The Wild have invited A.J. Thelan to camp, as well as goaltender Barry Brust.


The Stars have invited Phillip Sauve to camp - he becomes their No.3 goaltender, but will likely back up Stephan in the AHL. He'll be the first callup if Turco or Smith get hurt, as the team would rather Stephan play the full season in the 'A'. 


My thanks to J.P. at Japer's Rink for this:  Dobber - just thought I'd drop a line from Caps camp that Ovechkin- Kozlov- Bouchard and Semin- Nylander -Fleischmann are two current line combos but that likely means nothing - Hanlon said yesterday:


"It'll take away a lot of fun for the armchair quarterbacks and the second-guessers the first three days of training camp.  We've tried to make the teams even. Whatever you see in lines, we have other things going on. These aren't the lines that you think you are going to see starting the regular season. That kind of ruins it for a lot of people to second-guess everybody. We'll put some players together that we want to evaluate. We are looking for certain things going into camp. We play a game [in] three days into camp. We have two practices. After we return from Carolina, we'll sit down and evaluate on a few things. But in the back of our minds, we have some projections on who will play with whom, and that's been taken care of. But you won't see it Day One."


Also worth noting, Tim Leone (the Hershey Bears beat writer) has an article up today titled LINK (Caps 06 top pick to start as Bear) referring to Backstrom, but there's about a 10% chance of that happening - Leone is trying to excite his readership and the Caps are going with typical "everyone has to earn a spot" rhetoric.  But Backstrom will be in DC opening night.


Oiler tough guy Zach Stortini and Raffi Torres trained with a UFC trainer during the offseason. Stortini claims to have picked up some tips. 


Mike Fisher says his groin injury is at about 75 per cent healed. 


Roberto Luongo was hammered hard in practice yesterday - twice. Jeff Cowan and Trevor Linden both barreled into him. Wouldn't that be something? That would destroy a lot of fantasy teams. Luongo is okay though, and he is one of the more durable goaltenders in the league. 


The Star-Tribune is reporting that James Sheppard would likely need to topple a veteran on the roster ladder if he plans on playing in the NHL this year. They suggest that Dominic Moore is the player that he may have to beat out to get on the team. 


Raffi Torres has come to the Oilers camp in excellent shape. He was disappointed in last season's effort and wants to step up in a big way. Given the team's lack of depth up front, he'll get an opportunity. He could reach his upside (55-60 points) this season. Count on 40 points, but with upside.


Jarret Stoll says his head feels great and his concussion problem is fully behind him.  


Detroit prospect Darren Helm is out for a week with a sprained clavicle. Prospect Evan McGrath is out with a finger injury (day to day).  They are ranked 218 and 123 respectively on my fantasy prospects list.


Zherdev will center Nash and Vyborny to start camp. I like his chances to succeed there and recommend that you move him up your draft list.


Coach Mike Babcock has moved Tomas Kopecky to center and has moved Kris Draper to the wing.


The Red Wings are extremely happy with the shape the Jimmy Howard is in. Mike Babcock says "I don't even recognize him."


Doug Janik impressed in his first day of camp. Tortorella was particularly impressed with the speed that he displayed. The team needs a second PP quarterback, but it's still early in camp to hand the job to Janik. 


Despite his still-healing groin injury, Angelo Esposito will be attending the Pens camp. He won't make the team this year in my books - but next year looks promising.


As I make quite clear in my pool guide , the Ducks will definitely trade Bryzgalov (UFA in the summer) and Jonas Hiller will definitely (at some point this season) become the full-time backup in Anaheim. 


Kyle Calder scored twice in the first preseason game in the NHL, LA vs. ANA. LA won 5-4. Bobby Ryan had an assist for Anaheim and Jason King scored a goal. The two teams meet again on Saturday. The rest of the league starts playing on Sunday.


Dan Cloutier gave up three goals on 10 shots, while Aubin gave up one goal on 18 shots. By no means does Cloutier have the No.1 job sealed up.


Brian Boyle was up on the forward unit in yesterday's game. There had been speculation that the Kings would turn him into a rearguard. Prior to all the team's acquisitions, I thought Boyle would be a lock to make it this year. Now it would be pretty tough, the roster is pretty deep.


My article in this week's Hockey News is on page seven. It gives you some names of players entering their fourth season, who could possibly break out. 

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