Saturday September 20th, 2014

An annotated guide to today's must-read hockey stories:

 Sidney Crosby surprised observers by taking part in on-ice activities Friday. Sid still hasn't identified the injury that was expected to prevent him from participating, but it's a good sign that he was able to take part in most of the drills.

 Didn't take long for the knives to come out at Pittsburgh's camp. ”We played a lot like robots last year,” said Beau Bennett in describing the team's style under former coach Dan Bylsma.

 How's that new Patrick Kane-Brad Richards-Brandon Saad line looking in camp? Tracey Myers has the scoop.

 James Duthie explains why he left all that Rogers money on the table to stay with TSN and what it's like to have an animal claw open your skull on live TV in this all-encompassing preseason interview.

 Barry Trotz says Alex Ovechkin is better defensively on the right wing but he's moving the sniper back to the left side because he's more dangerous there.Who saw that coming?

Ovechkin is not the only star winger switching back to left wing.

 I'm not sure what's more amazing: the creative genius behind this double-billboard in Tampa or the fact that it features Valtteri Filppula. (s/t Reddit)

 Which player will be the next to wear the C in San Jose? This sounds like a good guess.

 Here's Mike Russo's report from the first day of Minnesota's camp. Yes, the topic of goaltending comes up.

 Mike Babcock isn't ready to issue an assessment on his Red Wings just yet, but he really likes this about his team.

 It would really help Babs if Stephen Weiss brought anything to the table this season. The free agency flop took his first hard skate in nine months yesterday as camp opened for veterans.

 The Avalanche finally made official what everyone's known all along by giving Joe Sakic the GM title. Greg Sherman, the former GM-in-name-only, is now assistant GM.

  Massive growth in youth hockey over the past 20 years has helped the Columbus area produce some elite players.

 This is a shocker: a panel of 10 current and former general managers feel like the Blue Jackets are being fair with Ryan Johansen. Apparently they wouldn't support the idea of another team driving up the price of young talent.

 Here's a video clip of NHLers being asked to name the goalie they'd draft first in fantasy hockey. Judging by Oliver Ekman-Larsson's response, I'm guessing he's not familiar with the concept.

 Jim Paek is going to the Olympics. And an entire nation rejoices.

 Ryane Clowe has been cleared to return to action with the Devils on one condition: he has to cut back on the fighting. Have to wonder if that's the sort of medical advice that could have legal implications down the road.

 Jordin Tootoo had his reasons for choosing to attend camp with New Jersey. Now, will the Devils choose to sign him?

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