Habs welcome muscle after saying goodbye to Ryder

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Northeast Division

Montreal Canadiens

Last season: 47-25-10 - 104 points, first in conference, lost to Philadelphia in conference semifinals.

Training camp opening:: Sept. 20 in Montreal.

Bonavista's Michael Ryder has removed his Habs' gear and taken his skates and sticks to Boston after signing a free-agent contract with the Bruins that will pay him $4 million US annually. - File photo

Northeast Division

Montreal Canadiens

Last season: 47-25-10 - 104 points, first in conference, lost to Philadelphia in conference semifinals.

Training camp opening:: Sept. 20 in Montreal.

Additions: RW Georges Laraque, LW Alex Tanguay, G Marc Denis, C Robert Lang.

Subtractions: D Mark Streit, C Bryan Smolinski, RW Michael Ryder.

Stories to watch: For nearly a decade Canadiens' faithful have been crying out for some muscle. Already multi-talented, the Habs addition of Georges Laraque could be the final piece in pushing the NHL's winningest franchise back to the Stanley Cup. . . . Lang was brought in in mid-September to add depth to Montreal's already solid attack.

Season-opener: Oct. 10 at Buffalo.

Ottawa Senators

Last season: 43-31-8 - 94 points, seventh in conference, lost in conference quarter-final to Pittsburgh.

Training camp opening:: Sept. 16 in Ottawa.

Additions: LW Jarkko Ruutu, D Jason Smith, G Alex Auld, D Filip Kuba, D Alexandre Picard, D Brendan Bell.

Subtractions: D Mike Commodore, G Ray Emery, LW Cory Stillman, RW Brian McGrattan, D Wade Redden, D Andrej Meszaros.

Stories to watch: GM Bryan Murray is fond of saying he's filled the Senators' dressing room with "good guys." The test will be if these "good guys" can actually help get this team back as a Cup contender. . . . Captain Daniel Alfredsson will be 36 in December and struggled with injury woes last season.

Season-opener: Oct. 4 at Stockholm, Sweden against Pittsburgh.

Boston Bruins

Last season: 41-29-12 - 94 points, eighth in conference, lost to Montreal in conference quarter-finals.

Training camp opening:: Sept. 19 in Wilmington, Mass.

Additions: RW Michael Ryder, RW Blake Wheeler.

Subtractions: G Alex Auld, C Glen Metropolit, RW Glen Murray.

Stories to watch: Boston paid plenty to add 14-goal man Ryder, who's played his best hockey under coach Claude Julien - in junior, in the AHL and in the NHL with the Canadiens during Ryder's rookie season. . . . Sophomore winger Milan Lucic could be Boston's most popular player since Cam Neely if he continues to progress with a solid mix of goals and fists.

Season-opener: Oct. 9 at Colorado.

Buffalo Sabres

Last season: 39-31-12 - 90 points, 10th in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opening:: Sept. 19 in Buffalo.

Additions: D Craig Rivet, G Patrick Lalime.

Subtractions: RW Steve Bernier, G Jocelyn Thibault, D Dmitri Kalinin.

Stories to watch: Buffalo keeps losing players and not replacing them. Last year, Daniel Briere and Chris Drury bolted. They shipped Brian Campbell out at the trade deadline for Steve Bernier, who was later traded to the Canucks for a pair of draft picks . . . Will Sabres fans continue to flock to the HSBC Arena given the team's propensity of dumping high-priced talent?

Season-opener: Oct. 10 at home to Montreal.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Last season: 36-35-11 - 83 points, 12th in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opening:: Sept. 19 in Toronto.

Additions: LW Niklas Hagman, LW Nikolai Kulemin, C Ryan Hollweg, RW Jamal Mayers, C Mats Sundin, D Jeff Finger, G Curtis Joseph, D Mike Van Ryn.

Subtractions: G Andrew Raycroft, RW Darcy Tucker, C Kyle Wellwood.

Stories to watch: Will Sundin return to Toronto? Will Brian Burke become GM before this time next year? Will the Leafs be in the running for the No. 1 overall draft pick next June?

Season-opener: Oct. 9 at Detroit.

Atlantic Division

Pittsburgh Penguins

Last season: 47-27-8 - 102 points, second in conference, lost to Detroit in Stanley Cup final.

Training camp opened: Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

Additions: LW Ruslan Fedotenko, RW Miro Satan, LW Matt Cooke, LW Janne Pesonen, RW Eric Godard.

Subtractions: G Ty Conklin, RW Adam Hall, RW Marian Hossa, RW Georges Laraque, RW Ryan Malone, LW Gary Roberts, LW Jarkko Ruutu.

Stories to watch: A gutted right wing (four regulars have left) opens the door for former all-star Miro Satan on the top line with Sidney Crosby. Crosby also gets a new left-winger in Ruslan Fedotenko. . . . The loss of Roberts, Laraque and, particularly, Malone takes away in the grit department.

Season-opener: Oct. 4 at Stockholm against Ottawa.

New Jersey Devils

Last season: 46-29-7 - 99 points, fourth in conference, lost to Rangers in conference quarter-finals.

Training camp opening: Friday in Newark, N.J.

Additions: C/W Brian Rolston, C Bobby Holik, D Anssi Salmela, G Scott Clemmensen.

Subtractions: RW Arron Asham, LW Sergei Brylin, D Karel Rachunek.

Stories to watch: What's old is new again as GM Lou Lamoriello delved into the unrestricted free agent market to bring back Rolston and Holik, both members of the Devils' Stanley Cup-winning team in 1994-95. . . Salmela, a 23-year-old Finn whose 16 goals led the Finnish Elite League last season, was signed in hopes of giving the blue-line an offensive boost.

Season-opener: Oct. 10 versus NY Islanders.

New York Rangers

Last season: 42-27-13 - 97 points, fifth in conference, lost to Pittsburgh in conference semifinals.

Training camp opened: Tuesday in New York.

Additions: C Dan Fritsche, LW Markus Naslund, LW Patrick Rissmiller, LW Aaron Voros, RW Nikolai Zherdev, D Wade Redden, D Dmitri Kalinin.

Subtractions: C Sean Avery, LW Ryan Hollweg, LW Martin Straka, RW Jaromir Jagr, RW Brendan Shanahan, D Marek Malik, D Christian Backman, D Jason Strudwick, D Fedor Tyutin.

Story to watch: Can Redden again become the elite defenceman he was when he posted 50 points in 65 games with the Sens in '05-06?

Season-opener: Oct. 4 versus Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague, Czech Republic.

Philadelphia Flyers

Last season: 42-29-11 - 95 points, sixth in conference, lost to Pittsburgh Penguins in conference final.

Training camp opening: Friday in Voorhees, N.J.

Additions: C Glen Metropolit, RW Arron Asham, D Ossi Vaananen, D Steve Eminger.

Subtractions: C Jim Dowd, RW Sami Kapanen, LW Vinny Prospal, LW R.J. Umberger, D Jason Smith.

Stories to watch: The Flyers went from being the worst team in the NHL in '06-07 to Eastern Conference finalists last season. Whether they'll be able take that success further and reach the Stanley Cup final for a shot at their first title since 1975 is the big question. . . . With the retirement of Kapanen and departures of Umberger and Prospal, speedy winger Claude Giroux, the Flyers' first-round pick in 2006, could crack the roster out of training camp.

Season-opener: Oct. 11 versus New York Rangers.

New York Islanders

Last season: 35-38-9 - 79 points, 13th in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opening: Friday at Moncton, N.B.

Additions: C Doug Weight, D Mark Streit, G Yann Danis.

Subtractions: C Shawn Bates, C Josef Vasicek, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, RW Miroslav Satan, G Wade Dubielewicz.

Stories to watch: AHL coach of the year Scott Gordon takes over for Ted Nolan behind the bench for an Islanders team that hasn't made it passed the conference quarter-finals since they competed in the Patrick Division (1992-93).

Season-opener: Oct. 10 at New Jersey Devils.

Southeast Division

Washington Capitals

Last season: 43-31-8 - 94 points, third in conference, lost to Philadelphia in conference quarter-finals.

Training camp opening: Saturday in Arlington, Va.

Additions: C Keith Aucoin, G Jose Theodore.

Subtractions: LW Matt Cooke, RW Ben Clymer, D Steve Eminger, G Olaf Kolzig, G Cristobal Huet.

Stories to watch: Can coach of the year Bruce Boudreau keep the train rolling? The Caps became a different animal when Boudreau took over from Glen Hanlon. . . . As a team, Washington's enthusiasm for the game is unrivaled.

Season-opener: Oct. 10 at Atlanta.

Carolina Hurricanes

Last season: 43-33-6 - 92 points, ninth in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opening: Friday in Raleigh, N.C.

Additions: C Dwight Helminen, D Joni Pitkanen, D Josef Melichar, D Anton Babchuk.

Subtractions: C Keith Aucoin, RW Erik Cole, G John Grahame, D Bret Hedican, C Trevor Letowski, D David Tanabe, D Glen Wesley.

Stories to watch: The Hurricanes will be looking for the same sort of production this season from the well-travelled Sergei Samsonov, who resurrected his career and earned himself a three-year, $7.6-million US deal after netting 14 goals and 32 points in 38 games in Carolina. . Eric Staal will be under pressure to produce given his new, large contract.

Season-opener: Oct. 10 versus Florida Panthers.

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

Florida Panthers

Last season: 38-35-9 - 85 points, 11th in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opening: Saturday in Coral Springs, Fla.

Additions: LW Cory Stillman, D Bryan McCabe, D Keith Ballard, D Nick Boynton.

Subtractions: C Olli Jokinen, D Mike Van Ryn, D Steve Montador, D Jassen Cullimore, C Jozef Stumpel.

Stories to watch: Who'll replace C Olli Jokinen's experience and offence at centre? The depth chart is thin up the middle, with Stephen Weiss considered the No. 1 centre. . . . Can new head coach Peter DeBeor make the transition from junior to the NHL?

Season-opener: Oct. 10 at Carolina.

Atlanta Thrashers

Last season: 34-40-8 - 76 points, 14th in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opening: Sunday in Duluth, Ga.

Additions: C Jason Williams, LW Marty Reasoner; D Ron Hainsey.

Subtractions: C Bobby Holik, D Steve McCarthy, RW Mark Recchi, D Alexei Zhitnik.

Stories to watch: New coach John Anderson has had terrific success at the AHL level, but the big question is whether than can carry over to the NHL . . . Can anyone besides Ilya Kovalchuk put the puck in the net?

Season-opener: Oct. 10 at St. Louis.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Last season: 31-42-9 - 71 points, 15th in conference, missed playoffs.

Training camp opened: Tuesday in Tampa.

Additions: LW Greg Malone, LW Vinny Prospal, LW Gary Roberts, RW Radim Vrbata, RW Mark Recchi, RW Adam Hall, D Andrej Meszaros, D Matt Carle, G Olie Kolzig.

Subtractions: D Dan Boyle, G Marc Denis, D Brad Lukowich, D Filip Kuba, D Alexandre Picard, LW Andre Roy, C Tim Taylor.

Stories to watch: New owners, a new head coach, new defenceman, new forwards and a new goalie. Enough said. . . . Can Barry Melrose be an effective coach after being out of the league for 13 years?

Season-opener: Oct. 4 vs. New York Rangers, at Prague, Czech Republic.

Organizations: Montreal Canadiens, NHL, D Mark Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils Boston Bruins Pittsburgh Penguins New York Rangers Buffalo Sabres Philadelphia Flyers Canucks HSBC Arena Toronto Maple Leafs Tampa Bay Lightning New York Islanders Finnish Elite League Florida Panthers Patrick Division Washington Capitals Carolina Hurricanes Atlanta Thrashers

Geographic location: Montreal, Pittsburgh, Buffalo Philadelphia Ottawa Stockholm Boston Toronto Sweden Wilmington, Mass. Detroit Colorado Prague Czech Republic Newark, N.J. New York Carolina Voorhees, N.J. Moncton Arlington, Va. Washington Atlanta Raleigh, N.C. US Coral Springs, Fla. Duluth, Ga. St. Louis Tampa

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Aubrey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Michael Ryder was the Canadian's leading scorer in the two previous seasons and they made the mistake of insisting that he play a more physical style. Leading the team for two years wasn't enough for the Canadians. They took a natural scorer, screwed with his head and then benched him. Who did they think they were dealing with, Georges Laraque ? I'm a Leafs fan from Nfld. & Labrador and I hope Michael fills the opposition nets, particularly the Canadians(Leafs excepted)

  • Rick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I enjoyed watching Michael Ryder Play for the Habs, not because he was from NL but because he was somewhat talented, I am not sure where Aubrey from Mount Pearl got his info with regards to the Habs wanting Ryder to play a more physical game because that is so far from the truth, The habs wanted him to be able to score even strength goals as well which we know he couln't do on a regular bases , also the Habs had so many better players in there system that a PP scorer just wasn't enough for them, I doubt Ryder will be filling the net against any team let alone the Habs, he may get 40-50 points this year, so if people want to bash the Habs or praise Ryder, they should atleast get there facts straight, If Ryder wasn't a newfie most people wouldn't even consider him even somewhat a talented player let alone as someone that had his head screwed with (Go Habs Go)With regards to Laraque, he will help the HABS in his own way, the Habs won't be bullied like in the past, ask Crosby what he meant to the Pens.

  • Aubrey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Michael Ryder was the Canadian's leading scorer in the two previous seasons and they made the mistake of insisting that he play a more physical style. Leading the team for two years wasn't enough for the Canadians. They took a natural scorer, screwed with his head and then benched him. Who did they think they were dealing with, Georges Laraque ? I'm a Leafs fan from Nfld. & Labrador and I hope Michael fills the opposition nets, particularly the Canadians(Leafs excepted)

  • Rick
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I enjoyed watching Michael Ryder Play for the Habs, not because he was from NL but because he was somewhat talented, I am not sure where Aubrey from Mount Pearl got his info with regards to the Habs wanting Ryder to play a more physical game because that is so far from the truth, The habs wanted him to be able to score even strength goals as well which we know he couln't do on a regular bases , also the Habs had so many better players in there system that a PP scorer just wasn't enough for them, I doubt Ryder will be filling the net against any team let alone the Habs, he may get 40-50 points this year, so if people want to bash the Habs or praise Ryder, they should atleast get there facts straight, If Ryder wasn't a newfie most people wouldn't even consider him even somewhat a talented player let alone as someone that had his head screwed with (Go Habs Go)With regards to Laraque, he will help the HABS in his own way, the Habs won't be bullied like in the past, ask Crosby what he meant to the Pens.