Dobber Ramblings September 23
Training camps are open! Just a couple months after the end of the 2021 Cup Final, we're back on the ice. It was a quick turnaround, and I think that's something that can get lost on us as we head into this season. There are some players that did not get much of an offseason. Even teams that didn't get to the Cup Final were playing right into late June. The entire NHL basically got a month shaved off their regular offseason, though "regular offseason" isn't something that has applied for a couple years now. How does this affect a team like Tampa Bay, who has played more hockey than anyone in the last two seasons? I guess we're about to find out.
Two things as camps open:
- Unless a player is returning from a debilitating injury – like Vladimir Tarasenko and his shoulder, for example – their physical conditioning is of no importance. Every player should be in excellent shape and if they're not, well, we'll find out very soon.
- Coaches do not waste time putting line combinations together. They will tinker and experiment, but coaches aren't just putting lines together to fill practice space. Everything has a purpose, even if it's just to give us indications of what can come weeks/months down the road.
Just keep in mind not to get to excited over spots that will be filled soon, as guys like Quinn Hughes and Brady Tkachuk are signed.
Auston Matthews opened camp on the IR
This isn't a big surprise, given the surgery mentioned by Mr. Johnston. We just have to hope that his wrist will be fine for puck drop on opening night. When spending a top-5 fantasy pick on any player, we want their health to be as impeccable as possible. This certainly throws a small wrench into things for some, though I would still have no problem drafting him.
Staying with Leafs centres and their health: