NHL Network and NHL.com will provide coverage of the NHL's research and development camp

We’ve covered the considerable amount of talent on hand for the NHL’s research and development camp as well as what kind of rules changes will be tested, but there’s some great news from the league regarding coverage of the proceedings. Apparently, NHL.com and the NHL Network will carry some shows/interviews/other information on the events.

Here are a few tidbits from a press release from the league. (The full release can be found here.)

NHL Network’s “2010 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp fueled by G-Series” show will air each night of the Camp (August 18-19) from 9:00 – 9:30p.m. ET and provide a full re-cap and analysis from that day’s testing. Host Brian Duff and Analyst Mike Johnson will take viewers inside the Camp through exclusive interviews with NHL VP of Hockey and Business Operations Brendan Shanahan, veteran NHL coaches Ken Hitchcock and Dave King, prospects from the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft and more. NHL Net also will take a look at Gatorade’s G Series and speak with doctors onsite about the science involved with this product and how it helps players reach their potential.

NHL.com will take fans on-site and behind-the-scenes with updates throughout the day with all the sights, sounds and breaking news coming out of the Camp. Coverage includes exclusive locker room access for the player briefings and audio from Coach Hitchcock and Coach King who will be miked during the testing, along with reactions from NHL hockey operations, general managers, players and coaches.

Sounds pretty cool to me.

People have been critical of NHL Network at times, but I think they’re getting their act together in a nice way. I’d love to see more original programming from the channel, but they do a lot of things correctly. The network covers a nice amount of live games during the season, includes the excellent NHL on the Fly recap show and some cool features like their current “Raising the Cup” series which features each Cup clinching game since the the Flyers 1975 win.

Who knows if this camp will be much more than a glorified sponsorship plug. We’ll keep our eyes on it to see if anything interesting comes from it.

Panarin impresses ‘Hawks with his preseason debut

Artemi Panarin
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Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.

Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.

“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.

The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.

Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.