Adam Mair skated on the fourth line between Clarke MacArthur and Jason Pominville in scrimmage. Do not be surprised if Pominville sees less ice time this season - he clicked with Briere, so last year's numbers were obviously inflated...but they may go down this year more than you would think. He is high risk and high reward for a draft pick. 

 

The question marks surrounding Fernando Pisani have led the Oilers to extend a training camp invite to Anson Carter, who has accepted. Keep an eye on this, as it could hurt Nilsson's ice time if things work out. I doubt they will, though. 

 

Head coach Marc Crawford says forward Patrick O'Sullivan will remain a winger for now and will not work at centre.

 

Gretzky plans to give a ton of ice time to Mueller and Hanzal in the preseason, wanting to gauge their progress fully. While Mueller is a lock for the team, Hanzal is on the bubble. Getting the extra ice will bode well for his chances.

 

Brent Sopel was paired with Nik Lidstrom in scrimmage yesterday and looked very good. Rookie Igor Grigorenko had a bit of a setback, as he was unimpressive in the first day of scrimmages. Matt Ellis played very well - coach Babcock liked what he saw in Ellis. But the best player on Day 1 was Tomas Kopecky, who was an offensive force. However, he is centering the fourth line (with Drake and Maltby) which does not bode well for regular season points.

 

From Tracy Myers at the Star-Telegram: "Two training camps, two heavy hits. Vojtek Polak was leveled by Vadim Khomitski in the first half of the scrimmage and did not return. His condition was not known after practice. Last year, Polak suffered a concussion on a hit from Matthew Barnaby in the first few days of training camp." I'm starting to think that Polak can't handle the NHL.

 

Jiri Novotny is having visa problems and has yet to report to the Columbus camp.

 

Fredrik Modin sat out of practice yesterday with back spasms.

 

Columbus prospect Alexandre Picard is ahead of schedule in coming back from his knee surgery and has begun light skating.

 

Jason King tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Ducks over the Kings 3-2. Ryan Carter also scored. This is the second game in a row that King has produced, as he makes a strong case to make this team. If he does, it will be at the expense of Bobby Ryan and/or Carter and/or Drew Miller.

 

Jonas Hiller allowed two goals on 14 shots, while Gerald Coleman shut the door on all 13 shots he faced. Jason Labarbera allowed two in 13 and Jonathan Bernier allowed 1 in 17.

 

Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri and Anze Kopitar were on a line together and picked up one of the goals, but they were a minus-2 (each).

 

Here we go again - Mathieu Schneider sprained his ankle late in the game. No word on how long he is out exactly, but you can expect training camp to be a write-off and probably several regular season games as well.

 

Tim Connolly has been the best player in Buffalo's camp by far. He is an offensive dynamo, but he needs to stay out of the infirmary. A healthy season would mean 90 points at least. I would count on no more than 65 games and hope for the best.

 

Michael Funk has been very impressive in Buffalo camp thus far. He is a strong candidate to make the team in Numminen's place. Thanks to Stuart for the tip.

 

As I intimated in the POOL GUIDE , Jochen Hecht will move back to his center position.

 

Milan Lucic has been very impressive in Beantown. Power forwards need extra time to develop, so expect him to still go back to junior - although he may be closer than you would think.

 

The Boston Globe is reporting that Brandon Bochenski put on 18 pounds of muscle over the summer and is in the greatest shape of his career. Methinks he should borrow a cup of someone else's urine and put it in his fridge...just in case. I kid. Regardless - he makes a great sleeper pick and the added strength bodes well for him. 

 

So far so good for Marcel Hossa - not only has he landed a tryout on a line with Jagr and Gomez, but the chemistry there has been quite impressive. If this continues, he'll have that sweet spot full time when the season starts and would obviously be a breakout in the making.

 

Mike Keenan on Kristian Huselius: "Well, he's more mature," said Keenan. "I actually just had that brief conversation with him. First of all, he's bigger and stronger than he was a few years ago, which is quite normal for players developing."

 

Matt Lombardi skated between Iginla and Tanguay in practice. The second line was Langkow between Huselius and Nolan.

 

Chicago rearguard Niklas Hjalmarsson has a wrist injury and will be on the shelf for four weeks. 

 

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