The eventual addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the ACC figures to strengthen the conference in basketball.
Jeff Halpern used to laugh when Chris Simon, his old Washington Capitals teammate, would refer to players as "suitcases." Of course, Halpern was just breaking into the league then. In his first six seasons, he knew only one club: his hometown Caps.
During this NBA offseason, it's been business as usual for some players, filled with pickup games, attending college classes and doing charity work.
Sometimes life takes precedent over practice, and that seems to be the case this week with Alex Ovechkin.
Over the past couple weeks, the Washington Capitals played seven games that don't count. Ice conditions for the Baltimore Hockey Classic made that game hard to judge, and coach Bruce Boudreau sprinkled in varying degrees of NHL lineups on other nights.
With just two preseason games left, coach Bruce Boudreau said it was time for the Washington Capitals to "get our act in gear and start playing better."
The Capitals' power play: an area of constant worry and woe since December 2010. And while the calendar still says September and there is no reason to panic in preseason, exhibition numbers tell a tale that problems still exist.
Capitals fans at Verizon Center on Monday night weren't happy about the new white protective netting behind the goals. Some complained of headaches and eyesight problems, while others decried not being able to see certain parts of the ice or the scoreboard.
When the Capitals stepped onto the ice at Verizon Center on Monday night, the rink was still 200 feet by 85 feet just as it is every time. But there was one major noticeable difference around the playing surface, as the black protective netting in place since 2002 had been replaced by white netting.