I like when training camp starts because it puts a real spotlight on coaches as everyone tries to figure out if successful coaches will be able to maintain their pace and if unsuccessful coaches will manage to turn things around.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma would probably be considered a successful coach, what with his Stanley Cup at the end of last season. Even so, he’s already lowering expectations for the upcoming season. He never uses the term “Cup hangover,” but it seems to weigh strongly on his mind.
By the way, the Penguins are trying to re-sign defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang. Is it me or does Gonchar seem to have stopped aging? Someone should look into that.
Over in New Jersey, John MacLean continues to insist he’s not mad he was passed over for the Devils coaching job. Again. In an unrelated note, Devils coach Jacques Lemaire continues to insist he always had someone start his car and taste his food for him.
Blues coach Andy Murray had a nice surprise during the Blues’ pre-training camp practice sessions: a healthy Paul Kariya and Erik Johnson. The Blues will have around 56 players at training camp, which is about how many players they needed last season.
Finally, the NHL marketing department slipped-up and actually promoted a player from a west coast team. Heads will certainly roll for this. The first rule of NHL marketing is to never reveal the NHL has teams west of the Mississippi.