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New York: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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NHL training camps open with sense of urgency

NHL training camps open with sense of urgency

Peter Laviolette pulled the mask far from his face to bark out directions while pointing every which method with his stick, then put the mask back on and skated around to reveal his brand-new gamers what to do.

It was the very first day of training camp for Laviolette and the Washington Capitals and most of the NHL. With the routine season beginning next week, there’s no time at all to waste. Camps are now open for the league’s 31 groups and they will last simply 10 days.

There are no exhibit video games to tune up prior to the pucks drop genuine.

“There’s so many things that you want to touch on, and the time is limited,” Laviolette stated after the very first on-ice session Monday. “It’s almost like fear when you get home that maybe you didn’t get everything done or you didn’t get in what you were supposed to get done.”

While the 7 groups that didn’t make the playoffs got a couple of days’ running start, everybody will remain in the very same grind when the season starts Jan. 13. After finishing last season in quarantined bubbles, hockey will open the season with the coronavirus pandemic still raving for a 56-game routine season set up to run up until May 8.

“You get a fresh start,” stated Jeff Skinner of the Buffalo Sabres, who haven’t played a video game because March. “When you get to take a lot of time off, it sort of builds that anticipation to when you can get back, and now we’re here and it’s an exciting time.”

It’s likewise various. Coaches couldn’t fulfill with gamers personally up until camp, there are health and wellness procedures to follow and there is everyday COVID-19 screening.

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella stated he’d stress a significant indicate gamers about how to technique training and playing this season: “There is no complaining about anything.”

That consists of the length of camp, which is even much shorter than 8 years earlier when a lockout cut the season to 48 video games. Couple of appear anxious about no preseason video games.

“Most players would argue that camps are a little bit long anyway,” Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler stated. “It’ll be nice to get right to it, get up to game speed as fast as we can and then hit the ice for games that matter.”

In a tip that the pandemic is still making an effect on the sport, 3 NHL teams have to find new places for top minor leaguers to play. The American Hockey League announced that three teams will opt out of this season, forcing St. Louis to shuffle prospects to Utica and leaving Nashville and Florida to figure out a Plan B.

Rather than beginning camp with a hectic scramble among several groups at their practice facility, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins worked inside spacious PPG Paints Arena. Things were so quiet that coach Mike Sullivan’s instructions could be heard clearly all the way up in the rafters, even though he never raised his voice.

“Almost everything feels different, to be honest with you, as far as the surroundings and wearing masks and socially distancing,” Crosby said. “But the excitement and the anticipation feels the same with getting ready to play.”

When the Penguins host Philadelphia on opening night, they won’t have forward Kasperi Kapanen, one of a few players dealing with immigration issues that caused them to miss the start of camp. Buffalo’s Linus Ullmark and fellow goaltender Anton Khudobin of Dallas were among those not available yet.

In Tampa Bay, coach Jon Cooper ran a different practice Monday for his reigning Stanley Cup champion Lightning.

“There was a lot more teaching,” Cooper said. “There’s so much hype that goes into the first day, I think guys usually are just so excited to be out there and they’re all screaming around, so we kind of designed a practice to take care of that. But because it’s such a short turnaround, we had to do a little bit more systems stuff than we normally would do.”

Across Florida, the Panthers set up equipment outside to take advantage of the warm climate. Elsewhere, stars like Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine and Columbus’ Pierre-Luc Dubois took the ice after an offseason of questions about whether they would still be with their teams.

“I’m here, aren’t I?” Laine said. “That’s the only thing I’m worried about right now.”

A few absences stood out, like captain Jonathan Toews in Chicago, top-line center Mika Zibanejad with the New York Rangers and newest Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara. Laviolette said Chara will join the team soon after quarantine, but information on most players is limited for now – another layer of secrecy to start a new season.

“I’ve been told from our team and from the league, when a player is not on the ice during training camp, we’re supposed to say he’s not available today,” Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said. “I think once the season starts, which is only a few days away, then we’ll be allowed to be a little more specific.”


AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow and Sports Writers Mitch Stacy, Tim Reynolds, Dan Gelston, Will Graves, Teresa M. Walker, Jay Cohen and Pat Graham contributed to this report.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Hmm. yes i understand the
question, you know it's been at least
15 years since I've been following the news, no 10 my folks do that, hmm. what was the question again !?
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where you read about this ?
Are you kidding !?
of course I can, it was here
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HOCKEY NEWS: NHL training camps open with sense of urgency

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