We are 18 days from the start of the regular season and a trip to Boston (here’s the first Dropkick Murphy’s reference of the year). There are 68 guys on the training camp as it starts here at K-Plex. Tomas Fleischmann actually got a head start, getting out on the before hand.
So who has the most to gain/lose in the next few weeks? Here’s five guys who need a good couple of weeks:
1. Karl Alzner
A lot of people are assuming Alzner is going to be making the trip to TD BankNorth Garden. Problem is, there are currently seven defensemen on the roster with a lot more experience (and none of them can be sent to Hershey without going through waivers, which Alzner can). Just like John Carlson, he’s going to have to outplay some people before he’s a lock to make the roster.
2. Chris Clark
Clark is finally healthy after two years of frustrating injury after frustrating injury. Can he find the form that helped him score 50 goals over the span of his first two seasons? Where does he play — there could be a spot available on one of the top two lines if he looks like his old self.
3. Chris Bourque
Bourque has always been a unique case because he played in the AHL earlier than most prospects do. It feels like he’s been around forever, but he’s still only 23 years old. There could be an opening if Eric Fehr isn’t ready and Michael Nylander is either gone or not a factor.
4. Jose Theodore
Everyone knows he’s dealing with circumstances that no one should have to deal with. Still, he’s got a pair of kids breathing down his neck and the sour taste of the previous postseason to put behind him.
5. Francois Bouchard
Had to throw one prospect in here, Bouchard is probably the one guy here with NHL potential (who isn’t ready for the NHL yet) who has yet to show signs of being able to reach that potential. That’s probably a confusing way to say we’re not sure if he’s going to make it, and he probably needs to impress during this camp before we buy him as a future NHL player.