Patrick Marleau
Sharks Take Marleau's Alternate Captain Status
Patrick Marleau, C, SJ
8/20/2014
News: The Sharks announced Wednesday that they would enter camp without a captain, which includes taking the "A" off Patrick Marleau's sweater, the Mercury News reports.
Analysis: It had been rumored and hinted at all summer that Patrick Marleau and captain Joe Thornton would have their leadership roles passed to younger players. It has also been rumored that both were asked to waive their no trade clause. Neither did. The team wants the younger generation to take the torch, but as far as fantasy is concerned, you can't reduce the playing time of a player like Marleau, who scored 33 goals and 37 assists last season.

Joe Thornton
Sharks Strip Thornton Of Captaincy
Joe Thornton, C, SJ
8/20/2014
News: The Sharks officially announce Wednesday that Joe Thornton would not be the team captain entering training camp, the Mercury News reports.
Analysis: Coach Todd McLellan said that he doesn't consider it to be stripping Joe Thornton of anything, since he'll be given the opportunity to earn the "C" back. The team has talked frequently this offseason of passing the torch to the next generation and that's what this appears to be. Thornton was not only rumored to be losing his "C," but was involved in trade rumors as well. However, he has a no trade clause and doesn't seem interested in leaving San Jose.

Pavel Datsyuk
Red Wings' Datsyuk Feeling Good Heaing Into Camp
Pavel Datsyuk, C, DET
8/20/2014
News: Coach Mike Babcock relayed that Pavel Datsyuk (knee) said he was feeling "the best he has in years" this offseason, suggesting he'll be ready to go for training camp, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports.
Analysis: Considering Pavel Datsyuk hasn't played since late April, it's no surprise he's feeling spry, but there's serious questions he'll hold up for 82 games as he enters his age-34 campaign. He's missed a total of 76 games over his last four seasons, muting the impact of the nearly point-per-game production he provides when healthy. Considering his injury history, Datsyuk might not be worth the markup price his name will cost fantasy players on draft day.

Stephen Weiss
Red Wings' Weiss (Hernia) Feeling Healthy
Stephen Weiss, C, DET
8/20/2014
News: Stephen Weiss indicated he's feeling healthy following his April 21 surgery to repair his sports hernia, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports.
Analysis: Stephen Weiss was a disaster in his first season with the Red Wings after inking a five-year, $24.5 million deal last summer, appearing in only 26 games and totaling four points. He ultimately required a pair of sports hernia surgeries that prevented a second-half return, but after spending the last four months recovering, he appears ready to go for 2014-15. Weiss will be given the opportunity to win back his job as the Wings' No. 2 center, but it seems dubious that he'll be able to return to the 50-point form he showed during his prime years with the Panthers.

Sidney Crosby
Pens' Crosby (Wrist) Progressing Well
Sidney Crosby, C, PIT
8/16/2014
News: Sidney Crosby (wrist) is pleased with the the way his wrist has responded to treatment this summer, reports the New York Times. "It's good," said Crosby, who added, "You want to see how things progress throughout the summer once you start skating and get back to that regular routine. You want to see how it reacts, so I'm happy with the way it's gone."
Analysis: Sidney Crosby is working out in Florida with several other NHLers under the direction of trainer Matt Belfry. He likened it to a "hockey school" because there's increased focus on fundamentals and individual skill work. And he hasn't looked out of place among the likes of John Tavares, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon. Great news for fantasy owners -- he should be on track to compete for both the Art Ross and Hart trophies again this year.

Alex Burmistrov
Burmistrov Likely To Return To Jets In 2015-16
Alex Burmistrov, C, WPG
8/16/2014
News: Alex Burmistrov, who is playing in the KHL but remains under Jets' control, will "almost certainly return to (the) NHL," according to Igor Eronko of Sports.ru.
Analysis: The young forward said "next summer will be defining" when he talked about returning to the NHL. He seemed to have issues with former Jets coach, Claude Noel, before he left for the KHL, but Noel is long gone, replaced by Paul Maurice. Alex Burmistrov had 10 goals and 37 points with Ak-Bars of the KHL in 2013-14.

Mike Fisher
Preds' Fisher Targeting Late-November Return
Mike Fisher, C, NSH
8/13/2014
News: Mike Fisher (Achilles) is targeting a return to the Predators around Thanksgiving Day, Josh Cooper of The Tennessean reports.
Analysis: GM David Poile said that Mike Fisher still remains under the four-to-six month recovery timetable prescribed for him when he ruptured the Achilles tendon in July, but the center is optimistic he can meet the short end of that time frame. With Fisher unavailable to act as the top-line pivot to begin the campaign, the Predators will likely try to break in either of their offseason acquisitions, Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy, to assume important roles in the team's top six.

Ryan Bourque
Rangers Re-Up AHLer Bourque
Ryan Bourque, C, NYR
8/9/2014
News: Ryan Bourque re-signed with the Rangers on Friday. Terms of the deal have not been released.
Analysis: The 23-year-old center spent last season with AHL Hartford where he posted 21 goals, 16 assists and a plus-16 rating in 74 games. The season was tremendously successful for the 2009 draft pick -- he established new career marks in games played, goals, assists and plus-minus, as well as shots (158), game-winning goals (three) and power-play goals (seven). He has increased his output in each of his three seasons in the A, and is steadily demonstrating that his dream of a bottom-six gig on Broadway is not unrealistic (some day).

Ryan White
Flyers Ink White To One-Year, Two-Way Contract
Ryan White, C, MON
8/7/2014
News: Ryan White signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Flyers on Friday.
Analysis: Ryan White played 52 games with the Canadiens last season, posting two goals and four assists with the club along with 50 penalty minutes. He will likely slide in at center and battle for a spot on one of the bottom two lines for the Flyers.

Brooks Laich
Caps' Laich Begins Skating During Summer Training
Brooks Laich, C, WAS
8/5/2014
News: Brooks Laich added skating to his offseason training regimen on Monday, Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports.
Analysis: Brooks Laich has been hobbled by a reoccurring groin injury sustained during the 2012-2013 NHL lockout. Since, he has tallied only 19 points in 60 games and looked like a shadow of his former self. The 31-year-old had surged in mid-March to fix the issue, and insists the worst is behind him and that he is "completely healthy" and had an "unbelievable summer of training". Given the tendency of groin issues not to get better as players age, fantasy owners would be wise to disbelieve his claims unless or until he can show he has regained his old form. Even so, Laich faces a stern challenge for a scoring line role and power-play time, but the news of ratcheting up the skating portion of his offseason training is a good sign, so monitor his progress as the season unfolds.

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