Teppo Numminen will undergo heart surgery. It's best to just take him off your draft list altogether.

 

Apparently, the Blue Jackets will try out Zherdev at center - that would certainly solve their No.1 center problems! Keep an eye on that situation. 

 

The Pens have invited Adam Hall to training camp. That one's interesting. I doubt he'll make the squad, but if he does he's another candidate for a plum wing job.

 

My article in this week's edition of The Hockey News can be found on page 7. It outlines candidates for a fourth year breakout. 

 

Apparently, Patrice Brisebois did not pass his medical and will be out for at least another week. It is his groin that is supposedly giving him problems. 

 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Robert Esche is working out with the Penguins. The report doubts that the club is interested in his services, but he is staying in shape waiting for a phone call.

 

Alyn McCauley is recovering from a third knee surgery and is on the shelf for the next six months. FYI.

 

Codey Burki, Trevor Cann and Andrew Penner are among the cuts from Colorado's main camp.

 

Noah Welch is the last RFA to sign for Florida. He signed a two-year deal yesterday.

 

The Islanders have invited Mike Morrison to training camp. He is a longshot to beat out 'Dubie' for the backup role, but anything is possible.

 

The Caps have invited Scott Barney to training camp. He at one time had some potential but injuries wiped out pretty much all hope.

 

The Leafs have invited Bruno St. Jacques to training camp. Yes...they really need more defensemen...

 

The Flyers rookie camp came to an end yesterday with a 5-3 win over Washington. Giroux and Downie each scored a goal while invitee Adam Henrich added three assists. Niclas Backstrom scored one of the Washington goals.

 

Alexander Ovechkin states that he is in the best shape of his entire career. A monster season is in the works here folks.  

 

What you will see in San Jose is Ron Wilson bounce Patrick Marleau back and forth from centering the second line to playing wing on the first line. It will depend on how the team is doing offensively, but it will frustrate poolies all season long. Who will play with Thornton and Cheechoo? Probably five different players throughout the year!

 

Nashville GM David Poile has indicated that Marek Zidlicky will be back on the top power play unit and that he will improve immensely in terms of offense. I watched several Nashville games last season and he was already on the top unit - he just wasn't producing. I do see an improvement though, and the possibility exists that he could tally as many as 60 points or more. I'm going to stick with my pool guide prediction of 43 points.

 

Jason Arnott was named captain of the Nashville Predators.

 

The Hawks are starting camp with Robert Lang on the top line and the team will put Toews on the second line, not wanting to rush him. Yes...this will last until around October 5.

 

Glen Metropolit is reportedly working out with the Bruins.

 

Curtin McElhinney is already getting the inside track in Calgary for the backup job. Brent Krahn is out with a sore knee. Krahn is quite injury prone, so my thinking is beginning to shift towards giving McElhinney the job here.

 

The Flames cut Mikael Backlund, their 2007 draft pick. This was not unexpected and they see great things for him in the future. Meanwhile, coach Mike Keenan has been very impressed with Dustin Boyd. I think Boyd will sneak a spot on this roster and by the end of the season may play a prominant role. He bears watching.  

 

The deadline for Patrik Stefan to sign with an NHL team has passed and he will definitely play in Switzerland this season. 

 

The Rocky Mountain News gives you their candidates for cracking the roster this year. I will quote them directly, as they put it perfectly:

Kyle Cumiskey, D: On the smallish size at 5-10, 185 pounds, but has plenty of skill; had seven goals and 26 assists for Albany (N.Y.) in the AHL.

T.J. Hensick, C: Played at Michigan for four years and led the nation in scoring as a senior with 69 points in 41 games; has blazing speed.

Jaroslav Hlinka, C: Was signed on Milan Hejduk's recommendation; the 30-year-old has played his entire career in Europe, mostly in the Czech Republic.

David Jones, RW: Ivy League Player of the Year at Dartmouth as a junior last season; plays with a bit of an edge and is a smart, two-way forward.

Chris Stewart, RW: The 6-2, 228-pound power forward was the Avalanche's No. 1 draft pick in 2006; only 19, but he can score and hit.

 


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