George Richards caught up with a group of Florida Panthers to discuss a potential lockout, with an anonymous one providing a troubling comment about what he’s preparing for.
“Getting ready for November,” joked one former Panthers player who asked not to be identified. “I hope we play in October. But I also hope we play in November. We’re still getting ready.”
Veterans such as Ed Jovanovski and Jose Theodore weren’t quite as humorous about the proceedings.
“I’m optimistic we’re going to get something done,” Jovanovski said. “You see a business side in every sport. Everyone wants a fair deal. As players, we’re more than willing to make things fair. But there are 700 people in our union and everything has to be agreed upon. I just hope we don’t miss any hockey.”
Theodore compared how he felt during the previous lockout to what he’s thinking now.
“The last time around, I was 27 so I dealt with it as ‘oh, I have a lot more years left’,” Theodore said. “We had a good thing going last year and we really want to get back at it. I’m preparing as if nothing is going to happen, but you have it in the back of your mind. You worry this thing might drag out.”
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.