Pavel Datsyuk is open to playing in the KHL before his career ends.
"It is hard to talk about it now," Datsyuk said. "My dream is to play for the (KHL team) remains, but (I have to) look at how the rest of my hockey career (goes)." Datsyuk, 36, is about to start a three-year, $22.5 million contract with Detroit. He had 17 goals and 37 points in 45 games in 2013-14.
Niklas Hjalmarsson is expected to try to do more offensively going forward.
Hjalmarsson had four goals and a career-high 26 points in 81 games in 2013-14. If he does manage to top that in 2013-14, it probably won't be by much. He's known more for his defensive contributions though and it's his work without the puck that's made him one of the Blackhawks' most valuable blueliners.
Now that Brad Richards, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett are no longer with the New York Rangers, newcomer Kevin Hayes believes he has a chance to make the team in training camp.
That's largely why the left winger chose to sign a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Rangers earlier this month. "At the end of my BC career we sat down with my family and thought that it was best to explore other options," Hayes told the Rangers' web site. "It wasn’t really hectic cause I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone until Aug. 15 so I basically had a free three months to train, hang out and relax. But ever since Aug. 15, it’s been pretty hectic. Ultimately I chose the Rangers and I’m extremely excited about it." Hayes' two-year contract has the potential to rise to an annual average value of $3.75 million if his bonuses are met. He'll be given a look at training camp, but if he goes to the minors then he'll make $67,500.
Dany Heatley is looking forward to getting a shot to play alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
"My job is to get in shape and be ready to play with those two guys," Heatley said. "I know those guys, and I've played with both of them, particularly [Getzlaf]. I love playing with the guy. He's one of the best players in the League, as is Corey Perry. We'll see what Bruce wants to do. But my job is to be ready to go and be ready to get a chance with those two guys." The Ducks hope that Heatley's veteran leadership will rub off on some of the team's younger players as well. He recorded just 12 goals and 28 points in 76 games last season with Minnesota, but could be worth a look if he spends extended time alongside Getzlaf and Perry.
GM Chuck Fletcher feels he has to get Nino Niederreiter's contract done right with some key restricted free agents in need of deals next summer.
Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Erik Haula, Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella are among that group. Fletcher feels Niederreiter's deal could affect the others. It's possible that Niederreiter could miss the start of training camp, but Minnesota feels there will be plenty of competition to act as insurance.
Shawn Horcoff appears to be penciled in to play left wing on the fourth line this season.
If the Stars want to shake up their lines at some point then he could end up skating with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. Horcoff played with Hemsky in Edmonton, but a move to the second line would be a significant jump after averaged just 12:51 of ice time last season. He recorded just seven goals and 20 points in 77 games. Horcoff ended the year well with a team-leading six points in the playoffs. However, it's unlikely he'll chip in much offensively in 2014-15 while serving as a decent depth forward for the Stars.
Leon Draisaitl is expected to help fill Edmonton's void at center and that could start as early as this season.
The Oilers will find out how ready the third overall pick in the 2014 draft is at training camp. "In my mind, I feel he's going to make a strong case," GM Craig MacTavish said. "I've seen him play, he's going to make a strong case, I'll be shocked if he's not going to make a strong case."
Frederik Andersen is penciled in as Anaheim's starting goalie entering training camp, but not even coach Bruce Boudreau knows how the team's crease situation will turn out yet.
"We think we've got two really good goalies and an experienced, veteran goalie," Boudreau said referring to Andersen, John Gibson and Jason LaBarbera. "I think we're OK there, I just don't know how it will shake out." Gibson has a shot at being the Ducks' starter as well, but with LaBarbera on the roster the young netminder could also begin the year in the minors to get playing time and continue his development.