Leaf line combos: Sundin with Antropov and Blake. Wellwood with Ponikarovsky and Tucker. No surprises here. 

 

Once again, Patrick Eaves will be tried out with Spezza and Heatley. Don't give up on him - he's still quite young and as he gains experience and strength he will come closer to success. Injuries will be the only thing that will derail the talented youngster. 

 

Andrew Ladd missed Carolina's practice with a sore back. No word on the seriousness. Frantisek Kaberle, however, who underwent knee surgery just over a week ago, is expected to be fine by the start of the season. Other Carolina camp news: Jeff Hamilton missed practice with a hip injury and Chad Larose left practice after spraining his left knee.

 

The Kostitsyn brothers were both impressive in camp yesterday. Andrei was flashier than Sergei, but Sergei (the younger one) looked great between Saku Koivu and Michael Ryder. Andrei is a lock to make this team, but don't count out Sergei just yet. 

 

Todd White is apparently getting a trial on Ilya Kovalchuk's line. This won't last - he has too much chemistry with Hossa. Even if it does work out, White has proven to be a 65 or 70-game player, so his upside is 60 points. 65 tops.

 

Steve Rucchin failed his physical. His concussion symptoms are quite serious and you should not consider drafting him this year. 

 

Chris Higgins, who had offseason shoulder surgery, did a half-practice for the Habs. They are bringing him back slowly, so he should be fine by the time the season starts.

 

One of my old draft picks - Todd Elik - has retired from hockey to coach Canadian University hockey. Ahh memories...of how he screwed me over with a bad year haha. 

 

The Buffalo News is reporting that Dmitri Kalinin had a poor season last year because he had a sports hernia. He had surgery to correct this back in July and will play this season at 100 per cent. This further backs up what I said in the POOL GUIDE - he is in a contract year and should have a good campaign. 

 

Steve Montador missed Florida's practice due to a sore back. Not of fantasy significance.

 

Apparently, Andrew Brunette played the end of last season with a sore shoulder. He had shoulder surgery this past summer and is now 100 per cent.

 

As expected, Gionta and Elias lined up with Dainius Zubrus in practice yesterday. Barry Tallackson was the third man on the Zajac/Parise line. Jamie Langenbrunner missed with a groin injury, otherwise he would have been on that second line.

 

The Pens practiced with these line combos: Crosby between Recchi and Sykora, Malkin between Roberts and Christensen, Staal between Malone and Armstrong, Talbot between Hall and Esposito, Brent between Laraque and  Ruutu.

 

Alex Goligoski participated in drills, but not scrimmages. He is recovering from shoulder surgery. 

 

Eric Fehr failed his physical and will miss the entire camp for Washington. Best to hold off on him - even in keeper leagues, as his hip and back injuries are not going away very quickly. Let someone else take a chance.

 

So far so good in the Zherdev at center experiment. He looked real good with Nash and Vyborny in practice yesterday. Finally, some real signs of promise for Zherdev owners! On hitch though: Zherdev won just 23.5 percent of his faceoffs last season, Vyborny 37.9 percent and Nash 42.6 percent.

 

Dan Irmen had a very impressive first day in Wild training camp. He is ranked 117 on my prospects list and has an upside in the mid to high 60s.

 

Ryan Potulny has a sore ankle and will not skate for the Flyers until next week. 

 

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