2014-15 Nhl Season Preview — Seven Biggest Offseason Storylines – Espn

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Few openings when it comes to Blackhawks roster – Washington Times

Sure, the vast majority of players have been working out for weeks, but we still like the image of a rebirth of sorts: the notion that when training camps began Thursday, it was be the equivalent of 30 bears emerging from a reverse summer hibernation, growling with hope that for each the future is enticing, like an unblemished sheet of ice. What’s to come? Heartbreak. Despair. Joy. Unexpected success and crushing disappointment. Isn’t that why we tune in, after all? Here’s a look at seven significant offseason changes and what they mean for the coming season: Joe Sargent/NHLI/Getty Images New Penguins coach Mike Johnston has a tall order ahead of him. 1. Penguins cooling off? The happy, comfortable place that used to be the Pittsburgh Penguins underwent a major overhaul this offseason after losing for the fifth straight year in the playoffs to a lower-seeded opponent. source: http://espn.go.com/nhl/preview2014/story/_/id/11534914/2014-15-nhl-season-preview-seven-biggest-offseason-storylines

Morning Bag Skate: Jersey advertisements coming in the future? – Yahoo Sports

Hitchcock spent much of the summer watching what worked for other Western Conference teams, particularly the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. I saw a team that had no legs win a hockey game when it was exhausted because they just turned up the checking, he related. They had no legs but the shifts got short, the energy got high and they built momentum off the checking. The Blues literally limped into last postseason, won twice, then lost four straight despite playing what Hitchcock believes was higher-level hockey. Hitchcock emphasized offense in last years camp. The Blues scored more but were ultimately undone when a bruised back line got pushed around in the six-game first round. The Blues were adept last season at playing position defense. Hitchcock insisted Thursday its time to get nastier and quicker. When its on the line, theres a difference between checking and defending. And were going to check, Hitch promised. Stastny and Lehtera project as playmakers, not just scorers. There are so many different options Ken has. source: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/joe-strauss/86592368-e6ee-51d6-9adf-a89641012110.html

Oshawa Generals seek East repeat: OHL Burning Questions | Buzzing The Net – Yahoo Sports

Desrochers, who is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, came on strongly as last season played out and made himself indispensable enough that Oshawa ran with seven defencemen in the playoffs. More offence out of the back end would also come in handy. Oshawa didn’t have a player in the top 40 of defenceman scoring last season, which seems like a vacancy that Vande Sompel might be ready to plug. 3. Is it fair to put a question mark next to the goaltending? Everything should be earned I read that on a T-shirt once not given, so new 19-year-old starting goalie Ken Appleby and his backup, Brodeur, have something to prove. Appleby, listed at 6-foot-4, began to settle in over the second half of last season. He also had development opportunities with both Arizona and the Chicago Blackhawks , so there is that. Brodeur, who turns 18 in late October, is new to the league. The departed Daniel Altshuller (2.56 average, .917 save pct. across 52 games) always seemed to left out of conversations about the league’s best cord cottagers. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/jrhockey-buzzing-the-net/oshawa-generals-seek-east-repeat–ohl-burning-questions-012050182.html

Catching up on the latest from Day 1 at Blackhawks training camp – Yahoo Sports

The loaded Blackhawks return mostly intact after losing to eventual NHL champion Los Angeles in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals on June 1. While injuries or an upcoming salary-cap move could shake up the picture a bit, it looks as if there are very few open spots in the lineup heading into the preseason. You look at our roster, most guys are in place, coach Joel Quenneville said. But there are still some things to be sorted out. As you go along, competition for quality ice time internally will be in place as well. We dont have our lines set in stone game in and game out. I guess well call that competition. As far as spots, well see how that plays out. After four days of testing, practice and scrimmages at Notre Dame, the competition for those final few roster spots shifted to the United Center on Monday night for the teams sold-out training camp festival. Fans began lining up to watch another intrasquad scrimmage hours before the scheduled start. It was the Blackhawks first public appearance at their longtime home since they were eliminated by the Kings on Alec Martinezs overtime goal in Game 7. Martinezs shot went off Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy and fluttered over goaltender Corey Crawford, a nightmare for the Blackhawks that ended their bid for a repeat title and lingered into the summer for many of the players. You dont want to say its one situation. source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/22/few-openings-when-it-comes-to-blackhawks-roster/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

Strauss: Hitchcock wants Blues to be nastier, quicker : Sports

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Pretty good value for San Jose. (Sharks) **Looks like NHL 2K is coming back!!!!!!!! … unfortunately it’s only on mobile devices. Those hoping for a legitimate competitor to EA on the big platforms will have to keep waiting. ( Polygon ) **Minnesota is expected to be without goaltender Josh Harding for months. The team still has Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper , an unsigned RFA, but this probably isn’t how the Wild hoped to enter the season. (TSN) **The Senators may have offered a seven-year, $49 million contract to Bobby Ryan , but it remains to be seen whether he’ll stick with the team long-term. It’s possible Ryan is hoping to hit unrestricted free agency now that he’s made it this far. (Pro Hockey Talk) **The NHL may move forward with player-tracking chips at some point, but the Rangers are already ahead of the curve. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/morning-bag-skate-jersey-advertisements-110003167.html

If this group can come together quickly, we could be talking about two potentially devastating forward lines from the beginning of the season. Can’t wait to get the first real glimpse at a Kane-Richards-Saad line on Tuesday night. What’s up with the cap? We still don’t know who’s getting traded for cap purposes, but the assumption remains that it will happen before the start of the season. Whether it’s Johnny Oduya , Michal Rozsival or someone else, the Blackhawks need to trade a substantial salary to get under the salary cap in the next couple weeks. Oduya briefly discussed the rumors Friday: “I know it’s there I think everybody does,” Oduya said Friday during training camp at Notre Dame. “I try not to worry about it too much. I want to focus on performing and working hard. That’s what I have on my mind.” That’s pretty much what you’d expect to hear from a player who presumably hopes to stick around for another Stanley Cup run. We’ll just have to wait and see how Stan Bowman ultimately resolves the situation. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/catching-latest-day-1-blackhawks-174551426.html

 

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