Preseason Primer: Northwest

Eastern Conference · Western Conference
 
Central · Northwest · Pacific
 

Wes Goldstein's take: The Oilers have the financial means and appear to have the pieces in place to compete with everyone in the Northwest Division ... The Wild let Brian Rolston and Pavol Demitra leave via free via free agency, although the team appears to have strengthened its back end ... Colorado overachieved last season to get to the second round of the playoffs, and they have done little during the off season to suggest they won't slip backward this time around ... The Flames are counting on a change of scenery to work some magic for the notorious Todd Bertuzzi, and they also managed to land the talented, young Mike Cammalleri ... The Vancouver Canucks have given their rabid fans little to be excited about after failing to address the lack of offense. Full Story

 
Calgary Flames
Location
Penngrowth Saddledome, Calgary, Alta.
Practice begins
Sept. 12
Key Additions
Todd Bertuzzi, RW; Mike Cammalleri, C
Key Subtractions
Kristian Huselius, LW; Alex Tanguay, LW
Rookies to watch
• Mikael Backlund, C; Leland Irving, G
Keep an eye on: Miikka Kiprusoff, G
Last season did not end so well for Kiprusoff, who posted personal lows as a Flame in GAA and SV%. He was also on coach Mike Keenan's short leash during the postseason. He'll be out to prove the slight decline was a fluke.
 
Colorado Avalanche
Location
South Suburban Family Sports Center, Centennial, Colo.
Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Andrew Raycroft, G; Darcy Tucker, C
Key Subtractions
Andrew Brunette, LW; Jose Theodore, G
Rookies to watch
• David Jones, RW; Per Ledin, LW
Keep an eye on: Marek Svatos, RW
Injuries have plagued Svatos during his three-year career and he still manages to hover around the 25-30 goal range. Skating alongside Joe Sakic can only help his numbers. Svatos just needs to stay healthy.
 
Edmonton Oilers
Location
Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alta. Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Erik Cole, RW; Lubomir Visnovsky, D
Key Subtractions
Joni Pitkanen, D; Jarrett Stoll, C
Rookies to watch
• Jordan Eberle, C; Rob Schremp, C
Keep an eye on: Sam Gagner, C
Gagner hit his stride late last season and emerged as a shootout specialist. With the 19-year-old serving as one of Edmonton's top centers, the Oilers cannot afford to see Gagner hit a sophomore slump.
 
Minnesota Wild
Location
Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D.
Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Andrew Brunette, LW; Marek Zidlicky, D
Key Subtractions
Pavol Demitra, RW; Brian Rolston, C
Rookies to watch
• Colton Gillies, LW; Benoit Pouliot, C
Keep an eye on: Marian Gaborik, RW
Gaborik is coming off a career year in which he stayed relatively healthy. But until Minnesota's franchise player signs a contract extension, Gaborik will have lots of off-ice distractions to contend with.
 
Vancouver Canucks
Location
Meadow Park Sports Centre, Whistler, B.C. Practice begins
Sept. 20
Key Additions
Steve Bernier, RW; Pavol Demitra, RW
Key Subtractions
Markus Naslund, LW; Trevor Linden, C
Rookies to watch
• Cody Hodgson, C; Corey Schneider, G
Keep an eye on: Roberto Luongo, G
Vancouver's offense is one of the weakest in the Western Conference, if not the NHL. Luongo will have to get into top form very quickly to come out on the winning end of low-scoring, one-goal games.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre