Corey Abbott

In The Crease

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Training Camp Spotlights

Friday, August 29, 2014


The summer lull is almost over and eager fantasy GMs have already started participating in mock drafts to prepare for the upcoming season.  NHL Rookie Tournament games begin in a couple of weeks and then training camps kick off on September 18th.

 

This will serve as a primer to whet your appetite on what to look out for when camps open across the league and what could transpire during the regular season.  Stay on the lookout for Part Two, which will arrive next week.

 

Also don't forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's up to the minute coverage on Player News, as well as follow @Rotoworld_HK and @CoreAbbott on Twitter.  Grab Rotoworld's NHL Draft Guide to get you ready!

 

Anaheim Ducks - Who plays with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry? More and more teams tend to go with pairs instead of three-man units.  Getzlaf and Perry tend to riffle through linemates and this year will probably be no different.  Matt Beleskey, Patrick Maroon, and Dany Heatley are likely to be tested at training camp. 

 

Arizona Coyotes - Can ex-Oilers Sam Gagner and Devan Dubnyk experience a resurgence? Gagner will line up as a top-two center and he's expected to get plenty of power-play time.  Dubnyk's 2013-14 season was disastrous, but he could post decent numbers as the Coyotes' backup. 



Boston Bruins - How will the club's salary cap crunch impact the roster? Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski have come up in trade rumors.  The B's will save some cash when Marc Savard heads to LTIR, but they still have to re-sign key restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith



Buffalo Sabres - How will the goal-starved Sabres spice up their top-six forward group? Cody Hodgson moved to the wing at the end of the year.  Mikhail Grigorenko and Sam Reinhart could insert themselves into the fold.  A healthy Chris Stewart and a returning Matt Moulson could also have positive influences. 



Calgary Flames - Can their young guns continue to grow? T.J. Brodie, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund took positive steps last year and they'll all have key roles in 2014-15.  Newcomers Johnny Gaudreau, who played one game last season, and Sam Bennett will be looking to crack the roster and make an impact as well. 

 

Carolina Hurricanes - Will a rebound come before a rebuild? Eric Staal and Cam Ward are key players for the Hurricanes who both struggled mightily last season.  Staal suffered another off-season injury, this time having surgery to repair a core muscle ailment, while Ward continues to have health issues.  In goal, Anton Khudobin may be a temporary answer, but up front the Canes need more from Staal than they got last year. 



Chicago Blackhawks - Is the search for a second-line center over?  Brad Richards signed with the Blackhawks after he was bought out by the Rangers.  He's projected to play with Patrick Kane and Brandon SaadAndrew Shaw could return to the line if Richards doesn't mesh.  During that time, top prospect Teuvo Teravainen will get more seasoning in the minors. 



Colorado Avalanche - What adjustments await the top-six forward group?  Paul Stastny left via free agency to St. Louis. so Nathan MacKinnon is likely to move to center again.  However, there could be a small chance that Ryan O'Reilly could be moved back to the middle instead.  New arrival Jarome Iginla may play with Gabriel Landeskog and MacKinnon or alongside Matt Duchene.  A healthy Alex Tanguay will also probably factor back into the mix. 



Columbus Blue Jackets - When will Ryan Johansen get signed? Columbus could be in store for a banner year, but they have to get their top center signed first.  If this situation lingers into a holdout it isn't good for either side and it's a blow to potential fantasy owners as well. 



Dallas Stars - Who plays with Jason Spezza? Ales Hemsky is slated to play with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, so Valeri Nichushkin is in line to occupy one winger spot alongside Spezza.  The other could go to Erik Cole, Brett Ritchie, Colton Sceviour Antoine Roussel, or Ryan Garbutt



Detroit Red Wings - How will the lines look with a full complement of forwards? Detroit was hit hard by injuries last season, finishing second in the league with 417 man-games lost.  Getting healthy versions of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen will change the makeup of the club's top-two lines.  A Zetterberg-Datsyuk reunion could be in the cards. 

  

Edmonton Oilers - Who will occupy the second-line center spot?  The Oilers shipped Sam Gagner out of town, which leaves a gaping hole down the middle.  Leon Draisaitl is the most logical solution, but if it's deemed that he isn't ready then Edmonton will have to choose from Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander or Boyd Gordon.    



Florida Panthers - Will Gerard Gallant bring out the best in Jonathan Hubderdeau? Hubderdeau's former QMJHL coach was hired by the Panthers in the off-season.  The 2013 Calder Trophy winner should be in store for a bounce-back year and it will be interesting to see how Gallant best utilizes his skills.  



Los Angeles Kings - Does the "That 70's Line" stay together? You would think that they would after the success they had for parts of the playoffs, but the Kings still could do some tinkering.  Mike Richards may get a chance to move up from the fourth line and Dustin Brown is expected to venture back up the lineup after a disappointing 2013-14 season. 



Minnesota Wild - Who will be the club's number one goalie? I wanted to avoid talking about goalie battles, but this is a major issue that the team needs to work out.  Minnesota is calling it an open competition between Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper.  Harding and Backstrom will apparently be healthy heading into camp, while Kuemper is still a restricted free agent in need of a contract.   



Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
Email :Corey Abbott



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