Wild's Harding Cleared For Training Camp
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Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said Josh Harding
is "a go" for training camp, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "Everybody seems to be feeling pretty good, and at this stage, all of our players who were banged up at the end of the season are feeling better. Josh has felt good. Right now we're not expecting any issues for anybody with respect to passing training camp medicals."
With an 18-7-3 record, 1.65 GAA and .933 save percentage, Josh Harding
was playing as well as any goal in hockey before a setback in his treatment for multiple sclerosis sidelined him after the end of December. Because he's missed large chunks of both of the last two seasons while dealing with the effects of the illness, fantasy players shouldn't look to invest heavily in Harding. Even if healthy, he's no lock to open the season as the regular starter in goal for the Wild with Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper still around.
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said Niklas Backstrom
(abdomen, hip) is feeling good and and will be ready to participate in training camp, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Any way you spin it, Niklas Backstrom
had a miserable 2013-14 campaign, as the veteran netminder suited up for 21 games and posted a lousy 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage before undergoing season-ending abdominal and hip surgery. Though he's ostensibly healthy, Backstrom is now 36 and doesn't appear poised to enter the season as the club's starter, especially with Darcy Kuemper and Josh Harding still around. His sizable contract may be the only thing keeping him around.
Flames' Hiller: Fully Recovered From Appendicitis
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GM Brad Treliving said Jonas Hiller
is "100 percent" recovered from the appendicitis attack that sidelined him in July, NHL.com reports.
The incident prevented Jonas Hiller
from working out for about three weeks, but he's since returned to the ice to resume his usual pre-camp routine in his native Switzerland. Hiller, 32, is the heavy favorite to serve as the Flames' No. 1 goalie this season after inking a two-year contract with Calgary on the first day of free agency.
Flyers' Mason Returns To Ice
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News: Steve Mason
(finger) returned to the ice Monday for the first time since breaking his finger three weeks ago, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
With training camp still a month away, the expectation is that Steve Mason
will be healthy enough by that time to participate in full activities. After having to fight for his job as the No. 1 goalie a season ago, Mason will be the team's unquestioned top option between the pipes after going 33-18-7 with a 2.50 GAA and .917 save percentage in 2013-14.
News: Michael Leighton
signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks on Monday, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports.
Analysis: Michael Leighton
will most likely start the season in the AHL with Corey Crawford and Antti Raanta already on the depth chart for the Blackhawks. He will provide the team with depth at the position, however, and could find his way to the team if either netminder goes down with an injury.
News: Jean-Sebastien Giguere
will announce his retirement from the NHL next week, Elliot Teaford of the Daily Breeze reports.
Analysis: Jean-Sebastien Giguere
's last start came in the season finale for Avs, saving 33 of 36 shots. He has had a long NHL career, first starting in the NHL in the 1996-97 season. His best seasons came with the Ducks, including a playoff MVP performance in the 2002-03 season. Giguere was a free agent in the offseason, and rather than look for a contract for another season likely serving as a backup, the 37-year-old goaltender will hang up his skates.
Bolts' Bishop (Wrist) Beginning To Face Shots
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News: Ben Bishop
(wrist) began facing shots last week for the fist time since undergoing surgery, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Analysis: Ben Bishop
indicated the session went well, and he'll likely had further activities to his offseason training program in the days to come. The netminder plans on being ready to go for training camp, and should be viewed as a top-tier goalie option in light of his high probable workload, as well as the impressive ratios he showed last season.
Sens Re-Sign Lehner To Three-Year Deal
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News: Robin Lehner
agreed to terms on a three-year, $6.675 million contract with the Senators on Thursday, Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet reports.
Injuries and ineffective play by No. 1 netminder Craig Anderson opened the door for Robin Lehner
to make 36 appearances last season, but the young goalie didn't seem prepared for the opportunity, yielding a 3.06 GAA and .913 save percentage. Anderson's similarly meager numbers open the door for Lehner to stake a claim to the starting goalie job, with the Senators likely content to ride the hot goalie most nights. Even so, it likely won't be until the 2015-16 season that Lehner will enjoy long-term job security, as Anderson's contract isn't set to expire until next summer.
Montreal's Price To Begin Skating In August
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News: Carey Price
(knee) won't begin skating until mid-August, the Tri-City Herald reports.
Analysis: Carey Price
injured his knee in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals and was knocked out of the playoffs, but he did not need surgery. The knee has healed enough for him to play in a charity golf event, but we won't know if the knee is in hockey shape until August.
Leafs' Bernier: Competition Looming For Top Role?
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News: Jonathan Bernier
(sports hernia) may face competition from James Reimer for the starter's job in training camp, according to Toronto's Sportsnet590 TheFAN. James Reimer says he was told there was a "definite opportunity" for him to win back the starter's gig.
Maybe it's semantics and maybe it's a ploy to get Reimer re-signed. Who knows? Jonathan Bernier
clearly won the starter's gig last year, but he did suffer an injury that put him on the sidelines for a period of time. Camp should be interesting, although our money is on Bernier.