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Preseason Primer: Southeast

Eastern Conference · Western Conference
 
Atlantic · Northeast · Southeast
 

Wes Goldstein's take: Tampa could challenge for a Southeast Division title or just as easily end up as the latest example of a chemistry experiment gone bad ... Jose Theodore will go a long way towards determining whether the Capitals can repeat as division champs, although he'll have lots of scoring support from Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green ... Coach Peter DeBoer brings his up tempo philosophy to Florida, and takes over a team that looks like it will create a lot more from the back end out ... While most teams head into camp trying to believe they have a shot at the Stanley Cup, the likelihood is most of the Thrashers understand they'll spend the season contending for the lottery pick ... The wild card is Carolina, which will be aiming for its first playoff appearance since winning the 2006 Stanley Cup. Full Story

 
Atlanta Thrashers
Location
Duluth Ice Forum, Duluth, Ga.
Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Ron Hainsey, D; Jason Williams, RW
Key Subtractions
Bobby Holik, C; Mark Recchi, RW
Rookies to watch
• Zach Bogosian, D; Angelo Esposito, C
Keep an eye on: Colby Armstrong, RW
Acquired in the Marian Hossa deal last season, Armstrong will compete for a spot on Atlanta's top line. He'll give the Thrashers plenty of grit, but needs to find the net more often to help the offensively starved Thrashers.
 
Carolina Hurricanes
Location
RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.
Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Josef Melichar, D; Joni Pitkanen, D
Key Subtractions
Erik Cole, RW; Glen Wesley, D
Rookies to watch
• Zach Boychuk, C; Brandon Sutter, C
Keep an eye on: Rod Brind'Amour, C
Brind'Amour, 38, worked out six days a week to get back into top shape after suffering a torn ACL in February. The Hurricanes captain is still a key player in the faceoff circle and in Carolina's locker room.
 
Florida Panthers
Location
Incredible Ice, Coral Springs, Fla.
Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Bryan McCabe, D; Cory Stillman, LW
Key Subtractions
Olli Jokinen, C; Mike Van Ryn, D
Rookies to watch
• Michael Frolik, C; Shawn Matthias, C
Keep an eye on: Nathan Horton, RW
With the departure of Olli Jokinen, Horton becomes the centerpiece of the Panthers' attack. Florida may try shifting the sniper back to center, his natural position, in an attempt to spark his offense.
 
Tampa Bay Lightning
Location
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Fla.
Practice begins
Sept. 16
Key Additions
Ryan Malone, LW; Andrej Meszaros, D
Key Subtractions
Dan Boyle, D; Filip Kuba, D
Rookies to watch
• Steve Stamkos, C; Karri Ramo, G
Keep an eye on: Mike Smith, G
The Lightning have Smith listed as No. 1 on the depth chart, but the goalie will need a strong preseason to silence his critics, especially after a poor showing last season. He also has to contend with veteran Olaf Kolzig.
 
Washington Capitals
Location
Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington, Va.
Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Jose Theodore, G
Key Subtractions
Matt Cooke, LW; Cristobal Huet, G
Rookies to watch
• Karl Alzner, D, Eric Fehr, RW
Keep an eye on: Chris Clark, RW
Clark missed all but 18 games last season with a groin injury. If the Capitals captain can make it out of the preseason without incident, Washington's lineup will boast yet another offensive threat.
 
 
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