Flyers enter training camp facing questions…Patrick Kane on his status for the upcoming season…Possible Sabres defense pairings…League’s oldest active player prepares for the season…Blues hope depth will make a difference this season…Five Predators rookies to watch.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi examines the questions facing the Philadelphia Flyers entering this year’s training camp. Among them: what their revamped forward lines will look like without Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino, how much does 39-year-0ld Jaromir Jagr have left in the tank, and who replaces Chris Pronger on the blueline if he’s not ready to return for the start of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The biggest question wasn’t asked: how will new starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov adjust to playing in a more demanding market than he’s used to? If he struggles, it might not matter if the others are addressed.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Toni Ginnetti reports Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane still has a cast on his left wrist, but proclaims he’ll be ready to play for the club’s season opener on October 7th.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he’s made a full recovery from his fractured wrist, a return for the season opener is good news for the Blackhawks.
BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff will be going into training camp trying to determine which defenseman will pair up with off-season acqusitions Robyn Regehr and Christian Erhroff.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a problem every coach would like to have!
TAMPABAY.COM: Damian Cristodero reports 42-year-old Lightning netminder Dwayne Roloson isn’t concerned about being the NHL’s current oldest active player as he prepares for the upcoming season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Roloson keeps playing as well as he did last season, and the Bolts don’t overwork him, his age shouldn’t be an issue.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeremy Rutherford reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong is hoping the additions of veteran forwards Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott, plus blueline Kent Huskins will provide his club with the experienced depth to compete for a playoff berth this season. Injuries to key players last season is considered the main reason the Blues failed to make the 2011 post-season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The combination of those veterans, a hopefully healthier lineup and the development of their young players could make the Blues a playoff contender this season.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper listed goalie Chet Pickard, defensemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi, and forwards Chad Smith and Austin Watson as five Predators rookies to watch as training camp opens.