NHL training camps opened Thursday and for the most part, things were upbeat across the league.
The expansion Seattle Kraken held their first-ever practice. Injured players returned to the ice with one notable exception. In Buffalo, Jack Eichel flunked his physical as expected as his injured neck precludes him from participating. He also was stripped of his captaincy by the Sabres, who one NHL general manager said their asking price to trade Eichel is “insane.”
In Vegas, Robin Lehner was noticeably skinnier and the goaltender admitted that he has shed some pounds. How many, he wouldn’t say, but he said that with turning 30, he needed to adjust his body and his game to compete at an optimum level.
We’ll see what Day 2 of training camp brings. Perhaps a signing or two?
Around the NHL …
ESPN.com: Capacity at NHL rinks will return to 100% for the majority of the 32 teams. However, according to ESPN.com, some buildings remained at reduced capacity. Where does your favorite team’s building fit?
Associated Press: The Kraken finally hit the ice for its first practice. How did it go?
From the National Hockey Now Network …
ColoradoHockeyNow: Terry Frei, whose friendship with me goes back to our days in Oregon when we worked at competing newspapers, makes his CHN debut with a look at the Avalanche’s first day on the ice. He’s a really good writer and has keen hockey insight. He and Adrian Dater give CHN a strong 1-2 punch.
WashingtonHockeyNow: Sammi Silber had an interesting business/betting story on the Capitals placing an ad on their jerseys from a sportsbook. Caesars Sportsbook is the first betting entity to have ad placement on an NHL team’s sweater.
NYIHockeyNow: According to Christian Arnold, fans attending Islanders home games at their spanking new UBS Arena will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to get into the building. When it comes to being vaxxed, the Isles were strict with their players and coaches. That now extends to the fans.
PhillyHockeyNow: Staying in the Metropolitan Division, goalie Carter Hart came to the Flyers’ camp re-energized and with a smile on his face. “I’m ready to go” he told our Ryan Gilbert.
VancouverHockeyNow: Rob Simpson says veteran Alex Chiasson is ready to compete for a spot on the Canucks roster. Chiasson, a forward and nine-year NHL veteran, is on a Professional Tryout deal (PTO) in Vancouver.
SanJoseHockeyNow: With the start of training camp in San Jose, Sheng Peng caught up with Sharks GM Doug Wilson and coach Bob Boughner on a variety of topics, including Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl.