The NHL boys are back in town | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaThe NHL boys are back in town

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | 08:00 AM

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Roberto Luongo's status as No. 1 netminder in Vancouver was cemented when rival Cory Schneider was traded June 30. (Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) Roberto Luongo's status as No. 1 netminder in Vancouver was cemented when rival Cory Schneider was traded June 30. (Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

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The NHL officially returns with the opening of training camps for the 2013-14 season. It wasn't too long ago, we watched the Chicago Blackhawks capture their second Stanley Cup in three seasons on a muggy night in Boston.

The NHL officially returns with the opening of training camps for the 2013-14 season. It wasn't too long ago we watched the Chicago Blackhawks capture their second Stanley Cup in three seasons on a muggy night in Boston.

David Bolland's game-winner for Chicago was scored 79 days ago. Less than three months later, the boys are back and full of optimism. With that in mind, we take a glance at the training camps for the seven Canadian clubs.

After all, opening night on Hockey Night in Canada is only 20 days away.

Calgary Flames

3 questions entering training camp

- Who will replace retired Miikka Kiprusoff in goal? The combatants are Reto Berra, Joey MacDonald and Karri Ramo.

- What kind of an immediate impact will new president of hockey operations director Brian Burke make?

- Now that the Flames are in a rebuild mode, can they begin to find some answers down the middle with youngsters like Roman Horak, Sean Monohan and Max Reinhart?

New faces: G Karri Ramo, D Shane O'Brien, D Kris Russell, LW T.J. Galiardi, RW David Jones.

No longer in town: D Cory Sarich, C Roman Cervenka, LW Alex Tanguay

Youngsters to watch: D Chris Breen, D Patrick Sieloff, RW Ben Hanowski, C Corban Knight, C Sean Monohan, C Max Reinhart

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 14 vs. Edmonton (split-squad), Sept. 14 at Edmonton (split-squad), Sept. 16 vs. Ottawa at Saskatoon, Sept. 17 vs. N.Y. Islanders at Saskatoon (split-squad), Sept. 17 vs. N.Y. Islanders at Regina (split-squad), Sept. 23 vs. N.Y. Rangers, Sept. 15 vs. Phoenix

Edmonton Oilers

3 questions entering training camp

- After a four-season run of Pat Quinn, Tom Renney and Ralph Krueger behind the bench, is new head coach Dallas Eakins the guy to steer the young Oilers to the playoffs?

- Will Taylor Hall, who played the first three seasons of his NHL career on left wing, make a smooth transition to the middle to buy time as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery?

- Can the weak area of the Oilers roster -- the defence -- improve enough with the additions of Andrew Ference and Dens Grebeshkov?

New faces: G Jason LaBarbera, G Richard Bachman, D Andrew Ference, D Denis Grebeshkov, D Philip Larsen, C Boyd Gordon, LW Ryan Hamilton, LW Jesse Joensuu, LW David Perron.

No longer in town: G Nikolai Khabibulin, D Theo Peckham, C Shawn Horcoff, LW Magnus Paajarvi

Youngsters to watch: D Darnell Nurse, D Oscar Klefbom, C Anton Lander

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 14 vs. Calgary (split-squad), Sept. 14 at Calgary (split-squad), Sept. 17 at Winnipeg, Sept. 18 at Vancouver, Sept. 21 vs. Vancouver, Sept. 23 vs. Winnipeg, Sept. 24 vs. N.Y. Rangers, Sept. 27 vs. Dallas at Oklahoma City

Montreal Canadiens

3 questions entering training camp

-Can the club that went from worst in the Eastern Conference to second last year continue its climb? A lot will depend on health and whether newcomer Daniel Briere can be the offensive dynamo he was a few seasons ago?

-After the top four defencemen of P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges and Alexei Emelin, there could be a couple of open spots available on the blue-line. Are youngsters Nathan Beaulieu or Jarred Tinordi ready for prime time to unseat the likes of Francis Bouillon or Douglas Murray?

-How will goalie Carey Price rebound from his late-season doldrums and playoff disappointment against the Ottawa Senators -- and will new Habs goalie coach Stephane Waite mesh with his new student?

New faces: D Douglas Murray, C Daniel Briere, RW George Parros

No longer in town: D Tomas Kaberle, D Yannick Weber, RW Colby Armstrong, RW Michael Ryder

Youngsters to watch: D Nathan Beaulieu, D Greg Pateryn, D Jarred Tinordi, C Michael Bournival, C Gabriel Dumont, C Louis Leblanc.

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 15 vs. Buffalo, Sept. 16 vs. Boston, Sept. 20 vs. Carolina at Quebec City, Sept. 21 vs. Carolina, Sept. 23 vs. New Jersey, Sept. 25 at Ottawa, Sept. 26 vs. Ottawa

Ottawa Senators

3 questions entering training camp

-How much better will Erik Karlsson (Achilles tendon), Jason Spezza (back), Craig Anderson (ankle), Jared Cowen (hip) and Milan Michalek (knee) be after injuries kept them out of most of last season?

-Will the 22-year-old Cowen, a restricted free agent, re-sign before the regular season begins?

-How much can newcomer Bobby Ryan, who has scored 147 times in 378 NHL games, lessen the off-season blow of losing captain Daniel Alfredsson to free agency and the Detroit Red Wings?

New faces: D Joe Corvo, LW Clarke MacArthur, RW Bobby Ryan

No longer in town: D Sergei Gonchar, D Andre Benoit, D Mike Lundin, RW Daniel Alfredsson, RW Jakob Silferberg, RW Stefan Nosen, C Peter Regin, RW Hugh Jessiman

Young players to watch: LW Dave Dziurzynski, C Mike Hoffman, C Shane Prince, LW Matt Puempel, RW Mark Stone

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 16 at Winnipeg (split-squad), Sept. 16 vs. Calgary at Saskatoon, Sept. 19 vs. Toronto, Sept. 24 at Toronto, Sept. 25 vs. Montreal, Sept. 29 vs. N.Y. Islanders at Barrie, Sept. 29 vs. N.Y. Islanders

Toronto Maple Leafs

3 questions entering training camp

-Who will emerge as the club's No. 1 starter in net, either incumbent James Reimer or newcomer Jonathan Bernier?

-Will there be any lingering effects from last spring's collapse in Game 7 of the Maple Leafs first-round series against the Boston Bruins?

-With the Nazem Kadri signing on Tuesday evening, how long will it take Toronto to get top-four defenceman Cody Franson, a restricted free agent, locked up to deal?

New faces: G Jonathan Bernier, D T.J. Brennan, C David Bolland, RW David Clarkson, LW Mason Raymond

No longer in town: G Ben Scrivens, D Mike Komisarek, D Ryan O'Byrne, LW Clarke MacArthur, LW Matt Frattin, C Mikhail Grabovski, RW Leo Komarov.

Youngsters to watch: D Morgan Rielly, C Joe Colborne

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 15 at Philadelphia, Sept. 16 vs. Philadelphia, Sept. 19 at Ottawa, Sept. 21 at Buffalo, Sept. 22 vs. Buffalo, Sept. 24 vs. Ottawa, Sept. 27 at Detroit, Sept. 28 vs. Detroit

Vancouver Canucks

3 questions entering training camp

-Will the circus that will surround goalie Roberto Luongo hinder his return as the club's No. 1 goalie?

-What sort of an immediate impact will be made by the arrival of abrupt new coach John Tortorella? One of the players Tortorella may be hard on is Zack Kassian.

-Can Ryan Kesler stay healthy? The Canucks simply need their No. 2 centre in the lineup and playing as well as he did when he scored 41 goals in 2010-11.

New faces: D Yannick Weber, RW Ben Ferriero, LW Brad Richardson, C Mike Santorelli

No longer in town: G Cory Schneider, C Andrew Ebbett, C Maxim Lapierre, C Derek Roy

Young players to watch: G Eddie Lack, D Frank Corrado, C Bo Horvat, RW Brendan Gaunce, LW Nicklas Jensen.

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 16 vs. San Jose, Sept. 18 vs. Edmonton, Sept. 21 at Edmonton, Sept. 24 at San Jose, Sept. 26 vs. N.Y. Rangers

Winnipeg Jets

3 questions entering training camp

-Will the Jets show signs in pre-season action that they are ready to take the next step on the ice to give their dedicated fan base more to cheer about?

-The Jets added depth up front, but can they play better team defence? They ranked 25th overall with 144 goals allowed last year.

-How will young kids -- Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele -- perform and will they show that they deserve more than a limited role?

New faces: D Adam Pardy, RW Michael Frolik, RW Andrew Gordon, RW Matt Halischuk, RW Devin Setoguchi

No longer in town: D Derek Meech, C Nik Antropov, C Alex Burmistrov, LW Antti Miettinen

Young players to watch: G Eddie Pasquale, D Jacob Trouba, C Mark Scheifele, C Ivan Telegin

Pre-season schedule: Sept. 14 vs. Washington at Belleville, Ont., Sept. 15 vs. Ottawa, Sept. 17 vs. Edmonton, Sept. 19 vs. Minnesota, Sept. 21 at Minnesota, Sept. 23 at Edmonton, Sept. 26 vs. Boston

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC

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