Ryan Dadoun

Jeremy Jacobs
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Jacobs not sure if there’s desire to expand, has concerns about Quebec

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For those that want to believe that the NHL will ultimately expand to Las Vegas and Quebec City, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs’ words might feel like a splash of cold water.

“There’s a lot of content there. There’s a lot of capability there, but I don’t know if there’s a desire or will within the board of the existing franchises for expansion yet,” Jacobs told ESPN. “They both made pretty interesting proposals. Both have very legitimate arenas in place and organizations in place. There’s a capacity out there, but I don’t know if there’s a will from a league standpoint.”

Jacobs feels the league is doing pretty well with 30 teams. Additionally, given the current geographical setup of the NHL, he would rather see expansion teams sprout up in the west. Las Vegas certainly fits that desire, but Quebec City obviously doesn’t.

That’s not the only thing that gives him pause about the Quebec bid though.

“Take a look at what’s gone up in Nevada — it’s scary. I mean, it really is. It’s a heck of an arena built there, and there’s a strong interest there,” Jacobs said. “Balance the fact, Quebec has a great hockey interest, [but] it’s an extraordinarily small market.”

By contrast, Jacobs feels a franchise in Seattle would be “natural” and he’d love to see a team in Houston. But Quebecor and Bill Foley were the only ones to apply for expansion for Quebec City and Las Vegas respectively, which he feels “speaks volumes.”

In order for the NHL to expand, three-quarters of the Board of Governors would have to give the plan their blessing. The executive committee will make a recommendation before they vote, but it’s worth emphasizing that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said that there’s no timetable on that process.

If the league does ultimately expand, Jacobs does believe it won’t take those teams long to become competitive thanks to the salary cap system.

Related:

Vegas group makes expansion pitch, fields ‘a lot of really good questions’

Quebec City’s NHL bid has a former Canadian prime minister on its side

Elias to open season on IR

Patrik Elias
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The New Jersey Devils will open the season with their all-time leader scorer on the injured reserve list, per NHL.com.

Patrik Elias is dealing with a sore knee that’s kept him off the ice since the start of the Devils’ training camp. It was declared that he wouldn’t play in any preseason games last week, but he wasn’t ready to dismiss the possibility of playing in the opener at that time.

The question now shifts to how long New Jersey will be without Elias’ services as they haven’t provided a timetable for his return.

The 39-year-old forward is entering the final season of his three-year, $16.5 million contract. Although he’s been fortunate enough to be fairly durable over the course of his lengthy career, he has been limited to less than 70 games in each of his last two campaigns.

Meanwhile, Kyle Palmieri sustained an undisclosed injury during a preseason game on Wednesday, but the Devils expect him to be fine for the opener.

DeKeyser suffers lower-leg injury

Danny DeKeyser
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Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill had high hopes for the defensive pairing of Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green, but an injury might keep those aspirations on hold.

DeKeyser hurt his lower-leg when he absorbed an awkward hit late in Wednesday’s preseason contest, according to the team’s website. On Thursday he was seen wearing an immobilizing boot and using crutches.

While that naturally sounds bad, the Red Wings aren’t sure how serious his injury is. He underwent an MRI this afternoon, but the team doesn’t have the results of it yet.

If he won’t be available for the start of the regular season, then Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko, or Brian Lashoff might be included on Detroit’s opening game roster.

Meanwhile, Mike Green is expected to play on Friday after missing four games with a groin injury, so the timing of this latest setback is particularly unfortunate as it further limits the duos ability to work together in a game setting. Instead, Green will likely be paired with Kyle Quincey for now.

Habs first-rounder Juulsen to make preseason debut

Noah Juulsen
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Noah Juulsen’s first training camp with the Montreal Canadiens has largely past him by as he worked his way back from a concussion. The silver lining is that he’s gotten healthy in time to make his preseason debut tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

“They’re treating me well,” Juulsen said, per NHL.com. “It’s a great feeling just getting back here.

“It’s not an ideal scenario, but I’ve got to go out and play my game.”

The Canadiens took Juulsen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The defenseman established himself as an offensive force with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips last season by scoring nine goals and 52 points in 68 contests.

At the same time, this isn’t the first concussion the 18-year-old has suffered, although he didn’t want to disclose how many he’s had. He also didn’t specify the cause of his latest injury, except to say that it occurred “off ice.”

He missed the Canadiens’ rookie camp as well and only resumed skating with the team on Saturday. On the plus side, he hasn’t experienced symptoms in a couple weeks.

Juulsen is expected to be paired up with Alexei Emelin on Thursday. He’s likely to spend the season in the WHL.

Blashill very happy with Howard, Mrazek

Jeff Blashill
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Who is the Detroit Red Wings’ number one goaltender? That’s a question that might not be answered by the end of training camp.

“I think both have played really, really well, which is what my thought process was going in,” Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said, per the Detroit Free Press. “We have two guys that both have proven at different times to be elite and both can be elite.

“We’ll keep watching them and either create separation or as it has been so far, both played really well.”

A year ago, Jimmy Howard was the team’s clear starter and he certainly played like a top-tier goalie in the first half of the 2014-15 campaign. However, he suffered a groin injury and while he was able to return from that, he was inconsistent. The Red Wings consequently went with Petr Mrazek in the playoffs instead.

Mrazek had a strong campaign and largely held his own against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round, posting a 2.11 GAA and .925 save percentage in seven playoff contests. That coupled with his success under Blashill when they led the AHL Grand Rapids to the Calder Cup in 2013 puts him in an interesting position, but Blashill also thinks highly of Howard.

“The first half of last year he was an All-Star for a reason, he was having an elite year,” Blashill said. “You never know how guys come back from injury, you never know how they feel. What I see right now is a guy who looks confident. He is patient in the net and pucks are sticking to him. He looks confident and he is making big saves at big moments.”

It’s worth noting that Detroit has four sets of back-to-back games in October and another two in November, so both goalies are likely to get a healthy number of starts early. If either netminder has separated himself at that point then we might have the answer to our question.