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Karlsson’s status unclear for opening night after offseason foot surgery

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Erik Karlsson underwent foot surgery in June, with a four-month recovery period to follow.

That timeline automatically put his availability for the Senators’ season opener — since scheduled for Oct. 5 versus the Washington Capitals — in question, and his status remains unclear right now, as training camp approaches.

That is according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun:

While he may miss the season opener, Karlsson clearly stated a few months ago that he had no regrets playing through the injury during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Despite the injury, which included torn tendons in his left foot, the star defenseman was Ottawa’s best player throughout most of the post-season, as the Senators made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

So dominant was Karlsson that he actually received a Conn Smythe Trophy vote, despite the Senators not making the Stanley Cup Final.

“At the time, it was manageable and something obviously I could play through and play up to the standards that I thought I needed to be able to play and contribute for the team,” Karlsson told reporters during the NHL Awards media availability at the end of June.

“At the end of the day, I’m paying the price for it now but looking back, it’s not something I regret.”

Panthers ready to ‘support our Florida family’ as Hurricane Irma threatens

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With Hurricane Irma threatening to hit Florida, the Panthers and BB&T Center have pledged their support for the community and announced preparation plans for the storm.

From the Panthers on Wednesday:

During the storm, BB&T Center will serve as an emergency vehicle staging site for various public service entities, as well as a tactical operation site for Florida Power and Light. Post storm, BB&T Center has been identified as a Broward County Logistical Staging Area. BB&T Center stands willing and able to support any needs determined by the City of Sunrise and Broward County.

“We are here and ready to support our Florida family, Broward County and the City of Sunrise as the community prepares for Irma’s possible landfall,” said Florida Panthers Owner Vincent J. Viola. “Service to the community and family are in the DNA of our organization.”

BB&T Center has established a hotline at 954-835-8911. Individuals are encouraged to call the hotline for the most up to date information regarding BB&T Center.

The Panthers were slated to be one of four teams competing in a prospects tournament in Florida, beginning Saturday and running through to Tuesday. The Capitals, Lightning and Predators were also scheduled to take part in the event, however, it was officially cancelled Wednesday, with the storm threatening to strike Florida over the weekend.

Hurricane Irma, which has already slammed into Caribbean islands, is currently listed as a Category 5 storm.

A state of emergency has been declared in Florida.

“We encourage our fans, staff and members of our community to prepare wisely and stay safe throughout the duration of this storm,” said Panthers president and CEO Matthew Caldwell. “Our strength as a community will guide us the through the difficult times ahead.”

According to the Miami Herald, a number of Panthers players and staff will evacuate Florida ahead of the storm’s arrival.

From the Miami Herald:

The team is paying for the flight and could open training camp in Springfield, Massachusetts, next week depending on the extent of the damage in and around Broward County. 

A group of about 80 will depart Fort Lauderdale on Friday morning.

Players, coaching staff and hockey operations are part of the traveling party.

“We have the facilities in Springfield and could start camp there if we had to,” said team CEO Matthew Caldwell, who plans on riding out the storm at the arena.

Jets give Maurice, Cheveldayoff contract extensions (Update)

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One of the major questions facing the Winnipeg Jets this off-season appears to now have an answer.

That question had to do with the futures of general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and coach Paul Maurice, as they entered the final year of their respective contracts. 

According to reports on Wednesday, both Cheveldayoff and Maurice have been given contract extensions, with Darren Dreger of TSN adding they were multi-year deals.

Update: The Jets made both announcements official on Thursday morning.

Since moving from Atlanta to Winnipeg for the beginning of the 2011-12 season, the Jets have made the playoffs only once.

Maurice took over from Claude Noel midway through the 2013-14 season and was behind the bench when Winnipeg advanced to the post-season the following year.

Cheveldayoff has been GM of the Jets since their move to Winnipeg.

While the team and its fans have endured missing the playoffs in five of the last six years, the organization has been able to stockpile plenty of young, talented prospects, with the likes of Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Jacob Trouba each making a significant impact on the roster since making it to the NHL.

This summer, the Jets took a step to try to improve their goaltending by signing free agent Steve Mason.

Related:

Winnipeg Jets are finally interesting

Poll: Did the Jets do enough this summer to make the playoffs?

As trade rumors swirl, Landeskog expects Duchene ‘to be here’ for Avs training camp

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Trade speculation involving Matt Duchene has been rampant for months, with Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic recently confirming he’ll continue to listen to trade offers from other clubs.

According to multiple reports, Duchene was absent from a voluntary skate on Tuesday, as players hit the ice for a practice led by Avalanche team captain Gabriel Landeskog.

That has raised the question about whether the 26-year-old center — selected third overall by Colorado in 2009 — will be with the Avalanche when training camp opens next week.

From TSN.ca:

With Duchene languishing near the top of TSN’s Trade Bait board since early last season, the situation has hung over the centre and the Avalanche like a dark cloud.

Now, it seems possible Duchene’s relationship with the Avalanche may not heal with the benefit of a long summer.

When asked Tuesday night by TSN whether Duchene planned to report to Avalanche training camp, Duchene’s agent – Pat Brisson of CAA Sports – responded: “All I want to say is, for the moment Matt is skating in Toronto.”

Duchene did not return a request for comment. He attended a wedding in Vail, Colo., over the weekend, but spent most of the summer training in his hometown of Haliburton, Ont.

Duchene has tried to remain “relaxed” about trade rumors, which have persisted after he struggled offensively last season and the Avalanche suffered an overall embarrassing campaign with just 48 points. Colorado has regressed significantly from that 112-point 2013-14 season, with former coach Patrick Roy calling out the leadership group just a few months before he suddenly resigned.

“I talked a little bit with Dutchy. He’s not here; that’s not a secret,” Landeskog told the Denver Post. “But we’ll have to wait and see. As of right now, he’s a part of the Avalanche organization and we all expect him to be here when training camp starts. I don’t really know what else to tell you right now.”

Hurricane Irma forces Capitals to cancel prospect tournament in Florida

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With Hurricane Irma threatening to hit Florida, the Washington Capitals have cancelled this year’s prospect tournament at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.

The NHL team made the announcement Wednesday morning.

The tournament featured prospects from four teams — the Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and Nashville Predators — and was scheduled to run Sept. 9-12.

A state of emergency has been declared in Florida. Hurricane Irma, which slammed into Caribbean islands, is currently listed as a Category 5 storm.

From NBC News:

In a path projection early Wednesday, the hurricane center estimated that tropical storm-force winds would reach the southern tip of Florida sometime Saturday or Sunday.