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BC-HKN--Season Previews,ADVISORY

September 18, 2018
BC-HKN--Season Previews, ADVISORY,1777


To help you with planning, here are some details for NHL coverage from the AP before the regular season begins on Oct. 3. Please contact Dave Zelio (dzelio(at)ap.org) or call 212-621-1630 with any questions. This advisory will be updated and dates are subject to change. All times U.S. Eastern.



The AP will provide a roundup of all preseason games across the league each day/night.


Previews for U.S. teams, in a ‘things to know’ format, will be sent on Sept. 25 along with a capsule for each team. Stories, with photos, will be approximately 650 words, capsules about 350 words. The seven Canadian teams will also get capsules along with a roundup preview story (see below).


After the Washington Capitals cracked the second round and became Stanley Cup champions, the rest of the Eastern Conference will make it tough for them to get back to the final. Sidney Crosby is one of the most motivated players in the NHL, the Maple Leafs added John Tavares, the Bruins are young and healthy and the Lightning are smack dab in the middle of their title window. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon Sept. 26.


The Vegas Golden Knights tried to improve their chances of repeating as Western Conference champions, signing free agent center Paul Stastny and acquiring forward Max Pacioretty. Vegas will have a lot of obstacles in its pursuit of the Stanley Cup. Nashville, Winnipeg and San Jose are just a few of the teams to beat in the loaded conference. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon Sept. 27.


John Tavares immediately tipped the balance of power in the NHL by signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, giving them a one-two punch down the middle with Auston Matthews. The Maple Leafs are the best bet to end Canada’s Stanley Cup drought that dates to 1993, but the Winnipeg Jets went to the Western Conference final last season and are poised to make another run. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by noon Sept. 27.



Even with young star Auston Matthews and longtime Islanders captain John Tavares in the fold, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in no rush to name a captain. The team that hasn’t had one since early 2016. But what’s in a “C″ exactly? For a sport rooted in the tradition of captains, a third of NHL teams could go into opening night without one. Hockey players still believe in the value of one captain, but that theory is being tested. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 800 words, photos, video on Sept. 18.


CHICAGO — The NHL and NHL Players’ Association can each vote in September 2019 to terminate the current collective bargaining agreement and set up the potential for another work stoppage. With a year left, issues like escrow payments and the Olympics are moving to the forefront of discussions. Some players even have contract protections in place just in case there is a lockout in 2020. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 800 words, photos Sept. 16.


The defending champion Capitals are trying to forget their Stanley Cup celebrations as they become just one of 31 NHL teams chasing a title when training camps open. Washington has one of six new coaches in Todd Reirden but few of the big camp questions facing others around the league. Veterans earning contracts and restricted free agents signing in time for the season are among the situations worth watching. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 600 words, photos Sept. 13.


The decision by John Tavares to become a free agent is not yet a model for other NHL stars to follow. Tyler Seguin of Dallas says the move by Tavares to test the market did not inspire him. He hopes a contract extension with the Stars gets done before the season. But others like Matt Duchene of Ottawa at least have something to think about after Tavares signed with the Maple Leafs and broke the mold. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 800 words, photos Sept. 7.


The NHL is going back to old favorites this season for the Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium and the Stadium Series game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field. It’ll be the sixth outdoor game for the Blackhawks, fifth for the Penguins, fourth for the Flyers and third for the Bruins. While eight teams haven’t gotten that chance, those days could be approaching. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 700 words, photos Sept. 6.



CHICAGO — An informal poll of NHL players leaves no doubt as to who the most popular referee is: Veteran Wes McCauley. Known to fans for his demonstrative penalty calls and announcements, it’s the way he interacts with players and coaches that make him stand out in a fast sport where officials are prone to mistakes. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by noon Sept. 19.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — NHL players aren’t the only ones needing training camp to prepare for the start of the season. The league’s 80-plus on-ice officials gathered last week for their annual five-day camp which included video sessions, pick-up games and even a few self-deprecating jokes about some of them needing glasses. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 5 a.m. Sept. 19.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Predators captain Roman Josi heard about San Jose trading for Erik Karlsson just before talking with reporters at the start of Nashville’s training camp. Yep, the Predators haven’t even raised the banner yet for winning the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best team last season, and it’s already ancient history — at least in the arms’ race that is the Western Conference. The pace has only quickened as NHL teams open camps despite all the trades last season and all the moves this offseason. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 700 words, photos Sept. 13.


CHICAGO — Nick Schmaltz has shown marked improvement in each of his first two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks. Another big leap forward from the former first-round draft pick out of the University of North Dakota could help the Blackhawks return to the playoffs after finishing last in the Central Division. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 700 words, photos Sept. 15.


NEW YORK — The New York Islanders know they are being overlooked after finishing 17 points out of a playoff spot last season and losing captain John Tavares to free agency during the summer. That’s ok with them. They still have plenty of scoring options, led by Anders Lee and reigning rookie of the year Mathew Barzal, and added a Stanley Cup winning coach in Barry Trotz and three-time champion executive Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT: 700 words, photos Sept. 13.


NEW YORK — Henrik Lundqvist is entering his 14th season in the NHL, having spent his entire career with the New York Rangers. And although the team is in a rebuilding mode for a future run at their first Stanley Cup title since 1994, the 36-year-old goalie wants to stick around and be a part of that process. After being slowed by a knee injury last offseason, Lundqvist says he is 100 percent heading into this season. By Vin A. Cherwoo. SENT: 700 words, photos Sept. 17.


— HKN--REBUILDING RANGERS. By Vin. A Cherwoo. SENT: 700 words, photos Sept. 14.


CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo has an arena named after him. He has made roughly $100 million in his career, knows he is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame one day and he ranks among the sport’s all-time leaders in virtually every goaltending category. His legacy was secure long ago. He doesn’t need to play anymore. Yet here he is, at 39 years old, working harder than ever, still trying to get his hands on the Stanley Cup for the first time. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 800 words, photos Sept. 12.


RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes brought in two established defensemen this offseason. The NHL club traded for Dougie Hamilton and signed Calvin de Haan. That means seven players for six spots on game nights, and the Hurricanes hope the strength in those numbers will finally end the NHL’s longest active playoff drought. Carolina hasn’t made the postseason since 2009. By Joedy McCreary. SENT: 650 words, photos Sept. 4.


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona is rapidly becoming one of the NHL’s fastest-growing hockey markets. Participation is up and rinks are being built around the state to invigorate a once-dormant hockey scene. The Arizona Coyotes have helped increase participation and the rise of NHL star Auston Matthews has also provided a big boost. By John Marshall. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 23.



Major moves were made early in the offseason, starting with coach Barry Trotz going from helping Washington win the Stanley Cup to leaving to lead the New York Islanders. The Toronto Maple Leafs made the biggest splash in free agency, landing former Islanders star John Tavares. On the eve of training camp, it was all about the West as San Jose acquired two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson and Vegas traded for veteran forward Max Pacioretty. By Hockey Writer Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Sept 26.


Barry Trotz is taking his Stanley Cup ring to the New York Islanders, while Washington Capitals replacement Todd Reirden sits in an unusual situation taking over a champion. The expectations are high on Reirden, new Stars coach Jim Montgomery and new Flames coach Bill Peters and less on Trotz and new Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Sept. 27.


The buzz around the NHL for months has been about smooth-skating Rasmus Dahlin in Buffalo. But other players to watch this season include Ryan Donato in Boston, Brady Tkachuk in Ottawa, Erik Karlsson with his new teammates in San Jose and Ilya Kovalchuk returning to the NHL in Los Angeles. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Sept. 28.

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