We're through the first week of training camp and we've already had a slew of hockey news and opinions to share and digest. I am a really, really big fan of the fall (I actually love all the seasons), especially since it means the beginning of hockey.
Anyway, here are some thoughts from the first week of practice.
- So Ryan Callahan pretty much admitted he wouldn't be ready for the opening game of the season. That's not really a surprise. Both him and Carl Hagelin are expected to miss at least the next few weeks, a timeframe which will bleed into the regular season. The best thing about the injuries are the duo can skate and condition, so they should be at or near game shape when they're cleared to play.
- Speaking of injuries, J.T. Miller's injury is something of a concern for the youngster. The injury is becoming something of a lingering one -- it's a strained hamstring -- and while it shouldn't keep him out too long, it's already ruled him out of the Rangers first two preseason games. For a player trying to make the team (and Miller is) missing those games is going to hurt his chances. That's not to say he can't impress in the latter half of the preseason, but it's something he would have liked to avoid.
- Chris Kreider's gotten off to a good start. He's talked a few times about loving the "clean slate ... grab it" motto Alain Vigneault and the coaching staff has implemented, and he's showing it with his play. Obviously you can't take too much stock in the first week of training camp, but it's nice to see him scoring goals again. And he has been scoring a lot of them.
- I'm a little surprised the coaching staff has come out and said Johan Hedberg will compete for the backup slot with Martin Biron. Biron really has to be considered one of the best backups in the league and Henrik Lundqvist has spoken about how Biron goes out of his way to make sure he's comfortable. It might just be the staff keeping the fire under everyone, but it's still something to keep an eye on.
- Still nothing on the Derek Stepan front. I still think it gets solved sooner rather than later, but Stepan doesn't want to be a player who misses a bunch of preseason games. He's going to need those minutes to acclimate to the new system.
We'll obviously have more as it happens but for now, thoughts guys?