NHL training camp

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, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

It was a busy off-season in the NHL, one that saw more than 100 players change addresses. This week, training camps open throughout the league. Here is a team-by-team look heading into camp.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, West Orange, N.J.

CAMP CHATTER

Paul Martin might not be as big a name as Scott Niedermayer or Brian Rafalski, but he assumes the burden as the primary puck-moving defenceman after Rafalski was snapped up by Detroit.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can Marty Brodeur again mask the Devils' warts? Off-season additions Karel Rachunek, Vitali Vishnevski and Dainius Zubrus hardly make up for the losses of Gomez and Rafalski.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Moncton, N.B.

CAMP CHATTER

Free agent after free agent snubbed owner Charles Wang's cash early on, leaving the shunned Isles with an aging top unit of Mike Comrie, Bill Guerin and Miro Satan.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can coach Ted Nolan work miracles with a wafer-thin lineup? If Nolan gets this lot into the playoffs, name him coach of the year.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Rye, NY.

CAMP CHATTER

Inking forwards Chris Drury and Scott Gomez may have created a splash on Broadway but the Rangers have a dubious history of free-agent busts. Henrik Lundqvist should be a Vezina Trophy candidate again.

THE BIG QUESTION

This team forked out millions to bolster the forward ranks instead of landing the defenceman it needed.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Voorhees, N.J.

CAMP CHATTER

Flyboys could have 10 new faces from the woeful squad that approached trade deadline in February. With moneybags free-agent pickup Daniel Briere between Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble, it gives them one of the top first lines in the league.

THE BIG QUESTION

How much chemistry will there be with so many new players?

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Southpointe, Pa.

CAMP CHATTER

The biggest battle revolves around the quest to land the two jobs as Sidney Crosby's wingers. Veterans Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi and Petr Sykora will be vying for them, but expect Colby Armstrong and Jordan Staal to get a look-see.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will this emerging Cup contender be cursed by the blue line blues?

NORTHEAST DIVISION

BOSTON BRUINS

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Boston

CAMP CHATTER

Incoming goalie Manny Fernandez comes to camp trying to shake off knee problems. New coach Claude Julien likely will give Phil Kessel a more offensive role.

THE BIG QUESTION

Who will step up on the blue line behind hulking Zdeno Chara?

BUFFALO SABRES

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Buffalo

CAMP CHATTER

Tim Connolly is now the No. 1 centre, a huge step for a guy who missed most of last year with post-concussion syndrome.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can the suddenly wealthy Thomas Vanek make fans forget about Drury and Briere? Many can't understand how management couldn't keep that dynamic duo while finding the cash to match Edmonton's seven-year, $50-million US offer sheet to Vanek.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Pierrefonds, Que.

CAMP CHATTER

First Saku Koivu says the Habs can't win the Cup. Now he says they can. This means controversy. Fan favourite Guillaume Latendresse should get a shot on the second line. Incoming defenceman Roman Hamrlik assumes the role of power-play quarterback vacated by Sheldon Souray.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will Carey Price push incumbent goalie Cristobal Huet? Price was a star at the world juniors and the AHL playoffs last season.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Ottawa

CAMP CHATTER

Expect the Sens to retain their offensive-minded game plan under new coach John Paddock. Rookies Brian Lee, a defenceman, and centre Nick Foligno will get a shot at sticking but they'll have to turn some heads.

THE BIG QUESTION

The big three of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson are as good as the offence gets, but dealing Peter Schaefer's 46 points for Shean Donovan's 17 didn't help.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Toronto

CAMP CHATTER

Newcomer Jason Blake is expected to start alongside Mats Sundin and either Nik Antropov or Alexei Ponikarovsky. He'll also see time on Kyle Wellwood's wing. Mark Bell's indefinite suspension for substance abuse raises questions.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will Vesa Toskala usurp Andrew Raycroft as the No. 1 goalie?

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

ATLANTA THRASHERS

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Duluth, Ga.

CAMP CHATTER

Centre Todd White must feel like he won the jackpot, bolting defensive-minded Minnesota in favour of a first-line spot centring flashy Ilya Kovalchuk. Late- season pickup Alexei Zhitnik gives Atlanta its first legitimate power-play quarterback in years.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can Kari Lehtonen rebound from coach Bob Hartley's curious game of goalie roulette during the playoffs?

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Raleigh, N.C.

CAMP CHATTER

All eyes will be on defencemen Frantisek Kaberle, Bret Hedican and forward Cory Stillman, who spent chunks of last season on the injury list.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will 2006 Conn Smythe winner Cam Ward rebound from an erratic season?

FLORIDA PANTHERS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Sunrise, Fla.

CAMP CHATTER

Tomas Vokoun will be the talk of camp and should erase memories of the Ed Belfour-Alex Auld tandem of a year ago. Power-play point specialist Cory Murphy, with 50 points with HIFK of the Finnish league last season, will be an intriguing story.

THE BIG QUESTION

Is this the year the Panthers finally reach the post-season? There are no more excuses.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Brandon, Fla.

CAMP CHATTER

Faced with a limited budget, GM Jay Feaster made a shrewd move by bringing in winger Michel Ouellet, the ex-Penguin. Ouellet and Brad Richards were linemates in junior and are slated to be joined by another newcomer, Jan Hlavac, on the second line.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can the inconsistent goaltending duo of Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist rebound? They'll have to or the Bolts will be in trouble.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Arlington, Va.

CAMP CHATTER

After being disturbed at the lack of talent around him, young superstar Alexander Ovechkin should flash a smile at the sight of newcomers Michael Nylander,Viktor Kozlov and Tom Poti.

THE BIG QUESTION

Despite the presence of Ovechkin, the Caps were 1-11 in shootouts last season. How was this possible?

NORTHWEST DIVISION

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Victoria

CAMP CHATTER

Taylor Pyatt combed together a 23-goal season with the Sedin twins and, unless the Canucks bring in a big-name right winger, will again patrol that side. A healthy Brendan Morrison will help the offensive needs, while Markus Naslund has to stop his production slide. D-man Mattias Ohlund played the whole season with a sports-hernia issue that required off-season surgery.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can Roberto Luongo carry this team that far again? The Canucks have a good defensive group, but the goalie deserved MVP consideration after backstopping a weak offensive club to a division title and the second round of the playoffs.

CALGARY FLAMES

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Calgary

CAMP CHATTER

Last year, Matthew Lombardi was given a long look to play centre with Jarome Iginla. Will another year's experience give the forward the experience needed for that role?

THE BIG QUESTION

Was Iron the missing element last year? Iron Mike Keenan is the new coach for a club that fell well short of expectations.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Centennial, Col.

CAMP CHATTER

Ryan Smyth will team up with Joe Sakic to create a formidable first line. If Wojtek Wolski and Paul Stastny avoid the sophomore jinx, scoring won't be a problem.

THE BIG QUESTION

Was last year's finish - 15-2-2 - a sign of things to come? Colorado's surge nearly resulted in a playoff spot. However, goaltending may still prevent the Avs from getting in.

EDMONTON OILERS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Edmonton

CAMP CHATTER

Dustin Penner, the poached RFA from Anaheim thanks to a five-year, $21.25-million US contract, is a finisher suited to play with Ales Hemsky.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will there be enough goals to make the playoffs? Last year's worst offensive team won't transform into the mid-1980s version.

MINNESOTA WILD

Camp opens: Sept. 14, St. Paul

CAMP CHATTER

Watch for top-line centre Mikko Koivu to break out from the 20-goal season of a year ago.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will Marian Gaborik ever be healthy a whole season?

PACIFIC DIVISION

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Camp opens: Sept. 10, Anaheim

CAMP CHATTER

Will Scott Niedermayer come back? Will Teemu Selanne? Those issues have dogged the Stanley Cup champs all summer, but were addressed with free-agent signings. Todd Bertuzzi is in and must become the Bert of old - circa 2003 - not an old Bert.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can the Ducks repeat? They might be able to do it.

DALLAS STARS

Camp opens: Sept. 14, Frisco, Texas.

CAMP CHATTER

Philippe Boucher and Trevor Daley will step up with the departure of D-man Darryl Sydor. The top line of Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow will stay together.

THE BIG QUESTION

Does the fall of the Stars begin? They're depleted these days.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Camp opens: Sept. 10, El Segundo, Calif.

CAMP CHATTER

L.A.'s top line of Mike Cammalleri, Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar may be the NHL's top no-name line. Adding Brad Stuart and Tom Preissing upgraded the blue line in a big way. Newcomers Ladislav Nagy and Michal Handzus will be the core of the second line. Goalie Dan Cloutier is back from surgery.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can the goalies help? Cloutier has his share of detractors, but he is a battler. Jason LaBarbera had the best GAA in the AHL.

PHOENIX COYOTES

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Glendale, Ariz.

CAMP CHATTER

Rookies Peter Mueller and Martin Hanzal will be given every opportunity. Mike York is slated to play on the top line with Shane Doan and Steve Reinprecht. A healthy Ed Jovanovski is key. David Aebischer, Alex Auld, Mikael Tellqvist and David LeNeveu are all in the mix for starting goalie

THE BIG QUESTION

Will the Coyotes finally start to get it right? New GM Don Maloney appears to have a plan: Build from the ground up. Again.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, San Jose

CAMP CHATTER

GM Doug Wilson focused on re-signing key players: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Craig Rivet, letting Scott Hannan and Bill Guerin leave via free agency and dealing goalie Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell to Toronto for draft picks.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will the Sharks finally win the Cup? San Jose has seemed poised for glory for a half-dozen seasons. The Sharks are young, big, fast and have good goaltending. It's time to put it all together.

CENTRAL DIVISION

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Chicago

CAMP CHATTER

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be given every chance to make the club. Toews is a better bet since Kane has some physical maturing to do.

THE BIG QUESTION

Is this the year Tuomo Ruutu shines? Injuries derailed his 2005-06 season and he scored only 17 goals - in 71 games - last year, but the aggressive left winger has the tools and game sense to be a hockey pool steal on a line with Lang and Martin Havlat.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Columbus

CAMP CHATTER

Having Mike Peca and Sergei Fedorov gives the Blue Jackets a pair of top centres, if only this was five years ago. Rick Nash showed a willingness under coach Ken Hitchcock to improve his all-round game.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will Nikolai Zherdev get it or play out the year before returning to Russia?

DETROIT RED WINGS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Traverse City, Mich.

CAMP CHATTER

Newcomer Brian Rafalski looks to be the one to play alongside Nicklas Lidstrom. Niklas Kronwall, if he can remain healthy, is pegged to be part of the second pairing.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will this team ever show its age? Lidstrom looks like he can play another decade, Chris Chelios is defying the laws of nature, and goalie Dominik Hasek had an outstanding bounce-back season. Time eventually will catch up; we just don't know when.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Camp opens: Sept. 13, Nashville

CAMP CHATTER

Watch for a more defensive game plan because of the loss of many offensively gifted players - Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell, Paul Kariya and Peter Forsberg. Nashville's defence is filled with up-and-coming players with amazing potential.

THE BIG QUESTION

Can Chris Mason replace Tomas Vokoun in goal?

ST. LOUIS BLUES

Camp opens: Sept. 13, St. Louis

CAMP CHATTER

D-man Erik Johnson is a legitimate Calder Trophy candidate with a strong blue line crew. While the Blues have scoring on the left side in Paul Kariya, Martin Rucinsky, Lee Stempniak and Petr Cajanek, they are weak on the right wing.

THE BIG QUESTION

Will a full season with Andy Murray behind the bench mean a playoff spot? The Blues posted a 27-18-9 mark after Murray took over for Mike Kitchen, good enough over a whole season for the playoffs.


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