The Dallas Stars began training camp on Thursday, however, forward Martin Hanzal will not be taking to the ice — at least not right away.
Signed by Dallas to a three-year, $14.25 million contract on the first day of free agency, Hanzal is dealing with an ankle sprain, per Mark Stepneski of the Stars’ website.
So far, there doesn’t seem to be a specific timeline for when the 6-foot-6 center could return to the ice.
The Stars made a number of big moves this offseason. It started with the hiring of Ken Hitchcock behind the bench, and continued with the acquisition of goalie Ben Bishop and defenseman Marc Methot, and the additions of Hanzal and Alex Radulov in free agency.
Dallas had a disappointing 2016-17 campaign, missing the playoffs after finishing as the top Western Conference team during the 2015-16 regular season.
Signing Hanzal provides the Stars with a versatile center, capable of playing in a shutdown role or perhaps moving into a top-six spot if Hitchcock decides that’s an option.
Clarke MacArthur, who has a documented history of concussions throughout his career, did not pass his medical testing on Thursday, according to Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion.
As a result, MacArthur will not be a part of training camp, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
There have been questions about the future of his playing career for a few years now as a result of the head injuries he’s sustained. At age 32, MacArthur has appeared in only eight regular season games over the last two campaigns. He did, however, return to Ottawa’s lineup for its playoff run in the spring after getting cleared.
Read more: Silver linings if Senators doctors don’t clear Clarke MacArthur
The Senators made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final and MacArthur posted three goals and nine points in 19 post-season games, while averaging more than 15 minutes of ice time per game. That included time on the penalty kill and power play.
Following Ottawa’s playoff run, MacArthur was adamant that he wanted to continue playing if he could. He did reveal that he went through the playoffs with discomfort in his neck and would be meeting with doctors during the offseason.
The Boston Bruins made news Thursday, signing restricted free agent forward David Pastrnak to a contract extension. There was also another nugget of information to come from Don Sweeney’s meeting with the media.
According to Joe Haggerty of CSN New England, the Bruins have interest in a contract extension for defenseman Zdeno Chara, and there have been discussions between the team’s general manager and its captain.
Chara turned 40 years old in March and has 1,350 regular season games under his belt, not to mention almost 150 playoff games. He also has one year remaining on his seven-year, $45 million contract, which, according to CapFriendly, has a cap hit of $4 million for the upcoming season.
Chara has been a beast for the Bruins for many years, imposing his will on opposing forwards and putting up impressive offensive numbers on numerous occasions throughout his career. Last season, he led all Boston players in overall ice time and time on the penalty kill — both by a sizable margin.
But he’s only getting older, which raises the discussion about whether he can still handle such a significant workload going forward, especially if he does return beyond this season. The Bruins also have defensemen like Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy who could be ready to take on even more responsibility on the blue line.
“It’s something that probably management has to think about and make a decision on that,” Chara told NESN in April
. “I’ve said many times I want to play and would like to play beyond this contract. I want to still be very effective and still want to get better and improve and maintain my game and keep adding to my game.”
This isn’t your typical Hollywood audition.
The L.A. Kings have officially announced that they are holding open goaltending tryouts on Sept. 27. The purpose is to find candidates who could be used for potential emergency goalie duties for all Kings home games this upcoming season.
— You must be 18 years old.
— You must have played a “high level” of amateur hockey.
— Must not have signed a contract with another professional league.
“The NHL requires each home team to have an emergency goalie in the stands for every game and we thought this would be a good opportunity to see who in our area is best qualified for the job,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said in a statement.
“It will be interesting, that is for sure.”
Yeah, no kidding.
But this isn’t a new idea.
In fact, the Minnesota Wild held a contest about five years ago to find emergency goalies. There have been numerous instances in which NHL teams have been forced to sign a goalie not on their roster in cases of sudden illness or injury to their primary two netminders and not enough time to recall someone from the AHL.
The Carolina Hurricanes signed their own equipment manager Jorge Alves to a professional tryout last December when Eddie Lack was ill and didn’t dress for a game. With Carolina trailing in the final seconds of the third period, Alves was put in to the game, making his (brief) NHL debut.
Last December, the Chicago Blackhawks also had to sign an emergency goalie when Corey Crawford couldn’t dress due to illness. The early start time (1 p.m. ET) for the game prevented the Blackhawks from calling a goalie up from the AHL.
NHL GMs need to address emergency goalie rule after Florida incident
The Colorado Avalanche opened training camp on Thursday and Matt Duchene was there — after several days of speculation about whether or not he would report and months of trade talk.
The trade rumors still persist (see here and here) and, despite his contract being a potential hurdle, a deal involving the 26-year-old forward as the centerpiece may some day get done.
But as of Thursday, he’s still a member of the Avalanche and he was back with his teammates.
He even delivered a brief statement, though, per multiple reports, he didn’t take additional questions.
While Duchene reported, there was one notable absence on Thursday.
Defenseman Nikita Zadorov, one of only four remaining restricted free agents across the NHL, was not there for the beginning of camp. While awaiting a new deal with Colorado, there had been rumblings this summer that the towering 22-year-old blue liner could go back to Russia and the KHL.