reports Devils second-year center Jacob Josefson appears to have the inside track centering Ilya Kovalchuk after only two days of training camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could either turn into a pleasant surprise or a sad disappointment.
MLIVE.COM: reports Fabian Brunnstrom is hoping a tryout with the Red Wings will resurrect his NHL career.
TAMPABAY.COM: reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman acknowledged his club must address its lack of organizational depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yzerman’s predecessor, Brian Lawton, had begun the process, and now it’s up to Yzerman to finish the job. If he can have the same kind of success with that as he did with his first season rebuilding the Lightning’s roster, they’ll be in good shape. His experience with the Red Wings will serve him well in this regard.