Player Notes

  • Nail Yakupov hopes to build on late flurry
    Nail Yakupov will have a new linemate this season after the Oilers didn't retain free agent Derek Roy.

    Advice: "It's going to take some time to get used to each other, but that's why you have training camp and exhibition games," Yakupov said. "That's enough time to get to know each other, and we have to start from there. I'm looking forward to the season. I think it's going to be an exciting season for everybody with all the changes we've made." Yakupov is a prime candidate to play alongside super prospect Connor McDavid this season. He will be looking to build on the success he had at the end of the 2014-15 campaign when he picked up nine goals and 20 points in his last 28 games. Today, 6:59 pm
  • Kyle Brodziak set for 3rd- and 4th-line roles
    Kyle Brodziak is expected to shift up and down the lineup in 2015-16.

    Advice: "They told me that I'd probably play the first two periods on a line with (Ryan) Reaves and (Steve) Ott and be the responsible guy so they can be set free (to disturb and bang)," said Brodziak. "I know Hitch uses his fourth line a lot. After the second period, they said I might move up in the lineup and play a few more minutes." That plan may change now that Patrik Berglund will start the year on the sidelines after having shoulder surgery. Brodziak could end up centering the third line if Scott Gomez or Robby Fabbri don't earn roster spots out of training camp. Today, 2:02 pm
  • Stars give Cody Eakin a 4-year extension
    Cody Eakin has signed a four-year contract extension with Dallas.

    Advice: He will earn $3.85 million per season starting in 2016-17. The first year of his contract will reportedly also carry a $200,000 signing bonus. Eakin registered career highs with 19 goals and 40 points in 78 games last season. Today, 12:47 pm
  • Patrik Berglund has successful surgery
    Patrik Berglund had successful shoulder surgery on Friday.

    Advice: The Blues stated again that Berglund will be re-evaluated in four months. Berglund wasn't expected to be much of a fantasy factor this season after a pair of unproductive years, but his injury will give opportunities to Dmitrij Jaskin, Robby Fabbri, Ty Rattie and Scott Gomez at training camp. Today, 12:27 pm
  • Mark Stone's wrist back to 100 percent
    Mark Stone said he has fully recovered from a wrist injury.

    Advice: "I've felt great out there, the last couple of skates," he said. "The shot feels good, the hands feel good, the legs are starting to come along. I'm 100 percent." He suffered a microfracture and some ligament damage in his wrist when he was slashed in the playoffs. Stone also feels motivated to prove that he is worth the three-year, $10.5 million contract that Ottawa rewarded him with after he was the runner-up for the Calder Trophy last year. Stone was placed alongside Kyle Turris at the start of February and the duo is expected to be together this campaign on the Senators' top line. Today, 10:50 am
  • Tokarski not taking anything for granted
    Dustin Tokarski feels he learned a lot from watching Carey Price play last season.

    Advice: He didn't get to play much behind the Ted Lindsay Award, Vezina and Hart Trophy winner, but that won't change his mindset going into 2015-16. "I'm going to come into camp and battle just as if it was last year and I'm scratching and clawing to make the team," said Tokarski. "I'll go into camp and go to work and not take anything for granted." He started just 16 games last year, while posting six wins, a 2.75 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. Today, 10:00 am
  • Dmitry Kulikov is working on getting quicker
    Dmitry Kulikov was on the ice Monday for an informal workout with some teammates and other NHLers as he prepares for training camp.

    Advice: "It's tough to get back into shape, get back to skating. Once you get going, it's fun again. Right now, though, it's tough," he said. "I've been working out but I haven't been skating. My goal, now, is to lose a few pounds so I'm lighter, quicker and have more endurance. I know with the new overtime rules, I need to be fresh to give us an advantage." Kulikov, Aaron Ekblad and Brian Campbell could be regulars for the Panthers during those 3-on-3 overtime sessions. Today, 9:34 am
  • Luongo calls August 'the toughest month'
    August may be a slow month in terms of hockey news, but for players preparing for the upcoming season, like Roberto Luongo, it's anything but uneventful.

    Advice: "To be honest, this is the worst time of the year," Luongo said. "Not only are we skating now, but you're still going to gym, working out every day. It's a lot of work. August is the toughest month because you're doing so much. It lends for some pretty long days. The fun part is being on the ice, knowing it's getting close. But I think this month is more important than training camp because of the work being put in." He is skating at informal workouts now with the first practice of training camp set for Sept. 18. Today, 8:32 am
  • Jakub Kindl eager for fresh start this year
    Jakub Kindl views the arrival of new coach Jeff Blashill as an opportunity for a fresh start.

    Advice: He was a healthy scratch for 33 of the final 41 games last year under former bench boss Mike Babcock. "He's got great ability," Blashill said in July. "He's done a good job persevering through tough times over the last few seasons. Hopefully he's putting himself in a good position to compete for a spot in training camp." Still, it will be difficult for Kindl to crack a top-six group that includes Niklas Kronwall, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Mike Green. Today, 8:01 am
  • Sources: Sabres offer Franson 2-year deal
    According to two NHL sources, Buffalo has offered Cody Franson a two-year contract.

    Advice: Franson has been linked to Boston, Pittsburgh and Columbus in the rumor mill as well. Buffalo has the cap space to make him an offer he would probably prefer, though. Franson earned $3.3 million last season and it's believed that he is looking for a multi-year contract. Today, 7:24 am
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  • Cam Ward wants to stay with Carolina
    Cam Ward, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, wants to stay with Carolina.

    Advice: "Obviously, it's no secret I love being here and there's nowhere else I want to be," he said. "In a perfect world I'd like to have something done, but there's no pressure. I've just got to prepare myself for a great year, not just for myself but for the team. It's team first. We want to be ready." Ward outperformed Anton Khudobin last season in a bounce-back year, but in 2015-16 he is expected to compete with Eddie Lack, who was acquired from Vancouver. "From what I understand he's a great guy and obviously will push (me) and vice versa," Ward said. "It will be a similar situation to last year. Nothing is given to me. You've got to go out there and earn your ice time and right to play." Yesterday, 4:21 pm
  • Canes, Lindholm agree to 2-year extension
    Elias Lindholm has agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $5.4 million.

    Advice: He will make $2.5 million in 2016-17 and then $2.9 million during the 2017-18 campaign. Lindholm, who was the fifth overall pick in 2013, showed plenty of promise last season while recording 17 goals and 39 points in 81 games. "We expect he will be a very important part of the Hurricanes as he continues to develop as a professional," GM Ron Francis said after the signing. Yesterday, 3:57 pm
  • Andrew Ladd hopes to re-sign before season
    Andrew Ladd said it would like to have a new contract in place before the start of the year, but he understands that these things can take time.

    Advice: He would prefer to put the distractions behind him and just focus on preparing for and playing in the upcoming season. Ladd made it known that he wants to stay with the Jets and he believes both sides will come to an agreement because there is mutual interest. He can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Yesterday, 8:13 am
  • Jason Spezza likes Stars' summer additions
    Jason Spezza likes the off-season changes that Dallas has made.

    Advice: "You are bringing in great pedigree," he said referring to new teammates Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya and Antti Niemi. "You are not only bringing in great players; you are bringing in great players that have won and won together. They'll have their different outlook on things and what they found that was successful for them in Chicago they can implement things in our dressing room. We have a pretty open team to learn and get better. When you add three guys that have won, it is huge for the locker room." Spezza is excited for the upcoming season and, just like most players, he is anxious to start training camp. Wednesday, 6:29 pm
  • Wayne Simmonds hopes to reach 30-goal mark
    Wayne Simmonds is hoping to hit the 30-goal mark in 2015-16.

    Advice: "Thirty is a definite goal for me," he said. "I've come close a couple of times. As long as we're winning games and making the playoffs, I really don't care how many I get." Simmonds recorded 28 goals in 2011-12, 29 in 2013-14 and he hit 28 last season. He'll probably get close again this campaign, with plenty coming by way of the power play. Wednesday, 3:20 pm
  • Coach glad to have Mark Giordano locked up
    Calgary coach Bob Hartley was thrilled to see Mark Giordano sign a six-year contract extension on Tuesday.

    Advice: "Gio is a pillar for us. Someone we can count on. Brad (GM Treliving) has done a great job," said Hartley. "We're going to get to camp and our captain, along many of our veterans, are set contractually. There are no disagreements. No distractions. No confusion. Now the focus is going to be on hockey, on the team. Where it should be. I talked to Gio and he's real happy. If he's happy, I'm happy. It's a great day for the organization." The 31-year-old's new deal reportedly includes a full no-trade clause through 2019-20 and then he gets a 10-team no-trade list. Wednesday, 2:21 pm
  • Backstrom (hip) unsure about season opener
    Nicklas Backstrom (hip) isn't sure if he'll be ready for the start of the regular season.

    Advice: "It is very difficult to answer," he told Swedish newspaper Arbetarbladet on Tuesday. "We will see here now (after evaluating) with the coach and fitness coach. There has been considerable focus on enhancing mobility in the hip again. From the beginning I could not run or anything." The good news is Backstrom has been skating and working out with trainer Andreas Ohgren. He is slated to take part in training camp, but it could be in a limited capacity. However, we won't know that until he gets back to North America and he's examined by the Capitals. If he does miss the start of the regular season then it doesn't appear as though he will be sidelined for very long. Wednesday, 1:01 pm
  • Chris Neil training hard, loses some weight
    Chris Neil has trimmed down to 208 pounds.

    Advice: He was previously listed at 215 pounds. Neil has been working hard to get ready for training camp after sitting most of the 2014-15 campaign. He missed plenty of time due to injury, but he was also scratched on occasion. Neil has one season left on his current contract, so this could be his final year with the Senators. Wednesday, 12:28 pm
  • Canes 'comfortable' to wait on Staal contract
    Eric Staal probably won't have a new contract with Carolina before the start of training camp.

    Advice: "[I'm] kind of waiting to see how it's going to play out here in the next while," Staal said. "I haven't given it a ton of thought, or time, as of right now. I'm focused on having a good finish to training for the summer and getting ready for the start of camp." He has one year left on his contract, but the Hurricanes aren't in any rush to get a deal done. GM Ron Francis said, "We're comfortable letting this go down the road a little bit." There's been plenty of speculation that Staal could be a trade target this year, but he has made it known that he would like to stay with Carolina. Wednesday, 9:51 am
  • A. Ference looks like he'll remain captain
    Andrew Ference doesn't believe there are changes coming to Edmonton's captaincy.

    Advice: "One of the first conversations I had with Todd (McLellan, Edmonton's new coach) was about that," said Ference. "I brought it up ... I like things out in the open. I don't like walking on eggshells or awkward moments, player to coach, player to GM. This isn't a vanity project. We should want everybody pulling on the same rope for the Oilers." Ference has been the captain for the last two seasons and he'll be the oldest player on the team at the age of 36. Wednesday, 7:20 am
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